THE FLASH ANNUAL #1
Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Howard Porter
Published by: DC Comics
What it’s all about…
“FLASH WAR” prelude! The biggest Flash story of 2018 starts here, with a special story starring the classic Wally West, who’s conflicted over whether to let Iris West know he is alive—and he’ll need the help of the Flash to figure out what to do! But when Magenta, Wally’s old love, needs his help, the Flash returns home to Keystone City where he is confronted with violent memories of an unknown world…A major turning point for the Flash family that sets the path for earth shattering stories in 2018!
What I thought about it…
Flash Annual #1 was supposed to set things up for the big “Flash War” event, and to a certain degree, this issue achieves just that. There are some interesting ideas hinted at here. But this comic is not perfect by any means.
My biggest problem with this annual is that it sets things in motion for a story that’s still three months away! I don’t understand why DC would release Flash Annual #1 so far out from the “Flash War” storyline. Why not wait until right before the arc kicks off?
Perhaps its due to the time gap between this issue and the “Flash War” that we get so much padding in this comic. Despite it being an oversized issue, nothing of importance really happens in Flash Annual #1. The story focuses on the older Wally, and his problems readjusting to life out of the costume. But if felt like this simple plot point keeps going around in circles without a satisfactory ending.
A lot of the dialogue is weak and at times just plain cheesy. The moment Wally learns Iris killed someone, should be a big scene. But Wally ends up acting like an angry teenager not the veteran hero that he is. Also, the story of older Wally West reminding an old friend of his existence felt rushed and unnecessary. This encounter is plagued by extreme mood shifts by the characters, and it’s hard to really care about this woman, because I have no idea who she is.
When I started reading comics, almost three decades ago, Wally West was THE Flash. For that reason, The real Wally West will always be my Flash. But DC comics needs to hand him better than this. Hopefully “Flash war” will set things right with the one true, Wally West.
The Flash Annual final score: C