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Flash Forward #5 Review by Kevin Tanza

(Copyright by DC Comics)

You can read our review of the first four issues here, here, here and here.

One of the biggest challenges that a writer can have is sticking the landing and that is what Scott Lobdell is up against with the finale of Flash Forward, this 6-issue miniseries. And while it has been a joyous experience and one where us Wally West fans can see one of our favorite characters back to his best, this fifth issue is setting the stage for the resolution and considering how DC editorial has treated the character in recent years, then we need to wait and see how things go.

Having said that, I can’t help but praise Lobdell considering that he was given a complicated task and had a lot of detractors going into this project with star artist Brett Booth, but the man has been pulling this off quite well and using all the ordeals Wally had to go through in tremendous fashion, thus leading to this issue.

Are you ready? Let’s do this.

What is Flash Forward #5?

 (Copyright by DC Comics)

We pick up where we left off in the previous issue: Wally reuniting with his kids, Jai and Iris, in a world that is being consumed by dark forces. The three of them are being consumed by this dark energy, but Wally uses the artifact that Tempus gave him and resolves to run at the top of his capacity, hardly making any difference in this world.

Tempus shows and Wally confronts him, filled with anger due to the possibility of losing his kids once again. Tempus finally reveals the truth: that this world is a creation of Wally’s greatest fears when he was trapped in the Speed Force during the New 52 reboot years. And he is now faced with making a decision that may result in him losing Jai and Iris once again.

How was it?

(Copyright by DC Comics) 

This issue was perhaps the oddest one of the miniseries for me, so far. While it’s great to see Wally reuniting with his kids after almost an entire decade of DC history, I think Lobdell ended up without space to develop the plot because from the very moment we see these three reunited we kick start the new threat and we barely have time to settle in with one plot before moving to the next one. Before we realized, Wally has to make a choice and I think the odd pacing of the comic just doesn’t click.

That’s why I talked about sticking the landing in the introduction of this review; a strong ending makes a hell of a difference and I felt this issue was written in a rush as if Lobdell was trying to get these plot threads out of the way quickly in order to get to the final act in the sixth issue.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t much to like, though. Lobdell’s characterization of Wally is as strong as ever and h handles his fatherly instincts quite well (I don’t know about Lobdell’s personal life, so I don't know if he is writing from his own experience as a father). There is a genuine motivation to protect from Wally’s part and I think that is the core of this issue, which I think is handled quite well and it’s definitely the strongest part of the whole thing.

It’s certainly good, but somewhat of a decrease in quality compared to previous issues.

 What about the artwork?

 (Copyright by DC Comics)

Talking about Brett Booth’s art is becoming somewhat difficult because it’s hard to praise him in every single review. Having said, I want to say that I really like his use of panel displays and how they are so dynamic and somewhat experimental–it reminds me of the best attributes of early Image Comics art (which makes sense because he started in Image). He is the perfect artist for superhero comics because he knows what the readers want from a visual medium and he delivers in great fashion.

I also like the way how he has made Wally West his character. There are artists that give certain characters a very defined and distinctive look, which done right can become something of a classic. I don’t think any other artist truly gets Wally the way Booth does and it shows in every single page of this miniseries.

What it represents?

(Copyright by DC Comics)

Flash Forward #5 is perhaps not the strongest issue of the miniseries, but it's certainly far from a dud. It has struggles, emotion, threats and a sense of urgency that you don’t usually read in most modern comics these days. Both Lobdell and Booth are veterans of the industry and you can see and feel that understanding and care that comics need in order to thrive–they know what they want and they know how to deliver.

The final issue will come this month and it’s certainly going to be a very important conclusion to a character’s story that has been going through multiple ups and downs in the last decade.

A generation’s Flash may finally get his due after all these years.

This post first appeared on Pop Culture News, Comic Book, And Anime Reviews - Animated Apparel Co., please read the originial post: here

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Flash Forward #5 Review by Kevin Tanza


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