Publisher: DC Comics
Writers: Robert Venditti & Van Jensen
Pencils: Brett Booth & Ron Frenz
Inks: Norm Rapmund & Livesay
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters: Taylor Esposito
Cover: Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, & Andrew Dalhouse
Review by Scott Keys
After the triumphant debut of the new Flash team on The Flash #30, we only had to wait a week for the next installment, and a very eagerly anticipated issue at that! The Flash Annual #3 gives us the official New 52 debut of Wally West! What can the new Speed Team do in their second issue? A great deal, that’s what!
The duo of Venditti and Jensen gave us a glimpse of the Future Flash last issue, and the annual delves head-long into what makes him tick. The writers did a masterful job of juggling the present with the future story, with lots of hints of things to come, and the inevitable confrontation of Barry with his future self! I really liked the small touches they added, like Barry running to Guatemala to get Patty some fruit, but he was gone for more that “just a few seconds.” We’re starting to see some of Barry’s “lost time” from last issue rear it’s ugly head! Couple that with the lengths future-Barry takes to right the wrong of Wally’s death, and you get a real sense of how much that lost time has affected Barry over the years. And speaking of Wally, I have to say I like this take on the character. I know, I know, this isn’t the Wally we wanted, but I trust this team implicitly with my favorite characters, and can’t wait to see what they do with the Barry/Wally dynamic! You know what it reminds me of? The Batman/Jason Todd dynamic, and I’m perfectly fine with that!
But, what about the art, you say? Let me start off by saying that I absolutely love Ron Frenz’s classic comic art style! He and Booth shared art chores on the annual, with Frenz doing the present day stuff, and Booth the future. Frenz’s art is perfect for classic super-hero fare, but it also serves the ordinary fare well too. His faces are so expressive! He captures Barry’s disgust for cold coffee, Iris’ disdain, Singh’s anger, and Wally’s smugness perfectly! Of course, the action scenes were great too, with Barry having to confront some art thieves. Just some good old fashioned comic book goodness!
But, lest we forget, the future sequences were done by the new regular penciller for the Flash, Brett Booth! I know this is only his second issue in, but DAMN is it pretty! I have to say that future Flash’s blue suit is one of the best designs I’ve seen since the New 52 began! Booth really upped his game with the layouts and designs for the future sequences here. Grodd has never looked more menacing, Barry never more emotional, and Iris never more angry (plus, that wheelchair she’s in is pretty sweet looking too!). I know I said it last week, but I’ll keep saying it for as long as you’ll listen – Booth was born to draw the Flash!
The Flash Annual #3 takes us on a journey. What would you do if you had the power to change history? I mean, literally change history? The ability to travel to the past to right a wrong. Would you do it? The Speed Team (I should trademark that!) are planting the seeds of an epic confrontation of what Barry IS and what Barry WILL be. Decisions were made, and regret has set in. Would you change the way things played out, and at what cost? I can’t wait to take that journey with the Flash!
Art: 4.5 / 5
Story: 4.5 / 5
Overall: 4.5 / 5
Scott Keys is a father, Butler University grad, pharmacist, and full-time comic nerd. You can follow his adventures around the spinner-rack and his Incoherent Comic Book Ramblings on:
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