The Flash Annual #3 Review

Annual The Flash #3 - Page 1Writers: Robert Venditti/Van Jensen

Artists: Brett Booth/Ron Frenz

Inkers/Colorist: Norm Rapmund/Livesay/Andrew Dalhouse

SLIP

“You know how breaks into a cemetery at this hour, Flash? People who don’t want to be seen.”

As Barry tries to get his like back together after the chaos caused by the crime syndicate, another Barry from the future is trying to prevent the death of Wally West from ever happening. But how does future Barry plan on doing that and why does it result in having to kill his past self?!

The Ups: From the reaches of outer space to the speed force, Venditti and Jensen bring us a dark yet heartfelt story coming in guns blazing. Throughout this story we follow Barry in the present and a Barry following a dark future, after the death of Wally West, that future Barry feels he could of prevented. Normally I’m against time travel like stories, but I have fallen in love with the persona and attitude of future Barry along with that sick new outfit (but I’ll get to that later,) and the events that have come from this story so far. Just as in the previous issue, Venditti and Jensen bring a lot of powerful emotions to Barry at two different points in his life that drew me deep into the story. I was completely sucked into future Barry, who had become a dark avenger and far from the lighthearted man Barry is known for. This new dark persona shows how well Venditti and Jensen works as a team, being able to completely flip a characters personality and beliefs all while still keeping Barry fresh and complex. While this issue also features the first true showing of Wally West, he has yet to play his role in the story, even though the story circles around whether or not he survives from a terrible accident. Next to nothing is known about him aside is that he is a young and rough street kid, but even still with the way future Barry plays out, I can see Wally’s part in the story changing the course of the series forever. The art is done separately with Frenz and Livesay drawing for present day Flash and Booth and Rapmund working on future Barry. The upsetting part about the artwork it is night and day between Booth and Frenz sequences, but first I will talk about Booth and Rapmund. Did I mention that amazing blue suit? What I originally thought was going to be Wally’s outfit (or will it?) turns out to be a nice play on the dark emotion of future Barry with the deep blue base and the outlines done to look like lightning, as well as the joints looking very cyborg like, all colored beautifully by Dalhouse. I can only hope after this arc is over either this suit becomes Wally’s or is used in again, I enjoyed it that much. The amount of detail on the done for every future Flash sequence was perfectly executed with intensity just bleeding out of the page, it was a shame the whole issue couldn’t be the same visually.

Annual The Flash #3 - Page 11The Downs: My big problem with this issue was the drastic difference between the future and present sequences and how they were drawn. While Booth brought a lot of intensity and detail, Frenz had a lot of inconsistency throughout. The detail on a lot of the characters was kept to a minimum and characters head and faces never looked the same from panel to panel. At one point, Patty went from having a really odd round cartoony head, to looking like an old lady in the course of two panels. Not all of Frenz artwork came out this way, but it’s just a shame that the consistency was not there and made a lot of the present story scenes look weak.

Overall: Part 2 of this gripping yet heartfelt Flash story has definitely left me wanting more. Wally has still yet to play any role, but who cares, we have the incredibly bad ass future Flash and I can’t wait to see what his and Wally’s role is going to be as the story moves forward. And oh yeah, did I mention that blue suit? Please DC lets keep that suit around in some fashion, I don’t think I’m the only one who will enjoy the change.

Grade 4 of 5

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