Overview

The Flash #243

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The Flash #243

Credits

  • Words: Tom Peyer
  • Art: Freddie Williams II
  • Inks: Freddie Williams II
  • Colors: Tanya & Richard Horie
  • Story Title: Fast Money Part Six: Everything, Always
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 20, 2008

Defeating Gorilla Grodd is task enough, but Wally West must also contend with the rapid aging and potential death of his children in the conclusion to the "Fast Money" storyline.

The Flash family faces its most difficult challenge as Iris West, Wally and Linda Park-West's daughter is aging to the point of death, and Gorilla Grodd tries to manipulate Wally into destroying her only hope for survival. Linda and Jai seek a solution among the other apes in Gorilla City while Iris and Wally deal with Grodd. The solution lies in an unexpected but familiar place for Wally West.

The conclusion of the storyline left me a little cold. After building up to some intense tension, with the life of Iris on the line, this issue was rather abrupt, and employed a deus ex machina resolution. I am a sucker for Gorilla Grodd, and Gorilla City stories in general so it was nice to see them in the arc. Iris and Jai are interesting characters but we have a right to be nervous about their place in the Flash mythos, with what happened to Bart Allen and all.

Tom Peyer's arc had some interesting and exciting elements, but the plot ultimately fell flat with this issue. That is not to say that he doesn't have an excellent handle on the Wally West character. Bold and sympathetic, he may not be the most powerful of the Flashes, but I find him to be the most human and for that reason the most heroic. The giant shadow that looms over this issue, and over the future issues of the Flash title is the impending return of Barry Allen, announced at San Diego Comicon. The reaction seems to be mixed, but I dread it. Not that Johns won't handle it as capably as he did the return of Hal Jordan, but more because it is the death of Barry Allen that made Wally the hero he is today.

Hal Jordan's death was a cheap trick, and for years the mistake was made worse with Parallax, the Spectre, Zero Hour, and whatever else DC Comics editorial did with him. His return in many ways was an undoing of an error. The death of Barry Allen was perhaps the best in the history of comics. And his successor became an incredible character in his own right. I am not sure why he is being brought back through Final Crisis, and the stories may be good, and Barry still has his fans. I think it will end up burying Wally, however, and so I am against it. Wally has had 243 issues so far of a really great run, with a brief hiatus, with the Bart Allen interlude.

But as for rays of sunshine through this dark cloud, Freddie E. Williams II's artwork is brilliant. The requisite skill for rendering the Flash comic is in capturing the movement and motion, and Williams does it wonderfully. While his gorillas may be a little too pretty for my taste, his interpretation of the Flash family is dead on, and he handles the shifting ages very well.

Even though this issue did not end the storyline very well, I couldn't help but enjoy it. I cannot help but feel that dark days are in store for me with the future of the Flash. I apologize for venting a little bit and I am sure many are looking forward to the return of Barry Allen. For me, I would rather read an average Wally West tale. He is the hero for me, while Barry is the legend. And heroes are far more entertaining for me.

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