The Flash #244


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The Flash #244


  • Words: Alan Burnett
  • Art: Paco Diaz
  • Inks: Drew Geraci & Rebecca Buchman
  • Colors: Tanya & Richard Horie
  • Story Title: This Was Your Life, Wally West, Part One: Infested
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Sep 17, 2008

Wally West's powers are going haywire again, and he's forced to run slower than the speed of sound. That may not be fast enough to contend with a new insect-like villain.

Flash #244 is a classic superhero comic book. Slated to be the last story arc before the Rebirth of Barry Allen, Alan Burnett revives a plotline from Wally West's early years. Probably more than any other Flash, Wally West has gone through many changes in his level of powers. Once upon a time, he was told by doctors that he would go into seizures and die if he ran faster than the speed of sound. This problem seems to have returned, and at a time when Wally faces a swarm of bees controlled by a mysterious villain.

I don't want to speculate at the ultimate ramifications of this story for Wally West, though it’s difficult to evaluate the story in its own light with the giant shadow of the return of Barry Allen looming over it. Alan Burnett does a great job with the Flash Family, with Wally the ultimate father figure, even though his experience is quite limited. Jai and Iris are old beyond their years, or is it the other way around? Either way, I enjoyed how less than thrilled they were with a visit to Dinosaur Island, and absolutely mortified at the prospect of going to school! Burnett strikes the perfect balance of superheroics and character development. In an environment where shock value and one up-manship on nihilism and "serious" stories abound, this comic was fun and exciting.

Paco Diaz has a pleasing, very standard style of artwork. His pencils are dynamic and his backgrounds and compositions very sound and detailed. I did think the panel and page design was a little overdone, but he's not the only one with a penchant for this. I find the elimination of the negative space between panel borders to be distracting in reading a comic, especially when it serves no purpose in storytelling. This is certainly not meant to pick on Mr. Diaz, this seems to be an almost pervasive technique in modern superhero comics. Diaz's illustration style and anatomy is actually reminiscent of the 1980s style (a compliment!), and a welcome throwback for The Flash.

Given his background in writing superheroes for television animation, Burnett's story is appropriate for all ages and feels like the type of comic I would have devoured as a kid. It isn't trying to be anything other than action packed entertainment with solid character interactions. I still have my anxieties about the future of Wally West, but I am excited by the treatment so far in this arc.

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