The Reverse Flash reveals changes to Barry Allen and Iris West’s lives as their children become the evil Tornado Twins and destroy Central City in the future. But Eobard Thawne has other revelations in store for the Flash. He wants to take him to the negative speed force and makes sure that he cannot find his way. Will the Reverse Flash succeed?
With the Flash Joshua Williamson is writing a classic super hero epic that draws on much of the character’s past and delivers all the usual punches and compromises that heroes make when defeating their major opponents. I like the naiveté that Barry Allen had, thinking that the Reverse Flash would keep his promise. This is why I have been so critical of this storyline. When Williamson focuses on expanding the story, he succeeds. When he goes in the continuity and changes things, he fails. This issue, he succeeds because he sticks to his strengths.
To some extent, I feel that now Flash suffers from the Daredevil problem where since Frank Miller every writer wants to rewrite the classic stories that elevated the character. So just like Daredevil, with Flash, every writer since Mark Waid has been trying to write the ultimate epic with the speed force and the Reverse Flash. When Geoff Johns did it, he added layers by beefing up the Rogues’ gallery. But I’m not too sure what Williamson’s contribution will be at this point other than playing with other writers’ toys and retelling their greatest stories his way. Why won’t writers of characters with defining stories like Daredevil and Flash just not forge their own paths?
I usually like Howard Porter’s dynamic shots but often this issue, he makes characters’ faces ugly and deformed. I know this is what passes as good gritty art. I think that he should tune-off some of the Bart Sears influence and just skip on some lines and the details he likes to put. The less is more is true here and would probably give a bit of classicism to his pages. They do not need to be overtly rendered.