By Carter Hutchison
August 9, 2018 - 20:48
At first glance, Flash #51 appears to be a breather issue. It is titled as an epilogue to the Flash War using Iris' memoirs as a story device. If this was all there was to this issue it would have been a disappointment. Thankfully that is not the case.
This issue has two main goals. The first is being a love letter to Wally West. Being a huge Wally West fan I loved every panel of this. Wally is attempting to deal with the revelation from Flash War that his wife and children are more than likely hidden from him somewhere is time and space. To deal with this, Wally is literally trying to run from his problems. He runs a lonely race around the globe helping others because he can not help himself. This is classic Wally West and highlights the moral strength of the character. There are several great character moments for Wally in this issue, such as Iris referring to Barry as Wally's father. The focus on the Flash family is fantastic and a real strength of the series as a whole.
The second goal of this issue (and possibly the most important) is that it serves as a lead in to Tom King's Heroes in Crisis story coming out in September. The events of Flash War took a massive emotional toll on Wally. In order to try and work through his issues, Wally is sent to the Sanctuary (a rehabilitation center for super heroes similar to those for war veterans). There is a great moment at the end of the book between Flash and Batman where Flash is talking about how what happened to Wally's family could have happened to anyone and how it is that loss that drives them. Flash states that loss is “the reason we where these costumes” which does a great job of highlighting the similarities between the two characters.
The art in this issue has several high moments and one really, really low moment. Most of the book is pretty good. The highlight of the issue is a montage of Wally's greatest hits from Pre-Crisis, Crisis on Infinite Earths, and his time as the Flash. Unfortunately the low point for the art in this issue comes at the very end, leaving a sour taste in the reader's mouth. It comes when Flash and Batman are having their heart to heart on a rooftop. Kolins does many things very well, but drawing Batman is not one of those things. It's really, really bad. As far as I am concerned, Kolins is forever out as a potential Batman artist due to these pages alone.
But overall this is a very enjoyable issue and does a great job of not just being an epilogue to Flash War but furthering the story of the DCU as a whole and sending Wally away for the moment on a high note. At one point in the issue Commander Cold refers to Wally as his favorite Flash and by the time you are done reading it, he might be yours too.
Rating: 8 /10
Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12