The Flash Annual is primarily a set up for the upcoming Flash War story arc, but seems to be laying a lot of groundwork for later stories as well. It’s a really fun annual, with some good surprises, that gives Wally West the starring role.
Wally is still struggling to find a life for himself since his return in Rebirth. Even his aunt Iris is still in the dark about his existence. In this story, Wally winds up seeking out Frances Kane, his former girlfriend, former Titans ally, and former foe as well. Frances has not been seen since the New 52, and we, and she, find out about how her memories have been altered as well.
Joshua Williamson does a great job with this story, opening it with the Flash Museum in ruins. Those who are exploring the ruins come across relics of events that have not yet happened, a beautiful way of teasing upcoming tales. He also introduces a new variation of the Rogues, the Renegades, which looks to be a lot of fun.
It’s pretty clear that Williamson really loves the Flash, and is immersed in the history of the character. A couple of other old villains pop up before the issue is out, ones that are bound to play important roles as the Flash War plays out.
The art, by Howard Porter and Christian Duce, is also top notch, keeping things moving along, with a lot of very nice detail, and expressive characterization.
I feel fairly confident asserting that anyone who reads this annual will feel compelled to pick up the Flash War. How could anyone resist?