Flash Forward #1 Review – The Tragedy of Wally West
Flash Forward #1 Review
Written by: Scott Lobdell
Art by: Brett Booth
Inks by: Norm Rapmund
Colors by: Luis Guerrero
Published by: DC Comics
So… After the nastiness of Heroes in Crisis, Wally is in jail, lamenting what happened and trying to come to terms with what he did. After getting attacked by Blackgate prisoners (that he helped put there), he gets rescued by, of all beings, Tempus Fuginaut who needs him to stop the spread of the Dark Multiverse. But is Wally up to the challenge? Or are his demons faster than he is?
Lately, Wally West has been something of a red headed step child over at DC. After being unceremoniously “disposed of” after Flashpoint, he made a triumphant return in DC Rebirth to the acclaim and love of many of his fans… Unfortunately, a few years after, DC decided to use Heroes in Crisis to make him go crazy, kill a bunch of heroes (by accident, but still) and go to jail. This series is going to be a kind of redemption for Wally, but I question its existence on a number of levels.
For one, if DC really hates Wally West (and they do), then why even bother with this series? Appease the fans? Well, if you care so much about the fans, why did you ruin that character they liked in the first place? The creative team on this also raises a few eyebrows.
Scott Lobdell is not exactly one of DC’s most beloved, with his work on New 52 Teen Titans, New 52 Red Hood and the Outlaws (although, from what I’m told, the Rebirth version is a lot better) and New 52 Superman being among the most maligned of the era. Plus, he got into a whole controversy regarding some sexist things he said during a panel, so… Yeah, not exactly winning major points here. So, how did he do?
Honestly, this issue was pretty strong. Regardless of personal opinions I may have about him, Lobdell clearly likes Wally West and he’s interested in writing his redemption and growth. He even made sure to include Linda in the mix, who I don’t think has really been seen since the first arc on Rebirth Titans (she might’ve been in Flash War, but I haven’t read it yet).
The inclusion of Tempus and the Dark Multiverse stuff was unexpected, but it’s not unwelcome and it looks like it’s gonna turn this book into a kind of Sliders-Esque story about travelling multiverses. All in All, I guess it’s not the worst decision DC could make with Wally (despite that fact that the best one is making him The Flash) and if Lobdell keeps it up he might be able to pull a redemption and fix everything DC Editorial broke.
Now let’s have us a talk about Brett Booth… I don’t much care for his work. Everyone is very lanky and thin, the proportions always look weird and it always looks really sloppy. That said, I am inclined to enjoy his art in this book a bit more than in other for two reasons. The first is that his style feels a bit more appropriate when doing characters who run at super speed, because the lankiness tends to give them a more flexible and free moving look. It’s not really my first choice, but it fits, I can say that much.
The second reason is that we finally got rid of Andrew Dalhouse! Wooo! Rejoice! In case you don’t know, Andrew Dalhouse was the colorist for most of Booth’s work and he is possibly the worst colorist working in the industry today. All of his work looks like neon gradient, like instead of being careful and compensating for shadow and different types of color, he just slaps a screamingly bright color that goes from “darker to brighter” on what looks like a gradient. It’s weird.
The new colorist, Luis Guerrero, isn’t amazing either and everything still looks a little too bright, but it’s at least an improvement.
Wally West should be getting a better treatment than this. He should be The Flash or, at the very least, have his own book as some other character, just something more than a miniseries by two mostly mediocre creators. But fine. Flash Forward is as much as you’re going to get for the foreseeable future and it’s ok. The writing is ok, the premise is creative, the redemption is (so far) well-handled and the art is tolerable. If you want to tell DC you still love Wally, vote with your cash and go buy this book.