Speed and heart come together in ‘The Flash’

Matt Withers, Arts Editor

This has been a book I’ve been putting off reviewing since I started writing. Not because I don’t have anything to say, but because I care so much about this character.

The Flash is my favorite superhero. He was the star of the first comic book I ever picked up nearly 10 years ago. The Flash #50 is the conclusion to one of my favorite story arcs in comic books.

If you don’t know anything about The Flash let me catch you up. Barry Allen is a forensic scientist who was struck by lightning and chemicals, granting him super speed. When he was a child his mother was killed, and his father was blamed for her murder. This fueled Barry with a unquenchable thirst for the truth.

In the famous story arc “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” Barry bravely gave his life to save the entire multiverse. While he was dead, his sidekick Wally West took up the mantle and tried to live up to the legacy that Barry had set for him. Now since this is comics, Barry did eventually come back and he and Wally worked together as the two fastest men alive.

Cut to 2010 when DC decided to reboot everything from scratch. Barry was the only Flash again, and Wally… didn’t exist. It took six years for DC to bring back the fan favorite character of Wally, but with him came some baggage. Wally had been lost in time and could remember everything about his past life, before the reboot. Devastated that his wife had no idea who he was, and his kids were now never born Wally wants to change the past.

The Flash has heavy ties to time travel, and is no stranger to messing about with time, causing problems for everyone. Barry once tried to go back in time to save his mom and ended up almost destroying the multiverse.

Author Joshua Williamson masterfully crafts an engaging tale, and makes it completely believable that both Barry and Wally would end up fighting in “The Flash War.”

In the Flash #50, Williamson asks one simple question, “How far would you go for your family?” Wally is willing to risk everything, his own life, and the lives of everyone else, to bring his family back. Barry is willing to risk his own life to make sure that Wally doesn’t make the same mistakes as he did, because he knows Wally can’t handle that kind of weight on his conscience is someone gets killed.

It’s a thrilling moral and physical story as both speed- ster trade just as many sound arguments as they do punches. Wally fighting for his family, and Barry fighting for his. All culminating in the near destruction of everything.