The Flash #46 Road to Flash War

Written by, Joshua Williamson
Art by, Scott Kolins
Colors by, Luis Guerrero
Letters by, Steve Wands

Recap

The issue begins with a monologue and a quick summary of Wally West and his relationship with Zoom, formerly, Solomon Hunter. Solomon recalls the past: “Tragedy has always been a part of me.” He dedicated his life to making sure that no one would suffer like he had. However, Hunter Solomon recalls the mistake he made, which led to a disaster and him being shunned by everyone. Wally West helped him rebuild his life. However, Wally fell out of grace with Solomon and wasn’t there for him when he really needed him. So Solomon became “Zoom” who was blessed with speedster powers and dedicated to making Wally a better hero. The summary is useful and helps the reader get caught up on the dynamic between Zoom and The Flash.

In the present, Wally West is still suffering from his recent health scare (See Titans #19) and the run-in with Gorilla Grodd. Wally is inundated with memories of his past, which makes it difficult for him to stay in the present and contributes to him having angry outbursts. Cyborg has him on a machine and determines that Wally’s body is out of sync with the Speed Force. The art depicts the characters, their faces, body posture, in a combination of cartoon and realism that is aesthetically pleasing and captures the emotional tone of the book effectively.

Barry is not satisfied with Wally’s response when he refuses to do any more testing. Iris talks him out of pushing the issue. However, Barry demands that Wally continue testing, which causes Wally to blow up. Barry backs off while Iris comforts him. So Barry runs to Batman to seek assistance from him and Booster Gold (see Batman #46). This part of the story reinforces the tenuous relationship Barry has with other members of the speedster family because of his desire to fix and be the hero.   

Meanwhile, the story flashes to a backstory having to do with the Reverse Flash, Eobard Thawne, and Zoom. The Reverse Flash rescues Zoom when Wally fails him. However, the two have different motives and goals when it comes to confronting Wally West. Zoom wants to rescue Wally and show him how to be a better hero. The Reverse Flash wants to kill Wally. When The Reverse Flash leaves to confront The Flash and dies (See The Flash # 27), Zoom is upset and decides that he’s going to finish what The Reverse Flash started. This part of the story is cool because it helps to develop the motive Zoom has for going to war with Wally West, Barry Allen, and the Flash family.

Overall I would recommend picking up this book. It provides a nice introduction to the coming Flash Wars and sets up the tension between the characters. Overall rating = 8/10   

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall
8
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Tom Zimm
I am a licensed clinical social worker and trauma therapist that works with children. I've been interested in comic book heroes since I was a young child. However, it's been in the last 3-4 years that I've been making the weekly trip to the local comic book store to redeem my pull list. DC's Rebirth really won me over, especially Geoff Johns' 80-page book. My favorite properties include The Flash and The Incredible Hulk. My criteria for a good comic book include taking stupid and fun seriously while remaining self-aware.