The Flash #753 Review

by Jay Hill on May 06, 2020

Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Howard Porter & Brandon Peterson
Colors by: Hi-Fi
Lettered by: Steve Wands
Published by: DC Comics

The release of comics is getting back up and running and who more perfect to kick off that return than DC’s resident running man, the Flash. In this interlude to the “Flash Age” arc, we see Barry Allen checking on the future and running to the past, all to stop Paradox from destroying the present.

This issue begins with a look at “the many deaths of Eobard Thawne”. The opening helps not only to familiarize readers with the clashes between Flash and his reverse but also to give a bit of an insight into how Thawne thinks. That glimpse of Barry’s personal “ghost of Central City’s future” is a nice prelude to the next scene as he travels to the Central City of the 25th century. Barry seeks Thawne to find a way to defeat Paradox who is currently destroying present-day Central City by wreaking havoc on Barry’s past. The Flash has always been a great book for DC to do interesting things with time travel, and that is at the crux of some of Barry’s greatest stories. This story’s use of time is one of the most interesting I have seen. Given a villain like Paradox, who is not only creating the events he takes his name from but is actually feeding on them, the only way to fight him was going to involve some inventive uses with time. And the fact that Barry is no stranger to time travel, and that his biggest rival is a man who has traveled through time to disrupt his life, adds to how personal this is to him.

That personal level reaches a new height when, in a search for a way to defeat an enemy who not only wants to end his life but erase its existence, Barry is taken back to the most defining moment of his past: The day his mother was killed. The way Barry always seems to find himself looking back on, trying to fix the repercussions of, or literally reliving this day makes the phrase “time is a flat circle” seem very true. After the events of “Flashpoint”, it’s clear what happens if Barry intervenes. So, in 9 panels, we watch as Barry has to stop himself from doing the one thing that he probably wishes he could do more than anything. It is an absolutely great, heart-rending scene and may already be one of my favorite moments of the character. After that, he is face-to-face with the reason that brought him back to this day. Once again, Flash and Reverse-Flash battle it out; seemingly the definition of a pair destined to do this forever. The opening with Thawne, him calling Barry his “idol” and the explanation of how he looked up to the Flash, makes the ending that much better. To defeat Paradox maybe Thawne will finally get the team-up he always wanted, and the one Barry never thought would happen.

The art has a nice angular quality to its lines that is well on display with Barry’s armor as he rides the cosmic treadmill. This leads to scenes of Barry running in 25th century Central City. Every illustration of the Flash in full sprint is gorgeous. That is helped by the coloring and the effects added by it, specifically the kaleidoscopic speed force energy used throughout. The coloring is also great on things like the Black Hole team’s net and visors. The lines of the art and coloring achieve excellent things in this comic, one of my favorites is the swirling background of the Multiverse as Barry travels through time. The splash of Reverse-Flash looking menacing as he zooms through the speed force is a great coalescing of the art team’s talents. 

The standout scene to me, however, was the end clash between Barry and Thawne. These scenes are not really about the action, but the action sure is fun to look at. The coloring of the speed force and the eye-catching visual effects mixed with the fluid action and solid figures builds the last portion of this comic to a great end shot. And, another highlight was the two 9-panel pages. The first, of Zoom’s multitude of ends, felt particularly fitting given the 7th panel’s contents. And, the one of Barry is some great visual storytelling and feels like a scene that exemplifies how panels can be used in a comic to slow time and highlight a moment. The lettering of this book also added to the issue in great ways. It was noticeably outstanding in many scenes. The narration boxes were placed well, as were the dialogue bubbles (particularly in the end fight), and the sound effects were placed in spots that made them intuitive to read and fluid.

This issue was a great interlude while also being a good primer and opener for the next part of this arc. The way this story is being set-up is feeling like a “quintessential” chapter is about to be told. The personal elements in the narrative and the ones that are so woven into the makeup of the character leaves room for this to go very engrossing places. Like the way Paradox is changing the Flash’s history, this issue changes things between Barry and his bitterest rival. The art team made this interesting read as interesting to look at and both elements fit perfectly to produce a very strong issue.

Our Score:


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