The Flash #754 Review

by Jay Hill on May 26, 2020

Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Rafa Sandoval & Jordi Tarragona
Colors by: Arif Prianto & Hi-Fi
Lettered by: Steve Wands
Published by: DC Comics

The team-up that you never thought you’d see is underway in Flash #754. Barry Allen must unite with his eternal enemy Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash, to stop the threat of Paradox. But, their difference in personalities may be just as large an obstacle to overcome as their mutual enemy.

The scale of this storyline's threat matches well with its use of the Flash’s history. It gives this story the feeling of an epic chapter in the life of Barry Allen. And that is appropriate because the villain, Paradox, has chosen to journey through the chapters of Barry Allen’s life and erase them from existence, one by one. The Flash’s dealings with the “time stream” have never been so substantial and the writing does a good job of driving home how destructive losing this fight could be. Paradox is built up as an unstoppable force with an unwavering focus on destroying the Flash. His motivations are reminiscent of Thawne’s which adds another level of irony to this team-up. However, something the story hasn’t yet stated, Paradox’s elimination of Barry’s history would also eliminate all the speedsters that came after him, including Reverse-Flash. So, there’s a great extra bit of selfishness in Thawne’s actions. 

This issue also gives a bit of background on Paradox, without exposing too much which I thought was wise. Paradox is being shown as a force and unlike Thawne, who’s personal reasons behind his hatred of Barry are well documented, Paradox sort of just feels like an unknown force of evil and that is adding to the sinister aura around him. One of the highlights of this issue is Barry and Eobard butting heads on how to deal with Paradox. It’s the expected clash between the two who, by their pure nature, can’t possible peacefully coexist, let alone work together flawlessly. By the end of this issue, Paradox has not only become more powerful and unstoppable but decides to take a new course of action which makes what’s to happen next more interesting.

The art was a definite highlight in this issue. The artist has changed from the last issue and adds a new depth to the illustrations which made everything feel bolder. The use of feathering, deep shadows gave the characters a nice weight to them. The splash shot of Barry and Eobard running through time shows how the shadows on their bodies are used to highlight their muscles in movement. And, throughout the issue, the pair are seen running in tandem and the poses they have give a sense of fluidity. The coloring paired perfectly with this new art style. The colors were sometimes brushed with slightly different tones to play off the shadows and the combination of both techniques is what gave this book’s visuals the great feeling of “depth”. 

The character who benefited from this the most was Paradox. His mammoth stature was already an impressive design and one that felt fresh given most of the Flash’s enemies are smaller, especially the speedsters who usually have a “runner’s build”. The deep shadows to highlight his muscular frame and the coloring to add the depth made him feel more substantial. And, some of the best visuals came as Paradox eradicated past versions of Barry from history. The effect that was used to show them “unraveling” exemplified the depth I talk about. That effect feels almost like a 3-d illusion and made the act of Paradox erasing the Flash into a great visual that drove home his actions.

This “Flash Age” arc has been doing everything right. The villain is great, the story has progressed in an unexpected but brilliant way, and the use of Flash history has added substance to this chapter in Barry’s life. If Flash and Reverse-Flash having to team up doesn’t already make you interested in this story, then I don’t know what else to say. The art is also spectacular in this issue and adds weigh to some of the big moments. Paradox is a monster of a foe for the Flash and seeing how Barry (and Eobard) deals with him will be something.

Our Score:


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