THE FLASH ANNUAL #2
Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Scott Kolins
Colors by: Luis Guerrero
Letters by: Wes Abbott
Published by: DC Comics
It's been months since Wally "died" in HEROES IN CRISIS, and those events are finally being dealt with in a Flash book. I have been waiting to see how Joshua Williamson would handle these events and he didn't disappoint. Wally West, in my opinion, is the most important member of the Flash family. This issue only solidifies why this is true.
From the opening pages, we are treated with the return of Bart
Allen/Impulse to the pages of THE FLASH. He is excited to see the rest of his "family", but he can't find them. Seeing Bart back in the DCU has been amazing. As with Wally, Bart has always been a favorite of mine since he was introduced in FLASH #92 Vol.2 years ago. Once again, Williamson shows his love for the entire flash mythos through every piece of dialogue. If you though Bendis got Bart's voice down over in YOUNG JUSTICE, Williamson does it just as well. Watching Bart as he looks for everyone, we get to see him check out all of the old locales, such as Titans Tower and the house he shared with Max Mercury. I know Bart will mainly be over in YOUNG JUSTICE, but I hope he makes the occasional appearance in THE FLASH.
The meat of this story though shows how Barry deals with the loss of his first protégé and best friend, Wally West. We are shown Wally's history as Barry takes a trip down memory lane thinking back thinking back to his time with Wally. Williamson clearly has a deep love for the character and it shows every time he writes anything Wally related.
After Barry tells Wallace/Kid Flash, Meena and Avery about Wally's death, they are attacked by Godspeed. It's clear that Godspeed's motives aren't his own and we discover that someone else is puling his strings. As he attacks each speedster he touches them with a gauntlet that seems to steal something from them. Yet as Barry is sidelined, Bart makes an appearance and Godspeed has no idea who he is. The mystery villain tells him to leave immediately, which gives us readers the sense that he knows Bart. Bart races off to find his friends, which leads to YOUNG JUSTICE #1. Godspeed is perhaps my favorite addition of Williamson's to the Flash book.
This issue was full of emotion from the first page, but it pulls on your heartstrings when Barry tells Iris about Wally. The emotions she goes through of not accepting it to wanting the person responsible to be killed, mirrored some of my own feeling when he was killed in HEROES IN CRISIS. The way Scott Kolins depicted these pages was both beautiful and gut wrenching at the same time.
Speaking of Kolins, it's always a treat when he draws a Flash comic. His depiction of speed and the speed force is by far my favorite. He will always be my favorite Flash artist besides the late Mike Wieringo. He seamlessly transitioned from every emotion the characters were feeling flawlessly. The image of Barry holding Iris will forever be burned into my memory. I hope DC plans on having more of Scott on the Flash books.
This book was my favorite Flash book in months. So many things played out in this issue that are sure to set up future stories. Hopefully there is more to Wally's story and Williamson will be the one to tackle it. It's an exciting time to be a Flash fan, with Williamson at the helm, he's in good hands.