THE FLASH #25 [Review]

The Flash #25 Cover
THE FLASH #25/ Written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON/ Art by CARMINE DIGIANDOMENICO, NEIL GOOGE & RYAN SOOK/ Colors by IVAN PLSCENCIA, HI-FI & DAVE MCCAIG/ Letters by STEVE WANDS/ Published by DC COMICS

Once, Barry Allen accidentally traveled to the future. He found a utopia and more – a friend and protege in the form of another speedster named Eobard Thawne. It was Thawne who first gave Barry some idea of the legacy he would forge and the legends that would inspire future generations to follow in the footsteps of The Fastest Man Alive.

Alas, Thawne’s ambition ran away from his heroism and Barry was forced to bring Thawne to justice when he learned that The Flash of the 25th Century was intentionally placing people in harm’s way so he could make a show of saving them. Barry Allen thought that was the end of Eobard Thawne. It was only the beginning…

For reasons that only made sense to him, Thawne went back in time and set about destroying the life of his greatest hero. He started by killing Barry’s mother and framing his father for the death. Most recently, despite having apparently died before Barry’s eyes, Thawne returned to injure Barry’s sidekick, Wally West, and abduct Barry’s girlfriend, Iris West.

Now, Barry must go back to The Future. But, to quote a wise man, “the future isn’t what it’s used to be”.  Now, a fascist government rules what was once a technological paradise. And that is only the first of the many changes Barry will discover as he ventures into The Flash Museum…

There’s a wonderful conceit at the heart of The Flash #25 – a rebirth of The Reverse Flash’s origins that works on multiple levels. On the surface, shifting the motivations of Eobard Thawne from simple revenge and raging against fate to a more personal focus deepens the bond between Barry and his greatest enemy. Metatextually, it is amusing that The Reverse Flash is now portrayed as the bane of all comic writers – a continuity-obsessed fanboy who will argue until the end of time that everything is wrong and that they need to fix things. Ironically, in the wake of The Button, Thawne may be right and the idea that Thawne is somehow immune to the changes in reality brought about by Flashpoint bares further exploration.

Unfortunately, the artwork doesn’t quite measure up to Joshua Williamson’s story. I hasten to add that the artwork for this issue isn’t bad but there’s very little sense of visual continuity. No small wonder given that the art duties were handled by three artists and three colorists! It may not win any new readers, but The Flash #25 is a solid book.

About Matt Morrison

Matt has been writing about comics on-line since before the word "blogging" was coined. When he's not busy being the World's Finest Teen Librarian, he enjoys acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. He also writes for NoFlyingNoTights.com and MyGeekyGeekyWays.com. You can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.

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