THE FLASH #762/ Written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON/ Art by HOWARD PORTER/ Colors by HI-FI/ Letters by STEVE WANDS/ Published by DC COMICS
Normally I prefer to review the first issues of new comics or the first issues by new creative teams. It allows me to assess new materials for you, the thrifty comics reader, but also affords me a chance to try new things for my own benefit. I also imagine it gets a bit dull as I write glowing review after glowing review for the series I regularly read. And yet, I find myself compelled to review this – the final issue of Joshua Williamson’s extensive run on The Flash.
It is increasingly rare for writers to spend more than a year on a single comic title, yet Williamson has been running a long race with Barry Allen since the beginning of DC Rebirth. Over that time, The Flash has been a solid, workhorse title. It may not have been my favorite book in a given week, but I could always be assured of a quality story by a writer who appreciated the history of the characters he was writing, yet could be depended on to throw something new into the mix.
Case In Point; while three conflicting mini-series were claiming to change the history of the DC Universe forever with a great deal of ballyhoo, Williamson was quietly changing the laws of physics of DC Comics, introducing new Forces to counter the Speed Force. He also addressed some of the quieter continuity problems caused by the New 52, such as reintroducing the classic Trickster, James Jesse. Some of his original ideas, like the Negative Speed Force and villains like Blooodwork and the Black Hole criminal syndicate even found their way into The Flash television series.
About this issue I will say only that it is a fitting capstone on a wonderful pyramid of work and that Williamson’s final story, pitting Barry Allen and Eobard Thawne against one another in what is, for now, their final battle, is a thrilling one. Howard Porter – who has illustrated several issues of Williamson’s run – is in fine form here and the colors by Hi-Fi are suitably electric. It might have been nice to have all of Williamson’s artistic collaborators take a lap with him on this final chapter, but this is one fantastic looking book regardless.
I’ll be back next month to review the first issue by the new creative team, but for now I raise a glass to the end of an era and offer my thanks to Joshua Williamson for a heck of a run. I believe in years to come this run of The Flash will be viewed favorably alongside the work of Geoff Johns and Mark Waid. If you haven’t been fortunate enough to read any of the recent The Flash comics, throw down $8 bucks for a DC Universe subscription and start catching up. You won’t regret it.