Flash Forward #4 Review by Kevin Tanza

Flash Forward Comic Book Panel
Copyright by DC Comics
You can read our review of the first three issues here, here and here.

One of the reasons I decided to cover all the Flash Forward miniseries on this blog was not only because I’m a big Wally West fan, but also because I was curious on how Scott Lobdell and Brett Booth were going to deal with all the different problems that have been affecting Wally’s character since Barry Allen’s return in 2009 and all of that leads us to this fourth issue, where we finally deal with the consequences and how they affect his family.

I have no problem in saying from the get-go that, to me, this is the strongest issue of the miniseries so far and cements the notion that Lobdell is working to fix every single aspect that has gone wrong with Wally for over a decade. DC has been having a very hit and miss approach since the 2011 New 52 reboot, with the 2016-2018 Rebirth initiative being a temporary bright spot, but it’s great to see one of their most beloved characters being where he should be (in the trenches of the Dark Multiverse, being a hero) and with the people he should be (his kids).

What is Flash Forward #4?

 Comic Book Panel of the Flash (Wally West) fighting Super Etrican

Copyright by DC Comics

The story begins with Wally having visions of himself waking up in bed to the sound of his kids walking into the room as Linda brings breakfast to him. That illusion is broken as we discovered that he is actually in Earth-13, fighting a Superman version of Etrigan aptly named Superdemon Etrigan. It turns out that Earth-13 is merging with the darkness of Earth-22, resulting in Wally having to run across both Earths to try to fix this situation with the artifact Tempus gave him.

Wally meets this Earth’s version of his wife, Linda Park, who is a speedster named Lightspeed. After a brief exchange, he takes her through the Speed Force and their connection allows Linda to see all the memories of the time Wally spent with his universe’s Linda and together they cleaned both Earths’ darkness. Wally feels whole once again, filled with hope, and kisses Linda, despite being fully aware that the only woman for him is the Linda of his universe.

 

 

Wally goes to another planet where he sees a big mountain with the faces of the heroes he killed during the Heroes in Crisis event, now understanding why he was chosen to deal with this threat, but all of that is put aside once he realizes that his kids, Jai and Iris, are there. But their reunion is cut short by an unknown threat that we don’t get to see.

How was it?

Comic book Image of the speedster Lightspeed

Copyright by DC Comics

I think it’s hard to explain the importance of Wally West to the Flash mythos if you didn’t grow up reading and watching him as the main character; it was through his adventures that some of the best Flash stories were created and many of the now-classic elements and characters that we enjoy were created during his tenure as the titular character. Add to that his popular role in the Justice League animated series of the mid-2000s and you have a character that is truly cemented in the minds of millions of fans.

So when DC took everything from him following the New 52 reboot, Wally doesn’t seem to catch a break, to the point that I have to point out that this miniseries is the first time that we see his kids since 2010, so you can have a grasp of how much DC has dropped the ball in that regard.

Scott Lobdell doesn’t seem to mind that and he is giving the fans what they've always wanted from Wally West: fun, heroism and a truly wholesome nature from their main character. This issue encapsulates the type of character that Wally is and we go through a really fun adventure that is elevated by the emotional component of finally reconnecting with his wife Linda (even if it is a version of another universe) and finding his kids after all these years. Sure, this being DC’s current editorial staff, we have to wait and see how long this uplifting approach is going to last, but let’s enjoy it for the moment.

This issue flows very naturally and Lobdell doesn’t waste pages in unnecessary dialogue or events that are not required for the story to move forward. Linda and Wally’s connection through the Speed Force is a smart (and convenient) way to spark that brief romance between them and to show how hope makes our redhead speedster feel whole again.

I maintain that Flash Forward is a miniseries that any comic fan can enjoy, but it’s very focused on Wally’s fans and I think it’s a smart move–Gods knows we have gone through a lot with the poor guy.

What about the artwork?

Comic book panel of many heroes and villains fighting each other.

Copyright by DC Comics

I must be Brett Booth’s biggest fan on the internet. I’m almost sure of that. The man is not only a specialist at drawing superhero comics, but he also knows how to add a lot of life and dynamism to the page; every moment feels thrilling, exciting and fits really well with the positive atmosphere of the story.

This Dark Multiverse storyline has also given him the possibility of drawing alternative versions of DC characters and he really does a great job here, especially drawing characters like Lightspeed, which I think makes her debut here (please correct me if I’m wrong). He really knows how to highlight the female figure and I have always maintained that it’s okay doing so.

Overall, if you have read my previous reviews of Flash Forward, you already know what I think about Booth’s art. If I have to be more precise, I think the art here is slightly better than issues #2 and #3 and just as good as the first one.

What it represents?

Comic book panel of the Flash kissing Linda Park aka Lightspeed

Copyright by DC Comics

Flash Forward #4 is so far the best issue of a miniseries that has been very clear and concise about what they wanted to do: to reestablish Wally West’s righteous place as one of the best heroes of the DC pantheon and also to tell a great story that is benefited by having some of the best art of 2019. It has everything you could ask of a classic superhero story combining the best attributes of modern tendencies.

Wally West, the Flash for a lot of us, has gone through a lot, and for the fans that are really invested in the character, this issue is particularly special, showing how good DC is when it goes back to its classic roots.

A very good issue and quite likely my favorite of the entirety of 2019.

Happy holidays to everybody! I hope you have a great time with your loved ones and a lovely 2020! Thank you for reading our posts this year!

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Kevin Tanza

Kevin Tanza is a Venezuelan writer who fell in love with stories, music and soccer/football when he was a child and since then, he hasn’t stopped writing about them. He has been published in multiple websites in both Spanish and English. You'll find his work at MusikHolics, Good Comis to Read, Gemr, The Busby Babe, Chiesa di Totti, La Soledad del Nueve, Sail Away, Colgados por el Fútbol, Genre, United’s Red Rain, Mariskal Rock, Sugati Fashion, Indie Artists Go and Music Existence. He has also published a series of short stories. Feel free to use the links provided below to follow Kevin on social media. For business inquiries, please contact him via email.

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