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.
Overall, it is a very solid issue that keeps developing the story and moves Wally another step towards being the best version of the character. To be honest, if the story grows as it has been doing so far, then I would like to see this team working on a regular Wally West title–they truly understand the character and they are creating something special. As a huge Green Lantern fan, Lobdell and Booth with Wally remind me a bit to Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver, but maybe that’s just me.
Hope is a concept that is strongly tied to heroism and therefore to superhero comics: the notion that no matter how dark and adverse the situation is, we can always overcome it and be the best version of ourselves. And I have come to believe that, by and large, that is the core message of the Supermen, Batmen and Spider-Men of the world of comics: to show themselves as the best possible reflection of ourselves and serve as an inspiration of what we should always strive for.
Wally West, the third generation Flash, is a similar character in that regard: a very human character that wanted to protect, to love and to do the right thing. Someone that was both extraordinary and very relatable, becoming perhaps the only character capable of becoming more beloved and popular than the original wielder of his mantle (in this case, Barry Allen).
At its core, The Return of Wally West is not only the return of the Flash of a generation, but also a great return of DC’s heroes to be what they should be: inspirational. It’s a great tale of learning how to cherish your past and value your present, always trying to move forward. It has everything you could ask for in a classic superhero tale: great action scenes, a few funny moments, character progression, a lot of adversity and overall a very pleasant conclusion.
DC Rebirth did a lot of great things during that 2016-2018 period, but above all things proved once again that classic heroism still has a place in this modern world and Wally West became the perfect representation of that in this great story.