Flash #47 cover

Review – The Flash #47: Wally Needs His Past Back

Comic Books DC This Week
Flash #47 variant cover
Image via DC Comics

The Flash #47 – Joshua Williamson, Writer; Howard Porter, Artist; Hi-Fi, Colorist


Ray – 9/10

Corrina: Wally Angst


Ray: “Flash War” is finally here, and only one issue in, starting with Flash #47, and it’s already far more compelling and nuanced than any of Marvel’s nonsense Civil War/Avengers vs. X-Men/X-Men vs. Inhumans events. The reasoning behind the schism, at least on one scene, is painfully clear and human. The issue opens with a tense flash-forward where Barry is trying to talk a crazed, grieving Wally out of a risky move, only for Wally to threaten to destroy the Speed Force if Barry doesn’t help him. In the present, Wally Jr. and Iris are working on fixing a bike when the two Flashes show up, seemingly getting along again – until Wally is hit with another wave of his mysterious visions, sending him crashing to the floor. Before they can decide what to do about this, they’re interrupted by the Renegades, the Rogue-themed police force from the future, sent to arrest Iris West for the murder of Eobard Thawne.

These are pretty obscure characters, only appearing briefly in the Manapul/Buccellato run, but here they’ve been somewhat fleshed out and given an interesting mission – they serve justice, but it’s the twisted justice of Hunter Zolomon, even if they don’t see if this way yet. Barry tries to reason with them, but Wally recklessly charges into battle, and it turns out that Golden Guardian has a surprising power from an unexpected source – a Sinestro Corps ring, which proceeds to torment all the Flashes with their worst fears. Barry and Wally’s schism picks up again, and Iris eventually makes a deal to go with them to the future and plead their case if they’ll help Wally. They agree – but there’s a double-cross, and when they arrive in the future, Wally isn’t with them. Wally is with Hunter Zolomon, who proceeds to show him glimpses of his past, including Max Mercury, Bart Allen – and ultimately, his own children, who he tells him can only be brought back if he destroys the Speed Force. It’s a tense, gripping opening to a showdown between two heroes that actually makes total, tragic sense.

Flash #47 page 4
Irs, Barry, Wally, Wally, and the motorcycle. Image via DC Comics

Corrina: There is a ton of emotion bleeding from this book but I’m not entirely sure it comes together properly.

First off, Barry continues to be, well, a jerk about Wally’s trauma, which is compounded by the fact no one remembers him. I believe while we’re supposed to feel bad for Wally, we’re also supposed to agree with Barry. But Barry is failing his best friend. Remember, Barry is the guy who risked a ton of lives to get his own powers back, so he’s more than a bit of a hypocrite, here.

Wally’s angst and depression come through loud and clear, as well as the reasons for it. However, I’m not sure of the stakes. What if the speed force is destroyed? What does that mean for the Flashes? Are they all depowered? You know, that’s not a horrible thing considered how Barry has abused his speed power, how people keep trying to steal it, etc. Plus, while Hunter is a long-term member of the Flash Rogues Gallery, he remains a bit murky in this story. What does he gain/lose by recruiting Wally to destroy the speed force?

Meanwhile, Iris steals the show, more than willing to explain why she killed Eobard. Also, I loved her fixing the bike. In this issue, Iris is given more personality than Lois Lane has had in a year.

In any case, let’s hear it for Howard Porter, who handles the bike chase sequence, the Sinestro-ring attack by Glider, the double speedster sequence, and the trip to the future so easily you don’t notice how good it is.

“Flash War” is off to an interesting start but the angst seems all over the place.

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2 thoughts on “Review – The Flash #47: Wally Needs His Past Back

  1. Williamson has been really hit or miss on this run so far. The one thing that has kept me around on this title has been the Wally West dynamic, but the Barry drama kept forcing to push me away. Flash Annual earlier this year really felt like it was setting up a potential status quo for Wally that has been lacking since Rebirth and set up an interesting dynamic with Barry. This feels like the beginning of the payoff.

    As a huge fan of the Mark Waid Wally West ( you want a marquee Flash saga to adapt to Animation or Live Action, look no further than Chain Lightning and Dark Flash ),
    the Morrison\Porter JLA callback made me smile and Max\Bart statues made me squeal internally with Joy. And that last page, bam. I became a father right around the same time Wally did, so Im an easy mark for that kind of stuff. ( And SuperDad, dang do I love Clark\Jon ).

    Not to get too far ahead of thing, but Im really hoping Flash War, or it’s aftermath, leads us to a Flash Family title where we can get stories with Wally, Linda, Jai and Irey, Max, Bart, Jay, Joan…..XS :)…..something that embraces the Family aspect of Flash that Waid and later Johns did so well.

    1. That would be my hope as well. Williamson’s Barry at first was great but I’ve lost more than a bit of patience for how much of a jerk he’s been written. Let’s hope we do get that Flash Family title!

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