Flash Forward #3 – Scott Lobdell, Writer; Brett Booth, Artist; Norm Rapmund, Inker; Luis Guerrero, Colorist
Ray – 5/10
Ray: Wally West’s grand tour through the multiverse continues, and Flash Forward #3 shows the biggest problem of Scott Lobdell’s writing – he doesn’t know what we’re actually interested in.
Last issue ended with the most buzz-worthy moment of the series, as Iris and Jai West were revealed to be alive in the multiverse and searching for their father. This issue completely ignores that subplot, doesn’t give them anything to follow up on their quest, and instead sends Wally on his next mission to another dark and edgy world of the multiverse.
This is the earth of the Justice League of Vampires, a world where Batman turned himself into a vampire to fight Dracula and wound up infecting everyone else. When Wally arrives, Lex Luthor’s Doom insignia has arrived on this world and the vampire hordes are going nuts. Wally soon finds himself up against vampire versions of Superman – and his mentor, Barry.
The real selling point of this issue isn’t the vampires, of course, it’s the presence of a vampire-hunter version of Roy Harper who is one of the last points of resistance in this chaotic world. This gives Wally a lot of chances to angst over his role in killing Roy – we even get a brief shot of Gnaark, reminding us that there were other heroes there besides Roy.
Overall, Lobdell does seem to have the right handle on Wally, treating him as a survivor of trauma who lost control because of a lack of proper mental care rather than a villain. The story of him going on a multiversal quest for redemption isn’t a bad idea, but the execution here is off. When you send him catapulting from one over-the-top world to another, you rarely get enough time to explore his character and his lingering traumas. And the absence of his kids from the issue right after the big reveal is puzzling and a pretty clear example of bad pacing.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.