Flash Forward #4 – Scott Lobdell, Writer; Brett Booth, Artist; Norm Rapmund, Colorist; Luis Guerrero, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: The oddest development in DC comics in recent memory is that I think I like Scott Lobdell’s take on Wally West better than Tom King’s. After three fitfully entertaining but scattershot issues focusing on Wally’s redemption journey across the multiverse, Lobdell brings it home with Flash Forward #4, a story that packs an emotional punch and is probably the best comic he’s written in years.
This the most intimately we’ve gotten into Wally’s head over the course of this run, and the opening segment as Wally wakes up with his family and has them ripped away from him is excellent. From there, he’s thrown into another chaotic multiversal adventure – this time, to split apart two words that have been merged. Like the rest of this series, this segment is mostly about Lobdell coming up with the craziest worlds he can, including a world where the Justice League is all sorcerers, and one where the heroes and villains are merged into characters like Starro-fire and Cheetah Boy. It’s chaotic, but it delivers some great visuals.
Things take a major swing with the second part of the issue, as Wally encounters Lightspeed – another speedster from the multiverse who turns out to be an alternate Linda Park. Unlike the aborted plot with Wally wooing the New 52 Linda who was confused and creeped out by this guy claiming to be her husband, this scene doesn’t overplay their connection and shows how their bond will exist without forcing it. They don’t stay together, because Wally is only looking for one version of Linda, but it’s all leading to the other reunion people have been waiting for.
I was NOT a fan of the Flash Kids when they debuted (to the point that it’s kind of notorious on my podcast), but here they seem a little older, more mature, and with more distinct personalities that bring out the best in Wally. Tempus Fuginaut makes references in this book to Wally’s tragic fate, but I’m hoping it’s a swerve. Surprisingly, this title seems to be slowly bringing back the Wally people have been waiting for.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.