The Flash #88 – Joshua Williamson, Writer; Howard Porter, Artist; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Joshua Williamson has expanded the Flash’ rogues’ gallery with major new players like Godspeed and Bloodwork, but now in Flash #88, he aims to introduce Flash’s new arch-nemesis: the time-bending Paradox.
In this flashback issue, Willimason gives the new villain an origin that positions him to be the Flash’s Doomsday or Bane – a game-changing threat with a deeply personal grudge. The man who would become Paradox started as an ordinary husband and father with one vice – an obsessive personality that led him to become consumed with studying time travel and multiverse theory. When Barry got his powers, this man was touched by the Speed Force that gave him a brief glimpse of the multiverse – enough for him to spend the rest of his life chasing it down again, abandoning his family and eventually becoming caught up in the final battle with the Turtle and being exposed to energy that cast him out of time and space and set him on the path to becoming a monster.
The segments with Paradox in another dimension, accompanied by other victims of the temporal energy created by Turtle, as they all evolve into something less and more than human are highly effective. You can see the betrayal that’s going to occur, but it’s no less effective when it does. That eventually sets Paradox up to arrive in the future, where he evolves into a bigger threat and teams up with one of Williamson’s other popular new villains to make a move against the Flash’s world.
His motivations make some sense – Flash leaves chaos in his wake more than the average hero – but he’s also obviously a narcissistic mess of a villain who has destroyed his own life through his obsessions and is looking for someone to blame. That makes him a highly effective new enemy for Flash, and one who is the perfect choice to lead into the upcoming jumbo-sized #750 issue at the end of the month. It’s another win for Williamson’s epic run.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.