The Flash #754 – Joshua Williamson, Writer; Rafa Sandoval, Penciller; Jordi Tarragona, Inker; Arif Prianto, Hi-Fi, Colorists
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Joshua Williamson has confirmed he’ll be ending his Flash run in the coming months, after over 100 issues of what’s become one of the defining modern speedster runs. This penultimate arc, forcing Barry to team up with his nemesis Eobard Thawne against the cosmic villain Paradox, nicely shows off the strengths of that extended run. From the minute this issue starts, the tension between the two enemies is obvious. Eobard is his usual snide, snarky self, never missing an opportunity to poke at Barry’s sore spots – many of which he created. Barry, meanwhile, is weaving a tricky web when he tries to keep Eobard’s ultimate fate secret from him. Thawne seems to view himself in some twisted way as Barry’s teacher, turning him from a traditional hero into the ruthless warrior he needs to be to stop Paradox. It’s something we’ve seen before, but Williamson’s writing is compelling enough to sell it really well.
Paradox, meanwhile, still has August Heart chained to the cosmic treadmill and is traveling through time to eliminate all of Flash’s iconic victories, killing him over and over. One of the few weak spots this story has is that Thawne is so much more of a compelling rogue than Paradox, who has shades of a generic cosmic villain. His origin story is compelling, another victim of the way Barry plays fast and loose with powers far beyond him. But the monster he’s turned into is so wildly different than the man he was that it’s a little hard to connect the two. But when Thawne sets up a twisted moral test for Barry, it’s clear that Barry’s going to go up against not one but two massive threats this arc. This is a very intimate comic in some ways, focusing entirely on these two rivals traveling through time without the usual supporting cast. It works really well, but I’m looking forward to a story that brings in all the elements of this book for the final act.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.