The Flash #762 – Joshua Williamson, Writer; Howard Porter, Artist; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: After 100-plus issues, it all comes down to this. Joshua Williamson brings Barry Allen to the finish line of a run that’s covered all of Flash history and redefined his rivalry with his arch-nemesis, Eobard Thawne. As this issue begins, Barry and Thawne are racing through the Speed Force, with Thawne’s plan being to force Barry into racing him forever. His obsession is so deep that he can’t see any future that doesn’t involve him fighting Barry, and he thinks he can force Barry into the same. But Barry takes a third path, refusing to either play Thawne’s game or kill him, and this leads to an emotional coda as Barry takes everything Thawne values – but maybe gives him more than he deserves in exchange. Dealing with arch-enemies is a tricky thing, because you can never get rid of them for good because a new writer will come alone, but this may be one of the better endings I’ve ever seen a nemesis get that actually feels like it could be permanent.
That’s the end of the main conflict, and much of the back half of this issue is surprisingly sedate. That doesn’t mean it’s not compelling, though, as Barry reunites with the entire extended Flash family and celebrates all he’s won. In many ways, this run feels like it’s about Barry putting his old demons to rest and letting go of the pain that caused him to make bad decisions. His relationship with Iris seems to be back on track, he’s ready to give his best to his proteges, and he’s finally able to be at peace with what happened to his mother and not spend his life chasing her ghost. Wally’s absence is very notable, but this technically isn’t the end of the story – don’t miss this week’s Dark Nights Death Metal: Speed Metal for Williamson’s actual last Flash story. What we have here instead is an emotional goodbye to the world of the Flash, in the last act of a run that rivals Johns/Reis on Green Lantern and Snyder/Capullo on Batman as one of the all-time greats.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.