The Flash #776 – Jeremy Adams, Writer; Fernando Pasarin, Matt Ryan, Inker; Jeromy Cox, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: It’s always great when a book comes out of nowhere to surprise you. Jeremy Adams’ Flash run so far has been a fun but pretty standard superhero run most concerned with re-establishing Wally West as the Flash while Barry is off on a multiversal adventure. The plots have been low-scale, the characterization has been strong, and it’s pulled from all corners of the DCU for villains and guest-stars. When Eclipso was introduced last issue as a foe, a team-up with Doctor Fate was next—but I certainly wasn’t expecting a bizarre, meta, immersive issue that invites us to play along. Flash and Fate are in a mysterious new realm and Flash doesn’t have his powers. Fortunately, they do have a third ally—you, the reader. Doctor Fate quickly breaks the fourth wall and clues Flash in to the reader’s existence—and they then ask the reader to help them out as they battle to survive the underground deathtrap.
This takes a couple of formats, some working better than others. The use of orientation as a weapon is clever, as the heroes ask the reader to flip the book (harder on a digital copy!) several times to help them shake off enemies or make a tricky crossing. Other elements like blowing out torches for them feel a little too kiddy and don’t really add anything too inventive. However, near the end the book reveals a scavenger-hunt like element that has you poring back through the book and looking for clues before you proceed to the end. It’s rare to get reread value out of a comic before you’ve even finished the first read. The dialogue in the issue is fun and the plot is mostly in a holding pattern before we get to the next destination, but it doesn’t really matter. The creative team has done something genuinely inventive and surprising here, and it’s probably the issue this run will be remembered for.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.