Wally West has been snatched from the timestream by Hunter Zolomon, aka Zoom. He has shown Wally the life and world he once had before the Flashpoint, and he even explains Barry Allen’s responsibility in that event. Elsewhere, Barry Allen, young Wallace West, and Iris Allen are being held by Commander Cold and the Renegades. However, Golden Glider has some information that may turn Cold over to the Flash’s side.
The pendulum of quality swings to the other side once more, as Flash #48 is another decent issue of the troubled series. It’s still heavily flawed and has enough frustrating moments to justify a person putting it down midway through. That said, it’s so sincere in the story it wants to tell that it’s hard to outright hate it — though it’s not impossible.
The bombastic and melodramatic displays of tormented emotion are still present. Older Wally West certainly has more than a few moments that only make sense if you assume this character has almost no emotional stability. Plus, this issue is wordy as hell, and the book takes far too long to explain some of its details.
Yet, you can just about understand his actions. He remembers having a family forever lost to him, and Zoom is the only one presenting any kind of means of bringing them back. Even if that means literally breaking the Speed Force.
By contrast, Barry knows that what Wally is doing is reckless and possibly apocalyptic. He has the cooler head and knows that Zoom is probably playing Wally.
Meanwhile, Iris, younger Wallace, and Commander Cold try to have some plot relevance, even if it’s to no avail.
Howard Porter’s art is a bit rougher here than in his recent comics. The characters are a lot lumpier in build, especially the first splash page shot of Wally. Plus, characters in the background tend to have heads a little too big for their body’s. This doesn’t kill the visuals, and I still like a lot about Porter’s style. It just feels off this issue. Hi-Fi delivers vibrant and well-balanced color art once again, and that helps make up for some of the linework shortcomings.
The Flash #48 is not a great comic, and the investment I have in this issue mainly comes from the story stumbling into something vaguely relatable. It continues to scream “I have feelings!” and I finally buy it to some degree. I tentatively recommend this one, but only on the basis that you’re prepared for something melodramatic and wordy. If you’re up for that so long as you get some relatively emotionally resonant Flash material, than feel free to check it out.
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