Flash War begins! What could possibly drive a wedge between Barry Allen and Wally West that would force them to come to blows? After Wally was finally reunited with his aunt, Iris, he’s been getting these flashes of memories of a bygone era, what we know as the pre-Flashpoint universe. To make matters worse, the Renegades (futuristic versions of the Rogues) from the 25th Century have arrived to arrest Iris for murdering Eobard Thawne. The Flashes can’t let her go alone, so it looks like they’re all going on a field trip through time.
This arc has been building for some time. It’s funny that a storyline called “Flash War” begins with some peaceful moments at home as Iris and Kid Flash spend some quality time together fixing up a motorcycle while Barry and Wally are out saving a city from a tidal wave. Typical speedster stuff, right? Iris and Kid Flash reflect on their recent adventures and how it’s affected the rest of the Flash Family.
Iris recognizes the key differences between Barry and Wally. What makes them work so well together is also what could drive them apart. Despite the fact that they’re both quick to decisions and move at incredible speeds, Barry is more of a by-the-book guy, working with a plan while Wally rushes head-long into things. They can both save the day, but their methods get on each other’s nerves.
You can see the growing tension between the two speedsters in Howard Porter’s artwork. The two are grandstanding a little, standing with chests out as if to prove who is the better Flash. Although they’re standing close to one another, there’s a wide chasm between them.
The designs for the Renegades are pretty awesome. They maintain the essences of the classic Rogues, like Captain Cold and Weather Wizard, but update them for a more modern age. They’re not holograms or anything too futuristic, but just enough to understand that they’re not from this time. I’d love to see their origins explored further. Based on the brief amount of time we spend with them, they’re a rather interesting bunch.
One detail that I will never get tired of in The Flash is how each speedster has a different colored lightning that follows them. Kid Flash is red. Wally is blue. Barry is yellow. Colorist Hi-Fi distinguishes each one to great effect.
What is made abundantly clear in The Flash #47 is that this small group is a family. They’re united by the Speed Force and they have each other’s backs. That doesn’t mean that they have to agree with one another about everything and we’re about to see something that will ultimately drive that familial unit apart in a big way.
My only concern with this is how reliant it is on the pre-Flashpoint continuity. Since I was reading a lot of those books, the final page cliffhanger really resonated with me, but if you’ve only been reading this series since Rebirth began, you might be a little confused. You don’t have to necessarily dive into Wikipedia just yet as writer Joshua Williamson eases you into it. Things are presented in a clear manner, so you really understand and the severity of the situation. You’re not thrown into it blind, but if you’re a long time fan, you’ll get a bit more out of this.
I didn’t know what to expect from “Flash War” based on the lead-up to it over the past few issues. Based on this opening chapter, it’s set to be a big deal. Williamson deftly maneuvers through the complicated continuity of the past several years of The Flash to deliver an engaging story that is most definitely a major event for the character. I am so very curious as to what kind of ramifications this arc will have not only for Barry Allen, but the extended DC Universe.