Review: A Race To Save Wally West Begins In ‘Future State: The Flash’ #1

by James Ferguson

Overview

Wally West is a murderer…or is he? Barry won’t believe it and even without the Speed Force, he’s going to find a way to save the former Kid Flash, even if that means losing everything. It’s a dark time for the Flash Family.

Overall
7/10
7/10

In the wake of Dark Nights: Death Metal, the Flash family is without the Speed Force. Wally West has sapped it all from them and has gone on a murderous spree around the world. Barry refuses to believe his former protege has turned evil. Using the weapons of his Rogues, the former fastest man alive will do anything he possibly can to save Wally West.

Wally has had a bit of a rough time over the past few years and this looks like rock bottom. Writer Brandon Vietti has a path forward for the former Kid Flash that might explain his behavior lately. What’s interesting here is how Barry is the only one that sees it. Everyone else sees Wally as a monster. This gets almost sad at times because Barry just cannot possibly accept that his good friend could do something like this.

The opening scene, with Barry, Bart, Max Mercury, Avery, and Jay Garrick busting up Checkmate Headquarters using weapons from the Rogues is pretty awesome. Artist Dave Eaglesham does some great work here showing off each of the weapons. There are some small details like a tear in Barry’s costume and a bandage on Avery’s leg that imply how tough things have been lately, however for the most part, they look like they’re in their element.

Eaglesham’s pencils are clean and crisp. His figures are very stoic. It’s funny seeing Barry next to Max and Jay as all three of them are these big white dudes with square jaws. This makes it stick out that this is not a very diverse cast at the moment with the exception of Avery. I legit can’t tell which one is Max and which one is Jay when they’re out of costume.

Since this is a darker time for the Flash family, colorist Mike Atiyeh uses a more somber tone. It’s like a cloud is hanging over these folks and it won’t go away until Barry can figure this out. There are a few flashbacks shown in a faded color which works very well. When we do get a glimpse of Wally, he looks almost dead on his feet. His skin is very pale and almost grey, contrasting with the bright red and blues as he speeds around the scene.

Barry and the others use a kind of mind meld helmet to reach out to Wally. Letterer Steve Wands shows their speech in translucent word balloons to show their incorporeal state. Eaglesham makes them look like ghosts in a completely different style than the rest of the book. It’s an awesome effect.

Barry Allen has been through quite a lot as the Flash, but nothing quite like this. He’s beaten down and he’s lost so much including people close to him and his connection to the Speed Force. Despite all of this, he’s fighting to save Wally and pulling out all the stops to do so. That sheer determination even in the face of so much opposition is what makes him a hero. Let’s hope it works out for him.

Future State: The Flash #1 from DC Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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