The Flash Annual #1
Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Christian Duce Fernandez
“FLASH WAR” prelude! The biggest Flash story of 2018 starts here, with a special story starring the classic Wally West, who’s conflicted over whether to let Iris West know he is alive—and he’ll need the help of the Flash to figure out what to do! But when Magenta, Wally’s old love, needs his help, the Flash returns home to Keystone City where he is confronted with violent memories of an unknown world…A major turning point for the Flash family that sets the path for earth shattering stories in 2018!
The highly anticipated Flash War event is nearly upon us, and Annual #1 is here to set up the storyline that will change the status quo for the Flash as we know it. This issue is a fairly Wally West focused, so if you’re a mega fan of him you’ll no doubt love it. As he delves deeper into his purpose in life in the post-Flashpoint world, a personal and purposeful story develops. So if you’re a Flash fan from any point of his existence, this is a must-read.
The opening brings us back to the future to the Flash Museum, which was ruined a while back. Thawne’s death is being investigated in the future by a group of people, which the issue goes back to by the end with a shocking reveal. Present time has the trio of Barry, Adult-Wally and Kid Flash taking down a villain. It’s fun to see them working together, and I have a feeling we won’t be seeing this again soon.
Once the issue focuses on Wally West, I was completely invested in his story. Things get pretty personal, especially since he still hasn’t told Iris about him and “Man of time” stuff. I don’t blame him, last time he tried explaining this someone was with Linda, it didn’t work out how he hoped. He’s at odds on what he should do to “move forward” and get a real life in this world, and it’s truly fascinating. There’s a lot of exposition here to get people up to speed, but it overall works out.
Wally tries once again to get someone to remember him, this time going to his ex-girlfriend Frances Kane aka Magenta. She goes a bit crazy after remembering everything that happened between them way back when, but they share a nice moment when he’s able to calm her down. Wally is on the road to getting his stuff together and Flash War will seemingly decide if he’ll ultimately gain back the main title as The Flash.
The final panel heads back to the future, and it’s revealed Wally’s main nemesis Zoom is back. He wants the Flashes to go to war to seemingly have Wally become the main hero. This story is gonna be nuts, and the re-introduction to an old villain assures that. There’s a lot they can do with him, it’ll be interesting to see if he’s staying for the long haul.
The Flash Annual #1 is something fans of the iconic character should definitely read. My main complaints about this issue have to be some of the art and exposition, but those are only some nitpicks. This is a story that will affect the future of the main Flash in the DCU, and I’m very excited to see who comes out on top. The final reveal is pretty exciting and it’s gonna be interesting to see him force Wally and Barry to go to war.