Saturday, May 10, 2014

Flash #0

Flashing Back

Mark Waid • Story
Mike Wieringo • Pencils
Jose Marzan, Jr. • Inks
Gaspar • Letterer
Gina Going • Colorist
Ruben Diaz • Asst. Editor
Brian Augustyn • Editor

Coming off the heels of Zero Hour, all the DC books in October 1994 went back to #0 to tell the new origin stories, or, as in this case, to creatively retell the origin story while also dealing with the aftermath of Zero Hour. Impulse is not in this issue, despite being on the cover, but I think this story is essential to cover in order to understand what happened to the Flash after he disappeared in Zero Hour #4. Impulse is looking a bit grumpy here, but he's always grumpy around Wally. And I'm glad we can actually see his face, unlike poor Linda and Max Mercury at the top. On the left side above Impulse is an image of Wally being doused in chemicals and struck by lightning, which gave him super speed. On the right is Wally's uncle and Bart's grandpa, Barry Allen, and the bottom right is Wally when he was Kid Flash.

Our story begins during the Zero Hour crisis, with Flash trying to destroy the entropy with his super speed. To the nearby Waverider, it appeared that Flash died, but he really just went hurtling through the time stream, somehow leaving his costume behind. I suppose his body converted into energy, and for some reason his costume was incapable of adapting with him. But don't worry, Wally isn't running around naked — he is still wearing red, full-body underwear.

Flash begins to revisit key moments in his in reverse. He watches himself defeat some criminals and notices that Max Mercury was observing him in secret. Wally then sees himself mourning the death of Barry Allen and working with the Teen Titans as Kid Flash. Wally also watches a younger version of himself meet Barry for the first time and gain super speed the exact same way Barry did. Wally always thought it was an incredible coincidence, but now he suspects it wasn't.

Wally then goes even further back in time and finds himself as a depressed young boy. He remembers this to be the day a mysterious stranger gave him a message of hope, but he soon realizes that he was that stranger. So Wally has a nice talk with his younger self and begins his journey back home.

So yeah, a nice quick review for a nice quick Flash story. Nothing too Earth-shattering, but still a neat look-back on Wally's life with the always welcome art of Mike Wieringo. No Impulse, of course, which is sad, but next time we'll see his first adventure with the Titans in New Titans #0.

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