Review: The Flash #38
Although a popular enough character in his own right, the Flash never seems to get the big fireworks when it comes to attention surrounding the character. There are never big relaunches of the character, bestselling authors are never brought in to give the character better recognition and marketing rarely focuses on the Scarlet Speedster. Some of this is duly earned, as the appeal of the character is just as much there as it is for some of the bigger names at DC, even if the Flash is able to hold down a monthly title quite consistently. What this means is that many of the stories for the character tend to go unnoticed, with the present story arc being an obvious example.
There are two main stories going on in the story arc, as future Barry Allen has pushed the present Barry Allen into the speed force, expecting him never to return. This leaves future Barry Allen in the present eager to undo all the mistakes that he knows happened in the future. This is the more gripping side of the story, as the usual deontological outlook of most heroes is thrown aside as future Barry looks for the greatest good, even if that means a somewhat brutal version of cleaning up his own past. The other half of the story has been somewhat stagnant, as the Flash that we know has been stuck in the Speed Force, a strange land populated by dinosaurs and robots. While this has failed to grip as tightly, it picks up a lot of momentum here as it provides some background for the setting before the heroes head out into the thick of it. It ends up being a mix of something like the series Manifest Destiny but being explored by steampunk time travelers. Although it is only touched on here, it has good potentially to match the other half of the story in the coming issues if handled correctly.
The series continues here to show that it should not be as disregarded as it on the company level, or even by the entire medium. As the only speedster that can continuously hold down a monthly series, there has always been something special about the Flash, and while the science is often not that hard, there is at least something to it when philosophy is mixed with science. This series deserves a look by anyone looking for something a little bit outside the box when it comes to their superheroes.
Story: Robert Venditti and Van Jensen Art: Brett Booth
Story: 8.6 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy