Review: The Flash Annual #1

Following the events of 2016’s DC Universe Rebirth one shot, the pre-Flashpoint Wally West is back and trying to re-assemble the pieces of his former life. Meanwhile in the 25th century, someone with powers derived from the Speed Force has vandalized the Flash Museum. This last bit is a prelude to the forthcoming Flash War event which seems like it could be a lot of fun. Unfortunately it doesn’t start until May making this issue a bit premature in terms of its release date.  

I was surprised by how much I liked the artwork since Howard Porter’s style usually isn’t my cup of tea. He and co-artist Christian Duce do a good job of making things look cool and speeding along the story at a brisk pace.

Unfortunately Joshua Williamson’s script doesn’t live up to the high standard set by the art. This also surprised me as I really like what he did with the character in the first Flash Rebirth trade. It’s not so much that it’s badly written but that its spread thin. There are too many splash pages and double page spreads and this only serves to dilute the story. It feels like Williamson was running behind on his deadline and make up the page count in a hurry. He’s good enough that it doesn’t quite feel like a pinup book but I don’t feel that what we’re given justifies paying an extra $2.

If you’re going to buy this make sure you get it in print rather than digital and the impact will be substantially less on your phone or tablet

How good of a starting point this is for new Flash fans depends on who you are. If you’r an older reader and grew up with Wally West as your Flash, then you could use this to get up to speed with what he’s been doing since Flashpoint. I think you’d be better served with a copy of DC Universe Rebirth and Flash Rebirth, but this is certainly a more cost and time effective option. If you’re a fan of the TV show or Ezra Miller’s portrayal in the Justice League movie, then you’ll probably be confused as the entire focus is on a character you’ve never seen before (both Barry and New 52 Wally are there but they don’t have much to do). The most frustrating thing about this book is that I really want to read Flash War but I have to wait another three months. While I understand that this is to allow people to have a taste before the books go up for pre-orders I feel like starting to read the main Flash title now would be like running in place.

Story: Joshua Williamson Art: Howard Porter, Christian Duce Cover: Howard Porter
Story: 5.5 Art: 7.5 Average: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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