DC Comics are unfortunately becoming repetitive; recycling one specific story trope that seems to be their answer to every character piece. The Flash War in The Flash #49 promised to pit Wally and Barry against each other, in a battle to save Wally’s family, but at the cost of endangering the multiverse. Whilst I was initially intrigued to see how this would play out, the way in which it was handled was particularly boring.
Stripping back all the Flash supporting characters in favour of throwing in most of the DC Universe, the race between Barry and Wally felt dangerous. It felt like they were testing the limits of the speed force and everyone’s fear of what might occur if they were to succeed in their mission was well founded. The character interaction between Wally and Barry left a little to be desired, both reiterating their previous points as to why they should listen to one another. No new layers were added to this drama, with the same lines of arguments used by each. The recklessness of Wally, in particular, is starting to feel a little off character.
In The Flash #49, Wally and Barry are racing faster and faster, whilst the Justice League and many other DC heroes struggle to slow them down or at least reason with them. The implications of this frenetic pace are implied when even Hal’s ring can’t slow them. The end result, however, is something both predictable and yet unexpected. Much like most comic villains, it turns out Zoom had been tricking them all along and the kids are not stuck in the speed force at all. Who knows where they are. More to the point, Zoloman believes he would make a better Flash, having some sort of heroic, yet villainous turn. This sets up the 50th issue nicely, pitting Flash vs. Flash vs. Flash.
Recently DC has introduced new kinds of everything. New heroes, a new nth metal, new Lantern Corps, and a new set of multiverses. At every level of the DC Universe, something has been added on top of everything else, especially when concerning the multiverse. Whole narrative arcs have been based upon these new powers and objects, with even the new Justice League run centred on new forces.
So when Zoom returns from the speed force, it is to confront our heroes with yet another set of new forces, such as strength force. After recently discovering the Ultraviolet Corps, it seems like DC creative is really pushing the lore to the limits. This focus on all these brand new technical multiversal things is taking away from genuine character work.
This week you’ll notice another review for Mera Queen of Atlantis. This is a DC series that should be commended for being the perfect opposite of what the vast majority of the comics are putting out.
For the 50th issue of The Flash to really shock me, they’ll have to pull out a narrative that is unique and character based. The Flash #49, therefore, was more of a DC disappointment than just a bad issue.