A devastating sortie leaves the Flash Family in their darkest spot yet as every plan turns to dust against the vicious Fraction in this review of the Flash #793!
Part 4 of the One Minute War continues in The Flash #793. As Wally leads the Flash Family in their attempts to fight back against the Speed Force powered Fraction army, what seems like an initially hopeful plan with some early skirmish victories turns into an all out defeat with truly tragic consequences! Though of course anyone paying attention to solicitations knows that Wally himself can’t be truly dead (whether through some miracle or some kind of Speed Force shenanigans), as he’s in many upcoming stories.
It certainly doesn’t look good for Wally. He is literally vaporized in his attempt to destroy the Fraction’s spire, defeating their technology-driven connection to the Speed Force. Adams clearly structured this issue to setup hope for a major victory. Then, he smashes our heroes multiple times. With the failure of Wally’s plan, the capture of the Flash “away team”, and the invasion of Mister Terrific’s lab guarded only by the terrified 10 year old Irey by the monstrous Miss Murder and her hellhounds.
Despite this dire outcome, Adams manages to setup a lot of warm moments. Jesse & Irey bond over being “Flash girls.” Barry and Wally share a moment as they speak on their love for each other. And as always, Ace and Bart’s bickering banter continues. He also works brilliantly with artist Roger Cruz to utilize even more classic movie techniques like the action montage, full of cool explosions and great jokes like Jesse and Irey’s “Flash Girls Rule” graffiti on a Fraction tank.
The Art Continues to Shine
Cruz himself continues to provide very consistent and appealing work. Though his hands can be a bit large, and nothing has quite the delicacy of touch or power of the superstar artists at DC, it’s nonetheless one of the best reading experiences DC is putting out today. It is clean, clear storytelling, heroic heroes and terrifying villains clashing in brightly colored battles. This is everything a book like The Flash should be!
The sequence where Wally’s car assault starts and then fails is particularly intense – starting with a classic car-starting sequence, then a brilliant car shooting forward panel, with long horizontal panels showing the efforts of Team Flash as they open the gate for Wally, then a lovely shot from above as Wally’s car blasts through a narrow canyon of rubble, calling to mind once again Star Wars in the Death Star trench run – Adams knows what he’s shooting for, but never deploys these references without making sure they make perfect sense in the story itself. They add to the pleasure and atmosphere of the comic without calling too much attention to themselves – if a reader isn’t aware of the reference, they likely draw on the narrative and visual power of those original scenes and concepts without distracting at all.
A Word on the Covers
Taurin Clarke’s main covers continue to do an excellent job of conveying the interior mood and character details. It focuses on Wally angrily making a plan in the center. He’s backed up by a thoughtful Jay Garrick & a determined Jesse Quick. DC also used Clarke’s image for the foil variant 1 in 50 incentive (a practice hopefully discontinued once this event is over, though the abuse of higher order incentive covers for the Poison Ivy series seems to indicate this will be unlikely, sadly).
Marco D’Alfonso’s first cardstock variant showcases the Flash running past giant clock imagery. This is probably a reference to the One Minute War storyline. Unfortunately, it is still a fairly generic picture, if quite pleasant. Daniel Bayliss highlights Wally, Ace, and Jay facing three speedster villains – none of them the Fraction, though. A more dynamic image, and featuring more characters who are, in fact, inside the book, but clearly not in situations from the book.
Lastly, Scott Kolins’ incentive variant highlights Ace and Jay back to back. They look great with cheerful & confident smirks as the Speed Force surrounds them with yellow lightning against a starlit cityscape. It is a very nice piece from a beloved Flash artist as an incentive piece. There is a wealth of good cover options this time, including the incentives. However, I rarely recommend those, perhaps unfairly. I don’t like supporting DC’s destructive business practices of relying on incentive variants. Clark takes the crown of recommendation again for this arc. He continues to balance pleasing artwork that reflects the story being told inside the comic brilliantly. The rest could serve as the cover for most Flash issues. They are all fairly generic in terms of subject matter, no matter how brilliantly rendered.
Editor’s Note: If you missed out on the review of part 3 of One Minute War, you can find it here.