The Flash family makes its final assault on the Fraction’s Spire with an unusual plan. But in classic penultimate issue fashion, great danger awaits them, and surprises for all abound in our review of The Flash #795
Before getting into this review of The Flash #795, it is with a heavy heart that I must announce that between last issue and this issue, DC announced that the best and most heartwarming series on the shelves today is being canceled and relaunched. The current run will end on issue #800 in June. DC also announced the new creative team of writer Si Spurrier & artist Mike Deodato Jr. taking over in September. Spurrier posted very kind sentiments about respecting Adams’ great work on the Flash. He does not intend to destroy anything that this run built, but stand on its shoulders instead.
However, this doesn’t change the sadness of those who have come to love this run. This is true especially as Jeremy Adams has posted that he had so many more story ideas for the series. Thankfully for fans of Adams, he’ll be penning the Green Lantern series starting in May. He also revealed that he has at least one unannounced book coming at DC. So much to look forward to, even as this beloved series ends.
Enough about sad real world news! On to The Flash, as One Minute War steps into its penultimate issue. As with the last five issues of the arc, Adams draws heavily on his cinematic experience to create the real feeling of a big budget movie. It starts with the lovingly written tribute to Jesse Quick’s Liberty Belle costume and history. It also highlights her awesome action role in Barry’s plan. The opening feels like a serious yet fun version of the “gear up” scenes in the 1990s Batman movies. The time spent on that first page as Jesse puts on her blue and red costume makes her exclamation of “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the lands unto the inhabitants thereof” as she triumphantly yells her famous Speed Force Equation and uses her super-strength to punch through the Fraction’s wall send shivers down the spine of the reader.
Similarly, Barry’s plan is full of scope and grandeur. The early shot of the Flash family atop a ruined building as they prepare to run down the line has a classic scale. It’s like cowboys looking down from a cliff. Similar to Wally’s plan, Barry has devised another Death Star Trench Run attack. It’s a straight line to the vulnerable point of the enemy’s huge star base. But Barry doesn’t want to destroy the Spire, as we saw in the Dark Crisis alternate universe, or what Wally’s plan tried to accomplish.
Barry explains his plan to the family in flashbacks reminiscent of the X-Wing pilots briefing in A New Hope. Barry wants to supercharge the Spire so that the Fraction goes faster than the speed of light and travel backwards in time. They will never have destroyed Central City, killed Iris, or all the other people. But Barry tells Linda that Wally won’t be restored, because as part of the Speed Force, he is immune to its effects like time travel. In classic comic book and movie fashion, this episode ends with Barry & Irey facing the two big bosses of the Fraction – the Admiral and Miss Murder. They both seem to be more than able to overpower our two great heroes.
But it stops, and we wake up with Wally in a beautifully cinematic sequence with everyone’s favorite chaotic and romantic heroine, Gold Beetle. She has friends with her on Planet Flash outside of time and space! It seems that even after undoing Wally’s responsibility for Heroes in Crisis with his first Annual issue, Adams continues working to set everything right that was wrong by saving all of those killed at Sanctuary. Though the action sequence and flashbacks that form the bulk of the issue are exciting, Wally waking up when we’ve been told he’s super, super dead twice is such a relief. Equally, seeing the Sanctuary refugees alive and smiling at him is a real welling-up moment.
Everything is in place for the finale of this great seven part arc in Jeremy Adams’ The Flash run, and it’s shaping up to be a really, really fun one. This is despite the small question of will the Flash family leave the Fraction free to attack the rest of the multiverse still lingers. But that will have to wait. Thankfully it’s only two weeks!
Great Art Times Three
Working alongside Adams as writer on The Flash #795 are three excellent artists. Roger Cruz, who’s penciled the previous five issues completely, provides the “current day” action pencils brilliantly. It really gives the issue that awesome action movie feeling. Some of the backgrounds & larger shots do sometimes show the strain of working on a twice monthly comic series. But it’s all still very effective. Series cover artist George Kambadais. He’s also doing great work on the Dark Horse & Disney’s Gargoyles comic series. He provides a really cute and appealing work for the flashbacks where Barry explains the plan to the Flash family. Adams expertly paces these pages. Kambadais renders the art with huge energy and cartoony distortion and energy. It conveys the emotions of these characters we’ve come to love so much.
Lastly, longtime Flash artist Fernando Pasarin provides the final two pages of The Flash #795. His more realistic & detailed pencils really make the emotions of those pages hit hard. I’ve been hard on Pasarin in the past when he’s done Deathstroke or Hawkman. The things that bothered me then still bothers me now. His skill with lines, however, is undeniable. It’s expertly colored by Luis Guerrero and Matt Herms.
All in all, One Minute War has been both a writing and artistic triumph. It really showcases what a determined writer & excellent artist can do at DC. If anyone tells you that, “the Big Two aren’t publishing anything good these days. It’s all terrible. They should cancel all comics and close their doors,” you only have to look at The Flash to know that’s just not true.
For the covers of The Flash #795, Taurin Clarke on main cover remains the recommendation. It’s a cover featuring Barry holding his engagement ring sadly as Jesse and Wally mourn in the background against some rubble. Though it doesn’t quite fit with the events of this issue, it’s still the closest representation of the actual events of the comics. And while it’s not Clarke’s best effort, it’s quite appealing. It’s even more appealing if you want to shell out for the 1 in 50 foil incentive variant version with the same artwork.
David Nakayama’s shiny Wally running close up variant is nice. But as with so many of these variant covers, it has nothing to do with the interiors at all. Marco D’Alfonso’s Flash Vs. Space Slug cover is hilariously appealing. Wally reads dozens of books and tries so many tactics to defeat the huge purple slug in the background. Unfortunately, it is just there for the appeal.
Lastly, the 1 in 25 incentive variant is produced by Eleonora Carlini. She’s a favorite of mine from her work on Batgirl during the n52 era. But her style doesn’t really produce many sparks with The Flash variants she’s done. They are very generic instead of connecting to the One Minute War.
Editor’s Note: If you missed out on the review of part 5 of One Minute War, you can find it here.