“One Minute War” speeds to its epic conclusion as Gold Beetle brings Wally back to Central City… to rescue the whole world in our review of The Flash #796.
We’ve reached the end of the road for the One Minute War in The Flash #796. Jeremy Adams, with just four issues left to wrap up his brilliant run on The Flash, got one additional issue for his One Minute War arc. From comments he’s made, he would have loved an additional issue. However, this seventh issue still manages to tell the story and give us a ton of earned emotional moments. You can see signs that it’s about two issues worth of story compressed into just the standard 22 pages.
To start off, Adams persuaded DC to let him do a “Previously in The Flash” page. This is very unusually for DC, as it calls back to four separate parts of the first arc This leads into Gold Beetle’s exposition dump about how Wally is still alive. She also explains what she’s done to save all of the heroes killed in Heroes in Crisis. Though I am one of about two people in the whole world who actually liked the Heroes in Crisis story, it is nice to see Adams embracing the fact that this is comics. Also, this is The Flash comics, and so wacky time travel resurrections/fixing the past is totally an option! It’s especially nice to find out what Wally told Lily, the Gold Beetle, way, way back in the first arc – to “save everybody”. It paid off so nicely.
As with the previous six issues, Adams borrows freely & joyfully from superhero and fantasy movies. Wally, Gold Beetle, and the Flash Army arriving is clearly an Avengers: Endgame or Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker “the heroes show up with a huge army/fleet” moment. He balanced it nicely with Gold Beetle’s ship playing “La Cucaracha.” The moment is pure movie cheese. However, since we’ve seen all the pieces leading up to it, it feels very earned and fun. It’s also a bit funny that Adams titled this issue “One More Minute,” a double meaning, since this is one additional issue to the One Minute War (DC really prefers a six-issue arc for the trades). Also, Wally’s army has only one minute of speed force time to fight the Fraction.
Some fans commented that the Admiral’s defeat by Wally occurred too easily in the climax of the battle. It’s a fun complication. Adams introduces that the Fraction hate “organic conduits” so much that the Admiral has to kill his own men for trying to kill him out of bigotry. It’s an interesting parallel with the Flash family’s origins. Hopefully the Admiral and the Fraction will become a tool that other writers can pull out for new and fascinating thematic parallels in the future. It is true that Wally pushes the Admiral into the stasis chamber/battery in just a page of fight time.
However, considering the complexity of the way the Flash family has to defeat the Fraction as a whole, it’s nice to see the Admiral dealt with specifically. In a way, that causes the Fraction pause from their ravaging the universe for some time to come. I am a bit disappointed that the Flash family does not have a total victory over the Fraction. However, they lose the Admiral, their most important component. We already knew they came back from the One Minute War Special. Hopefully one day someone will tell a new, more final story with them vs. the Flash Family. It’s also a nice bit of editing and scheduling that Roger Cruz gets to draw the finale itself. He drew the majority of the action for this arc. This is quite the feat for seven double-shipping issues.
Adams wraps up The Flash #796 with a number of very nice emotional scenes. Barry and Iris finally got engaged. The West family reunites. We see the mysterious Wade, who may be the West’s unborn baby, say goodbye. I hope Adams sneaks in Jai and Gold Beetle’s first meeting somewhere in the next three issues. Adams told a really sweet, albeit sweet love story.
Fernando Pasarin draws most of the wrap up pages in The Flash #796. He did the most consistent work with the Flash family during this run. The way he renders Max and Bart running into the unknown is quite emotionally done. In addition, George Kambadais does a wonderful job with the handful of pages scattered throughout the issue. His warm, joyfully distorted linework adds a lot of emotion and excitement. Inkers Wellington Dias (working with Cruz) and Oclair Albert (working with Pasarin) lend a strong helping hand to make the art feel consistent and polished. Colorists Luis Guerrero (working with Cruz), Matt Herms (working with Kambadais), and Pete Pantasis (working with Pasarin) all manage to make the whole story feel cohesive despite the time crunch of double shipping hitting this issue and the last one quite hard in terms of art team scheduling.
I am excited that next week we see a flashback story involving the kids and time travel. However, I’m disappointed that it won’t be what happens after One Minute War. It won’t include the birth of the new West. That story comes in just two issues before the finale to the run itself in issue #800. Thankfully (or sadly, if you wanted to stretch the run out longer), these issues will drop twice a month until June, so we’ll find out sooner rather than later how all of our favorite characters are doing!
For the final issue in this arc, I continue to recommend Taurin Clarke’s main covers. He did a nice job on each one. Each one reflected the actual issue interiors quite well. This one featuring Jay leading Barry, Wally, Jesse, Ace, Linda, and Bart in the background on a Fraction speeder – also available as a 1 in 50 incentive foil version!
Cover B for The Flash #796 is a nice but generic Flash running towards the viewer by Daniele Di Nicuolo. Yasmin Flores Montanez actually features Wally & Irey/Thunderheart running together at night over a rocky landscape. It’s a delightful reflection of the run as a whole, especially featuring Thunderheart’s new costume. But it’s not particularly reflective of this particular issue. It’s a step up from the generic ones, though! Lee Garbett (Batgirl: Stephanie Brown, Skyward) provides a more visually complex and appealing, though still generic, Flash running towards the viewer for the 1-in-25 incentive, with a really cool background of space warping through the Speed Force effect.
To see our other reviews of One Minute War, please check them out here.