the flash 797 main cover
Comic Reviews

Review: The Flash #797 – The Kids Strike Back!

In our review of The Flash #797, Kid Flash faces some pretty intense, even multiversal, pressures in his first (and he hopes only) babysitting gig for Irey, Jai, and Maxine (Animal Girl)!
The Story
the flash 797 main cover
The main cover of The Flash #797. (Credit: DC Comics)

In The Flash #797, Jeremy Adams is finally able to slot in the background story glimpsed in The Flash Annual 2022. Adams has only four issues left in his heartwarming and excellent Flash run. In this issue, Ace babysits for Wally and Linda’s kids to let the West’s go on a romantic date. For those who have fallen in love with Irey’s spunk, Jai’s eagerness, and Maxine’s adventurousness, this is a dream come true. It is also tantalizing for those who have wanted Adams to get a whole arc featuring the most recent generation of heroes in the DC Universe.

Tantalizing as this taste may be, Adams pulls it off nicely. He uses some additional flair brought in by the multiversal appearance of the Super Sons. This may be Jon and Damian from the past timeline before Brian Bendis’ run changed the status quo likely forever. They may also be from the Super Sons movie Adams wrote last year. We probably will never know! In just a few exchanges, Adams manages to call back to Irey and Damian’s clash in the Dark Crisis tie-in issue. He also evokes Jon and Damian’s relationship. Lastly, he succeeds in bonding all five of our kid heroes, and builds a huge amount of potential for future stories!

The appearance of the evil Knives, the murderous mobster who is aging backwards and thus appears to be a child, again from the Dark Crisis tie-in arc, along with Dr. Nightmare from the amazing Daddy-daughter team-up/dance issue, and their villainous pals, shows that Adams never lets any of his wild and creative inventions go to waste.

The Art

Serg Acuña provides the first 14 pages of art for The Flash #797. Just as he did with the Annual and several other pieces he did last year, Acuña‘s art is full of energy. It’s an intensely cute appeal as most of it focuses on the kids. Acuña also does great work making the villains appear quite menacing, to balance out the cuteness.

Veteran artist Tom Derenick rounds out the last eight pages of the book. Though his work is often much too loose for my taste (as in the enjoyable Wonder Woman: Come Back to Me), he actually keeps his pencils much tighter, to great effect! The kids don’t look QUITE as cute in his pages. The action is excellent. The coloring by Matt Herms maintains a gorgeous saturated look, fitting a colorful adventure story like this perfectly! All in all, though DC’s scheduling for artists on this book continues to make less than no sense. Only allowing Acuña to do 14 pages on this book, but scheduling him for the full 22 pages of the dreadful Tim Drake: Robin story this month is such a waste of resources). The artists and Adams work together to produce an excellent book every two weeks anyway!

The final page clearly sets up the final major conflict of the book, with Granny Goodness picking up the powerful artifact used by the villains in this issue. One shudders to think what she will do with it in the next three issues!

 

flash 797 final panel
What does Granny Goodness have planned? (Credit: DC COmics)
The Covers

Taurin Clarke’s main cover (and 1-in-50 foil incentive variant) featuring Wally, Ace, Irey, and Jai is quite nice. This is despite the fact that Wally himself doesn’t really show up in the issue. After One Minute War’s series of disjointed variant covers however, it’s nice a lot more consistency for this week’s variant series. Daniele Di Nicuolo’s first cardstock variant consist of the horizontal trio of Wally, Ace, and Barry running together in classic Flash fashion. Yasmine Flores gives us a solo Wally running through blue lightning towards the top of the book (perhaps the most generic of the covers, though still quite nice).

 

 

Francis Manapul’s Superman Anniversary variant is gorgeous. It features Wally and Superman rushing to save the day in a golden city. Lastly, interior artist Serg Acuña provides a nice 1-in-25 incentive variant featuring Wally, Barry, Bart, Ace, and Jay Garrick’s faces. They are divided by exciting lightning bolt shapes and lines. Though Clarke’s main cover has the most connection to the interiors, the connection isn’t quite as strong as in One Minute War’s main cover series. This makes things a toss-up for the cover I recommend. The Manapul Superman variant is probably the most aesthetically pleasing of the group. However, if you are willing to spring the extra money for the Acuña incentive, that’s really nice, and the art matches the first 2/3rds of the interiors.

Editor’s note: If you want to read our previous review of The Flash, please check it out here.

The Flash #797

Writing
Art

4 Stars

Jeremy Adams, Serg Acuna, and Tom Derenick turn in another excellent adventure, this time focusing on the delightful Flash twins and their friends new and old. Plausible and delightful character interactions and plotting are greatly enhanced by polished, appealing art, once again DC’s best book on the shelves that all too few are reading.

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