The Flash #46 // Review
The Flash #46, by writer Joshua Williamson, artist Scott Kolins, and colorist Luis Guerrero, kicks off the Flash War arc, serving mostly as a prelude, but still packs in plenty of excitement and intrigue. Previously, Wally West was reunited with Iris West for the first time since his return from the Speed Force (in the now-classic DC Universe: Rebirth special), and this led to him having a resurgence of the entirety of his memories from before the “New 52” hard reset of the timeline. Now, with all of the conflicting memories messing with his head, Barry is trying his best to keep Wally from coming unglued.
This issue does pick up on the Wally story, but the most interesting part of the book is its focus on Hunter Zolomon, better known as Zoom. He was seemingly erased when the New 52 timeline took over, but now he has returned with his full memories of the old timeline intact. Much like with Wally regaining his memories, this throwback to the pre-New 52 era is a welcome return. Zolomon recounts his dealings with Eobard Thawne, the Reverse Flash, picking up right where the story left off with them in the old universe, and fills the audience in on what he has been up to since then. Williamson handles the character well, exploring the difference between his and Thawne’s motivations for terrorizing the Flashes, and their eventual departure over differing methodology, but the interesting part comes at the end, where Zolomon changes in a big way, setting up the coming arc.
Williamson devotes the rest of the issue to Wally’s struggle with the crashing timelines in his head, but it really feels like he is buying time before the new arc, as the meat of the issue revolves around Zoom. There are still some nice scenes in this part of the story, though, including Wally having visions of the old timeline, and Barry desperately trying to be there for him as he hallucinates standing in the Flash Museum that doesn’t yet exist. Williamson has really done his best to build up Wally and remind readers that he really is arguably the best Flash of all time over the last arc, so it’s going to be interesting to see where he takes him next.
Scott Kolins makes his long-awaited return to the Flash art duties this issue, and he proves that this is the book he belongs on. His most recent stint on Blue Beetle never quite felt right, but seeing him return to a book that he did some of the best work of his career on is pure awesomeness, and it’s clear he hasn’t missed a beat. Colorist Luis Guerrero also does an amazing job, blending seamlessly with Kolins style, and even enhancing it greatly, especially in the Zoom scenes that come across as a creepy, neon tale of tragedy and horror.
This issue may just be a prelude, and parts of it certainly seem like obvious stretching of story to fill a certain amount of space, but Williamson still manages to skillfully build tension for the coming arc, showing the madness of Zoom and the deteriorating, but still strong, relationship between Barry and Wally. The goal was to set up the coming arc, and if you’re not dying to see what happens next after this issue, there just might be something wrong with you.