Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Flash Annual #2 by Joshua Williamson - Comic Book Review

From the publisher: A HEROES IN CRISIS tie-in! In Barry’s grief and guilt following Wally West’s death at Sanctuary, he refuses to divulge the heartbreaking news to the rest of the Flash family until he’s searched every corner of the globe for his former partner— including inside the Speed Force itself. But his journey into the heart of all speedster powers inadvertently triggers the release of his long-lost ally Godspeed! And when Godspeed immediately races off to attack Kid Flash Wallace West, Barry must hunt his former friend and check in on his fellow speedsters. What is Godspeed planning and what does he want with the rest of the Flash Family? Can Barry protect everyone after he couldn’t save Wally? With a heart-wrenching appearance from Wally’s former sidekick, the recently returned Bart Allen, this annual is an absolute can’t-miss for all Flash fans!

I haven't really been keeping up with the latest happenings in The Flash since the first Rebirth collection. In fact, the only reason I wanted to read The Flash Annual #2 by Joshua Williamson was because of it's connection to the Heroes in Crisis series. So, my review will mostly be focused on that aspect, or at least should be viewed through that lens.

This issue featured a number of characters and events in several intertwining plots. The first story thread follows Barry Allen/The Flash as he tries to deal with his grief and the fallout of Wally West's/Kid Flash/The Flash death in the first issue of Heroes in Crisis. In his grief, Barry decides that Wally can't really be dead, but must have gone in to the Speed Force. So, he decides to look for him there. This brings him into contact with another speedster, Godspeed (who I'm unfamiliar with). Godspeed has some plan where he is trying to touch other speedsters to sample/steal/remove their speed and connection to the Speed Force. Meanwhile, Wallace West and Avery visit Meena (not sure who they are, but they are speedsters) in jail. Godspeed and Barry show up, which brings those threads together. Also, Barry tells them about Wally's death. Finally, Bart Allen/Impulse escapes/leaves the Speed Force after an extremely long time (I think he died a number of years ago). He is looking for Barry and Wally. Eventually, Godspeed goes to meet his "master" and the issue ends with the set up for what seems to be the next major arc in the regular The Flash comic.

To my dismay, Wally's death and Barry's involvement in finding out who the murderer is wasn't really dealt with in The Flash Annual #2. Barry's grief is what sets him on a path to encounter Godspeed, and later Barry has to give Iris West (his girlfriend and Wally's aunt) the bad news. Other than these two parts, Wally's death isn't really a factor. And, even then, the grief of Barry Allen seems hollow. Now, that might just be because Tom King is doing such a great job with the depth of emotions of the various heroes and villains in Heroes in Crisis. Either way, I wasn't really impressed with this story, and felt myself wanting more when I had finished it.

I can't really recommend The Flash Annual #2 by Joshua Williamson to any one other than Flash fans and regular readers. For those looking for a strong connection to Heroes in Crisis, I would suggest looking elsewhere.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.

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