THIS WEEK: The fastest man alive hits another milestone as The Flash celebrates 800 issues with stories from an all-star lineup of creators.

Note: the review below contains spoilers. If you want a quick, spoiler-free buy/pass recommendation on the comic in question, check out the bottom of the article for our final verdict.

The Flash #800

Writers: Jeremy Adams, Mark Waid, Joshua Williamson, Geoff Johns, and Si Spurrier
Artists: Fernando Pasarin & Oclaire Albert, Todd Nauck, Carmine Di Giandomenico, Scott Kolins, and Mike Deodato Jr.
Colorists: Matt Herms, Ivan Plascencia, Luis Guerrero, and Trish Mulvihill
Letterers: Rob Leigh and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover Artist: Taurin Clarke

It feels like not that long ago that we were treated to an oversized Flash anniversary celebration, though this week’s The Flash #800 is a little different. 2020’s issue 750 was an 80-page, 80th anniversary spectacular with a heavy focus on the Barry Allen version of the character – natural, considering Barry was the star of the series at the time. This week’s #800 is much smaller, a 38-pager featuring four stories from creators who have all worked on the series in the past, plus a prelude story from a new creative team who are coming onto the series later this year. 

The issue’s first story, “Don’t Come to Central City,” comes from the outgoing creative team of writer Jeremy Adams, artists Fernando Pasarin & Oclaire Albert, colorist Matt Herms, and letterer Rob Leigh. It’s a fun story with a group of lower-tier villains swapping stories about why not to commit crime in The Flash’s hometown, and it’s perfectly representative of the rest of the creative team’s run on the series. Adams’s script is light, contrasting The Flash’s adventures against those of other heroes in the DC Universe in a way that’s humorous and character-driven. Pasarin, Albert, and Herms’s artwork throughout their run on the series has been highly-stylized and energetic, capturing comedic and dramatic moments equally well, and their work on this story is no different. It’s a nice capper for a strong run on the series from creators who will be missed.

Next up is by far the issue’s highlight, an Impulse-centric story called “The Max in the Mirror” by writer Mark Waid, artist Todd Nauck, Herms, and Leigh. This story, set in the early days of Waid and Humberto Ramos’s Impulse solo series, is a sheer delight, as in a few short pages, this team captures the dynamic between Impulse, Max Mercury, and Flash clearly and hilariously. Bart Allen has come a long way from his first appearances, but after reading this story from Waid and Nauck, who for years drew Impulse’s adventures in the pages of Young Justice, you’ll want to go back and read those stories in a single synapse.

Joshua Williamson, Carmine Di Giandomenico, Ivan Plascencia, and Leigh’s story, “Flash Family,” focuses on the relationship between Barry Allen and Iris West, an interesting choice for a Wally West-centric issue. The Flash Family as readers know it came into being during Wally’s time as DC’s lead Flash, but this story, narrated by Wally, frames Barry and Iris as the inspiration for it. It’s a celebration more of Williamson & co.’s pre-Infinite Frontier run on the series than of Wally, but it’s a fine reminder of how solid their grasp of Barry and his world continues to be.

If there’s a dud to be found in this issue, it’s Geoff Johns, Scott Kolins, Luis Guerrero, and Leigh’s “Blitz Back,” a story focused on Hunter Zolomon, the time-manipulating speedster known as Zoom. Johns and Kolins created the character back during their run on the series, and this story is largely a rehash of Zoom’s origins and history under Johns’s pen. The Flash is barely present in this story, which seems like it’s maybe meant to set something up for Zoom but there’s no indication of what that might be. As teasers go it’s pretty weak, and there’s just generally not much to this story at all.

The issue concludes with “Between Love and You,” the teaser story from the new Flash creative team of writer Si Spurrier, artist Mike Deodato Jr., colorist Trish Mulvihill, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. This story, which has Wally ducking out on date night with Linda at super-speed and getting stuck in a weird, hyper-science-y trap set by a powered-up old foe, is an intriguing introduction to the new team’s plans for the character. Spurrier’s Wally is, at his core, a man trying to maintain a decent work-life balance, a relatable struggle even for readers who don’t get caught in extra-dimensional traps between the ticks of a clock. The science aspect of the caper has largely been a Barry trapping in the past, so seeing it applied to a Wally story is an interesting surprise. Deodato Jr. and Mulvihill certainly bring a unique look to the story, but the artwork is at times hard to decipher, especially when a brand-new character is introduced and you can’t tell what body part is what or even how many parts they have. The art team brings a bold departure from previous Flash visual styles, for better or worse.

With some great highs and one notable low, The Flash #800 is an uneven collection of stories that also feels like it misses the mark at its stated mission statement. The cover touts the issue as “A Celebration of Wally West,” but the collection of stories ends up being more a celebration of characters and concepts created during Wally’s time as The Flash than of Wally specifically, which is a little disappointing given Wally’s history and the important role he’s played in the DC Universe over the decades. It’s a mostly enjoyable assortment of stories, just maybe not what was expected.

Final Verdict: Browse.


  • This week also sees the arrival of Steelworks #1, the DC Comics writing debut of legendary voice of Steel Michael Dorn. Dorn is joined by artists Sami Basri and Andrew Dalhouse and letterer Rob Leigh for the series, which spins out of recent events in Action Comics and Superman. This first issue largely sets up John Henry Irons’s status quo for the series, with John almost feeling like a reverse-Lex Luthor in this issue, and it’s an interesting angle for the character as he tries to help Metropolis rely less on super-people than on themselves. 
  • The new adventures of The Captain continue in Mark Waid, Dan Mora, Alejandro Sánchez, and Troy Peteri‘s Shazam#2. Just as with the series’ first issue, this latest installment is a ripping fun superhero yarn that deepens the mystery of The Captain’s startling behavior from the first issue. There’s also a talking alien T-Rex bureaucrat who’s dressed like the Mr. Monopoly. If that’s not enough to get you into a comic I don’t know what is.
  • Poison Ivy #13 is the first issue of the series as an extended ongoing affair. Writer G. Willow Wilson is joined by the regular art team of Marcio Takara & Arif Prianto, as well as by guest artists Guillem MarchKelley JonesJosé Villarrubia, and A.L. Kaplan for a story that finds Ivy attempting to put roots down again in Gotham after having been away for a year. This series has been really strong from the very beginning, and the upgrade from miniseries to ongoing doesn’t appear to have broken its stride. This issue also has Kelley Jones drawing Batman again, which is always a welcome sight.

Miss any of our earlier reviews? Check out our full archive!