THIS WEEK: The “One Minute War” storyline in The Flash hits the sixty second mark in its final chapter.
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 #796
Writer: Jeremy Adams
Pencillers: Roger Cruz, George Kambadais, and Fernando Pasarin
Inkers: Wellington Dias, George Kambadais, and Oclair Albert
Colorists: Luis Guerrero, Matt Herms, and Pete Pantazis
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Cover Artist: Taurin Clarke
It’s hard to believe we’re three months into 2023 already, and it’s hard to believe three months have passed since “One Minute War” kicked off in the pages of The Flash #790. Time flies (or, in the case of “One Minute War,” grinds to a screeching halt) when you’re having fun, though, and here we are at the end of the story, with the Flash Family engaging in a final showdown with superspeed alien invaders The Fraction.
Throughout “One Minute War,” writer Jeremy Adams has made sure each member of the Flash Family, from Kid Flash to Impulse to Jesse Quick, got a moment to shine. The finale of the story brings the focus back around to the series star, Wally West, who’s been off the board for a few issues and who gets some really solid Big Hero Moments in this issue. Beyond just Wally, the whole issue features some supremely entertaining action as the speedsters enact their plan to defeat The Fraction. It’s strong superhero storytelling and it pays off nicely.
That action is brought to life by a trio of artistic teams, who all turn in solid work individually. The visual styles of the three teams are all very different, though, which unfortunately makes the transitions between pages from one team to another kind of jarring. Often books with multiple teams on lineart will have a unifying colorist to tie the work together, but that’s not the case here, as each team has their own individual colorist that fits their style but that don’t necessarily work in unison with each other. All that said, the pacing of this issue is so break-neck that no sooner are you switching artists between pages than you’re returning to the team you just left on the next one. It makes for an interesting reading experience, if not an ideal one.
The finale of “One Minute War” also brings some key elements of Adams’s run on The Flash full circle, particularly Gold Beetle and the retconned events of Wally’s time at Sanctuary from Heroes in Crisis. In a way this feels like the end of a run and not just of a storyline, and while we didn’t know it when the storyline began we know now that Adams will be leaving the series following its 800th issue. Whether that wrap-up feeling was intentional or not, it adds an extra layer of pathos to the story given Adams’s imminent departure.
As a whole, “One Minute War” started somewhat slow, but once it kicked into gear it never let up, and it ended up being a really enjoyable storyline that I’d imagine will read very well in a collected edition. It also served as a great reminder of what makes the Flash Family one of the best ensembles in comics, while planting some seeds for future storylines for this or other series. While Adams may be leaving The Flash soon, here’s hoping he won’t be done with the characters entirely.
Final Verdict: BUY.
- It’s a week of multiversal madness across the DC Universe. First up, Tom Taylor, Clayton Henry, Jordie Bellaire, and Wes Abbott‘s Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent #2 finds the younger Superman face-to-face with the man who kept him captive for years, Earth-3’s Ultraman. It’s hard not to feel like the confrontation was a little rushed, with very little build-up between last issue and this one before the two come face-to-face, but the way it plays out is enjoyable, and the conclusion is jaw-dropping. Looking forward to what the next few issues of this series bring.
- On another Earth, the wayward Dark Knight comes face-to-face with The Red Mask in Chip Zdarsky, Mike Hawthorne, Adriano Di Benedetto, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles‘s Batman #134. The issue is basically non-stop action, introducing a number of new alternate Earth doppelgängers for familiar characters and pitting Bruce against one of them in an extended fight that ends with a shocking move. No idea how he’s going to get out of this one, but that’s half the fun of a Batman comic, isn’t it?
- And while this one’s less multiverse and more multiple timelines/Hypertime, Icon vs. Hardware #2 by Reginald Hudlin, Leon Chills, Denys Cowan, Yasmín Flores Montañez, John Floyd, Christopher Sotomayor, and Andworld Design follows the effects of Hardware’s meddling in the past in an effort to prevent The Big Bang. It’s an entertaining examination of how changing the past can have an unexpected effect on the future, and the issue’s twist ending is entirely unexpected and exciting.
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