Last month, our little world of Wally West aficionados had the chance to read a brand new chapter of our favorite Scarlet Speedster, exploring the last and controversial events that had a major impact on the character. And, against all odds, DC Comics didn't tasked Brett Booth and Scott Lobdell to tell another Cry for Justice/Rise of Arsenal story, quite the contrary in fact, since the first issue they tried, in many ways, to show we shouldn't give up on hope, just like our Flash.
Back to the book itself : Is it too much to say this issue was definitely perfect ? It might be and, of course, Flash Forward #2 will never be a masterpiece or a game changer for the comic book industry, but everything we ever loved in comics is back. Finally we have a Flash who travels through universes, who helps alternate versions of beloved heroes and saves the day in a very triumphal way.
First of all, this story is fun. If you are fond of the Silver Age comics and its concepts, you will definitely love this chapter, because this is the perfect mix between multiversal adventures, literally a Crisis on Two Worlds just like it used to happen with Earth-1, Earth-2 and Earth-3, strange creatures from the Dark Multiverse, goofy twists and insane action scenes. If this old stuff isn't your thing, you can still find a lot of great moments in what seems like a spiritual successor of both Morrison's Multiversity and Hickman's Secret Wars.
And let's be honest, it is a guilty pleasure to see Wally beating up the Avengers and the X-Men of the DC Multiverse.
Speaking of Wally, one the greatest qualities of Flash Forward is to give us a Wally West who finally sounds like himself and we can definitely say that Scott Lobdell handles the characterisation very well. In fact, Wally has a very particular voice and, sometimes, it feels like Lobdell brings back part of the charm Wally had during his first adventures with Barry during the 60's, which is as weird as it is fantastic, while still being true to the character we all know. More importantly, Wally acts like himself : he is self-confident, he's having fun, cracking jokes while saving two worlds and he doesn't give up when everything seems lost. Just like our Flash, it is really hard to not smile even if this quest comes from tragic events and we all appreciate a breath of fresh air, far from the pathos which is inflicted in the Flash stories since the post-Flashpoint era.
Anyway, we are already grateful for everything this issue brings on the table and it's nice to see Lobdell and Booth using the Superman metaphor to portray a Wally West who is definitly moving on and on the road to the redemption. And we are even more grateful for the ending of this chapter. Not only it teases the possibility of erasing every single mistake of Heroes in Crisis, but it also brings back two characters who, just like Wally, truly deserve a second chance to shine. But what's even more important is to finally bring back the idea of legacy and family in The Flash series, which disappeared with the Flashpoint and should have been back since the Rebirth. While many will righly claim we shouldn't put too much faith in such a happy ending, it's nice to read a comic book which give good reasons to be optimistic about the future.
On the artwork side, Brett Booth is still doing an amazing job and it's a real pleasure to read again and again this issue, just to admire all the details and the incredible action scenes. Booth, Rapmund and Guerrero are doing their best to sublimate Wally's trip through the Multiverse and we can't wait to see what's next !
Flash Forward #2 is The Flash story we have wanted to read for years. It's taking The Flash to a whole new level and if you can forget for a brief moment what happened last year, you will find a great book and what could become one of the best Wally West runs. Thanks to Brett Booth and Scott Lobdell, we now have a title to be excited about, and it's really hard to not smile when you're reading Flash Forward, a series bringing back everything that made The Flash such a unique character.