The Flash Annual #2 deals with a major development in the past year. What’s going to happen when Barry tells Iris that her nephew, Wally West, has died? Within this issue, Joshua Williamson does really well with some of the plot while really dragging down other parts. He’s also elevated a lot more by the collaboration with Scott Kolins, whose art really brings out aspects of the issue.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
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!
Tell me about it!
I’ll start with the positives: I absolutely love when Williamson writes anything Wally related because he is so much better at it than when he writes anything about Barry. The way Williamson writes Barry dealing with the crushing guilt over Wally’s death and worries about telling Iris is incredibly well done. The reaction of Iris herself too is really really well done as you can see her go through the stages of grief. She starts off by denying it and bringing up the fact that heroes die and return regularly. She then moves on to anger where she tells Barry to kill whoever killed Wally before bursting into tears onto the floor of her kitchen with Barry.
This scene especially is enhanced by Scott Kolins’ art. Kolins manages to put so much range into his art throughout the issue, from his usual style where you can see everything looking purposely rougher to the much smoother and picturesque style that he uses in the above splash. Kolins’ range is absolutely amazing within the issue and he’s the real hero of the issue as he pushes the narrative with the heart and emotion that it really needed. The panelling during the issue is some of his best that I’ve seen and he shows motion for all the characters perfectly.
Now for the unfortunate part — the bits that weren’t as good. Unfortunately, this is a lot more than I would like. Everything related to the plot with Godspeed drags the plot down. Godspeed himself isn’t a very compelling villain in my opinion and partnering him with a very generic looking big antagonist who has a very generic goal of destroying Speedsters is a plot point that drags the issue down. Every time Godspeed was on the page I found myself caring less and less, with the only highlights of the section being Bart defeating him.
Overall, this is another good Flash issue by Joshua Williamson. The issue brings in a lot of heartwrenching moments, enhanced by Scott Kolins’s excellent, wide-ranging art. Sadly, some of the good will this issue creates is undermined by Godspeed nearly any time he’s on the page.