Written by, Joshua Williamson
Art by, Howard Porter
Colors by, Hi-Fi
Letters by, Steve Wands
Review by, Tom Zimm
The issue begins, Wally and Barry confront each other, they’re alone in a valley and something bad has happened. The issue transitions to 47 minutes and 18 seconds earlier. A flashback, if you will. An 8.9 earthquake strikes causing a large tidal wave, which threatens coastal communities. Radio reports indicate that Wally and Barry are getting in each other’s way. Aunt Iris and Wally are at her home, listening to the broadcast. Iris mentions that Barry and ginger-haired Wally are the same, nice guys who avoid conflict in the name of being polite.
Barry and Wally appear, still arguing about how to stop the tidal wave. Iris greets both with empathy. However, Wally is hit with a rush of memories and a bad headache. He warns them that something is coming. Immediately, a group from the 25th century appears and places Iris under arrest for the murder of Eobard Thawne! The group from the 25th century are called “The Reverse Flash Task Force A.K.A. The Renegades. The Renegades include Commander Cold, Golden Guardian, Weather Warlock, Heatstroke, and Mirror Monarch II. The group warns The Flash to not interfere. Wally tells Iris not to worry, she isn’t going anywhere. Barry takes a softer approach suggesting that they hear what The Renegades have to say.
Wally grabs Iris and runs. Barry reacts with alarm. The Renegades pursue. Iris is upset and shouts, “Wallace Rudolph West put me down!” She says, “I can take care of myself” and that she never runs from a fight. This is the opposite of what Wally and Barry do with their politeness. Wally appears to get zapped by Commander Cold’s freeze gun. Iris runs. Kid Flash enters the conflict. Golden Guardian steps in and by using the powers of a Yellow Lantern, she conjures up Thawne. Barry quickly realizes that their opponents are constructs created by his own fears. Barry scolds Wally for running from The Renegades, Wally confronts Barry for being a poor role model, and meanwhile, they fight the opponents they fear most.
Iris plows through Commander Cold breaking the tide of the conflict. However, Wally experiences a bad headache in the middle of the fight. Commander Cold calls off his people. He explains that Wally is experiencing temporal seizures due to time travel – memories are splintered and causing damage to his nervous system. Commander Cold assures Iris that if she goes with them back to the 25th Century and answers some questions, Wally will be well cared for. Iris agrees to go with The Renegades to face her problems head-on. Barry agrees to go with as well. However, Wally questions why they trust this group led by Commander Cold? However, he quickly changes his response, and the group travels to The Temporal Courts of the 25th Century.
Wally goes to a different place than the rest of the group and is confronted by his life – memories of his entire life. Zoom, Hunter Zolomon shows Wally members of his family who are stuck in the Speed Force, and the only way to save them is to destroy it. Zoom appears and promises Wally that he will help him save his family.
Overall = 9/10
This is a beautiful book. The colors, contrasts and detailed artwork makes this issue second-to-none. The Flash character typically has really nice character work because of the underlying dilemma – how to face the consequences of past mistakes. However, this story was layered and complex. Iris models how to confront her problems at the moment, not to run from conflict, and how to truly protect one’s family. Barry and Wally are behind the 8-ball and therefore constantly reacting. And, because the trust between the two characters has been compromised, Wally and Barry are battling tough emotions. Conflicts and misunderstandings increase to a boiling point. The issue starts in the future with Barry and Wally in an angry confrontation? I am very interested in how this story gets to that point.