THE FLASH #9
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Penciller: Jorge Corona
Colorist: Ivan Plascencia
Letterer: Steve Wands
Release Date: 10/26/16
“Kid Flash of Two Worlds” acts as a breather before the next arc of the narrative, and it’s a delightful one at that. This issue of The Flash capitalized on the theme of family that has underscored Joshua Williamson’s run thus far, even if it doesn’t answer as many questions about the Rebirth event as readers would like. From the opening scene with Barry and Wally teasing Iris before movie night to the two Wallys finally meeting and allowing Barry to contemplate his connection to both, the ties that bind these characters to each other and to the speedforce were on full display.
One interesting aspect of the family dynamics in The Flash is how they continue to operate despite altered timelines and constant secrets. Iris doesn’t know that another Wally West exists, but she happily receives flowers from a mystery admirer every week without asking questions. Barry, for his part, recognizes that Wally was his protege but doesn’t necessarily connect the dots to the nature of his involvement with Iris and the younger Wally. Even the new Kid Flash is left in the dark about the identities of the Flashes he interacts with this week, yet by the the end of the issue he trusts the older Wally implicitly. As of right now, it’s clear these characters are meant to be in each other’s lives regardless of whether or not they are actually a family in the traditional sense. The question remains, however, what will change when they learn who has caused the shift in time.
One family secret that was revealed? Young Wally West’s parentage. The DC Universe Rebirth one-shot made it clear that both Wallys were first cousins, but until now little Wally had no idea that his father was Daniel instead of Rudy. In fact, Barry is the one to let it slip during a speed force-induced trance which makes up the bulk of the issue’s drama. Not only does his altered state lead Barry to suggest that younger Wally is to blame for Daniel becoming the Reverse Flash, he also tells the older Wally that he can never carry on Barry’s legacy. Of course, what he needs is for both his apprentices to work together in order to pull him out of the speed force and connect him back to the real world.
Jorge Corona takes over the art this week, but the best-crafted scenes from an artistic standpoint remain the ones that explore the speed force. The way he draws expressions gives the issue a fun and youthful feel that fits our Kid Flash’s personality, but the flashes of lightning when the speedsters are running or dealing with the monsters in their head make for the most interesting panels. Ivan Plascencia’s colors are as rich and vibrant as ever, and keep the look of The Flash‘s current run cohesive no matter which fellow artist he’s partnered with at the time.
Each member of the Flash family got a moment of introspection about their past, whether they remember it well or not, but the final splash page is what provides the biggest shock and ray of hope. When Rebirth was announced, the concept of legacy was on everyone’s lips because that was what many readers felt was missing from New 52. And while The Flash has been working towards reintroducing legacy with a Wally West once again becoming Kid Flash, the end of this issue truly gives the impression that the Flash family will be back in full force sooner rather than later.
Verdict: 4 out 5 stars. Answers about the multiiverse-wide mystery set up earlier this year are slow to come, but “Kid Flash of Two Worlds” is a great look into the inner lives of Barry Allen and Wally West. Joshua Williamson captures the heart of what draws so many readers to a hero that’s all about family ties.