Comic Vine Review

35 Comments

The Flash Annual #3 - Slip Review

4

It's time to say hello as we meet a new/old character. And we find out more about Future Flash.

The Good

The moment many have been waiting for is finally here. The first meeting between Barry Allen and Wally West. With last week's THE FLASH #30, we got our first glimpse at the New 52 version of Wally. Many were upset simply based on his physical changes. This is where we start to see who he is.

In the present day part of the story, we get to see Barry doing his day job. This is one aspect that's always been of interest. He may be a superhero and member of the Justice League, but as Barry Allen, he still has a job to do.

With the introduction of Wally West, we also get some interaction with Iris West. This carries into the "twenty years from now" future where, if you read THE FLASH #30, something bad happens to a certain character. It's not too hard to figure out that Future Flash has to do something to try to fix things. This leads to a fight with Grodd. Drawn by Brett Booth, the future scenes are fantastic. I'm definitely intrigued by the future costume and can't wait to see more.

The Bad

It's going to take some time to get used to the new Wally West. Even my ten-year-old daughter was a little confused knowing him from just the Young Justice animated series. It's expected that long-time readers will have some frustration but characters shouldn't be simply based on physical appearances. We still need to wait to see what his actual personality will be like. The choice in his age is interesting. Hopefully readers can keep an open mind as we take the journey in discovering who he is in the New 52.

Seeing Barry at the police precinct is great but Director Singh is feeling a bit too much like J. Jonah Jameson. It feels like he's only here to yell at Barry.

Having two artists on an issue is always a concern for me. While we have two separate time periods, there is a pretty jarring difference between Brett Booth's future sequences and Ron Frenz's present day scenes. Frenz's art has a more...classic feel. Some of the characters' faces look a little off. There's always artist interpretation but Iris West didn't look right.

The Verdict

There are some changes coming to Flash's world. With the New 52 introduction of Wally West, we are starting to see the beginning of the next chapter for Barry Allen. With a glimpse into the future, we know things get bad but it'll be up to Future Flash to try to fix things. Robert Venditti and Van Jensen are laying out the groundwork for some crazy things. The art is split between Brett Booth and Ron Frenz. The contrast between the two art styles is a little jarring but it does separate the feel of the two time periods. Fans should be patient as we find out who Wally West will be in the New 52. This is the opportunity to tell new stories instead of repeating past ones.

35 Comments
Edited by TehStranger

Here's the big question: has Wally's personality been changed?

Edited by Russcovito

I actually didn't enjoy this issue as I thought I would, I mean, for me, a lot always happen in Annual issues but this just felt like a regular short one, the change of art made the same impression, Frenz may have his interpretation but I think Iris wasn't the only one to look wrong. The future costume ? God yes I'm waiting for the story behind this one. The fight with Grodd was good, by good I mean very good. I think this issue was just a huge teaser, I mean come on: Iris in a wheelchair, Grollia Land (or is it city ?) isn't what it was the first time we saw it in the New 52 AT ALL, and most of all, Grodd mentioning Eobard Thawne ? Can't wait for next month's issue, but still a bit disappointed in this one.

Posted by Fallschirmjager

If people will get over the butthurt they'll wake up and realize there is a pretty good story being told.

Online
Posted by G-Man

And I say it's still early to really put a finger on what his personality will be. Obviously what he's showing is not who he really is.

Staff
Posted by feedonatreefrog

Frenz's art made me appreciate Booth for the first time.

Edited by CaptainMarvel4Ever

I've said this before, I have no personal feelings to the new Wally, but DC just lost about 500 fangirls who love his orange hair and freckles. Type in Wally West on deviantart, and all you get are cutesy pictures of Wally show casing his hair and freckles.

Also, I think DC has shot themselves in the foot, because sooo many people are against this, that if they keep it they won't read, and if they change him back.... well I think we all know how bad it would look for them to turn a character from black to white again. What really sucks is that I honestly think this was them trying to add more diversity, and yet now people are actually using this to say it proves DC has done a very bad job with diversity, by doing this to Wally. So no matter what, DC can't do anything without screwing themselves.

I can't help but wonder if the reaction would be different with another character, mainly because of how well known Wally is for being Ginger.

Edited by Extremis

I like Venditti but Booth is enough to keep me away

Edited by Captain13

This was a solid issue. It's funny how this title went from something you buy for the art to something you buy for the writing. Great review, G-Man.

--

Speaking of Art, I prefer Frenz to Booth, but I know Booth has wanted this project for some time. Too bad Kenneth Rocafort can't draw it.

--

This new Wally isn't different from the way DC is portraying Billy Batson or Damian Wayne. He's not very different from how Jason Todd and Superboy were first presented. It seems to be the DC mold for teen heroes now. Wally's also not that different from the way other well-liked minority heroes have been presented.

Milestone

  • Static got his powers from a gang war
  • Rocket had a teen pregnancy

Marvel

  • Luke Cage sold heroin
  • Storm was a pickpocket

The team is clearly setting up an compelling redemption arc.

I'm happy that DC is displaying a diversity of experience, because not every black reader will be able to relate to Cyborg, Steel, Batwing, or some of DC's other established black heroes.

At first I didn't like the fact that Wally was de-aged, but, I'm okay with it now that I see the direction the creative team is going in. I wouldn't like it if Wally were like this at 17 or 21.

Venditti and Jensen have worked wonders on the GL books, and I loved this issue, so I'm going to stick around.

Edited by Captain13

@captainmarvel4ever said:

well I think we all know how bad it would look for them to turn a character from black to white again.

They did that with Star Boy.

Posted by SmashBrawler

@captain13 said:

@captainmarvel4ever said:

well I think we all know how bad it would look for them to turn a character from black to white again.

They did that with Star Boy.

That's... not entirely accurate. Threeboot Star Boy never stopped existing. In fact, I think the Threeboot Legion had a back-up feature for some time in Adventure Comics.

Edited by Captain13

@smashbrawler said:

@captain13 said:

@captainmarvel4ever said:

well I think we all know how bad it would look for them to turn a character from black to white again.

They did that with Star Boy.

That's... not entirely accurate. Threeboot Star Boy never stopped existing. In fact, I think the Threeboot Legion had a back-up feature for some time in Adventure Comics.

For all practical purposes he went from White to Black to White, in the same way that the Kents went from being dead to being alive to being dead again in the different reboots of Superman's origin.

Also, I'm sure the threeboot was wiped out by Flashpoint, leaving the only Star boy we've seen White.

--

I understand why G-Man's daughter was confused.

Posted by SmashBrawler

@captain13 said:

@smashbrawler said:

@captain13 said:

@captainmarvel4ever said:

well I think we all know how bad it would look for them to turn a character from black to white again.

They did that with Star Boy.

That's... not entirely accurate. Threeboot Star Boy never stopped existing. In fact, I think the Threeboot Legion had a back-up feature for some time in Adventure Comics.

For all practical purposes he went from White to Black to White, in the same way that the Kents went from being dead to being alive to being dead again in the different reboots of Superman's origin.

Also, I'm sure the threeboot was wiped out by Flashpoint, leaving the only Star boy we've seen White.

Fair enough, although I don't remember seeing Star Boy in the New 52 (and even if I had, wasn't that Legion from Earth 2 anyway?)

I understand why G-Man's daughter was confused.

Still better than Hawkman's continuity.

Posted by Captain13

Fair enough, although I don't remember seeing Star Boy in the New 52 (and even if I had, wasn't that Legion from Earth 2 anyway?)

Yeah, it was Earth 2's future, and he was in a wheel chair.

I understand why G-Man's daughter was confused.

Still better than Hawkman's continuity.

Yes. The reincarnation thing was a good way to fix that for a while though.

Edited by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@extremis said:

I like Venditti but Booth is enough to keep me away

Normally, I would agree with you, but I actually think Booth does a good job on this book.

Posted by KingAres109

I'm so pumped for a "new" Wally..Guess I'm going to have to follow Flash now..This is the life baby.I didn't read Flash before but now I am..See guys,Wally got a new reader because he was changed..Lol

Posted by fil123

I'm so pumped for a "new" Wally..Guess I'm going to have to follow Flash now..This is the life baby.I didn't read Flash before but now I am..See guys,Wally got a new reader because he was changed..Lol

same here...

im just really interested to see how this wally situation pans out

Posted by XescapetheliesX

I love the direction the new creative team is headed in. I couldnt care less what race or hair color the new wally west is. The story is great so I'm going to read and enjoy it. Some people need to lighten up and remember it's only comic books...

Edited by patrat18

This is the same Wally. Epic read.

Posted by InkInk

Not really a fan of the cliche of a misguided youth's life being turned around by a straight laced type of person. This book just started and it could be good or it could be another Green Lantern which is a disaster that loses sales in the long run.

DC did not make Wally bi-racial to do anything but get free press and its obvious by making him this young Didio and co wanted to make Berry the Flash and never have Wally come close to challenging him for the title. This is where the outrage comes from the idea that Berry will never be Flash again when he is the one that most of the readers grew up with.

Posted by vaf2675

I know DC wants to add diversity to it's line. But why must it be done by changing established characters? Why not create new ones? That is my major complaint with this change.

Wally West was an established character with over 30 years of history. This change just seems arbitrary and simply done just to draw attention, not to do anything new. By doing this DC is alienating a whole generation of readers, and the craziest thing is that they can't seem to comprehend why? Well let me make it cristal clear: how do you think the fans would react if all of a sudden, Bruce Wayne was Asian American, or Clark Kent was Mexican American? Do you think they would all just be ok with that? No, because these are characters with a long history and such a sudden change would not be easily accepted. The same holds true for Wally. For many fans Wally was their Flash for over 25 years, and all of a sudden we're supposed to accept him as a 12 year old mixed race kid? That is just not something most fans are going to willingly accept.

Posted by Jostudios

How can anyone say this is the SAME Wally? We got a clear first impression on his personality and I can say for a fact that is NOT the Wally I know. I don't man to rant, so I will explain my conclusions.

Who is Wally?

1. Wally was a kid with no father figure and possibly verbally abused. He still was a good boy who idolized The Flash (he saw him as a father figure. In this new version of Wally, he idolizes his uncle who was a crook, and hated the Flash.

2. Wally at first was kind of impulsive due to the eagerness of running as his idol the Flash. These are comics from the 60s (50 years ago) si his origin is a bit outdated. Still you can always read Mark Waid's interpretation of Wally to see his personality or watch Young Justice that clearly used Wally's personality from Justice League Unlimited. As I reread this annual I could see no hint of that personality in this kid. He is kind of a rebel.

3. Wally grew up in comics. This happened because DC decided the Teen Titans needed to grow. This is one of the few characters (along Dick Grayson) that grew up based on his experiences in comics. You take all of those stories out and you have just a name, not Wally. How can he be Wally without overcoming his mental block on his speed by not wanting to surpass his idol and father figure Barry. He eventually did, but he learned based on his experiences.

4. Wally is ginger with red head. Ok, do mind he is black but only for the right reasons. This confirms he is only a name now. It's like they stripped everything that made Wally... Wally. For instance, his looks, gone, his personality, changed, his uniform possibly gone since Bart Allen is using it. Also, he has been deaged. He is Dick Grayson's best friend and Wally is his age. Don't get me wrong, but bringing a different Wally is a slap in the face by DC editors and writers. Don't get me wrong, this is not about race. I love how a NEW Spiderman is Black. Miles Morales is a great character. It is just that what DC did is just bring a name back, nothing else.

5. The story? Not so good. Why? Ok, let me explain something: Have you read a story about a speedster that does something wrong and goes back in time to prevent it? Well, I can give you 3 stories like that in the current Flash series and probably a couple of dozens in the old ones. So, this is not original, not at all. Geoff Johns once said: The Flash is TIME as Green Lantern is SPACE. I for once don't agree. Flash is about speed, and speed is less time, but to confuse these type of stories to a time traveller is just absurd.

6. Don't care about the art. I love Bret Booth's dynamism but I don't think I like how he draw faces.

I could spend more time ranting but it is useless. Like I have said before, my connection to DC is broken.

Pd.- I understand why some fans don't care about Wally's changes. I know it is only a comic book. I would assume that the people on board these changes are new fans or they have never invested much time in Wally. In my case, I've been reading Wally West Flash for 30 years now and that's the Flash for me. I love Barry Allen from the silver age too, but Wally was the Flash I cared for. Ok, enough of this. Take care and keep enjoying comics!

Edited by Extremis

@captainmarvel4ever said:

@extremis said:

I like Venditti but Booth is enough to keep me away

Normally, I would agree with you, but I actually think Booth does a good job on this book.

Not so much his art as some things he recently said

Posted by Thitiki

How old is Wally now?

Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@extremis: I can see why that would turn you off from him. I'm just not usually a fan of his work.

@thitiki: 12

Posted by Extremis

@extremis: I can see why that would turn you off from him. I'm just not usually a fan of his work.

@thitiki: 12

yeah I can't help but think about that now so when I see Booth's name or his work, I'm immediately turned off.

Posted by Ultron345

Not getting into the Wally hate. Booth needs to work on his Barry Allen his flash is good though.

Posted by Thitiki
Edited by CaptainMarvel4Ever
@captain13 said:

This new Wally isn't different from the way DC is portraying Billy Batson or Damian Wayne. He's not very different from how Jason Todd and Superboy were first presented. It seems to be the DC mold for teen heroes now. Wally's also not that different from the way other well-liked minority heroes have been presented.

Your absolutly right, that's the problem with DC right now, it feels like that's all DC is doing for teens and young adults is turning them into a bunch of tsundere. I don't mind that with the others, because everyone is starting out from square one, but I hate that they are doing that to Billy. Not sure if that's an issue with Wally, and I doubt it is, but it sucks they are doing that to Billy.

(Yeah I know that was a little unrelated, but I had to get that off my chest)

Posted by infernopig

Cant get behind the art I guess we were spoiled with what we had before but this just doesnt look great except for maybe 2-3 pages

Edited by The_Comebacks

Here's the big question: has Wally's personality been changed?

I agree with this^

Edited by CaptainMarvel4Ever

I feel like in the future people will look back on this review to see how people felt about this, so I figured I would include some videos sharing people's thoughts and opinions:

I'm CaptainMarvel4Ever, and this is how it was (I've always wanted to say that)

Posted by Capn_Carrot

I understand the idea behind changing Wally's race (even if I could have done without making him an obnoxious street kid prick just like the New 52 Billy Batson), but did anyone else feel that the inconsistent art made it incredibly hard to figure out if they were trying to suggest the same thing with Iris. In some panels she looks like the white woman we've seen before, but in others her hair is much darker and her skin is shaded in a way suggesting DC may want to retcon her as well (to match the new TV show perhaps?). If that's what you want to do then own it DC. Instead I'm completely confused.

Posted by The_Comebacks

This issue was interesting but not my cup of tea. I don't like that they made Wally 12 years old, he is way younger than his contemporary friends in pre new 52. We still dont know his personality. The flash art is great, but the every day stuff isn't quite as good. Faces are odd in places. Grodd went into detail about how certain characters brains tasted, that is the type of gore i don't like. The future story was interesting but i didn't like where it went at the end. I will still stay subscribed for a few more and see where it leads.

Edited by Capn_Carrot

@the_comebacks: Yes, and that's what bugs me (I'm okay with changing how it looks - but get consistent with Iris too!!!), but personality wise from what we see here DC has created just another insufferable New 52 character. Basically he's been put through the same a-hole filter DC decided to use on Billy Batson.

Posted by kilowog52