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The One-Minute War begins in THE FLASH #790

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THIS WEEK: The “One-Minute War” begins in the latest issue of The Flash.

Note: the review below contains spoilers. If you want a quick, spoiler-free buy/pass recommendation on the comic in question, check out the bottom of the article for our final verdict.


The Flash #790

Writer: Jeremy Adams
Penciller: Roger Cruz
Inkers: Matt Banning & Wellington Dias
Colorist: Luis Guerrero
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Cover Artist: Taurin Clarke

Since taking over writing duties on The Flash nearly two years ago, Jeremy Adams has quietly made the scarlet speedster’s solo series one of the most enjoyable titles in DC’s stable. The ongoing adventures of Wally West and his family have been a pleasure to read, with one- or two-issue stories that tonally harken back to the heyday of Wally’s original time as the DCU’s main Flash while centering the family dynamic in a way that feels fresh for the character and the series in general. Now Adams is spreading his legs a bit with “One-Minute War,” the new extended storyline that kicks off in this week’s Flash #790. 

Adams is joined by artists Roger Cruz, Matt Banning, Wellington Dias, and Luis Guerrero and letterer Rob Leigh for the storyline’s launch. The issue is largely setting the stage for what’s to come, and Adams does a nice job introducing all of the tale’s major players in a memorable way. The arrival of The Fraction, the new alien baddies at the center of the story, takes place over the course of the issue, with the rest of the pages dedicated to the many different members of the extended Flash Family.

The Fraction are an intriguing enemy from the jump, a race of intergalactic conquerors apparently guided by the Speed Force in determining their targets. It seems likely that the preponderance of speedsters on Earth will have played a role in drawing The Fraction there, and the issue does a nice job introducing them (and in some cases reintroducing them) for new readers, from Flashes to Kid Flash to Impulse to Max Mercury and Jesse Quick. It’s nice to see the whole family will be playing a part in this story, even members we haven’t seen much of lately.

Roger Cruz’s pencils and Matt Banning & Wellington Dias’s inks work well together throughout. Cruz’s page layouts and linework lend themselves to dynamic action, which this issue has in spades, and Banning and Dias bring out the best in that linework without getting in its way. Of note is the way the team renders stillness in this issue. Comics art is, of course, by definition made up of static images, and creating the illusion of movement is what sets great comic art apart from everything else. Here, though, Cruz, Banning, and Dias have to convey superspeed not through fast motion in relation to normal-speed motion, but through normal-speed motion in relation to everything else being basically frozen in place. It’s a fascinating effect that makes for some extremely visually-interesting storytelling, and it’s achieved quite well here, something that bodes well for the rest of a multi-issue storyline that all takes place in the span of one minute.

The Flash #790 puts all the pieces in place for an exciting storyline, and it does so in expert fashion. Adams once again shows why this series found itself among our choices for best comics of the past year, and Cruz & co. come through with artwork that’s interesting and entertaining. Looking forward to “One-Minute War” really kicking into gear in its next installment.

Final Verdict: BUY.


Round-Up

  • The other big DC release this week is Lazarus Planet Alpha, the beginning of the weekly event storyline spinning out of the pages of Batman vs. Robin #4. Mark Waid, Ricardo Federici, Brad Anderson, and Steve Wands craft a globe-spanning story as the heroes of the DCU do their best to contain the fallout of the eruption of Lazarus Island. It’s a solid kickoff to the event, though Federici’s art is occasionally a little hard to follow. The backup story from Gene Luen Yang, Phillip Tan, Sebastian Cheng, and Janice Chang is an entertaining look at the role Monkey Prince is likely to end up playing as the story progresses.
  • Danger Street #2 picks up in the aftermath of the series’ stellar debut, as Tom KingJorge Fornés, Dave Stewart, and Clayton Cowles reveal more about the book’s largely disparate cast and begin to tease how they all might come together at some point. It’s a twelve-issue series so there’s a lot of ground yet to cover, and the pace at which the team is doling out the info is slow, but that’s not a bad thing; after all, half the fun of this book is seeing how things come together. So far so good.
  • As one King-written series ramps up, another heads towards its conclusion. King, Greg Smallwood, and Cowles’s The Human Target #10 adds yet another new layer to the mystery of who killed Christopher Chance, and to he and Ice’s cover-up of Guy Gardner’s murder. As ever the star of this series is Smallwood’s spectacular artwork, and he gets to stretch even further in this issue with depictions of the emerald halls of Oa that look more otherworldly than they ever have before. I can also honestly say I never expected to see G’nort in a Black Label comic, so his role in this issue was a pleasant development.
  • And finally, a hearty hail and farewell to Batman: Urban Legends, the anthology series that concludes with this week’s issue #23. The title has been showcase to a wide variety of stories both typical and wildly off-beat and featuring members of the Bat-family from all across the DCU, including key moments for characters like Robin Tim Drake and Azrael. The series ends in strong fashion, with stories that set up new threats for our heroes, reveal new events from their past, and celebrate the history of the Bat-family. This series will be sorely missed.

Miss any of our earlier reviews? Check out our full archive!

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