Flash Forward #1 (November, 2019)
“Chapter One: Incursion Point Zero”
Script – Scott Lobdell
Pencils – Brett Booth
Inks – Norm Rapmund
Colors – Luis Guerrero
Letters – ALW’s Troy Peteri
Associate Edits – Harvey Richards
Edits – Paul Kaminski
Group Edits – Jamie S. Rich
Cover Price: $3.99
Lemme tell ya somethin’… I was dying to read this book. From the moment it was announced, I absolutely could not wait to get my hands on it. Finally… DC would do something to reverse Wally’s fortunes after the garbage that was Heroes in Crisis. I immediately got this bugger into my preorders, and was just so psyched that Wally would be redeemed, and hey… maybe he’d even get himself his own series (or at least membership on a team with their own series) out of this!
Then… a couple months passed. DC Comics turned into a ridiculous circus that, honestly, I didn’t want any part of. “Edgy” Black Label speculator-bait, whatever the hell 5G is/was going to be, more friggin’ Metal series’, Superman givin’ up the secret identity, “Dark Multiverse” specials bastardizing old classics, Doomsday Clock still not being finished (at the time)… what happened to this company, that just four-years ago was all about bringing the hope and light back to comics? So many promises not kept… so many gimmicks employed.
And so, when this book finally reached my grubby paws… I immediately chucked it in the pile, and didn’t give it a second thought. Why should I/we even bother? DC Comics couldn’t tell you the difference between “wet” and “dry” these days, why should I put a single ounce of interest in a book, character, concept, and universe that they treat like an afterthought?
I still continued to buy the thing, because a) I’m an idiot, and b) I’m part of the problem. And they stacked up… along with every issue of all the DC Comics I still haven’t had the constitution to actually “quit” yet.
Well, today I’m going to finally give this one a look. Readers beware, there’s likely to be some venom in the next several paragraphs.
We jump out of the pages of the absolute horseshi… err, abomination that was Heroes in Crisis and meet… Tempus Fuginaut! We’ve actually met this fella once before! Can’t help but to feel like this is a Peter David character due to the punny name (sadly, it is not). Now, Tempus is lamenting the fact that there’s an anomaly out there… a dark anomaly, which threatens to bring forward a Dark Multiverse. Throw in some garbage about the “Source Wall” and that might be the most “current-year DC Comics” sentence ever put to digital paper. Tempus monologues for four entire pages (like 20-25% of this issue) about how he (and the Multiverse) needs a hero… perhaps even the last one anyone (who didn’t read the title or see the cover) might expect!
And so, we shift scenes to a flashback… from Heroes in friggin’ Crisis. It’s weird how cramming surface-level concepts that you’d learn in during the first few weeks of PSY101 into a comics story gets you lauded as a bulletproof genius online, innit?
Anyhoo, this is a flashback of Wally West. He’s locked up in the SuperMax Prison, Blackgate… and just having a grand ol’ pity party. I suppose if I were a character who’d been chewed up and spit out by creative over the past several years, I’d feel the same way. After a near-stabbing in the mess hall (he’s actually “saved” by Murmur… who just doesn’t want Wally’s suffering to end quite just yet), Wally gets a visit from Linda Park. She’s a reporter, natch, and is really only there to report the story… and tell Wally he’s a doofus for deciding to drop his legal council.
We get a brief interlude of a winged character named Tarkul (of Edya 12) happening across the Mobius Chair somewhere on the cusp of the Multiverse. He dares to take a seat… and, well… it doesn’t work out so good.
Back in Blackgate, Wally is… once again, flashing back to Heroes in Crisis… we mustn’t forget this story happened (no matter how badly we may want to)! His flashback is interrupted by an attack from Girder and Tarpit. They bribed some guards to have their power-dampening collars removed… making this quite the uneven little fight.
At first, it looks as though Wally’s just letting them beat the holy hell out of him! That is, until, a kick from Girder crushes Wally’s own power-dampening collar.
Wally proceeds to take care of bidness, only to find himself greeted by… Tempus Fuginaut!
Tempus kind of just sits there for a bit, reacting to the “corruption of the Multiverse”, before telling Wally that he needs the fastest being in the Multiverse to destroy the dark anomaly. Wally hems and haws a bit, claiming that he’s not quite as fast as Tempus might think… and so, the weird golden fellow blasts him with his boom-stick, which manages to “unmoor” him so he might reach his full potential.
We wrap up with Wally forcefully busting through the Multiversal boundary and arriving on… Earth-23!
Ya know, outside of my discussion of the first part of Superman: Grounded, I don’t think I’ve ever had such an urge to break my “no cursing” rule here on the site… and it’s not because of the actual issue we’re looking at. No, it’s the circumstances that necessitated this issue being written that really get under my skin. I don’t blame Scott Lobdell… if anything I’ll give him a ton of credit for “playing the ball where it lay”. Lesser writers (or writers higher up on the pecking order who don’t have to follow any rules) wouldn’t have been able to do that.
It’s Heroes in Crisis that brings us here. An absolute sham of a story that only sold on the premise of shock and outrage. This wasn’t a good story… it wasn’t a story that added any value to the characters within. That series only sought to raise the stock of a single stakeholder… and unfortunately, it wasn’t one of the actual characters.
So, without rambling any further on rubbish (because I definitely could), let’s talk about this issue.
It… was fine, I guess. Couldn’t care less about Tempus Fuginaut, and the Dark Multiverse borders on chore and absolute bore. I read this for Wally. As much as I know that I’m building myself up for a massive disappointment, I still care a lot about this character! I “grew up” with the guy… and he was (and always will be) my Flash.
Maybe we’ll take a look at the next issue tomorrow. Then again, maybe we won’t. Sorry if this here discussion veered toward the negative… something tells me, I’m not alone in feeling this way about contempo-DC.