Flash Forward #2 (December, 2019)
“Chapter Two: The Line Forms on the Left”
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
So, we took a look at Flash Forward #1 yesterday… and, in case it wasn’t completely clear, I was not a fan of the situation that necessitated it being “a thing”. Yesterday’s post was perhaps a little less unbiased than I try to be… but, hey… whattayagonnado? DC Comics ain’t payin’ my bills, I don’t get giddy at the thought of a retweet from the pros, and hell… I don’t even bother milking/exploiting a “__ out of 10” ratings system, so, nobody really has all that much use for anything I share anyway!
Decided to give the second issue of Flash Forward a shot today… hopefully with a little less venom, because… I really shouldn’t have any scorn toward this book in particular. This book is trying to make chicken salad out of the chicken… stuff that was Heroes in Crisis.
So… in the interest of giving this a “fair shake”, lemme get all my venom out before the dashes.
A-hem. Heroes in Crisis was trash. It’s writer is a hack. DC Comics was pathetically lazy in publishing an entire cornerstone event series on the simple premise that “there will be death”. Heroes in Crisis singlehandedly destroyed all of the goodwill DC had garnered in the post-Rebirth landscape, and people should have lost their jobs for being involved in it.
Whew. Okay, onto the book!
Oh! One more thing… if Flash Forward ain’t your thing… there is a new Snickers ad at the bottom of this piece. Yesterday’s Snickers ad seemed to be the highlight for many readers!
We pick up right where we left off last issue. Wally has arrived on Earth-23, and is right there with President Superman, who is in the process of passing out. Suddenly, Wally and the Prez are attacked by… uh, black versions of the Warwolves from Excalibur? Wally gets in front of the ailing Superman, and aims his rod at the wolf (getch’er minds out of the gutter). Apparently, Tempus Fuginaut gave him this magic rod… though, to be honest, I did not notice that last time out. Anyhoo, the rod does the trick and destroys the beast.
As the dust begins to settle… Wally finds himself surrounded by: The Justice League of America. This team consists of Batman, Wonder Woman, Steel, and a Vixen who can only seem to “Mew” and “Hssss”. President Superman orders his team to stand down, and ensures them the Speedster is an ally.
The Prez continues, telling of the events that led up to the current situation. He fought the Warwolves… Dark Energy… Dark Multiverse… yadda, yadda, yadda. He reveals that Congress has authorized use of an “Anti-Life Bomb” to fight off the threat… and it will go off in around 15 minutes (killing millions), unless they can stop it. Wally then, get this, blasts the President with the Tempus-Rod-Gimmick, and speeds away!
As he runs, he chats up Tempus Fuginaut… who seems somewhat pleased with Wally’s progress. He’s also a bit sarcastic, which… him being a “cosmic being”, I could do without the snark. He pushes Wally to continue running… and he does, right into the laps of… the fake-ass Avengers (of Earth-8)! Looks like there’s going to be a fight! Also, back in the “Oval Office of Solitude” (which might be a little too cute for me), the League makes a discovery regarding their leader.
Wally spends the next half-dozen pages fighting and exchanging banter with the phony Avengers… before he manages to Tempus-Rod-away some more darkness. This somehow saves both Earth 23 and 8. Fair enough. Our man then sends the
Avengers Retaliators back home.
Just then, President Superman is back on the scene… and he’s already taken care of that Anti-Life Bomb. He thanks Wally for purging the dark matter from his body with the rod back in the Oval Office. I suppose that’s convenient enough. Wally bids the JLA farewell, and hops back into the Quantum Leap Accelerator for his next adventure.
After a full-page spread of Tempus friggin’ Fuginaut pontificating, we arrive at “Incursion Point Zero” in the Dark Multiverse. There’s a sort of creepy Mount Rushmore on the horizon, depicting all of the characters Wally killed during Heroes in Crisis. This is somewhat surprising to a pair of inhabitants… as they weren’t there yesterday.
We wrap up by meeting those two inhabitants… it’s (duh) Jai and Irie.
Lotta fighting in this one, eh? Feels like this might be a four-part series that they’re doing their damnedest to make six, dunnit? I really don’t think we needed a third of this book to be a pointless fight with the faux-Avengers. I guess that might’ve been enough pages for Lobdell to ensure that we “get” the references. Though, when you a team is called “The Retaliators” and it’s led by a fella wielding a shield, there isn’t much “driving the point home” left to do. And yeah, in case you weren’t aware, this is all out of the Grant Morrison Multiversity deal.
We get a better understanding of the premise of the series here. While we knew the nebulous “darkness” was the enemy, now we get to see what that “darkness” actually looks like. And it looks like… the Warwolves? Okay, fair enough.
Everything here felt just a little too convenient… and in most cases, I would assume this would be leading off to a big “zig instead of zag” sort of reveal. I do not have that same confidence here… and feel like this is mostly just going-through-the-motions. When this miniseries was announced, while I was very excited… I did manage to temper my expectations a bit, figuring that this would be a halfhearted attempt from DC to give us something Wally-related, but not really “get behind it”. This way, when all of us pre-Flashpoint “fossils” started to complain about Wally’s treatment, they could shove the failure of this book in our faces as proof that “Wally doesn’t sell”. To this point (that is to say, two issues in), that’s definitely how I’m feeling.
Wally fan or not, there really isn’t all that much of a reason to read this. The final two pages, with the reveals of Jai and Irie… was something. Probably the only thing in this issue/series I’ve cared one iota about… but, I’m not at all confident in the direction we’re headed.
Overall… “eh”. If you made it this far, please enjoy your Snickers ad below the dashes!