Flash Forward #6 (2020)

Flash Forward #6 (April, 2020)
“Chapter Six: Nothing Ever Ends”
Script – Scott Lobdell
Pencils – Brett Booth
Inks – Norm Rapmund
Colors – Luis Guerrero
Letters – ALW’s Troy Peteri
Associate Edits – Ben Meares
Edits – Paul Kaminski
Group Edits – Ben Abernathy

We’ve finally made it.  Welcome to the end of, what has surprisingly been probably the most soul-sapping week ever at Chris is on Infinite Earths.  Gotta say, I really wasn’t expecting this series to affect me quite like this.  Hell, I didn’t think I’d ever even look at issues #2-6!

I don’t think there’s ever been a series of comics that caused me to reflect so hard on my comics fandom/habit… I’m actually to the point where I’m not sure I have anything left to say about DC Comics!

Anyhoo, before I rattle off into a 45-minute pre-ramble, let’s get past the dashes and into the book.  Again, no Snickers ad… but, if you enjoyed DC’s dollar-store Young Adult books yesterday, we’ve got a couple more for ya today!

Oh, my descent into madness will be documented on the Collected Editions Page if you’re interested in seeing it all unfold “in real time”!

Also, it’s Easter Sunday… so, Happy Hoppy, Gang!

We open on that doomed planet of Wally West’s creation.  He and his kids are sharing a “meal” of S’mores… which, might be touching… if only we haven’t had it beaten into our heads for the past decade that this relationship doesn’t matter.  They have the sorts of chats kids have with their dads… before the tickle-monster shows up once again.  The Last Supper is interrupted by the arrival of… the Mobius Chair.

Elsewhere, Tempus Fuginaut… pontificates.  I mean, who thought this character was a good idea?  His design sucks, he’s boring… and doesn’t DC already have enough of this sort of character?  I’m not even going to waste my time snapping a picture of this guy here.  Instead, we’ll rejoin the Wests as they’re setting up camp for the night.  After the kids fall asleep, Wally exits the tent and looks at the Mobius Chair.

Tempus arrives to, once again, instill in Wally the importance of “letting go” of this planet… as in, ya know… destroying the thing.  Also, taking his rightful seat in the Mobius Chair… for, reasons?  Ya see, once Wally sits down, he’ll be made like hyper-conscious… his head will be full of so much information, he’ll forget all about Linda and the children… there simply won’t be any room left in his brain for them!  So… a Wally sorta-kinda Lobotomy… that’s what we’ve all been begging for, right?!  All us Wally fans just wanna see him as an empty-husk!

Wally agrees to do the thing… but first, insists that Tempus return Jai and Iris back to Linda.  Tempus agrees.  We then learn that the “Tempus Rod” Wally’s been carrying around with him to beat back the darkness was… powerless, ya see… the power was always inside of him!  Aw.  Good thing we’re just about to ruin the character forever, innit?

And then… just as Wally’s about to accept his fate… the kids wake up!  They go to run toward their dad… but, Tempus’ giant mitt grabs them before they can get close enough.

Then… Wally sits in the chair, and his costume turns blue.

We get several (too many) pages of swirly cosmos stuff while Tempus and the tots look on.  Then, *poof*… we’re on Earth-0… which is to say, the real DC Earth.  Ya know, the post-Crisis/pre-Flashpoint one.  There, Linda Park (not Linda West?) is on the phone with her producer, when suddenly… memories come flooding back to her.  She remembers Wally and the kids… and, looking out her window, she sees those kids come home.  They embrace… which, again… would be touching, if I had any confidence that we’d ever see these characters again.

We rejoin Wally… and his baby-blue narration, as he says… “We are Wally West”, before quickly correcting himself with, “We were Wally West”…………… annnnnnd, screw this.

Oh, and we wrap up with the revelation that not-Wally now has the… Doctor Manhattan symbol on his forehead!  Oooh, Watchmen stuff… c’mon gang, let’s all forget the fact that DC already crapped the bed on all’at and squeeeeeeee!  Screw this book.

There we have it.  One man’s descent into comic book madness… where I came out the other end so disgusted and disinterested, I don’t even think I need to bother with the Kubler-Ross stages of grief.  DC Comics did it… they made me stop caring.  With one fell swoop, I feel like I now have no more reason to continue supporting them.

Really… is it any wonder comic shops are hurting so bad these days?  If this is the kind of bullcrap the big two are going to peddle?  Who is this story for?  Is it just for the people who constantly give Tom King “10 out of 10” reviews (while further rendering words like “genius” and “brilliant” absolutely meaningless) so he retweets them on Twitter?  Is it just for Dan Didio himself?  I can’t imagine any actual Flash fans reading this, and coming away from it full of hope for the future of these characters.

Ya see, we’ve all been there for “big changes” to our favorite characters.  We’ve seen Superman go electric-blue, Wolverine had his Adamantium skeleton forcibly sucked out, Batman’s been broken, Hal Jordan lost his damned mind… but, with characters like that… ya know, the “money” ones… it’s never in doubt that the “status quo” will eventually return.  With Wally West though?  DC have already shown us that they find this character to be nothing more than a “problem” needing to be solved.

There’s a pattern of behavior here… and, I’m not confident we’ll ever see a return to old Wally.  There are a number of reasons for that.  First, DC just isn’t interested… and would rather further legitimize That B*tch Heroes in Crisis than actually protect the integrity their characters.  Second, I’m honestly not sure this industry (print comics, that is) has quite enough time left in it to correct course.  Right now, DC is far more interested in the little lightning bolt logo on the Flash’s costume, than whoever might be under the mask.

Oh!  I should probably talk about the issue, right?  It wasn’t great.  In fact, this entire miniseries could have been told (if indeed it had to be), in one over-sized special, rather than eating up six-full issues (and a half-year of readers’ time).  Nothing that happened in the first-half of this series mattered.  A waste in every way possible.  Can’t (and won’t) lay the blame on Lobdell or Booth though… they did their best with what they were given. 

Anyhoo… with all that doom and gloom spouted… I apologize if this week of coverage has been a bit “heavier” than my usual fare here.  Thanks for reading… I’ll see ya ’round!

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8 thoughts on “Flash Forward #6 (2020)

  • Felt the same way about a year ago, and dropped my reading to about 4 titles between the big 2. I just couldn't justify spending that much money, to not be entertained. I'm not angry, tho… more disappointed. So I spend the money on trades of stories I missed when I was entertained, and still am.

    • Heyyy, thanks for stopping by Chuck!

      If anything, reviewing this series was definitely a sign that my fandom for most mainstream comics lives squarely in the past. That's always been the mandate of this site… and, I suppose (for whatever's left of my own sanity), it probably ought to stay that way!

      One of these days I'm hoping to be strong enough to really hack off many of the "dead limbs" of my pull-list. After 30+ years of being mostly "all-in", that's one tough habit to break!

  • Jeremiah

    Well Chris, I read these six posts all in one go. This may sound like an I told you so, it isn't meant to be, but after reading your coverage I know I was right not to buy this mini series.

    Last year I started cutting back on my monthly orders and I did not enjoy Heroes in Crisis so I was determined that the first cuts to my previews order were going to be any thing that followed it. After reading your coverage I can see I made the correct choice.

    I cannot say that these past six days were a great ride but it was certainly interesting to go on this adventure with you and I'm glad I did.

    • You were smart not to waste your money on this. I'm, unfortunately, not so smart… or just too addicted for my own good. I miss the blissful ignorance I had a week ago before I started this one!

  • Grant Kitchen

    I never considered this might be the last time we see Linda and the kids. I'm not so sure I agree with that though because this continued into Flash #750 which continues into the FCBD special which supposedly re-reboots the DCU and Wally supposedly plays a major role there so we'll see. Again, I'm an idiot/optimist who trusts DC to eventually do the right thing.

    Also, didn't Wally's son Jai lose his powers before the New52 started?

    It's also a good thing Linda got her memories back of her kids since in the start of Rebirth she didn't even remember Wally and told him to stay away since she was understandably creeped out by some stranger claiming to be married to her.

    And did Jai and Irey go back to the current DCU or the pre-Flashpoint DCU? Since Earth 0 was the name given to the current DCU was it not? I thought pre-Flashpoint Earth was still New Earth of Earth Sigma or something like that.

    As you know I've commented on some of your old reviews recently and I could be sworn you had reviewed that Last Days of the JSA special at some point but I guess that was my imagination.

    • Earth-0 is the "new designation" for the former Earth-One/Earth-Sigma or whatever. Looks like they made the change following the weekly 52 series. Not sure why… then again, I couldn't tell ya thing one about DC's motivation over the past decade-plus! That said, I'm assuming that Jai and Iris were dumped back in the pre-Flashpoint DCU with Linda to be left "in amber" for the time being. All my optimism has been snuffed out at this point!

      Jai did lose his powers pre-Flashpoint… there was a panel in this (#5 or #6) where Iris tells him she's "lending him" her powers.

      I DID notice your comments on some older stuff! Thank you! I'm trying to get all my replies done!

  • Flash Forward (much as it's predecessor, That B*tch Heroes in Crisis) did not just suck! It most sincerely sucked! Let the joyous news go out unto the all the blogosphere!

    Ding dong! The witch is dead! The witch is dead! Ding dong! The wicked witch is dead!

    You made it, Chris! Remember, what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger!

    Long live Chris Is On Infinite Earths!

    • Haha, I'm glad you were able to stick it out with me… I'm sure these last half-dozen pieces haven't been the most pleasant. Feels like a "switch" has turned in me… or, like I'm wearing those THEY LIVE glasses, and can *finally* see what's been going on the whole time!


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