The Flash travels from the 64th century, to Gorilla City and back to his hometown of Keystone City and somehow has time to mix in a luxury cruise as the fun times continue and the dangers never stop for the Fastest Man Alive. This is a look back at the classic comics featuring the Flash one of the biggest stars of the new Fall TV season where “The Flash” appears weekly on the CW Network.
Due to the tremendous response to the review of Mark Waid’s inaugural story featuring the Flash, “Born to Run” issues 62-65 of “The Flash” Volume 2, the Hollywood Comic Books Examiner will continue to provide a look back on the highpoint of the Wally West era of the Flash, the era written by Waid. Following Waid’s retelling of the origin of Wally and how he came to be the Flash, Waid chronicles the adventures of a hero that might be as regular as any person on the street just with extraordinary speed.
In “The Flash” 66-72 (July 1992 – January 1993) from DC Comics, Waid continues his work with artist Greg LaRoque, with bookend fill-ins from Michael Collins and Sal Velluto, to capture the adventures of Wally West as the Flash. The hallmarks of Waid’s popular run start to take shape showing much of Wally’s wit as well as the signature captions to lead off each issue, “My name is the Flash, the fastest man alive.” Not to mention this is where the relationship between Wally West and Linda Park begins to blossom into something special, a relationship so important that Linda will be appearing on “The Flash” television series.
The Flash has a clever, sarcastic attitude and shows little patience with dealing with the foibles of his bad guys. Throughout the stories he has to deal with not only the villains, but some horrible people he has to protect. While Flash never will let any harm come to the people he protects he certainly lets them sweat it out before he saves them in a blur.
These seven issues are broken into one stand-alone issue and three two-part tales (one of the two-part arcs ties-in with two issues of “Green Lantern” issues 30 and 31 of the then current series) making each issue hold some significance but when put together they weave a larger tapestry. The stories give a fresh start by building out the world of Wally and how he fits in. Teaming with Aquaman and the Green Lantern along with a couple references to West’s role in the Justice League we see the Flash as one of the hardest working heroes who despite his speed can never be everywhere he needs to be.
This is important as Waid develops the relationship with Park as the Flash’s new love interest. Linda Park has previously appeared as a reporter and friend but where the relationship really was going no one knew. It takes the full seven issues to really flesh out the relationship because even though Wally is the star of the book his personal life has to take a backseat to the action.
LaRoque along with Collins and Velluto build out this world where Waid is putting together a classic story. The artwork captures a brisk look for the story as the Flash whisks from one locale to the next. The villains come across as menacing especially in the case of LaRoque’s reintroduction of Abra Kadabra whose body looks quite gruesome following his last encounter with the Flash. The Alchemist and Gorilla Grodd also play a part in the series of stories bringing a classic feel to the adventures.
At this point in his career the Flash wore a darker red that seemed to have a metal tint. The art reflects this nicely with dark shading on the red costume of the Flash making it look distinct and richer on the pages. This can be attributed to the fine inking job of Roy Richardson and Jose Marzan Jr and the palette of colorist Matt Hollingsworth who did a fine job of enhancing the pencil work by keeping the line clean and clear on the pages.
“The Flash” issues 66-72 are all available digitally through ComiXology.com for instant download as well as in your favorite local comic book shop’s back issue bins. What you will find is a clearly accessible set of stories that feature the Flash written by one of comics’ all-time great writers paired with some very talented artists.