We all know why this series is ending. “Flash: Rebirth” starring Barry Allen is coming our way in the latter days of 2009’s first quarter, but what has been left sitting out there was how does Wally West’s story end?
This is the fourth chapter of the story, “This Was Your Life, Wally West”, written by Alan Burnett, who allows us to see just how much of the DCU Wally truly touches. Just as Nightwing has connections to all of the facets of DC’s universal gem, Wally isn’t that far behind. Burnett brings in the JLA, the Titans, the Spectre, and more, all the while putting the humanity of those characters on display.
The art is a hodge podge of “get ‘er done” journeymanship, with three different artists contributing to a 22-page story. The visual end result is not a jangled as it could have been, as the artists slot in around the story and are held together via some solid Horie-squared coloring. If I hadn’t checked credits first, I might not have noticed three artists, I may have just brushed off any perceived inconsistencies as hurriedness forced by a deadline no one wanted to truly embrace.
The story is neither bombastic nor tear-jerking. It is not a cliched ending with the hero brought down while serving justice, nor is it a masterpiece in brilliant originality. It simply is. Wally and family leave the story with the potential for more stories in the future. What DC chooses to do with that potential remains to be seen around their grand schemes to return Barry Allen to prominence.
Wally has been running under the cowl as the Flash for over 21 years. Think about that. People celebrating their first New Year’s Eve champagne toast would not have encountered Barry Allen as the Flash. The Flash to them is Wally West.
Honestly, I expected more.
By no means is this the worst issue of the 21 years that I’ve been reading the Flash (am I really that old?!?), nor is it the best. It wraps things up and sets them over to the side. Ringing out the old while singing in the new.