Home > DC Comics > The Flash (1987 Series) #209

The Flash (1987 Series) #209

April 24, 2004

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Fast Friends

The Justice League wants to know who tampered with their memories and why, but the Flash isn’t sure he’s ready to tell them.

Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Howard Porter
Inks: Livesay
Colors: James Sinclair
Letters: Rob Leigh
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Cover Art: Michael Turner
Publisher: DC Comics

I find it remarkable that nine issues have passed since the Spectre eliminated the knowledge of Wally West’s double identity from the minds of the world, but Geoff Johns still seems to have plenty of room to mine that simple concept for great stories. This issue Justice League members past and present, specifically those who knew Barry Allen, Wally’s predecessor, confront him to find out why they can no longer remember either of them they way they know they should. Wally, however, just wants to get away to track down his missing wife, Linda. The result is the latest in the classic line of Flash/Superman races. For the first time, however, the race needs to cheap gimmick to pit the two of them against each other, it’s a basic story of a man trying to help his friend and that friend refusing help.

This is a slow paced issue, ironic considering the title character, but Johns does a great job with all of the various heroes depicted herein. Green Arrow is angry, but justified, Firestorm is impatient and we get a surprising insight into John Stewart (the current Green Lantern, not the guy from The Daily Show). Even the eternal admiration for the late Barry is tempered with good character bits. Johns may spend a little too much time on what amounts to an extended roll call, but that’s coming from someone intimately familiar with all of these characters. A less rabid reader than myself may find it helpful.

Howard Porter became a comic book superstar drawing the JLA, and he’s still got it. Any “racing” issue, even one that is built so solidly upon characterization, needs strong art to make it work. You’ve got two men moving at almost the speed of light for most of the book, and Porter makes it work with a blend of classic super-speed images – speed lines, multiple images, bolts of lightning. It’s a fine looking issue.

Next issue we are promised a meeting between the Flash and the man who has, off and on, been his best friend since they were teenagers. It’s a pairing I always find entertaining, and I can’t wait to see what Johns has in store.

Rating: 8/10

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