The Flash Annual #1
Writer: Jeremy Adams
Artists: Fernando Pasarin and Brandon Peterson
The Flash has consistently impressed me since the beginning of Jeremy Adams’ and various artists’ (most consistently Brandon Peterson). The first issue delved a lot into what happened to Wally in the controversial Heroes in Crisis, and it put me off a bit. However, by the end of the issue it won me over, and every issue since has been more delightful than the last. It’s been a fun Silver-Age-y romp through time, with each issue being fairly self-contained, although with an obvious through-line. The Flash Annual #1 is no exception.
This issue dives deep into the Heroes in Crisis incident, as the ending of the last issue teased. I’ll admit, this idea worried me. I’d been enjoying the lighthearted nature of the book and delving into Wally’s traumas yet again didn’t seem like a place I wanted to go. However, Jeremy Adams does a fantastic job at justifying this pitstop, as it manages to be quite fun despite the original story’s heavy tone. More importantly, it becomes clear in the end why Jeremy Adams felt the need to address this chapter in Wally’s story. It leaves the Flash world looking brighter than it has in years.
The character work is one of the series’ greatest strengths which remains true in this finale. Wally’s actions, as well as his fear and guilt, feel justified both due to the events of Heroes in Crisis, as well as the previous issues of this book. Adams has done a great job at pulling from various points of Wally’s scattered history to spin a new tale of redemption and hope. The supporting cast of Barry, Green Arrow, and Mister Terrific also form an entertaining trio that grounds the book in the present DC Universe. Jeremy Adams shows of both his fandom and his talent in this issue and proving himself the right choice for The Flash.
The art in this series hasn’t been the most consistent. Not in terms of quality, but in terms of the actual artist behind it, including Kevin Maguire, Marco Santucci, David Lafuente, and others. Brandon Peterson has done the present bits in every issue that feature the aforementioned trio of Barry, Ollie, and Michael. I’m a big fan of his, and his art in these scenes is always a bright spot for me. It’s a bit like he’s the lightning rod that grounds the entire book up to this point. In this annual, Fernando Pasarin takes overdrawing the Wally parts. He’s not an artist I recognize, but his work is pretty good. It’s not too far off from DC’s house style, so it doesn’t stand out too much. This is exemplified when looking back on some other artists who worked on the book who did have a more daring and distinct style. It’s still well drawn though, with solid storytelling and acting, as well as a clear direction of action.
The Flash Annual #1 touches on so many of the right buttons for me and wraps up not only its first arc but loose threads left from other projects. It’s a wonderful throwback to comics of old, but with the creators’ talent teeming with the refined modernity of our time. With heart, humor, and spectacle, this issue hits all the right beats.
The Flash Annual #1 touches on so many of the right buttons for me, and wraps up not only its first arc, but loose threads left from other projects. It’s a wonderful throwback to comics of old, but with the creators’ talent teeming with the refined modernity of our time. With heart, humor, and spectacle, this issue hits all the right beats.