In 2014, Barry Allen (The Flash) reels from the shocking ending of Forever Evil, since this comic book is set after the DC Universe has moved on from the vindictive and destructive attack of the Crime Syndicate.
Multiple places in Barry Allen’s own time line receive attention here. 20 years away, The Flash (2034) receives one scene, which sets up events for the approaching story arc in Flash comic books. 5 years away, (2019) The Flash faces a shock, which kick-starts the events of issue #30.
What The Flash #30 offers:
- The return of a character from the Flash Family.
- Varied artwork, which shows off The Flash’s speed.
- Themes including time management and mental health.
This review contains one major character spoiler
In a bright red and gold blur, The Flush runs out onto the streets of Central City.
What’s impressive about the different scenes in Flash #30 is the varied pace. Barry rests at his desk. When the Flash runs, his costume leaves a bright red blur.
When Barry visits Doctor Janus’ – a psychologists – office, there is a gold light. Behind Doctor Janus, buildings damaged by the Crime Syndicate’s attack are rebuilt. Skies are clear.
There is a great sense of optimism as The Flash rushes out into the streets to rebuild Central city.
After a long disappearance, a key character returns to the Flash family. He has no dialogue in this issue, however.
The return of Wally West is a key scene. A part of the story, but not the entire story – Wally does appear here, but unexpectedly.
Wally West ethnicity has shifted. A new character for the new 52.
But what is the purpose of renewing an old character – updating their story and character arc with the perspective of a different skin tone – if that character is silent, and in this case, dead before the comic even begins?
Wally appears to have died in a road accident.
Wally West is an epitaph in a newspaper. He is a bleeding body on the road. A shame. Either this is a clever trick, and that time travel elements will pay off, or Wally’s return has been mishandled.
There are two key details in this opening scene:
- The paramedics at the scene could not detect a heartbeat – however, it is possible to hide a heartbeat from medial equipment in Popular Culture at least.
- Wally is wearing some kind of yellow arm band – maybe a hint of his costume?
These points indicate something bigger might be at play here.
However early this new story is, Wally’s first appearance as a silent character, I think, is not a strong decision.
Time management, and Mental Health are two themes that appear. Barry’s new goal is to learn to manage his time, and stop running late.
Mental health and time management are strong themes in this comic. Doctor Janus talks about the effect of disasters. That even the strongest can feel torn down when faced with overwhelming disasters.
There is a small note addressing stigma attached to making an appointment with a psychologist.
Barry’s ability to manage his time is also brought up. He has a watch now. Whether it changes his ability to run on time is questionable. In the future, he’s still running late.
A possible Popular Culture comparison exists between The Doctor (Doctor Who) and Wally West. Season 6 of the new Doctor Who series, starring Matt Smith, contains a similarly shocking opening.
The Flash #30 is published by DC Comics ($2.99USD). Robert Venditti & Van Jensen (W.) Brett Booth (P.) Norm Rapmund (I.) Andrew Dalhouse (C.) Dezi Sienty (L.) Cover artwork by Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, Andrew Dalhouse.