Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!

Speed Reading! – The Flash: Futures End #1

"Impact Velocity"

“Impact Velocity”

Every anniversary of DC Comics’s New 52 has their line of comics do some sort of special event.  First it was Zero Issues.  Then it was Villains’ Month.  Now, DC is having its superhero comics jump five years into the future to tie into their weekly series Futures End.  Fortunately, like Villains’ Month, The Flash doesn’t break from its ongoing storyline and actually utilizes the time jump for its own narrative purposes.

Five years down the road, the blue, Future Flash has made it to that fateful day where Wally and Iris get into the horrible car accident he wasn’t there for to prevent (as seen in issue 30).  Turns out Reverse-Flash is involved and future Flash snaps his neck, Man of Steel-style.  “Present” Flash (who from this point on, I’ll just refer to as Flash) shows up and the two begin to duke it out.

Here is where some of the issue fell apart for me.  Future Flash tries to explain to Flash that the Speed Force is broken (something we learn Flash knows about).  Then, suddenly, Future Flash decides he needs to attack Flash so he won’t get in his way.

My questions: how?  And why?

While there is certainly a lot of confusion going on for Flash, Wally, and Iris, they never gave any indication that they were going to stop Future Flash at all costs.  If anything, it seemed as if Flash wanted some sort of explanation to know what was going on.  And wouldn’t Flash want to help fix the Speed Force?  The fight just strikes me as really forced.

By the end, Flash tinkers with one of Future Flash’s costume accessories which cause a huge Speed Force explosion.  It hits Wally which gives him Speed Force powers.  Future Flash is tossed back five years into the past (aka “today”) and Flash dies.  Wally promises to learn how to use his powers and travel back to stop the Future Flash.

I really like Wally here.  He’s older and, obviously, more mature than when we’ve seen him so far.  I want to see more of this Wally, but I have a feeling that outside of one or two appearances in the coming issues, we won’t be seeing him again.  I would be surprised if we see a young Wally with any powers anytime soon (and I honestly don’t want to see young Wally with powers).

Overall, this issue was more of a set-up for next month’s present-day battle between Flash and Future Flash.  And, from what it sounds like, Future Wally will be making a trip too.  I’m looking forward to that.

Cover Comments: Since DC did their 3D covers again for this event, I felt it necessary to comment on it.  I really don’t think it works this time around as well as it did last year.  I partly feel this way due to the cover being too busy with action.  I’m not talking about the actual art – that’s fine.  More in the fact that not only is it in the 3D format, but the image changes if you move it from side to side (see above picture).  I feel you lose some of the effect with both working at once.

Continuity Comments: Okay…this is nitpicky – but keep in mind, I am having fun here.  Since the Future Flash storyline has now very loosely tied in with the Futures End storyline, I noticed something that doesn’t line up at all.  Future Flash comes from a future 20 years from now where, among other things, he has adopted a blue costume and Captain Cold has died from cancer.  In Futures End #0 (from Free Comic Book Day), we see events from 35 years in the future where a very-much alive Captain Cold is working with a bearded Flash in his classic costume.  Is this an editorial “oops” or just a case of the future is always changing?  I’m not butthurt; I just find these things amusing.  Then again, you can also ask why Future Flash is still alive when he killed his earlier self.  It is best not to think about such things!

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