Comic Reviews: Flash Forward and Inferior Five!
Flash Forward #1 (of 6) (DC Comics)
Wally West has been put through the wringer as of late, and with Flash Forward, it’s not stopping anytime soon. Sure, the character got a new lease on life thanks to the DC Rebirth special, but since then he’s bounced around with the Titans, fought with The Flash, and became the culprit of a series of murders in Heroes In Crisis. Needless to say, Wally’s been through A LOT, and that’s left him in a weird position in the current DC universe, and it seems like Scott Lobdell and Brett Booth’s Flash Forward may not be the best course of action for the character.
Serving his time in Blackgate, Wally West is haunted by the things he’s done. After killing heroes and his future self in an attempt to cover it up, he’s content with serving his sentence and trying to atone for his past misdeeds. But all that changes when a mysterious being plucks him from his cell and tells him that the fate of the multiverse depends on him. But how can Wally defend an entire multiverse of people when he’s barely capable of defending himself?
That’s a question that Scott Lobdell barely touches on in this issue, and it’s a real shame. I always hate comparing writers in the comic book field, but when you are following a writer as skilled as Tom King, you better bring your A game, and unfortunately Lobdell doesn’t have what it takes, despite his pedigree. In a lot of ways, Lobdell’s script feels like it’s just going through the motions of what the DC editorial team want him to accomplish as opposed to a story that he legitimately wants to tell, and that unfortunately comes through in the final product.
The art, on the other hand, is pretty damn great. Since Brett Booth is the one behind it that should come as no real surprise, as his art is pretty much the definition of “DC Comics”. He’s an extremely talented artist who is very underrated in his field, yet whenever his work comes out you can’t help but ask yourself why he isn’t on the level of some other artists with the publisher. Hopefully with this series that will change.
Flash Forward isn’t going to the be the series to push the ongoing “DC Rebirth” narrative forward (if that’s even their initiative still), but fans of Wally West will most likely pick it up to see what the character is up to post Heroes In Crisis. While they may not like where West is at, they’ll probably find enough to enjoy. As for me though? Well, it’s pretty telling that there’s very little hype around this project in regards to DC Rebirth, as opposed to, say, Doomsday Clock, or even the “Year of The Villain” series of tie-ins.
The Inferior Five #1 (DC Comics)
Jeff Lemire has had a long career as an independent creator and one for DC, but with Inferior Five the indie Lemire and the big publisher Lemire collide, and the result is a pretty strange series for DC to release. Set in the town of Dangerfield, Arizona, one of the few places that was rocked by the “Invasion” event years ago, a few kids begin to notice some odd things happening in town. But they’re the only ones who seemingly notice anything strange going on in the town….and who’s going to listen to a bunch of kids?
That’s the real story moment for this event, and it’s pretty interesting. But Lemire’s script doesn’t do enough to make this story stand out from the pack. The town of Dangerfield looks like a bombed out war zone, something that I feel like would be addressed in the DC universe at large.While it’s nice that this series isn’t really tied to any of the main DC continuity, having it be associated with an event as old as Invasion is an extremely weird choice, and the only real reason for it is probably because Lemire was a fan of that story when it came out.
Keith Giffen’s art is a lot looser than usual, and that may be due to the fact this is a Jeff Lemire series and it’s more “indie” than typical DC fare. But that looseness actually works pretty well for the story, and adds a grittiness to the tale that I don’t think would be achieved with a different artist. Giffen’s style is pretty much in line with what the story needs, and that’s a welcome thing to see.
Inferior Five is definitely going to interest fans of Lemire, but I can’t say it’s going to be a sales monster for DC. Sure, there’s always room for a new types of stories from publishers, and it’s good to see this from DC, but I’m not sure how well this whole story is going to go over.