Spilling over from the events of Darkseid War, these one-shots detail the aftermath of Darkseid’s death, and the changes that have occurred amongst the League. Out of those changes, none seems more drastic or as large of a leap as The Flash becoming the embodiment of Death. Even the fastest man alive cannot outrun death, but as the saying goes, if you can’t beat ’em…join ’em.

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Flash’s Darkseid War looks to explain what happened to him when he merged with the Black Racer. There was actually a moment in Justice League #45 where I became confused because Flash had a split second where he was separated from Darkseid’s instrument of death. This issue helped to clarify that moment and sent Flash speeding down a path that will alter his life immensely. Writer Rob Williams crafts the story wonderfully into what I’m beginning to see as a recurring theme in these one-shots. Although these characters are going through some major changes, each story is stripping them down to the bone. What is the base of this individual? What makes them tick? That driving force is still within them, no matter the change they’re going through. Either way, change does occur and it’s a race for supremacy in Flash’s case.

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In the quick second that Barry became one with the Black Racer, he became the host; death personified. Here, we see the conversation that he has with the Racer and Barry’s thoughts on his own immortality and those around him. The story really takes him on a roller coaster ride of feelings. There’s fear, hope, anger, sadness, and a somber realization at the end. I’d add hunger because with a metabolism like Flash’s I’d be hungry all the time. Apparently though, hunger is not an emotion. Tell that to my girlfriend…*crickets*. Anywho, what worked in this issue and in the Batman issue is that they seem to keep their personalities to an extent. I guess it depends on the way in which they transformed into gods, but Superman completely changed in his Darkseid War issue. Flash is still able to communicate to the rest of the League in his own voice. What really made this story appealing was having Barry face his fears head on. Losing people dear to him, not being able to save everyone, his enemies becoming stronger than him. Everything was presented to Flash and he took it all head on and confronted his fears.

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Jesus Merino, Guy Major, and Saida Temofonte round out the rest of the creative team. The pages look consistently good throughout the book, specifically the full page featured above. The first few pages are a recap from Justice League #45, with the rest taking place in between the beats of time. There’s great set pieces throughout the story, bringing in elements of Flash’s past. There’s even some fitting cameos from a couple of his rogues. The best sequences were of course Flash’s moments with Death. Their split second race was a nice touch, and I really liked when they both shed a tear when speaking of the inevitable force of death.

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One of the coolest parts was when Flash inadvertently unleashed death by taking out the Black Racer. It was such a stellar sequence and Merino and Major did a great job at making those panels really stand out in the issue.

[caption id="attachment_24134" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Besides the whole you're no longer living thing, death doesn't look that bad Besides the whole you’re no longer living thing, death doesn’t look that bad[/caption]

Recommended if:

  • You’re a fan of The Flash
  • Having the heroes face their deepest fears and/or inner trappings is appealing to you
  • You want to watch The Flash take on death itself

Overall:

Flash’s story had that emotional weight and conflicting dilemma that I was looking for in these issues. These changes are really supposed to test the heroes and change them mentally and physically. Constantly having apparitions of Nora Allen show up, or being sent to kill Iris West, and having to literally run for your life, I think it’s safe to say that Barry Allen was pushed to the limits in this issue. Unlike Batman or Superman, I can see Flash’s transformation being for the greater good. Still, there will be a large amount of accountability and responsibility delegated to Flash as he embraces his role. I like the way Rob Williams had things play out for Flash in this issue and I’m really curious howthese new gods will manage when it’s all said and done. This has been a fun event to say the least.

 

SCORE: 8.5 / 10