I’ve dipped into Mark Waid’s Flash before for Clearing the Backlog, but I wanted to double back for Grant Morrison and Mark Millar’s run on the title. Waid’s and Johns’s tenures dwarf just about any other post-Crisis, pre-Flashpoint run, but you should seek this one out.
Part of what I love about Morrison and Millar’s Flash stories is that they’re unafraid to be bonkers. Do you want to see The Flash refracted by Mirror Master into emotional versions of himself? Check. A footrace through space and time against his childhood imaginary best friend (a creature composed of radio waves) for the fate of the Earth? Yup. How about a living, sentient supervillain costume that takes possession of its wearer and sustains itself on their life force and super powers*? Well, then you won’t be disappointed.
Beyond the playful weirdness, this run of the book is a great way to get a sense of the stakes that Wally West represents in the Rebirth era. It gets into his relationship with his super-hero friends. It shows the close-knit family of heroes that the Flash legacy has built**. And with Wally’s relationship with Linda being a key part of his return, Millar and Morrison provide a strong, emotional snapshot of what they mean to each other.
This run has a pretty hefty art team behind, but overall, it’s solid. The “Emergency Stop,” “Human Race,” and “Black Flash” arcs are have my favorite visuals. That might have something to do with those arcs having the most out-there moments in the first place; as a result, they have some fun, creative designs.
If you’re a fan of The Flash and haven’t read this run, you should. It’s also a solid primer on the emotional bonds that pre-Flashpoint Wally West represents in Rebirth. It’s a weird run that has some out there moments, but hey—that means it has my favorite obscure Flash villain to bring up in social situations.
* If anyone who works on The Flash for CW is reading this, please make The Suit a villain of the week.
**Also, hypothetical CW Flash writer: Max Mercury, Zen Master of the Speed force, pretty please?
- The Flash by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar (#130-141; Green Lantern #96; Green Arrow #130)
Writers: Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, Ron Marz, Chuck Dixon | Artists: Paul Ryan, Ron Wagner, John Nyberg, Paul Pelletier, John Lowe, Will Rosado, Sal Buscema, Pop Mhan, Joshua Hood, Chris Ivy, Ariel Olivetti | Colorists: Tom McCraw, Alex Bleyaert, Ian Hannin, Rob Ro, Lee Loughridge | Letterers: Gaspar Saladno, Chris Eliopoulos, John Costanza, Bob Lappan | Covers: Steve Lightle, Rodolfo DaMaggio, Robert Campanella