“Blitz! Conclusion: The Final Race”
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Scott Kolins (p), Doug Hazlewood (i)
It would be an injustice to spoil readers concerning the events of Issue 200 of Flash; it’s a story that every comic book fan deserves to experience, first-hand. In this, the conclusion of the Blitz story arc, writer Geoff Johns and penciler Scott Kolins have created a story that epitomizes the artistic merits of comic books.
The experience of reading this issue is much like weaving a motorcycle through a congested highway. You’re moving faster than everyone else. You’re thrilled. You’re enthralled. Yet, painfully constant is the threat of crashing. Johns’ skill as a writer is evident as the reader’s experience parallels that of Wally West. Here is a superhero whose power is speed and whose personality is carelessness, and he has just crashed.
After revealing his identity as Flash, Wally has endangered the lives of his wife and friends. The outcome—his wife miscarries unborn twins and his friends must sacrifice their own powers to assist Wally in preventing a timeline catastrophe. Thus, the reader is sped along a fast-paced story, at an almost dizzying rate, as Flash fights to save the world and his wife.
Yet despite the emphasis on action, the still moments are the core of the story. This issue addresses the essence of what it means to be a hero—not fame, not honor. To be a hero is to be willing to share. Wally West has shared his powers with the world, shared to the point that he has finally lost the future he had so eagerly envisioned. Now, he is tired of running, tired of tragedy, and tired of being a hero. And after running along with him, readers can sympathize with the hero who is, after all, truly just a man. Thus, the story ends on a bittersweet note, with the man reclaiming his life and the hero disappearing, unwilling to share further.
The art of Scott Kolins compliments this poignant story with expressive faces and tense bodies. And the action scenes are exhilarating. Particularly impressive is the final battle between The Flash and his opponent, Zoom, which spans the world in less than a second. Kolins captures this sense of speed where a thousand miles are covered in the duration of a single punch. More impressive is The Flash’s parting scene as he runs to freedom with a stirring mixture of fear and determination—eyes closed but teeth gritting.
By the end of this issue, long-time fans of The Flash can be proud, not only of their hero but of the book’s creative team. As for new readers, this is an opportune time to join the speedster experience—just hold tight and prepare for thrills.
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