The Flash #791 Review

Writer: Jeremy Adams

Art: Roger Cruz, Matt Banning, Wellington Dias, Luis Guerrero, Rob Leigh, and Taurin Clarke

Publisher: DC Comics

Price: $4.99

Release Date: January 17th, 2023

The heroes are split after the alien speedsters known as the Fraction smashed into Central City, and must attempt to fend off attacks while trying to formulate a plan in this week Flash #791 by Jeremy Adams. But there’s no time for the heroes to take a breather, as besides the speedsters, Miss Murder is also hunting the team—and she has speed hounds…

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CLARITY

We get an opening summary that quickly clears up who has come to attack the Earth, how they arrived, what they used, and why in which kicks off this issue of the Flash #791. And frankly, that was missing in the last issue. Again, the Flash #790 wasn’t bad it was just disregarding context, clarity, and came across as a quick flyby of current events. However, Adams ultimately summarizes the last issue in one small opening paragraph, which diminishes the last issue even more. Yet, it’s good in the aspect that new readers could hop in right here at Flash #791 and not miss a beat.

THE DISPATCH

The emotion from the cliffhanger attempts to pick up as we get a glimpse around the area from each Speedster’s perspective. However, it may be a mix between the art team as well as some of the dialogue from Barry, but I just can’t connect with the emotion surrounding Barry and Iris. I understand Adams wants to create that sentiment but it’s almost as if Barry is overreacting and losing focus which is extremely uncharacteristic of him. Wally seems to be more levelheaded. Wally comes across as the older more parental figure than Barry does which just shouldn’t be. Yes, this is Wally’s Flash book but even the kids have it together more than Barry and he seems like a lost puppy… and I don’t like it.

As for the villains, Adams gives us a bit more. We get names and details as well as the introduction of what appears to be a female version of the Batman Who Laughs (not really but that’s how she appears to be designed). However, the most interesting nugget that was slyly dropped in this issue was that there appears to be at least one “organic life form” on every planet they go to… A.K.A. more Speedsters. Meaning, I’d love to bump into more versions of people who tangled with the Fraction. Technically, we did back in the Flash #783-785. The Mad Max world was a world centered around the remains of what the Fraction did. So, who else in those other realities is connected to the Speed Force? I think there is so much story that’s hidden under the surface that Adams could play with in the future and that’s definitely exciting!

Additionally, the part that added more clarity to the Flash #791 was when Jesse Quick comments on “the world” she went to when looking for Barry during the Dark Crisis. She connects the dots for the readers. This is ultimately how comic fans find out the driving purpose behind the Fraction as well as their means. But again, why couldn’t the connection have been made in the last issue? This all just adds to what appears to be a slow-moving story for a comic that takes place all in one minute.

ART

I’m not one to be too picky about the art for a book, however, I just don’t think it’s working in this story. There is a point where if you want a moment to capture the true emotion involved, the scene needs to be painted appropriately. Something more cartoonish just doesn’t strike the same cord as something more realistic. Watching the reaction to Iris from both Barry and Wally was almost comical from its rendering which I’m positive was not the intent of the scene. However, on a more positive note, I love is Jay Garrick… except for the fact that Jay is supposed to be old and this version is young, built, and muscular. Overall, I just feel like the intensity of the issue doesn’t match what the art team is conveying which is ultimately a big reason for the lower score this week.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Flash #791 certainly clears up more of the motive, connects some past story beats that were actually set up for this One-Minute War, lays more groundwork for the event, and introduces a new villain to the fold. However, the emotional moments, some uncharacteristic dialogue from Barry, and time wasted on catching up with fans on the status quo mixed with the cartoonish illustrations in the more dramatic scenes took away from so many key moments.

The One-Minute War feels flat, with little excitement, and surface-level character connections with everyone other than Wally and his family. This event needs more substance fast before it loses too much steam. Hopefully, the Flash: One-Minute War Special #1 can add some spice, interest, and pizzazz to this event that just feels like it’s missing the same fun and excitement that Adams has been used to delivering since he’s taken over the title. If you have any questions on the review or are ever interested in tackling a comic review of your own, feel free to email me directly at dispatchdcu@gmail.com. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!

7.2/10

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