The Flash #208 Review

Reviewer: Ben Morse
Story Title: “Red Carpet”

Written by: Geoff Johns
Penciled by: Howard Porter
Inked by: Livesay
Colored by: James Sinclair
Lettered by: Rob Leigh
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Publisher: DC Comics

At this point, saying, “The Flash was really good this month” is kind of like saying, “Wow, the ocean sure is wet;” it’s probably the most consistently excellent mainstream superhero book on the shelves and has been for quite some time. After awhile, you run out of ways to praise it, but I shall endeavor to find at least a couple more.

Geoff Johns is in such a creative groove on this book it is almost unreal. I always think the coolest element of The Flash is the way that every aspect of the book, from the setting to the other heroes to the Rogues feel so organic, like comics’ largest and most interesting supporting cast. The crux of this issue focuses on the reintroduction of Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Flash, and Kid Flash, the former Impulse, into the life of Wally West following the events of “Blitz” and “Ignition.” Even though Geoff writes both characters every month in the pages of JSA and Teen Titans, this felt like a much-needed homecoming. The way the three generations of Flashes interact is a joy to read. Nobody nails Jay like Geoff does; the aside about Jay’s father in this issue is one of those cool little things that you pick up in almost any issue of Flash. The way Wally acknowledges Bart’s growth makes you feel as proud of the new Kid Flash as you would were he a real person you were friends with.

The main plot running through the issue is the one that started last issue: Wally is uncomfortable with the hero worship the city gives him. This shows a lot of growth in Wally as a character from the days when he was all about fame and fast living in every sense of the word. It also tackles some of the issues of the DC Universe raised in JLA/Avengers (of all places) of how the DC heroes seem strangely comfortable with being looked upon as near gods. Geoff is doing an interesting look at the nature of celebrity and I am looking forward to more.

The sub-plots also move at a nice clip, but don’t overwhelm the main story. Linda’s departure last issue is touched upon, and while it’s clear Wally isn’t going to be spending all his time moping, the gravity of the dissolution of one of comics’ greatest couples has to break your heart. Hints of future storylines involving a civil war between the Rogues plus glimpses into Iron Heights and a tease that something is up with Wally’s Aunt Iris only serve to further tantalize. It feels like a million different things are happening or getting ready to happen in the life of The Flash (appropriate given the character’s nature) and, like Wally West, you just stand in awe of it all.

Howard Porter was born to draw The Flash. He handles the character and his powers perfectly and draws Keystone the way it was meant to be drawn, as a vibrant and alive city of wonders. The little touches, like the homage to the classic Flash cover of Flash and Kid Flash battling the golden giants he throws in this issue, are icing on the cake. And if the second to last two page spread of this issue doesn’t blow you away, I don’t know what’s wrong with you (poster, please!).

Well there, I did find a few more ways to compliment The Flash.