Flash #230

Story Title: Last Man Standing
Reviewer: Paul Sebert

Writer: Joey Cacalieri
Pencilers: Val Semeiks & Joe Cooper
Colorist: James Sinclair
Inkers: Livesay & Drew Geracia
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Editors: Harvey Richards, Stephen Wacker
Publisher: Brand Echh

So after 19 years, 230 issues, and more speedsters than you can shake a cold-gun at this current incarnation of “The Flash” is coming to a close. Apparently we’ll be getting a new Flash, and probably a new #1 later this year after Infinite Crisis finally winds down. Readers of the latest volume of Infinite Crisis will know Wally’s final fate, but that doesn’t mean his book can’t end with a bang. Can it?

Well it’s not quite a whimper, but this final issue of The Flash is a major step down from the epic feel from Geoff Johns Rogue War arc, despite some nice albeit uneven art by Val Semeiks and Joe Cooper. The plot involves Vandal Savage and a cult of white-clad would-be super villains plotting to revert humanity to a “hunter & gatherer” society by using a big shiny phallic weapon of doom and an apocalyptic plot straight out of a Yoshiyuke Tomino anime.

This issue opens a nice little nightmare sequence as we see the frightening plans that Savage has in store for the world. There’s also some nice action scenes as Flash takes on the new villains and Savage, some old friends show up for one last appearance, and the Flash family gathering together as Wally makes a big decision on where he wants to go in his life.

I suppose under most circumstances this would be a pretty decent finale, but well after the stellar runs by Mark Waid and Geoff Johns it feels lacking. Even with the whole earth being threatened by the plot at hands things feel a bit too conventional for a title well known for shaking up its status quo.

While not limping across the finish line, this finale of The Flash sadly feels like the book is simply running on autopilot.