Despite some great artwork from Booth and Vendetti having a firm grip on the title character, the time-travel elements and most of the cast feeling like pawns for the plot render this a conflicting read
This fits perfectly with the current arc of the Flash as Future’s Flash comes to the Future’s End timeline with one goal in mind – kill Reverse Flash.
Thanks to Daniel West’s confusion and his understanding that his rampage is leading to his cousin’s death, Flash catches him unaware and decapitates him.
Meanwhile, the Future’s End timeline Flash is saving lives in Peshawar and due to the problems in the Speed Force that originated in the present, he’s too late to save Wally and Iris.
But not Future Flash.
Future Flash though gets side-tracked by seeing Wally alive again and thus, allows that timeline’s Flash to arrive.
In an attempt to explain things, Future Flash reveals that Wally also became a speedster in the meantime…though latter actions contradict this.
As the Future’s End Flash attempts to stop Future Flash from completing his task of killing the present day Flash, a Speed Force backlash ensures which leaves Future Flash in the present timeline while Future’s End Flash is fatally injured.
In the backlash, Wally is hit and able to channel the Speed Force regularly. Before Barry dies, he entrusts Wally with stopping the Future Flash.
Thanks to his auto-pilot systems, Future Flash is in the present, but someone’s coming to stop him – Wally West.
Now some thoughts…………
The problem with time travel has been how to avoid creating a paradox. Now, if these are parallel universes Future Flash is going to each time he reaches back, he is truly changing nothing. So, better not to think about this too much.
Now, the inconsistencies. Wally gets the Speed Force in this new timeline where he survived the car crash, but Future Flash mentions he gave the Force to Wally before this – though Wally or the Future’s End Flash never mentions it.
Wally’s reactions also don’t make much sense here – especially since five years of undisclosed interactions have passed. He’s not numbed by his uncle’s severed head lying a few feet away and seems to have forged a deep bond with Barry. This is a cheat, okay?
Again, if Flash is truly dying here, what does it mean for Future’s End or Future Flash himself? Now this can be subverted in making this a parallel universe but in an extension of the Elseworld storylines of most other Future’s End stories, even this Future’s End one-shot makes no sense in the overall event where Flash has appeared multiple times.
So, while Vendetti does craft an exciting story of a flawed attempt at redemption (and in the process make the new race-changed Wally West a Flash), the time-travel elements has sent this storyline haywire.
Booth’s artwork holds up well, especially the Speedster battles. The energy sizzles from the pages and this creates a great spectacle.
Though the time-travel elements are still wonky, and the time-lap makes changed bonds a little hard to latch onto, there is enough heart and spectacle in this story to make reading this a good time.
Vendetti has managed to make a good Barry Allen work, but everything around him feels like plot devices – especially Wally West.
Booth is a great fit for this title on the basis of this issue alone.
So, I give it 6.0 out of 10.
+Some great artwork
+Vendetti crafts a complex Barry Allen
-The time-travel elements are confusing and at odds at times
-Some contrived plot devices, like Wally West
-The five years gap is a sudden jump to changed relationships without a firm base