I don't think I've bought an 80 page comic, at a decent price, since CTIC. Which Johns was also involved in. He's also done Green Lantern Rebirth and Flash Rebirth which helped bring the mythos together (more so for GLR.) Now he's been tasked with making the relaunch mesh with the elements that made DC great: legacy, a sense of history and in some cases that missing sense of character.
I already know who the narrator is thanks to the preview and knowing that really makes it all the more touching. Talking about a watch, how it was passed through the generations, how every second matters and how nothing is really optimistic anymore. Wally West in the Kid Flash uniform tries to make contact stating he can't find his lightening rod (Linda Park I assume unless it's someone else now.) He tries to make contact with Batman figuring he can discover the truth. Wally says he looks younger than Bruce would remember, that they all are. Bruce doesn't remember but Wally reminds him of the Flashpoint Thomas Wayne letter before he disappears.
The connection with Bruce wasn't strong enough so Wally needs to find his friends before it's too late. Wally thinks about how he wanted to meet Flash as a kid (an actual kid not a teen) then recapping his origin. Much to my confusion this seems to be the old canon as we get the old Teen Titans complete with their origin costumes. Johns IS telling the past of Wally West before the relaunch. Wally explains that Flashpoint changed the timeline because someone else prevented it from returning to what it was. I'm not really sure how this could be possible if the pre-Flashpoint world existed in Convergence. He says ten years was stolen although this is an odd statement for me. Yes it's true most heroes are younger but what about the ones that are still around the same age they used to be?
Johnny Thunder briefly connects with Wally who urges him to reunite the JSA. A Legion member (Saturn Girl?) knows everything is going to be alright even though she's stuck in the past and Superman is presumed dead. Ray Palmer keeps cancelling classes and Ryan Choi has to deal with the dean since he works for him. Johns has Ray time traveling again (not Booster or Rip?) to discover the timeline is messed up. Since Ryan is the only one that know Rays' tech he's asked to help out. For the first time Ted Kord is mentoring Jaime. Sort of, Jaime wants to be rid of the Scarab and Ted decided to make the Bug instead. To be fair that is more of his field of expertise. Dr. Fate (dressed like old school Fate) says that this Scarab is magical not alien based.
I mentioned Jessica, Damian (?) and Jackson when I talked about the preview. Pandora shows up only to die. As many suspected Diana has a twin brother who's name is Jason. Feels very unneeded but okay. Oh and Darkseids' daughter gave birth to him. ...what? Old Superman meets someone called Mr. Oz who doesn't really answer any questions. Arthur and Mera are cute as he takes her to the spot they met...where she tried to kill him. Then proposes. It's painful that Linda doesn't remember Wally even you clearly see how much she means to him. The Gotham and Gotham Girl team is teased so is Constantine and Swamp Thing.
No matter where Wally goes no one remembers him. Not Boomerang, Cyborg or his former bestie Dick Grayson. The New 52 Wally West is actually cousins with our narrator, both of them named after their grandfather. Without Linda Wally accepts that he's going to die. Barry doesn't know Wally until almost the last second and pulls him out. Horrified that he forgot Wally he hugs him apologizing for forgetting him. Barry remembers the TT as the Titans Hunt versions. For some reason the Watchmen exist and want to mess with the DCU?
Overall: I'm not sure if this would be a good read for a newbie, Sure Johns recounts Wally's history but there's a lot their not going to get. While this--much like CTIC--ties in storylines we'll see down the line. For long time fans this is a wonderful read full of nods to canon. This isn't a stand alone tale as it raises questions that I assume will be followed up on elsewhere. Convergence isn't mentioned and while old Superman hears from Mr. Oz that nothing is what he thinks it is one has to wonder what this all means. Because Convergence said that the pre-Flashpoint world wasn't the same world as new 52. Now it is? This is especially confusing with the Super family plot.
There are some changes I'm not sure how to feel at this point. For some reason the Scarab is back to be magical and Wonder Woman has a twin brother. Now I guess I can get used to the magic thing although I adored the alien connection. Diana having a brother...why does DC keep giving her male connections? She has to have a father instead of being clay which focused heavily on her fathers' side of the family. Now she has a brother that the Amazons hid?
It's funny because I recently commented on deaths in event. While Pandoras' death might be meaningless in the sense of other mourning her it actually makes sense here. She was involved when Barry changed the timeline and she knows too much. Wally starts to forget she doesn't. It's also an echo of Rorschach's death, someone that not only knows the truth but refuses to compromise. Doctor Manhattan and Ozymandias are behind everything so are they connected to this particular timeline? Invading from theirs? Wally West is back merging into the new timeline but does he change the timeline when he does it? Because things are changing after this (Jason Todd Origin returning to the stolen tires etc.)
I enjoyed this, I'm not even a huge Flash fan and I had this great joy reading the story. The opening page just filled me with so much nostalgia and there was a lot of love put into this. Johns has successfully brought Wally West back without getting rid of the new Wally (his cousin). I think Daniel was supposed to be the new ones' uncle instead of his father but either way this change works for me.
Questions Raised?: If that is Damian why would he be celebrating his birthday alone while Bruce is freaking out over Wally? No one else is there and Bruce remains in the cave the whole issue by himself trying to figure things out. Also what's with the creepy smile the birthday boy has?
Where were the ten years taken? Please say part of that gives the Robins more time as Robins.
What was up with that stuff inside of Wally's watch? Dirt? Blood?
If this is the same Wally West we used to know what happened to his kids?
Say What?: It never feels right when Alfred calls Bruce "Master Wayne."
Batman states there are three Jokers. I'll talk more in depth about that in another post. Regardless this was the thing that was spoiled for me by someone else's comments.
Jean is still divorced from Ray.