Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Howard Porter
The Flash (Barry Allen) is a hero whose history is rooted in childhood tragedy. Like many heroes before and after him Barry is scarred by the murder of his mother and the wrongful conviction of his father for the horrific homicide. Before becoming a superhero, Barry was already on the side of the law, fighting for the rightful convictions of Central City’s criminals as the Police Department’s best CSI. Yet that fateful accident, the random lightning strike, and chemical saturation that would connect Barry to the Speed Force would forever change Barry’s life as well as the DC Universe as this would create the World’s Fastest Man- the Flash! TheFlash #70 takes the reader’s back to these early days of the Flash in a story line dubbed Year One. I’m not sure that we needed another Flash origin story but with the quality writing and wonderful artwork I’m more than willing to take a stroll down memory lane.
The Flash #70 begins with a young Barry Allen reading his mother’s old super hero comics during a power outage caused by a massive thunderstorm. Barry is sporting a black eye since he stood up for a student being bullied, even when the odds are against him. Barry is upbeat and positive, talking about the heroes of the comics and how they wouldn’t let someone be bullied and neither should he. The story then jumps to a more dejected Barry, now a CSI and struggling with the crime riddled Central City. Barry is withdrawn, closed off, and incredibly late for just about everything. This Barry feels haunted by the death of his mother, a case he is still working, and the wrongful incarceration of his father. Then the lightning strikes and the Flash is born. The Flash #70 picks up the pace as Barry begins to test his powers, to find the right equipment to use with his new found super speed, the limits his speed has as well as the consequences he now faces due to his powers.
The Flash #70 is an interesting retelling of the origin of the Flash. Over the course of his seventy-issue run on the Flash Joshua Williamson has been weaving well established character history with some newer takes and character interpretation. I’m not sure that we need another origin story but I’m willing to let Williamson continue his excellent story and see where this reinterpretation takes us. It’s also nice to have Howard Porter back on the title for this arc. Having redefined himself as of late Porter’s art has evolved from his ‘90s heyday on JLA and has softened and become more detailed. The colors by Hi-Fi leap off the pages and combined with Porters artwork make for a beautiful issue.
Verdict: Even though another origin for the Flash isn’t necessary it is definitely intriguing, and with quality storytelling and beautiful artwork it is Buy in my opinion.