The Flash History Lessons Review By Deffinition
The Flash History Lessons has a lot riding on it’s shoulders. After some phenomenal arcs The Flash’s New 52 run has set a really high bar. Thus far it’s balanced drama, action and comedy perfectly with every story feeling like a standout moment in the character’s history.
There is always room for error though and there have been some really misses in the character’s run (pun not intended) which didn’t live up to the potential set by the others. Taking place during Forever Evil it features a multitude of stories. An amalgimation of issues that could either work excellently or merely come across as filler.
With an open mind I dive into ‘History Lessons’ to let you know whether you should pick it up or Flash past this one.
Terrible pun I’m sorry.
War And Peace
The first story in the book opens on Keystone City’s ‘Flash Day,’ united together man and ape have put their differences aside and are setting out a truce that will benefit them all. There is calm, till Gorilla Grodd shows up, damning the humans and starting a war.
It’s a real page turner, with Grodd cementing himself as a formidable villain. Unfortunately it’s all set up that I’m guessing will pay of later down the line and due to this it feels slightly anti climactic.
As mentioned earlier, Volume 5 in many of the DC New 52 collections were compilations. There were several arcs going on with ‘Forever Evil’ and due to this many writers had to compromise their stories and tell alternative tales that might not necessarily make it to print under normal circumstances. This is heavily apparent here and through the book it becomes hindered due to it.
All For One
The second story, All For One is a sentimental arc revolving around The Rogues. After failing several heights the group realise that their mistakes are mounting up and it’s time to take control of the situation and unite as one. Of course this is easier said than done and the issue focuses on the struggles that come with friendship and conflicting morality.
I had an ok time with this book and it was great to see the Injustice Gang turn up towards the finale, explaining why The Flash is missing. We leave on the Rogues deciding that whilst they are bad, there are some things out there worse than they are.
All For One does a good job of depicting why The Rogues have been such an interesting nemesis of The Flash. It has a really gripping human side to it that is often absent in stories about villains and it certainly does a good job of filling in the backstory of the nefarious group
The Quick And The Green
The Quick And The Green tells the story of the first meeting between The Flash and Green Lantern. It heavily features the comedic banter that the two are famous for (Flash even confusing Lantern for Superman for their first conversation) and this intergalactic tale is the standout story of the book.
The fish out of water tale follows the red and green duo as they are abducted by an alien race and forced to fight to the death in combat on Arena World. Whilst there are heavy similarities between this and World War Hulk there is still a lot to enjoy here. From Barry having to learn just how many species there are in the Universe the hard way to possessing the Green Lantern Ring for a short period in order to save the day. This minor tale has an epic feel to it throughout. It serves as a great pulp comic book story that you can pick up and put down in fifteen minutes.
The final story in the book is a Zero year centric tale. It’s a grounded issue that deals with Barry Allen before he gained his Flash abilities. Focusing on the blackout during Gotham city he lends a helping hand to the GCPD, meeting Iris West for the first time a long the way.
It showcases the detective side of Barry whilst building chemistry between our hero and his future love interest. Working better as a ‘Gotham Central’ tale it divulges the mean side of Gotham and develops Barry’s respect for Batman. It doesn’t break any major ground but is enjoyable nonetheless, neatly tying up this story.
Like many of the Volume 5’s in the New 52 run this is a miss-mash of stories. Some are enjoyable whilst others mediocre, and sadly there doesn’t feel like any real impactful moments. Whether this is due to a missing over arc or dynamic shifts in tone that make the reading feel disjointed, it feels disappointing.
Ending Francis Manapul’s run on a bum note is a bitter way to close the writer’s legacy. Some of the books he penned before this were instant classics and it’s a real shame that his run ends on this when we know the level he can deliver on.
Overall I give the book a…