THE FLASH #25 BY JOSHUA WILLIAMSON, CARMINE DIGIANDOMENICO, NEIL GOOGE, AND RYAN SOOK
Art
Characterization
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Summary
Joshua Williamson makes this extra-sized anniversary issue extra special by going through some Flash history with an amazing in-depth character analysis that makes this issue something unforgettable.
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Here we are. Twenty-five issues in and the momentum keeps building in THE FLASH #25. Joshua Williamson — like many of the other DC writers right now — is doing something wonderful with this character and this series. The Rebirth line from DC has posed more and more questions about the fate of the DCU. For example, some of their series have focused on the Rebirth mystery on a cosmic scale, like SUPERMAN. On the other hand, THE FLASH has focused on the theme on a more personal level. Barry was the character to pull Wally West out of the Speed Force. He was also the one that had the vision of Jay Garrick’s helmet. Barry couldn’t pull Jay out of the Speed Force like he did for Wally. Now, is Barry Allen the next character to remember his life pre-New 52?

A History Lesson in THE FLASH #25

The previous two issues of THE FLASH were a prelude for our arc now. In those two issues, Eobard Thawne reveals himself to be alive despite the events of “The Button” story arc. Now, he’s more all-knowing of the Rebirth mystery with actual knowledge of the pre-New 52 DCU. He can clearly see that no one else remembers and decides to take matters into his own hands. After crippling Kid Flash, he kidnaps Iris West to bring her to the 25th century where he was born. He teases her about her death which occurred pre-New 52, and heavily implies his goal here is to make Barry remember as well. His reasoning is unclear, but how this will affect Barry is definitely something that will need to be fleshed out.

THE FLASH #25
THE FLASH #25 page 14. Image courtesy of DC.

Now that we’re caught up, we can talk about THE FLASH #25. Funny enough, we’ll still be talking about the past. Joshua Williamson cleverly wrote out this issue as a history lesson. A small portion of the first half of this issue is monologued by Barry who reminisces on when he first met Eobard Thawne in the 25th century. Thawne was more of a fan and wanted to be the Flash of his time. Unfortunately, Barry learned he was endangering lives only to rescue them. Flash put him away for it, and ultimately created the Reverse-Flash. Thawne had his chance to monologue in the second half of the issue, where he explains his hatred for Barry. Finally, the truth behind Eobard Thawne is revealed, and it’s all because he couldn’t live with the idea of Barry never accepting him.

READ: Want to know what happened in the first prelude issue to “Running Scared”? Here’s our review of THE FLASH #23!

What Else Can You Say?

Now, fair warning, there are spoilers ahead for THE FLASH #25. What I want to talk about is the reveal at the end of this issue. After Thawne explains his motivations and reasoning for why he is who he is, he takes it up a notch. As he has stated many times throughout history, Thawne simply wants to watch Barry suffer. Therefore, his next big move to interfere with Barry’s life is to reveal him as the Flash to Iris. It’s shocking and heart-breaking. The reveal is something that was hinted at in the previous two issues as Barry was struggling to decide whether or not to confess to Iris.  Where the series goes from here is anyone’s guess.

THE FLASH #25
THE FLASH #25 page 23. Image courtesy of DC.

Joshua Williamson is leaving me up in arms as I struggle to speculate what this means for the future of the series. It’s too simple of a question to ask how this will affect Barry and Iris. Is Thawne trying to make them remember their lives before the New 52, as I’ve talked about before? If so, if Thawne succeeds, how will that affect Barry and Iris? However, it doesn’t stop there! How will this affect the Flash’s involvement in the Rebirth mystery? Reverse-Flash is a living paradox, as we’ve learned from Flashpoint, but will this now make Barry one as well? There is simply too much to wrap my head around; it quickly becomes twenty questions.

READ: If you want to know exactly what happened to Reverse-Flash and company in “The Button”, then click here to find our review of THE FLASH #22!

All in all…

THE FLASH #25 boasts incredible storytelling that will forever change the lives of these characters, and maybe the universe as a whole. With three different artists on hand, the style change is noticeable but is not a problem. Each creator utilized their skills for different time stamps; Carmine Di Giandomenico covered the present, Neil Googe covered the first flashback, and Ryan Sook covered the second flashback. All three artists provide great work that makes the issue feel more sentimental as a whole. The team knows what they’re working on, and the reader can feel that connection with the artists here. All in all, THE FLASH #25 is definitely an issue to remember!

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