Well, this can’t be good


Over the years, DC has put together some really great couples.  Clark and Lois, Ralph and Sue, Ollie and Dinah, Batman and Robin. No, wait…

Way back when Tom Cruise was telling Renee Zellweger that she completes him, Wally West was proclaiming to Linda Park that she was his anchor; the one and only thing that keeps him from completely falling apart.  It’s a crisis year isn’t it?  And Flashes tend to die, but no one said anything about their loved ones.  I sense a dark disturbance in the Speed Force.

flash246cover.jpgYes, it is a sad day when Linda Park falls into a coma due to excessive bee stings brought on by an attack by the Queen Bee, Zazzala.  Things aren’t looking good, and as Wally sits by her side in the Justice League hostpital, he flashes back to all the highlights in their lives.  For someone who has grown up watching Wally move from the ladies’ man to his courtship, and ultimate winning over, of Linda, these trips down memory lane are bitter sweet.

For those thinking now would be a good time to pick up the Flash and begin reading, as complex as the story is, this single issue catches the reader up on nearly everything they need to know about the last 15 years of the Flash’s life.  I know it doesn’t cover EVERYTHING, but the moments that are covered are so tied into Linda and Wally’s relationship, that you do get the main points.

What makes this issue even more tragic is the fact that Linda and Wally just went through a huge period of stress as they worried about their children dying, and now the tables have turned.  Like any great family, the Wests are together, even pulling a bed into the room for the kids to sleep in next to their mother.

it’s odd that the Queen Bee is attacking Wally now.  She hasn’t been a player in some time, but when it is discovered that she has a device that can change time, Wally realizes it isn’t a temporal manipulation device, but rather something that is tapping into the Speed Force, and may also be responsible for his recent speed reduction.  This bit of information isn’t just presented out of thin air, Batman shows up and asks Wally to use his speed to access Amanda Waller’s computers to get the low down.  As much as Batman tries to be a bad ass all the time, he has the funniest and most sincere line in the whole issue when he tells Wally he’ll find someone to watch over the kids while the Flash is away as, “I’m not a face to wake up to.”

Watching over the kids is Roy and his daughter Lian, as there is that long relationship between Roy and Wally, and since Lian is close to the same age, it gives the kids someone to play with instead of worrying about the possibility their mother could die at any moment.

As smart as Roy is, I still think he isn’t the brightest bulb in the house, especially when Linda shows up on the playground healed completely, takes the children’s hands, and begins to walk away.  The moment it takes Roy to realize it isn’t Linda is enough for a disguised Queen Bee to open a portal and port the children away to who knows where.  This villain means business, and if Linda or the kids comes to any harm, Wally is going to go hyper-ballistic and I would bet break the biggest rule in the hero code.

When Linda, the REAL Linda, begins to crash, Wally is already off to the one person who may be able to help him – Raven.  “Titans together always”, seems to be an underlying theme throughout this issue.  Even though Wally isn’t aware at this point his kids have been abducted, I’m pretty sure his main priority would still be Linda.  When her life was in danger once before The Spectre saved her.  Of course that was the Hal Jordan Spectre and not the current Crispus Allen incarnation, and when Raven does open a gateway for Wally, Crispus breaks the sad news; he won’t save Linda’s life.

As great as this story is, it is also a real bummer.  I don’t want to see Linda die.  As much as I think the West children are dragging down the series, I don’t want to see them come to harm either.  If these bad things come to pass, I see a dark dark time for the Scarlet Speedster.

Alan Burnett’s writing is top notch in this issue.  I really got into every minor plot point, and hung on to every word the characters spoke.  Even better than Burnett’s writing is the art by Carlo Barberi.  I don’t ever remember Linda being so well endowed before, and Wally’s abdominal cavity seems to be caved in a tad to much even for a runner, but everything else is really great.

I’ll be really disappointed if Linda bites it.  I won’t blame Burnett, DiDio, or even Morrison (although he is the target for much DC hate lately), or anyone else if Linda does die.  One of the things (oh no Mathewszplitix I’ll see you in 30 days!), that needs to occur in a really well told story is the natural evolution of the character.  Wally has gone from playboy to husband to father, and along they way has really grown as a character.  Perhaps it is time for him to become a widower, and begin the next step of his journey.

When Barry departed so many years ago, it may have been sudden and abrupt, but it was the right and best time.  I think there are plenty of really great West Family tales that still need to be told, but this moment seems like it could be the right moment to cull the current cast list.  Of course this all being comics, either A) Linda won’t die and this is a big swerve to tell the story of how Wally is Linda’s anchor, or B) Linda will be back to life in 90 days.  Believe me I won’t be disappointed if the answer is A.

The Flash #246 is a really great issue, and I’m giving it 4.5 out of 5 Stars.



The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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  1. Wirehead
    November 22, 2008 at 11:25 pm — Reply

    Since Morrison said that all DC titles are currently taking place before Final Crisis, and Linda appeared in the main FC issues(I think), she won’t die here. Unless DC wants more continuity messes to worry about.

  2. ykw
    November 23, 2008 at 11:17 am — Reply

    “it’s odd that the Queen Bee is attacking Wally now. She hasn’t been a player in some time”

    Check JLoA (current series) #20 for more. And I do believe Burnett wrote that story, too (could be McDuffie, though).

  3. Maximus Rift
    November 23, 2008 at 3:21 pm — Reply

    Hey, Why doesn’t Wally make a deal with Neron and offer up his kids for his wife? The kids could even encourage Wally to do it. :p

  4. cat
    November 24, 2008 at 8:14 am — Reply

    I have to tell you that was a great review. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I think it will be answer A. She is a main charcter in his storyline such as lois to Clark and dinah to ollie as you said yourself. Wally won’t save her but nobody said the kids couldn’t, leaves a loop hole open for hope. Remember Queen Bee kidnapped them. Until next time.

  5. Carl
    November 24, 2008 at 8:20 am — Reply

    Well, the last time Wally cut a deal with Neron, it didn’t work out all that well for the demon.

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