The latest volume of The Flash written by Joshua Williamson has reached its milestone 50th issue. That means we can expect something big to happen. Williamson doesn’t hold back with the conclusion of the Flash War story arc. This issue definitely impacts the characters and series in a huge way.
Note: There will be some spoilers for The Flash #50 below. You are strongly encouraged to buy and read the entire arc to get the full story.
Barry Allen and Wally West have been dealing with the Hunter Zolomon version of Reverse Flash. Since Wally’s return to the DC Universe after being trapped outside of time, he’s been trying to sort out the past he remembers with the history that was created when The New 52 timeline began (in 2011).
One thing Wally recalls is having kids, Iris and Jai, with Linda Park. He knows they are lost somewhere in the timestream and has been determined to get them back, regardless of the consequences of messing with time. Zolomon has been pushing Wally into trying to retrieve his family regardless of the consequences. Other energies have been unleashed including the Still Force, a dark alternate version of the Speed Force, which is what Zolomon is after. Barry suggests a way to stop Zolomon, but Wally fears it would mean losing the memories of his family.
As the speedsters run, let’s not forget Wallace West is also around, we finally discover who is the “fastest man alive.” (You can read the issue to discover that Flash Fact).
Wally confronts Zolomon. He realizes that he’s not running through the Speed Force alone and hits him with everything he has. Unfortunately, by breaking through the Speed Force Barrier to gain access to the Sage and Strength Forces to defeat Zolomon, the Speed Force has become detached from the space-time continuum.
The Speedsters can no longer travel through time whenever they want. The Cosmic Treadmill will now gather dust just like real treadmills in the homes of regular people. Hunter is still out there somewhere, Wally just can’t go through time to try to stop him. Commander Cold (from the future) is also stuck in the present.
Another result of the shattered force barrier is the return of a fan-favorite character.
Bart Allen, aka Impulse, is back!
Who is Impuse? He’s Barry Allen’s grandson born in the 30th Century. Sounds weird and confusing, but that’s what happens when the Flashes use time travel so frequently. There was another “Bart Allen” when the New 52 timeline started. That turned out to be someone else. Bart’s return is yet another reason you’ll want to own a copy of this comic.
What does Bart’s return mean? What memories will he retain? Will other speedsters such as Bart’s mentor Max Mercury be released? There are a lot of unanswered questions, including a looming threat to the entire DCU. We’ll have to keep our eyes on the coming issues of The Flash to see what Williamson has planned.