SPOILERS. IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THIS ISSUE, I’M ABOUT TO RUIN IT FOR YOU.
I’ve never been a huge Flash fan. I like the character fine, but mostly in a team setting. He’s perfect in the Justice League, but his own book just never really appealed to me. But the cover grabbed me. I’m a huge GL fan and I’ve always enjoyed Hal and Barry’s friendship. This story is exactly what I needed to read. So much in the DC (and Marvel, but that’s another post) is huge, epic, world-ending, life-or-death of everything as we know it stuff. And it’s getting a bit tiresome. Big story arcs are great, but I need a break in between. And this is exactly what I needed. Barry meets Hal for drinks as buddies, not as heroes. They’re goofing off before Hal has to go back to running Oa. They end up getting teleported to another planet where they’re forced to fight in a gladiator arena. Apparently, as shown in a flash back, this is all part of the adventure they had when they first met. It’s a great little side story that gives you insight into the characters and their relationships. It’s got MEAT to it. It’s not just punches and flashy fight scenes. I wish they’d give us more stories like this more often.
There’s another little stand-alone flash story in here too. It’s cute, tells a story, without changing the core story. But when you go back to the core story, you’ll be changed, your point of view will be changed, for having this little bite of who Flash is to chew on while he’s making life-or-death decisions and saving the universe.
Is this a game-changing issue? No. Is it going to go down in record books or become a collectors item? No. But it’s going to be one of my favorite Flash books for a long time. Definitely worth reading.