Warning: SPOILERS for The Flash #70
Frank Miller’s iconic graphic novel Batman: Year One is highly regarded as one of the greatest comic books of all time. And while other members of the Bat-Family like Nightwing and Batgirl have gotten the 'Year One' treatment, DC’s other big heroes seldom have. That is, until now, thanks to the arrival of The Flash: Year One by Joshua Williamson and Howard Porter.
In this exciting new arc, Barry Allen fans finally get to witness the year one, secret origin of the fastest man alive! With The Flash hitting the ground running as an established hero in The New 52 and Rebirth story-lines, it's actually been quite some time since fans have gotten a proper retelling of how Barry Allen got his speed. Which makes The Flash: Year One not only the canonical start of Barry's career as The Flash, but the perfect opportunity for first time readers and Speed Force fanatics alike to see how his origin story really played out.
What starts out as a typical origin story in The Flash #70 quickly becomes something completely new. That being said, fans of The Flash will definitely appreciate some cute nods to the Golden Age Flash, Jay Garrick as a character in the old comic book collection belonging to Barry's mother. And of course, a Flash origin story wouldn’t be complete without the iconic lab accident and lightning bolt that started it all.
From there, it's the standard (but always entertaining, thanks once again to artist Howard Porter) montage of Barry learning how to use his powers, with the addition of cataloging his abilities in a superpower journal speaking to the science nerds more than ever before. From his legendary caloric intake to the side effects of speed reading a hundred books in a minute, Barry documents his physical changes one at a time. Overall, it's a pretty standard and entertaining Flash origin... with the added cost of how many running shoes Barry actually melted before ever mastering the art of 'stopping.'
But the real change comes when Barry accidentally runs SO fast that he breaks the time barrier and ends up in a grim dystopian future. Just as he's getting his bearings, a fascistic military unit descends upon our confused hero in training. Claiming to be part of King Turtle's regime, the soldiers confront Barry for being "out of his shell." But just when thing are about to get ugly, a mysterious red blur incapacitates the soldiers out of nowhere. The last thing we see is Old Man Flash berating his his younger self by asking what we’re all thinking; will the Scarlet Speedster ever really learn how dangerous time travel is?
While time travel is nothing new for The Flash, the fact that this happens during his first year as the speedster of Central City means this is now canonically the first time that Barry has flung himself through time. And who is this dubious 'King Turtle' who seems to have taken over Central City? Our money is clearly on the admittedly lesser-known Flash Rogue known as The Turtle, whose powers slow down time. One thing is for sure: we wish we could travel into the future to find out what happens in the next issue.
The Flash #70 is available now from your local comic book store and online direct from DC Comics.