FLASH #3 & #4

Can you feel it? Can you hear the sound of the bells and the smell of the new uniforms? If so, then you know it’s time to go back to school! What a coincidence Neil Googe, Carmine De Giandomenico, and Joshua Williamson wrote a story about learning, right? Except Speed Force 101 with The Flash is actually a practical subject to learn! So on your marks, get set… go! It’s August, it’s 2016, and it’s time for another double review of The Flash!

TO QUOTE Helen Keller: “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”.

Issue three of The Flash starts off a bit like a buddy cop movie, like Lethal Weapon or National Security (both personal favorites of mine). We got two Speed Force-powered cops chasing down some bad guys, you know, just a regular time in Central City for Barry Allen and his friend, August Heart! Well, that’s not totally true. Usually bad guys don’t also have Super Speed. But hey, sometimes they do!

While dropping off the baddies at Iron Heights Penitentiary, Barry reflects on entering the building where Eobard Thawne (the man who killed his mother) is incarcerated. This scene also offers a glimpse at the darker side of the human personality, as August reveals what he might do in Barrys’ case -- if his brothers’ killer were so close.

Putting that aside, the two head over to S.T.A.R. Labs after being notified about a training facility for new Speedsters, headed by a Dr. Meena Dhawan, also a new Speedster. Leaving Dr. Dhawan and The Flash to talk Speed Force Physics, Detective Hearts decides at least one of them should be at their day job, which, as usual, involves dealing with that meddling Iris West.

Here we have one of my favorite pages, because I like seeing how Super Speed is interpreted. Carmine De Giandomenico does especially well with Wally in a scene in the police station that nets his aunt more exclusive information.

Meanwhile, The Flash and Dr. Dhawan are off to assist a new Speedster. Here is another awesome moment for your Flash scrapbooks, as we see just how much of a hero Flash is, helping ground a young girl, and bring her back from her Speed-induced haze. It's a real smile-grabber of a scene written by Joshua Williamson, who exhibits a clear understanding of Barry Allen.

Sadly, not all is well for Central Cities new speedsters. The big debut of Godspeed is retold by a beaten, bloody August. With three Speedsters off his hitlist, one can only wonder just what the mysterious white-and-gold clad speed demon has in mind.

This mystery plays a big part in the story stabbed into issue 4 of The Flash. While helping to teach new Speedsters at the S.T.A.R. Labs training facility, the Scarlet Speedster and August are visited by Iris West. Iris reveals to the Flash the information Wally obtained for her, revealing that The Black Hole had access to the Speed Force energy.

With his typical partner on the shelf, Dr. Dhawan steps up to assist The Flash in confronting The Black Hole: A task that proves about as easy as can be expected for the most part, considering it’s two Speedsters against regular people. That is until the leader of The Black Hole, Dr. Carver, steps up to the plate. The doctor reveals he was struck by lightning himself, but for some reason gained no powers. Instead this made him realize The Flash shouldn’t be the only one to have… access to… the Speed Force?

Using his aptly (and lamely) named Speed Machine though, Dr. Carver manages to inject his cells with Speed Force energy, and much like the young girl from the previous issue, goes into a Speed Force-induced haze. Unlike that girl, however, Dr. Carvers’ haze sends him on a rampage in a scene that is pretty trippy to look at, courtesy of Neil Googe on art for this issue.

Thankfully, August and a couple of Speedsters-in-Training arrive to help The Doctor and The Flash against Dr. Carver. The Flash does an awesome job of leading his Speed Team, sending the rookies to evacuate and protect civilians while he, the doctor, and August attend to the big bad with impressive teamwork.

It takes some tricky maneuvering, but our heroes manage to stop the literal Black Hole, and at the end of the day, it looks like The Flash might have a new love interest and a new lease on life as a hero, deciding it’s time to let Dr. Dhawan know that The Flash is Barry Allen, the Fastest Man Alive!

With all this talk of teamwork and mentors, I suppose it could only be expected. This entire time, I was humming the theme song for Sonic Heroes aptly named 'Sonic Heroes by Crush 40'. Just wondering how that would play if you tried to Speed your way through it…

What these books and the stories have reminded me of, is actually kind of weird. Seeing The Flash being such an awesome person, and then seeing the things done and said by Godspeed and The Black Hole, have made me think of the 2016 Rio Olympics. Lots of good stuff happening there, yet somehow, we still let the little things like unsportsmanlike conduct or illegal scientific experiments overshadow them.

The Flash has been a solid book so far, but there are a lot of questions that I’m looking forward to seeing answered as the series progresses. Which one of these do you want to see addressed most?
  • Who is Godspeed?
  • Will Barry Allen and Meena Dhawan work out?
  • What will August pick for his codename?
  • Who will retain their powers after this arc?
  • Who is the Fastest Man Alive? Godspeed or The Flash?
  • When will Wally reveal his powers to his family and friends?
*** This article was brought to you by Tyson V. Jones: Don't wake me up just yet, I'm not done working.


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