What is this all about?
In this issue, Barry’s anger boils over and he almost severs ties with the CCPD and the people he’s worked with for a long time. Kristen, a fellow investigator at the CCPD, helps Barry by sharing her history of grief and loss with him. Together they make a breakthrough in discovering who has been stealing evidence from the crime lab. Flash confronts the criminal, Ramsey, who turns out to be Bloodworks. This story is about how Flash faces his mistakes since being connected to the negative speed force while he confronts a new enemy.
Barry is safe after surviving the fire that consumed the crime lab, however, he is boiling over with anger. Director Singh confronts Barry for walking out on the investigation. Then he states, “NO wonder Iris left you”. Barry explodes demanding that Singh fire him. Barry cruelly attacks a co-investigator, Forrest, calling him worthless. Then, he boasts that he is the reason that the crime lab has solved crimes and that the rest of his co-workers were useless. Barry seems to be acting more like Eobard Thawne than himself demonstrating the continued ripple effect of his connection to the negative speed force. The writing is powerful describing a raw and fractured Barry who is at his emotional breaking point.
Kristen provides a lifeline:
While Barry is walking away, he reflects that his anger has been intense ever since his connection to the negative speed force. Kristen finds Barry and empathizes with how difficult it is for every member of the crime lab to hold the stress of solving crimes. She shares about how her parents died, her sister stopped talking to her, and then she died, as well. Barry seems ready to share more, but Kristen cautions him that he didn’t need to feel compelled to share his personal experiences until he’s ready. The connection between Barry and Kristen, created by her demonstration of empathy, is powerful and has a strong impact on Barry. He is freed to begin working a case and recovering his good name at the crime lab.
Kristen and Barry begin to work the CCPD evidence case. The evidence-trail points to one common factor, blood. Barry figures out that the person who is stealing blood was the same person who was burning the evidence last night. He goes down to confront the person. He finds Ramsey, an employee in the CCPD, in the crime lab dumping blood. Ramsey tells a story of how he was a hemophiliac and how that impacted him as a child. Ramsey shares that he found a cure and that he is now indestructible. Ramsey hits Flash with something and then explains to him that he can control the properties of another person’s blood as well as his own.
Barry gets angry causing an explosion due to his connection to the negative speed force. It first appears the Flash has killed Ramsey; however, Ramsey gets up. He thanks Barry for helping him to realize how powerful he really is. Bloodwork attacks Barry telling him that he’s seen the negative things that Flash has done in the city since he returned. The story ends with Flash questioning whether he is becoming just like Thawne. However, he doesn’t have time to ponder the dilemma because BloodWork is towering over him shouting, “I will make you the victim!”
The art is gorgeous and the story is emotionally meaningful. The story expresses themes of loss, grief, and recovery throughout. Kristen’s recovery from the loss of her family, her sharing her story with Barry seemed to empower him and give meaning to the story. Similarly, Ramsey’s story of overcoming a significant health diagnosis to let Flash know that he’s aware of the Flash’s most recent damaging effects on Central City is equally impactful. The book ends with a cliffhanger as Flash faces off against Bloodwork in Central City. I am excited to see how Flash overcomes his guilt and learns how to use his new power set to defeat Bloodwork!
Reviewed by Tom Zimm
Flash #30 Bloodwork part 1
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by: Neil Googe; Colors by, Ivan Plascencia; Letters by, Steve Wands
Published by DC
Release Date: 9/13/2017