What is this all about?
In this issue, The Flash battles Bloodwork, the quiet CCPD coroner Ramsey Rosso, in the streets of Central City. Barry admits that he’s hurt many people and lied about his identity to avoid pain. In spite of Barry’s confession and honesty, Directo Singh demotes Barry and his partner Kristen. As a consequence of his unpredictability, he has Barry transferred to Iron Heights prison. In this story, Barry learns that honesty is the first step to repairing relationships, and change requires hard work, but he doesn’t have to do it alone.
The story begins with Bloodwork growing larger and wreaking havoc while putting the people of Central City in danger. The Flash uses his new powers to stop Bloodwork, but he can only stop one of Bloodwork’s veins at a time. A small child is caught in the middle of the fight and is in serious danger. The Flash brings the boy to his family and directs them to leave before Ramsey hurts them. Bloodwork blames The Flash for his violent behavior and the people he has hurt, “Look at what you made me do!” The Flash points out to Ramsey that experiencing pain is not a justification for hurting others.
The angrier Bloodwork gets, the stronger he becomes. The Flash remembers that Ramsey is at the center of Bloodwork and he runs close to him and states, “We’re more alike than you think, Ramsey.” Barry puts his guard down and he admits his mistakes to Bloodwork. He confesses, “I’ve allowed the negativity in my life to build until I exploded,” putting Ramsey at ease. The Flash acknowledges that Bloodwork has done bad things, but tells him that they will face his misdeeds together. Bloodwork allows The Flash to get close enough for The Flash to shock him hard enough to transform him back to Ramsey. The sequence feels like a dark melody as The Flash tricks Bloodwork into putting down his guard, thereby making him vulnerable to The Flash’s attack.
After defeating Bloodwork, Barry apologizes to his cohorts at the CCPD for not being reliable. However, Director Singh responds by saying he hasn’t shown Barry the “tough love” he deserves and then he demotes Barry to a job at the Iron Heights prison. Barry learns by Singh’s response that taking responsibility for mistakes does not wipe away the natural consequences of the mistakes. Barry hands in his ring and stops being The Flash until he can learn how to control himself while he’s connected to the negative speed force.
Barry finds Iris conducting an interview so Kid Flash will find him. However, Kid Flash, Wally, accuses Barry of stocking Iris. Barry puts Kid Flash at ease and shares everything he’s learned about himself to Wally. Barry shares, “I don’t want to see the look of disappointment on their faces when I’m not the hero they want me to be.” After this statement, Barry attempts to give Wally his ring that allows him to transform into The Flash. He states that he doesn’t want to have this power until he knows how to control his connection to the negative speed force. Wally rejects his offer telling Barry that what he needs is a mentor. The story ends with Wally mentoring Barry on how to use his new powers.
I’m not sure how I feel about The Flash continuing the connection he has to the negative speed force. However, this story sets up some interesting storylines moving forward. I like that Wally is set to mentor Barry and that they repaired their relationship. It will be interesting to see how Kid Flash helps The Flash with his connection to the negative speed force. It might take Barry a while to restore his relationship with Iris. And, his CCPD partner, Kristen, could remain upset with Barry, which would make for an interesting work environment. I can hardly wait for the next story arc to see some of these storylines develop.
8 / 10
Reviewed by Tom Zimm Comic Book Title The Flash #31, BloodWork Finale Written by Joshua Williamson Art by: Neil Googe (pages 1-10), Gus Vazquez (pages 11-21),Pencils; Colors by, Ivan Plascencia; Letters by, Tom Napolitano Published by DC Release Date: 9/27/2017