The Flash #57

Written by, Joshua Williamson
Art by, Scott Kolins
Colors by, Luis Guerrero
Letters by, Steve Wands

In the last issue, The Sage Force gains power due to feeding off The Speed Force. This is possible because The Flash, along with Detective Burns, is trapped inside Heatwave’s maze, who is under the control of The Sage Force. As this issue begins, Heatwave is about to go nuclear and blow up Central City unless Barry and Detective Burns can convince Micky to detach from The Sage Force. The tide turns when Commander Cold, using special tech, enters the Heatwave’s maze, which exists inside of Heatwave’s head. To convince him to let go of The Sage Force, he appeals to the special times they had together as members of The Rogues.

Williamson’s treatment of Barry’s complex relationship with his past is the most compelling part of this issue. Ultimately, The Flash lets go of all of his failures from the past, the loss of Wally and Wallace, the damage caused by the new forces, and his distrust of Commander Cold. He learns that his guilt has held him back from embracing The Speed Force despite the fact that it changed his life and gave him a purpose after the death of his mother. The Flash re-engages The Speed Force, and he creates a tornado to force The Sage Force away from the rest of the group. After saving his friends and reconciling with Commander Cold, The Flash determines that he doesn’t understand everything about The Speed Force and that he must go on a quest to learn more.

The art enhances the story by effectively showing how The Flash’s connection to The Speed Force fuels The Sage Force, which fuels Heatwave – confusing unless you’ve seen the pictures.  In addition, the art accurately shows the joy in Iris’s face, the relief in Barry’s as they embark on the immediate goal, together, to learn more about The Speed Force and how it works.

Overall = 9.5

This issue was one of my favorites since the Gorilla Grodd stuff a couple months ago. I enjoyed that the story connected Barry back to what energizes him and gives him purpose: The Speed Force. In addition, it was emotionally satisfying to see Barry resolve conflicts with characters and focus his attention on a new mission with Iris going along as his partner. I can hardly wait to start this new story arc and to see what Barry learns about The Speed Force. I highly recommend this book for all fans of The Flash as it is emotionally satisfying and action-packed.