Joshua Williamson, writer
Scott Kolins, art
Luis Guerrero, colors
Steve Wands, letters
In the previous issue, we learn about The Trickster’s escape from Iron Heights and his desire to receive the credit for being the greatest con-artist in Central City. In this issue, we’re reminded that Iris left The Flash when she learned about Wally’s death at The Sanctuary. She’s offended by Barry’s lack of communication, which causes a rift between them. To make matters worse, The Flash is getting slower, ever since the emergence of The New Forces. Finally, Barry returns to Central City and finds that Commander Cold is missing and learns that everyone is under a spell, convinced to be happy, or else.
The writer pulls together plot beats from several previous story arcs, The New Force Quest and Heroes in Crisis, which helps the story to feel weighty and important. In addition, The Trickster asserts himself in Central City during Barry’s absence, which ties in nicely with his backstory from the previous issue. Barry is back to being a solo investigator due to the loss of Iris. The character is plagued by inner thoughts that cause him to question his decisions and second guess himself, which feels like The Flash. Most importantly, Barry is back to investigating and following clues as a CCPD detective. I like it when The Flash demonstrates his skills as the second best crime investigator in the DC Universe behind only Batman.
Scott Kolins’ art is gorgeous. The panel layouts make the story easy to follow and help the reader to not get bogged down in dialogue balloons. The coloring, specifically, the reds, yellows and blues make a nice contrast and appealing aesthetic. Kolins knows how to build worlds with his art that make the city feel alive, and more importantly, make The Flash feel injected with The Speed Force.
Art = 9.5/10
Story = 8.5/10
Overall = 9.25/10
This issue provides a strong second installment of the current arc because it propels the story forward and provides the reader with interesting cliff hangers. Specifically, Barry must locate The Trickster and find out how he was able to gain control of Central City during his absence. I highly recommend this book to fans of The Flash and of DC Comics.