Golden Glider leads a de-powered Flash, Kid Flash, and Avery through the frozen wastes of Central City to lead them to the first Rogue who can help them defeat King Cold (né Captain Cold). Trouble is, Weather Wizard is more akin to Weather God these days…
Weather Wizard, though, doesn’t realize King Cold has lied to everybody about Flash being dead. Demanding proof of life, he knocks the speedsters’ power-dampening collars out of commission – which immediately leaves them vulnerable to the supercharged speed force!
The heroes’ powers continue to vibrate them wildly out of control, when Golden Glider reveals the ribbons she’s robed in have the ability to suppress the Speed Force!
Meanwhile, King Cold begins to realize his deal with Apex Lex may not be all it’s cracked up to be…
Flash #84 is a fun stepping stone and provides a good midway point for “Rogues’ Reign.” A little bit more of Golden Glider’s apparent defection to the side of the angels is revealed, and something of a roadmap to the end of the story is illuminated.
Writer Josh Williamson seems to be channeling his inner fanboy for this issue – or at least, the ones bitterly decrying his every move. It would be easy to say, unabashed that “This isn’t what the Rogues do!” throughout this storyarc. Indeed, the very thing that makes the Rogues so interesting is their blue-collar roots; elevating them to the status of kings and gods goes against their very grain. But by having Golden Glider – and then Weather Wizard – look at what’s happening with their comrade King Cold and say, “No, this isn’t what we do – “ Williamson is looking right at his detractors and saying, “Don’t worry. I know what I’m doing.” It’s a confident move from a writer who sometimes seems to lack security in his own abilities.
That said, we still don’t know exactly what’s going on with the Speed Force, and an awful lot of this story hinges on that. It ties into the conclusion of the last storyarc, but at this point, everything is still a mystery. And it should be – needless exposition or a rush to reveal everything would sap the story of any sense of immediacy in its storytelling. And it would be, y’know, boring. One thing Williamson hasn’t been shy about during his tenure on this book is a willingness to play around with the Speed Force: how it functions, what its properties are, how it correlates to the universe, what it means when other forces arise to compete with it. It’s not quite that the status quo is changing every arc, but it shows a willingness on the author’s part to stir the pot, kick a few sacred cows, and maybe even kill some darlings along the way. It hasn’t always worked, but if nothing else, the results show Williamson isn’t content to just spin is wheels and dabble in what’s come before without moving the needle into new territories and ideas.
The art team changes up this issue, from Rafa Sandoval to Christian Duce. Sandoval, for whatever reason, has only done part of the previous storyline and this; it’s a bit frustrating that he won’t/can’t commit to an entire arc, but Duce is a hell of a skilled talent whose linework isn’t dissimilar from Sandoval’s. The transition isn’t a glaring one and doesn’t interrupt the flow of the story like some mid-arc artist changes have. Their styles are too similar for that.
Overall, Flash continues at a (excuse me) brisk pace, building on the momentum the title received during “Flash: Year One.” Big things are coming, and Williamson isn’t done yet – if you want a Flash who isn’t constantly moping around like his TV counterpart has been this season, come check this book out!
Flash #84: Lo, the Weather God Comes!
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 7.5/107.5/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 8.5/108.5/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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