The Flash #57
With Barry and Detective Burns still trapped in Heatwave's mind (courtesy of the Sage Force), it's up to Commander Cold and Iris to figure out a way to free them. Barry and Burns' attempts to connect with Heatwave emotionally fail, but Iris taps a series of memories regarding her study of the Forces pre-Flashpoint (I'll circle back to that in a minute) and sends Cold in dressed as Captain Cold and armed with a story from a more simple time in Rory and Snart's friendship to free Heatwave from the Sage Force, releasing our trapped heroes.
Following this latest Force encounter, Barry acknowledges that it is time to stop running in circles and finally take the advice of the Counsel of Flashes and go on a Force Quest. After explaining his intent to Iris, Barry is surprised by the fact that not only does Iris support the idea-- she is coming along for the ride!
The above page perfectly describes the last few arcs. It has been months of what have felt like the series just running in place, never moving forward nor backwards. This holding pattern would now appear to have been intentional, but for many it was also unfortunate, killing the momentum created by “Flash War”. Now that Barry’s funk is seemingly over, perhaps we can get back to the issues at hand?
There were a few moments of minor revelation in this issue. The first, after successfully defeating the Sage Force, Barry finally accepts and thanks Commander Cold for his help, to which Cold responds with “Call me Henry.”
The real-life identity of Commander Cold has been something of a mystery, although perhaps this reveal, although done in a cringe-worthy “Martha” style, provides some factual evidence for the theorists who believe Cold is an Allen descendant (and perhaps a Snart as well?).
The second reveal surrounds Iris’ pre-Flashpoint memories, which she regained just prior to “Flash War.” The notion that pre-Flashpoint, Iris was researching the Forces strikes me as odd and unfamiliar. I don’t recall ever reading about the Forces prior to Rebirth, and if I’m correct in assuming that nothing of the sort happened pre-Flashpoint, it would seem a somewhat sloppy, and potentially continuity smashing deus ex machina inserted into the narrative in order to speed things along (no pun intended).
Another month and another issue of Flash. Hopefully, with these short Force arcs behind us and Force Quest ahead, we'll see Williamson and company return to form.
The Flash #57: Isn’t it About Time for a Force Quest?
Writing - 7/10
Storyline - 5/10
Art - 5/10
Color - 7/10
Cover Art - 8/10
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