The Flash #59
Barry and Iris’ “Force Quest” have led them to Gorilla City, but when they arrive, they find they are too late to stop a massacre. Upon investigation, our duo discovers a secret lab revealing secrets of Gorilla City Barry had not previously been privy to thanks to his disinvolvement with their culture. As Barry digs deeper, both figuratively and metaphorically, his past regrets bubble to the surface. Barry dwells on opportunities lost to learn more about the Forces when he had the chance. The Gorilla City scientists show Barry and Iris a video telling about the Forces and their avatars that regrettably cuts off just before the juicy bits are revealed, although mention of a Dark Force seems like a critical piece of information. The data is shuffled to Commander Cold who traces a new Strength Force surge to Corto Maltese and the world tour continues, setting up a fight between Barry and a new Strength Force wielder, Fuerza, for the next issue. Meanwhile, Gemini continue to track Barry hoping to syphon his powers and along the way, bring themselves up to speed on the Forces, as well.
There are a number of interesting elements at work in this current arc of Williamson’s extended run on The Flash. While certainly the quest to understand the newly revealed Forces is the most central to the narrative and serves as the catalyst, it is also the most laborious of the active threads in this arc. By this, I mean that the slow burn to the answer of the nature of the Forces plays a second fiddle, in my opinion, to the development of the relationship between Barry and Iris.
As Iris continues to unravel her re-acquired memories, she is rapidly being elevate from her station as love interest to an active role in the heroing portion of the narrative. As she is quick to point out, her slower, more methodical modality is the perfect counter-balance to Barry’s speed. She observes, listens, and when needed, acts in service to the mission first. Lacking a true “sidekick” for the first time in years, Barry’s character has seemingly been digressing into a self-deprecating, guilt-ridden second tier superhero, but Iris’ energy seems to function like a tide, raising all ships, as it were. The change in scenery, as well, plays a large role in re-establishing Barry as a global hero, not simply a local one, and with that sort of widespread exposure, he is certainly on his way to being one DC’s heavy hitters once more.
"Force Quest" continues to be a very interesting arc with gorgeously smooth art. Flash is on his way back to the top of the DCU!
The Flash #59: Flash International
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 7.5/107.5/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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