The Flash #44 – Joshua Williamson, Writer; Carmine Di Giandomenico, Artist; Ivan Plascencia, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Corrina: Terrific Speedster Sequence
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: The final chapter of “Perfect Storm” in Flash #44 delivers some serious action and a redemption of sorts for Barry Allen (who set much of this arc’s chaos in effect with his shortsighted actions), but it also delivers some serious emotional punch thanks to its framing device – which takes a dark turn in the cliffhanger. That framing device is a letter, written by Barry to Iris as he’s pretty sure he’s about to die in the speed storm that’s enveloping the city. As the issue starts, the Negative Speed Force has erupted thanks to Grodd’s sabotage, and now threatens to consume all of Central City. As Wally desperately tries to get everyone out of the city and find Iris, Barry is going up against an enraged Grodd who is beating him to death – or so he thinks. Barry manages to push back against Grodd’s influence, defeat him, and even offer him a way out of the city – something Grodd rejects, choosing to die in his own storm rather than live without the Speed Force.
The leadership of Gorilla City shows up to take Grodd into custody, but there’s a bigger problem, as it seems the Negative Speed Force is going to threaten all life on Earth unless it’s taken out and stopping it could cost every speedster their powers. Although even rogue speedsters Neera and Godspeed are willing to help, Barry once again takes the responsibility on himself and plans to harness the speed storm on his own, likely killing himself in the process. That’s where the letter comes in, as Bary dashes off one final, powerful message to Iris. He’s a very flawed character, but this issue does a great job of showing why he endures as a hero. Fortunately, it’s the older Wally who ensures he doesn’t have to take this battle alone, and they all survive, although Godspeed disappears in the aftermath. The ending reunion between Barry and Iris is great, but Zolomon lurks right behind the shadows, as after a done-in-one next issue, Flash War is just around the corner.
Corrina: I love it when all the speedsters team-up, especially with a sequence that shows off all their skills, and especially when the art is consistently excellent throughout the story, which is why I liked this finale more than any other single chapter of “Perfect Storm.”
I love what the art team did with the Negative Speed Force sequences and you can see an example above.
I still shake my head at Barry’s previous behavior and I wonder if it’s possible for him to repair things with Iris, but at least he’s taken the first step. However, it’s not usually a good sign when I like all the supporting characters in a book better than the main character. Iris will have to be more forgiving.
Still. the promise of Wally and Iris’s reunion will keep me reading, especially since there seems to have been a reboot of sorts already that should allow original Wally West to exist with new Wally. (Or is another reboot coming? I forget with Doomsday Clock, but, hey, it’s time to take original Wally off the shelf.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.