The Flash #59 – Joshua Williamson, Writer; Rafa Sandoval, Penciller; Jordi Tarragona, Inker; Tomeu Morey, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Corrina: Gorilla City!
Ray: The Flash continues its “Force Quest” around the world as Barry and Iris seek answers from past and present holders of the Speed, Strength, Still, and Sage Forces. That quest takes them to Gorilla City this issue, as the super-couple arrives to discover a horrible scene of massacred gorillas. Grodd is the immediate suspect, especially given his involvement in the Legion of Doom, but he’s soon cleared by circumstances. The issue opens with a flashback to Barry’s first meeting with the late Solovar years back, and as Barry and Iris investigate the ruined city they encounter a hidden passage guarded by mysterious giant gorillas. Those turn out to be robot giant gorillas, placed there as a warning by a small but secretive group of Gorilla City scientists who were able to avoid detection by the mysterious attacker and are continuing Solovar’s mission underground. And in their hidden lab, Barry finds that his old friend Solovar has left him a message.
That’s all the setup for an issue that has much more to do with setup and teasing the powers of the Forces than it does with any major plot advancement. Barry learns from Solovar that the four Forces have been around since the beginning of time, and they all had an Avatar. This calls back to the very popular “Seven Lantern Corps” concept that made Geoff Johns’ run on Green Lantern, and it’s likely that we’re going to use these forces to set up new heroes and villains permanently. But right now, most of the bearers have seemed disposable – either Rogues who can’t control them or new characters like Gemini, the scheming dual thieves who show up briefly in the issue to take advantage of the chaos and further their quest for the Forces. Barry and Iris are soon headed for war-torn Corto Maltese, where the new bearer of the Strength Force is fighting against the country’s oppressive government. Nothing bad in this issue, but it definitely is more of a quiet issue before the next big story.
Corrina: I like the quiet issues. Often, they provide insight into the main characters. This issue, it’s how deep Barry’s regrets go. He’s regretting a great number of things in his life, from failing to learn how to use the Speed Force, to his failures with Wally and Wallace. Luckily, Iris is there to knock him out of this mood. The only way the fastest man alive should be moving is forward.
The residents of Gorilla City certainly don’t hold any of this against Barry, providing clues to the four Forces. Naturally, not all the clues, because then this story would be over. We’re left, in the end, with many questions: who killed the gorillas? How did Gemini obtain one of the four Forces? And what exactly does Barry need to learn about them?
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.