The Flash #60 – Joshua Williamson, Writer; Rafa Sandoval, Penciller; Jordi Tarragona, Inker; Tomeu Morey, Hi-Fi, Colorists
Ray – 8.5/10
Corrina: A New Hero
Ray: Sometimes, solicits can be a book’s worst enemy. The Flash #60 caused no small amount of controversy when it was announced due to the fact that it seemed to be about Flash fighting to stop a new metahuman powered by the Strength Force from overthrowing her country’s corrupt government. Given that the new meta seemed to be black and was being opposed by a white hero didn’t help. Well, Josh Williamson’s actual story is very much not that – it’s a compelling story of what happens when a metahuman hero is born into a situation that makes it impossible to be a hero in the law. Corto Maltese, the site of this issue’s action, is a notoriously corrupt European nation and it’s only gotten more so since the fascist Police Chief Cauldron has seized control of the country’s weaponry and is using it to brutally suppress dissent. The new hero, Fuerza, is naturally guarded due to her country’s state, and she immediately perceives Flash as a potential threat.
From there, though, it takes a pleasant turn as Flash and Fuerza actually do something rarely seen in superhero comics – talk things out. Turns out Fuerza is a highly intelligent college student who has taken advantage of her new gift to become a one-woman resistance force to a fascist government, and although she’s prickly she and Flash are able to teach each other a lot about how their respective powers work. This is a comic book, of course, and so the action is coming. Chief Cauldron is a bit too much of a cartoon as a villain, but he poses a major threat and the issue has a great last-page twist about the power of his weapons. I just wish the other plotlines in the issue were more compelling – I find the evil twins Gemini especially annoying. Overall, though, this is the strongest installment of the “Force Quest” arc yet and continues to expand the mythology of the Flash universe in a fascinating way. And can we get Fuerza in a team book stat?
Corrina: I’ve been iffy about the “Force Quest” and the new “forces” of the universe that are related to the Speed Force. But while Flash #60 didn’t sell me on the concept completely, it definitely sold me on Fuerza. It gives her a quick origin, a compelling reason to be a hero, and a community that she’s trying to protect, all in a setting that’s completely her own. I also liked the glimpses in how she dealt with her new powers, learning about their limits, and how she channels her connection to her force.
The contrast between her methods of connecting to her powers and Barry’s scientific methods had me wishing that Barry could be more like her. Williamson has written, for the most part, a very good run on this series, introducing new characters and concepts. But he’s never quite sold me on Barry-as-hero, given how often Barry seems to ping-pong between trusting people and believing his way is the best way. (This may be more my fault, as Barry may just not be the type of character I’m interested in.)
But I like anything that delves into the Flash mythos, such as the trip to Gorilla City, and in this issue. And, yes, can we see Fuerza again, soon? But not in a team book. I’d like to see her in her own environment, with a more fleshed-out villain. (Though Chief Cauldron could be less one-note next issue.)
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.