The Flash #61 – Joshua Williamson, Writer; Christian Duce, Artist; Luis Guerrero, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Corrina: New Frenemy?
Ray: The Flash’s world tour continues, with this issue introducing not one but two Force wielders. The first, who we met last issue, is the young rebel Fuerza. This Corto Maltese vigilante entered the book like a tornado, fighting against an oppressive government with anger and property destruction. Some exploration of her character, though, revealed that she was a complex character guarding her family and making real change in her country. But the corrupt Chief Cauldron – who uses unstable Sage Force tech to enforce his rule – made a move against her family and set up a nasty showdown. Cauldron is still the weakest part of this issue, a cartoonishly evil villain who serves more as an obstacle than anything else. But the Flash/Fuerza team-up is one of the most compelling parts of the issue and it’s great to see a story that has heroes with opposing political views but doesn’t strawman either of them.
Naturally, the alliance can’t last forever. Fuerza eventually loses control of her powers and becomes a threat in her own right – this series seems to be pushing hard that none of the forces are entirely stable in the hands of the people they bond with. They part on ambiguous grounds, but I’m hoping Fuerza makes a return appearance. I’m equally intrigued by the next Sage Force holder, though, a young man named Psych. A card shark and con man, he instantly seems to be set up as a major villain. His ability to create hallucinations marks him as a major threat, with powers similar to Scarecrow. However, the cliffhanger indicates he might not be malicious and ends the issue on a fun note of ambiguity. Taking the Flash out of Central City and into this unpredictable world of new superpowers has been a breath of fresh air for the series, exactly what it needed after a series of plot-driven events.
Corrina: It was a good overall story but it left me feeling uncomfortable that Barry keeps telling Fuerza what should be best for her people and her situation. How does he know her country is better off with Cauldron alive than dead? It came suspiciously close to the outsider explaining to the oppressed of another country what was best for them. If there had been more emphasis on a personal appeal–and that’s part of what Barry leans on but not all–that killing will change her, and thus her connection to the Force, it would have worked better.
Barry came to Fuerza for help but that quest basically ends with the figurative equivalent of throwing up his hands. That’s too bad because Fuerza is an excellent character. I also hope we’ll see her again.
Because I’m not that familiar with the Flash mythos, I initially assumed Psych was an older Flash villain, not a new character. But such appears not to be the case at all and Psych makes a charismatic entrance, especially since he catches onto who Barry is in a hot second.
However, how all these Forces fit together, along with those who wield them, is still as unclear as ever to me.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.