The Flash #62 – Joshua Williamson, Writer; Christian Duce, Artist; Luis Guerrero, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Corrina: So Much For Force “Heroes”
Ray: The “Force Quest” storyline has been one of Williamson’s longest arcs on The Flash, sending Barry and Iris around the world to meet new friends and face new enemies, all empowered by the three mystery forces. With Flash #62, though, the storyline starts to feel a little thin. Coming off their adventures in Corto Maltese, Barry and Iris head to Zandia – the crime capital of the DCU. This small lawless nation is the base of operations for Roulette, the casino crime queen – and it’s also where the newest Sage Force wielder, Psych, has set up base. The last issue he revealed he knows who Flash is and tried to form an alliance with him and Iris. This issue he reveals his backstory – an undercover ARGUS agent on a top-secret mission within Zandia, he also has deeply personal ties to the nation and is looking for revenge against the people who killed his mother. But Iris quickly smells a rat in the charismatic new meta.
This issue would work a lot better if Psych was remotely believable as a hero – but he’s oily. Ridiculously oily. I didn’t buy his act for a minute, but Barry did, which kind of defied belief. Iris wasn’t taken in at all, and it was satisfying to see her be proven right. Psych’s eventual heel turn is so sudden and blatant that it makes him seem like a pretty weak villain overall – especially once he’s backstabbed by his allies in Gemini. But Barry’s escape is dramatic, and Iris got more to do than she has in recent issues. The other subplots in this issue don’t factor in much, with only a brief segment involving Commander Cold stumbling into the original Trickster’s lair. The story is enjoyable enough, but this title is starting to feel like it has a problem – and that problem is Heroes in Crisis. The book is in flux until we know how Wally’s story plays out, and as such, this plot often feels like filler until the next big twist.
Corrina: Last issue, Barry wanted to herosplain her country to the new hero of color. This issue, the new Sage Force “hero” is a person of color who is an obvious villain. I’m all for adding more non-white characters to the DC mythos but I’m getting uncomfortable with making them antagonists so much, especially when added to the pair of new villains in Bendis’s Action Comics run.
I wasn’t fooled by Psych’s little show of wanting to be a hero but I was hoping he did turn out to be, at least, morally gray, and working for A.R.G.U.S., because that would have a potential for the future, especially in such a setting. Alas, he seems to be killed off this issue after a telegraphed heel-turn. I can’t blame Barry too much for not seeing it–he saw what he wanted to see. But, overall, these new characters haven’t quite worked and that bums me out.
On the positive side, Iris has had consistently good characterization during this quest and I like the backstory of the Gemini. But I’d hoped for a more consistent story for this arc.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.