Review – The Flash #86: Central City Thaw

Comic Books DC This Week
Flash #86
The Flash #86 variant cover, via DC Comics.

The Flash #86 – Joshua Williamson, Writer; Rafa Sandoval, Penciller; Jordi Tarragona, Inker; Arif Prianto, Hi-Fi, Colorists


Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: The conclusion of Rogues’ Reign in Flash #86 delivers what we’re looking for in an explosive showdown between Captain Cold and the Flash. Josh Williamson uses a pretty smart technique early on, with a joint narration between the hero and villain, each reflecting on what’s come before.

That’s a good indication of where this comic went right while similar story City of Bane went astray a bit – we’re in our villain’s head here, while Bane never seemed like a major player there. Williamson has nicely built on the tragic family history of the Rogues in this story, and Cold’s mania has ultimately led him to freeze his own allies for a one-on-one battle. He also does a lot of good work on how Cold’s power could manifest in different ways, and how Flash could develop creative ways to counter it. Complicating it, though, is that Flash’s own powers are quickly going out of control.

Cold origins. Via DC Comics.

The other players don’t have quite as much to do this issue, although the Rogues do get some good moments once they’re unfrozen. Seeing Iris, Avery, and Wallace in action again was great, and I’m hoping Avery in particular gets to stick around as her team seems to be in limbo. The dramatic final battle delivered, with Flash’s powers reaching a strange new level that put himself and the city in danger.

I thought the murder of Commander Cold was treated way too casually and barely mentioned, while the Rogues simply winding up back in cuffs after playing a key role in saving the day seemed like an anticlimax. Speaking of cuffs, the ending is a major development, but one that seems a bit rash given how much danger Barry is putting himself in. Even if his powers are out of control, surely there’s people better equipped to help him than meta-prison?

Williamson wastes no time setting up a new major storyline coming down the pipe as this title heads towards #750.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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