The Flash #7
Review by Paul Bowler
The super-speed face-off between Flash and Godspeed that we’ve all been waiting for hit’s the ground running in The Flash #7, as the scarlet speedster rallies against his new arch nemesis. Yet, in order to have any hope of defeating Godspeed, the Flash must call upon the newly empowered speedsters of Central City to relinquish their Speed Force powers, and that’s something that could prove just as problematic…
Whilst still reeling from the murder of his girlfriend, Meena Dhawn, by Godspeed, Barry Allen is now confronted with the horrifying truth that his friend, and fellow speedster Detective August Heart, is in fact the very menace they’ve been working together to defeat – Godspeed! The last few issues have seen the pieces of the puzzle gradually falling into place: the storm that gave citizens in Central City speed powers, the connection to Dr. Carver, leader of the Black Hole faction of scientists, and Detective Heart’s investigation into his brother’s death all illustrate just how cleverly Godspeed has been hiding in plain sight all along.
The Flash has been another of the big highlights of DC’s Rebirth for me, its completely reinvigorated the character, and made the comic book series’ narrative feel far more cohesive than it ever did during the latter part of its New 52 run. The Flash #7 is another impressive issue from Joshua Williamson, Carmine Di Giandomenico, and Ivan Plascencia. Lightening Strikes Twice Part 7, the penultimate issue in this arc, sees Godspeed pressing home his advantage, beating Flash to a pulp, while flashbacks detail how August discovered how to steal the speed force from the other speedsters. Even though Godspeed is faster than the Flash, so fast in fact, that he can actually be in two places at the same time, we also learn this ability comes with a painful price.
Joshua Williamson does a terrific job bringing the plot strands of this arc together in this issue. We see Barry at perhaps his lowest ebb, forced to retreat and recover, devastated by Meena’s death, and oblivious to the hostage situation unfolding in central city court house. It also becomes chillingly clear just how much August has been corrupted by his speed powers and thirst for revenge, when Godspeed intervenes to deal with the Black Hole Agents, underlining his stance as a super speed equivalent of judge, jury, and executioner.
Carmine Di Giandomenico’s artwork stylishly conveys every dramatic twist and turn of Joshua Williamson’s intricately paced storyline. The page layouts are packed with detail and seamlessly maintain the flow of the action. I love how Giandomenico brings an electrifying fluidity to the way the Flash, Godspeed, Wally, and the other speedsters use the speed force, it really immerses you in the action, and Ivan Plascencia’s stunning use of color gives each speedster powers a very distinct, individual, look all their own. Godspeed’s powers are used in some pretty nasty and violent ways too, in this issue, reinforcing his threat as a major villain. There are also some genuinely moving scenes when Wally finally reveals his powers to the Flash. Carmine Di Giandomenico and Ivan Plascencia bring a rich warmth to these scenes, with Wally’s reasons for not wanting to tell his aunt Iris about his powers, along with his grief about Meena – who was secretly training him to use his powers – ultimately enabling Flash to devise a plan that will help him fight Godspeed.
Indeed, Meena’s tragic death resonates powerfully throughout this issue, and it is her influence on Barry and Wally that also fittingly provides the catalyst that bonds their friendship and forges Flash’s idea to harness the power of the remaining speedsters created by the speed force storm. The Flash #7 builds to emotional climax, with powerfully moving scenes as the Flash has to convince the speedsters to give up their powers, and it all culminates in race towards a high-velocity cliff-hanger that will bring the twisted schism of the Flash’s and Godspeed’s conflict full circle in the most personal choice of battlegrounds for both of them.
The Flash #7 continues DC Comics strong run of new Rebirth titles. The creative team on this book have propelled the Flash to even greater heights with this exciting storyline, and I look forward to seeing how the thrilling conclusion of this ac plays out.
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Joshua Williamson / Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Colorist: Ivan Plascencia / Letterer: Steve Wands
Cover: Carmine Di Giandomenico Variant Cover: Dave Johnson