[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Picking up from last issue, Barry is fighting Godspeed, now revealed to be his friend and co-worker, Det. August Heart. Godspeed definitely has the upper hand in the battle, as he not only is faster than Barry, but has the ability to be in two places at once, effectively making the fight two against one.
However, this ability comes at a cost, and while Heart is distracted by the pain this causes, Barry flees. Barry returns to S.T.A.R. Labs to recover, but refuses help from any of his remaining student speedsters.
While Barry recuperates, Godspeed confronts a number of Black Hole agents who are holding hostages. He quickly ends the hostage situation by mercilessly killing all the agents — except the leader, whom he abducts to question about Billy Parks. The Black Hole leader claims that Billy Parks had nothing to do with the Black Hole. August refuses to believe this, as he has already killed in revenge for Parks allegedly killing August’s brother for the Black Hole.
Next, Wally West (the younger New 52 Wally) confronts the Flash, insisting that either he will accompany the Flash in hunting down Godspeed or else he will do it alone. Wally confirms that he does have super-speed powers.
However, Barry gets an idea from Wally on how to defeat Godspeed. Barry asks his students to give up their speed to add to his own to put him on equal footing with Godspeed. To do this without killing the students, Barry needs to share this added speed with Wally instead of keeping it all to himself.
Just as Barry and Wally do this, Godspeed attacks and leads Barry back to Iron Heights prison. August tells Barry that “because you’re my friend and I want you to be happy… I’m going to run into Iron Heights… and kill every single one of those inmates, including [Reverse Flash].”
Young Wally takes another step toward becoming Kid Flash by finally revealing his super-speed to the Flash. Now that Barry knows, we can finally see him take Wally under his wing as a partner. On the other hand, will Barry be that eager to take on a partner after August’s betrayal?
Also, it seems that both Wally and Barry are getting a boost in power level in this issue. Will this be permanent, and how will the original Wally’s speed compare to theirs now? Hopefully we will get to see the two Wallys meet up soon.
Also, it’s a fine point, but I’m glad that they clarified that August didn’t just kill the student speedsters out of disgust at their wasted potential, but that August wouldn’t have killed them if he had a non-lethal method of stopping them. Even though August is still an unrepentant murderer, this makes him a bit more of a sympathetic character.
Unfortunately, there don’t seem to be any Rebirth hints this issue. However, I am sure more hints will come in future issues. Also, there was no mention of the elder Wally West this issue, but we have Titans to fill that craving.
This series continues to impress, and admirably sets up the upcoming finale of this first arc. Godspeed has brought Barry to a pretty low point, but already Barry is recovering and ready to enter the final round against Godspeed.