Review: The Flash #39

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico



“The Perfect Storm” part one! In the 700th tale of THE FLASH, Barry Allen wants to make amends to the people he’s hurt, but Gorilla Grodd has other plans! If Grodd’s shocking attack on Central City wasn’t enough, the reason why—and how it connects to everything The Flash has faced since the Speed Force Storm—will rock our hero to his core…and change everything he thought he knew!



As both the story’s intro and the variant cover attest, this is the 700th issue. That is, it would be #700 if DC had carried on the same numbering instead of resetting to #1 for Wally’s tenure as the Flash, or through Barry’s pre-Flashpoint series, the New 52 run, or the current Rebirth era run.

To mark this occasion, Barry finally has a long talk with Iris about their relationship. However, although Iris had previously said she wanted to patch things up, she is hesitant to resume their relationship. First she wants to see into Barry’s life as the Flash. This makes sense to me, as she knows Barry, but Barry is only one side of his character. To truly know Barry, she has to get to know the Flash side also.

However, the issue of Barry’s secrecy is still a major roadblock. Even as Barry reveals much of his secret life to Iris, they come up against secrets Barry can’t share. First, Iris asks about the secret identities of his Justice League teammates, which Barry explains that those aren’t his secrets to tell. Iris accepts this, despite stating the desire to scoop Lois Lane – an amusing bit of irony, considering that Lois is already privy to that knowledge.

However, the one major secret that Barry needs to tell Iris, but feels that he can’t is the existence of the original Wally West, who Iris and the rest of the world has forgotten. Wally has told Barry that he isn’t ready to tell Iris yet, and Barry isn’t sure he is either.

But before Barry can come to a decision about whether to reveal this to Iris, he is interrupted by a voice in his head that leads him to a confrontation with Multiplex, Negative Flash, and Raijin, Master of Lightning. Each of these is enough of a threat on their own, but it turns out that they have been brought together by Gorilla Grodd – one of Barry’s most dangerous foes. And it appears that Grodd’s aim is to take control of the Speed Force.

This issue also has a guest appearance by the Flash of China (from New Super-Man), who was originally introduced in this title, who is visiting Central City to attend the trial of Dr. Karver of the Black Hole organization. Her and Kid Flash attempt to prevent Black Hole from freeing Karver, but it turns out their aim was not to free him, but to assassinate him.



Flash Comics starring Jay Garrick ran for 104 issues before Barry took over the numbering, and Wally’s series ended with #247, so between them, they account for just over half (351) of the 700 issue landmark being celebrated this issue. Considering this, it would be nice for them to have a presence in this issue. Wally gets a brief mention and is pictured in a single panel, while Jay is entirely absent. Maybe a short backup story, a pinup drawing or variant cover with all three Flashes might have been in order.

Also, I hope that the reunion of Iris and her forgotten nephew Wally happens soon. This has been put off long enough. Perhaps this will finally occur in the upcoming “Flash War” storyline.



Barry may finally be getting his life back on track, but that doesn’t mean that life will be easy for him. It appears that Barry is in for the fight of his life against Grodd and his allies in the upcoming battle. The Flash continues to be a standout title in DC’s lineup.

Derek McNeil

I have been an avid reader of DC Comics since the early 70s. My earliest exposure was to Batman and Superman comics, Batman (Adam West) reruns, and watching the Super-Friends every Saturday morning.