[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Don Panosian
“PERFECT STORM” part four! The Flash teams up with an unlikely ally as the fight for Central City rages on. Meanwhile, Grodd sinks his telepathic teeth into the Flash Family as he tries to finish Barry Allen once and for all!
While Grodd doesn’t remember Wally in the same way that Barry or the Titans do, Grodd states that there is something familiar about Wally, “an annoying itch in the back of my mind.” He notes where Barry has been a master of the science of the Speed Force, that Wally understands it on a “spiritual level.”
This is an interesting comment on how Barry and Wally differ, which actually makes sense given the history of the Flashes. Barry Allen first appeared in comics in the 50s, and like many comics of the era, his adventures had a definite science fiction bent. Although Wally first appeared in the same era, Wally much later came under the mentorship of Max Mercury, who Wally dubbed “the Zen master of Speed.” It was about this time that Wally finally stepped out of Barry’s shadow and made the mantle his own.
I don’t know if Godspeed’s reformation is real or a pretense, but August makes some incisive comments about Barry’s single-minded determination to regain his powers. “You sound like me,” he tells Barry, adding “I know what it’s like to be obsessed. Especially when it comes to the Speed Force.” It’s quite the role-reversal with Barry being the one obsessed and August now having to be the voice of reason.
Speaking of role-reversals, Godspeed, the villain who apparently killed Barry’s ally Meena Dhawan, but now has to save Kid Flash and The Flash of China from the now villainous Negative Flash.
Also, I noticed that Meena is also calling the younger Wally Wallace now. I wonder if that’s now the official way that the Flash books will distinguish the two characters going forward. It makes sense, as the original rarely uses the full form of his name, and it does make the matter a whole lot less complicated.
The biggest role-reversal, however, is the hardest to take. Barry, usually the most likeable hero in the DC Universe, has become a bit of a jerk. I realize that Williamson wants to plant a seed of discontent between the Barry and the original Wally. However, it still seems hard to believe that Barry could behave like this. But with Grodd’s mental manipulation, I remain unconvinced that Grodd didn’t simply implant Barry’s obsessive reliance on his powers.
This is a thrilling storyline and I can’t wait to see how it continues to develop. Next issue should be harrowing as Barry will have to face four of his Speed Force protégés, who are now mind-controlled by Grodd.