Review: The Flash #59

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

Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artists: Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, Scott Hanna

Colors: Tomeu Morey

Letters: Steve Wands

 

Summary

“FORCE QUEST” part two! Next stop: Gorilla City! The Flash’s next destination on his new training mission is the stomping grounds of his longtime foe Gorilla Grodd. But instead of a primate paradise, he finds the kingdom in ruins! Flash must use his CSI skills to uncover who destroyed Gorilla City, but the discovery of a brand-new villain means Barry isn’t the only person researching the true origins of the Speed Force.

 

Positives

The Flash’s Force Quest leads him to Gorilla City, the home of Gorilla Grodd. A flashback reminds us of the friendship between Barry and Solovar. It’s good to see that this piece of Silver Age continuity still is canon.

Upon discovering the carnage at Gorilla City, Barry understandably jumps to the conclusion that Grodd must be responsible for the attack, but the survivors don’t know who the attacker was. Although at first, it appears that only three gorilla scientists are the only survivors, they tell Barry that most of the city’s residents escaped into the jungle. This was a relief, as I was worried for a moment that Williamson had wiped out one of DC’s most fascinating cities.

Barry and Iris find that Gorilla City was blessed with the Sage Force, which makes sense, as that would explain how the gorillas have advanced intelligence. Also, it is revealed that the four Forces are meant to work together “against a Dark Force from outside of the past, present, and future.”

This could be a hint of where the Force Quest storyline is headed. Perhaps Barry’s task is to make sure that the Sage, Still, and Strength Forces find suitable avatars that can help him battle this Dark Force. My guess is that this story arc will leave us with three new heroes powered by these forces.

A holographic recording of Solovar shows us four shadowy figures, each with a chest emblem that symbolizes one of the Forces – with one of them being Barry’s distinctive lightning bolt. This seems to me somewhat reminiscent of the symbols of the different corps representing the colours of the emotional spectrum. It’s a fascinating idea for the Flash mythos to reflect the Green Lantern mythos in this respect.

 

Negatives

Shouldn’t Barry be figuring out who attacked Gorilla City and putting an end to that threat before moving on to the next stop on his quest? Until this threat is dealt with, Gorilla City isn’t safe and its citizens are unable to return from the jungle. I would think that this should be Barry’s priority before resuming his Force Quest. Although the quest might lead to the culprit, there is nothing in the story that indicates this is so. It is very uncharacteristic of Barry to leave the gorillas in the lurch while he carries on with his own business. I hope that this is properly addressed in the next chapter before Barry actually departs Gorilla City.

 

Verdict

The Force Quest storyline is paying off so far. Finally, we are seeing Barry stepping outside of his comfort zone and taking charge of his life and actively pursuing a goal. I can hardly wait to see what Barry will face next on his quest.

 

 

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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.