Review: THE FLASH #83
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Colours: Arif Prianto
Letters: Steve Wands
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
The Flash #83: “Rogues’ Reign” continues! The warped world of the Rogues has turned everything surrounding Iron Heights prison into a wicked hellscape! But there is hope in the darkness, as the Flash battles his way back from the brink and discovers a way to reverse the Rogues’ reign once and for all. The only problem? To do that he must venture out in the path of the tumultuous terrain of the Weather Wizard Kingdom, where ice dogs and lightning monsters lurk in the darkness at every turn!
The opening of The Flash #83 finds the Flash as the prisoner of Captain Cold. It was inevitable that Barry would escape from Cold, but it came as something as a surprise to see Golden Glider being the one to free the Flash. Not only is she one of the Rogues, but she is also Leonard Snart’s sister.
So why does she come to Barry’s rescue? When the Flash questions her, she claims, “Because, I love my brother. And sometimes you gotta hurt the ones you love when they make a big mistake.” It seems that she disagrees with Cold throwing in with Lex Luthor and taking over Central City. But can we take her word for it? Is it possible that she is betraying her brother as part of a scheme of her own?
Glider frees Barry and takes him to meet Kid Flash and the Flash of China. So, whatever her true motivations, she is acting as an ally for now. But Wallace isn’t quite as trusting as Barry.
And how much time has past while Barry was Cold’s prisoner? The Trickster tells Barry that he has made several attempts to escape Ice Heights. So, Cold’s reign over Central City must have been going on for weeks or possibly months. However, Glider tells us that Lex Luthor has broken time and space. So do questions of time make sense anymore? Quite possibly not, especially if you start to wonder how Barry could have been Cold’s prisoner and been fighting with the Justice League against the Legion of Doom at the same time.
Glider has a plan that involves gathering shards of a Mirror that contain Mirror Master’s tech married with Luthor’s. Unfortunately, a number of these shards are in the hands of the Rogues. Getting these shards would be difficult enough, but the speedsters have a major handicap.
It turns out that the Speed Force is broken and any attempt to use it could equate to massive destruction. Barry makes such an attempt, and we see him spontaneously moving through different times and places. We catch glimpses of Kamandi’s future and what appears to be the Kingdom Come future. After this attempt, Barry finds himself in the centre of a large crater.
When he asked Wallace what happened, Kid Flash replies, “That’s what I was trying to tell you. We can never use the Speed Force again. It’s too dangerous.”
This puts Barry in a uniquely difficult situation. How can he manage to defeat the Rogues and save Central City without his powers. Barry will need to find some way to be an effective hero without his defining superpower: his super speed. I have no doubt that Barry will rise to the challenge, and it will be interesting to see how he manages to do so.
I can’t really find any fault with Williamson’s story. He’s given Barry an interesting and new deadly challenge and he has made the Rogues the more of a threat than they have ever been before. And Rafa Sandoval and Jordi Tarragona’s art is above reproach.
Williamson’s flash has really been picking up speed since “Year One” and it has reclaimed its rightful place as a cornerstone of the DC lineup. I look forward to seeing how Barry deals with the Rogues and what adventures will come after that.