Review: THE FLASH #85
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Christian Duce
Colours: Luis Guerrero
Letters: Steve Wands
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
The Flash #85: “Rogues’ Reign” part four! An out-of-control Flash must figure out a way to harness his powers, because he’s about to face the villain who flipped his world upside down- Mirror Master! Our hero has only one hope of survival-the Rogues are warring with each other and their forces are split. But while Barry struggles with his own abilities, are the Rogues headed for a reconciliation that would make stopping any of them that much harder?
The Flash’s world has been turned on its head. Captain Cold, has taken control of Central City. Half the Rogues Gallery have joined him to rebel against Cold, and his Speed Force powers have been hypercharged.
It’s pretty strange to see Heat Wave and Weather Wizard assisting the speedsters to master their powers. But, Williamson gives a convincing rationale why some of the villains may not be happy with Cold’s rule.
Golden Glider tells us that they are “angry at my brother. We found a family together… and he threw it all away.” While they were always villains, the Rogues have had a bond that has kept them together despite internal squabbles. However, Cold has allowed the power offered by Lex Luthor to seduce him, and he has put his own gain over his allegiance to the Rogues.
It is also interesting to see Barry finding common ground and the possible seeds of friendship with Glider. They have a candid conversation about the Rogues and their motivations, and seem to be relaxing and starting to enjoy each other’s company. Although, Barry immediately ruins the moment by reminding Glider that he will have to arrest them all as soon as Cold is dealt with.
It is also interesting to see Barry make the discovery that his control over the Speed Force increases when he changes the way he thinks about it. He states, “I stop analyzing the Speed Force and our problems… I just let go”. Williamson has touched on this before when he established that Wally was faster than Barry because while Barry approaches it scientifically, Wally uses it instinctively. Perhaps this is the key to Barry reclaiming the title of Fastest Man Alive from his former sidekick.
This storyline has been leading to a major fight between the Flash and Cold, and the issue ends with that battle about to begin. Cold reminds Barry that, “You’re not the only one who’s super-charged”. With both hero and villain having amped-up power levels, this promises to be a cataclysmic encounter.
Once again Christian Duce’s art is amazing. The Flash has had some great artists over its run, but Duce stands out even amongst this august company. His style seems to be particularly suited to the high kinetic energy of this title.
I would have like to seen more about what part Iris has been playing in this story. We have seen that she is back in Central City and working with Kid Flash and the Flash of China against King Cold, but then she dropped out of the picture again.
While the Rogues usually make for an interesting story, they always have seemed rather under-powered compared to the Flash. Williamson has finally made the Rogues into a believable threat to the scarlet speedster. The Flash is always one of my favourite books each month and The Flash #85 has not broken that trend.