Bloodwork is ready to kill everyone in Central City, giving the usual sad story of his childhood with the “you don’t know me” spiel…but there is more to this battle than that. Barry is realizing how much he has allowed his own negativity (pun not intended) to build, how much he’s been pushing people away, and he realizes that he has not one but two big tasks here. One is to save Central City from this latest bad guy…and the other is to make amends to the people he cares about. The battle is handled well…but the story gets even more interesting after the battle.
First we go back to the CCPD Crime Lab, where Barry and Kristen have a fateful meeting with Singh – one that transfers them both to Iron Heights Penitentiary and their Crime Scene Preservation Unit. Kristen storms off, understandably so.
Next, Barry looks up Iris (from a distance), knowing he would draw young Wally West’s attention as Kid Flash. This meeting starts out rough…until Barry tries to hand off his Flash ring to Wally. He wants to give up being the Flash until he can control the Negative Speed Force that now powers him. This strikes one of the better conversations that Barry and young Wally have had in a while, and sending us off on a hopefully positive directly for both speedsters.
NOTES: One hallmark of Josh Williamson’s run on THE FLASH is that nothing ever ends with everything tied up in a bow, wrapped up with everything back to normal. That’s one of the many things I absolutely love about how Williamson approaches THE FLASH. This issue gives us some major changes in Barry’s life, no easy endings here – still, we have something potentially positive to hang onto as we move into future issues. I was worried a bit when I first heard of the Negative Flash storyline…but no more This storyline works for me, giving us great character development and a reason to keep coming back for more. The artwork is divided between Neil Googe (first 10 pages) and Gus Vazquez (the remaining 10 pages) with colors by Ivan Plascencia throughout. It works even with somewhat different styles as the first half is totally Flash and battle-centric while the remainder is almost exclusively Barry out of the crimson suit. It’s another great installment of THE FLASH – I’ll give this one a 9/10. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!