Grodd has been defeated and Central City is finally safe (if a bit worse for the wear). As we take a breath and prepare for “Flash War”, there are still some big events to be found in this issue. We have to wrap up a lot of things – what happened to Meena, to Godspeed, to Central City itself – and what about Wally? For a “breather” issue, this one had a lot to offer. Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!
We start with Wally, Barry, young Wally and Avery cleaning up Central City, restoring it to life after the devastation visited upon it by Grodd. We find Meena in Iron Heights, strangely glad to have her powers dampened. After all, the Negative Speed Force had some very, uh, negative effects on her (pardon the pun). Barry still believes there is hope for her, although she isn’t so sure.
As for Godspeed, he is nowhere to be found…at least not by Barry and company. A mysterious figure has found him…and we can all have our guesses as to who that may be. But, no reveal of that particular fact here.
What we do find is Barry and Iris finally talking. And, we finally get to Iris’ obsession with learning about Barry’s life as the Flash. There is a twist to this – she wasn’t in love with the Flash…she wanted to know that what she saw in Barry was real. Look at it this way – Clark is the real person and Superman is the alter ego, while Bruce is the real mask and Batman is the real person. Iris may not know either of those facts (yet), but her question was simple – is Barry a put-on persona to hide the Flash? Is Barry, the person she loves, the real deal?
I like the way Joshua Williamson and artist Christian Duce approached this. Iris activates the iconic ring and makes the uniform appear…just the uniform, no quick change to the Flash. It is rare that we’ve seen the uniform depicted this way, and it has always had some impact when we see it. This time, we find out a new fact about those ear pieces…
…Barry listens to audio books when he runs. Specifically, science related books…this one by Neil deGrasse Tyson!
And that is what turns the tide for Iris and Barry’s relationship. She realized that the qualities she saw in Barry – the empathy, the humility, even the nerdiness – was real. And, we finally have the two of them together for the first time since the New 52 began.
But that’s not all!
Barry’s vow to be fully transparent with Iris must include reintroducing her to the nephew she had forgotten. It takes a moment, but she remembers Wally.
…and that’s still not all!
Iris suddenly remembers more! And she asks Wally…
“Where is everyone else?”
And that brings back all of Wally’s memories…check out that splash page for some HUGE Easter Eggs! Fans of a certain speedster will be particularly interested in the bottom of that page.
…and that’s it for this issue…
- I had been rather irritated at Iris’ seeming obsession with the Flash. BUT, seeing now the “why” of it all, I get it. This was an interesting way to bring my favorite pair back together (with apologies to Wally/Linda fans and to all the other fans of Barry’s other loves).
- We finally get Wally and Iris reacquainted. Just like the excruciating wait for Barry and Iris, this one has taken a while – but I’m also glad to see that their reunion has more significant implications than just “glad to see ya” – this one may trigger something for the whole DCU before we’re through.
- And, we get hope at seeing additional speedsters return to the DCU – and I could not be happier at that thought.
Again, this issue could easily have been a mere bridge from the Grodd storyline to Flash War…but it accomplished a lot for the Flash-verse instead. An overall excellent issue. I’ll give this one a 9/10 – of course, that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!