This issue of THE FLASH gives you a little bit of everything. Barry and Alexa (no, not THAT Alexa, I mean Fuerza) are fighting a weapon powered by the Sage Force. Fuerza learns more about the control of her own Strength Force. Barry brings out a little-used aspect of his own Speed Force. And, as we move to the avatar of the Sage Force itself you’ll see…wait, don’t want to spoil that here. Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!
When we left Flash, Fuerza, and Iris last issue, the fight was on against a weapon powered by the Sage Force. How Cauldron got that weapon is still unknown, but it brings your worst fears to life, making the battle as difficult as possible for the target. Eventually, Barry suggests to Alexa that she use the gravity aspect of her Strength Force to draw all the Sage Force-powered baddies into one spot – and that was the key to the win.
Still, Alexa isn’t done with Cauldron. She wants to kill him for what he has done to Corto Maltese and to her family. When Barry stops her, she goes on the attack, losing control of her Strength Force for a moment. Barry uses his Speed Force lightning to end the fight, but while that battle is over Alexa knows that the real war in Corto Maltese will go on. Because of that, she won’t leave with Barry and Iris as they use the remnants of that Sage Force weapon to track down the avatar of the Sage Force itself.
That leads us to Zandia. We saw the Sage Force user briefly at the start of the issue, and we get ready to have Barry and Iris meet him as well. To do that, Barry and Iris have to go undercover, because…
Zandia is a special haven for the world’s super-villains. They cannot risk showing up without a disguise. And wow, do we see a LOT of super-villains! I’ll give you a small smattering of the ones drawn into this issue…but please add to the list in the comments!
You’ll see everyone from King Shark to Rainbow Raider, to The Top (the original look for the Top as well), to Golden Glider, to Magpie, to the Trigger Twins, to Catman…and SO many more! Artist Christian Duce must have had a lot of fun with the scenes in Zandia, getting to add a personal take on so many characters. BTW – points to Griffendor for those who recognize Barry and Iris’ disguise.
In the end, the Sage Force catches up to Barry and Iris. Their worst fears are materialized by the Sage Force…that they would be caught by…”these are all…Flash bad guys…” That quote is from our Sage Force user, who knows he is speaking to the actual Flash. He claims to be a BIG fan…but that’s where we leave this issue. Is he really friend or foe? We’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out.
- I keep saying this, but I am buying into the Force Quest more and more with each issue. There is more to the Strength Force than just punching hard. And, there is more to the Sage Force than just reading minds. Josh Williamson is adding depth to these Forces that gives the whole quest greater credibility – and adds to the chance that these forces will continue to play a significant role even after Force Quest is over.
- I’m hoping we will see more of Fuerza after the Force Quest is over. She has proven to be a formidable character, one with a lot of potential.
- Iris is more and more impressive with each issue in this REBIRTH era. It is fun as we continue to learn more about her determination, her willingness to take a risk, and her overall strength of character. Did she really mean what she said about the Second National Bank of Gotham? I love how her character is portrayed in Williamson’s scripts.
- The artwork was excellent – and again, getting to bring SO many bad guys into one book had to be either the most fun or the most stress for any artist. Christian Duce (pencils/inks) and Luis Guerrero (colors) were more than up to the task in this issue.
SUMMARY: I’ll give this one a 9/10 – but of course, that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!