“The Greatest Trick of All” Finale – Review of THE FLASH #69

Writer Joshua Williamson has found the secret to wrapping up an arc…don’t try to wrap up everything in a nice, neat little bow. There are consequences…and some BIG changes in the Flash’s world by the time this issue is done. The Trickster has upped his game and may have become the Scarlet Speedster’s greatest nemesis…at least until Zolomon returns. Just how does “The Greatest Trick of All” play out? Wanna know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

When we left Flash last issue, he appeared to have lost his legs at the hands of the Trickster. Of course we have to believe its a…trick…but it seems real to Barry. Commander Cold isn’t much help at first, as he is still under the Sage Force spell of the Trickster. But, as Cold snaps out of it, he guides Barry into getting past this vision of helplessness.

Barry realizes that he has allowed himself to lose his optimism, his hope. This allowed him to be more susceptible to Trickster’s spell. He gets back into action just in time to save James Jesse’s parents, who were thrown off the top of a building by their son.

This Trickster is exceptionally powerful and also exceptionally unstable. That makes him more dangerous than ever. He has loosed all of the Rogues Gallery and more upon Central City, and they are making off with just about everything of value that isn’t nailed down. Flash would like to stop them, but he has a choice. He can save the citizens of Central City from killing each other while under Trickster’s influence, or he can try to stop all the baddies. Of course, he chooses to save the innocents.

All the bad guys get away here. There is no happy ending where everyone is brought to justice. Even more, there is no Iron Heights…not anymore, as Trickster blows it up to cover the escape of every villain who has been plaguing Central City.  Kristen is now being questioned by the CCPD about her unknowingly being the girlfriend of the Trickster. The only bright spot is that Warden Wolfe has been exposed for who he really is, and is sent to prison at Belle Reve (since there is no Iron Heights anymore for him to stay in).

That leaves us at the end of this arc. Barry has found himself, but has lost the battle for today. He goes back to his lab, now being reassigned to the Crime Lab. There, he meets a strange visitor who controls the Still Force, someone only identified as “Steadfast”. He tells Barry that, “for the multiverse to survive what is to come…you must remember…something you have forgotten.” THAT takes us to a young Barry Allen, ready to run to the comic shop, leaving behind some very interesting figurines in his window.

…and that sets us on a course for FLASH YEAR ONE!

NOTES:

  • I am serious about saying that Joshua Williamson has found the secret to ending an arc. All too often, other writers hit the payoff issue with something that is less than desired. Part of that comes from trying to tie things up in too neat a package. Williamson has given us as realistic an ending as you can get in a superhero story. Not everything ends up perfectly…but we do see an effective wrap up to the storyline and a great kickoff to what lies ahead.
  • I have enjoyed Scott Kolins’ artwork throughout this arc. I am a big fan of expression as well as action, and this issue does a great job of bringing home the emotions of the story. There are great action sequences as well, but the expressions throughout really were spot on.
  • Can I say that I CANNOT WAIT FOR FLASH YEAR ONE!!! It is time for Barry Allen to get this treatment, and this story is certainly in good hands.

SUMMARY: This was a great ending to the arc and a great kickoff to what comes next. I’ll give this one a 9/10. Of course that’s just my opinion – what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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