“Death of the Speed Force” Part Four – Review of THE FLASH #79

Stuff just got real last issue, with the death of [REDACTED]. Barry Allen is determined to save everyone else, but some new (though familiar) players are now in the game. That makes everything more complicated. To steal a quote, “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story”? Looks like we may have a partial answer for all of that in this issue of THE FLASH! Wanna know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Barry did not catch up to Psych in time to save him at the end of last issue. The Black Flash not only killed Psych, but he “uncoupled” the connection Psych had to the Sage Force. That missing connection is powering all the speedsters back up a notch or two, but that’s not the outcome Barry is looking for. He knows this came at a very steep price.

Barry’s plan is to get the other Force users out of the way, get them into hiding while he tries to figure things out. He successfully sends Fuerza (along with Commander Cold) on a wild goose chase into the heart of the Strength Force. However, Steadfast (the Still Force user) has all this figured out.

Steadfast is about to use his powers for a returning Iris West, to restore her memories just as he did in Year One for Barry. Before he can do that, we get a very bad arrival…

…nope, not who you think…

…not the Black Flash…

It’s…

HUNTER ZOLOMON! Wearing his version of the original Silver Age Flash uni (he gave up the yellow suit in an earlier arc). He now considers himself the one true Flash, though he remains his villainous self. Hunter grabs Steadfast and runs away…more on that in the next issue (hopefully).

Meanwhile, the Black Flash is still coming.

In a side plot line, the Rogues have brought Glider back into the fold. She had given up her life of crime, but her brother convinced her that they had a plan that could even deal with Lex Luthor (overconfident much?). Still, the band is basically back together (though I’d still love to see The Top back in action here). While that’s going on, Kid Flash and Avery (the Flash of China) have noticed their speed increasing (as noted earlier in this review). Given that, they believe they are ready for the Real Rogues. Do they know what they are in for? Not sure…but that’s where we leave it for this issue.

NOTES:

  • This continues to be a strong arc, with the action continually ramping up issue by issue. While we knew Hunter would come back some day, the timing was still a bit of a surprise…and a great twist to the plot.
  • One challenge when there is a publisher-wide initiative going on (Year of the Villain) is how to blend that in with the current regular arc for your book. Joshua Williamson has handled this perfectly. We see what’s coming up without taking away anything from the main story line.
  • THE ART! I’m more impressed with each issue. Rafa Sandoval is killing is on pencils and Jordi Tarragona is fantastic on inks. The colors by Arif Prianto are off the charts amazing, adding SO much to the feel of this book. I like to read a digital copy of THE FLASH when preparing a review (that keeps my print copies in mint condition). And, I blow that copy up on a 50″ screen…and the artwork STILL holds up. Bravo to the art team on this issue.

SUMMARY:

We have another strong chapter of the arc, with a level of urgency and intensity that has me on the edge of my seat waiting for next issue. The plot is progressing at a perfect pace, and the artwork should be framed and hung up in a gallery. 10/10 for this one – of course, that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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