“Rogues Reign” Part Two – Review of THE FLASH #83

How much worse could it get? Lex Luthor’s plan is in full effect and “the end of the world(s) as we know it” (with apologies to R.E.M.) is just a few days away. Len Snart is now “King” Cold and in charge of Central City. His former partners now have their own chunks of real estate to rule over, but that doesn’t seem to bother the King.  The Speed Force is…dead? Wallace and Avery can’t access it right now, and Barry has a dampening collar on so…

Oh, forgot. Flash is now the prisoner of King Cold at the newly renamed Ice Heights. He’s chained to the wall so that Snart can constantly torture him with the fact that he’s won. Is there any hope left? Wanna know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Barry has a room…er, cell mate. Alex Walker, the second Trickster, is also in chains. He had bragged about beating the Flash, and Cold could not stand anyone else getting credit. So, Ice Heights it is.

Just then, help arrives in the form of…Glider! She has seen what time (and Belle Reve) has done to her brother, and she wants to save Len from himself. One way is to free the Flash…who everyone is convinced died at the hands of “King” Cold. But, escape isn’t too easy here. After getting past some mammoth ice creations Cold created with the help of Mirror Master’s dimensions and Lex Luthor’s new tech, they escape. They escape to see that symbol in the sky, the one that says “Doom Won”.

When word gets back to Cold that cell number eight has been compromised, he loses it. Apparently Barry was the Man in the Iron (Collar).  Now that he knows Barry is out, and that his sister helped him, Len does the one thing that the old Captain Cold would never have done. Never in a million years. Nope, no way…

…He sends ice creatures out to hunt her down. 

Before those creatures find Lisa and Flash, they are reunited with Wallace and Avery. The kids do not trust Lisa, though Barry intervenes.

Just then the “dogs of war” arrive. Lisa takes Barry’s collar off, and the Speed Force turns out to be not so dead after all. That’s not good news, though, as the Speed Force runs wild. It transports Barry through all sorts of time lines until they get the collar back on him, to find…

Complete devastation around him. Not a whole city block, mind you. but still, a circle big enough to turn into a parking lot. Wallace, Avery and Lisa are okay…but they realize that it is simply too dangerous now to let Flash access his powers.

So, Flash is out but essentially powerless. So are Wallace and Avery. Lisa has turned to the side of good, if only for the moment. But, the entire city is under Snart’s control. And don’t forget, the world is ending soon. It will take a LOT to turn this around, but we will have to wait for next issues to see if any further hope is alive. That’s where we leave everyone for this issue.

NOTES:

  • Having Lisa Snart save the day was a great twist. She is still doing this for her brother, but at least for now the Flash has someone with powers left on his side.
  • All those who have wondered about the decent into darkness for Len Snart got their answer this issue. Len would gladly have died for his sister. Everything for her. To see that he has sunk to sending weapons after her let’s us know just how much he has lost of himself. I’m hoping that resolves some day, but for now it makes for a powerful narrative. Joshua Williamson is still knocking it out of the park with this series.
  • The artwork was perfection this issue. So much detail, so much brought to life here. You can see every muscle straining in the first splash page as Barry fights to get free from his chains. So much emotional expression. So great a series of action panels. This was outstanding! Kudos to Rafa Sandoval (pencils), Jordi Tarragona (inks), Arif Prianto (colors) and Steve Wands (letters).

SUMMARY:

This one may not have resolved a story line…but it IS an integral piece to the overall arc, and it was handled exceptionally well by all. I’ll give this one a 10/10. Of course, that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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