“Rogues Reign Conclusion” – Review of THE FLASH #86

Captain, er, “King” Cold has truly gone over the edge. He’s frozen even his one-time fellow Rogues, even frozen his own sister. All Len Snart can think about right now is defeating the Flash. He wants to be…not a “loser” again. And, as we learned last issue, he received a lot more than just a bunch of tech from the Apex Predator, Lex Luthor. Barry has no real control over the Speed Force right now, so what hope does he have against Cold? How will “Rogues Reign” end? Wanna know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

King Cold has ice powers that go beyond even his New 52 appearance, and he is using everything at his disposal against the Flash. Barry is not fairing well, until Snart makes a critical mistake. Cold is lowering the temperature by using his mastery of absolute zero cold. Strangely enough, instead of freezing Flash in place, is slows him down just enough to gain control of the Speed Force again, if only for now.

Flash uses this moment to free the Rogues, along with Avery and Wallace. The Rogues join the fight…with one exception at first. Mirror Master has to be convinced to go against Snart, and that takes quite some time.

During that time, Wallace and Avery use their (likely temporary) control of the Speed Force to bring Iris to the scene. She is surprised that the Rogues have been helping the kids and Barry, but before she can do much to aid…

Mirror Master finally joins in. It took Glider to bring him on board. He had worked with Snart in an attempt to win her back. Knowing that this would never work, that Glider would never go back to him, Sam finally agrees to his part of the plan.

It was Sam’s use of the Mirror dimension that had combined with Snart’s upgraded powers to create a city encased in ice. Without the support of Mirror Master, the city returns to normal, at least for now. But, losing…especially with the help of the Rogues and especially¬†with the help of his sister…pushes Len even farther over the edge.

Cold threatens to kill everyone in Central City with his powers. At that point, something inside Barry snaps. No longer in control of the Speed Force with the temperatures back to normal, he attacks Cold with everything he has. Barry comes dangerously close to killing Len before Glider brings Flash back to his senses.

Len survives, and both he and Lisa are arrested. The other Rogues get away to plot another day. And, Barry is left with the realization that he is simply too dangerous right now to run around free. Barry offers himself up to be put in prison…and that’s where we end this story, at least for now.

NOTES:

  • For those of us who have been shocked by a murderous Len Snart, Lisa’s words were spot on. “This isn’t you, bro. You’re not some crazy end-of-the-world super-villain. You’re a thief. Just like me.” We can hope that after the Year of the Villain ends, Len will return to being Captain, instead of King, Cold.
  • The battle between Flash and Cold was epic in scope, and amazingly portrayed by the art team. We get a treat in this issue – great action sequences and some of the best expressions you’ll find in comics today. The smirk Barry has when he realizes that the super-cold has made him “normal” is priceless. And, that’s only one example.
  • One more note about the art. I buy THE FLASH on comiXology, and blow the panels up on a 50″ screen. Let me just say that the art holds up even when blown up to that size. VERY impressive!
  • This arc ended with a bang instead of a whimper. That’s all too rare in comics. This time, the payoff was excellent, which is once again thanks to Josh Williamson’s scripting.

SUMMARY:

This has been a wild ride, and as a fan of the Rogues I’ve enjoyed it all the way through. While I am ready for Len Snart to return to his former self, this version of “King” Cold made him a truly formidable opponent for the Flash. I had a good time with this arc, and this issue rates an 8/10 for me. Of course, that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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