Alchemy! Review of THE FLASH 765

The threat Dr. Alchemy presents is growing exponentially. When we left the Flash last time, his connection to the Speed Force itself was severed, taking away his speed! How can a regular speed Barry Allen face off against this powered-up Albert Desmond? We get some answers here…but also some new twists to the tale. Wanna know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Barry is at Iron Heights, trying to figure out how Dr. Alchemy made his escape. Not a lot of clues left here…but a different kind of clue hits Barry when he realizes that something was done to that iconic ring of his. An element was changed, creating a negative effect that cancelled out his Speed Force connection. Thankfully, all he has to do is take off the ring and it’s back to full speed again.

Turns out, there was a special element in that ring, created by long-term exposure to the Speed Force. It doesn’t exist anywhere else on Earth. Barry has named it…Lighzinium. When Dr. Alchemy converted that element to something else, it cut off access to the Speed Force. To be able to wear that ring again, Barry Allen needs to recreate that element, with the Speed Force itself providing the result.

Meanwhile, Dr. Alchemy is creating chaos all over Central City. He’s committing random crimes, seemingly with no thread to connect them. Flash easily tracks him down and temporarily apprehends him. But, Desmond reveals something he knows that shocks Barry and gives him the chance to escape.

We later find out that Dr. Alchemy’s former split personality is now something more physical. His work with the Philosopher’s Stone has allowed past users to take over his body, and Albert Desmond is desperately trying to hold them back. Of course, it doesn’t work, but worse still?

Barry has been tricked into creating more Lighzinium…and that’s the exact element Dr. Alchemy needed to gain what is basically the power of a god! That’s where we leave it for this issue, with things looking terrible for Flash and Iris.

NOTES:

  • Writer Kevin Shinick has amped up a classic Flash villain and made him a more than credible threat to the Flash. And, I am enjoying the way Shinick is tying together the arc, bringing a seemingly lesser moment from the first issue and making it an important part of the final scenes in this issue.
  • While “Lighzinium” has a definite Silver Age “ring” to it (see what I did there?), I can still get into the Comic Book Physics of it all. Why not create a new element when dealing with this bad guy? The name is just a bit old-school (maybe a little hokey), I can still get into it.
  • Speaking of Silver Age, I’m glad to see this fresh take on the Silver Age relationship of Barry and Iris. Their personalities make for a great subplot, and I’m looking forward to seeing this continue to develop.
  • I loved seeing some great Flash Rogues Gallery members in Iron Heights, especially those we haven’t seen much of since FLASHPOINT. The Top, Rainbow Raider, and the Axel version of Trickster all showed up in cells there.
  • The artwork is stellar, from pencils to inks to colors to lettering, every element (pardon the unintentional pun) of the artwork was outstanding. Sami Basri & Will Conrad took on the pencils and inks,  with Hi-Fi on colors and Steve Wands on lettering. Great job all!

SUMMARY:

This arc is definitely picking up speed, starting from a comfortable place to start with a new creative team and dialing it up to 11 with this issue. I’m enjoying this – and for me this is a 9/10. Of course, that’s just my opinion – what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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