The Strength Force Claims [REDACTED] Review of THE FLASH #53

The strength force has already claimed Axel Walker – and the Trickster is now taking out his frustration on everything and everyone in Central City! Can even Flash and Commander Cold stop him? You’ll see part of the answer here, along with some interesting backstory on the 25th Century Renegade working with Barry Allen. Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

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What Looks good in ComiXology’s Flash Sale

For once, “Flash Sale” actually means what it ought to!

A whole bunch of digital Flash collections from the Silver Age through the modern age are discounted on ComiXology this week for $5.99 each (even the long ones, like the Flash by Mark Waid and Flash by Geoff Johns collections), and dozens of individual Flash and Impulse issues are $0.99 each. Also included are Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge, Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion, a number of Rogue-heavy issues, some Flash/Green Lantern crossovers, the main Flashpoint story, Rebirth, parts of Convergence, the Flash DC RetroActive specials, the Flash: Season Zero comic based on the TV series, the Tangent Flash issues, and more.

The later New 52 and DC: Rebirth books are on sale, but I figure you probably know already whether you’re interested in those, so I’m going to talk about the older books.

I would absolutely recommend the Flash by Mark Waid vol. 1-3 and Flash by Geoff Johns 1-3 collections. $6 for a dozen or more issues is an amazing deal, and there are some great stories in there. (Flash by Geoff Johns vol. 4 is a little more uneven than the first three, IMO.) The Manapul/Buccellato run from the early New 52 is also quite good, as are the two Morrison/Millar books with Paul Ryan and Pop Mhan (“Emergency Stop” and “The Human Race”). I’d also highly recommend the early issues of Impulse by Waid and Humberto Ramos.

You can find gems like the original Flash of Two Worlds in Flash #123, the first Superman/Flash race, “Nobody Dies” (Flash v2 #54), Wally meeting his younger self in Flash v.2 #0, the entire Trial of the Flash, and the first appearances of Jay Garrick in Flash Comics #1, Wally West and Weather Wizard in Flash #110, and Reverse Flash in Flash #139. The story with the Captain Cold Censored Flash cover is in here too. If you’re interested in the classic Silver Age Flash, now’s a good chance to pick up some of those collections as well.

If you’re on a budget, go with Flash: A Celebration of 75 Years. $6 down from $30 for this collection can’t be beat.

I wouldn’t bother with the Flash: Fastest Man Alive collections or Road to Flashpoint unless you really want a complete set.

DC November 2018 Solicitations

DC has released the full complement of solicitations for November 2018, and here are all the ones relating to the Flash. You can see the entire list of solicits at Newsarama.

THE FLASH #58
written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON
art and cover by RAFA SANDOVAL and JORDI TARRAGONA
variant cover by HOWARD PORTER
“FORCE QUEST” part one! Following “Flash War,” Barry Allen remains the Flash, but he’s no longer the Fastest Man Alive! With Hunter Zolomon on the run, and new forces such as the Strength, Sage and Still Forces unleashed on the Multiverse, Barry must leave Central City behind and travel the world to learn the secret history of the Speed Force.
ON SALE 11.14.18
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES
FC | RATED T+
This issue will ship with two covers.
Please see the order form for details.

THE FLASH #59
written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON
art and cover by RAFA SANDOVAL and JORDI TARRAGONA
variant cover by HOWARD PORTER
“FORCE QUEST” part two! Next stop: Gorilla City! The Flash’s next destination on his new training mission is the stomping grounds of his longtime foe Gorilla Grodd. But instead of a primate paradise, he finds the kingdom in ruins! Flash must use his CSI skills to uncover who destroyed Gorilla City, but the discovery of a brand-new villain means Barry isn’t the only person researching the true origins of the Speed Force.
ON SALE 11.28.18
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES
FC | RATED T+
This issue will ship with two covers.
Please see the order form for details.

HEROES IN CRISIS #3
written by TOM KING
art and cover by CLAY MANN
variant cover by RYAN SOOK
The Man of Steel versus…Booster Gold?! Superman finds out the hard way that Booster can be a formidable opponent when his back’s against the wall. Of course, being the prime suspect in a superhero massacre and exposing a secret trauma hospital for metahumans will do just that. Meanwhile, Batman and the Flash combine their detective skills to investigate what went awry at Sanctuary and uncover a serious glitch in the system—not to mention an explosive, spoiler-ific secret!
ON SALE 11.28.18
$3.99 US | 3 of 7 | 32 PAGES
FC | RATED T+
This issue will ship with two covers.
Please see the order form for details.

JUSTICE LEAGUE/AQUAMAN: DROWNED EARTH #1
written by JAMES TYNION IV
art and cover by HOWARD PORTER
variant cover by FRANK CHO
“Drowned Earth” part one! The Ocean Lords—ancient sea gods with a grudge against Aquaman and Wonder Woman—invade the Earth with an alien army and flood the globe. As Batman, Superman and the Flash race to stop the waters from rising and turning everyone into aquatic monsters, Mera seeks the advice of an old enemy, and Arthur must face down Black Manta…or lose his connection to the ocean forever!
RETROSOLICITED | ONE-SHOT
ON SALE 10.31.18
$4.99 US | 48 PAGES
FC | RATED T+
This issue will ship with two covers.
Please see the order form for details.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #11
written by SCOTT SNYDER
art and cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
variant cover by JAE LEE
“DROWNED EARTH” part two! The Justice League is scattered across the Seven Seas, pursued by the Ocean Lords and their army of alien mercenaries and constantly at risk of turning into fish monsters. You know, just a day at the beach. Their only hope lies in the crippled Aquaman, who believes the road to victory lies in unleashing equally vengeful gods on Earth’s oceans. Meanwhile, Batman guards the Totality in the sunken Hall of Justice, where no one can attack him…or can they?
ON SALE 11.07.18
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES
FC | RATED T+
This issue will ship with two covers.
Please see the order form for details.

AQUAMAN #42
written by DAN ABNETT
art by LAN MEDINA
cover by EDUARDO PANSICA
variant cover by JOSHUA MIDDLETON
A “DROWNED EARTH” tie-in story! As Aquaman and Wonder Woman race home from the Graveyard of Gods to turn the tide against the Ocean Lords, Arthur learns a stunning secret about his past! Armed with the knowledge that the Justice League may be fighting the wrong enemy, Aquaman must confront the ocean lords and learn the truth before the cosmic flood resets all life on Earth!
ON SALE 11.21.18
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | FC | RATED T
This issue will ship with two covers.
Please see the order form for details.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #12
written by JAMES TYNION IV
art by FRAZER IRVING
cover by JORGE JIMENEZ
variant cover by JAE LEE
“DROWNED EARTH” part three! It’s Batman, in a full-body cast, versus the Legion of Doom! Get a ringside seat for the craziest fight in comics as a bedridden Batman battles The Joker, Lex Luthor, Gorilla Grodd and Sinestro! Meanwhile, Aquaman locks tridents with Poseidon and Mera discovers an ancient secret that could change the fate of Atlantis—and the entire Earth—forever!
ON SALE 11.21.18
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES
FC | RATED T+
This issue will ship with two covers.
Please see the order form for details.

AQUAMAN/JUSTICE LEAGUE: DROWNED EARTH #1
written by SCOTT SNYDER
art by FRANCIS MANAPUL and
HOWARD PORTER
cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
variant cover by FRANK CHO
“DROWNED EARTH” finale! Aquaman faces the truth behind Atlantis’ past and must find a way to reclaim the power of his birthright or watch the floodwaters drown everything he has ever loved! With the world at stake and the Justice League on their last sea legs in their battle against the Ocean Lords, Arthur makes the ultimate sacrifice to return balance to land and sea!
ONE-SHOT
ON SALE 11.28.18
$4.99 US | 48 PAGES
FC | RATED T
This issue will ship with two covers.
Please see the order form for details.

TEEN TITANS #24
written by ADAM GLASS
art and cover by BERNARD CHANG
variant cover by ALEX GARNER
The Teen Titans bring the house down in this issue—and it just might crush them to death! Set up by the mysterious villain known as the Other, the Teen Titans find themselves trapped beneath a crumbling building. The only thing between them and a dirt nap: Crush’s bench-pressing the entire complex. But how long can she hold out? The Titans race the clock against gravity, muscle fatigue and getting squashed like a bug. Plus, Damian’s secret mentor is revealed, and Robin realizes there’s a traitor in their midst!
ON SALE 11.21.18
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES
FC | RATED T
This issue will ship with two covers.
Please see the order form for details.

TITANS #30
written by DAN ABNETT
art by MINKYU JUNG
cover by BEN OLIVER
variant cover by YASMINE PUTRI
“MAROONED” part two! Stranded on an alien world with no means of travel, Beast Boy finally succumbs to his more monstrous tendencies and could become the most dangerous thing on an already dangerous planet. The Titans are forced to square off against a savage and gargantuan Garfield! Will the Titans be able to maintain their fractured team in the face of extraterrestrial adversity and sinister secrets coming to light? And even if they can, how on Earth will they ever get back home?
ON SALE 11.28.18
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES
FC | RATED T
This issue will ship with two covers.
Please see the order form for details.

DC NUCLEAR WINTER SPECIAL #1
written by PAUL DINI, STEVE ORLANDO, PHIL HESTER, MARK RUSSELL, MAIRGHREAD SCOTT and others
art by CULLY HAMNER, PHIL HESTER, GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI, YASMINE PUTRI and others
cover by YANICK PAQUETTE
The holidays are tough enough as it is, but when you’re living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland (or, you know, 2018) the world can seem bleaker than ever. So do yourself a favor this holiday season, break out your best eggnog and enjoy 10 all-new stories featuring the World’s Greatest Heroes, including looks at the futures of Batman, Superman and the Flash, as well as many more denizens of the DC Universe.
PRESTIGE FORMAT
ON SALE 11.28.18
$9.99 US | 80 PAGES
FC | RATED T

THE FLASH VOL. 8: FLASH WAR TP
written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON
art by SCOTT KOLINS
and HOWARD PORTER
cover by HOWARD PORTER
One of the biggest Flash adventures starts here, with a special story starring the classic Wally West, who’s conflicted over whether to let Iris West know he is alive—-and he’ll need the help of the Flash to figure out what to do! But when Magenta, Wally’s old love, needs his help, the Flash returns home to Keystone City, where he is confronted with violent memories of an unknown world. It’s a major turning point for the Flash family! Collects THE FLASH #46-51 and a story from ANNUAL #1.
ON SALE 12.12.18
$16.99 US | 160 PAGES
FC | ISBN: 978-1-4012-8350-6

JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE WORLD’S GREATEST SUPER-HEROES BY ALEX ROSS AND PAUL DINI TP NEW EDITION
written by ALEX ROSS and PAUL DINI
art and cover by ALEX ROSS
SUPERMAN: PEACE ON EARTH. BATMAN: WAR ON CRIME. SHAZAM!: POWER OF HOPE. WONDER WOMAN: SPIRIT OF TRUTH. JUSTICE LEAGUE: SECRET ORIGINS. JUSTICE LEAGUE: LIBERTY AND JUSTICE. These six legendary painted graphic novels by the superstar team of artist Alex Ross and writer Paul Dini are back in a new trade paperback edition.
ON SALE 12.19.18
$29.99 US | 8.0625” x 10.875”
400 PAGES
FC | ISBN: 978-1-4012-8554-8

DC MEETS HANNA-BARBERA VOL. 2 TP
written by DAN ABNETT, JEFF PARKER, BRYAN HILL, SCOTT LOBDELL and PETER J. TOMASI
art by PAUL PELLETIER, SCOTT KOLINS, DENYS COWAN, BRETT BOOTH, FERNANDO PASARIN and others
cover by DOUG MAHNKE
What happens when The Flash meets his match in the amazing Speed Buggy? Or when the Super Sons clash with Dynomutt? Will Black Lightning crumble when he crosses paths with Hong Kong Phooey? And what happens when Aquaman meets another denizen of the depths: Jabberjaw! Collects THE FLASH/SPEED BUGGY SPECIAL #1, SUPER SONS/DYNOMUTT SPECIAL #1, BLACK LIGHTNING/HONG KONG PHOOEY SPECIAL #1 and AQUAMAN/JABBERJAW
SPECIAL #1.
ON SALE 12.19.18
$16.99 US | 168 PAGES
FC | ISBN: 978-1-4012-8628-6

DC CORE: THE FLASH PVC STATUE
sculpted by JAY KUSHWARA
Putting the “force” in the Speed Force, the latest statue from the DC Core line has the legendary hero cracking the pavement with the impact of his strides. This Scarlet Speedster will make a great addition to any collection.
DC CORE is a line of 9″ premium statues that appeals to fans of DC and its core characters. Made from PVC, this statue line provides fans a great, high-quality product at a consumer-friendly price, making them ideal for collectors of any budget.
• Limited to 5,000 pieces
• Figure measures 10″ tall
• Allocations may occur
• Final products may differ from images shown
• Approximately 4 units per carton
ON SALE APRIL 2019
$50.00 US

Flash #53 Preview

DC has released the official five-page preview for this week’s issue of The Flash, and you can see it at The Beat. In it, we learn new details about Commander Cold’s history as a law enforcement officer in the 25th century, and a few hints of what may have happened to the Trickster last issue. Check it out at the link!

 

THE FLASH #53
written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON
art by CHRISTIAN DUCE
cover by DAN MORA
variant cover by FRANCESCO MATTINA
Then, it’s a slippery slope for the Scarlet Speedster when he must team up with the frosty Commander Cold to stop a powered-up Trickster from trashing Central City. The Trickster’s first target is the maximum-security prison Iron Heights, which could mean a criminal breakout the city would never survive.
ON SALE 08.22.18
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES
FC | RATED T
This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.

First Look At New CW Flash Costume

The CW has released a poster showing the new Flash costume we’ll be seeing in the series’ fifth season. The most notable change is the lack of a chinstrap, though there are other differences too; the fabric doesn’t look the same, and it has a new texture. And Barry’s looking a lot more world-weary here than he has in seasons past, which is interesting.

I didn’t like the chinstrap when the show debuted, but the funny thing is that now the costume looks weird to me without it. I’ll probably get used to it eventually, however.

What do other viewers think of the new costume? Are you liking Barry’s new cowl and other outfit details, or are they not to your taste? Share your thoughts here!

Retro Review: The Flash: Stop Motion (Graphic Audio)

I’m not big on audiobooks, but I picked up a DC Comics-related Humble Bundle a few weeks ago and I “read” The Flash: Stop Motion by Mark Schultz. It’s kind of odd listening to a “Graphic Audio” adaptation of a prose novel based on a character who usually appears in visual media, but the full cast, sound effects, and music help to make up for the lack of actual visuals that I’ve found tends to hamper prose stories about superheroes.

I read the book when it came out in 2004, and I’d forgotten enough for it to be more-or-less “new.” It’s set during the Wally West/Keystone City era when the Flash’s identity was still public knowledge and he worked with Detectives Chyre and Morillo. A super-speed killer has been attacking people in the Keystone/Central area. Not only is it faster than the Flash, but every time it strikes, bits of other universes bleed into our own. Wally has to discover the nature of this “superluminoid,” its surprising connection to the West/Allen family, and unlock a potential beyond the speed force in order to stop it.

The familiar characters are handled well, and the concepts behind the superluminoid, quantum warriors and the Seventh Singularity are intriguing. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect from Grant Morrison or Warren Ellis as they take on super-speed, the metagene, the speed force and quantum physics. The ideas still hold up, and I think it would be fascinating to explore them further, though in the long run they would unbalance the Flash’s already over-powered abilities.

There are a few continuity issues that bugged me at the time I first read it. A lot of the story hinges on Iris and Wally being blood relatives, for instance, which they weren’t pre-Flashpoint. Those don’t bother me anymore, partly because continuity has been remixed so many times and partly because I’ve mellowed on that sort of thing. Though I still have trouble with the opening scene where the Flash is treading air to “fly” with the JLA. (And then there are oddities like the fact that the entire Justice League is in several scenes, but only Wonder Woman gets a detailed description. Hmmm…)

The audio adaptation works well. It’s got a full voice cast and sound effects in addition to the narration. Some of the voices work better than others, and some just don’t fit my head-voice for the characters. (Chyre, for instance, sounds more gravelly and world-weary in my mind than this version.) They really make use of effects and music in the battle sequences, though some of them might work better with headphones than listening in a car. I found it hard to pick out the words in the action scenes because there was so much going on. And some of the conversations that work in print go on way too long in audio.

The novel is worth reading, and the audio is worth listening to. Now I’m curious to hear how Graphic Audio adapted Infinite Crisis, 52 and Final Crisis.

I think I’ll skip Countdown, though.