The Flash #36
Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Howard Porter
Colors by: Hi-Fi
The Flash explains that he’s always wanted to be a detective. The Flash’s inner monologue plays while the art shows him arriving at Iron Heights Prison, where he’s been stationed since his demotion. Barry Allen arrives to find Kristen investigating the death of a former member of the Rogues named Turbine. Kristen states that strangulation killed Roscoe Hynes, AKA Turbine.. He was a Tuskegee Airman in WWII who got lost in the speed force, affecting his mind and he later became part of the Rogues.
Kristen and Barry discuss the evidence when Director Singh informs them that CCPD’s crime lab will investigate the evidence. He directs Kristen and Barry to give their evidence to detectives Burns and Morrow. Barry pleads his case to Dir. Singh; however, he’s interrupted by the warden who tells Singh to get his job done and get out.
The exchange between Director Singh and Warden Wolfe continues as they exchange barbs. The warden states that if Singh finds anything wrong, they can just blame Barry. Singh defends Barry calling him the best CSI in Central City. The story transitions suddenly as The Trickster, Axel Walker, claims that it was he who killed Turbine, and panels show him trying to escape. Barry reminds himself that he cannot turn into The Flash; however, he punches The Trickster in the face stopping him cold. Wolfe confronts Trickster exposing his lie. Trickster says it was all a joke as he is hauled away to solitary confinement.
The story transitions as Barry thinks of ways he could gather evidence but puzzles at who his allies are in Iron Heights. August Heart speaks to Barry from behind bars breaking his train of thought. Barry quickly recalls August’s history, a speedster who Barry trained but who chose to kill criminals breaking Barry’s code. August became Godspeed, who killed Meena (Rebirth issue #8). Barry tells August that they are not friends and then asks him what he knows about Turbine’s death. August argues that he doesn’t have any information. August tries to psychoanalyze Barry saying that something in Barry has changed; he’s lost the sparkle in his eyes. Barry gets defensive stating that August doesn’t know anything about him. An armored guard comes and breaks up the conversation. Barry walks away, angry, thinking about when he can be The Flash and go for a run.
Panels show Warden Wolfe looking at Captain Cold through a monitor. Meanwhile, Captain Cold receives confirmation from Copperhead’s group that they will join forces with the Rogues to take down The Flash. However, Captain Cold is developing plans to become the new king of crime in Central City. In a twist of events, Godspeed is shown being brought to Captain Cold. He asks what it will take to get the restraint collar off his neck. Captain Cold asks August what he had to offer to gain this favor? August says that he can give them The Flash.
As Flash stories go, this one is by the numbers, which isn’t a bad thing if you love the character. Barry reveals how he hates the beginning of any investigation because he dreads not knowing what he’ll find when he enters the crime scene. The story continues this narrative when later The Flash comments that a mystery doesn’t end with the who, there’s always the why. And, he acknowledges that his favorite mysteries always include a twist. The use of The Flash’s inner monologue helps to reinforce the suspense and multi-dimensional nature of the story. This story is about much more than just the death of Turbine or the craftiness of Captain Cold. Something larger is brewing, which piques my interest.
The Flash’s guilt and anger are easily pricked in his conversation with August Heart. Last issue we saw the re-entry of Meena, who Godspeed supposedly killed in an earlier issue. In addition, we know that Barry previously dated Meena and told her his secret identity. Perhaps Barry’s anger is coming from vulnerability having loved and now lost the trust of a former girlfriend? Sounds like familiar turf given what happened between him and Iris. However, I’m interested to see if Barry can put aside his anger and guilt long enough to follow the evidence and solve the mystery behind the clues.