The Flash #41
Written by, Joshua Williamson
Art by, Carlos D’Anda
Colors by, Luis Guerrero
Letters by, Steve Wands
In the last issue, Wally West returns and saves Barry Allen while Kid Flash and Avery steal the wand, keeping Grodd from accessing the full power of the Speed Force and thus saving the world for now. However, Barry has changed from his conflict with Grodd. Will the changes last? Grodd has gained to the Speed Force and he has teamed up with Meena, Negative Flash, and Raijin, the god of lightning, to subdue Central City. The people of Central City are frozen in time due to Grodd’s control. However, Grodd informed Barry that he is dying and must have a connection to the Speed Force to save himself and the other Gorillas in Gorilla City.
Grodd reinforces his authority over Meena and Raijin, and, he is certain that the wand that Kid Flash stole will return to Raijin. Without the wand they cannot control the Speed Force storm. Meanwhile, back at the speed force training center, Avery confirms that Barry Allen no longer has a connection to the Speed Force. He has trace elements left in his system which is why time has not frozen for him. While they talk Wally West returns and informs the group that Grodd and his group are waiting for them in Central City.
While Wally and Barry talk, Avery discovers the reason Grodd is waiting for them; he needs the wand to control the lightning rod, which is draining the speed force from Central City. If Grodd gains control of the wand he’ll be able to steal the Speed Force from the entire world. The Wally West informs the team of his plan to evacuate all humans from Central City; Barry Allen tells Kid Flash to leave Central City so Grodd cannot gain control of them, as well. Meanwhile, Barry attempts to use the wand to regain his powers.
Barry thinks that without him the team of speedsters cannot defeat Grodd. Wally instructs Barry that Grodd has been able to easily get in Barry’s head and manipulate him. Wally leaves to evacuate the city giving Barry time to work on the wand. At the same time, Kid Flash and Avery disobey Barry and help Wally evacuate the City. Avery gets the idea that Meena can be persuaded to help them, so they find a way. Meanwhile, Wally sees images of all the important places and people that have impacted his life, including Iris, as he’s saving the city.
Barry is filled with regrets and fears that the people close to him will learn who he really is, now that he’s lost his powers. Barry returns to Iron Heights and out of desperation, he enlists the help of Godspeed in order to use the wand and regain his powers.
This story arc keeps getting better mostly due to Williamson’s storytelling who has found the perfect theme, desperation, which is witnessed in each of important characters. Grodd is desperate to find a cure for himself and his people and so he demonstrates a “win-at-all-costs” approach. Barry is desperate to reconnect to the Speed Force fearing that people will see the real him, and reject him. Wally, who is now The Flash with Barry de-powered, is desperate to save the people of Central City and is nearly trapped by the Black Hole in the process. Avery and Kid Flash are desperate to prove themselves and so they disobey Barry and stay in Central City where Grodd can capture them. Did the good guys forget that The Black Hole and Meena have speedster powers as well?
The art in this issue is gorgeous; the lightning bolts, and fast-motion speedster art never gets old for me. I am interested to see if Barry can regain his connection to the Speed Force. He’s lost everything in the recent past: his relationship with Iris, his post at the CCPD, and now his identity as The Flash. It will be interesting to see if Barry will regain his identity as a person now that he’s lost his connection to the Speed Force.