THE FLASH #35
Written by: Joshua Williamson & Michael Moreci
Art by: Pop Mhan
Colored by: Ivan Plascencia, Color
(Spoilers) This issue picks up where #34 ended: Meena has captured The Flash and Kid Flash. Her inner monologue retraces the events leading to her being caught up in the Speed Force. She recalls being terrified and not wanting to die. Meena explains that The Black Hole saved her from the Speed Force and she agreed to participate in a study they are doing on the Negative Speed Force. Her return is a revenge story not a redemption story.
The story continues with a verbal exchange between Meena and The Flash.
Meena confronts The Flash and his use of the Speed Force, “You fear it and decided that you’re the only one who could control it.” Meena continues, “You hide your fear and say you’re protecting everyone, but you’re just protecting yourself”. She makes one final barb claiming The Flash is mired in mommy issues while hoarding the Speed Force.
A fight between Kid Flash and Meena ensues. Meena expresses her anger at not being saved from the Speed Force by The Flash. “I was trapped in the Speed Force and you never came for me”, says Meena. The Flash cautions Meena that if she’s caught in the Speed Force again, she’ll need a connection to get out. Meena says, “I don’t have one”, as she runs away.
As Meena escapes, Kid Flash and The Flash figure out a way to defeat their remaining captors through combining their energies. Afterward, they meet and discuss their commitment to pursue Meena and save her if they can. However, they agree that they don’t know how to save her from the Negative Speed Force. The story transitions to Meena who is back with the members of the Black Hole. A new villain arrives, Raijin, The God of Lightning, who reveals his plans to “rain down on this world.”
The story makes a final transition to Barry and Wally walking towards Wally’s home. They discuss the meaning of their encounter with Meena, whether she is being controlled by the Black Hole, and if she would accept their help. Before Wally leaves, he asks about Iris. Wally responds that Iris needs more time before she will talk to Barry. The Flash’s inner monologue empathizes with Iris, “I sometimes forget that not everything moves as fast as I do. I trusted Meena too fast, and look where it got me.” He thinks that Meena helped him realize that he can’t do this alone and that he’s better with others by his side.
At the beginning of the story The Flash asks Meena, “Why would you want to be connected to the negative speed force?” She replies, “Because it’s unexplored.” At face value ,the comment is a poor explanation. However, when you consider that Meena is a scientist that she’s angry and looking for revenge, it works.
Meena’s telling The Flash’s that he has unresolved mommy issues is spot on. Thawne and the Negative Speed Force are connected to the death of his mother and countless numbers of negative things to The Flash. Therefore, it is easy to believe that The Flash is fearful of The Speed Force and how he would want to protect others from the negative impact it might have on their lives. The Flash’s behaviors have been based on fear, albeit warranted, and he’s kept secrets from others which has caused them pain.
The story foreshadows the next issue. Kristin, Barry’s partner with the CCPD is working a case when an ominous visitor arrives. The final panel shows Warden Wolfe calling Barry Allen and informing him that there’s been a murder at Iron Heights. Could it be his partner?