Written by, Joshua Williamson
Art by, Carmine Di Giandomenico
Colors by, Ivan Plascencia
Letters by, Steve Wands
In the last issue, Barry uses the wand to come into contact with the lightning rod restoring his powers as The Flash. However, in the process his team of speedsters come under the control of Grodd who has gained full access to the Speed Force due to Barry’s actions. The issue ends with The Flash surrounded by his team and Grodd in control of the Speed Force.
This issue begins with Gorilla Grodd in Barry’s head convincing Barry that he is in control. Grodd accuses Barry of having self-seeking motives for being The Flash. Barry put his friends, Central City, and everyone at risk just to have the power that comes from being The Flash. Barry didn’t care who he hurt in the process, communicating to his team of speedsters that they were not enough to save the city: only The Flash was strong enough to defeat Grodd.
The story transitions to the team of speedsters who confront Barry for his selfishness. Godspeed challenges Barry for thinking he’s only a killer and Wally accuses Barry of thinking Barry’s the only one who can save the day. Meanwhile, The Flash begs his team to snap out of it and help him fight Grodd. Barry reminds Wally of how they first met and how they fought crime together. Wally snaps out of it briefly; however, Wally is pulled back under the control of Grodd and throws Barry through the air in anger.
Grodd opposes Barry directly, at this point. Grodd tells Barry that he sought a connection to be healed, and Barry sought a connection to the Speed Force for power. Grodd continues, “Now I’m healed and I have all the power of the Speed Force.” How ironic. In a twist, The Flash resists Grodd’s manipulation. Barry says that Grodd reading his mind leaves out the most important parts of him – his heart. Barry states that his team of speedsters are his family. They fight, they make mistakes, but they always forgive each other and never give up on each other. It has been his family’s loyalty that has taught him how to overcome his selfishness and is what is going to defeat Grodd.
Suddenly, Barry uses the wand, which he’s altered, to remove Grodd’s connection to the Speed force and heals Grodd’s disease. However, Grodd has one more trick up his sleeve: he turns a dial on the lightning rod revealing that he now has a connection to the negative Speed Force.
Overall – 9
The book is gorgeous with Di Giandomenico on art. There are several full page spreads, which depict the Speed Force and Grodd, as well as, Barry’s connection to it with lightning bolts that come alive. In other places, shadows and mirror images of the speedsters as they move depict movement and depth in an authentic and amazing way.
The story has come full circle. The Flash has been confronted for his selfishness and pride for seemingly 12 issues. However, this issue was different in that Barry found a way out of his darkness due to his connection to the speedster family. This twist was employed in a way that felt earned and believable. I highly recommend this book.