Written by, Joshua Williamson
Art by, Carmine Di Giandomenico
Colors by, Ivan Plascencia
Letters by, Steve Wands
In the previous issue, The Flash re-establishes a connection to the Speed Force which gives him back his powers. However, Barry’s efforts have the unintended consequence of giving Gorilla Grodd a strong connection to the Negative Speed Force. The team of speedsters come together as a family and fights Grodd. Meanwhile, Central City is in great danger, people are vulnerable, and Iris West is lost.
This issue begins with Barry Allen as he fights Grodd while retracing a letter he wrote to Iris prior to the battle. In the letter, he expresses his love for Iris and his desire to save her from the destruction caused by Grodd and the Negative Speed Force. The art beautifully depicts the destruction of Central City and the violence in the exchanges between Grodd and The Flash. Lighting bolts full of color, shadows representing Barry’s movement, and a large violent Grodd are almost breathtaking. Barry defeats Grodd. However, The Gorilla City Guard, an armed group of Gorillas, arrive and arrest Grodd and take him back to Gorilla City.
Meanwhile, Wally West and the rest of the speedsters save people from Central City as it is disintegrating from the effects of the Negative Speed Force. Wally locates and saves Iris from the storm. However, the team is left with a dilemma: how do they stop the Negative Speed Force storm? Barry joins the discussion and offers to be the one to counter the Negative Speed Force in hopes of dissipating the storm. Much to Barry’s surprise, the rest of the speedsters join in the effort, and together they disable the storm. However, one of the speedsters is lost. Furthermore, there is a surprise witness, Hunter Zolomon, to the entire battle who vows to destroy the speedsters.
Overall = 9.5/10
There are a number of tropes that have developed over the years in stories involving The Flash: time travel, Speed Force manipulation, and the threat of harm to Iris West are a few. This story involved all of them; however, I still loved the story. It speaks to the authenticity with which the writer, Joshua Williamson, sticks to the continuity of the character: Barry is a guilt-ridden superhero who makes up for his guilt by saving Central City. His speedster team is his family, they confront him when he makes mistakes, and they support him through his trials.
Carmine Di Giandomenico’s art separates this story and makes it stand out. He creates some gorgeous spreads that show the immense power of Grodd and the desperation of The Flash in their battle. In addition, he is great at showing the lightning and quickness of the speedsters due to their connection to the Speed Force. I highly recommend this book and this entire story arc.