Art by: Carmine Di Giandomenico, Ivan Plascencia and Steve Wands
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 14, 2016
I will admit it right here and now...I have been running hot and cold with Joshua Williamson's Rebirth Flash run. Overall, I think it's been good, but it's also been inconsistent. The big thing going into this issue, however, is that Williamson is the master of setting up things that payoff down the line and actually make a down issue seem not so down in retrospect. When we find out the who and why of Godspeed, will it be one of those moments? Let's find out...
The issue starts out with Godspeed and he is up to no good. Instead of killing Speedsters, he's getting all Suge Knight with a guy, but he's not hanging him out of a window, he's dragging him around town. Dragging him at super speed. Yea, that guy is so dead!
Williamson doesn't tell us who this guy was, but if you've been reading this whole arc, it's kind of easy to solve a bunch of mysteries here. Godspeed is out for justice, but it's personal and feels more like revenge. See...it says it right there on the credits page!!!
We then cut to Barry who is trying to make heads or tails about what went on in STAR Labs, but he's coming up empty. When August joins him, Barry tells his partner that he blames everything that's happened on himself and vows to make things right. He also mentions that Meena's disappearance reminds him of something that happened to him a long time ago and if you are a Crisis on Infinite Earths fan, you will surely get goosebumps here. They are interrupted by Avery who informs them that Godspeed has struck again!
When they go to the scene, the remaining Speedsters want out. They don't trust Barry to protect them and who the hell could blame them?!? The problem is, quitting the Speed Force isn't that easy and while he can't convince them otherwise, Barry runs off to talk to someone who might help solve the Godspeed mystery.
It's Iris, of course, and the scene seemed to just be a setup for Wally to show up, get angry, run off and show Barry that he is the second Wally West to tap into the Speed Force. That's actually okay with me since I've been waiting since before Rebirth for this to happen, but there is more. Much more. When Iris shows Barry the list of people murdered by Godspeed, one name pops out almost as much as Barry's eyes do when he sees it.
The jig is up and Barry runs off to confront Godspeed. Who is it? How does he suddenly know where to find him? I don't want to spoil it, but if you really want to know, then scroll over this:
It certainly isn't shocking and the reason for what he's doing makes sense in a "guy over the edge who made it personal and thinks what he is doing is better than anyone else" kind of way. Godspeed taunts Barry with his abilities and then falls into the typical pattern of Flash villains...Barry's not up to snuff, he's not using his powers effectively, etc. However, this time it does get a bit more personal and Barry is kind of guilty of what Godspeed says, but he really couldn't help it. Or could he have?
That's one of the questions that will continue into next issue and also brings up the main problem I had with this issue. After all this time wondering who Godspeed was, the big reveal felt more like setup than anything else. I am looking forward to where we are headed (an attempted Flashpoint is my guess), but I wanted more bang in this issue.
Besides that, I give Williamson props for making Godspeed make sense while also playing around with the typical Flash villain MO. There is a Sixth Sense vibe going on here which makes going back to the other issues in the series intriguing and like I said above, I can't wait to see where (or when) we go from here.
Carmine Di Giandomenico's art was really good and made me realize how much I missed it. Barry may still look a lot like a certain smoking mystical asshole at points, but when he is in his costume, he looks badass! My favorite pages were the coming out parties of both Godspeed and Wally.
Bits and Pieces:
The wait is over and we do find out who Godspeed is. My problem isn't with who it is or why they are doing what they are doing...no, my problem is that it all falls a bit flat and just feels like setup. I really liked Carmine Di Giandomenico's art and have faith that Joshua Williamson will blow my mind eventually...I just wish it was now.