Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Flash #53 Review and *SPOILERS*

Say It Like Schwarzenegger…

Written By: Joshua Williamson
Art By: Christian Duce, Luis Guerrero
Letters By: Steve Wands
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 22, 2018

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

The last issue of The Flash seemed to be a bit heavy-handed with a set-up which may have turned some people off to it. However, whether you liked it or not, we are not going to be dealing with that anymore as we have been left off in the middle of a major plot point. This issue should be all about progressing the stories that we have set up in the previous issue. I really like what’s going on with Trickster and The Flash’s new relationship with Commander Cold. There’s a lot about this series that I like right now and I’m excited to see where this issue takes us. Let’s just jump right in and see where things go.

Our issue begins in the future. We see a hostage situation and the police have surrounded the building in an attempt to negotiate the release of the hostages. One of the cops doesn’t seem to like this plan though as he demands that they enter immediately in order to save the hostages. He is held back for a moment but pushes through and draws his weapon before entering the building. Inside, he finds all the hostages are currently dead. He finds the Elongated Maniac inside. He killed the hostages about an hour ago and asks that the press be present when he is brought in so he can be seen by everyone. In a fit of rage, the cop opens fire on the Elongated Maniac, killing him. The rest of the cops restrain him and he fights back insisting that he was right. All of this is accompanied by Barry’s monologue about the place of emotion in an investigation.

Meanwhile, back in the present, Commander Cold is recovering from the attack by the Trickster. They discover the hole that Trickster came out of a hypothesize that much like the speed force striking Barry from the air, perhaps the Strength force struck from below. As they analyze the scene Trickster begins wrecking havoc. Eventually, the two race off and meet the new Trickster as he destroys parts of the city. Meanwhile, Iris begins to investigate the Speed Force after hearing about the advice from the speedsters that Barry got about a Force Quest. She accidentally refers to herself as Iris Allen proving that some of her recovered memories are really affecting her. Just then, The Flash crashes through the library window. The fight with the Trickster has continued with little progress. Despite his puns, Commander Cold is easily taken care of by Trickster and The Flash does little better. However, after being captured, he vibrates to escape Trickster’s grasp but this turns out to affect him negatively. He begs for help and the two take him to Iron Heights to cure him.

Before they arrive, we see Kristen snooping into the Warden’s files and discovers that Trickster’s files have been erased. When she is caught, Kristen simply says that she was trying to track down Trickster by looking into his files. They bring in Trickster and ask for help in curing him but the Warden seems unwilling to help. However, they come to an agreement to allow Flash to monitor the situation as long as he is restrained in a cell. Commander Cold begins administering tests on Trickster but eventually, the Strength Force becomes unstable and spreads. We get a flashback to the cop in the future and it turns out that cop was Commander Cold before he got recruited into the Renegades. Back in the present, due to him being trapped, The Flash is unable to escape the spreading Strength Force and when the dust settles, The Flash is about 4 times larger as he has clearly bulked up from the Strength Force being inside him. Trickster begins to fight Flash but Barry keeps calling out for Cold to help them. Cold decides that there is no other course of action and that it is too late to help them. He draws his weapons and points them at Flash and Trickster. This is where the issue leaves us.

I know some people didn’t like the previous issue but I quite did. That doesn’t change when it comes to this issue. We continue down the road with storylines that were set up in the previous issue and we get some hints to answers without completely understanding them yet. We learn more about Commander Cold and his past and we learn about Trickster and the Strength Force. We even get small parts with Iris and Kristen to continue on with their subplots. Honestly this issue is a really great middle issue. I like where all the storylines are going and I find most if not all of them interesting. I like seeing The Flash get involved with all of these different forces and I like seeing how his relationship with Commander Cold evolves and changes from issue to issue. In my opinion, we are back on track with this series following the Flash War arc.

Bits and Pieces:

The Flash is back on track and this issue DELIVERS! We get solid and meaningful progression in every subplot that has been introduced and we have a main story that is interesting and enticing to read. I am excited to see where this book goes from here. Sure, the story may be a little fantastical but I like seeing that kind of risk taking in books and frankly, it succeeds very well in this issue.


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