Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Flash #56 Review and *SPOILERS*

Burn Baby Burn

Written By: Joshua Williamson
Art By: Scott Kolins, Luis Guerrero
Letters By: Steve Wands
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 10, 2018

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

The Flash comic’s latest storyline hasn’t been bad but even I have to admit that the previous issue was slow and didn’t answer a lot of questions. Instead of getting more answers about the forces, specifically the Strength Force which we just dealt with, we have suddenly been drawn into a different force, The Sage Force. Heatwave has been infected with the Sage Force and has used that power to destroy Iron Heights Penitentiary. Honestly, I’m still a big fan of this book but it constantly makes decisions that I disagree with. In addition, we saw in previews that Barry won’t be dealing with the Wally situation until January, which is a really long time to wait for such a huge storyline. Let’s just jump into this issue and hope it gives us a great story.

We begin with a short flashback of Heatwave’s history. From his time as a kid to meeting up with the rogues and eventually ends up in prison. However, now he is some kind of giant fire god and he tries to kill Flash and Detective Burns. Heat wave burns down Iron Heights once again. Flash and Burns are able to escape but they are the only survivors. Heatwave then turns his attention to Central City but Barry lets him go because he thinks he’s found a secret to the mystery. Heatwave was always obsessed with fire but never with killing. Sure, people have died due to his obsession but he liked the killing part. So, all the charred bodies look off. They look like how Heatwave thinks they should look. Flash and Burns are inside of Heatwave’s mind.

In the real world, Warden Wolfe is trying to fight off the fire monsters created by Heatwave. He makes no progress and the monsters are only stopped when Commander Cold steps in. During the fight, Kristen takes the opportunity to steal more files from the Warden. Cold suddenly disappears along with Heatwave, The Flash, and Detective Burns’ bodies. We catch back up with Barry and we get a quick reminder about new forces. Barry hypotheses that Heatwave needs a lightning rod to get back to the real world much like Barry does whenever he gets lost in the Speed Force. We then learn more about Detective Burns’ past. Her family worked for the Falcone family and ended up dying because of it. It’s what drove her to become a cop. After revealing that he hasn’t learned more about the forces because he would have to leave Central City, Burns admonishes The Flash for not thinking critically and logically. Barry agrees with her.

As Burns begins to feel empathy for Heatwave something attacks them. Something doesn’t want them to help Heatwave. Barry uses his powers to keep them safe. Back in the real world, Iris knocks on Cold’s door and he lets her in. He reveals that he stole Heatwave, The Flash, and Detective Burns’ bodies to keep them safe but he doesn’t know how to fix them. Inside Heatwave’s mind, Barry and Burns walk around and eventually find Mick’s childhood home. The fire monster Heat Wave shows up and then shrinks to normal size as he recounts his childhood. He was always obsessed with fire. Despite Barry attempting to help him, Mick rages against him and the fight continues. Back in the real world, Cold reveals that if they can’t stop it, Barry and Burns aren’t the only ones that will get hurt. Central City is in danger of being destroyed.

I’m honestly a little disappointed with this issue. Nothing really happens at all. Barry and Detective Burns walk around inside of Mick Rory’s mind and we learn more about his past if we haven’t remembered. We also get some backstory for Detective Burns which is cool but she just isn’t as big of a part in this book so far. We also get the story of Commander Cold stealing the bodies and Iris joining him at his apartment but honestly that is it. That’s pretty much the entire issue. They fight Heat Wave, try to convince him to change, he refuses and they start the fight again. Now, it threatens the entire city. The art is pretty good in this book but all the good will that I have toward this book can’t make me like this issue.

Bits and Pieces

If your idea of a great comic book is a lot of backstory and no legitimate story progression, this is the book for you. Honestly, so very little happens in this issue that I hesitate to say whether the casual fan could completely skip this issue and wouldn’t miss a thing. Even bad comics can progress a story and get fans excited for the next issue. That just doesn’t happen with this book and frankly, I’d rather read a bad book that is going somewhere, than a good book that is stagnant.


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