Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Flash #87 Review and *SPOILERS*

Stick to the Status Quo

Written By: Joshua Williamson
Art By: Christian Duce, Luis Guerrero
Letters By: Steve Wands
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 29, 2020

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

We have just been treated to an amazing story by this creative team as the climax of said story has now come and gone. However, we now get to deal with the aftermath which may prove to be just as exciting. King Cold is defeated and Central City has been returned to normal, but the Speed Force is still in flux and still very dangerous so Barry chooses to turn himself in. He does this to make sure nobody else is put in danger because of him. If done right, this can lead us right into another engaging storyline and I know Williamson has the ability to do that. However, whether he will or not is another story. Let’s jump into this latest issue and see where the story takes us.

We begin with a quick flashback of a fight between Captain Cold and Flash. Barry gives us some inner dialogue in which he reminisces about his past with Snart but we are quickly brought back to reality as both Flash and Cold are in the back of a prisoner transport vehicle. Needless to say they aren’t the biggest fans of each other. We see what is going on with other characters at this time. Glider is being taken to Blackgate (despite the fact that she got away in the previous issue), Cold’s henchmen are still being investigated, and Iris has taken over helping Kid Flash and Avery. During the trip, Cold tells Barry to stay away from his sister. Barry immediately goes on the defensive telling Snart that there is already someone in his life but Cold isn’t buying it. The conversation naturally turns to their fathers and they share about their childhoods. Barry wants to become his father and Cold wants to do anything but. Snart begins to compare them but Barry rejects the comparison because Cold has now stepped over the line. He used to have a Robin Hood type feel but now he has committed murder and that will never change.

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Meena is running tests on Kid Flash and Avery and find that they are vibrating into several realities at once which is causing the issues. Hearing this, Iris immediately makes a call. At this time, Flash and Cold finally arrive at Arkham. The doors open and we see what it is like at Arkham. Long time fans will already know how unwelcoming the place can be but readers of the Flash may be in for a new experience. Once significantly different from Iron Heights. Once he arrives, Flash meets another one of his former villains, The Pied Piper. After they get in, it is revealed that Piper is there to help them because of the call that Iris made. Piper finds a way to anchor the speedsters to their own reality and while the process is painful, it is quickly revealed that Piper has indeed solved their problem, at least temporarily. Turns out that if they keep using the Speed Force, the higher the chance that they will once again deal with this problem. Next Piper does the same for Kid Flash and Avery. We are interrupted by a guard who reveals that there has been a breakout.

It isn’t long before we see that it is none other than Captain Cold and Golden Glider that are escaping. Flash is obviously surprised to see Glider here and he asks her why she is doing this and she reveals that Cold is still family. Flash attempts to stop them but he is still needed for the process to finish with Kid Flash and Avery. Cold and Glider flee during this time and after Kid Flash and Avery are stable, Flash is unable to find them. We cut back to Central City where Barry and Iris are sitting together. They finally have some alone time. Iris immediately asks him about Glider but before he can answer they are interrupted by the future version of Barry. He reveals that by stopping the loop from Year One, they created a paradox. Future Barry immediately begins to decay in front of them as he gives the warning. He tells him to get Commander Cold, but Barry reveals that is has been killed. Future Barry tells him that it is too late and Paradox is coming for him. He melts away to nothing and this is where there issue leaves us.

This issue is a major disappointment. But allow me to first address the things that are done right. The art in this issue is amazing. The conversation between Barry and Cold in the transport vehicle is extremely well done and really is just a perfect exploration of the relationship between these two characters. Now let’s address everything else. Barry is dealing with the issues of the Speed Force but they are seemingly fixed in a matter of moments at the flip of a switch. I know they set up that it might affect them in the future but for all intents and purposes, the Speed Force is fixed. The interesting storyline of Barry being stuck in prison is immediately thrown out for something more traditional and Cold gets away to fight another day with the help of his sister. In addition, both Cold and Iris hound Barry about his relationship with Glider. While these are things that need to be addressed, how on earth do either of them know about it? It just happens suddenly. Also, Glider got away at the end of the previous issue and now she’s being locked up in Blackgate? Absolute nonsense. Williamson is simply cleaning up after playing with his toys. He created this great storyline but now he has to deal with the fallout. Instead of doing that, he just uses an entire issue to getting us back to the status quo. It is insulting and frankly, the industry’s insisting that we always return to the status quo is seriously frustrating. This is a horrible offender and I feel robbed as a reader.

Bits and Pieces:

Man wasn’t that previous storyline a lot of fun? Well I hope you didn’t want to see how everything that happened would affect The Flash going forward because Willamson takes an entire issue to let us know that things are back to normal. Nothing that happened in that story really matters and now we are back to the status quo to see the Flash continue to juggle work, his personal life, and his life as a superhero. It begs the question, why are we even getting invested in these stories when they are just going to change them back when they’re over?



  1. Glider didn't get away at the end of the previous Flash book #86. Only Mirror Master, Weather Wizard and Heatwave got away. Re read your book

    1. That's all you got??? She did end up being captured at the end of last issue in a small, awful looking panep where she looked like a mutated Johnny Bravo. It's a simple mistake and I doubt it had anything to do with the score...but Johnny Press is on the scene!

  2. I thought the same thing when Iris brought up Glider... Overall I’m loving this run of Flash, but I hate how Iris and Barry’s relationship is constantly stuck in this weird place of not trusting each other.

    1. Why can't they just be together????? Drives me nuts!