Comic Review: The Flash #4 (DC Comics)

This issue in writer Joshua Williamson and artist Neil Googe starts off with Barry narrating as he reflects on his dual career as a Forensic Scientist and as the scarlet […]

This issue in writer Joshua Williamson and artist Neil Googe starts off with Barry narrating as he reflects on his dual career as a Forensic Scientist and as the scarlet speedster that everyone knows and loves.

As of this moment, the most recent addition to his career is actually being a teacher, teaching young speedsters who were recently affected by a lightning storm that transferred extensions of the speed force unto citizens all over Central City. To that end, Barry is actually enjoying educating these newfound speedsters on their abilities. I have to say, I find it interesting that Barry always has such optimism in terms of teaching apprentices as he did with Wally West (pre-Flashpoint) and other speedsters after him. Which is interesting in contrast to how Batman mentors his own apprentices. Yet despite the mentoring, Barry’s motivations are more focused on the mystery of the new threat  known as GodSpeed.

Barry’s ally Meena discovers that based on their studies of their new found speedster’s, they determine that despite the speed force  being divided amongst each civilian speedster, it actually seeks to recombine each of its essences whenever a speedster is closer to another. Basically, if two speedsters are closer to one another and one of them just so happens to be faster than the other, then they would end up taking their ability. Or as Barry puts it “Whoever wins the race, wins the speed.” Which Barry and Meena make conclusions that that is probably how GodSpeed’s powers work.

As the story progresses Barry finds out from Iris and Detective Heart about The Black Hole case and how it may more than likely tie into how GodSpeed is able to use the speed force to his own benefit. Even more concerning to Barry is the fact that a former S.T.A.R Labs scientist identified as Dr. Joseph Carver has dabbled in experimentation and possible weaponization of the speed force.

Eventually , The Flash and Meena decide to race down to Dr. Carver’s hideout to stop him from proceeding to weaponizing the speed force. As soon as Barry attempts to confront Carver, he reveals that he made a suit called the “Speed Machine” that specifically stores pure speed force energy. Once carver activates that suit, things just take a turn for the worse, and he transforms into some kind of speed force monster that becomes a threat for our Scarlet Speedster and friends.

I find it very interesting how Williamson is reintroducing the idea that the speed force is an actual living thing and that it’s something that cannot be tampered with like a toy.

Personally, I like the dialogue and interactions between Barry, his friend Detective Heart , Iris and Meena in this issue. Heck, I actually like this new dynamic between Barry and the other speedsters like Avery and Scott. It’s interesting seeing Barry teach a larger roster of individuals who have the same speed force connection. Williamson’s writing in this issue is pretty solid, he’s able to give Barry a dynamic that bounces off of Heart, Meena, and the other speedster’s involved. I also like the little flashback to Wally (the New 52 one) and how he’s involved within the Flash’s secret academy. But I think people will be interested by what Barry reveals by the end of the comic. I’ll save that conclusion for those who will end up reading it.

At this point, I’m starting to ship the idea of Barry and Meena possibly being an item down the road should Williamson ever explore such waters. Even more thrilling is the consistent art of Neil Googe throughout the issue. One could say that Googe’s style actually complements the cover art of Carmine Di Giandomenico (who worked on the first issue couple of issues).  Ivan Plascencia’s colors also compliment the artwork. So far The Flash issue 4 is continuing the strong start of the DC Rebirth initiative and I look forward to what Williamson and co will cook up next as they delve deeper into GodSpeed, the Black Hole case, how it correlates with Detective Heart’s brother’s death and the whole Speed Force Phenomena that plagues the Scarlet Speedster throughout this new series.

Anthony Andujar Jr.

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