Speed is life.
Even as Selkirk continues his sacrificial rites on a powerless Flash, in Central City, the Future Flash faces a formidable foe in Overload.
Robert Vendetti ends his first major arc on this title with a satisfying resolution, leaving us with a tantalizing cliffhanger. Booth’s artwork suits the dynamic movement of the Speedsters.
Overload is overwhelmed by the Future Flash, but manages to manipulate the circuitry in the Flash’s right hand to leave the Flash crippled. Downcast and despairing, the Flash is told by Patty to instead of trying to kill Overload, try to stop him.
Flash takes the smartphones of all the surrounding inhabitants and using Twitter and other social media, overloads the networks leaving Central City a black zone. This cuts out Overload’s power (and also brings him relief), leaving the authorities to arrest him.
Back inside the Speed Force, Selkirk’s ‘sacrifice’ goes wrong for him, as a stray blast from the speed force energy leaves his face half-burnt but with residual speed force energy leaking out. The Present Day Flash regains his powers and arrives back in Central City – where he finds Patty Spivot injured and the Future Flash in front of him.
A now-Speed force empowered Selkirk proves a match for both Flashes, and the Future Flash sacrifices himself by causing the explosion similar to where Wally was killed and Flash went into the Speed Force in proximity of Selrik (after pushing the present Flash away).
The Future Flash dissipates, but not before mentioning that he found a clue regarding Barry’s mother’s death – Thawne. Back home, he is greeted by Patty leaving as she can’t face Barry after what his future self did.
Meanwhile, a now crippled Selrik moans about his quest for the Speed Force ending in futility – only for the true ‘Reverse Flash’ Eobard Thawne to arrive and take him in as a disciple.
Is Selrik the New 52 Hunter Zolomon? Both crippled, worshippers of the Speed Force.
I was wondering when Thawne’s name will come up again, given we first heard his mention as ‘food’ for Grodd when the Future Flash killed him while moving through the timestream.
Now, some spoilers for those not watching the tv show (which has surprisingly been both faithful yet inventive in their approach to canon) or New 52 readers – Eobard Thawne is a 25th century scientist who became enamored by the Flash’s history and in an attempt to make the Flash stronger through tragedy, killed Barry’s mother.
The New 52 has been surprisingly light on this incident (Henry Allen, his father who is serving a life sentence for being accused of killing his wife, cameos in maybe a single issue) and revealing Thawne on the last page makes it seem like we’re finally going to focus on that day.
Back to Selkirk, Hunter Zolomon is more of a Wally West villain – the second Reverse Flash in pre-New 52 continuity. And many people will know that the TV show paid homage to that by having Harrison Wells aka Eobard Thawne pretend to be crippled to avoid suspicions.
It’s a satisfying resolution to the arc and there are some good emotional beats, not to mention an intriguing climax.
I’ve loved the complexity Vendetti gave to the Future Flash and he excels here. There is some rushing here though not so much that it takes you out and gives a contrived ending.
Brett Booth’s facial work leaves a lot to be desired but he captures the Flash’s dynamic movement so well it’s beautiful.
So, I give it 9.0 out of 10.
+A satisfying resolution
+Some great character beats
+Future Flash’s complex characterization
+Dynamic artwork suits the book
-Rushed second act