The Rogues Take Organized Crime To New Heights – and Lows – In The Flash #37

by James Ferguson

There’s something fishy going on in – or rather under – Iron Heights. The Rogues are ruling the Central City underworld from the prison. They’ve been eliminating all opposition from this safehouse while living in the lap of luxury. The Flash is about to stumble upon this, but it may be too late to do anything about it.

When he’s not racing around Central City as The Flash, Barry Allen is a pretty smart CSI. He’s forced to investigate the death of the reformed rogue, Turbine in secret as Warden Wolfe has made it clear this is off limits. Barry looks to former cop / current bad guy speedster, August (aka Godspeed) for some help, but it’s unclear which side he’s on. August represents a recent failure for Barry and I’m sure the Scarlet Speedster wants nothing more than to set his one-time protege on the right path, but his faith in humanity could spell doom.

The Flash #37 is split between Barry in and out of costume. The first half has him putting in the detective work to gather clues in his street clothes. He has to be extra careful to not reveal his secret identity, which becomes difficult with August’s involvement. The second half picks up with Barry stopping some criminals with Kid Flash, which ultimately leads him back to Iron Heights. This creates a nice dichotomy between Barry’s two identities.

This duality is seen in Scott McDaniel’s artwork too. Barry’s detective scenes look more realistic with a grimmer tone. This is especially true when Barry and Kristen talk to the Trickster in solitary confinement, having confessed to the murder of Turbine. You get an understanding of how high up – or how low down – this goes if they’re willing to put this poor kid through such hardships.

Contrast this with the scenes with The Flash where Barry and Wally are whizzing around town like lightning. They appear almost elastic in how they move across the page. It’s like your eye can’t put together the real image of them because they’re moving so fast. There are a few times where you see the after-image of Barry’s actions, appearing as a faded version of the real thing, which is a great way to illustrate his powers in motion.

With the craziness that’s been going on in Barry’s life since the Speed Force Storm back in the beginning of the series, you’d think he’d welcome something he’s familiar with, like the Rogues. This is a little different as they’re more organized and confident than ever. Captain Cold is running an efficient operation here. The setup he and the other Rogues have is better than anything they could have hoped for and they’re willing to do anything to protect it. This makes them much more dangerous.

The Flash #37 brings the Rogues back in a big way. As with the previous issue, writer Joshua Williamson is merging the old with the new by getting Godspeed into the mix. A speedster with the Rogues is a chilling thought on its own, but one that knows the Flash’s secret identity is even more so.

The Flash #37 is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.