Can Six Speedsters Work Together To Save Central City In The Flash #44?

by James Ferguson

Gorilla Grodd’s desperate attempt to steal the Speed Force has failed, but he is not defeated yet. He’s created a massive lightning storm that is tearing Central City apart. It’s up to Flash and the other speedsters to stop it, but it could rip their powers away or even kill them. If they don’t, the city will be destroyed and the storm will continue to grow, spreading to other cities and possibly the world. You know what they’re going to do, right?

Although Barry has made some horrible decisions through “Perfect Storm,” Wally West, Kid Flash, and the other speedsters stand by him when the chips are down. They recognize that now is not the time for petty squabbles. They all have to work together to save everyone in the city. That means literally grabbing each Central City resident and transporting them over to Keystone City at super speed, just in case they fail.

This all makes for some gorgeous imagery. Carmine Di Giandomenico draws some awesome speedsters. I absolutely love what he does with the lightning that flies off of them as they run. In some cases, that’s all you see, with the lightning forming a rough outline of a character’s face. It’s a terrific effect that reminds us of just how fast the Flash Family is.

Speaking of the lightning, each one is a different color. Colorist Ivan Plascencia gives each member of the Flash Family their own specific hue. This allows us to tell them apart as they’re whizzing across the page and makes for some awesome shots when they’re all working together. It’s this electric swirl of energy that dashes across the page, adding to the intensity of the scene and the overall excitement of the story arc.

Although the speedsters are definitely the stars of the show, Grodd gets one last moment as he delivers a brutal attack on Barry. Di Giandomenico highlights this excessive force with smaller panels of Grodd smashing down again and again, each more vicious than the last. Plascencia shades these a violent red with Grodd’s face getting splashed with blood with each blow.

The Flash #44 serves as a reset button of sorts for a few items. Meena was apparently under the control of Gorilla Grodd for a bit, so that may redeem her and put her back on the side of the good guys. Barry’s boneheaded comments about how he’s the only one who can stop Grodd were allegedly forced out of his mouth by the gorilla too, so that might forgive him. It all works together to reunite the speedsters, which is a very awesome sight and something that I think this book can really benefit from.

Barry Allen can’t carry the weight of the world on his shoulders alone, regardless of how much he tries. He needs help and fortunately, he has excellent support from Wally West, Kid Flash, Avery, Meena, and Godspeed. They’re all tapped into the Speed Force and can pitch in so Barry isn’t doing all this alone. They want to help too. It’s Barry that tries to push them all away.

Chunks of the narration with The Flash #44 come from a letter Barry has written Iris. I’m not sure when he wrote this, however it was meant to be a goodbye in case he didn’t make it out of his encounter alive. It’s more than a little sappy as Barry pours his heart out to Iris, explaining how much she means to him. Considering his actions in the past, this is a little tough to take in because we know how he’s kept things from her under the misguided notion that he was protecting her. Iris is a strong woman and can take care of herself so that was a weird move. In the end, it reaffirms the strength of that relationship that has been a core element to The Flash in earlier iterations.

Perfect Storm” has been a whirlwind of a storyline in The Flash. While some of the actions of the title character were questionable, the arc came together in the end with a satisfying and monumental climax. There is something so exciting about watching a bunch of speedsters spring into action. It’s that feeling you get when watching The Flash TV show when someone says “Run, Barry. Run.” These characters are running for not just their own lives, but everyone else’s, putting everything they have on the line to save the city from complete destruction. That’s pretty awesome.

The Flash #44 is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.