Central City is in ruins after Grodd’s attack created a new Speed Force storm. Fortunately, the Flash Family is on hand to help out, doing repairs at super speed with a smile. There’s more to clean up than just broken windows and storefronts. There’s an emotional toll as well. Barry and Iris have to work on their relationship again. Godspeed is in the wind. Meena is behind bars. And at long last, Wally West reveals himself to his aunt, Iris.
There’s a lot to digest in The Flash #45 so let’s break it down, starting with Meena. While Grodd had some control over her, she admits that some of those feelings were real. Barry tries to gloss over this in his happy-go-lucky view of the world, thinking that she’ll just get better and everything will work out. Meena shoots this down fast, understanding that she has to atone for her crimes.
Moreover, she points out that the Speed Force is super dangerous. This is an excellent point that I don’t see addressed nearly enough. No one really knows anything about the Speed Force, not even Barry. It’s served as this mystical catch-all to explain away everything from why Barry doesn’t need to eat a metric ton of food every day to why his skin doesn’t rip off when he runs at super speed. You’d think a scientist would be more curious about this strange super energy that courses through his veins with literal lightning.
It’s interesting to see how different Meena and Barry are emotionally. The former is troubled and worried, regretful of her actions. You can see the concern on her face. Meanwhile, Barry is stoic and determined as always. It’s like he doesn’t fully grasp the severity of the situation, striving to be the hero Central City needs him to be.
Godspeed is touched upon and I can’t wait to see where he turns up next. He is such an awesome character and a great addition to the Flash Family. Everything is so positive in the world of the speedsters, so having one that’s more of an anti-hero is a good fit. He can do things that Barry can’t. There’s some shadowy forces around him and I really hope we get to see more of this soon.
The Barry and Iris talk is touching and reminds you of why they have been such a great couple in comics. Sure, they’ve had some rocky moments as of late, but there’s something so strong about this relationship. Since Barry is opening up a bit more and letting people in, this should hopefully lead to some more stability here. Iris is Barry’s rock, keeping the non-stop speedster grounded.
Wally is pulled into this discussion with a payoff that’s been building since he returned in Rebirth. He’s been this shadow for awhile, only really knowing a handful of people. Iris is his only real family and he’s been unable to talk to her since he’s been back. His presence creates that spark of memory and they share this beautiful moment together as everything comes rushing back to Iris. Artist Christian Duce fills this scene with so much emotion. My favorite shot is this one panel that flashes back to their past with the two of them laughing hysterically. It’s a perfect little image that speaks volumes about their relationship.
Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a story if something horrible didn’t barge in to mess that up. This comes as further payoff and perhaps some answers as to how this Wally West fits into the DC Universe now. Writer Joshua Williamson is taking in all these aspects of the character and his past and merging them together in a really cool way. I can’t wait to see how this turns out.
The Flash #45 is a nice epilogue to the recent story arc. It serves up a fair amount of closure for each of our main characters while also prepping their next storylines. As much as this is an ending, it’s also a beginning to the next phase of Flash stories. Yes, this issue is both a finale of sorts, as well as a perfect jumping on point. The Flash has been perhaps the most easily accessible DC comic since Rebirth, allowing for all these times for anyone to hop on and start reading. If you haven’t yet, now’s your chance.