Barry Allen is the fastest man alive, which means he often finding himself in races- against time, against other speedsters, and against cosmic forces of the universe. For the first time, in The Flash #79, he faces a unique conundrum- he could actually win by losing…
Joshua Williamson, Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, Arif Prianto, and Steve Wands push the Speed Force a bit closer to death.
The Black Flash has claimed the life of Psyche, severing the Sage Force’s tether to Earth and partially restoring the Speed Force. Even though he knows that the Black Flash is only trying to heal the Speed Force, he can’t let others die for that to happen, and decides to change tactics. However, it draws the attention of an even more serious threat than the Black Flash. Meanwhile, the Rogues completely get the gang back together, which puts everyone in danger.
Williamson does an interesting thing in this issue- he wraps a moral philosophy quandary inside a superhero action story. By doing nothing, Barry could make things better for himself, Wally and Avery, and thus enable them to save more lives. However, by doing nothing he dooms at least two people to painful deaths. It’s a dilemma enhanced by the fact that Barry instantly sees the benefits he gained from Psyche’s death, but Barry, being who he is, can’t celebrate it because it came at the cost of someone’s life.
Beyond that though, it’s an ably told action story with a lot of heart. Williamson brings Iris back, which helps reestablish a lot of the emotional core of the series. With only a few pages, she’s already re-centering the feel of the story. As a full package, it’s a great story.
Sandoval and Tarragona improve more with each issue. They use tight close-ups to convey emotion, with exaggerated movement and figures popping the action off the page. Their sense of flow and storytelling is strong too. Prianto’s color art pops, especially when he colors the different metas’ powers, both the heroes and the Rogues.
This quietly remains one of DC’s best series. The escalation has made for a fantastic read, and is clearly leading to some great things to come.
The Flash #79 is available now from DC Comics.