The Flash begins his Force Quest on the wrong foot
Central City has been a weird place after the Flash War. New forces have been appearing across the city causing trouble for the Scarlet Speedster. The first Force The Flash faced was the Strength Force. The incident leads to the supposed death of the Trickster. The Sage Force came next and latched onto Heatwave during Halloween. With the help of the leader of the Renegades, Commander Cold, The Flash is able to suppress the telekinetic force. Realizing that the forces are still out in the world, Barry realizes he needs to go on a Force Quest to find them. He won’t do it alone, however, as Iris demands to come along. Where will this quest take our favorite Central City couple?
**Some Spoilers Below**
Barry and Iris’ first stop on the Force Quest is the country of Badhnisia. They are tracking the energy of one of the forces as they come across a pair of thieves. The thieves, known as Gemini, do not see the speedster as a threat and proceed to overpower him. They can do this through the power of their tech which redistributes energy. The battle ends up destroying a church and the only lead the Flash had in tracking down the Forces.
This issue is one that will split readers down the middle. Not because it has controversial changes, but the content in it. The first third of this story is essentially a recap of the arcs after the Flash War. Looking at it from a new reader point of view, this would be a great thing. One of the biggest problems comics have faced is that it’s hard to jump on a series that’s going on. It gets harder and harder as the series continues. It’s always good to see clear jumping on points such as this one. A new reader can pick this one up and catch up to speed so they can stay with the regular readers.
That being said, this issue doesn’t provide anything particularly exciting for those regular readers. That recap has no real effect as it’s all inner monologue with a regular chase scene. It was kind of disappointing to get nothing new until the back half of the comic. It gets worse than you realize that, because of such a long recap, that new stuff is cut short quickly. Even the cover with Gorilla City doesn’t happen until the very last page of the comic! The coming issues will probably straighten out and focus on the future, but as it stands, this issue alone falls flat.
Despite my grievances with the story, the artwork for the issue is pretty great. While I can’t say I am familiar with Rafa Sandoval’s work, his illustrations go hand-in-hand with the Flash. Barry looks excellent, the villains look menacing, and paired up with the superb colorwork, it’s a feast for the eyes. There are a few hiccups here and there, specifically with the strange proportions of the Flash’s chin. It would often appear as if his chin would change in size drastically when he got in and out of costume. Besides that, this art is a welcome change from the last one for this story.
I hope this story gets better. The recap dragged this issue down hard, and I kept asking myself, “Why am I reading this?” The next issue will probably have more to it, which is good news for new and regular readers.