The Flash Finds Hope in an Enemy
Paradox has killed the Flash. That’s what it appears to be to Iris and Godspeed. After arriving in the present day, a new villain known as Paradox beats down Godspeed before blasting Barry with his energy. In actuality, the god-like villain has sent him into another dimension, disguised as the afterlife. Barry is able to piece this together quickly and proceeds to dismantle the charade. When he sees the actual dimension, he learns of how dangerous Paradox actually is. Realizing he can’t do this alone, he reconstructs the cosmic treadmill.
His mission is to find Eobard Thawne, the Reverse Flash. Will he succeed?
**Some Spoilers Below**
After realizing Thawne is the best hope in facing Paradox, Flash uses the cosmic treadmill to head to the 25th century. When he arrives, Barry sees that with Paradox’s release, the world he had visited was now in shambles. Before he can fully assess the damage, Black Hole appears to capture him. They reveal that Paradox’s release, and the side effects to the time stream, are all Flash’s fault. As they prepare to imprison him, a temporal shift appears and allows the scarlet speedster to escape. While this is going on, Paradox forces Godspeed to take him back in time to kill versions of Barry Allen.
This chapter of The Flash Age arc is definitely a slower one. There isn’t much in terms of action as Barry is trying to find help, and Paradox begins his plot. That said, Flash heading to the future to see it in shambles is a fantastic way to show off the threat of Paradox. With each passing issue, we learn more about the devastation of Paradox and wonder if he even can be stopped. This is only cemented when it’s revealed that he can absorb energies made from time paradoxes to power himself. Considering how many the Flash Family makes every year, this makes him a villain that builds on their mistakes.
The thing that really has me aching for the next issue, however, is a team-up nobody saw coming. By the end of the issue, it’s clear the only way to defeat Paradox is by teaming up with Eobard Thawne. Thawne is one of those villains you can’t trust, but unlike a villain like Joker, he is quiet about his schemes. We know he’ll betray him, but until then, let’s hope this team-up will be one hell of a show.
While the story might have been slower than usual, the art keeps up its excellent quality. Howard Porter’s style continues to go above and beyond for the series. The most powerful page of the issue is near the end, where Barry stands outside his house. Readers will be able to feel the emotion in Barry as he listens to his mother’s death. He knows he can run in and stop it, but knows that it needs to happen.
We also get Brandon Peterson to tag in during Paradox’s attack on past Barry. It’s very well drawn, and I hope to see him again, illustrating future arcs.
Overall, this chapter of The Flash Age is slower but still has some powerful scenes. While we don’t get a ton of action, we get to see what damage Paradox can do. It just helps cement his status as the Flash’s toughest challenge yet. Barry listening to his mother’s death, is heartbreaking and shows he has come a long way from Flashpoint. The art team continues to provide beautifully done pages, with menacing designs for the villain. It’ll be a while since we get the next issue, but I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait.