Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Flash #4, Teamwork (spoilers)

Review: DC Universe Rebirth: The Flash #4, Teamwork
Submitted: Joshua Williams, Comic News Writer
12 August 16

Barry is in the beginning stages of working and training the new generation of speedsters.  Former S.T.A.R labs scientist, Dr. Carver, believed to be responsible for the Speed Force Storm and an alleged co-conspirator of the Black Hole, finds himself under investigation from Barry, Meena, and later August.  While Barry develops a new relationship, a special young speedster contemplates his future. 

This issue, entitled “Teamwork,” written by Joshua Williamson with art by Neil Googe, literally brings teamwork to life.  The Flash (Barry Allen) begins his tenure as teacher and mentor to the group of citizens who have been transformed by the speed-force-infused lightning storm.  The benefits of the lightning storm (The Speed Force) does not bond to the biological structure of its unsuspecting victims, as it has with Barry.  Therefore, it can be stolen or taken away.  This is exactly what Dr. Carver intends to do by harvesting and storing the power of the Speed Force in his newly invented “Speed Machine.”  Dr. Carvers ‘speed machine’ suite overloads, transforming him into a speed monster.  The Flash, his friends, and several of his students team up to stop the threat.  Meanwhile, Wally West realizes his need for a teacher.  Wally decides to enroll in the S.T.A.R labs training program in an effort to learn more about his newfound powers under the tutelage of Barry Allen.  Later, Barry and Meena start a new relationship; here, Barry reveals his identity to Meena. 

The new DC Universe Rebirth continues its universal theme of Teamwork in Flash #4.  Adjusting to new teammates while expanding internal and external conflicts creates intrigue.  Barry is a great candidate for experiencing this tremendous change; he is a genuinely nice person and does want what’s best for everyone, even if it means sacrificing his own wishes and responsibilities.  Williamson does an impressive job of expressing Barry’s ability to flourish in his new role as a teacher.  Later in the issue, the concept of teamwork comes up again as Iris West gives key information on Dr. Carver and Black Hole to Barry.  This gives way to developing a plan to defeat Dr. Carver’s ‘speed machine.’  With everyone working together, adjusting, and putting aside their own wants and feelings, the imminent threat seems easy to overcome: even Barry says so!

Wally West is not a part of any action whatsoever; this issue is just used to introduce the young Flash.  Introducing West in this fashion seems a bit clumsy.  It just doesn’t fit and seems a bit forced.  I would like to have seen Wally struggle a bit and show some sort of downside to the Speed Force.  Flash fans however will be thrilled to have an update on Wally.  The next issue is perfectly set up for a Barry-Wally introduction.  Since readers know Barry doesn’t mind incorporating students on missions, hopefully Wally will have a more important role in the upcoming issues. 

THE VERDICT:  Williamson delivers a great issue with Flash #4, by not only clarifying how the speed-storm bonding properties work, but setting the stage for an intense story-arc with incredible battles, with Godspeed stealing and harvesting speedsters’ powers (Dr. Carver stole the idea from Godspeed).  Readers can only hope Barry can get Wally and his students prepared and up to the challenge.  Can Wally handle the expectations?  Can Barry maintain his responsibilities and have a personal relationship?

1 comment:

  1. I'm enjoying the Flash watch the flash season 3 full episode Wally West is not a part of any action whatsoever; this issue is just used to introduce the young Flash. Introducing West in this fashion seems a bit clumsy.