His name is Barry Allen and he is… no longer the Faster Man Alive. But what exactly does that mean when the new holder of the title goes on a killing spree? Your Major Spoilers review of The Flash #8 awaits!
Previously in The Flash: “When Godspeed brings his killing spree to Iron Heights, Barry Allen must protect his own Rogues Gallery—including his mother’s killer—from the deadly speedster! Luckily, The Flash has some help from Wally West, the newly christened Kid Flash!”
THE SCIENCE OF THE SPEED FORCE
We open at breakneck speed as new villain Godspeed (Ugh) races across the river to Iron Heights prison, where he intends to murder every single prison in the name of justice, including the man who Barry himself kinda wants dead: Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash! Barry isn’t fast enough to keep up with him in sheer speed, but uses his superior knowledge of the speed force and velocimetrics to stay close enough to keep Godspeed (Ugh) focused on him. Barry thinks idly about how this exact situation is why he used to work with a partner, when suddenly young Wally West arrives, fully speed forced up and ready to fight. Godspeed (Ugh) uses his power to split in two (a cool use of Speed Force energy), but Flash and Wally outmaneuver him, and in mid-battle Wally suddenly realizes that he can channel the energies that make them all run to make his costume…
Well, not HIS costume, which has been shown as a hideous silver and blood-red monstrosity. No, my friends, THIS is a classic Kid Flash uniform that not at all coincidentally resembles the one worn by the TV version of Kid Flash just a couple of weeks ago on CW television.
KID FLASH IS BACK
Barry defeats Godspeed (Ug–, all right, I’ll cut it out, you get it, I don’t like that name) through science, locking him away in Iron Heights. Sometime later, he comes to visit (as G.S. is also Barry’s friend August) with the shocking news that August’s execution of his brother’s killer led to him killing the wrong man. The issue ends with Wally revealing his secret to Aunt Iris, Barry agreeing to train the new Kid Flash, and the lost Meena leaving him with a fleeting message of thanks. I have to say, there is a LOT confusing to me in this issue: Not merely the existence of a new Kid Flash named Wally West while the previous Kid Flash Wally West has returned to duty with the Titans as Flash, but the fact that Godspeed himself looks remarkably like a Reverse-Flash. Also, there are apparently a number of depowered or mostly depowered Flashes still extant in Central City, while the final page with Meena’s maybe-ghost is meant to be intentionally ambiguous, it ends up feeling convoluted. I enjoy Di Giandomenico’s art in this issue, but it has a little bit of “scratchiness” to it, as well as some odd anatomy that doesn’t always feel like it’s intentional.
THE BOTTOM LINE: THIS IS GETTING COMPLICATED
All in all, though, this issue wraps up the arc and sets Barry off on the path to once again mentoring a Kid Flash well enough, leaving August in the wings to return if necessary. Even if I don’t like the name and find the suit’s resemblance to Professor Zoom a bit distracting, he works well as this issue’s villain. The Flash #8 is thus an above-average effort, with some art that works really well and flashes of excellence throughout, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall. As we continue to string out the questions of who is behind Rebirth and such, and how much continuity has changed, the issues could suffer, but this one doesn’t yet have that problem…