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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
The parallel stories of the two Flashes continue in this issue. We first find “present-day” Barry in the Speed Force with his new friend Selkirk. They approach the latter’s settlement housing several other time-lost people trapped in this world. After a brief battle between the settlers and a group of pre-historic robot creatures, Flash is determined to get back to Central City, and Selkirk indicates that is possible if they make it to the top of a very large mountain.
If it was possible to escape this version of the Speed Force, how come no one else here tried it before? Or is Flash the only one who ever wondered about it? Or, how does Selkirk know that it is a possibility? Lots of unanswered questions that Flash seems to just accept. He doesn’t know these people and, so far, things are just too good to be true. Flash, in this New 52 series, has been through too much to just be this trusting so quickly with a new group of people. It can be tough to buy into.
In addition to that, I’m not sure I care much for this version of the Speed Force. The take they have with it is just too mundane. Instead of the Speed Force being a mysterious place with some sort of hidden magic behind it, it comes off here as some sort of lost island in the Bermuda Triangle. I liked how the Speed Force had this mystical nature when we were first introduced to it back in issue 8 and am disappointed that it has been dropped. I bet this was done so each writer/writing team can do their own spin on it without contradicting each other.
Anyway, in Central City, not much happens. Future Flash acts like a jerk in front of Patty when she has some sympathy for the guy who he killed in the previous issue is brought into the morgue, Patty discovers (based on Barry’s tip), a whole host of bodies from the Forever Evil siege, and a new horse and carriage-themed bad guy appears and kills his jerk of a passenger (who, frankly, probably deserved it in the grand scheme of things).
Much of this is set-up, obviously, but with that last bit, I am assuming this is Overlord, who was teased last month and on this month’s cover. For a character given a lot of teases to, they really sort of make him an afterthought in this issue. They don’t even refer to him as Overlord. I had to re-read it a few times to get that this was him. Sure, he is going to be showing up some more next month, but still it seemed odd to prop him up and not do much with it.
A very uneven issue. Booth is back on art duties full-time, and that was good. The writing here could probably have used a bit more ironing out. The problems are minor, but, I think, could have been fixed at the editorial stage.
Next: Meet Napalm, the World’s Worst Rogue!