Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!

Speed Reading! – The Flash #39

“Power Loss”

All right.  This is what I am talking about.  Actual progression and development!  I’ve been growing weary with this storyline as of late, and we get somewhere with it.

First: Flash in the Speed Force.  The group finally makes it to the top of the mountain.  There was danger along the way and one member of the group (who suspiciously looks exactly like Cyclops from the X-Men [including having a giant “X” on his shirt]) bites it.  But they get there and find a temple.  Flash sees all these carvings about speedsters and learns that Selkirk has been deceiving him the entire time.

Consider me not shocked by this at all.

You see, apparently Selkirk can (somehow) call down lightning that can get people out of the Speed Force, but lacks the proper lightning rod.  Enter The Flash.  So, Selkirk has lured the Flash to the mountain in order to make a rod out of him.

I have lots of questions about this.  First, who made all the cave drawings – including the one that depicted Selkirk zapping lightning into The Flash?  Two: Why didn’t Selkirk just tell Barry what he wanted to do?  Barry is the type that probably would have been willing to work something out.  Three: Is the “Savage Speed Force” different from the previous Speed Force?  Up until now, it seems to have been the same place, just different locations.  Now, the issue seems to backtrack from that indicating that this is a different place and that they need to call down the Speed Force to escape from it.

Maybe some of this will be explained next time.  It just seems like this guy was obviously evil from the beginning (my evidence: the “too good to be true” technique), but Barry never bothered to question the guy.  I can’t help but think that he wouldn’t do that.  I don’t want to Monday morning quarterback here, but couldn’t Barry have questioned something at the beginning and Selkirk give him some line of bullshit?  Then Barry (and the readers) could buy it only later realize Selkirk was lying?

As is, I couldn’t believe that Selkirk had Barry’s best intentions in mind.  Then again, maybe we, the readers, were not supposed to think that. Instead, perhaps we were to watch Barry making a terrible decision by trusting the guy.  Kind of like in a horror film when we know the soon-to-be-victim is going into a room that we, the viewers, know will lead to the character’s death.  If that was the case, I am not sure Venditti and Jensen were successful in that regard.

Anyway, I’m going on long enough about that aspect of the story.  I am sure more will come next time.

While Barry is dealing with his trust issues, Future Flash makes his move on Overload in Central City.  Turns out Overload gets a super-migraine with all the electronics buzzing around and that causes him (somehow) to blow things/people up.  Future Flash finally tracks him down before he really reigns down destruction.  He’s about to go in for the kill with Iris and Patty arrive, and Future Flash accidently hits Patty.  Iris sees this and is convinced Flash is a killer.  Overload then strikes.

This moved along nicely.  It had good action and pace and enough backstory to get who this Overload character was.  I like the idea of him and the commentary of our digital devices.  It makes him less of an outright villain and more of a sympathetic character.  He seemingly doesn’t want to kill or destroy things.  He’s just in that much pain that he doesn’t know how to deal with it.  How that translates into powers, I am a bit unsure of, but I’m willing to let that one slide for right now, because “Comics!”.

As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, this storyline has gone on too long, but now that we are reaching the climax, it’s hitting all the right notes.  Despite the issues I had with the Selkirk storyline this time around, it isn’t that bit of a deal.  They are just questions I have – it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of The Flash #39.  I’m pumped for the grand finale.

Next: Flash and Future Flash Race Toward The End of the Road!

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