Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

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

Speed Reading! – The Flash #40

"The End of the Road"

“The End of the Road”

Our two storylines finally collide and Future Flash deals with Overload and present-day Flash deals with Selkirk.  And, in direct contrast to my earlier complaints of this storyline being too drawn out, the resolution feels completely rushed.  And it was even a double issue!

In the Speed Force, Barry is strapped down as Selkirk talks in some kind of squiggly speak (wonder what that translates to) and brings down the Speed Force lightning.  Obviously, things don’t go as easily as planned and he gets half his face blown off.  But Barry gets his powers back and races out of there.

While that goes on, Future Flash gets his hand blown off trying to protect Iris and Patty (who thought they would somehow be able to stop him) from Overload.  Where are the cops during this?  Isn’t there a huge mayoral event going on a block away?  Anyway, this causes Barry to come clean that he’s not Patty’s Barry, but a future version of Barry.  Patty, for reasons that can only be described as “Comics!”, accepts this and demands to know where her Barry is.

After an exposition dump and a pep talk from Patty, Future Flash realizes how to defeat Overload without killing him and shorts out all the nearby electronics by causing them to be used all at once.  Happy that the “buzzing” stopped, Overload is taken away by the police.

Then the present-day Barry arrives.  But before these two Flashes can duke it out, Selkirk, now with speed abilities arrives on the scene.

Future Flash, who suddenly turned a leaf (from Patty’s pep talk?), decides to take himself out to end Selkirk and he forces a collision with Barry to recreate the explosion from issue 35.  It works.  Selkirk is gone and Future Flash winks out of existence just before he gives Barry a name connected to his mother’s death: Thawne.

Then Patty breaks up with Barry for the most questionable of reasons: she sees the Future Flash in him.

While I am not too saddened that Barry and Patty are over, her reasoning doesn’t seem to really make logical sense.  She knew that Future Flash wasn’t her Barry and, partly due to the former’s actions, that her Barry would never become that.  It seems horribly, horribly unfair to Barry that this happens.

I can see if she broke it off with him because of all the crazy danger she has found herself in.  That’s different and justifiable, if clichéd a bit.  Maybe they wanted to put the toys back into the box for DC’s mini-relaunch, but this was tough to buy into.

Following Barry’s heartbreak, we see Selkirk (presumably back in the Speed Force).  His body is broken and spine is shattered.  He’s talking to someone, and that person is the New 52’s Professor Zoom.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before we were reintroduced to Zoom.  We already gotten a new Reverse Flash, but with the TV show using Eobard Thawne as the main nemesis, it seemed only logical that Thawne would show up in the books.  I wonder if he’ll use the moniker of Reverse Flash or just Professor Zoom.  Time will tell, I suppose, but I to love his new look.

Again, I feel that this issue was rushed, but it worked for a finale.  Now that DC comics is going into their two-month Convergence story event and Flash coming back after that, maybe Venditti and Jensen will be able to work out their pacing problems.  I’m excited about the Professor Zoom returning, but I am getting weary of another “evil speeder” story arc.  This is the third one we’ve gotten in two years (four if you count the Future Flash as two).   Let’s see what happens.

In other news, I am all caught up with my reviews!  Huzzah!

Next: In June, The Flash Returns to Face his Deadliest Enemies Yet.

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