Tony Black reviews The Flash #2…
“LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE” Chapter Two: In issue #2, The Flash trains novice speedster August Heart to help protect the people of Central City from the Black Hole, a new breed of rogue with a deadly agenda for the Fastest Men Alive.
SEE ALSO: Check out a preview of The Flash #2
After a sprightly start following its Rebirth issue at the very centre of the new DC timeline, The Flash gets into some self-examination in its second issue, as writer Joshua Williamson principally frames a way to look at Barry Allen’s powers, how they work, and what they should be used for – all via the prism of Detective August Heart, his friend and now fellow Flash in training. Backed up by some colourful and vivid panels from Carmine di Giandomenico, Williamson continues the revived Flash’s story as he attempts to inform August precisely about what being the Flash means, and it’s a timely way to reintroduce many of the speed force powers and the meaning of Barry’s crime fighting mission to a potentially new audience.
Crucially, around all of the moral questioning concerning what the speed force should be used for, Williamson keeps the wheels of plot turning. August being hit by speed force lightning may not be a coincidence, and may be connected to the emerging uber villain of this multi-part ‘Lightning Strikes Twice’ story, ‘Thunderstruck’ (cue AC/DC!), a disgraced S.T.A.R Labs scientist named Dr. Carver who appears to have quite the potential Achilles heel in waiting for the Flash, or whatever the plural of ‘Flashes’ is! Plucky reporter Iris continues in the mix, and perhaps the only slightly out of place moment is an appearance by her nephew Wally West, which only seems to remind us he is keeping speed force powers a secret as a necessary plot point. Beyond that, Williamson manages to blend the training of August, he and Barry clashing over the moral uses of their power, and the forward momentum of the story, before building to a ‘striking’ (shall we say?) climax which tees up a much bigger problem for the Flash than he imagined.
A series that continues to entertain under writer Joshua Williamson, The Flash‘s second issue retains a solid balance of character work with ongoing story, and one or two little suggestive nods toward the bigger Rebirth arc, and is drawn nice and brightly, with plenty of zest a colourful hero like Barry Allen deserves. A good read.