Tony Black reviews The Flash #7…
“LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE” part 7! Still reeling from Godspeed’s devastating attack, the beleaguered Flash realizes that to defeat this menacing new foe he must take away the Speed Force power from Central City’s new citizen speedsters. There’s only one problem: they don’t want to give it back.
Following the revelation in the previous issue that Barry Allen’s closest friend August Heart was the super-speed murderer Godspeed, The Flash now takes that idea and runs with it (pardon the pun) in ‘No More Speedsters’, which continues the breakneck race toward a climax for Joshua Williamson’s excellent opening which has really dragged Barry through the emotional mill. In an issue filled with crucial conversations, all beset by a race against time effectively, it feels like the stage being set for the climactic Flash/Godspeed confrontation surely soon to come.
What’s interesting about August as Godspeed is that he’s in the classic model of a villain who believes he’s very much the hero of the story; the injustice at his brother’s death has warped August into believing Barry’s determination to instill justice in Central City is foolhardy, and bad guys need to be put down so they don’t pop back up again – the way we see him quite horrifically take apart Black Hole terrorists who take a building hostage demanding Dr. Carver’s release shows his ideology in action, and it’s terrifying. It makes Godspeed a terrific villain though, filled with genuine affection for Barry & frustration aimed at the Flash. In trying to defeat him, Barry has to her make major choices for the other speedsters around him – principally young Wally West, who really comes into his own in the story here, graduating from slightly tempestuous brat to more of a rounded character.
Carmine di Giandomenico’s glorious artwork continues to the show the golden, ethereal texture of Godspeed against the pure red of the Flash, and helps enhance Williamson’s panels as he skilfully continues constructing a story with stakes, emotions and consequences. We should be reaching an end soon to this story but the way the pithy cliffhanger sets things up, it’s going to be quite the battle for The Flash.