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‘The Flash #52’ (review)

Written by Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Christian Duce Fernandez
Published by DC Comics


“Your world Force Barrier is broken, and there are other Forces? Someone must have really messed up.”


Out of the mouths of babes.

It’s Issue #52 of The Flash everyone, and to celebrate, writer Joshua Williamson starts us off with a showcase of something we haven’t seen in a while.

The Multiversity’s House of Heroes, the one-time Monitor satellite currently serving as a nexus meeting point for the heroes of the multiverse.


Somehow – Williamson doesn’t elaborate – Barry’s sent out a signal to the Flashes of 52 worlds to see if anyone can shed some light on this whole extra, previously unheard of, super-Forces broken free from the other side of the Force Barrier, thing.

Sadly though, no one’s heard of the Strength Force or the Sage Force at all, which is maybe a little strange given that Hunter Solomon somehow sussed them out simply by fishing back in time from the 25th century of our own universe. So, it looks like we’re, uh, a flashpoint for the current crisis.

Guess that’s why we’re #1. Or, Prime. Or… post-New? Pre-Crisis? (Anyone else confused?)

Too bad time travel’s been taken off the board for Barry Allen for this adventure. But there you go. Breaking the Force barrier really is that bad.

At least new artist Christian Duce has fun with the spectacle of the Flashes’ multiversal gathering. We’ll see more of him on this title, which should do OK. His bold, in-your-face style is a good match for the non-stop action sequences in the life of a Flash, even if he has a tendency to over-embellish a little over-much. (Bit heavy on those trademark head wings, Chris.) He’s got a good eye for faces though, and he does a good splash page. A decent opening effort. Welcome aboard Mr. Duce.

A hearty welcome also to Dan Mora, whose cover this week brings a smile to my face.

Commander Cold may look like one of Barry’s arch-nemeses, but even if his methods are a little, er, brusque (can I say cold? please? c’mon now) we know that this Cold is more or less on the side of the angels. Still, strangely, Barry’s stubborn pride seems to have a harder time with the idea of working with the time-displaced Renegade, than it does with the prospect of confessing to a congregation of his super-speedster peers, that he and Wally may have broken the Multiverse. Again. Yeah, sorry ‘bout all that guys.

Oh well. He’ll come around. After all, it’s not like a Flash and a Cold have never teamed up before.

At any rate I count Commander Cold as a welcome addition in these pages if only because it greatly increases the likelihood that we’ll see our heroes return to the 25th century again before too long.

Whatever that ends up looking like.

Long as there’s still a Flash Museum.

First though, our new dynamic odd-couple needs to track down these at-large rogue super-Forces. And funny enough, looks like the Trickster is on the scene to help that along. Poor Axel Walker’s seen more than his fair share of being beaten up and pushed around lately.

But all that’s about to change.

Looks like you’re gonna have to work out all that super-science without your lab Barry! Good luck!

Next issue: Tricked out!


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