The Flash #62 // Review
The Flash #62, written by Joshua Williamson, with art by Christian Duce, and colors by Luis Guerrero, continues the Force Quest arc, and introduces a new character that goes by the name Psych--but is he friend, or foe? Previously, after losing his mojo, Barry Allen and Iris West set out on a quest to learn all they could about the Forces (Speed, Sage, Strength, and Still) of the universe. Flash hopes that a greater understanding of his powers will put him back on top of his game, but so far, he has run into nothing but trouble. After meeting Fuerza, the hero of Corto Maltese who is powered by the Strength Force, Barry was drawn to Zandia following a connection to the Sage Force. In disguise, so he doesn’t cause an international incident, Flash was immediately discovered by the telepathic Psych. Now, they must work together to bring down Roulette, a criminal mastermind that runs a lucrative illegal gambling empire.
Much like the previous mini-arc that introduced Fuerza, the focus really isn’t on the Flash in this story. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because Williamson is revealing a lot about the new Forces, and introducing new characters that have a ton of potential. It’s all interesting stuff, but in an arc where you were expecting Barry to become his best version of the Flash, there is a surprising lack of development for him or the Speed Force. Luckily, the next issue seems to be dealing heavily with that, so maybe Williamson was saving the real meat of the story for the back half.
On the plus side, the villains really own this issue. Gemini, who have been a minor threat, and a major annoyance up until this point, finally get an origin story and step up to the category of “major threat”. If only Williamson had done more to have them directly connected to the ongoing story earlier in the arc, he might have had a more compelling duo of antagonists on his hands. Psych, the new Sage Force user, is the real star, though. He’s new to his telepathic powers, but it’s plain to see that he has been lying to people, and conning his way out of sticky situations his entire life. With Barry being such a trusting person, it’s always fun to see him go up against someone that takes advantage of that. Psych lies so much in this issue, that it’s impossible to tell if Williamson has actually revealed anything about him yet, other than his obvious connection to the Sage Force. Hopefully, he’ll be sticking around, because there is plenty of story to dig into with him.
Duce does a fine job in the art department this issue, carrying the duties of pencils and inks, but it’s not quite up to the standard he set in previous issues. Similarly, his work doesn’t quite gel with Guerrero’s colors as well as they usually do, either. Maybe it has something to do with Barry not being in his traditional, bright and shiny Flash suit for most of the issue, or it might have to do with the time they had to work on the story (the book comes out every two weeks, so they have to work fast), but there seemed to be something missing from the formula this time around.
In the end, this was a solid issue that introduced a fun new character to the Flash mythos, but Williamson still isn’t quite delivering on the promise of the arc. Based on the title “Force Quest”, one might expect an epic exploration of the Forces, and a deep journey of self discovery on the part of Barry Allen. Instead, the readers are being given a breezy story that doles out information on the new Forces bit by bit. It leaves you wanting more, and questioning whether Williamson will deliver by the story’s end.