The Flash #61 // Review
Barry must team up with his new friend Fuerza to save Corto Maltese in The Flash #61, written by Joshua Williamson, with art by Christian Duce, and colors by Luis Guerrero, but can even the Speed and Strength Force working together stop the power of the Sage Force? Previously, Flash hit rock bottom after becoming the second fastest man alive. Iris, his longtime love interest, convinced him that the only way to get back on top of his game was to go on a “Force Quest” to learn everything he can about the four Forces (Speed, Strength, Sage, and Still), and gain a deeper understanding of his own powers. So far, he’s gained little information, and even less understanding of what makes the Forces tick, but he did find a young hero named Fuerza, who had been using her connection to the Strength Force to protect Corto Maltese from its corrupt police. Unfortunately, one of those police showed up with a Sage Force gauntlet that seemingly came out of nowhere, and decided to open it up full blast on Fuerza and the Flash. Now, the two must figure out a way to stop the mental assault, even if it means pushing their powers to new limits.
Even though this is a story primarily about Barry Allen learning about his powers, so he can be the best Flash possible, Fuerza has stolen the show from him in the last couple of issues. She’s a fun, well fleshed out, new character with a cool set of powers. The Strength Force allows her to not only access immense super strength, but also control gravity and earth. She’s still new, but once she gets some real experience under her belt, she could potentially be one of DC’s heavy hitters. Here’s hoping Williamson has plans to develop her more further down the road, because it would be a shame to let her go to waste after such an impressive start.
Barry, on the other hand, has felt like a guest in his own book. For an arc that was supposed to be centered on Flash becoming a better hero, Williams has really given the spotlight to the villains and guest stars the last few issues. Barry does manage to gain some insight into his powers (four chapters in), but it’s more of a moment of him remembering what he’s capable of, rather than him discovering something new. Hopefully, Williamson has something exciting coming in the realm of big revelations about the Forces, or this story arc is on track to becoming a major letdown.
Christian Duce turns in another issue of great work, and shows that he is one of this title’s best recent artists with his kinetic action scenes, and heroic figures. Flash’s mask can look a little awkward from time to time, but it’s a minor complaint in an otherwise gorgeous book. Similarly, Guerrero always does a great job making the red and gold of Flash’s electrifying suit pop off the page. Any colorist for this book has to bring their A game, and Guerrero never lets the readers down.
Overall, this was a fun issue that does a lot for the new character of Fuerza, but very little for progressing Barry’s story. In an arc about Barry’s self-discovery, he hasn’t really been learning much. Four issues in, it feels like Williamson didn’t have enough story to stretch across the entire arc, and it’s really starting to hurt the impact of what could have been an instant classic. Keep your fingers crossed that he can pull out some epic twists and turns for the final issues.