writers: Robert Vendetti & Van Jensen / artist: Brett Booth / DC Comics
Issue #39 of DC’s Flash made me turn back to the cover and make sure that there was a “T” rating for teens. This work from Vendetti and Jensen further affirms the notion that comic books can be geared towards audiences of all ages. The instances of dismembering and mauling reached levels that you won’t be seeing in the CW’s series anytime soon.
The issue begins with a villainous monologue from Overload, a villain that’s driven to the point of insanity after a lifetime of pain. In attempts to end his own suffering, the supercharged coachman is willing to put the lives of whoever stands in his way on the line.
Having experienced a great Central City tragedy by the hands of Overload, Future Flash (currently posing as modern-day Flash) slips into the violent tendencies a rough past drove him towards and doesn’t think twice about ending Overload’s life first. Meanwhile, Patty Spivot and Iris West have been working together to figure out what’s changed about Flash, besides his costume. This is when they witness him crossing a line never thought possible by the Central City speedster and someone gets hurt along the way.
Meanwhile, in The Savage Speed Force, Selkirk and a group of his companions escort Flash to a temple where he should be able to regain his powers. The only problem is, along the way, they’re attacked by a group of Quetzalcoatls, which translated directly to “feathered serpent.” They’re big, they can fly, and they eat people (which we witnessed firsthand). Without his super-speed, Flash has to resort to Selkirk’s advice on getting through this journey alive.
Selkirk, the super-intelligent survivalist, is still my favorite person in this arc. But it’s great to see just how far Barry Allen, one of the the most lighthearted of DC’s 52, can be driven off of the reservation through the thoughts of Future Flash and even better to know that Flash isn’t completely helpless without his super-powers. This arc of Flash has done a good job of tastefully showing “what if” scenarios through the concept of alternate/future realities. I’ve been waiting to see the two Flashes meet for a rematch and it seems that we’re getting much closer to that.