Irrefutably, some of the greatest all-time superhero monikers in comics belong to The Flash – The Scarlet Speedster (my personal favorite), The Sultan of Speed, The Crimson Comet, and most notably, The Fastest Man Alive. However, is there any validity in referring to the Barry Allen Flash as The Fastest Man Alive nowadays? Not really. Not since a very long time. Although the Barry Allen Flash is my favorite Flash ever, he’s just one of the Fastest Men Alive.
Godspeed is DC Comic’s latest speedster to zoom (see what I did there?) through the streets of Central City and openly challenge its beloved crimson-clad champion; both in velocity and in ethics. Godspeed is a speedster unlike any other Barry Allen has ever faced. He is much faster than The Flash and he’s unafraid to mete out his own brand of justice, something that he couldn’t do within the law as Detective August Heart.
As revealed in earlier issues of the current Flash series, August shares a strong bond with Barry, not just as co-workers and officers of the law, but as individuals who have suffered from the tragedy of losing someone very special in their lives. In Barry’s case, it was his mother, who was murdered by Eobard Thawne, a.k.a. Zoom, the Reverse-Flash. For August, the loss of his brother in the line of duty, was almost unbearable, especially after the killer, Billy Parks, was set free due to lack of evidence.
August’s life was forever changed when he and many others in Central City became recipients of the prodigious Speed Force after an artificial storm created by the Black Hole criminal organization struck them with supercharged lightning. When Flash realized that his good friend August survived the storm’s fury, he noticed that August was capable of tapping into the awesome energy released by the Speed Force. Flash didn’t hesitate in helping August understand and how to use his newfound gifts.
As the series progressed, August and Flash team up to combat crime in their city. Flash assumes the role of mentor not just for August, but for the rest of Central City’s rookie speedsters as well. Out of this experience, a new romance is born between Flash and Dr. Meena Dhawan of S.T.A.R. Labs, another Speed Force storm beneficiary who is also assisting others endowed with speed abilities.
Despite Flash’s influence on how to use the Speed Force effectively and responsibly, August isn’t totally satisfied. The thought of his brother’s killer roaming free began to consume him. He felt that he now had the means for which to find Billy Parks and use his powers to deliver true justice. August eventually finds Parks and savagely murders him. August’s twisted version of justice doesn’t end there. He desires to be even faster. He learned that he was also capable of stealing other speedster’s access to the Speed Force; however, this process proved to be fatal to other speedsters. Unfortunately, Dr. Meena Dhawan is counted among those who fall prey to Godspeed’s insatiable appetite for more speed.
In issue #7 of The Flash, Barry Allen is confronted by August and is shocked when he finally learns that his buddy is the speedster serial killer Godspeed. Flash is subsequently overwhelmed by Godspeed’s blinding quickness. Only a momentary lapse of control from Godspeed allows the Flash the slimmest of chances to escape his newest foe and attempt to form a strategy that could put an end to the chaos Godspeed is introducing. After retreating from Godspeed, another revelation takes place. The younger Wally West reveals to The Flash that he too has super-speed and that he was being trained discretely by Meena. Upset by the disappearance of Meena, Wally insists to Flash that he wants in on going after Godspeed. During their discussion, Wally inadvertently supplies Flash with a means that might stop Godspeed. But, will it be enough?
Joshua Williamson’s Rebirth era script for The Flash series has been quite enjoyable through the first seven issues. The plot of this story arc is solid and not overly complex. There’s more to this script than just another speedster who can outrun the Barry Allen Flash. Reading how The Flash has gone from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other in this series has been entertaining. He’s learned more about himself, learned more about the Speed Force, he’s seen other speedsters emerge, he fell in love with Meena and also watched his good friend turn into an unforgiving killer. Williamson’s best work was surely with all of the emotions each character expressed during their dialogue in the story.
Carmine Di Giandomenico’s artwork has been a good fit for The Flash. It’s a style that’s full of life. Conversely, some of the panels in this issue appeared to be a bit rushed at times and unfocused, whereas in others, it was not. Ivan Plascencia’s work with the colors enhanced Di Giandomenico’s artwork and it was more apparent during panels where Godspeed was the center of attention.
Unquestionably, Godspeed steals the show in this issue and perhaps even for the series thus far. Despite the Godspeed character appearing to be more of an anti-hero instead of a typical villain, he will certainly draw his fair share of comparisons with Flash’s other speedster rivals, such as Eobard Thawne, and even Hunter Solomon during the Wally West Flash era. Speaking of Wally West, the younger Wally West that is, you’ll get to see some great strides being made in this issue with the development of Kid Flash. Sooner or later, Kid Flash’s role will be more defined, but in the meantime, it’ll give readers yet another positive reason to continue picking up this title.
Excuse me. Mr. Godspeed? Yeah, I’m talkin’ to you. Sorry for interrupting your precious time with your frenemy, but I’m just lettin’ you know that I’m super confident I’m gonna arrive at my LCS before you do on the day Flash #8 comes out…challenge me at your own risk!
Until next time Crusaders!
The Flash #7
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Pencils: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Colorist: Ivan Plascencia
Published by DC Comics