The Flash #78 Faces Inevitable Defeat

by Tony Thornley

One of the greatest traits of the entire Flash family is their optimism, no matter the insurmountable odds, or impossible foes. However, when the threat is embodied by Barry Allen’s friends, can optimism survive?

Joshua Williamson, Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, Arif Prianto, and Steve Wands put The Flash in an impossible position.

The Speed Force is being eroded by the presence of the Sage, Still and Strength Forces, and Barry is doing his best to prevent the Black Flash from destroying Fuerza, Psyche and Steadfast to preserve the Speed Force. However, can he outrun a force of nature? And meanwhile, what do Captain Cold and the Rogues have in store?

Williamson plays with Barry’s sense of optimism and right and wrong here. Normally it would be an asset, driving himself forward against the impossible, but here it’s a liability. Barry isn’t able to run faster than the universe, and frankly he never asks whether he should- he just does it because he thinks it’s right. The story takes just enough time to question whether he should, and perfectly hands Barry a loss to drive the point home.

Sandoval and Tarragona continue to improve. They continue to have a great sense of depicting speed on the page, especially in the races between Barry and the Black Flash. They use speed lines effectively, and almost set up the panels to look like the individual pages of a flip book. Their new designs for the Rogues are fantastic too, transforming them from criminals to forces of nature.

Things are dire for the Flash but that’s good news for us.

The Flash #78 is available now from DC Comics.

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