THE FLASH #60
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Penciler: Rafa Sandoval
Inker: Jordi Tarragona
Colorist: Tomeu Morey & Hi-Fi
Letterer: Steve Wands
Release Date: 12/12/18
Following Barry’s horror-filled visit to Gorilla City, The Flash #60 sees the Scarlet Speedster coming face to face with a Strength Force user he can actually learn from: Fuerza. But while he and Iris meet her and her family, the new villains collectively known as Gemini are a step ahead of him thanks to the information they gleaned from the gorilla scientists.
Though Fuerza ended the previous issue looking like the next big antagonist, it turns out that she’s a hero just like Barry and the real villain is the corrupt police system of Corto Maltese. The leader of said system is a crooked official named Cauldron who keeps the residents living in fear, and in some cases even living literally underground. As Barry and Iris do their best to help Fuerza, whose real name is Alexa Antigone, she returns the favor by teaching him the less scientific side of the Strength Force.
Not only does Barry gain a deeper understanding of one force in The Flash #60 thanks to Alexa’s help, but Cauldron introduces some Sage Force enemies that are sure to cause havoc next issue. Overall the issue is a well-paced and empathetic look at a problem that affects our real world, and best of all it doesn’t beat readers over the head with its allegory.
As smooth as Williamson’s storytelling is, the real stars of The Flash #60 are the many artists who made up the art team of the issue. Rafa Sandoval and Jordi Tarragona’s line work is fluid and dynamic, echoing the styles of those who came before. At the same time, Tomeu Morey and Hi-Fi fill the pages with vibrant colors and differentiate the Speed Force and Strength Force from the general surroundings without any jarring shifts.
If there’s a downside to the story at the moment, it’s that Gemini don’t pose much of a threat. They were terrifying for the few pages that they seemed to be the perpetrators of the Gorilla City massacre some issues back, but once they were revealed to merely be seeking information after the fact they lost some of their juice. Hopefully Williamson lets them step up as a true opponent for Barry, especially now that he’s opening himself up to new perspectives on the Speed Force and its counterparts.
On the other hand, Iris’ active participation and refusal to be left out of Barry’s journey is a breath of fresh air given how she was shafted before they got together. It’s nice to see the power couple working in tandem, and it’s even better that Iris has a mission of her own that ties back to the pre-Flashpoint memories which the comic has teased since Rebirth started.
Verdict: 4 out 5 stars. Despite a less than ideal overarching villain, The Flash #60 tells a fascinating story that introduces Barry to a new way looking at the Forces. Williamson also takes the opportunity to present an interesting new character who will hopefully serve as an ally in the future.