The Force Quest becomes a lot clearer in The Flash #63 as the sub-villains of the story are put aside in favour of the big bad that has been teased since the beginning of this tale.
The Flash #63 is relatively light on action set pieces in comparison to other Flash issues, with more of a focus on the exposition dump that we get after many secrets have been held back across the series. This weeks instalment actually rounds up a lot more than I expected within one issue but, in some ways, means that going into next month the title will hit the ground running with a returning threat and a new dynamic within the multiverse.
The issue opens with the fallout of the conflict between Gemini, Flash and Pysch. I’ve got to say that the use of the monologue here was particularly useful for finally understanding the mindset of Barry moving forward. This was a useful conclusion to this part of the tale as it finally established what the Flash needs to do to be able to learn more about the new forces across Earth. It is telling that when he finally comes to understand that his role is as a teacher and a student, that not too long afterwards he actually gets the answers he seeks. If he had maintained this understanding from the start, however, perhaps things would have turned out differently with Fuerza and Pysch, a concept he will struggle with in the future as the truth of these new allies or enemies is revealed.
By defeating Gemini using a trick learnt from a previous battle with Trickster (a nice touch), Pysch reads the mind of one half of the couple to reveal the reality of the force situation. It appears, as we had suspected, that the Gorillas had held back some information from Barry in order for him to be a better hero. The wielders of the forces are destined to do battle with one another, with one ultimately winning. Three must die so the fourth can live, a very Harry Potter-esque prophecy indeed.
The female half of Gemini is later to be revealed to be in Arkham, believing that her late husband is still in her head. Upon talking to her, Barry realises that he needs to return to the Gorillas, where he learns it is Hunter Zoloman who is on the same path.
Everything falls into place at this point, Iris is whisked back to Central City and The Flash starts a new journey to combat everything he needs to in order to protect the multiverse.
Where the tale goes from here is unknown as it appears this secondary plot is about to take over for the time being. However, this will also continue through with Batman and the Flash, which is confusing in itself. Certainly, for the first half of the book though, everything is satisfyingly concluded and the stakes are raised for the future. It’s a shame it didn’t end on that note, although I suspect this is necessary for the sales of the annual.
The Flash #63 was one of two halves this week. With only a brief and criminal nod to the Commander Cold subplot, which is also getting interesting, there was a lot of other elements jammed in. This is not always to the titles benefit. The first half was certainly stronger than the second but, nonetheless, the art remained consistent throughout.
Perhaps the conclusion will be better after reading the annual.
The Flash #63
There is a lot of exposition dump in The Flash #63 and it actually rounds up a lot of the arc with a satisfying conclusion. It's a pity that it doesn't end with the first half of the story.