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Flash #54 (Review): Grips of Strength Finale

Updated: Jan 24, 2020


Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: Christina Duce

Colorist: Luis Guerro

Published by: DC Comics


Since this is my first review of Flash on the site, let me say a few things first. First of all Flash is my favorite hero in the DCU. My first comic was an issue during Mark Waid's run, so the character holds a special place in my heart. Joshua Williamson's run so far has been my favorite since Geoff Johns wrote the title. He has done such an amazing job with the Flash and you can tell how much love he has for the entire cast of characters in the Flash mythos. I loved Flash War, I thought it was a great story that really put Wally West, my favorite Flash, back in the spotlight. Not only that, but he brought back Bart Allen/Impulse another character that I have a lot of love for. But this current arc just didn't really do it for me.

The overall premise of this arc was about the Strength Force, while also teasing the Force Quest that Barry will be going on to learn about the other Forces that got unleashed from the Source Wall. The opening issue of "Grips of Strength", I thought was really good. I loved seeing all the Flashes from across the Multiverse, but from there, the story lost my interest a little. I love the team up with Commander Cold, it was a nice change to see him team up with someone other than a speedster. I haven't made up my mind about how I feel about all these

new forces, but I'm holding off my opinion for now.

This issue in my opinion was a lot better than the last one. Watching Barry now infected with the Strength Force was kind of cool, especially when your used to seeing him move so quickly and now he's this hulking monster fighting Trickster who also is infected by the Strength Force. I love that his inner monologue, referred to past stories when his body was changed in usual ways, cool little Easter egg for longtime fans. No matter what Barry goes through he's always looking for the best in people and it really shines through in this story. Even though Warden Wolfe and Commander Cold want to put Trickster "down", Barry insists on finding another way. Finally when Barry figures out how to "drain" Trickster of the Strength Force, as he does it, the other Rogues that are in Iron Heights are put in danger. Trickster saves them at the expense of himself, or so it seems. That last page reveals that the original Trickster is back and he saved Axel, the new Trickster.

Christian Duce was paired perfectly for this story. His enormous Trickster and Flash showcased exactly what the Strength Force does to it's bearers. His art was high energy and explosive. I look forward to whatever book he goes to next.

Overall, while not my favorite Flash story, I'm definitely excited for what's coming up. I have the utmost faith in Williamson and his love for these characters.

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