With an arc focused heavily on Captain Cold, The Flash ended this past week with an average issue, resulting in an impactful outcome.
Within one issue, we see Barry defeat Captain Cold in their one-on-one fight. Also within that moment, we see Colds powers quickly wear off, long enough for the rogues to become freed and Barry’s allies to somehow reign in their powers long enough to save the team and stop Cold. While the issue solved its Cold problem quickly, without so much as an issue, Williamson delivers on giving us a somewhat lacking conclusion.
Comparatively, other series will spend multiple issues to resolve a problem, but Flash solved the Cold problem by getting a new rogue ally each issue, before this final issue. Afterwards, we get a single issue fight with half of the issue focusing on the fight. Williamson does incorporate good ideas within the unfortunately quick fight. Due to Cold’s abilities, we see Barry able to reign in his powers, due to the cold temperature counteracting his own sporadic abilities. Another advantage we see from this happening is it allowing for Barry to free his allies, only for his Flash family to control their powers by focusing. If Barry was able to control his powers due to the temperature change, then why did it not also apply to his allies?
Another thing that confused me in this issue was Mirror Master’s quick change of heart, after talking to Golden Glider. No build-up, we just have villains turning good quickly in this issue.
While Barry’s teammates controlled their powers quickly, villains had quick changes of heart and Cold was defeated within one fight, there were some strong aspects of this final issue for the arc. Williamson using Cold’s powers as a means to allow Barry to control his own for the duration was a good turning point. Another great aspect was the conclusion with Barry understanding that without Colds enhanced powers or Gliders powers, he’s unable to control his own./ This results in Barry deciding to place himself in prison, something he can break out of with his powers, as a means to force him to spend time to reign in his own abilities. This will result in good character growth and gave us a meaningful display from Barry, as we feel empathy for his actions and understand what they mean.
Other than Williamson’s story decisions, Rafa Sandoval delivered some interesting panels this issue. While commonplace in Flash issues, seeing the full page spread of Barry at different moments within a fight as a means to showcase his speed and provide a timelapse of events still looks amazing. Also seeing the first panels hat showcase Barry and Cold throughout the years was a nice addition. The other panel by Sandoval that I enjoyed was the inclusion of symbolic gesture by Barry towards the end, where he turns himself in after beating Cold within an inch of his life.
Overall the issue was consistently entertaining and good, while containing some standout writing and artistic moments.