The Flash faces off against the Sage Force in a way he doesn’t see coming!
It’s Halloween time in Central City, and the Flash needs to deal with a horrific new force. While the Strength Force has vanished from the city, the Sage Force has been brewing beneath the surface. It soon chooses a new host: Mick Rory, better known as the rogue Heatwave. As he is possessed, it causes a fire at Iron Heights. Before Barry learns of this, however, he begins to see strange visions in mirrors. By the time Barry shakes it off, the fire has already killed another inmate. He hurried over as The Flash and joins Detective Burns in the investigation. What he finds is a giant version of Heatwave, made of blue fire. How will Flash take on this threat while protecting Burns?
**Some Spoilers Below**
After dodging a few of the attacks of the giant Heatwave, the villain heads towards Central City to start fires. While Burns tries to convince him to go, The Flash feels there is something wrong. He deduces that, because the flames aimed to kill people, they are actually in Heatwave’s Mind. The Sage Force has given him enhanced telepathic abilities, putting all three of them into a coma. On the outside, Commander Cold takes the trio back to his hideout for safety from Warden Wolfe, who plans on murdering the Rogue.
This issue is a mixed bag for this reader. For every good aspect, there is one tied to it that brings it down. One good example is the flash using his detective skills to deduce where they are and what they have to do to get out. It’s always good to see that analytical side to Barry. On the flipside, however, it’s very similar to the last arc. A Rogue gains new powers and Flash works to save them before the powers do harm. There is enough to keep readers entertained, but there will be a constant sense of deja vu.
The artwork follows its story counterpart as being a mixed bag. Scott Kolins is the illustrator for this issue and it had highs and lows. The best piece came at the beginning with the design of the Sage Force Heatwave. I love the creepy and monstrous form that he has taken within his mindscape. It truly fits the Halloween theme that was set up in the first issue. An example of a downside would be the faces of the characters who aren’t in masks. The prime example would be Warden Wolfe, who honestly looks more possessed than angered. Another example of the bad would be Flash smiling as he berates Heatwave for his action. Whether it the soulless looking eyes or just terrifying expressions, its art like this that pull me out of the experience.
If there were a word to describe this issue, it would be average. There’s nothing that stands out that should have readers clamoring for the issue. It’s by no means a terrible comic, but it isn’t that memorable either. I will admit that the end raises the stakes, and I hope that it lives up to the expectation.