The conclusion to Joshua Williamson and Carmine Di Giandomenico’s “Perfect Storm” storyline arrived in The Flash #44 this week and served to cap off the entirety of the Rebirth run ahead of the impending Flash War that has been previously teased. Williamson has been steadily introducing new speedsters into the DC universe since he took over The Flash for Rebirth, and as the Flash attempted to stop Gorilla Grodd and save the world, we saw these speedsters come together to work alongside the fastest men alive – Barry Allen and Wally West.
“Perfect Storm” saw Gorilla Grodd trick Barry out of his speed by creating a giant lightning rod that focuses the energies of the Negative Speed Force. Barry managed to get his speed back in the last issue before taking the fight to Grodd, though his actions seemed to have doomed Central City, which was evacuated at super speed by the older Wally West. Those actions brought Wally and his Aunt Iris together for the first time since Wally returned in DC Rebirth #1, though there wasn’t much time for their reunion. We know through the letter Barry has written to Iris that narrates most of this issue that Barry is tired of keeping Wally’s secret, so expect that confrontation to happen very soon, whether Wally wants it to or not.
The battle between Grodd and Flash occurs as it does in most scenarios, with Flash gaining the upper hand on Grodd. However, unlike most of their battles, Barry manages to use Grodd’s telepathy against him somehow. As Grodd had previously made Flash see some of the worst things he could have imagined happening to his friends and family by his own hands, Barry flipped the script, and using the connection Grodd had created in their minds, pushed back. This caused Grodd to see exactly what he wanted while Wally evacuated the city, which was the death of the Flash. As the two face off for a final battle that Grodd has already accepted may lead to his death, the Apes conveniently arrive to take Grodd back to Gorilla City to pay for his crimes there.
As for Central City and it’s new team of speedsters, despite Barry’s continual efforts to sacrifice himself (or his powers) to save those he cares about, he finds himself joined in his final run to counteract the effects of the Negative Speed Force’s destruction by the new team of speedsters that have formed around him in the Rebirth era. Those speedsters include Flash AKA old Wally West, his current partner Kid Flash AKA young Wally West, his former lover/villain Negative Flash AKA Meena Dhawan, The Flash of China AKA Avery Ho – who gained her powers during the Central City Speed Force storm – and former police officer/current murderer Godspeed AKA August Heart, who has seemingly had a change of heart during his time in prison. They join Barry on his run, despite the chance that they could all lose their powers.
Of course, the world is saved (though Central City has looked better), the heroes retain their powers, and Barry speeds off to kiss the girl. Not everything is wrapped up in a neat little bow, though, as Godspeed disappears during the final run after telling Barry that “you were right about me.” Maybe this means that we’ll see Godspeed again in a more heroic fashion, or it could mean he’ll come back worse than before? Finally, we jump ahead to the future in the Flash Museum, where Hunter Zolomon AKA Professor Zoom is studying the history of the Flash. Zolomon remarks that while Barry was never his Flash, soon enough he will come to know the threats of Hunter Zolomon, as he promises to bring about the end of the Flash family.
We’ll be back to check out The Flash #45 as Iris finally meets up with the older Wally West, and the following month as the “Road to Flash War” kicks off!
Images: DC Comics