SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for “The Flash” #6, on sale now.
As Barry Allen throws himself headlong into investigating the deaths of speedster trainees at S.T.A.R. Labs — along with, it seems, Meena Dhawan, the Flash’s new girlfriend — an apparent change in Godspeed’s M.O. lays bare the villain’s true identity. But other mysteries remain, including the true fate of Dr. Dhawan, the younger Wally West’s connection to the Speed Force, and just how Godspeed did some of the things he did.
Yes, Godspeed is the only person he could have been: Detective August Heart, Barry Allen’s partner and the Flash’s top protege.
Detective Heart — who notably did not have a heroic codename despite having a Flash-like costume — had already verbally clashed with Barry and Dr. Dhawan over his eye-for-an-eye brand of justice, and his assertion that those who gained speed powers but did not want to train to protect Central City were wasting their gifts. In this issue, though, we learn that he’s not only willing to back up his talk with action, but has already done so, murdering new speedsters to take their speed simply to augment his own abilities. The assassination that gives him away, however, is Godspeed’s killing of Billy Parks, the man he believes murdered his brother, dragging him through the streets at super speed.
Intriguingly, Heart seems to bait Barry after killing Parks, reminding him while Barry is in the midst of investigating the S.T.A.R. Labs deaths that his brother’s case has gone cold.
At any rate, he does not deny the truth when the Flash confronts him much later in the issue.
Barry and Heart argue about justice and the justice system, with Barry stressing the implications if Heart is wrong and Heart noting that Barry’s own father was locked up for years, though innocent. He takes it a bit further, taunting Barry about Meena and Zoom murdering his mother. They fight, which is when things get real.
Because Godspeed is fast enough to be in two places at once.
Puts paid to Heart’s alibi, right there.
Meena on Infinite Earths
While everyone else takes it as a given that Meena died during Godspeed’s attack, Barry holds onto hope — almost implicitly — that she is alive. Because her empty speed suit “remind[s] me of something that happened to me once.”
Even as he imagines her slipping into the speed force, though, he recognizes there’s a problem — his memories are of something that happened “a long time ago,” a recollection impossible to reconcile with his current perspective of the DCU timeline. Where does “Crisis on Infinite Earths” fit in the post-“Rebirth” blueprint? Given pre-“Flashpoint” Wally West’s prominence in ushering in this new universe, it seems likely will need to be addressed quickly: now that Barry remembers Wally’s existence, he’s got to have at least some sense of sidekick’s maturing into the role of the Flash.
Another Wally West
While we’re talking of Wally West, the “New 52” version may have let his super-speed secret slip to Uncle Barry after learning of Meena’s “death.” Wally overhears Barry and Iris discussing what happened to her, and tears out of the house in a rage. Barry follows him outside, but Wally is nowhere to be seen.
The pieces begin to click into place for Uncle Flash — the fact that Wally knows Meena (she tutored him in the art of super-speed last issue), the fact he’s run out of the building and is immediately out of sight, the fact that the other nephew of his named Wally West was struck by lightning and became Kid Flash — it’s all happening again! (In fact, Wally was bequeathed the gift of super speed just before “Rebirth,” when his future self died released the speed force into him, but he’s kept this secret from friends and family.)
Next issue looks to feature the showdown between the Flash and Godspeed, but the developments with Wally and Meena may take more time to unfurl. Where is Dr. Dhawan, and how does her fate intertwine with the burgeoning post-“Rebirth” universe? Will Wally become Kid Flash (yes, see: “Teen Titans”), and what role will Barry play in his life? And shouldn’t somebody introduce the two speedster cousins with the same name to each other?
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