WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for The Flash #41, by Joshua Williamson, Carlos D’Anda, Luis Guerrero and Steve Wands, on sale now.
Desperate times often call for desperate measures. Sometimes, that means bending the rules a bit. Other times, it means straying from one’s otherwise strict moral code. However, in Barry Allen’s case, it means enlisting the aid of full-fledged super-villain.
The current arc of The Flash, titled “Perfect Storm,” has already seen the reemergence of Gorilla Grodd, Raijin, Negative Flash and Black Hole, as well as Barry losing his connection to the Speed Force, and in turn, his powers. Fortunately, he wasn’t the only benevolent speedster willing to fight for Central City, as Avery Ho and the dual-Wally Wests quickly stepped up to the plate in Barry’s stead. Still, with Grodd requiring even more speed to heal himself from a fatal illness, it’s seemingly only a matter of time before they meet a similar fate.
Barry, cognizant of this inconvenient truth, decides to pay a visit to an old friend who’s holed up in a place he’s all too familiar with – Iron Heights Penitentiary.
“I... I believed you when you told me you wanted redemption,” Barry says as he activates the override switch for one of the maximum-security cells. Then, as the cell door opens, we discover that the person Barry’s speaking to is none other than his former partner August Heart, aka Godspeed, who agrees to help save Central City.
Godspeed’s first appearance was in The Flash: Rebirth #1 – the one-shot that preceded Joshua Williamson and Carmine Di Giandomenico’s first full story arc. However, it wasn’t until The Flash #6 that we finally learned Godspeed was actually Barry’s Central City Police Department partner August Heart, who had been imbued with powers following the massive Speed Force storm that struck Central City. While hunting down his brother’s killer, Godspeed became a murderer in his own right, which naturally placed him and The Flash at odds, and eventually, with the help of Kid Flash, August ended up incarcerated at Iron Heights.
As Barry alludes to in this issue, though, August had a surprising change of heart in The Flash #38. After helping Barry defeat Captain Cold, August expressed sincere remorse for his actions as Godspeed, as well as his desire to earn his former partner’s eventual forgiveness.
Judging by the shameful look on Barry’s face when he frees Godspeed, it stands within reason to assume that forgiveness hasn’t been fully earned just yet. Nevertheless, Barry doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of options, and perhaps, by aiding the other speedsters in their quest to stop Grodd, August can truly redeem himself in the eyes of The Flash.
The question is, can Barry redeem himself in the eyes of the CCPD after helping a convicted killer escape from Iron Heights? Hopefully, that’s something Williamson and company plan to address in the coming weeks.
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