The Flash Teases a War that Could Tear DC's Multiverse Apart

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for The Flash #63 by Joshua Williamson, Minkyu Jung, Tomeu Morey, Rafa Sandoval and Jordi Tarragona, in stores now.

While a hologram of the deceased King Solovar explained in Flash #59 that the purpose of the Speed, Strength, Still and Sage Forces was "to keep the Multiverse moving and progressing towards its destiny," the most recent issue sees Barry Allen learn that the destiny in question might just lead to the Multiverse getting torn apart.

During the events of "Flash War," Barry and Wally West inadvertently released the four Forces after Hunter Zolomon manipulated the latter by sending him on a quest to find his children, whom the first Kid Flash believed were trapped in the Speed Force. Flash then had confrontations with different villains imbued with the power of the new Forces. In his own comic, Flash fought Axel Walker -- the second Trickster -- when Walker was empowered with the Strength Force, and he took on Mick Rory -- Heatwave -- when he gained control of the Sage Force. In the pages of Justice League, Flash took on Gorilla Grodd and the child of the Turtle, who was able to use the Still Force. These fights helped Barry decide to embark on a "Force Quest" to find out more about the powers that he'd unleashed.

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Flash #63 picks up with Flash and Bashir/Psych, who can use the Sage Force, at the mercy of Belladonna and Santiago, also known as Gemini, after the villains ambushed them last issue. An attack from Iris West catches Santiago off guard, allowing Psych and Flash to take down the dastardly duo. However, Psych uses his Sage Force abilities to kill Santiago, obtaining his knowledge of the true nature of the different Forces in the process.

In an argument with Barry, Psych reveals that the Speed, Strength, Still and Sage Forces aren't meant to coexist. Instead, they're destined for war and are competing for control of something called the Forever Force, the details of which are lacking in this issue.

Needing to learn more about this revelation, Barry heads to Gorilla City, where one of the few surviving residents explains to him that the hologram of King Solovar had left out some key information. It's then revealed "that the last war between the Forces almost tore the Multiverse apart." The gorillas kept this information from Flash so as to help him "avoid [his] destiny" and prevent the war. Finally, Flash discovers that the person responsible for the massacre at Gorilla City was none other than Hunter Zolomon, who was thought to be lost in hypertime.

Each Force has an avatar meant to wield it in the coming battle. At this time, it's hard to tell who exactly might end up being the different avatars of each Force, but there are some pretty safe bets. Barry will almost certainly represent the Speed Force. Hunter Zolomon, whose actions resulted in the other Forces getting released, will probably also have a role to play in the coming fight. Zolomon has also shown he can wield the other Forces, making him even more dangerous than usual.

In terms of who will use the Sage and Strength Forces, Psych stands a good chance of being the avatar of the former, especially since Belladonna lost her powers after her gauntlets were taken away. Fuerza will likely be the avatar for the Strength Force, and there's no indication that she's stopped being bitter about Flash sparing Cauldron in Flash #61. There will likely be a lot of tension when the two finally meet again, and that might lead to a very interesting second battle.

Who will wield the Still Force is still a little more difficult to pinpoint, but Grodd may be the one to take control of it. Considering that he's one of Flash's longtime enemies, it would make sense to have him play a role in the coming conflict, though it's possible we just haven't seen the Still Force's avatar yet.

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Having to deal with the three other Forces will likely prove an immense challenge for Flash, who has struggled to beat any one character wielding another Force. It will also be interesting to see how this new danger intersects with Justice League, as the League is already dealing with its own Multiverse-ending threat. Regardless, Flash #63 makes it clear that the Speed, Strength, Still and Sage Forces are on a collision course that could destroy the Multiverse in the process, and the coming war will almost certainly play out over future issues.

Flash #63 and Flash Annual #2 are on shelves now. The character's next arc will start in Batman #64, which arrives on Feb. 6.

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