THE FLASH #57 BY JOSHUA WILLIAMSON AND SCOTT KOLINS
Plot
Characterization
Art
Summary
THE FLASH #57 ends this story arc with a truly satisfying finale. Joshua Williamson, yet again, writes an on-point tale about the Flash and one of my favorite supervillain teams, the Rogues. The writing is just superb. Scott Kolins’s art looks just stunning. You shouldn't miss this issue!
98 %
Fabulously Fun Finale

THE FLASH #57 ends this superb story arc with yet another first-rate issue. This time, the Flash and Detective Burns find themselves trapped in a maze within Heat Wave’s mind. They get some assistance from a familiar face, but is he on their side or Heat Wave’s? Joshua Williamson, who’s been writing this book nonstop for nearly sixty issues, still finds ways to make each story seem fresh. He adds new elements to the Flash lore as well as on-point character development. These additions made each issue of this story arc shine, and THE FLASH #57 is no exception. Artist Scott Kolins, yet again, delivers a magnificent-looking installment with his kinetic, stunning artwork.

Fiery Thoughts in THE FLASH #57

In the last issue, Flash and Burns became trapped in Heat Wave’s psyche thanks to the mind-powered Sage Force. Right as they were trying to get through to Heat Wave, he became angered again and contained the two heroes in a never-ending maze of fire. In THE FLASH #57, Flash and Burns try to navigate said maze, but to no avail. Barry can’t even vibrate through the fiery walls. Eventually, Heat Wave shows up and complains to the duo. He says that they aren’t his true friends and don’t have his best interests in mind. The Sage Force persuades Heat Wave to take out both of them. Just as he tries to fry them, a familiar face shows up in his mind.

THE FLASH #57
THE FLASH #57 pages 4 & 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Before that, back in reality, Iris West and Commander Cold try to help Flash, Burns, and Heat Wave in Barry’s apartment. They can’t find any solutions, but Iris suddenly has a memory flash from her pre-FLASHPOINT life, where she studied the other Forces. She convinces Cold to don a device that’ll patch his mind with Heat Wave’s.

The Commander arrives in his psyche dressed as Captain Cold, Heat Wave’s former Rogues teammate. He tries to convince Rory that he needs to take back control of his mind, since he never let the desire to burn things control him. Rather, he controlled that desire himself. Heat Wave agrees, but will the Sage Force let him take control? Plus, even if Barry gets out, how will this experience change him? Read THE FLASH #57 to find out!

Cold Comfort in THE FLASH #57

Williamson continues to write the Rogues nearly perfectly with THE FLASH #57. While Commander Cold was only posing as Captain Cold, he still brought out what makes the Rogues one of the most interesting supervillain teams in comics. Unlike Batman’s devious and chaotic rogues’ gallery, the Rogues have a strict moral code. They never kill and they look after their own. Commander Cold knows this, since he grew up in the future learning about Flash’s history. The way Williamson characterizes Heat Wave and Cold is outstanding. All it takes is a pep talk from one of Heat Wave’s best friends to get him to see reason. Even if it was the Commander, he still acted like the real Captain Cold.

One of the reasons why THE FLASH has been one of my all-time favorite titles throughout the years is because of the Rogues. Their “honor among thieves” concept sets them apart from every single other supervillain group. When the Sinister Six team up, they’re both ruthless and, overall, still selfish. The Rogues, on the other hand, are almost more like a fraternal organization that just happens to focus on stealing things. They’re neither cruel nor evil. They’re just thieves. Williamson understands this, and that’s what makes this issue so memorable for me. That talk between Heat Wave and Cold is one of the most heartwarming moments this year from this series. I dig it that much.

Kolins’s Heroic Art in THE FLASH #57

I’ve spoken about Kolins’s art many times in prior reviews. However, I’ve never spoken about how his Flash looks. I’m not talking about his drawings of Flash running and moving with fantastic kinetic energy. I just mean the character himself. I’m really wild about how his Flash looks. It’s the most impressive looking version of the character I’ve seen in this series. It helps that I’m a big fan of Kolins’s art already, of course. However, it’s really easy to see that he’s very talented in drawing this character, considering that he’s been doing it since Geoff Johns’ run.

THE FLASH #57
THE FLASH #57 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

In this issue, there’s a great panel which showcases the Flash in front of a fiery backdrop. He looks downright heroic in this pose. In fact, it fits his character perfectly. He’s surveying his surroundings and formulating some type of plan. It’s the only time when the Flash slows down: when he has to think. He’s thinking like a forensic investigator, too, looking at everything around him to come to a conclusion. Obviously, that fits perfectly because of Barry’s day job. Being able to glean all this just from one panel shows that Kolins’s talent makes him up there with the greats.

Final Thoughts: THE FLASH #57

THE FLASH #57 is a delight. It finishes an already wonderful story arc with an exciting finale. Definitely pick up this arc if you’re at all interested in the character!

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