THE FLASH #63 just doesn’t reach the highs that prior arcs reached, especially the FLASH WAR arc. Joshua Williamson is clearly not at his A-game with this arc, and it shows. Minkyu Jung’s art, though, is quite a stunning sight.
79 %
Unfortunately Mediocre

The “Force Quest” arc finally comes to its revelation-filled finales in THE FLASH #63. Barry learns a startling new secret about all the forces which puts much of the events of his journey in perspective. The super-powered thieves Gemini take on Barry and Psych in Zandia. They’ve stolen much of both of the Force users’ powers, and prepare to use it against Flash and Psych. Writer Joshua Williamson delivers a slightly stronger finish to the arc than some of his more recent issues. It’s not perfect, but the revelation that appears later in the issue does offer a bit of explanation for the things I had issues with in prior installments of this arc. It’s not quite as strong as the end of the FLASH WAR arc, but it has its moments. Artist Minkyu Jung fantastically captures each character in fluid, kinetic motion.

Warning: This review contains SPOILERS!

Gemini Returns in THE FLASH #63

In the past few issues, the Flash went on a Force quest with Iris West in order to find out more about the newly discovered Sage, Strength, and Still Forces. It brought him on a cross country trip where he came into contact with various Force users. At the beginning of his trip, a duo of thieves named Gemini ambushed him and proved to be quite powerful. Flash got away, but they returned when the new Sage Force user, Psych, revealed that he was paid to deliver Barry right to them. In THE FLASH #63, Gemini betrays Psych and attempt to steal both Barry’s and Psych’s powers. They come close to draining all of their power when Iris intervenes. She tries to tackle one member and breaks their concentration briefly.

THE FLASH #63 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

In that time, Barry reminisces on his trip and regrets not trying to be a teacher to the new Force users. As such, he has a change of heart and helps Psych focus what’s left of his powers so he can help Flash take down Gemini. At first, it doesn’t seem to work, but then both members of Gemini try to kiss, which knocks them both out since no one person can have two Force powers at once. Psych then lets his anger get the best of him, and out of revenge, he wipes one of Gemini’s minds. As Barry tries to scold him, Psych gets in his mind and shows what he learned in the Gemini member’s mind. He reveals that each of the four Forces is fated to fight one another for control of another Force, the Forever Force.

What happens to Psych, and what does this revelation mean? Read THE FLASH #53 to find out.

A Reason for Conflict in THE FLASH #63

Psych’s revelation near the end of the issue puts a lot of Barry’s troubles with Fuerza and Psych into perspective. In prior reviews, I took a lot of umbrage with the fact that each of these new Force members didn’t become the Flash’s allies. I thought that it was a bit contrived that in each instance, they’d start as allies then turn on the Flash in some way or another. This revelation shines a new light on those instances. Just like in the past, the members used to work together, until they turned on one another to gain access to the Forever Force. The fact that this, somewhat, mirrors the present is pretty clever. I have to give Williamson credit for that. It doesn’t excuse some other qualms I had, however, like Fuerza being a bit too stereotypical for my tastes.

That doesn’t mean that I didn’t have some issues with this issue, however. Williamson reused a trope that he already used two issues ago. In that issue, Fuerza lets her anger get the best of her and, if Flash didn’t intervene, would have used her powers to kill her enemy. The same exact thing happens with Psych in THE FLASH #63, except Flash doesn’t have time to intervene. That, honestly, seems like lazy plotting to me. It seems like Williamson wasn’t at his A-game this arc. Instances like that really disappointed me throughout this arc, and this issue was no exception. I’m happy this arc is over, and I am still very much looking forward to next issue’s BATMAN crossover. I’m hoping that Williamson’s back to his usual high-quality writing with that arc.

The Artistic Saving Grace

Minkyu Jung’s art makes up for the subpar story in THE FLASH #63. Jung, a newcomer to this series, proves that she’s an amazing fit for the character within the first few pages. The opening double-page spread looks quite beautiful for many reasons. For one, the expressions on Gemini’s faces, especially the female member’s gleeful smile, shows just how evil they are. They’re getting so much joy from causing the Flash and Psych pain. The expressions on Flash and Psych’s faces convey just how uncomfortable and painful it must be to have their Force powers forcefully sapped from them. Psych screams in agony while Flash looks like he’s on the verge of unconsciousness.

THE FLASH #63 pages 2-3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Then we get to Gemini’s gauntlets stealing the powers. I love the look of how the powers are taken. It almost looks as if you can see the physical manifestation of the Force energy emanating from Flash and Psych, moving into Gemini’s gauntlets. That, coupled with the raw energy runoff coming out of the male member’s jacket creates a really kinetic looking scene. You can practically see the motion. That continues throughout the issue, too. Jung does a fantastic job here.

Final Thoughts: THE FLASH #63

THE FLASH #63, overall, is another relatively disappointing issue. It’s not as disappointing as the prior two issues in the arc. However, it still isn’t up to the high quality set by the beginning of the arc. It feels like Williamson just wasn’t as stoked about this arc as he was with prior ones, and it shows. Hopefully, the quality returns in the next arc.

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