The Flash 1 coverThe Flash Vol. 1: Lightning Strikes Twice is written by Joshua Williamson and illustrated by Carmine Di Giandomenico. The volume collects The Flash: Rebirth #1 and The Flash #1-8

The Story (aka From the Publisher)

A new storm brews over Central City and disproves the old adage about lightning never, well…you know. Just as Barry begins to feel overwhelmed fighting crime, a new speedster debuts–but just where did this amazing new friend come from? Spinning directly out of the epic events of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH, the Fastest Man Alive finds himself at the center of a DC Universe at a crossroads–and reeling from the reemergence of his protegé, Wally West!

Will the Real Barry Allen Stand Up?

Less than a dozen pages into this graphic novel, Barry is complaining in a way that he so rarely does. The Barry Allen we are used to is typically happy and cheerful. Where Batman is the downer, The Flash is the uplifter. Here, however, it seems that Barry is channeling his inner Batman.

At the heart of the complaining, is Barry’s desire to do more for Central City. He feels like he is falling short. It is a feeling most of us can relate to. If he focuses on work, The Flash misses out on his hero work. If he focuses on hero work, Barry misses out on work. And the whole while, his social life suffers. He cannot be in all the places he needs to be all the time.

All of this results in a less confident Barry, questioning his ability to do good. Perhaps giving us a more real Barry Allen.

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Love is Grounding

Random people are getting hit by the Speed Force, giving them Flash-like abilities. These Speedsters are coming together to learn to control their powers. Dr. Dhawan has been affected by the Speed Force as well. Her abilities include being able to track other Speedsters. She learns of a teenage girl, Avery, who has been affected. She is scared of her abilities, and unable to slow down. Dr. Dhawan takes the Flash to Avery, and he tells her to make fists and open a finger as she names off things she loves.

Dr. Dhawan: An emotional answer for a science problem?

The Flash: My head has gotten a bit lost in the Speed Force before. . . . I find remembering things you love helps you stay grounded.

Remembering what we love helps keep us grounded.  As people of faith, we claim the doctrine that God is love, a grounded in the sacrificial life of Jesus. As such, we open our hearts for Christ to dwell within. In doing so, we root and ground ourselves in love. When Ephesians 3 talks about being rooted and grounded in love, it suggests that the very foundation on which our lives and faith are built on is love. And as the Flash teaches, we have better control of our powers when we are grounded in love.

Justice vs. Revenge 

In this story, the Flash seeks justice while his friend turned opponent Godspeed seeks revenge. Revenge is nothing more than a distorted image of justice. While revenge seeks to get even, just seeks to restore balance.

In a fight, Flash says, “Heroes don’t kill. We find a better way.” That better way is  justice, or the balance of the created order. The work of justice is not easy work. No doubt that it is easier to see revenge. Justice, on the other hand, requires a commitment to keep balance. It is a commitment to maintain balance. When we do so, we too are heroes.

You can purchase your own copy by clicking on the image below:

Thanks to NetGally and the publisher for a digital review copy.