Of the DC Comics superheroes who have their own Rogues Gallery, The Flash’s are arguably the most interesting. They don’t want to rule the world. They don’t usually have grandiose, elaborate schemes in their course to villainy. They all just really… really… really hate The Flash for one reason or another.
The Flash #37 shows just how horrifying it can be when everyone who hates you works together.
The previous issue saw The Trickster take the fall for the death of Turbine, a speedster who had been trapped and whose mind had been shattered in the Speed Force, while both are in the Iron Heights prison for metahuman criminals. Barry Allen and his partner, having been “exiled” to Iron Heights as punishment for mistakes made during an investigation, are looking into the murder and attempting to find out “Why a Rogue would kill a Rogue”. When a former colleague-turned-evil speedster named Godspeed, who happens to know that Barry Allen is The Flash, tries to sneak Barry a clue as to what is REALLY happening in Iron Heights, it looks as if he is on Barry’s side for once.
Later as The Flash, Barry and Wally West aka Kid Flash stop a delivery of cargo being hijacked by Copperhead’s gang. They quickly stop the hijacking and discover that the cargo is made of boxes and boxes of cold guns, such as Captain Cold uses. A tunnel that the van carrying the cargo was heading towards leads back to Iron Heights, where Godspeed reveals that his plan was to get The Flash there all along.The final panels show The Flash, shivering with cold due to the room being flooded with the same absolute zero energy that Captain Cold uses in his cold gun and looking up at the face of Snart himself, who looks like he just won the lottery.
This issue, and the one before it, highlights Captain Cold’s approach to being a criminal. He is the leader of The Flash’s Rogues Gallery, who he considers a “family”. He is precise, professional… and true to his name, ice-cold. Reverse-Flash wants Barry to suffer because he enjoys it. The Thinker wants Barry to acknowledge that he is “The Smartest Man Alive”. The Trickster does what he does because it’s fun. But for Snart… it’s just business.
Writer Joshua Williamson is able to give the characters in this book a terrific “voice”. From seeing The Trickster beaten and missing an arm in Solitary Confinement, to Snart’s confrontation of The Flash at the end (which I always hear in my head as being voiced by Wentworth Miller due to the amazing work he did on the CW’s “The Flash” and “Legends of Tomorrow”), the combination of Williamson’s writing and the art style of Scott McDaniel highlights just how intimidating it is when villains stop thinking about world domination and focus on just one person.