Monday, January 29, 2024

The Flash #5

The Flash #5 is notable for Jai West, not Wally or Barry, being the primary protagonist of the issue. The issue centers around Jai's uncertainty and embarrassment for powers he doesn't fully understand. His father's obsession with the Stillness doesn't help matters. However, clarity comes from an unexpected source in science detective Inspector Pilgrim who has some knowledge of Jai's future, and, in his own words, some stake in its outcome.

With Pilgrim's help, Jai makes an important discovery about his teleportation that seems to lead him to his father but can, if controlled, lead him to any speedster connected through the Speed Force (allowing for several short cameos in the issue). Jai also proves his worth in helping his father control an angry Grodd, not through speed or powers, but simply by listening and asking the right question at the right time. While an afterthought for most of the issue, Wally's relationship with Jai is central to the story and the theme of fathers and sons bleeds into the short Grodd plot as well.

While I wouldn't expect Jai to continue to remain the protagonist of the series, the introduction of the idea that he's entangled in the Speed Force and connected to everyone connected to it opens up several possibilities for future stories. Although helpful to Jai, there's the specter of something potentially malevolent behind his new friendship with this science detective. Hidden a bit behind Jai's story, and an important decision he makes about his future, is Wally losing his temper while dealing with the Stillness possibly offering some foreboding of its own.

[DC, $3.99]

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