Stone Cold Killer – Review Of The Flash #6

The Flash is another one of those books that finds its way into the house that I rarely get around to reading. It’s really Rob‘s thing, more than my own. Not that I particularly dislike the character; hell, I got a kick out of watching him run around the globe in order to pick just the right amount of steam to punch Lex Luthor in the face in Justice League Unlimited. However, my DC superhero tastes tend to run to characters with the word “bat” somewhere in their names and there is no “Batflash”…and if there was it sounds more like a euphemism for an evening of rooftop sex between Bruce and Selina that ends in disappointment.

With Flash issue 6, “Best Served Cold”, I find myself again picking up a book that is smack in the middle of a story arc. And, I do mean “smack” and “in the middle” – as the book opens, The Flash is engaged in an all out brawl with Captain Cold on a frozen lake (? – I always assumed Central City was somewhere out in fly over country), with a boat themed restaurant teetering from a giant stalagmite made from ice that is protruding from the lake’s surface. Will The Flash save the trapped restaurant patrons in time? And why does Captain Cold’s beef with The Flash seem so much more personal this time?

Ahead, prepare yourself for the cold fist of spoilers. Or don’t. Whatever.

According to the helpful text boxes inserted by editorial, The Flash appears to have burnt out the city’s electrical grid some time in the previous issue. This is important to know, apparently, because we also learn, through the magic of flashback, that Captain Cold has stolen a special laser so that doctors can operate on his sister, who is dying from a brain tumor. The hospital just doesn’t have the electrical capacity to use the laser now that they have it. Captain Cold blames The Flash for his sister’s impending death, so, rather than stay with the sister he loves enough to commit grand larceny for in her final moments, he decides he needs to go find and kill The Flash. Priorities – Captain Cold has them. This leads to the fight that opens the book.


Meanwhile, Barry’s efforts at fighting Captain Cold are hampered by his newly discovered knowledge that if he taps into the Speed Force above 80 percent, he will risk causing a time rift that will destroy the world as we know it. No pressure, B! However, if he does exceed that Speed Force ceiling, he can run the excess energy off on the new and improved Cosmic Treadmill, which will store the energy up in a battery – provided he can get to it in time.

For some reason, this reminds me of a girl I knew in college...

The story that Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato have devised is entertaining, right up until I remember that Paul Dini already wrote the story of a cold based villain whose actions are motivated by love more effectively with Mr. Freeze back in Batman: The Animated Series. Manapul is also responsible for the art in the book. His pencils are gorgeous; every hit Flash takes from Cold is palpable and Cold’s expressions of grief over his sister are heart wrenching. All in all though, the book still left me a little, well, cold. If the end result of a comic book is that I want to go looking for my Batman: The Animated Series DVDs instead of digging up the back issues of The Flash to catch up on the arc, I’d argue that the creators involved haven’t really done their job. I would give this book a pass for now, unless you like to collect Francis Manapul’s art. For me, I’m back to the Bat-books.