Writers: Joshua Williamson and Michael Moreci
Art: Pop Mhan
Color: Ivan Plascencia
Letters: Steve Wands
Cover: Neil Googe and Plascencia
Last time: When a Speed Force Storm took Central City by you-know-what, the fury and wrath of Godspeed ended up counting countless lives among the natural chaos and death of the disaster. Meena Dawson died in the incident-so we thought, until she showed back up as an important force in the deadly agency: Black Hole.
This time: Meena was a scientist and a skeptic, even witnessing the many members of the super-heroic community. But as a scientists of fact, being stricken by speed force lightning gave her a new outlook, and a new identity. The fact was that she was something impossible. Finally revealing herself to Barry, she explains that she was the only one to escape the wrath of Godspeed, as the young Wally West runs in to meet Meena with a grateful, miraculous hug of reunion. She explains to Barry that the negative speed force is slowly killing him, and takes him to the Central City demolition derby as a place for him to really let loose with the destructive powers of Eobard’s curse. He sets off and the negative speed force starts to do its thing, beginning to tear him apart as he zooms across the arena, leaving a frightful Wally in his stead. Wally breaks him out of it with a cry of support, and Meena seems more optimistic about curing Barry. As Barry and Meena share nearly a romantic moment, the forces of Black Hole storm the scene, under Meena’s command. She restrains Barry and explains that she wasn’t hiding that much, as she zips around Barry, who feels the familiar tingling of the good ol’ fashioned speed force reach his body: as a new, negative empowered Meena Dawson stands ready, more powerful than ever.
Reed Strong’s Strong Reed: The Negative Flash arc was never something that was going to be a change of status quo, and it wasn’t presented as that. Moreso, it was a larger arc to go on while some other stories got to take their place, and Meena coming back into the picture as the one who starts to end it really helps tie this run together. This is hopefully far from the end of Williamson’s run, but by returning to one of the earlier stories he did in one of the Flash’s weaker moments, we really get to see some fun things come back and play off each other. Meena is a smart antagonist, and that’s really not to say villain. She did want to cure Barry, regardless of the means or of how it affected herself, and she’s an entertaining character to see go off against the not-so-ordinary forensic scientist. There’s not a lot to say about the start of this story, outside of that it’s fulfilling, and interesting. That’s plain and drab, but it’s starting off a conclusion to something that in its own was a conclusion of another arc, that being Running Scared, so it’s time to see where the plot runs off to next time, and where it’s gonna end up.