If you have not picked up the latest issue of "The Flash" then now is the time. In the previous chapter, the Scarlet Speedster defeated Ramsey Ross aka Bloodwork with his new Negative Speed Force powers. Ross was found stealing CCPD evidence and used the blood of metahumans to cure him of his hemophilia. After an electric shock returned Ross to his human form, he was sent to prison, but Barry’s indignant attitude, caused by the Negative Speed Force, towards his co-workers caused him and his partner, Kristen Kramer, to be relocated to Iron Heights prison.

Dispirited, Barry watches Iris from a distance and realizes his attitude is not triggered from the Negative Speed Force but by his own self-pity instead.

Suddenly, Kid Flash confronts Barry to remind him that he and his aunt do not want to speak with him. Barry hands over his ring to Wally, telling him that, “Until I find a way to control these negative speed powers Thawne possessed me with… I’m not going to be The Flash anymore.” Unwilling to take the ring, Wally decides to help Barry learn to control his powers by becoming his teacher.

'The Flash' duo returns

With his partner by his side, things seem to be looking up for Flash, at least, when it comes to the Negative Speed Force. As we’ve learned from previous chapters when two speedsters are close to one another their speed lock onto one another. This is the case when we see Barry and Wally thwarting Black Spider’s plan to steal diamonds from a store. With Wally by his side, Flash no longer leads a trail of destruction around him as he runs, and his lighting does not explode objects around him.

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However, it still has it’s destructive tendencies as Flash is seen blasting Black Spider with a bolt of lightning causing the villain a lot of pain. Although things seem to be looking better Flash and Kid Flash, it seems Barry and Wally’s relationship still has some healing to do.

Although Wally insisted on teaching Barry how to control his powers, he still holds some anger towards Barry for keeping his identity a secret from himself and Iris. Until the issue is resolved, this duo will never be at one hundred percent, and right now the Flash needs more friends than enemies especially with his new day job.

Hello, from Iron Heights

What does being locked in a building surrounded by super criminals and a boss that scowls all day get you? Belle Reve, but Iron Heights is a close second. There are many villains here that Flash has captured over the years, including the Rogues and Barry’s old friend August Heart aka Godspeed.

Upon their arrival, Barry and a still very angry Kristen are greeted by Warden Wolfe.

As Wolfe gives his customary tour to them both we learn that he is not a fan of the Flash because of the destruction he has caused to the city in the past. He also holds a firm belief that Barry and Kristen were only sent to spy on him and to monitor Iron Height’s activity. Although Kristen disagrees, they are interrupted by a fight in the yard of the prison. Wolfe, finding amusement in the fight, decides to show Barry and Kristen. Barry, surprised, sees August fighting with Heatwave surrounded by the other inmates. August also notices Barry, but the fight is interrupted by Wolfe's new security team: Pipeline.

Pipeline breaks up the fight with their sonic distributors leaving the inmates all unconscious until they are all escorted back to their cells. Kristen then becomes irritated as Wolfe tells her that there is no rehab for the inmates. Kristen searches for validation from Barry that Wolfe’s methods are too harsh; however, Barry agrees with Wolfe and believes that the criminals in Iron Heights have gone too far to deserve another chance.

It seems Barry and Kristen’s relationship will also be tested in the upcoming issues as well. With Kristen already angry at Barry for getting her sent to Iron Heights, the Scarlet Speedster seems to be running out of more and more friends, and unfortunately, gaining new enemies.

New enemy

Earlier in the comic, we see two thugs helping Black Spider steal diamonds. It appears these thugs have a connection to an old villain with a new twist: Copperhead.

In previous adaptations, Copperhead was depicted as a male assassin who wears a snake suite. The suite would allow him to fit through small spaces and the fangs would be coated in a toxin that could kill his target. In the New 52 reboot, Copperhead was an actual snake-man hybrid who ultimately died at the hands of the DC worlds top assassin. However, this adaptation is different.

A female assassin who plans to take over the “family business”, the new Copperhead is seen with two men behind her wearing the same mask as the men who were helping Black Spider on the outskirts of Central City. She confronts one of her subordinates about hiring Black Spider saying, “All Black Spider’s web did was attract the Flash...I can’t help but feel suspicious that perhaps you were working with our enemy.” It seems she did not want any attention drawn towards her secret operation, whatever it may be. She also believes that the subordinate is working with the opposing crimelord. According to Copperhead, whoever hired Shrapnel to kill the road reapers for not paying up is her competition. Convinced of her theory, Copperhead pushes the thug into a pit of snakes. As they bite into his flesh of the man, she promises to herself that she will find whoever her competition is and savor every moment of their suffering.

I have very high hopes for this new Copperhead due to her background and wealth. I am willing to bet that she already has countermeasures for the Flash due to her history as an assassin. With her wealth, she could create a brand new toxin that can even harm the speedster despite his accelerated metabolism, or maybe we will get to witness Black Hole's technology at work again. Oh, and speaking of the mysterious organization we can't forget the other speedster who surprised us all yet again: Meena.

Old friend?

As Barry leaves work with his partner barely saying goodbye, Flash is suddenly swept away in the middle of a phone call to Wally. To his surprise, it’s Meena sporting a Flash costume in black and white. Barry is, of course, happy to see Meena since he thought she was dead by the hands of Godspeed. However, we know that Meena is not to be trusted from what has been seen in a prior issue.

The last time Meena was seen was in the twentieth issue of "The Flash." Iris West was interviewing the relatives of the speedsters that gained their powers from the Speed Force storm, and killed by Godspeed. Iris learned that an organization called Black Hole was stealing the bodies in order to learn about the Speed Force. During her investigation, she learns that someone close to Star Labs was helping Black Hole obtain the information they needed and the bodies. At the end of the chapter, we see Meena in what seems to be a base for Black Hole. An unseen person calls Meena's name to validate that the Flash can't be the only human with the power of the Speed Force. Meena then replies with a request to be called “Dr. Dhawan" while wearing a black hole symbol on her chest rather than the Flash symbol she has when she sees Barry. So what does this all mean?

These events are set up to be an emotional and action-packed future for the Flash. Barry is still learning about his new Negative Speed Force powers, which are still without Wally’s Speed Force to counteract it, presumably. Then, there’s Iris’, Wally’s and Kristen’s estranged feelings towards Barry which won’t make his work at Iron Heights any easier. Finally, we have a new Copperhead, another crime lord, and Meena, who is supposedly working with Black Hole. With so many obstacles set up, I cannot wait to see how the Scarlet Speedster takes on so many foes all at once. The thirty-fourth issue, releasing on November eight, will dig deeper into Black Hole and give Barry some answers on his new Negative Speed Force powers. See you then Flash fans.