Central City has seen better days in The Flash #82 and the people are looking around for a hero to save them. After the Rogues have taken control of the city, The Flash is nowhere to be found and someone has to step up to protect the citizens. Commander Cold had been doing his best to help those he can, but he and the Resistance have been pulled near their limits trying to take back the city. Captain Cold has the entire territory marked off and a stranglehold on the various neighborhoods of Central City as the Rogues flex their power. Where is The Flash, and if he’s out there, will he be able to come to Commander Cold’s aid when it’s necessary? It’s a lot to ask of one man, and there is also the fact that Cold has only history to go one rather than Barry’s very personal knowledge of each of The Rogues. Things could get messy. *Spoilers for The Flash #82 to follow*
Ever since the conclusion of that fight with Hunter Zolomon, The Flash has been M.I.A. and somebody had to step into that void. The Rogues saw their opportunity and ran with it. They spied a weakness in Barry’s powers and now Central City is succinctly under their boot. One of the most interesting pages of this issue is one showing the police station in the city with the words, “Where is Flash?” scrawled on the side of it. Some might still be holding out hope, but it isn’t looking good for the Speedster right now. Iris is helping lead the charge with some young heroes who have entered the fry to save Central City. But, if The Flash isn’t there to be a lightning rod to unite the heroes, their chances aren’t looking great to top Captain Cold and his allies any time soon.
Near the final page of the issue, Captain Cold opens a door to a dark room containing a captive Barry Allen. He’s been alive this entire time for one specific purpose, to witness some of the carnage Cold has been causing. The villain tells him that to his face and then delivers a bit of a morbid gift to the cell. He’s been carrying a frozen head this entire time. As he threatens The Flash, Cold tosses the frozen head of Commander Cold on the floor in front of Barry while the hero looks on in abject horror. It seems as though there won’t be any external rescue coming for the speedster now that one of his most likely allies is now dead.
DC’s Year of the Villain is in full swing and a lot of the heroes on the company’s roster have had to do battle with some of their greatest foes after Lex Luthor’s meddling. The Legion of Doom insignia is floating in the sky in a number of titles. Things are coming to a head and Central City doesn’t even have access to it’s most recognizable hero. Captain Cold isn’t playing around and the rest of the Rogues have turned a bit of a corner. There are new rules now, The Flash is going to have to be smart to take his city back in this limited state.