WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS up to Gotham City Garage Chapter 14
The Flash may be the fastest man alive, but in Gotham City Garage, the fastest woman shows him how it’s really done. But fans of DC’s scarlet speedster will want to take some time before they jump to his defense, or mount arguments explaining exactly why he’s the fastest superhero in the DC Universe (even though plenty have been faster than Flash). Because the world of Garage isn’t the version of the comic book universe most DC fans know and love. It’s more hopeless, more desolate, more damaged, and all-around brutal place to live. Which makes the heroes and villains who inhabit it a breed of their own – Flash included.
Comic book fans have seen a murderous version of The Flash before, and even more evil speedsters who challenged the hero’s top speed. But in Gotham City Garage, it’s not the Speed Force that beats him, it’s science. Specifically, science in the hands of DC’s most undeniably imposing inventor families. If you thought John Henry Irons was a master mechanics, his niece Natasha shows how it’s really done.
Posing the question, “what if the Earth died and Superman wasn’t there to save it?” the Gotham City Garage series has shown that with every tragedy, there is hope, too. The wasteland’s version of Batman may be Lex Luthor’s attack dog, but he can still be put in his place by a biker version of Wonder Woman coming to the heroines’ rescue. But not every threat is one you can see coming.
A mysterious soldier of Luthor’s traveling faster than the human eye can track, though… even in a landscape of nothing but sand, that’s a nightmare like no other. But just like every other woman living in Garage‘s harsh world (and the men fighting alongside them), when Natasha Irons gets scared, her alter ego Steel gets to work. In this case, using the resources at her disposal to craft the kind of bike reserved only for the super-rich in DC’s regular reality. And using her intellect to show the ‘fastest man alive’ that speed isn’t ALL that counts.
Since there’s little actual spoken dialogue between Natasha and the speedster in the Flash armor, it’s hard to confirm which version of the character is inside of it. Following the rest of the famous faces in Garage, Barry Allen remains the frontrunner – minus the strong upbringing he got in his most well-known origin story. Readers can use their imagination to picture how Barry got his powers in this timeline, but if Bruce Wayne’s new Batman origin is anything to go by, it was forged in pain and suffering. He ended up with superspeed, sure, but he’s using it to terrorize and threaten, not protect. At least… he used to.
The story ends with Natasha getting the upper hand by not just being as fast as Flash, but thinking faster, too. It’s hard to blame him, since the superhuman opposition he’s faced is probably slimmer. He won’t have time to hone his skills, however, since Natasha puts an end to his career with finality. Readers don’t actually see her kill him, but her claim that she’s making “a warning” out of him, paired with her display of his empty armor means Lex probably has some hiring to do.
Fans interested in reading this adventure for themselves can do so by picking up physical collected copies of Gotham City Garage #7 on January 10th, or read this Digital First series digitally, as Chapter 14, with new issues releasing every week.
Gotham City Garage #7 arrives January 10, 2018.
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