Warning: SPOILERS For The Flash #57
The latest issue of The Flash has made Iris West into the key to the powers that lie beyond The Speed Force. Ironically, the solution to Barry Allen's recent problems with the source of his powers lay not in the far distant corners of the universe as he feared, but in his girlfriend's memories of the pre-Flashpoint universe.
The issues of The Flash following the Flash War event have seen Barry Allen running himself ragged even more than usual. The end of the Flash War saw a number of new energies, previously contained within The Speed Force that empowers all speedsters, released into the universe. These included a Still Force based around inertia that acts as a balance to the motion-based Speed Force and a Strength Force based around gravity. Barry Allen found himself tested as never before, having to contend with a newly empowered Turtle and a super-strong Trickster.
The most recent issues of The Flash have seen Barry Allen and fellow CCPD police officer Detective Burns drawn into a psychic landscape created by Mick "Heatwave" Rory. It was revealed that Mick had become linked to The Sage Force, which offers its hosts amazing telepathic powers. This turned Heatwave into a pyrokinetic fire-starter in ways that he had only dreamed of before. Literally.
As The Flash and Detective Burns navigated the burning psychic landscape trying to find Mick Rory's mind so they could talk him down, Iris West and The Flash's new partner in crime-fighting Commander Cold (a cop from the 25th century who adopted the weapons of the 21st century supervillain Captain Cold) watched their bodies and monitored their vitals. Soon, Commander Cold was having to use his cold guns to beat the heat Mick Rory's body was generating, which was threatening to go nuclear at any moment.
As Iris thought about what to do, she was suddenly struck by a revelation. She realized that The Sage Force is fueled by empathy, with emotion balancing the thoughts empowered by The Sage Force. She then wondered how she knew that and was hit by a memory of studying the various forces within The Speed Force in her life before in the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe.
This goes along with a continuing plot-thread in which Iris West has been experiencing flashbacks (no pun intended) to the time when she and Barry Allen were married before the Flashpoint event created the current DC Comics Universe. She has kept these visions secret until now, but she still hasn't told Barry that she remembers that they were husband and wife in another time and place. She does, however, convince Barry that she should come with him, as her apparent knowledge of the powers within The Speed Force will give The Flash the edge he needs on his latest quest.
The Flash #57 is now available from DC Comics.