"Slow Burn": A series of arsons have been cropping up in one of Keystone City's seedier locales known as "The Keys". These fires are the work of Heat Wave, a former Rogue whose anger issues lead him to use his powers with destructive resul
- I guess you can say that I'm taking a page out of Batman's playbook and getting to know my enemy. Without the benefit of Batman's bankroll, I'm gonna have to find an affordable place to stay... and a job to pay for it.
- -- Barry Allen
Appearing in "Slow Burn"
- The Keys
Synopsis for "Slow Burn"
A series of arsons have been cropping up in one of Keystone City's seedier locales known as "The Keys". These fires are the work of Heat Wave, a former Rogue whose anger issues lead him to use his powers with destructive results.
Meanwhile, Barry Allen has returned to the Gem cities after his stint in the Speed Force, but his home of Central City is no longer welcoming. The city thinks that Barry is dead, and the Flash is being blamed for all that has gone wrong recently. Even his ally Darwin Elias is publicly smearing him, and taking sole credit for the renewable power source he designed to siphon the Flash's excess energies. So, Barry has taken up residence in the Keys, hoping to do some good there. Maybe, if he uses Batman's ability to get to know his enemy, he can be a more effective crime fighter.
A job posting leads him to the Keystone Saloon, where the owner seems unimpressed by his clean-cut look. Barry tries to apply for the job, but the man doesn't think he'll be able to handle it, despite Barry's claims that he is a rather good mixologist. In the meantime, Barry orders a beer, and discovers too late that his wallet was stolen. He asks if he can work off his debt, and the bartender agrees to hire him. Barry looks over, and realizes that Leonard Snart - Captain Cold - is a patron of the bar, and considers this his opportunity to get to know his enemy.
At the Central City Police Department's downtown division, Dir. David Singh chastises Patty Spivot for having taken her trip to South America to work on the Mardon case when she leaves the CCPD short staffed - especially since Barry's death. He warns that if she wants to be a detective, she will have to earn her way into it. Remembering who he's talking to, David calms himself and apologizes for having talked about Barry as if her was a commodity instead of a friend. Coldly, Patty leaves the Director to deal with the arson cases and the Pied Piper's return to fighting crime.
At the same time, Darwin Elias gives an interview condemning the Flash and urging the people of Central City to put their faith in him as saviour. In addition to the renewable energy he is giving them (with the unspoken help of the Flash), he is designing a monorail system and has plans for the future. He promises that under his plan, the twin cities will be free of vigilantes and super-villains.
Watching from the bar, Snart angrily smashes the TV with his beer mug. Angrily, Charlie the bartender wishes for the days when the Rogues didn't have powers, and they had to leave their equipment at the door. These days, Leonard Snart doesn't really know where he fits on the scale of good and evil. To some extent, it doesn't matter anymore. Everything is shades of grey, and lately, he can only find perspective in drinking - except he can't even do that, because the beer freezes over. Smartly, Barry orders up a drink for Snart, providing the exact recipe and ingredients for a drink that can withstand extremely cold temperatures. Snart is grateful, and introduces himself. Barry decides to call himself Al.
Just then, Heat Wave bursts into the bar, having been looking for Captain Cold. He blames Snart for his having gained powers, and believes that his actions lead to the dissolution of the Rogues. Barry tries to step between them, but Mick throws him out the window. Barry takes the opportunity to change into his costume, and rush back in. Flash finds them arguing, with Lenny claiming that he was only trying to help the Rogues at the time. Rather than hear anymore, Flash rushes around them in circles, creating a vacuum which sucks the oxygen out of the middle, rendering Mick's flames useless and sending both former Rogues into unconsciousness.
As Leonard and Mick are taken away in a police van, they begin to argue again, but they are interrupted by the sudden appearance of Leonard's sister Lisa, who has retaken her identity as the Golden Glider.
- This book was first published on July 25, 2012.
- The newspaper on Director Singh's desk indicates that his boyfriend Hartley Rathaway has been acting as a vigilante in Flash's absence.
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