- The Speed Force is an amazing gift for humanity... when put in the right hands. It's my responsibility, Elias. Not yours.
- -- Flash
Appearing in "In Reverse, Part V"
- Salt Flats
Synopsis for "In Reverse, Part V"
Since discovering that the Reverse-Flash is his friend Iris' brother Daniel West, The Flash found himself dragged back in time. Daniel had discovered that when he collided with a Speed Force battery, that he could go back in time by draining the Speed Force energy - and the lives - of other speedsters. By stealing Speed Force energy from the Flash, he finally had enough to get back, and do what he had been planning all along: murder his neglectful and sometimes abusive father. Unfortunately, both young Iris and Daniel's younger self will be on hand to witness his act.
As Barry tries to convince Daniel to stop, Daniel's own younger self cries out for him to leave his father alone. Barry plays on this, explaining that by altering time, he's causing himself more trauma than his father ever did. Young Iris confirms this by calling the Reverse-Flash a monster. Realizing what the one person about whom he still cares really thinks of his actions, Daniel hesitates. Barry explains that there are repercussions for everything, and changing the past just makes things worse. People have to deal with the things in their past that haunt them. It's what makes them stronger. Daniel has to move forward with his life. Unfortunately, Daniel is too broken to just let go of what his father did to him, so Barry takes away that responsibility. Barry grabs Daniel in his arms, and drains him of his Speed Force energy, in order to take them back through the Timestream to their point of origin, the Utah Salt Flats.
In the process, the timeline was restored to its natural state, and now Daniel lies weak and wounded. Barry rushes to Iris' side, but she just wants to know if Daniel is alright. She cradles him in her arms, begging him to tell her that he didn't commit murder. The two of them are meant to be stronger because of what they went through. Bitterly, though, Daniel responds that it was all him, and he would do it again, given the chance. From nearby, Dr. Darwin Elias tries to use the situation to make his point that the Speed Force is a weapon of mass destruction, and the Flash is unfit to wield it. Annoyed, Flash elbows Elias in the face, responding that the Speed Force is a gift for humanity, when put in the right hands - and it is his responsibility.
Meanwhile, the 40th anniversary party for Patty Spivot's parents is already in progress, and Barry is late. He arrives in time to find Patty dancing with her father, and casually cuts in. He introduces himself to her father, admitting that Patty is evidence that her parents' marriage was a good one. With her father's blessing, Barry takes Patty in his arms, promising that there is no more Speed Force Killer. As Barry and Patty dance, he realizes that he needs to find a balance between his two lives.
Later, The Flash visits Elias in the ruins of his lab, warning that whatever partnership they had is dissolved. If Iris had not survived, he might have done something unspeakable to the scientist. For now, though, Barry warns Elias to stay out of his way.
At Iron Heights, Iris visits Daniel at his cell, and tries to illicit some admission of regret for his having murdered people in order to go back in time and kill their father. Daniel responds that their father drove them apart - drove him to the point that he thought he could give them a childhood free of abuse and pain by seeing him dead. Sadly, Iris pities him, commenting that it breaks her heart that he'll never understand that their past is what made her who she is, and she doesn't want that changed. As far as she is concerned, her real brother died years ago. With that, she leaves Daniel to his fate.
That night, Barry can't sleep. It haunts him that Daniel proved to him that he has the power to change the past. While he'd like to think his mother would be proud to see how he handled all the challenges in his life, he'd give anything to see her face again. He could change that. He could bring her back. He could prove his father innocent of her murder. All that stops him is that he knows that changing the past affects the present. He can't save one life to sacrifice another. He could lose Patty, and that's the last thing he wants. Sighing, he remains awake, and begins work on re-opening his father's case file, once again.
That morning, Patty wakes alone, and is disappointed to see that Barry hasn't yet given up on trying to prove his father's innocence. Even so, she can see that he is out already, moving forward with his life, and saving others' lives. And Barry has resolved to do that for her. For everyone.
- This book was first published on October 23, 2013.
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