The following article contains spoilers for The Flash #788, on sale now.
Flash’s life has certainly begun to change rapidly. Between a new baby on the way and the next one minute war, he’s at a busy time. Unfortunately, The flash Number 788 (by Jeremy Adams, Fernando Pasarin, Matt Ryan, Matt Herms and Rob Leigh) seems to hint that the city he loves and protects is about to turn against him. This is due to the presence of their newly elected mayor: Gregory Wolfe.
As the former warden of Iron Heights Prison, Wolfe despised lawbreakers, but until recently could be content to keep criminals like the Rogues in prison. Now, however, he has chosen to “restore order” to the city and, apparently, that means hiring the Rogues as his personal enforcers. Since this hasn’t been challenged in the public forum, it can be assumed that Wolfe has no small amount of freedom to abuse his authority and will likely start a smear campaign against Flash, labeling him a threat to the city, and perhaps even taking success. .
The Flash Rogues have been designated
Wolfe understands that Central City is infused with metahumans. He also knows that the Flash doesn’t trust him, and rightly so, given his less-than-legal means of getting campaign money from him. However, he still needs his own muscle to make sure his idea of an order sticks. This is where the Rogues come in, as criminals, they’ve been on the receiving end of Wolfe’s wrath as warden, but now he was offering them a get out of jail card and giving them the legal authority to target. the flash.
The legally ambiguous move might have caught the attention of some, especially the Flash, but the fact that Wolfe got away with it raises a bigger question: Where does he go from here? In his mind, he is doing what is necessary to protect the city from danger, but Flash will do everything in his power to stop Wolfe. So, that threat must also be removed. However, trusting the Rogues to defeat their longtime nemesis, even together, might be asking too much, so the next best thing he has is to ruin Flash’s good name.
Central City seems to be turning on the flash
It’s hard to imagine Flash’s hometown suddenly hating him. They have an entire museum dedicated to the hero, so there is a tremendous amount of love and appreciation for all that he does. However, it is important to remember that Wolfe was successfully elected to the position. While the exact voter turnout for him was not shown, it can be assumed that he had a pretty solid lead over his opponents. Wolfe must have drawn people in somehow, probably based on his fear of more supervillain attacks, something he could continue to take advantage of in the future.
This indicates that Central City is susceptible to scare tactics, and perhaps even smears. The Rogues have already portrayed the Flash as criminal and un-American to justify their attempt to arrest him, but that might not be his own reasoning. Wolfe could already have laid the seeds of this thought. It’s clear that he wants Flash out of the way, so turning the city against him by appealing to his patriotism and appreciation for the law would be ideal to eliminate Flash’s agency. Moving forward, readers will have to watch for signs of Wolfe’s machinations to determine if his love for his resident hero wins out over hollow fear.