"The Stuff of Heroes": Twenty minutes ago, Barry Allen mysteriously lost his powers while in the middle of Iron Heights prison - an inconvenience. Now, he is stuck in an elevator shaft, trying to hide two bags full of super-villain weapons without
- Unfortunately, it's just me. I'm totally outnumbered and don't know how long the odds are. So what am I doing -- biding my time? No point in that -- I don't know when or even if my powers are going to return--
Synopsis for "The Stuff of Heroes"
Twenty minutes ago, Barry Allen mysteriously lost his powers while in the middle of Iron Heights prison - an inconvenience. Now, he is stuck in an elevator shaft, trying to hide two bags full of super-villain weapons without the benefit of super-speed. Currently, there is a gang called the Outlanders breaking into the prison to get the Trickster out, and Barry has to stop them before someone gets hurt. This, despite the fact that Axel was wrongly arrested for murder, and Barry had come in the first place to help clear his name.
When the Outlanders find the armoury empty, Barry realizes that they'll hurt their hostage in anger, and so he tries to use one of the weapons he stole to distract them. Weather Wizard's wand produces only fog, unfortunately. However, the Outlanders think it might be gas, and go to investigate. It takes a few more tries, but Barry manages to emit a blast of cyclonic wind to take out the others, though it knocks out the hostage guard in the process.
Elsewhere, Barry uses the Trickster's own weapons against the Outlanders to stun them, making the total of thugs he's taken out sans-powers come to 14. Meanwhile, Albert Lim, a man who had been exposed to the Speed Force, has snuck into Iron Heights as well, and overhears the confused Outlanders suggesting that they open the cell doors so that the inmates can fight whoever it is that's opposing them. Thinking he can help, Albert blows the fuses with his powers, hoping to lock the doors in place. Unfortunately, it has the opposite effect, and he winds up being chased by every inmate in the prison.
After hiding the remainder of the weapons, Barry overhears Albert's screams, and springs into action, using one of Captain Boomerang's weapons to save the inexperienced speedster. Unfortunately, when the dust clears, Albert is nowhere to be found. Looking around, he discovers that Albert has wandered into Axel and the Outlanders. When he steps into the room as well, Axel recognizes him as the bartender from his favourite bar, and is confused as to why he stole the weapons. Barry tries to talk his way out of it, but a sudden vibration sends them all reeling. Desperately, Barry has Albert turbo-charge Captain Cold's Cold Gun, and he blasts everyone in the room with it. Among those frozen in place, Barry discovers Marissa - another of those affected by the Speed Force, who had snuck into the prison as well. She had lied to him when she said she didn't have any powers. While everyone is still frozen, Barry's powers suddenly return, and he is finally able to set things right.
Barry deduces that it was Marissa who committed the botched diamond theft for which Axel was falsely accused of murder. Her vibrational powers were too unstable, and the explosions killed the security guard by accident. Then, she had tried to bring down the prison on top of the Trickster, so no one could prove it wasn't him who had done it. Albert decides that after his evening, he would rather not be a super-hero anymore, and wonders what happened to his friend Gomez, who had also been given powers. Barry wonders as much too, noting that everyone who had been in the Speed Force had shown powers by now - everyone except his friend Iris. He will have to keep an eye on her.
Later, at the Justice League Watchtower, Barry searches for information on what might have caused his recent power loss. He discovers that Batman has been tracking an ongoing covert Canadian meta-project involving a dial-shaped artifact that can temporarily siphon super-powers from heroes. A power set like his had manifested in Toronto, and terminated in Sydney. As mathematically doubtful as it is that this siphoning will affect him again, it is worrying to Barry that something could siphon his powers at all.
This news shakes Barry a little, because he had still been able to make a difference, even without his powers. Cyborg explains that regardless of his super-speed, Barry is meant to be a hero.
Elsewhere, Albert is murdered by the Reverse Flash, who admits to himself that while he does not enjoy the act of killing, what he does is for the greater good.
Appearing in "The Stuff of Heroes"
- Iris West
- Floyd Gomez (Mentioned only)
- Batman (Mentioned only)
- Captain Cold (Mentioned only)
- Green Arrow (Mentioned only)
- Weather Wizard (Mentioned only)
- This issue is reprinted in The Flash: Gorilla Warfare.
- Barry is without powers for the majority of this issue because of the events of Dial H #11.
- The Flash Recommended Reading