"Think Fast": Seeing his old friend Manuel Lago trapped in the grips of hundreds of apparent clones of himself, The Flash gives them three seconds to release Manuel. Counting down, he fights his way through the many clones until he gets to hi
- It's amazing. I can see everything before it happens. I can weigh every possible outcome. I can make the right choice. I can do something about it. Before anyone even notices.
Synopsis for "Think Fast"
Seeing his old friend Manuel Lago trapped in the grips of hundreds of apparent clones of himself, The Flash gives them three seconds to release Manuel. Counting down, he fights his way through the many clones until he gets to his friend. However, they recuperate quickly, warning that they have reporter Iris West as a hostage, and Flash will have to wait until they and Manuel are safely away before they release her. Moments later, Flash receives a call from Iris, and then rushes to her location. After making sure she's okay, he rushes off again to meet a friend.
Flash visits Dr. Darwin Elias, a physicist. Dr. Elias hopes to perform some tests that will measure Flash's speed, and help him increase it. He has Flash run on a treadmill in order to get some read-outs, but after three seconds, the whole apparatus explodes. Even so, the readouts show that that the Flash is tapping into a force which he calls the Speed Force. Doing so, Flash can already reach speeds beyond the capabilities of Elias' equipment to measure. However, he notices that only a small percentage of Flash's brain is tapping into the Speed Force - which means that if he learns to think faster, the Flash can learn to run faster too. He just needs to find a way to trigger this kind of augmented cognition.
Barry stands on the roof of the Central City Police Department, trying to come up with a way to think faster. He is interrupted by Patty Spivot, who informs him that the corpse they found which looked like Manuel Lago apparently simply 'expired.' His cuts and abrasions simply healed post-mortem. Together, Barry and Patty conclude that the body was likely a clone made through the process of rapid cell regeneration.
As Patty explains that Manuel has a history with U.S. Intelligence, and that some files on him are missing, Barry suddenly realizes that he has begun thinking faster, processing all of the information around him at the same time. Even as Patty speaks, he receives a text from Iris without her noticing. He cuts their discussion short in order to make a deal with Iris.
Iris claims that she will reveal information about the police investigation into Manuel's apparent death in exchange for confirmation of the Flash's involvement. Barry will have none of it, revealing that Flash isn't responsible anyway. Suddenly, Barry's augmented cognition kicks in again. He perceives a series of factors which would lead to a robbery and a car accident. He can plan for every possible outcome, and fix everything without Iris even noticing.
Instead of becoming the Flash and intervening personally, Barry manages to narrow down the entire thing to making two changes: He removes an apple from a pile in a fruit market, leaves a dollar in the middle of the road, and hooks a toe-truck to the fender of a speeding car. He returns to Iris' side before she realizes he was gone. Moments later, events play out just as he planned: the thief runs out of the jeweler's store, the fruit market's pile of apples falls onto the sidewalk, tripping the crook and allowing the owner to subdue him; the speeding car is yanked back by the toe-truck just in time for a pedestrian to bend over to pick up the dollar, narrowly being missed by the flying car; and the speeder and his car wind up stuck in the back of a truck full of fertilizer.
Continuing on, Iris informs Barry that Manuel was a deep cover operative for the CIA, and was officially killed in action sixteen months ago. She managed to scrounge up an unofficial copy of his passport with which Barry can fill in the blanks. Barry thanks her, and hopes that she doesn't think he's taking advantage of their past relationship. Iris incredulously points out that it was only one date. She suggests that he make it up to her by asking her out again. Meanwhile, she has an interview with the most dangerous inmate at Iron Heights Prison.
Barry remembers how he first met Manuel. There had abeen a party, and both he and Manuel were standing around outside. Barry felt uncomfortable because he didn't know anyone there. Manuel introduced himself, and declared that they now knew each other, and could go into the party. Meanwhile, Barry served as his invite into the party.
Barry checks out one of the locations that was meant to be a military training facility, but all he finds is a pig farm. The farmer explains that it was levelled by the CIA, and they took everything except the pigs with them. Barry remembers how he once got a call from Manuel complaining of the smell of pigs, and how he wanted to get out of training. Before Barry could come to pick him up, Manuel was dragged away by soldiers.
Elsewhere, Manuel is kept captive by the multitude of clones calling themselves Mob Rule. The clones claim that using parts of him, they can forestall their impending deaths with the help of a Doctor Guerrero.
Meanwhile, Iris visits Iron Heights for her interview. At the Central City police lab, Patty discovers declassified documents on a defunct cloning project, Dr. Elias discovers an anomaly in Flash's brain scans, and Flash runs down the Gem City bridge as a plane flies overhead.
Dr. Guerrero activates a device which sets off an EMP device, which cuts power to the entirety of Central City. In the darkness, Iris is grabbed by someone in the prison, and Flash is forced to contend with a plane that is about to crash onto a crowded bridge.
Appearing in "Think Fast"
- The Flash (Flashback and main story)
- Mob Rule
- Dr. Guerrero
- This issue is reprinted in The Flash: Move Forward.
- The Flash compares Elias's treadmill to a "cosmic" treadmill. This, of course, is a reference to the Flash's Cosmic Treadmill used in Pre-Flashpoint stories.
- The Flash Recommended Reading