"Mob Rule": In the past, Barry Allen attended the funeral of his friend Manuel Lago's father. Manuel was conspicuously absent, but his mother was glad to have Barry's company. After the burial, Barry noticed Manuel hiding away from the others
- No matter what price I have to pay. I won't stop running. I'm THE FLASH... This is what I do.
- — Flash
Synopsis for "Mob Rule"
In the past, Barry Allen attended the funeral of his friend Manuel Lago's father. Manuel was conspicuously absent, but his mother was glad to have Barry's company. After the burial, Barry noticed Manuel hiding away from the others. He blamed his mother for separating from his father, thereby requiring him to get on a plane which was later hijacked by terrorists, which led to his death. Manuel vowed to get revenge on the men responsible, and he now had the clout to make it happen. He was hired into the CIA. He invited Barry to join him in the Agency, but Barry professed that he was no hero, and turned the offer down.
Now, in the Badlands, Mob Rule have kidnapped Dr. Darwin Elias, a ground-breaking physicist. They have stolen his Genome Re-coder and kidnapped him in the hope that he can help them to solve the problem they have, where each of dies after just one month of living. Unfortunately, an unexplained EMP blast has rendered Dr. Elias' lab useless, but he does have an experimental energy source that they could try.
Mob Rule explains that Manuel Lago is their creator. He was a covert operative given regenerative abilities as part of a top-secret government project. Eventually, he discovered that the organization behind the terrorist attack that killed his father was Basilisk, and he went rogue. His attack was devastating, but he was outnumbered and captured. When Basilisk discovered that he could regenerate, they took advantage, torturing him by cutting off his body parts, and then cutting them off again when they grew back. It went on like that for quite some time until suddenly, the severed parts began to grow into full, separate bodies; doubles of Manuel with their own personalities.
Together, they helped Manuel escape and took him as their leader. But when they started dying not long after, he ran away instead of helping them resolve it. He left them to die. Hearing their story, Dr. Elias promises to help, but they will need Manuel to provide the template he needs to re-code their DNA.
On the Gem City Bridge, the Central City Police Department have blocked people from re-entering their cars due to fears that it might explode as a result of the Flash having vibrated an entire passenger jet through it. There, Manuel's hand grows back before Patty Spivot's eyes. She chastises him for having left Barry, his best friend, for dead. Manuel brushes her off, mounting a horse with plans to escape before the stranded citizens start a riot. Angrily, Patty warns him that Barry went out of his way to help Manuel, and now he may be dead because of it.
Meanwhile, at Iron Heights Prison, reporter Iris West has been trapped in Captain Cold's cell after he escaped during the blackout. Annoyed that he trapped her there in addition to failing to confirm Flash's involvement in super-brutality, she rips a ventilation grate off of the wall and uses it to chip away the ice which prevents her from opening the door.
Moved by Patty's condemnation, Manuel rushes off to find Barry. However, he runs into Mob Rule on the way. They taunt him, claiming that Barry is definitely dead, and advising him to give up and come with them. Angrily, he leaps at them, but again he is outnumbered and subdued. With his face pressed into the pavement, he remembers having come to see Barry not long after his accident and after getting his own vengeance. Barry had thought his friend was dead, and is a little disappointed that Manuel refuses to visit his mother. Outside, Manuel's doubles had been somewhat disgusted by his relationship with Barry, trying to distance their identities from him. Finally, Manuel's attackers explain that he is to blame for their existence, and for Barry's death, to an extent - they are part of him, after all. Sadly, Manuel relents.
Elsewhere, Barry regains consciousness. He mind had been working at such a speed that he lost track of what he had planned to do and what had actually happened. Fortunately, his instincts and super-speed spared his life. Despite having been paralyzed by his mental focus, when his body felt the oncoming bullet grazing his skin, he quickly dodged it, garnering only a flesh wound. However, the movement sent his head careening into a wall, and left him unconscious.
Looking around, Barry notices Dr. Elias' necktie and realizes that he's been kidnapped by Mob Rule to deal with their issues. Additionally, he discovers that the place has been rigged to explode. Promising not to let anything happen to his friends, Barry puts on his costume and escapes just fractions of seconds away from the blast.
Appearing in "Mob Rule"
- Flash (Flashback and main story)
- James Forrest
- Tita Lago (Flashback only)
- Flash's Costume Ring
- Portable Genome Re-Coder (Mentioned only)
- This issue is reprinted in The Flash: Move Forward.
- The Flash Recommended Reading