"The Speed Force": In the May of 1944, airman Roscoe Hynes was led a fleet of prototype war planes on its first combat mission. However, when he broke formation to test the plane's capabilities, he and his plane completely disappeared inexplicably.
- The Speed Force is like a giant ball of energy that's always moving forward. But as it does, it creates excess energy that builds up and needs to be released. When you use your powers, you tap into that built-up energy. Things get crazy when the energy builds up. Like a pressure cooker that's ready to blow. But then... you run and everything goes back to normal. You're the release valve for the Speed Force.
- — Turbine
Synopsis for "The Speed Force"
In the May of 1944, airman Roscoe Hynes was led a fleet of prototype war planes on its first combat mission. However, when he broke formation to test the plane's capabilities, he and his plane completely disappeared inexplicably.
Now, Roscoe Hynes is Turbine, having been trapped in the Speed Force for nearly 70 years, and the Flash - who has just arrived in search of his friend Iris West - is Turbine's ticket home. Turbine apparently knows the Flash's identity as Barry Allen, and he fully intends to kill him if he doesn't help him get home. In frustration, Flash knocks Turbine to the ground, in the hopes that it will deter him long enough to get his story out.
Turbine explains that he has been trapped in the Speed Force by himself since World War II, and he has gained a knowledge of both past and future by looking up into the Timestream, which plays out ad infinitum in the sky above them. Barry looks up and sees his parents and his childhood. Turbine explains that he had seen his family there too, but he could do nothing about it. Barry, on the other hand, has the unique ability to reach out to those people and times that he can see.
Absently, Barry reaches his hand toward his mother's face, and he is surprised when a wormhole to that moment opens within the Speed Force. Turbine pulls him away, warning that the future is not the right way to go, hinting that the past will show some untold truth about who and what the Flash is. Pointing to another image in the Timestream, Turbine explains that the disasters - the time anomalies caused by Flash's use of the speed force - are not caused by him. He is not the problem, he is the solution.
The speed force creates excess energy by its moving forward that builds up and needs to be released. When the Flash uses his powers, he taps into that built up energy. Without the Flash, the Speed Force becomes volatile. The Flash is effectively the Speed Force's release valve. Shaken, Barry wonders what happens if he doesn't run.
Meanwhile, in Central City, the police force gathers to pay their respects to the officers lost in the line of duty - including Barry Allen. The event is accompanied by a special performance by Harley Rathaway and the Central City Symphony. Afterwards, Patty Spivot and David Singh are convinced that vigilantes such as, and especially the Flash, are to blame for the loss of Barry Allen. James Forrest is unconvinced, having seen no evidence of culpability. Regardless, Singh comments that superpowers do not give people the right to become vigilantes. They are interrupted by Hartley Rathaway, who jokingly points out that not all vigilantes are bad, referring to his own status as a reformed vigilante. Awkwardly, David introduces Hartley to his coworkers, but refrains from revealing that he and Hartley are lovers.
In the Speed Force, Turbine reveals that without the Flash to act as a release Valve, the Speed Force begins sucking objects from different times and dropping them in others. Some such objects have been stranded there. Sheepishly, he admits that not all of them are merely the result of the Speed Force overflowing with energy. When Flash uses his powers, it creates these wormholes, and Turbine had been attempting to use those wormholes to travel back to his own time. Unfortunately, when he got near them, he would just begin spinning, and create vortexes that sucked objects from one part of the Timestream to others.
Angrily, Flash realizes that it is Turbine who caused the EMP blast to be sent back in time, causing blackouts in the Gem Cities. He shouts that he can't send Turbine back to his own time because he can't alter the timeline and change things. All he can do is take the man back to the present. At this thought, Turbine becomes agitated, and begins spinning, threatening that he will kill Barry if he won't help. Barry manages to grab hold of Turbine, and drags him through a wormhole, despite his captive's protests.
In the process of traversing the wormhole, one of the wings from Flash's helmet pops off, and lands next to Iris West's foot.
In Gorilla City, the son of a gorilla named Grodd decides that it is time to challenge his father for the right to be king. In their fight, the younger promises that he will kill his father and gain his knowledge through eating his brain. The younger defeats his father, and declares himself King Grodd, leader of the Gorilla City.
Just steps away from the victorious Gorilla, the Flash crashes down into the arena.
Appearing in "The Speed Force"
- Turbine (Roscoe Hynes) (Flashback and main story) (First full appearance)
- King Grodd (First appearance) (Dies)
- Henry Allen (In a vision)
- Nora Allen (In a vision)
- Jean McNilty (In a photograph only) (Deceased)
- Central City Symphony
- Italy (Flashback only)
- Monte Cassino (Flashback only)
- Central City
- Central City Music Hall
- The events pictured in the Flashback are part of the Battle of Monte Cassino. While no prototype jet aircraft as pictured in this issue would have been present, the 99th Fighter Squadron, as they designated in 1944, definitely participated. They were awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for their actions during this battle.
- The Flash Recommended Reading