Thursday April 2, 2009 8:33 pm
DC Comics Review: The Flash Rebirth #1
Rating: *** 1/2*
The Flash is back! “The Flash: Rebirth” mini-series begins the story of Barry Allen’s return to the DC universe. This is a new experience for me because the lead Flash for me has always been Wally West. In the 200 plus issues of Wally’s Flash book, Barry Allen has popped up in several storylines. He would be pulled from the time stream before he made his Crisis run so he could come and help Wally. Now as a result of the events of “Final Crisis,” Barry has been pulled from the Speed Force where he has existed since the end of “Crisis on Infinite Earths” and he’s now alive and well ready to continue to live his life. But the question remains why was he pulled and how?
In this issue, writer Geoff Johns paints an almost dark Batman type of Barry Allen. All he seems to care about now that he’s back is getting back into the game and fighting whatever threat there is out there. He doesn’t want to go to the parties or parades that are in his honor. He feels that since he’s been away for so long, the world has passed him by and he needs to catch up immediately and start fighting. He seems almost obsessed with it.
From the few stories I have read that contained of the character of Barry Allen, he seems like a much different person here in this issue. Has his time within the Speed Force changed him? I don’t know.
In this issue, almost everyone who is a Flash or is somehow related to the Flash makes an appearance. We see Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Flash along with Jesse Chambers aka Liberty Belle daughter of speedster Johnny Quick as well as the entire JSA; Wally West, his wife and kids, and the Titans; the also resurrected Kid Flash aka Bart Allen and the Teen Titans; Iris West, Joan Garrick, Hal Jordan, and of course the Rogues. Also making an appearance is a character who I haven’t seen in years is Savitar .
The last time we saw Savitar, was during the “Dead Heat” storyline. In the end of that story, Savitar became one with the Speed Force. In this issue, Savitar has escaped the Speed Force and is shown bursting from the lightening bolt on Barry’s chest. Barry recognises Savitar from the Flash museum and decides to catch him. As he touches him, Savitar seems to die and all that is left is his bones. At this same moment the pain that Savitar feels is also felt by all of the Flashes in the world: Jay, Wally, Bart, etc. The June solicitations of issue three of “Flash: Reborn” states that “...if speedsters keep dying at the pace they’re going, you might never see another one again!” Does this mean that all of these Flashes are dying or will die? I doubt it and if so, I doubt they’ll stay dead. I’m sure they’ll get better somehow.
Whatever the case, the mystery is what is wrong with Barry Allen? Why and how did Savitar burst out of his chest. Are Barry and the Speed Force now one? Maybe it’s like how God and Jesus are both one together. I always wondered if the Speed Force was really the afterlife or heaven than an entirely separate plane of existence. And what about the Black Flash who we saw a pair of kids find in a field somewhere? If this is the Black Flash, how can he be dead? Isn’t he death himself in some way?
I really enjoyed this issue. Ethan Van Sciver does an amazing job as always supplying the art here. I’m looking forward to seeing where DC goes with the world of the Flash. Will Barry rejoin the JLA? I remember reading an interview with Van Sciver stating that Wally will get a new uniform. I’m still wondering if DC will consider killing off a Flash as we now have all four of the men who have been the Flash over the years running around.
Bart’s not dying since he just came back and it doesn’t seem like Wally is going anywhere either. Will Jay get killed off at some point? That would be pretty intense as how I’ve always like in stories that dealt with Wally West as the Flash, the “ghost” of Barry Allen always hovering over him. Would DC kill Jay off? If they killed Batman, why not. If so, I would like to see Barry on the JSA, Wally with the JLA, and Bart with the Teen Titans. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jay, but with DC bringing Barry back, things are getting kind of crowded. That’s why I loved the fact that DC made Jesse Chambers the new Liberty Belle. It’s one less Flash running around - although it now seems she has her speed powers back.
Anyway, a good job by all and some good stuff ahead for the world of the Flash. I love it.
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