Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Flash: Rebirth #1

Hmm. I'd heard so many bad reviews of this one that I had pretty low expectations for this. Usually I would say I was pleasantly surprised, but here, my expectations were just about dead-on. I just don't really care about Barry Allen as the Flash. Wally has been my Flash for as long as I've been reading comics, and while it is clear how Geoff Johns feels about fanboys like me (as seen in Bart Allen's dialogue) I am not convinced by this issue. I found it laughable how everyone is so in love with Barry Allen. The JSA in particular bowing down to him was ridiculous. I did like seeing how Barry interacted with Hal Jordan, that was well done, especially how they both kind of disregard Green Arrow as a nut. I was disappointed seeing how Wally was interacting with his kids, he didn't seem like too cool of a Dad there. Heck, is Wally older than Barry now? He certainly seems that way. Barry does come off as kind of a mope here, bumming around the museum and reminiscing about the worst experience of his life, which felt very different than the fun Barry I read about in New Frontier. It all boils down to my fundamental disconnect most of the current legacy bearers and that disconnect leaves me cold on the greater direction of the DCU. I have little to no interest in what might be the main conflict of this series, with the Black Flash showing up and Barry having some kind of death touch that re-kills Savitar. Savitar did have a cool design though, didn't he?

Ethan Van Sciver is a dynamic artist, and most of the issue looks pretty good. His take on the Titans was very nice, Donna Troy looked great. I also liked his Flash Museum filled with all those statues of the rogues. Each one looked so menacing I figured there had to be one or two real villains mixed into the crowd.


1 comment:

Newmie Newmz said...

After reading Rogue's Revenge I had much higher hopes for this book.

Perhaps it is unfair to compare this with Green Lantern's rebirth but...

Flash's rebirth differs greatly from Green Lantern: Rebirth in that with GL:R we had an entire limited series devoted to bringing Jordan back. Hal's closest allies all play a part in his return. He didn't come back until the very end of the penultimate issue of the series. So there was a big build up to the actual point of his 'rebirth' and you hear yourself shout, "HAL'S BACK!". Then the cherry on top; you watch him battle his archenemy Sinestro for the greater part of the entire final issue. His eventual reassimilation back into the DCU is handled in the ongoing series. That's a recipe for success.

Here Barry Allen's actual return happened as one of the many rushed and unexplained nonsensical plot threads of Final Crisis. So we start this Rebirth with Allen having been back for awhile; no build up, no wondering when or how it was going to happen; just "Oh wait, that's right. He's already here."

I'm not saying that I need a recycling of Green Lantern: Rebirth's plot. However, I would like to feel that same sense of excitment for Barry Allen's revival as I did for Hal Jordan's; that sense of excitement that good story telling brings to the reader.

This return has been rather lackluster. I haven't been hooked at all.

For a character that is so beloved by his peers I think reintroducing Barry Allen to the living DCU could be really exciting. On the contrary it seems to me that most other characters are talking about Barry like he's still dead. It feels like most are still mourning his loss rather than celebrating his return. For that matter Barry is kind of acting like he is still dead. Trapped in the nostalgia of his past rather than moving on to his future.

Johns still remains one of my favorite writers. His previous work on Flash was always fun and exciting. He did a great job of bringing Hal back. So, maybe I'm missing the point. Maybe I should be looking at this book as Flash: Reassimilation (though I can see why that title wouldn't do the series any favors either).

What I'm trying to say is I'm hopeful that Flash: Rebirth will grab me by the next issue.

Anyway, here's to hoping.