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He’s Back!

April 15, 2009

     It has been said by many separate reviewers and people that Geoff Johns really understands what makes characters tick.  As one of the seminal writers of the Flash, he takes that natural understanding into his newest venture, The Flash: Rebirth, which details what happens to Barry Allen now that he’s back after Final Crisis.  We have a mysterious villain who seems to have received the powers of the Speed Force, the Rogues regathering, celebrations all across the country, and Barry’s in the Flash Museum, seeing how things have changed.  He also gets a long chat with Hal Jordan, his old pal and fellow resurrected superhero about how much things have changed since he was last here.  He feels like things have finally started to catch up with his speed.  Ultimately, when Savitar, an old Flash villain, returns, things start to get weird, and everyone affected by the Speed Force feels the backlash.

     Just how Hal Jordan is bold and reckless, Barry Allen has strong morals and, as Jay Garrick says, an infectious sense of joy and wonder.  Geoff Johns’ characterization is absolutely superb, in a way that few other writers can match.  I’ve never read anything that Barry Allen was in.  Wally West has been my Flash for a long time.  Yet immediately, Johns is capable of getting me interested with his great storytelling and use of continuity.  Then you’ve got Ethan van Sciver, possibly the best artist in DC’s arsenal, doing the pencils.  His work here is definitely not the same as with Green Lantern: Rebirth, but it reflects the completely different tone.  Hal’s story was one of redemption.  Barry’s story is one of sacrifice.

     I’ll admit, I’m still skeptical about this whole story.  Even though I love both Johns and van Sciver, I don’t like the idea of Barry Allen coming back.  His death was the only death untouched by the proliferation of “comic book death” syndrome in the last ten or so years, and I liked that at least one hero could move on.  So I’m mad that Wally’s going to have to get a new identity and be relegated to the background.  But if anyone can sell this idea, it’s Geoff Johns.  I’m also glad to see Bart Allen back.  He was a character who never should have died in the first place.  At any rate, this is a great start to what will likely be one of the best DC miniseries in the past few years.  Barry Allen is back, no matter the complaints that I or other people have, and he couldn’t be in better hands.

Plot: 9.3      Art: 9.5      Dialogue: 9.5      Overall: 9.4

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