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He Finally Slows Down

March 19, 2010

     At long last, we have the end to Geoff Johns’ reinvention of Barry Allen with The Flash: Rebirth #6.  Those delays were really frustrating, so it’s more than just a tad gratifying to finally have this over.  Just as Barry starts to tire on his way into the past after Professor Zoom, Wally West comes and picks him right back up.  Barry thinks about how Zoom has always been after Iris, and the two Flashes get ever closer to the moment of truth.  Just as Zoom prepares to deliver the final blow, Barry and Wally arrive to stop him, providing the fateful lightning bolt that gave Barry his powers in the first place.  Oh boy.  Predestination paradox.  They pull Zoom back into the present, Barry telling Zoom how he doesn’t have a lightning rod, though not before Zoom gives Wally an ominous warning that one of his kids, when he or she gets older, will ruin his life.  They trap Zoom in the same machine they used to drain off Barry’s Black Flash powers, separating him from the Negative Speed Force.  Then, the speedsters go back to celebrate the Flash’s return at the parade.  Dr. Alchemy escapes from Iron Heights, Zoom (Hunter Zolomon) meets with Professor Zoom to propose an alliance, the natives of Gorilla City worry about something terrible the good professor has done to the jungles, and Abra Kadabra seems very much alive.  Barry closes the case of his mother’s death, and the Rogues get ready to deal with the Flash’s return.  Iris reveals that she had kept the lightning staff Zoom wielded every since it dropped in front of her the day that Barry got his powers.  The two lovebirds share a quiet, intimate moment.  Then, Barry goes to the Justice League of America headquarters to celebrate his return with his friends.

     Well now, that was a solid ending.  Admittedly, a lot of it was rather predictable, especially since parts of it were spoiled in Blackest Night: The Flash.  The Flashes beat Zoom, Zoom is incarcerated, and Barry and Iris get to live happily ever after.  At least, for now.  Ultimately for me, I find that the ultimate failing of this book was to give truly believable motivation to Professor Zoom.  The whole idea of “wanting to be Barry” then going crazy because he found out that he was going to become a villain…  Don’t like that so much.  It’s not the great kind of stuff that Johns did with Sinestro and Parallax in Green Lantern: Rebirth in terms of revitalizing them as characters.  Sure, Zoom is a lot cooler now.  But he’s lacking that great motivation to make him seem more interesting.  Of course, Johns and Ethan van Sciver shine with the rest of the book.  It’s extremely interesting, and I now officially like Barry Allen quite a lot, thanks entirely to them.  It’s too bad that van Sciver’s art couldn’t be as exciting and energetic as it normally is.  His work here definitely hasn’t been his best, despite the fact that, on the whole, it was all technically sound.  So, I’m very much looking forward to the Flash series.  I hope that Professor Zoom becomes more interesting over time.  Fortunately, for the art issue, Francis Manapul is a very energetic artist, so that will solve that concern.  So long as Wally West gets enough page time, I’ll be happy.

Plot: 9.0      Art: 8.9      Dialogue: 9.0      Overall: 9.0

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