Although it’s taking a while to get the individual issues out, I’m really enjoying The Flash Rebirth. I grew up with Barry Allen as the Flash long before Wally West took on the mantle, though Wally has been the Flash longer in my memory than Barry was.
Geoff Johns’ take on the character is clear and striking, making Barry not quite the hero I remembered, but definitely cleaning up and sharpening the things that made Barry so memorable. Issue #2 is more or less a flashback episode to remind old readers who the Flash was, and to key in the new readers that hadn’t really met Barry Allen. Of course, Johns lets his readers in on quite a few secrets and behind-the-scenes actions that delve more deeply into the character. That’s one of the things that Johns does best.
This issue highlights Barry’s service with the forensic team in the police department, and I really enjoyed seeing him in that role. Hopefully, when Barry returns to a more permanent Flash status, we’ll get to see more of this.
The story picks up in Gorilla City with drums and cave paintings. I know this will tie in somewhere, but I was confused for a bit. I love Ethan Van Sciver’s art, and the page introducing Barry looking down at the remains of Savitar (the villain that turned to bones and dust in the last issue) is absolutely wonderful. The scenery is lavish, and it feels like someone tore that view right out of the real world.
I loved the trip down memory lane (sort of) when Barry meets Iris (almost sounds like a movie title). The way she comes across as a nosy reporter but says she isn’t in the same league as Lois Lane is classic. I had to smile. I also loved the part where she more or less comes on to him.
I also liked the way they brought Barry back into the real world. Having him vanished through the Witness Protection Program is a fantastic idea, especially with Wonder Woman going to bat for him with her government civilian identity.
Even though this is a backstory issue, Johns surges ahead with his storyline. Barry barely has time to chat with Iris before he’s plunged back into another mystery involving the Speed Force and the effect it’s having on the other speedsters. Then Johns delivers another dazzling twist that is guaranteed to keep his readers hanging till the next issue.
Great story so far, and I can’t wait to see how Johns and Sciver resolve everything. One thing is for certain: the DC world won’t be the same again when readers talk about speed.