The Flash: Rebirth #3
by Geoff Johns & Ethan Van Sciver
Reader Appeal: Teens to Adults
Genre: Superhero Comics
These days, bringing back or killing off classic superheroes is all the rage. Batman and Captain America are two of the most notable casualties, and even as Marvel is working on their own rebirth storyline for Cap, DC is has brought back Barry Allen -- the old Flash, from the Silver Age of comics -- to run at incredible speeds around the modern DC universe. Naturally, Barry has to spend some time at the museum to catch up.
The Flash was never, in my opinion, a very complex character (he runs fast), but Geoff Johns has added some new twists to his past, like an ongoing quest to prove his father innocent for the murder of his mother and a dreadful feeling that there’s something bad about his return from the Speed Force (which is where Flashes go when they die). And in this issue we find out that he’s right. Not to give too much away, but one could say that Barry has become death, destroyer of worlds. Plus he gets to race Superman, which he has done before, but the stakes are higher this time.
I’m glad to say that things are looking promising for the returned classic Flash. It’s a rebirth story that is actually interesting and keeps you wondering what’s coming, instead of annoying you that someone you thought was dead is once again alive. If you haven’t been keeping up with the Flash mythos, it’s OK, because Barry Allen has no idea what’s been going on for the last decade either.
As for the art, it’s generally very good, though the way Van Scriver represents the Flash running is a little weird and isn’t entirely to my taste. The way he lays out the panels (with wide panels on top of one another, then tall panels in the running scenes) is unexpected, but then speed isn’t the easiest thing to draw. The detail is there and the characters really pop.
There are a couple murders in this book, and several more people die, so it’s definitely a little more PG-13, and the plotline is a little dark. Still, the heroes are generally good people, and the concern Barry Allen’s friends show for him and his own willingness to sacrifice himself for the good of others are positive notes that families can appreciate.
Things really seem to be getting going with this issue, and I have to admit that this is one resurrected franchise that really seems to be going somewhere. There’s something classic about the storyline that’s really appealing. It’s definitely worth checking out.
Note: All book or comics-related graphics in this column are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.