The Flash Rebirth #1
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Colorist: Ivan Plascencia
Letterer: Steve Wands
Review by Josh Canales
Continuing the story established in The New 52, The Flash Rebirth expands Barry Allen’s story and teases what’s to come. This next chapter of The Flash’s story is all about correcting the mistakes in the universe caused by Flashpoint, restoring legacy is a big part of that. The legacy created by Barry Allen was all but nonexistent at the start of The New 52, save for there being a Kid Flash (Bart Allen) – who Barry hardly interacted with. Fan-favorite Wally West was replaced only in namesake; the new and old Wallys couldn’t be more different. Those who had grown to love the Flash family were left with only memories of what once was, until the events of The Flash Rebirth. Taking place during the same time as DC Universe: Rebirth, this issue tells Barry’s view of the events taking place. From the return of Wally West to future Batman team-ups, the issue draws readers old and new into the exciting world of The Flash.
This issue does well to establish who Barry Allen is and why he does what he does, opening on crime scene that is oh-so-familiar to our hero. Mirroring his own mother’s murder, Barry is taking the case personally and is told to take the night off. During this, Barry gets confusing visions of what may be the past, present, or even future. Seeing an unrecognized Wally, an unnamed speedster, and Zoom, he is shaken up and heads off to the only one he can talk to about this: his father. Recently out of prison, Henry Allen talks Barry through what he is going through and suggests for him to slow down. But of course Barry can’t slow down, he is The Flash after all, so we see him do what he does best instead. He saves the day in anyway he can, helicopters and hungry fire victims are no problem for the fastest man alive.
That’s when it happens. Wally West, the original Kid Flash, appears through the speed-force in front of Barry, as seen in DC Universe: Rebirth. Barry is jumping at the chance to tell his friend Iris West that her nephew has returned, but Wally stops him. He knows that neither of them are ready to face what his return and their memory loss could mean. After a little bit of banter between Flashes (that’s right we have two Flashes again) Barry and Wally part ways on their own missions. Barry meets up with Batman to discuss the possibilities behind the note from Bruce’s father, the pin in the Batcave, and the return of Wally. The two agree to work together to solve the mystery left behind after Flashpoint.
Joshua Williamson clearly knows his Flash history and does incredibly well bringing the emotions of a much loved character back after simply being erased from existence for years. His portrayal of characters stays true to their previous incarnations while adding his own take. He brings family and legacy back to the forefront of The Flash in this issue, with each interaction it’s clear that Barry loves the people in his life. Barry Allen is written as almost the epitome of being a hero, a selfless man not hesitating to help those in need, especially those he cares for. Yet, Williamson makes it a point to acknowledge that he is not perfect. Barry Allen makes mistakes, just like everyone else.
Carmine Di Giandomenico’s art in The Flash Rebirth is fantastic to say the least. Every scene is drawn dynamically, even those where Barry is standing still, there is always something going on. Yet it’s not too much, Carmine does well to keep each page balanced and flowing well. Ivan Plascencia’s colors are truly breathtaking. In combination with Carmine’s art, Ivan’s palette brings the high-energy world of The Flash to life. Steve Wands’ vigorous lettering during scenes like Wally breaking through the speed force works to tie the already fantastic art together. This entire creative team works together to make an amazing book.
Buy it. Buy it right now. The Flash Rebirth is everything and more a Flash fan could ask for after being forgotten about during The New 52. This issue is a great jumping on point for new and returning readers with a quick origin of The Flash and introductions of main characters, while not seeming too complicated or monotonous. The creative team DC put on this book couldn’t be more perfect, I cannot recommend this book more.