News Flash: New Flash Series from Johns and Van Sciver!

Can you run home again?  

News out of San Diego is that Geoff Johns has once again set his sights on the Flash franchise with a new The Flash: Rebirth mini-series with Ethan Van Sciver on pencils.

It’s been three years since Johns’ acclaimed tenure on the book ended, though he’s written for the Flash’s Rogues as recently as last week (Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge). This outing comes at the heels of Barry Allen’s return to breathing in Final Crisis, and it’s been confirmed that it will be Barry and not Wally in the pole position this time around. With a name like Rebirth, how could it not be? Rebirth, like Crisis, has developed an especially loaded significance. It is of course the title to Johns’ first Green Lantern mini-series and the literal rebirth of Hal Jordan. Johns has taken on the mantle of DC custodian of late and is systematically renovating the place with new copper pipes and less convoluted wiring. He’s done it with Hawkman, Power Girl, and even Superman. Johns is often quoted as saying The Flash is his favorite hero in the crowded DC stables, and given his previous track record, the news of his return to the title has been met with elation.

Of course it’s difficult to ignore the fact that we’re still sweeping up the ticker tape that rained from the rooftops when Mark Waid announced his own return to the title not so long ago. For as lauded as Johns’ Flash run may have been, Mark Waid’s original run on the series is the stuff of legend. So when Waid’s sophomore outing failed to garner the same kind of praise early on, the tide turned and it turned violently. Much was said of the inability to reclaim old magic, that Waid, having left the character after a remarkable tenure, was simply unable to get back into that creative groove. Home wasn’t home anymore. The concept just didn’t fit, at least not in the current status quo. Much like Wally West, Waid found a new enemy in time, both in memories of past success and in the awkward placement of a new Flash family in an era where DC is ultimately heading in a darker direction. Many readers have left Flash for dead, and even now, Waid’s contributions to the title are slowly being ret-conned.

So, will Johns be able to grab hold of the lightning for his own return to the franchise? I’m trying desperately to pepper in some restraint here, but I’m exceedingly optimistic. Johns is spinning plates at DC right now, with his hands in nearly every corner of the multiverse. And with no signs of fatigue. His love for the character — as well as his Silver Age milieu — is also encouraging, and coupled with his reputation as a cleaner, I have to believe that he’s especially suited for the task at hand. He’s made sense of the most incomprehensible cat’s cradles of continuity. He’s a skilled character juggler and has a certain knack for quick reboots. The trick with reestablishing a new foundation for a character is traversing a bog of exposition without making the torrent of information feel overtly encyclopedic. But part of that trick is understanding that a little bit of tutorial is inescapable. Johns can balance this. Take the playful display of biographical statistics with the introduction of each new Legion member in his recent Action Comics arc. The thing here is that it’s not enough to simply be a good writer. You also have to be suited to the task. And in this instance, I think Johns has the experience and the skill-set to take on such a murky franchise and reinvigorate it with style.

The Flash: Rebirth is scheduled to make its mark in January 2009.


Paul Montgomery is scribbling wings on his sneakers. Catch him if you can at


  1. This sounds awesome! 

  2. If anyone can get me into The Flash, it’s Johns.

  3. Great article, Mr. Montgomery.

  4. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Is everybody pleased with the idea that it’s Barry in the spotlight or would you prefer Wally?  

  5. @Paul: I’d prefer Wally, surely. I can’t see what Barry has to offer that Wally doesn’t. :/ 

  6. @Paul – I don’t see the pair as much exclusive. With the multiverse as it is, every flash has it’s place. Bososter gold has intoduced the element of time fixing. Maybe Wall and Famil cyould join him in the time streams. . I’m fond of wally, because of John and Ringo’s run. His JLU incarnation was great. I think it’s putting the cart before the horse to assume theer will be only one.

    Alao, totally pysched for the coninuation of the Superman article.

  7. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    In interviews Johns has been cautious about detailing any involvement of other Flashes.  He did say that the focus is on Barry but that fans of other Flashes like Jay would be happy with what’s happening in the book.  They’re being tight-lipped about any game-changing elements spinning out of Final Crisis.  

    @Dave – Look for the Superman story to continue in my regular column on Tuesday.  I decided to hold it until Robinson’s second issue of Superman.  🙂 

  8. Why is it a mini-series and not on the main title? Jesus, Johns would make Flash a great title after just one issue!

    Either way, it’s gonna kick ass and I cant wait for January.

  9. @Paul You are a shameful tease.  @Thenextchampion: Johns is very good at establishing set pieces for others writers to manipulate. Tomasi’s Green Lantern Corps is good example. Not that I’d mind if eorte the ongoing,,,,,,,

  10. *Not that I’d mind if  Johns wrote the ongoing* sorry for the typos, gang.

  11. saw this at the con im SOOOO very excited

  12. I’m excited and highly interested.  I just hope DC isn’t overloading Johns right now because he’s on fire.  Hopefully, this is something that he willfully wanted to do and has room for it in his ever growing stable.

  13. Johns & Van Sciver together is awesome news. It just makes me wonder what this means for Wally West. Does this mean he will die (again) in Final Crisis?

    Johns on a Flash book is good news, but I’d be happier if he just went back to writing the current book, they don’t need to bring back Barry Allen — Wally is awesome, & when Johns wrote the Flash it was a really good book.

    But, I guess it’s a marketing thing, & Johns/Van Sciver will sell a lot of books, I just hope it’s the best thing to do story-wise. I’m cool with Barry coming back, I just hope Wally stays around & isn’t hidden in the back room like a retarded cousin, the way Kyle Rayner has been since the return of Hal Jordan.

  14. I’ve never read Flash before. Always liked the character, but never been inclined to read it. Now, with this news?

    Put it this way: The form he’s been on, Johns could adapt the telephone directory and I’d buy it! He is DC’s best writer, bar none. Consider me onboard. 

  15. I am really excited for this. Johns and Van Sciver have both said how much they love the Flash so I think their love for the material will show.

    How awesome is the picture above? That picture and the names attached to the project is all that was needed to get me on board.

  16. I think this is super exciting. Wally West has always been my prefered Flash but that was only because I was raised reading the Waid and Johns run of him. I have read Barry in back issues, showcases, or older trades but I have always wanted to see him in a modern setting and see what sets him apart from Wally West and Jay Garrick.

  17. I’m all for this but if they screw up or screw over the character of Wally West, I will not be happy.

  18. YES YES and double-YES. did i mention YES?

  19. I believe in Geoff Johns

  20. I love Geoff Johns…ERR my girlfriend.

    Even though Wally is the Flash of my generation.  I will love reading some Barry Flash


  21. If this means Barry Allen and Hal Jordan are going to hang out, sign me up.

  22. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @ohcaroline – Johns has confirmed that Hal will at least make an appearance in Flash: Rebirth.  

  23. Oh, excellent.  I just read ‘JLA: Year One’ and I love that teamup.

  24. The most exciting news of SDCC. No doubt.

  25. Awesome! Barry got a raw deal back in the 80s with the whole Reverse-Flash trial and his exile to the future and then his death in Crisis. I’m glad to see he’s finally coming back.


    i can’t wait to see what johns does with flash. i’m reading his current retelling of greenlantern so i hope it’s somthing like GL

  27. I’m kind of torn by this. Unlike most of the people here, I’m not a long time Flash reader. I started reading with (I believe) issue #175 of the series. (It was Flash vs Weather Wizard of all people.) I ha some extra cash on a slow week and decided to pick it up and I’ve been reading pretty much ever since. So  came on board during the last Johns/Kollins run. Wally is really the only Flash i know. sure, i’ve read bits and pieces of Barry Allen or Jay Garrick over the years, and I even liked the reboot with Bart Allen, but Wally is MY Flash. But the book has just not been very good ever since Wally came back. So while I really like Wally asa  character, if bringing Barry back will "fix" this title, then I’m all for it. I would just rather Wally either die or retire than get treated the way Kyle Rayner did when hal Jordan came back.

  28. ZZZ… more of DC looking backward instead of forward.  I have no interest in Barry Allen.  Let me know when they fix Wally.

    Oh, who am I kidding?  I’m buying this.

  29. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Theoretically, fixing Wally would be looking backward too.  And considering the last time Johns wrote a Rebirth and looked backwards instead of forwards, he established the current run of Green Lantern.  Which resulted in the Sinestro Corp Wars, one of the better crossover events in recent years.  

    Good comics is good comics…is good comics.   

  30. Yeah, Green Lantern is good now and they’re doing the same thing over in Spider-Man.  I’m liking all this retconning but begrudgingly.  When I say looking backward I mean specifically to the Silver Age.  DC has other cards to play besides nostalgia, I would think.  One thing I’ll give DC credit for is not tossing Kyle aside now that Hal’s back.  Hopefully they’ll extend Wally the same courtesy.

  31. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I don’t know that it’s a DC thing though.  At Marvel they’re doing an event involving Skrulls.  Bucky is a bit of nostalgia too.  Guardians of the Galaxy?  The Defenders?  Mockingbird?  Iron Fist and Luke Cage?  It’s all blast from the past sensibility, but spun in a modern way.  Bucky as Cap is a perfect example.  It’s something unique to the medium, not just to DC.  Love it or hate it.  

  32. The creators involved with these projects at DC, specifically Johns and Ross, wear their Silver Age love on their sleeve.  It’s fine when it’s limited to a few things, but it’s gotten to be too much.  The problem with what DC is doing is that they’re pushing beloved characters to the side like Wally and Kyle for the sake of this agenda.  In Marvel’s case they’re just dusting off old properties and putting a new shine to them, and with great results as far as Spider-Woman, Ms Marvel, and Iron Fist are concerned.  When Marvel inevitably does this to Bucky the new Captain America, I won’t like it either.  I guess I’m the type of reader who wants his heroes to grow old and die.  Wrong medium for that kind of attitude I know.

  33. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    You’re conceding ‘great results’ on the Marvel side, but where are the failings with what Johns and Ross are doing at DC?  Is it just Kyle being pushed out of the limelight?  Wally isn’t out of the picture yet and they’re not seeing he will be.  

  34. I’m hoping Wally’s not going to be put to pasture but let’s be real.  The agenda is to put Barry back in the spotlight but keep Wally around to appease people like me.  They’ve done this not only to Kyle but to Connor, GAs successor, and it seemed like they were going to do it Batgirl but now that may be going the other way.  I just wish that when they go through the trouble of putting someone new in a costume they let it stay that way and not keep bringing back the old guy.  Keep in mind that Wally and Hal are the heroes I grew up with.  I’m perfectly fine with letting go and moving on.  I wish the higher-ups at DC felt the same way.  Marvel did the same thing in the 80s and 90s with Cap, Thor, and Iron Man.  It stunk then and this stinks now.

  35. I’m all for it, good comics is good comics. And I have no doubt whatsoever that this going to be awesome, with what the creative team and all.

    But it’ll be interesting to see the whole thing when it’s done. And with "the whole thing" I mean the universe Morrison and Johns are building right now. It appears to me that this might be the biggest overall change in DCU history. The whole tone of the ‘verse is different, old characters return and newer characters get a proper positon in it; not just a replacement job.

  36. I don’t care if the guy in the tights had green eyes or blue, I just look forward to Flash being a great read again.

  37. How the hell is Johns able to take on so many projects? The man is a writing machine!