Pick of the Week

April 1, 2009 – The Flash: Rebirth #1

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community think?

Avg Rating: 4.2
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 21.5%
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Size: pages
Price: 3.99

There are all sorts of events and happenings in comics for which we are meant to be excited. Eventually, it gets to be pretty tiring, and if you’re like me, you learn to shut out the hype, and temper your excitement levels. Such was the case with The Flash: Rebirth. There was a firestorm of anticipation. Every issue of DC Comics over the last month had that Flash ad stuck in the middle, interrupting our reading, because it looked like a comic book panel. It featured the reunion of Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver, two guys who have failed to drop the ball yet, as well as the explanation everyone’s been waiting for regarding the return of Barry Allen. Allen’s death was one of the most meaningful deaths in the history of comics, and he’s back. But why? Johns had a lot of explaining to do.

I made sure to read The Flash: Rebirth as early as I could today, because I wanted to be prepared to speak with him later. I was paying particular attention to everything he had to accomplish in the limited number of pages available to him. As it turns out, we didn’t talk about the issue in too much detail, which was just as well, because all of my opinions on the book are formed without any extra explanations on his behalf, and regardless of the Q&A with Johns, this was the best book I read this week.

This book started behind the eight ball, and from page one, it was clear that the writer was aware of it. The opening pages read like a checklist, addressing everything that needed to be addressed with an efficiency and skill so sleek that I was honestly a little awestruck. It was a feat in storytelling. Who’s Barry and why is he different than Wally? Check! Why should newer fans unfamiliar with Barry Allen care about who he is, and how does he fit into the current DC Universe? Check! How does he feel about all that has transpired? Check! What about his best friend Hal Jordan, also returned from the grave? Check! Will there be a compelling story going forward? Check! And so on. It was new reader friendly at the same time as it was a respectful nod to what came before. If you want to read this, you don’t have to know a single thing about Barry Allen other than he used to be the Flash and he died. The rest is laid out for the reader, and by the end of this issue, we’re up to speed.

What you’re reading in this comic book is an example of two top tier creators at the very top of their game. Ironically, I’ve come to think of Geoff Johns as one of the least flashy writers out there. His writing is pure and simple. There are no over the top tricks or stunts to entice readers. Instead there is only solid character development and storytelling. My eyeballs widened over and over going through this book at how much ground was being covered in the pages. Yet at the center of that necessary information was a character brought to life. Imagine the “man out of time” aspect of Steve Rogers, but updated for Barry Allen, where the meaning of the word time becomes much more expansive. All of the great Silver Age aspects of Barry Allen are right there. He’s the fastest man in the world, but he’s always late. But these days the world is a much different place. Information moves at speed force pace. Everyone is rushing and hurried. And there’s Barry stuck in the middle of it, with the intense feeling that he’s got a job to do, and can’t sit still, even if he doesn’t know what that is. Barry’s words tell us so much about how he’s feeling, and the fact that absolutely zero gimmicky sensationalism was forced into the dialog was such a breath of fresh air. In the middle of all that were such great moments as “We’re gonna need more Rogues,” and the reunion of Barry and Hal Jordan, a page that conjured honest-to-God glee in me. If you’re looking for a bunch of witty quips and crazy concepts, this isn’t your book. If you’re looking for the highest possible level of modern superhero comic book construction, this is a great place to start.

You have no idea how good Ethan Van Sciver is. You might think you do, but you don’t know the half of it. Instead of just accepting how good he is, open the book again, provided you have it, and if you don’t, well, I’m just sorry. When you’ve got that book, start really looking at it. Look at that page of Barry standing in the Flash museum and look at everything going on there. Look at how he decided Barry should look, stand, and dress. Maybe go take a look a the first page after you open the cover and see the way the panels are arranged to indicate someone’s point of view as they come closer and close to their goal. Look how some pages are classic grids, indicating very clear actions, while others are kinetic swirls of energy and movement. Look at the mature but slightly frustrated face of Wally West as compared to the youthful simmering anger of Bart Allen’s face. Hell do that with every one of the dozens of characters in this book. Then, when the series is over, go back and read it again, and start to see all the clues that you didn’t know were there to begin with. At that point, you might start to understand how good Ethan Van Sciver is. Maybe.

I was not sucked into the hype for this book. I don’t have a history with either Flash, truth be told. I was actually a somewhat ambivalent about this book, but like every other book that I wasn’t interested in that Geoff Johns was writing, he won me over with skillful earnestness. The hard work is right there on the page, and as a result, it reads effortlessly, and damned enjoyably too. You don’t have to notice any of the stuff I just talked about. You can just breeze through the thing and think, “Hey, that was a pretty great comic book,” and it will do just as well. I’ll say this: the next issue already has a lot to live up to.

Josh Flanagan
The Garricks are fellow French bulldog owners. But they don’t come in that color.


  1. Great review of an amazing issue. Truly the best thing I’ve read in a long time.

  2. Wow! Who didnt see this one coming? 🙂

    (Deadpool #9 was my POTW btw)

  3. I actually have a record of not picking the most anticipated book in a given week. I never pick event books. Just sayin’.

  4. I totally agree — especially about Van Sciver.  Every ounce of work that went into that book shows, just like Johns’ passion for the character does.

    Also, while I completely understand the need for comic books to have conflict and tension, and I am thoroughly impressed with how much ground this issue covered. . .I could totally read an entire issue of ‘Hal and Barry tour the Flash Museum.’  That was awesome.  

  5. I just find it funny that:

    All the articles you guys did for this comic; your interview with Geoff Johns, and then how many people thought it was solely the best book of the week. How this wasnt going to be the pick actually made me puzzled. If this suddenly was JSA or Irredemable it would’ve been a real curve ball.

    Great review as always josh.

  6. This book was amazingly well-done. God, I lament that Wally isn’t center-stage anymore, but I could’ve said the same about Kyle pre-GL:Rebirth and I’m perfectly fine with that now. I trust that ultimately Geoff is gonna do right by him. 

     My only criticism of the book would be that the PERIL for everybody notch isn’t quite as up as it was with GL: Rebirth (and Parallax/Sinestro) and also that Bart’s attitude is kind of abrupt, though partially probably cause we’re not quite used to him not being dead (thanks to late LSH:Final Crisis) and the abortionarium his storyline has been for the past couple years being OVER.  

    Overall, though, in Geoff, I trust.

  7. I had many options this week.  There were a bunch of 4 and 5 star books. Turns out, it must have been a pretty good book, because the last thing I want to do is be predictable.

  8. Oh, c’mon!  Were you not bothered by any of: (a) Story: We are just now learning of the horrible murder in Barry Allen’s past that has gone heretofore unmentioned?; (b) Continuity: Bart? or (c) Art: Iris Allen and Linda Park are apparently the same age now?

    Of course, that’s not all any one person’s fault, but this issue didn’t do it for me at all.  Too many "Huh?"s.  In terms of "don’t need to know anything," it sure as heck helps to know who Savitar was, (not to mention Chyre, and pretty much the entire Johns Flash run.)  How old is Chyre supposed to be, by the way?  Did he also babysit Jay Garrick when Jay was a toddler?

  9. I hate to be the one to said this and know it’s going to cause some epic eye-rolls out there but here it is:

    I like the idea of Barry now a man out of time (much like Brendan Fraser in Past From The Past) but in the CONTINUITY of the DCU there certainly can’t had been that much time between Crisis On The Infinite Earths and now. It’s been what maybe 8 eight maximum since than in the comics.

    So the only things new to Barry should be Britney Spears, camera phones and George W Bush, right?

    Sorry to bring that up but it really bugged me.

  10. I actually saw that french bulldog and thought "Hey, just like George Clooney!"  (oh god, now I feel like a facebook stalker for knowing your dog’s name)

    This issue was incredible.  I loved when they were walking through the Flash museum.  And did anyone else yelp when they noticed that Dexter Myles was giving a tour?? ^_^  I know I did!!!

  11. Clearly those things didn’t bother me.

  12. You are a comics fan.  Please re-adjust your Botherometer appropriately. 

    I will admit, however, "We’re gonna need more Rogues" was pretty great.

  13. @josh i remember back in san diego we were talking about this and you were doubting it. and now it’s your pick. crazay!

  14. Let me just state that: If this was, in YOUR opinion, the best book of the week. I cant argue with that. It’s not like I’m stating: Oh god, how did Deadpool not get the pick this week!?’ That’s the old me.

    Truth be told, if Deadpool didnt come out this week, this would’ve been my pick. But then again what else I had to read was JSA and that was a shithouse (thanks JJ). Again I’m just stating, with all of the hype and great articles you produced this site did this week….How on earth would this not have been the pick of the week? I would be more upset this wasnt the pick with all the hype you did.

  15. listen up everyone!! deadpool was actually the best book this week! ok?! thanks

  16. Welcome back Barry Allen!  This was as good as any single issue I have read in a long time.

     @edward I have a friend that made a series of bad choices and spent 3 years in prison.  When he got out last summer he couldn’t believe how much had changed and he felt very out of step with technology, social trends and pop culture.  That was "only" 3 years.  I totallt thought that was spot on.

     Next up: Aquaman: Rebrith!



  17. @TNC-Yet again, you confuse "coverage" with "hype." 

  18. @Ragtime: (a) We should all accept that Geoff Johns, God of All Retcons, is the God of All Retcons. Man wrote a Crisis after all. (b) Bart came back in Legion of Three Worlds. (c) This bothers me too actually.

  19. Hmm… this was.

    Actually it was not very good. Very trite, slow, and and honestly boring.


    My pick was ASM. Though that wasn’t great. It was a down week

  20. @drake: Really? I thought it was the same word….

    @edward: No that’s not what I ment….I….*sighs* Do I need to get the picture of Rob Liefeld out? Cause I dont want too…

  21. The Lord of Retcons is going a little too far this time.  This is the guy with the time travelling treadmill.  He’d go back in time for anything, like if he forgot to record Cosby on his VCR.  Suddenly, it occurs to him that an unsolved tragedy involving his parents past is worth exploring?

     Bart appeared in several panels of Legion, unexplained, in a different century.  Not saying he can’t get from there to here, or that its Johns’s fault that Legion is late, but it definitely detracted from my reading experience. 


  22. @drtiehead.  How do you know that Aquaman was circumcised the first time?

  23. This is exactly how I felt about the book. And that Steve Rodgers coomparison is quite accurate.

  24. Great Review, Josh. One of the aspects I dug about this issue was that Barry doesn’t seem too pleased to be alive. Which is interesting because it’s not a view point we see very often in comics. Despite the "retconning" of the murder (Have we even ever heard about Barry’s parents before? I certainly don’t recall them), this issue was solid to me for the Hal/Barry conversation and the EVS art. His iteration of Barry’s costume change had me in figurative tears. Meanwhile the rest of the issue had me with a big ol’ grin on my face. Add to the fact that in a very simple, subtle way Johns uses the JSA to deftly explain how Barry is the single event that revitalized comics for the Silver Age and you have this fanboy in nirvana. Was this issue perfect or free from reproach? No. Not at all. But it’s a damn good read.

    As for Bart "acting out of character." If you suddenly came back from the dead 1000 years in the future, helped save the day there and then went back to your proper time only to have *your* resurrection upstaged by the resurrection of your grandfather, who you never even met before and is regarded (pretty much) as Jesus in the DCU, while your friend, mentor and father figure remains dead in the same place aforementioned granddad came back from, you’d be whiny, too. 

    @TNC Barry could run rings around Deadpool! :-p 

  25. Bart wasn’t acting out of character, this sets his whole world upside down. He has a hierarchy in mind and one man who stands atop that being Wally, to have someone he doesn’t know usurp that would be upsetting.

     I thought it was a good book, thought it was better the second time I read it and I ended up givingit a 5. Probably the best book, I read this week.

  26. Actually Crucio Bart HAS met Barry before both through time travel and reality altering and every time it happened he was overwhelmed to get to meet his Granddad. He has also talked about Barry before and certainly never had that opinion before this specific issue called for it. That’s always been my problem with Johns actually. When he wants to he can do the Retcon shuffle as well as anyone in comics but sometimes he seems to not want to bother and just glosses over and hand waves it away. Simply because he wants it that ways characters magically start acting in ways that are completely contrary to characterizations that have been consistently written for years or even decades. He doesn’t do with everyone of course and when he takes the time and does it right it can be magic like in Green Lantern Rebirth. But when he doesn’t it can be an awkward mess that completely takes me out of the story. He did it with She-Hulk, Hank Pym, and Janet in his Avengers run, he did it with Bart in his Teen Titans run, he did it with Central/Keystone City, and at times Wally in his Flash run, he did it with a bunch of the supporting cast in his Superman run, and now he’s done it in Flash Rebirth with Bart and Barry. It annoying since I know he can do better. There are times where I see a lot of John Bryne circa the eighties in Geoff Johns and I can’t help but wonder when he eventually is no longer the big man on campus if he won’t end up in a similar place. I hope not but I guess we will see.

  27. @drtiehead. I don’t care about the book anymore. i just want to know what bad choices your friend made now

  28. Admittedly I haven’t read this yet, and I have faith that if anyone is capable of pulling this off then it is Geoff Johns, but as an editorial decision for me personally the whole bringing back Barry thing sucks. For me, and many others (check out the current Newsarma poll) Wally West IS the flash, it is a shame to see him sidelined.

    But more than that the death of Barry in the original Crisis was one off, if not the defining super hero comic book  moments for me. At 13 reading that story had a massive impact on me, it showed that things could happen in superhero comics that had a real and lasting impact, that these heroes despite all,that power, really were laying it on the line, it was powerful, pure and heartbreaking, and a truly legendary comic book moment.

    That Crisis and the death of Jason Todd a year or two later probably kept me interested in reading comic books at an age when I could have easily lost interest, they made the sometimes silly, untouchable heroes of the DCU into real vulnerable people.

    So for me personally (I admit no everyone will feel this way) bringing Barry (and Jason) back feels editorially driven and diminishes some of the impact of those stories. Though as I said earlier, I will read this solely because I trust Geoff Johns to make a great story out of a bad decision on DC’s part.

    I now only await Marvel bringing out "the return of Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacy".

  29. @ mike – wally hasn’t been sidelined! nobody knows what’s going to happen yet!

    barry has been back multiple times through time shenanigans, so this isn’t really without precedent. and the "dcu starring barry allen" might not yet be the status quo going forward…

  30. im going to be picking up my comics in about 2 hours so really cant wait. this was going to be the first book i read and now i think i may need to read it before making my way home. im not saying you’re predictable but this book could not have not ben picked, the charcter, the story, the writer, the artist, this was always going to be pick of the week in whatever week it came out!

  31. I found this to be far more interesting then if it was an issue of Barry running around acting like it isn’t odd that he came back. He reads to me like someone who is in denail, and is very afraid he is going to go away again. He is avoiding his friends, avoiding Iris, avoiding having to aknowledge that his return might be for real.

    Bart resents the fact that Barry came back but Max Mercury is still dead. There is a big difference between being in awe os someone and being comfortable with them around. 

  32. denail – denial

    os – of

    It was also about time someone told Hal his jacket was kind of a bad fasion move.

  33. HA! I knew it! In all seriousness, I can not wait to read this book. I hate having to wait until Friday to get my books! I feel like I’m always playing catch-up with everyone else.

  34. Knowing absolutely zilch about Flash and anything surrounding him, I felt this issue got me up to speed. It was also my pick but there were a couple of other books up for contention as well, including Iron Man.

  35. So was the flashback scene with Barry’s dad definitely a retcon?  I just assumed it was something I wasn’t familiar with.

  36. Would not have expected this to be PotW from Josh.

    But, um…bravo? Good job, I suppose.

  37. I just having a laugh. Great fucking book and quality review, Mr. Flanagan.

  38. Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I really enjoyed your EVS art analysis.  The visuals in this book were so compelling.  They mixed it up a lot.  Good stuff.  

  39. no surprise lol great book though!!

  40. Thanks for the review, Josh! I haven’t finished my stack yet, but I agree with everything you said, and this is definitely a strong POTW contender.

  41. Hooray for "not flashy" writers! Though Johns does have a flair. I too, thought this was a good comic. Not my POW though.

  42. See, Labor gets why this is not the expected Pick.  He Old School ‘n shit.

  43. The only complaint I have about this book is the sudden jarring powergirl preview that suddenly pops up. Nothing against powergirl but I thought I still had some flash left!

  44. this is actually the only thing i’ve gotten to so far this week. but i’m inclined to agree with you Josh, great stuff. though i was a little distracted, looking to see if Sciver hid anything in all the panels!

    can’t wait to read it again!

  45. big ol’ pat on the back for my pal Josh in this pick – for those curious if I liked it or not…it would have been my pick too.  Johns is totally going to address ever concern I have (I think…) and he’s even adding in layers of story that  wouldn’t have expected/anticipated.  Great, great great stuff

  46. ps. am i the only one that thinks the Black Flash costume is the coolest ever?

    so badass.


  47. Great review – only wheting my appitite until I can get to the LCS on Friday. Anticipation already high on this one, and Mr. Josh, you did not help that.

  48. Did anyone else find some of the coloring and/or inking off with this issue?

    I mean Van Scivers pencils in general were rockin, but sometimes it seemed like the colors itself were off. I mentioned it in my review for this but the whole sequence with Barry changing into his costume…that didnt look good in terms of a coloring aspect and less of a pencils aspect. Other then that the art was good for me.

  49. HUZZAH!

  50. This was actually my first Flash comic I have ever read and I must say Mr. Johns did impress me. The Flash has always been one of those characters I  wanted to read but was nervous. This issue inspired me to go read some more Flash. I was wondering what are some good essential Flash stories to feed my curiosity?

    @Johnny I too love the Black Flash costume.

  51. I think Barts "off" attitude is not because Barry has come back but because Max Mercury hasn’t as they were very close

  52. I’m not really a DC kind of guy, but now I read this amazing issue (which I will be re-reading and re-reading as Josh suggested) of the Flash and add that to all that is going on with Batman (well not Batman but you know what I mean) and Superman and I’m really being suck into this issue. 

    Not being a Flash/DC guy I bought it strictly because of the hype and was not at all disappointed!

  53. "being suck into this issue" actually means, ‘being sucked into the DCU’

  54. is it just me or is DC a one trick pony? all they seem to do is make events out killing someone off and bring someone back?

  55. It’s just you.

    Johns has been putting out quality books for years now, and while some of them are based on that, it’s certainly not all of them.  But DC needs more writers of his quality.

  56. @josh: That’s true. Other then Johns, Morrison, Tomasi, and Dini….who else is really that good of a writer for the company?

  57. I don’t feel like they’re recruiting new guys enough. Why are Fraction, Remender, Hickman, Van Lente, Aaron, and other guys from the indie world all working at Marvel?

  58. @josh: superman, green arrow, hawkman, jason todd, hal jordn, bruce wayne, barry allen

  59. @josh: Cause they have one thing….,Money!

    That’s something you can take to the bank….the money bank.

  60. @edward: Captain America, Bucky, Hawkeye, Norman Osborn, Colossus, Captain Marvel, Jean Grey

    The point is that the list goes on and on for both companies because that’s what they do.

  61. loved it but there was one weird page where it ended up looking like barry was standing on his own head

  62. Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @edward – Jean Grey, Vision, Thor, Colossus, Captain Marvel, Professor X, Magneto 

  63. You mean the specific page I pointed out as being a really great page in the review?  To each their own.

  64. I really enjoyed this book.  Sciver’s art was awesome, particularly that page where he gets into the suit.  Stellar stuff.  This is going to be a great mini series, and I love how Johns has added this sense of urgency to his character.  It’s kind of how you would imagine gettinga second chance at life being: you trying to do all the things you didn’t get to finish the first go around.

    My POW though was the Robinson/Martin Cap book.  Not only did Robinson write an amazing Cap story, but Marcos Martin drew the shit out of the book.  It was so, so good, and made me grin like an idiot from page one to the end.  Also, the back up story provided was so dumb, it was kind of good. 

  65. Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:
  66. That’s a blonde or fawn frenchie.  The one in the book is grey.  There are no grey ones, and if there are, they’re crossbred somehow.  I know, I’m a whackjob.

  67. Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Fool, that dog be white.  

  68. I’m not a huge fan of companies continually resurrecting characters, but I do understand it. It comes down to the audience and the nature of serialized publishing. Month in and month out, the publishers entertain us with these characters. But ask anyone in comics publishing — there’s a natural attrition rate to most series. They slowly shed readers. So, you pump up sagging titles with stunts and events and status-quo changing events. In the eighties and nineties, DC replaced a lot of their Silver Age characters with younger, modern counterparts. But as those characters start to flail, it’s fairly inevitable that someone will try another stunt. In DC’s case, they’ve found some success in going back to the older generation. Because the characters are familiar, but the audience isn’t sick of them. They’re curious as to the plot that revives the character. Curious to see how it will play out.

    I don’t believe that Barry is inherently a better character than Wally. I don’t think Hal is better than Kyle, for that matter. But I don’t begrudge DC for trying to summon new interest, and I understand it as a business decision: why create a new character when you have at least a built in recognition factor with the old character?

    New characters generally struggle to find an audience, even if they’re legacy characters (Manhunter, Blue Beetle). The only thing that sucks is that if you are always mining your old characters for new material, you miss out on creating NEW characters, and our chance of getting the next Jack Knight or Tim Drake dwindles.

  69. Josh may not know from continuity (or sensibly may not care), but NO NOT mess with the man on French bulldogs.  This should be clear!

  70. (that would be funnier if I had typed "DO NOT" and looked like I could write English.  ah well).

  71. Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @Dave – We don’t need another Jack Knight.  We didn’t need the first one.  

    @Caroline – Josh wears glasses.  I don’t need them.  The dog be white.  

  72. on the subject of DC writers (and this goes back to Josh’s article about industry gossiping), it feels a little to me like DC is a harder place to work right now. This is JUST SPECULATION, but it’s based on stuff I’ve read, so… grain of salt. If you read about writer’s conferences at Marvel, it seems to be writers battling out the ideas, compromising and finding a direction (regardless of quality of execution). Whereas, at DC, we’re seeing a lot of creative teams surreptitiously replaced, schedules and books being shuffled, and even a lot of books being re-written at the last minute.

  73. Paul, you ignorant slut.

  74. Grey.

  75. Frenchies don’t come in white either.  They can be pied, like mine, which is white, with spots of brindle.

  76. We’re gonna need more Geoff Jones’!!!! Great Issue!!! As I saw the kids of Wally fighting for the piñata, I got the feeling of impending doom that came over me when I saw Kyle Rayner on GL Rebirth.

  77. I prefer pugs and corgies

  78. wow i honestly did not see all this heat coming from this obvious POW, is it cool to hate on Geoff Johns with the hipster kids these days? this was a great read and im not even that big of a barry allen/flash fan, but once again Johns has won me over. great review Josh, this was hands down the best book this week anyone who cant see that needs to get their head checked.

  79. @Egon: I wish I knew the latest trends with you kids.

    @Dave: That is a very good observation on Barry’s return as a whole. I mean let’s face it: The only reason this reboot of Barry is happening is because DC has no idea what they’re doing with the Flash characters in general. They destroied Wally West, Bart was a huge failure, and as much as I love Jay Garrick; unless it’s 1957 there’s no way he’ll be that big of a deal anymore with the fans.

    This, I believe, was purely an editorial decision to get this made. I’m sure Johns wanted to do another Flash title….but if they didnt fuck Wally up, would Barry Allen even be coming back? Probably not.

    On your point with DC…..yeah they seem to have a much harsher reputation then Marvel. Joey Q seems to be a bit more lenient on creators then DC.

  80. The thing about the book that I enjoyed the most was counting all of the characters who had died and come back to life.

  81. These statements about what’s going on in DC editorial vs. creator ideas are completely based on speculation.  No one really knows anything of how these books came about, and regardless of their origin, it’s a good comic book.

  82. This comic was confusing to me.

    I admit that a great deal of the confusion might be my fault.

    I don’t even have the Flashs down. I know Jay Garrak is the first Flash and in Justice Society.

    But Bart, Barry and Wally . . . which one who died by getting beat to death by the Rogues? Which one came back in the Justice Society/Justice League crossover?

    The murder at the beginning was cool, but I didn’t understand who any of the people were who were involved.

    The speed force thing isn’t a concept I quite get.

    Dude popping out of the speed force at the end confused me. Did he just escape at that moment?

    I’ll assume that Bart is disrupting the speed force at the end . . .

    Yeah, I was confused.

    Still liked it and may need to read it again, but I thought Jonah Hex and New Avengers The Reunion were better comics this week.

  83. I never completely understood the speed force either. I think Johns has set a goal of clearing that up and playing it up.

  84. Speed Force=Speed of Sound X Speed of Light/2

    There…that should answer your question

  85. @Conor, Josh and Paul, the difference is DC institutionalised these contrived returns by turning them into the Rebirth franchise.

    Not that it is a bad phenomenon. It’s like an acceptance of this story device/bullshit marketing ploy.

  86. by the way, that dog is white and butt ugly!

  87. @edward: Rebirth franchise? There have only been two books.  And as Geoff Johns said in his chat with Josh on Wednesday, there aren’t going to be any more.

  88. yeah, I knew the franchise phrasing would cause some raised eye brows. Call it what you what but it’s like an official acceptance that this cycle of blatant sales ploys will continue…. And that’s not a bad thing.

    i just get the feeling that Marvel handles their death and returns with more intelligent than DC. DC seems to centre a entire story and event around theses things while Marvel seems to create story that bring a character back without the return being the complete purpose of the story. E.g. Hal Jordan in Rebirth vs. Mockingbird in Secret Invasion.

  89. Loved this book.  Loaded with potential.  Can’t wait to sit back in 6 months and say ‘aaah, it’s nice to have the Flash back’. 

    One question – The murder of Barry’s mother is a retcon, right?  I know that dead parents is a common comic book point of origin, but Barry was different.  He was a full-grown man when he got his powers.  Ah, who knows, maybe it’s a CSI thing.  He becomes a forensic scientist BECAUSE his mom was murdered?  Works for me, even if it is brand new. 

  90. @edward Both companies have their ways of doing things. Marvel likes to reboot more often than DC and switch the numbering according to what might sell, Thor 600 for example. 

     Could care less about such things. This book was amazing and am so happy to have Johns on a Flash book again.  

  91. @Josh — yes, I stated that it was speculation. However, there are printed/online articles about creator summits, and there are printed/online articles about creators being taken off of books, about books being shuffled around and changed, etc. 

    The speculation comes from ME stating that this MAY mean that one place is more appealing than another for upcoming indie creators. That’s PURE speculation — me putting myself in their shoes, based on what I’ve read/heard. As I said above, that should all be taken with a grain of salt. 😉

  92. And I should add that I’m not saying that the return of Barry Allen was an editorial ploy — I was referring to a perceived difference in the companies and they way they do business. I have NO personal opinion about why Barry returned, and I agree that it was a GOOD comic book (my PotW, too, in fact).

    The only personal anecdote I have with regards to Flash: Rebirth is that a certain former Flash creator was in my local shop when the news of Allen’s return was first announced, and while he was livid (at the time) about the return of Barry Allen, he was happy with WHO was handling it because he liked that that creator.

  93. Without remembering the bulldog from the comic, I’m going to go out on a limb and say it was mauve…

  94. the death of Barry’s mother is a total ret con that contradicts the origin of Colbalt Blue one of the major Storylines from the Waid era. Barry having a happy childhood (well into his teens) was a major motivating factor in a rivalry that will continue well past the birth of Bart Allen 1000’s of years in the future.

    so everytime I hear Johns say what a huge fan of the Waid’s run he is, I just roll my eyes.

    there are many reasons that I think Johns is the worst thing to happen to the Flash and on many occasions i find his writing to be lazy and repedative 


  95. EVS is on Word Balloon. Interesting stuff.

  96. And next week, we’ve got an hour long video show with me and Geoff Johns.

    It is, in fact, the bomb.

  97. Great book! Great review!

    I have to admit, when books are this hyped a ‘let down’ seems inevitable. But this hype was well deserved. The character drama was great. Came right off the pages.

    Look forward to this series and the ongoing..

  98. Apologies Josh, I believe you were sucked up by the hype. Your love of Geoff Johns clearly tints most of your review. Read the book again as though his name was not on it. Its too wordy, has a clunky plot,  and is poorly paced. It is not a bad book, but it is not the next coming of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, to draw an analogy. Read my review for more, the previous is a one line summary.

  99. That’s funny on many levels.

  100. Jeez, this is like Watchmen all over again.

    I’ll say this, there’s no man alive who can sit across from Geoff Johns, listen to him talk about his work, and call him lazy.  It’s just ridiculous.

    Also, I wouldn’t say I’m actually a Johns "fan," as much as I respect his work very much. I know that sounds contradictory, but I’m an Alan Moore, Brian Bendis, and Greg Rucka "fan," which is very different.

    It seems like people who didn’t like the book already had a hitch in their shorts about Johns to begin with.  It’s like Bendis.  For a long time, I didn’t think there was anyone who didn’t like Bendis, and then he got really popular, and it started.

    So no, think what you want about my blind fan allegiance, but there isn’t a favorite write I have out there that hasn’t written something I didn’t like and said so.

  101. why is it when someone has an opinion contradictory to the popular one he is shot down immediately?

    I mean Zombox offered a rationale for his opinion. He wasn’t just talking out of his butt or trolling. There should be more thought out, reasoned comments like this on the site, not simply “great book! Can‘t wait for the next issue!!”

    On the other hand, it does suck that Josh was called out and had to justify his point of view.

  102. @edward: It wasn’t having a contradictory opinion – there are plenty of those on this page – it was accusing Josh of not actually liking something he said he liked.  That’s completely different.

  103. Do things really have to be the next coming of stan lee and jack kirby to be considered pick of the week worthy?

  104. I’d like to think I’m a better critic than that, and I think I’ve panned enough of the "hyped" books to prove it.

  105. Why do people get so hung up on the pick? 

    It isn’t like you get a ribbon if you liked the same book. There will NEVER be a book that everyone agrees on.

    When do I get my ribbon?

  106. I can’t believe I just called myself a critic. I’d like to take that back, and take myself less seriously.

  107. @conor. i admit THAT part of Zombox’s comment was stupid, however, the rest offers a valid analysis of the book.

    @massacre1050: Zombox said Stan lee and jack Kirby was an analogy or just an example. it says it right there, three words after ‘Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’

  108. You know who Johns is perfect on writing? Jay Garrick.

    He’s got Wally down perfectly and he does for Jay Garrick. Again I would love to see Johns do some type of mini/one-shot with Jay in the future.

  109. @edward – that’s not really an analysis.  It’s an opinion. The review might back it up, but he basically said, "it wasn’t that good."  Granted, most critique of art is subjective, as I think you’ll find every single time that Ron, Conor and I disagree on something.  No one attacked the dude for having a different opinion.  No one attacked anyone.

  110. The review doesn’t seem skewed to me. The points are reasoned out, expounded on and conclusions are drawn. Sounds fair to me.

    In other news: A friend of mine who is not really into comics but likes to read my comics from time to time read this. It was interesting. He had roughly the same opinion as me. Not exactly sure what happened, understanding the basic gist of the big stakes implied and very interested in reading more. Any good mystery is supposed to do that. One thing he did say that I found fascinating was that he enjoyed how they didn’t try to cool-ify the more "hokey" elements of Flash lore. Like the giant statue museum and stuff. They acknowledged it, let it be it’s own thing. It’s obvious Barry is a character from a different time so he brings some of that "old school" stuff with him. Somehow that made sense in a weird way to him. I thought that was a unique perspective.

  111. Oh and another thing he said that was brilliant is that Barry being dead for a long time it makes sense that his visual return would be "retro". Whereas Supes, or Bats has continually evolved.

    His perspective was very enlightening to me.

  112. Did anyone notice the posters Bart put up. “Yay, Bart!” and "Welcome Back Kidflash”. very funny

     I also liked how Red Arrow, Nightwing and Donna Troy all said they wished they had mentors liked Barry instead also arseholes for parental figures

  113. Its okay. I didn’t feel ‘attacked’. My delicate sensibilities are unharmed. Though I did not say that that Josh did not like something he says he likes. I had a mild implication that his review was biased based on a general enjoyment of Geoff Johns’ work. I know that I would be guilty of the same thing in regards to writers I have traditionally enjoyed. I’d give them a pass on things that I wouldn’t give someone unknown or untried (or that I had a history of disliking). It isn’t a crime, its simply a statement of human condition and anchoring.

  114. I see what you’re saying, but I try very hard not to do that, and if I think I am doing, I’ll say so.

    I do it for Bendis and Brubaker all the time.  I *am* fascinated by Johns’ craft.  The guy is a master artisan in such a pure way.  He’s like a carpenter who’s stuff isn’t showy, but it never falls apart, and you own that chair forever.

  115. @josh – this is a great pick and well deserved. i could’ve used a bit more action, but i’m sure we’ll get it when the time’s right. it was also my pick of the week, but, then, it was the only thing i read this week  😉 

  116. Best little thing… When Hal and Barry are walking through the Flash museum, Barry’s shadow is the silhouette of the Flash.

  117. Yeah, Johns may be a craftsman, and while I do have an appreciation for the work that he’s done, I never get *excited* about the chance to read one of his books; this was no exception. I just feel like I can tell everything he’s going to put down in a DC comic book — there’s something familiar about his language/cycles/methods, between GL, Superman, and now this. I take nothing away from his skill and his status as DC lynchpin, it’s just that his toolbox has little in it that thrills me.

  118. It’s funny, I used to feel that way about Johns, all the way through his Flash run the first time.  I dropped it.  Then around the time of Sinestro Corps and Justice Society, I came around.

  119. This is probably one of the best comic book ever I already got me a copy of this comic book and it was awesome probably The Flash’s greatest comeback ever I just hope Captain Cold, Gorilla Grodd, Mirror Master, and the rest of the Flash’s Rogues will have part in this epic saga.

  120. Great review.  Why Josh is having to defend anything is beyond me.  He liked it… end of. 

    As for the notion Marvel is somehow is a Jane Austen novel compared to DC’s Michael Bay in terms of the handling of dead super heroes….

    Well, I think some people need to step back from being a fan of either company and take a real objective look to see there is no real difference between the two publishers in the end.   Each company does the same thing, in the same amount, and both at varying levels of sucess.  They always have, and always will.

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