I think I’ve admitted my certain lack of general DC Universe knowledge before. What can I say? I got started reading comics late in life and I still have some catching up to do. But as information for this whole new DC event, Flashpoint, became more awesome sounding, I found that I wanted to know a little bit of something about the Flash before I went barreling into this event with no background what-so-ever.
Therefore this week I want to make the recommendation of The Flash: Rebirth to anyone who needs a bit of a Flash pick-me-up before the big event, which will officially begin with Flashpoint #1 next week. The Flash: Rebirth is a six issue series (which can now conveniently be found in a compiled graphic novel) telling the story of the return of Barry Allen, the Silver Age’s Flash.
Barry Allen died in 1985 in a self-sacrificing way, making him a legend for the 23 years that he remained “dead”. Rebirth is the story of what happens after he returns. And, let me tell you, a LOT happens. There are speedster characters out the wazoo and it takes a little time to figure out who they all are. But once you get the complicated family tree all sorted out, this book actually becomes a handy-dandy sum-up of many of the main Flash points (that was a pun, yes) that you need to know before you seriously dive into reading Flash comics.
Within these interesting pages you will see reference to several villains of the past, but none more so than the Reverse Flash, Thawn. His history with Barry Allen is obviously deeply laid in the Flash saga and I have to say that this book does a spectacular job of bringing the reader up to speed (yikes, another bad pun) on their intense relationship.
How is Rebirth as a Flash comic in general? In comparison to other Flash comics and within the confines of the DC Universe? I dunno.
Or at least I don’t want to voice an uneducated opinion. I am not recommending it because it kept me on the edge of my seat or because it was the best DC comic ever written – though I did find out that it completely sold out of its first printing.
I am recommending it because as a new DC reader it was able to provide me with a mammoth’s worth of information in a succinct, interesting, and straight-forward manner. I like that about a comic. Being ears-deep in comic back story is awesome, but sometimes a series has to throw any newbies a bone and recount some of the big names, events, and relationships with enough detail to make us want to go find out the rest for ourselves. Well done, Geoff Johns. You have successfully inspired me to do just that.
I don’t think I could write this review without also giving credit to illustrator Ethan Van Sciver. His work absolutely shone in this short series. There was a lot of drawing to be done to illustrate the immense amount of action at break-neck speeds and he drew it all in a way that made it appear effortless for him.
I’ll certainly be trying to continue my quick catch-up period in preparation for next week’s Flashpoint. On that note, for those poking around for Flashpoint information, please check out this fabulous article from USA Today – Flashpoint: Not the DC heroes you know.
Within that article you will find some nice preview art, quotes from those working hardest to make Flashpoint a success, and some insightful information about what you should expect.