Following the Flash-centric events of the big Rebirth one-off, there was a lot of curiosity in where writer Josh Williamson would go with Barry and Wally in the The Flash: Rebirth #1.
This is a comic book review. There are spoilers below.
Well, we start in an extremely accessible yet engaging manner. Barry is on the case of a murder very similar of that to his own mother's. Everyone around him thinks that this is what is throwing Barry for a loop, when it's really just the Speed Force trying to warn him.
We're left wondering if it's Wally trying to reach out, or if it's something more. We get a peek at Zoom messing with Barry, but then we see Flash shake it off to go vent to daddy-o.
It's an emotional scene that shows us, the reader, that Barry is a freaking confused, emotional wreck before the actions of the Rebirth One-Off take place.
The first 5-6 pages are emotionally dripping, accessible to new readers and gives us veterans enough juice to be OK with getting a 101 course in Barry Allen Flash origins.
Hats off on that, it's not easy.
Throughout this entire issue, there is one constant; and that's the connection felt between the reader and artist Carmine Di Gianddmenico. This issue draws from the styles of the past while the talented puts his own twist into the classic character.
It's fantastic stuff that makes me feel like I'm reading Mark Waid's 1980s Flash run. One of the panels just feels vintage, it feels classic but fresh all at the same time.
Let's also give one hell of a deserved bow, throw of roses, hand-kiss, you name it to colorist Ivan Plascencia. There is one panel in particular that is just absolutely bananas. We see The Flash running down the middle of a whole page with his enemies, friends, loved ones and life all spiraling together as he describes how he got to where he was.
If you don't think colorists are an intricate, important, make-or-break aspect of a series, then look at Ivan Plascencia's work on this issue and try and convince me otherwise.
Back to the story, because, my god, it's good.
To answer a bunch of questions readers probably had coming in:
- We get more Wally
- We get Barry and Batman working together
- We get more Watchmen hints
- We get more hints about these characters discovering what they lost from the Flashpoint
This book had a lot of bases to cover coming in, but goddamn it made sure to cover them all in a way that didn't feel like a checklist but an organically evolving story. Nothing is rushed, crammed in or prodded, it moves as smooth as a moist toilette across Grant's bottom.
Barry and Batman working in the Batcave together while Barry talks about the natural connection he has always felt with his "fellow forensic scientist" is heart-warming. He cracks jokes like how there's no laughing in the Batcave.
For those wanting a lukewarm take from me, I think we're all about to see the Watchmen take action on the DC Universe for the aftermath of the Flashpoint. Barry messed with time to save his own mother, but in the process stole so much from so many people (including himself).
Heck, they even figure a way to work some Flashpoint jokes into the mix:
This is an absolutely fantastic read that only helps build the momentum built by Rebirth. I am so excited to see where Williamson and Co. goes from here.
Rating: 9/10 This is one heck of a Flash book. Nothing is rushed, crammed in or prodded, it moves as smooth as possible. Batman fits in, Wally fits in, Barry's tangled past fits in. Hats off to Joshua Williamson and Carmine Di Gianddmenico. This is one heck of a Flash book.