Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: The FLASH: Rebirth #2

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Friday, May 08, 2009

The FLASH: Rebirth #2

I liked this. I liked the first one too.


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For one thing, it is by Geoff Johns, and I have learned to trust Geoff Johns. He very rarely disappoints me. It is also drawn by Ethan Van Sciver, and I adore Ethan Van Sciver. So right off the bat, I know that it is at least going to have an interesting plot, decent dialogue and lovely artwork.

As we learned in the first issue, Barry Allen is somehow, back from the Speed Force. Barry himself seems rather bemused by this unexpected turn of events, but just about everyone else is beside themselves with joy. Hal in particular is delighted to have his old buddy back among the living, although he can't seem to get over the differences in the circumstances of their respective "deaths". Barry, Hal exclaims, died as a Saint, but he, possessed by Parallax, died as a sinner. As usual, Hal is exagerating to a certain degree, yes he was possessed by Parallax, and did some very very bad things when not in his right mind, but he had pretty much done his best to redeem himself before dying in order to restore the sun. But since Hal would rather wallow in guilt for a while, he fails to mention all of this. I get the feeling that Barry doesn't quite know WHAT to think, but that he wishes Hal would lighten up a little.

So...Barry is back. But something just isn't quite right, and he can't quite put his finger on the problem. We have some flashbacks, with his old job as a CSI, and his romance with Iris, which has been updated a bit in typical Johns fashion, but I was really interested in the problem of what is happening to all of the speedsters in the world. Barry teams up with Wally, which is nice, and they end up being attacked by Lady Savitar, who blames Barry for the death of Savitar, not to mention, they stumble across the charred corpse of the old Black Flash. Too bad for Barry, that he appears to have inherited the mantle of the Black Flash, much to his and Wally's horror.

Now THAT was unexpected...at least by me. I can't help thinking that this is all going to tie in somehow with the upcoming Blackest Night story, which should be very interesting to say the least.

There has been a certain amount of kvetching on the internet about the return of Barry...that it was disrespectful to Wally, that Barry was dull and boring, and didn't NEED to come back, that Geoff Johns is too ready with a retcon...but I have to say that I disagree. I like Barry. I've always liked Barry, but in a mild sort of way. I wasn't really that emotionally invested in him as a character, so it is no skin off my nose WHAT Geoff Johns wants to do with him. For that matter, Jay is my favorite Flash, although I'm quite fond of Wally too. But if it is going to be a good story, why NOT use Barry? If he is suddenly going to be the unwilling avatar of Death for Speedsters, I can see where that would put a serious crimp in Flash picnics. So far at least, I am intrigued...and I want to see where this is all going, and what is going to happen when we get there.

8 Comments:

At 2:19 PM, OpenID scottyquick said...

I just want to say that I love the fact that Van Sciver/Johns put Jesse on the cover. <3 her.

 
At 4:10 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

One of the reasons that I love Ethan. He's very thorough.

 
At 12:21 PM, Blogger MetFanMac said...

Query: how can the Black Flash "die", and how can Barry take his place? I thought the Black Flash was the embodiment of Death itself--not an actual person.

 
At 1:55 PM, Blogger CalvinPitt said...

I have a question also. SO Barry is the avatr for Death of Speesters. Does this mean if you see him, you will die? (soon I mean, since, everyone dies eventually) Or is it that when a speedster dies, Barry is drawn there, willing or not, like that Pariah fellow from Crisis on the Infinite Earths?

 
At 3:30 PM, Blogger Baal said...

Have to respectfully agree with you on this issue. While better than #1 for me, that's damning with faint praise. I definitely am a non-fan of Geoff Johns. Too Silver Agey and gore loving for my tastes, at least he captured Barry's voice better here. Sciver? His popularity baffles me. His faces look more constipated than Alex Ross' and his knowledge of anatomy makes Ed Benes look photo-realistic to me. I'm sticking around for the whole mini but if eitehr of this creative team helms a new Barry ongoing I will probably pass...

Oh and BTW, if Barry was in the Speed Force when his wonderfully normal parents were retconned into a cliche, shouldn't he be unaware of it?

 
At 3:38 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Baal, it's probably all Superboy Prime's fault...that little punching time escapade. Or something.

I suppose one of the reasons that I like this, is that I don't carry a whole lot of previous expectations. I'm not a huge Flash fan, the way that I'm a Green Lantern fan. I just like the Flashes,and enjoy reading about them, but I'm not heaviy invested in their whole history. If however, you are a huge Flash fan, I can see where this could be bothersome.

Mac, I don't have the foggiest idea about how the whole Black Flash things work. But I am completely happy to sit back and see where the story goes.

 
At 1:12 AM, Blogger Duskdog said...

I'm enjoying this title a lot, too. Compared to Jay, Wally, and Bart, Barry has always been rather boring to me, but it's a likeable sort of boring. I'm not sure why Barry needed to come back because his death was just fine, but I don't mind that he is so long as they don't kill off Jay or Wally. So I guess I'm sort of with Sally on this -- I was never really emotionally invested in Barry one way or the other, so I didn't come into this with any hopes or wishes one way or the other (other than hoping they don't kill off Jay or Wally).

I'm not a huge fan of Van Sciver's art, either, though. His character designs (aliens in particular) are often really interesting, but I just don't find his art... attractive, I guess? I don't dislike it, but I've always been a little sad that he seems to get so much hype when Reis and Gleason haven't gotten nearly enough credit.
(Granted, Gleason's work isn't what I'd call "pretty" either, but I find his style attractive in a quirky sort of way. Van Sciver's just seems... off.)

 
At 9:59 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

I have to admit, that I like Ethan's art, mainly because he did such a nice job with Rebirth, but it's true that Ivan Reis is SUCH a beautiful artist. I already miss him madly, so that's another reason that I'm looking forward so much to Blackest Night, since he's going to be handling the drawing chores.

Pat Gleason is...quirky, but I love him. It took me a little bit of time to warm up to his work, since he has a tendancy to be a bit cartoony sometimes, but he can also lay out a page like nobody's business,and there is so much movement and action in his art. And nobody else does aliens like Pat.

 

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