Thursday, 21 July 2016

The Flash: Rebirth Review (Geoff Johns, Ethan Van Sciver)


Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash, is back after sacrificing himself in Crisis on Infinite Earths more than 25 years ago – and PAUSE! Didja know that? Do you know anything about the Flash? Do you even LIKE the Flash? Because, and this is important: if you know nothing about the Flash, you will be utterly baffled with The Flash: Rebirth – this book is by a huge Flash fan for the Flash fans. If, like me, you think Flash is horribly dull and just a red dude who runs real fast, this book won’t convince you otherwise. It’s 100% fan-service. 

I don’t know who exactly was demanding the milquetoast Barry Allen return as the Flash but Grant Morrison was definitely one of them because he brought Barry back in Final Crisis. So, the trumpeted “Rebirth” (how do you “rebirth” anyway!?) and “emotional” (if you care for the guy) return takes place in ANOTHER BOOK! Yeah, it’s horseshit. 

Geoff Johns provides very little background to the book. There’s nothing on Crisis on Infinite Earths, nothing on Final Crisis, and nothing on the Flash family – it’s all just there, it happened, you sink or you swim. Great...

The story here involves Flash becoming Black Flash (the Death version of the Flashes) through some nonsense about the Speed Force, before that idea gets abandoned and Barry fights quite possibly the laziest, least inspired and worst-named superhero antagonist ever: Professor Zoom the Reverse Flash.

I just don’t get the appeal of Flash. He’s like a human hamster when he gets on that stupid treadmill or the visual representation of DC Editorial’s will as they decide to once more reboot their universe by sending the Flash running and then, abracadabra, fresh reboot! Barry is the blandest guy in the DCU, he’s a forensics specialist, he wears a bow-tie… zzz… He’s also spent the last couple decades repeating his girlfriend’s name over and over while being stuck in some red wind-tunnel. Not even his fate is interesting! 

He runs, he runs some more, he runs again. Fuck me… this book is like the comics version of the runs! Will he run towards a personality at some point? And he’s got the worst rogues gallery. I’ve already mentioned Reverse Flash who wants to kill his girlfriend because that’s what bad guys do, but get ready to be wowed with Savitar! … who!? Another guy who runs real fast! Oh the imagination… Gorilla Grodd’s also doing cave paintings here for no reason. 

Ethan Van Sciver’s art is accomplished but it’s the DC house style - kinda like a Jim Lee imitator - so if you read a lot of DC you’re not gonna be wowed by it, even if Van Sciver’s clearly very talented. 

You’ll only like The Flash: Rebirth if you’re already a Flash fan – everyone else, on the fence or open to being convinced otherwise like me, will remain baffled at the popularity of this outdated cheesy character. Flash Fact: this comic sucks!

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