Flash: Rebirth #1 review

There’s been a murder. A woman in the Central City suburbs is dead and her husband is in the frame. It’s all too familiar to police scientist Barry Allen, whose own dad sat in jail for years, framed for the killing of his wife Norah, Barry’s mother. 
Barry finds it hard to to concentrate on the case, he’s having visions. And then Wally West returns after years trapped in the Speed Force following the Flashpoint. Barry remembers Wally and wants to tell his Aunt Iris, but the younger Flash isn’t having it. 
With Barry appraised of the full Flashpoint debacle, and the finger of blame pointed at someone other than Barry, the two heroes split up; Wally to see what his old friends in the Teen Titans know, Barry to see if Batman is already on the case. 
He is, and I can’t imagine Dr Manhattan – if he is indeed behind the changed DC Earth – being able to hide from Batman and the Flash, superhero scientists supreme, for long. 
A few weeks ago, DC Rebirth brought back Wally West. And this issue brought back Barry Allen. He’s not been away technically, but emotionally, that’s another matter. This issue felt like my Barry, the guy I grew up reading – not the calamity-prone bozo of recent years, but the surefooted speedster who used science in his crime-solving. 
The writer behind this issue is Joshua Williamson, coming to DC after capturing attention with the likes of indie books Nailbiter and Ghosted. I hope he sticks around the DCU awhile, because he writes like a native. Barry’s narration is deftly done, the new reader-friendly exposition nicely worked into the issue. The moments we’ve encountered in Rebirth are fresh as seen from Barry’s point of view, and the set-up for the coming biweekly Flash series grabs me (mind, I really hope it’s not that villain yet again…). 
I’ve three favourite scenes – Barry’s chat with Henry Allen has a genuine father/son feeling, his stillness and thoughts while Batman analyses a certain smiley badge are telling and the spread showing his temporary parting from Wally… reader, i think I had something in my eye. And throat. 
Williamson’s words on this splash are quietly powerful, while artist Carmine Di Giandomenico, formerly of X-Factor, gives us a fantastic composition. I’ll leave you to discover it for yourself, but Di Giandomenico captures character and speed beautifully. Ivan Plascencia’s colours help set the mood in fine style – it looks like Di Giandomenico is leaving the art pretty open for Plascencia to finish; however the partnership works, it definitely works… there’s a bit of a Scott Kolins vibe, which sits well with me. I do wonder, though, why they’d make a sinister hand shadow look like a duck…
Steve Wands’ slightly offbeat font complements the rest of the issue’s art, while Karl Kerschl’s cover is eye-catching with its intensity and Benday dots homage. 
Jason Pearson’s variant is eye-catching for different reasons, it’s a tad too Blackest Night for my tastes, though I love the dust effect. Back inside the issue there’s a nice Easter egg nodding to classic Barry Allen artist Carmine Infantino, a Flash fact, a reference to Barry’s lateness – this really is a treat for longtime fans, and I can’t imagine newer readers not loving this book too. 

10 thoughts on “Flash: Rebirth #1 review

  1. I really wanted to sample this one, as it was his event that launched the blight, and I delved into the early N52 issues, too. It has a nice tone, I think I'll go with it for a while


  2. Really loved it. Somehow I missed the Infantino Easter egg — now I have to go back to see! I'll be very interested to see how the circle of knowlege that all isn't as it seems to be spreads. The Flashes and Batman know — and Wonder Woman knows, too, although she might just think it's localized to her — and it looks like Oz in Superman might know, too.

    BTW, there was serious despair when I got home from my LCS yesterday. I had put Flash back on the shelf in order to grab the yellow cover, which I couldn't find. And then I never thought to pick it back up again, and left without the book I was most looking forward to! Thank god for digital; I would have gone nuts.


  3. Oh, bad look with your physical copy, but at least you got to read it.

    The only thing that made me go 'Oi' was the bit about Barry naming the Speed Force. he ruddy did not!


  4. Not picked up any Rebirth titles yet, but Flash, Batmand and Wonder Woman and waiting for me in my pull list.
    Your reviews have got me VERY excited to finally read those books, and your Action Comics review is making me think that I might need to pick up the Super-books. I do miss the late 8os/90s era with the trangles on the covers.


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