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Flash: Rebirth #1 Review: Barry Allen is Back!

Written by: The CinCitizens

ImageIs there anyone who has had a more tumultuous life in the DC Universe than the Flash Barry Allen? He was the second Flash and ushered in the Silver Age era of comics in the 1950’s, and helped spawn the Justice League. But the police scientist from Central City has been through more than maybe any character in the DC Universe.  

After traveling through time and the universe as a virtual lightning bolt, Allen returns this week in the much anticipated five-issue series, The Flash: Rebirth #1. Yes! Barry Allen has returned. But did he ever go away, and if he did, where has he been for nearly 25 years? 

First a brief history lesson.

Things started going awry for Allen in the 1980’s just before Crisis on Infinite Earths. Allen was tried, but acquitted for the death of Doctor Zoom, who murdered his fiancée Iris West, aunt of Kid Flash and current Flash, Wally West. Allen then disappeared into the 30th century with the “spirit” of Iris West. They had a couple of kids, one of them producing grandchild Bart Allen, who went on to be Impulse and later the new, new Flash. After he was killed Bart was resurrected as the new, new Kid Flash for a short time. 

You still with me? 

While all this was going on Barry Allen went on to battle the Anti-Monitor in Crisis on Infinite Earths where he met his untimely demise.  

Wally West immediately took over as the Flash and held the post ever since. Last year he decided to “retire” to spend time with his wife and his super bratty twins. Bart Allen assumed the role before he was knocked off and came back to take his rightful place as Kid Flash and hooked up with the Teen Titans. 

While all this was going on, Allen has been trapped in a Speed Force showing up here and there leaving the biggest skeptics (namely yours truly) to wonder just what the hell is going on? 

Allen “came back” as it were during the recent and overblown Final Crisis. So it was only natural that DC Comics would eventually have to explain all this in a new series, The Flash: Rebirth #1 by Geoff Johns. It does look like Allen is back and maybe for good as he finally breaks through the Speed Force. But he immediately finds out that earth isn’t quite the same one he left when Ronald Regan was President. 

As everyone from the Iris West to the four or five other Flashes to his old Justice League pal, Green Lantern Hal Jordan celebrate the return of the original Scarlet Speedster, Allen finds himself wrapped up in a good old fashioned mystery. A powerful speedster is dead and it’s up to Allen to find out what happened and who did it. Allen also discovers that he has some family issues from his past to resolve too. 

After reading the first few pages I realized that this isn’t the 1980’s. John’s and artist Ethan Van Sciver introduce Barry Allen and readers to a modern and violent society where solving crimes isn’t as simple as it use to be. The Flash: Rebirth #1 is a little more graphic than the Flash comics of the past, but it is a very good story. I flew through it the first time and had to slow down and really read it a second time. 

Call me old fashioned, but I loved The Flash: Rebirth #1 And it’s great to have Allen back. But this first issue does raise a few questions. What will happen to Wally West? Will he just fade away or resume his role with the Titans with a new uniform like Dick Grayson did going from Robin to Nightwing years ago? Is Barry Allen indeed back for good, and will he stay around long enough to help resurrect the Justice League for the umpteenth time? Or will he get caught up in the Speed Force again after solving this mystery and his family problems? Will he disappear for another 25 years only to turn up time and time again when DC runs out of story ideas with its current cast of post-Final Crisis characters. 

What’s great is that we have four more issues to find out. Hopefully Johns will answer many of these questions and leave us wanting more. By that, I mean a regular Flash series featuring Allen in his rightful role. 

Welcome back Barry Allen! We missed you. 

5.0 out of 5.


Writer – Geoff Johns
Artist – Ethan Van Sciver
Colorist – Alex Sinclair
Letterer – Rob Leigh
Editor – Joey Cavalieri 


Author: The CinCitizens

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