The Flash: Rebirth (DC) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, March 30th, 2023  

The Flash: Rebirth


(Written by Geoff Johns; Art by Ethan Van Sciver; Colors by Brian Miller and Alex Sinclair; Letters by Rob Leigh)

May 13, 2010 DC Comics Bookmark and Share

In the introductory forward of The Flash: Rebirth comic writer Matt Cherniss admits that when it comes to superheroes, “keeping them dead is often harder than actually killing them in the first place.” While ending the life of beloved character always carries a level of gravitas to it, death in comic books is more or less like hitting the creative reset button. A hero’s absence reminds readers why they cared so much about the character in the first place, and it gives the guys on the creative end a much needed opportunity to breathe, allowing new angles and stories to develop and be put to use once he or she is revived. Of course there has to be some significant time between said death and resurrection, and while even the top tier of costumed heroes have been shelved at one point or another, no one has probably spent more time away from the action of crime fighting than Barry Allen (aka The Flash, who originally appeared in comics from 1956 to 1985). Twenty-three years since his sacrifice in the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Allen finds himself back as the signature Scarlet Speedster in Geoff Johns’ six-part storyline.

Despite featuring some solid sense of urgency and speed in the illustrations by Ethan Van Sciver and prominent splashes of red and gold by colorist Brian Miller and Alex Sinclair, Rebirth places more attention on Allen’s internal conflict than any external action. Having been away for so long, much of the focus of Rebirth rests on the question of why. What was the reason for Allen’s revived status? Try as he does, Johns doesn’t provide a worthwhile answer, apart from moving the immediate plot. As much as it hurts to say it, Allen’s return never feels like a necessary thing. The biggest affront falls on the fact that The Flash from the Silver Age just doesn’t feel unique these days, least of all in the superpowers department. Why should readers care about the safety of Central City when it’s already got up to three protectors (Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick, Allen’s nephew and replacement Wally West, and Allen’s time-traveling grandson Bart Allen) all with the same rooted abilities. Throw in appearance by Max Mercury and Johnny Quick and it becomes pretty clear being really, really fast isn’t anything special in the DC universe anymore. By the time the story ramps up of the action sequences near the end you find yourself rooting for your favorite one and wishing the others would be sit on the sidelines. While it means well with its communal interaction of heroes, Rebirth doesn’t feel personal, least of all with Allen and his reunited love Iris, something that should have carried a lot more weight to it.

Alongside this detrimental overload of familial runners is the tangled mess of a back-story that comes with each one of them. While the effort by Johns to maintain the continuity of the history of The Flash (all four of the characters to take that name!) and all related characters is commendable and certainly a difficult undertaking, its rehashing throughout Rebirth feels relatively forced, and does little for readers who have only a peripheral grasp of the characters’ collective past, let alone conceptual dimensions such as the Speed Force. Considering that one of the key aspects of The Flash’s powers is his ability to move forward, there is way too much time spent with one’s neck looking back at what’s left behind. Barry Allen has always been a great character, and still is. It’s just hard figuring out where he fits in now. Hopefully with his speed, he won’t be playing catch-up for too long. (

Author rating: 5/10

Rate this comic book
Average reader rating: 8/10


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

March 9th 2012

just what an excellent web page. Your info helps me personally with my homework. I am attending college and I have a term paper to put in writing. I was intending to get custom essay on politics over the web, the good news is your web page has aided me address writers hinder and I feel like I am able to move forward on my own. Thanks a ton all for this superb content.