The Flash: Rebirth #1 Review

The Flash: Rebirth #1
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Pencils: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Colors: Wan Plascencia
Letters: Steve Wands
Publisher: DC Comics

Given the fact that DCU Rebirth #1 was essentially a Wally West Flash story, it makes perfect sense that writer Joshua Williamson’s The Flash: Rebirth #1 would heavily tie into it and be its true sequel.  That idea itself feels right given that it’s the Barry Allen story Flashpoint that started DC’s New 52 Universe and making a statement that the Flash is one of the most important characters within the DC timeline is no surprise when Geoff Johns is involved.

The comic opens with a murder scene and is cleverly crafted to be reminiscent of Barry’s mother’s murder as it provides both mystery and groundwork for forthcoming stories.  As well as an avenue for Williamson to catch readers up to date as to who the Flash is, how he gained his powers, and why he decided to be a hero.  Making this comic incredibly new reader friendly but by also making this a continuation to the DCU Rebirth, it doesn’t digress from the overarching story and it’ll intrigue regular readers.

While Williamson has used this issue to explore and hint at what/who is at play in the manipulation of the DC Universe as well as the Speed Force itself, he doesn’t shy away from displaying some gripping character moments.  Barry has a very honest and genuine father/son conversation with his dad that both fills in readers on their shaky relationship and drives the narrative forward.  The truly heartfelt scene however is seeing the fallout of the Barry/Wally reunion from DCU Rebirth.

Here we get to see both satisfaction and anguish for our characters as they realize that while there is something at fault, they can’t flat-out tell everyone they’d want to.  It’s very well executed and is able to capture the same emotional weight it had when it was first presented by adding problems that weren’t first thought of.

There’s also a well placed Batman cameo.  Sometimes writers forget that Barry is a forensic investigator and Bruce is a detective.  These two characters should interact with one another more often and Williamson seems to be setting up that the team up will play an integral part in uncovering the time line/universe manipulator.

Not to digress too much, All New X-Factor was one of the best and more underrated series to come out of the Marvel Now imprint and a key element to its success was the artwork.  There Carmine Di Giandomenico was able to work with Marvel’s premier speedster, Quicksilver and his experience gained there shines is this comic.  Giandomenico’s style works brilliantly in capturing both lighthearted and dramatic tones, then blending them together to create a very visually pleasing comic.  His pencils capture movement and momentum which is incredibly important when drawing a Flash comic.  All the scenes where Barry and Wally are using their abilities flows stunningly well.  Wan Plascencia’s vivid colors compliment superbly well as it captures both the dramatic somber moments as well as the scenes displaying the fantastical.  The bright color palettes when visualizing the speedster’s powers really pop off the pages and when it’s in contrast with the gloomy tone within the rainy scenes looks outstanding.

Final Verdict

The onslaught of DC Rebirth titles have yet to disappoint but if you’d had to pick one that has worked the best, it’s the Flash.  Writer Joshua Williamson has expertly crafted a comic that balances character moments with narrative driving scenes.  It stays faithful to the character but introduces a new direction for the speedster while expanding on the DC Universe Rebirth mythology.  With solid pacing along with its superb artwork, The Flash is a title that all DC fans should add to their pull list.

Score: 4.5 out of 5

Review by Eric Bradach

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