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Old September 5th, 2011   Savitar77 is offline   #1
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Default Flash Rebirth Revisited

I have to admit that when Flash Rebirth, by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver, came out I was not its best supporter. This could’ve been because I’m reluctant to change, as a lot of fans and human beings can be. I didn’t like the idea of sidelining Wally since he was the Flash for me. Also I thought that bringing back Barry would diminish Barry’s sacrifice in Crisis on Infinite Earths and somehow risk polluting the very nature of Barry’s character, or as some other fans have named him “Saint Barry”. There were other alterations that I didn’t find appealing, such as the “speed force” being created by Barry Allen and some retcons, specially the killing of Barry’s mother (which at the end it was revealed that it was essential to the wrapping of the story). Finally, there were some delays of the book that made it lose some steam. I remember that the last issue took around three months after the previous one. So, as you can imagine, I was writing negative remarks about the book and heavily criticizing the direction the creative team took.

I felt it wasn’t such a good book at the time and because I’m a Flash fan I decided to buy the hardcover edition but store it immediately in my bookshelf. It wasn’t until now that I don’t approve at all what DC has done with my favorite character and family that I felt a little nostalgic and reread Flash Rebirth. To my surprise I think this book is truly a masterpiece. It has everything a real Flash fan would want. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still my opinion that Barry shouldn’t have been brought back, but if they had to, Flash Rebirth was the way to do it. It portrayed the Flash family in all its glory telling us a great adventure, with the peculiarity of John’s style of connecting the dots in favor of continuity (Whatever happened to that gift I’d never know).

Now that everybody know how Flashpoint ended and how it affected not only Barry but the whole Flash family (most of them do not even have a place in the DCnU) I can only think of this book as a wasted opportunity to establish a Flash universe and to create some very interesting plots as it was hinted in the same book. Maybe Johns changed his mind, maybe it was a corporate decision in order to increase revenues, or maybe he just lost interest since the impact of this book was much less significant as his other masterpiece Green Lantern Rebirth. In any case, the truth is that by creating the DC new Universe (DCnU) the chances for Flash fans to have a well-established Flashverse decreased radically. Since he is not writing this book anymore I guess he just lost faith in it. I heard him say in an interview held at Midtown Comics that the DCnU project is a marathon and not a sprint, well, Flash Rebirth seems like it hit the wall at mile 2 rather than finish the marathon.

Since this entire ordeal made me a bit nostalgic, I’ll number my comments regarding this book in order to have some feedback on them. Some of them are questions, and others are potential plots that never took place. Also, I’ll include for my benefit the very best geeky moments that made this book great. Congratulations to Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver for creating such an excellent book for all Flash fans, regardless they are Jay’s, Barry’s, Wally’s or even Bart’s fans.

1. If Prof. Zoom created the “negative” speed force when he killed the two police scientists, then prior to that was he also leeching energy from Barry Allen’s positive speed force?
2. Did he use his speed to travel back in time? If he can’t change the past with positive speed force, then how could he create the negative speed force, thus altering his own past?
3. Why is Prof. Zoom depicted as an older guy? Barry killed him and then he came back to live in Brightest Day, but how far into the future is this Eobard Thawne?
4. What is the hidden message in the cover of Flash # 1?
5. Potential Plot: Gorilla city has a connection to the speed force since they can predict the future of the speedsters (positive and negative).
6. PP: Kadabra vs. Zoom!
7. PP: Dr. Alchemy makes reference that he did something to her, but who is she?
8. Geeky Moments: when Bart Allen says to the Teen Titans “Wally West is the Flash”
9. Who is the glowing girl at the Flash Museum in the Brave and the Bold section?
10. If Barry Allen turned into a Black Flash, what speedster was the previous one?
11. Barry Allen’s mother killed by Prof. Zoom. At first it seemed as a common retcon, but this indeed was pivotal to the main plot.
12. Are Savitar and Christina Alexandrova dead? Or did they just go back to the speed force dematerializing their bodies as Barry Allen did in CoIE?
13. Did Patty Spivot and Barry Allen shared a romantic relationship in the silver age?
14. The day Barry Allen got his powers was the same day he had his first date with Iris West. Possible retcon?
15. Why did Barry transform himself into the Black Flash? Does the negative speed force have anything to do with this?
16. GM: When Barry races Superman and tells him that he let Superman win some of the races because they were for charity. This actually is a closure and a relief to know that Barry Allen indeed is faster than Superman.
17. Prof. Zoom plan was for Barry to kill his family. Knowing what happened in Flashpoint, did he succeed?
18. GM: When Wally says to Jay: “I’ve escaped the speed force before, Jay, and I’ll escape it again. I’ve got Linda and as long as I have Linda, I’ll find my way back”.
19. Flash family Spotlight. It seems that no one missed his or her opportunity to shine. Jay, Bart, Max, Jesse, Irey, Wally and Barry were essential characters to the storyline.
20. Did Irey intentionally steal his brother’s powers?
21. GM: The splash page showing not only the Flash family but also the new uniforms of Wally, Irey, and Jesse. I was actually afraid of Wally’s new design, but to tell you the truth I was really satisfied with this costume. Also, the distinction made reference to the shining costume with white eyes from the 80s, and the symbol from the JLU. This was a great design by Ethan Van Sciver, and I’m sticking to it.
22. Didn’t like so much when Irey’s personality was changed in order to fit the new Impulse character. I must admit that it kind of works though.
23. GM: When Barry Allen is saying: “All I need is a little push” and Wally grabs him and said, “I’ve got you”.
24. Barry and Wally trying to stop Prof. Zoom from killing Iris arrived in the precise moment that Barry (from the past) got his powers. Is it possible that Barry and Wally created the electrical storm responsible for giving Barry his powers, thus creating a time paradox? It was stated in an old Flash comic that the lightning that gave Wally his powers was indeed Barry Allen after his sacrifice in Crisis of Infinite Earths.
25. PP: Jai pissed off for not having powers.
26. Geoff Johns once stated that people were going to call Jai “the Turtle”
27. PP: Zoom (Solomon) offers some help to Prof. Zoom.
28. PP: A gift to the rogues by Mirror Master with the legend “In case the Flash returns: Break glass”. Actually this storyline took place in the first issues of the Flash after Rebirth.
29. GM: When Barry Allen arrives late to his own party and says: “Sorry I’m late”.
30. Finally, some comments from Geoff Johns regarding the Flashverse: “We aren’t here to throw anything away and limit who is on stage, we’re here to build it up into a subuniverse like Batman and Superman, and now Green Lantern… Wally West will lead and expand the legacy of the Flash with both his children and Flashes from across time, including the return of John Fox”.

As you can see, this book has everything in it. What I like the most is the clear idea of a Flash family, who happen to appear also in the most successful Flash storylines from the 80s, 90s, and 00s. I had my faith in Geoff Johns, but it seems that he just moved on. I doubt Manapul and Buccelato are going to follow these potential plots, and even if they do, I don’t think they can get away with the magic this book can offer. Please, let this DCnU be a pocket universe and let’s reunite the Flash family again. Flash Rebirth A+++ Highly recommended.
 
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Old September 6th, 2011   HPT is offline   #2
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It's all that untapped potential for future storylines that was birthed in rebirth that really upset me. I feel like I was mislead into continuing to buy a book that just gave up midway.

That's why I'm upset about the reboot. I wanted to read new adventures of Barry in the modern DCU. I didn't want Barry to be rebooted to his mid-twenties. I wanted to see Barry come back to present-day DCU and deal with being back. To see him interacting with Iris after being gone for so long. Interacting with the league. With Wally. With Bart... with the Rogues.

And we hardly got any of that. We just got a lot of angst and a great supporting cast being swept under the rug.

Just feels like they didn't even try. But I guess that's what the market is like. Not enough people were buying the book, which is a shame because Geoff seemed to be building it into something grand.

I wish the new team luck, and I hope they do the past creative teams proud... but those are mighty big winged boots to fill.

And no, I don't think they're going to deal with any of that stuff. That stuff probably never happened. Not sure how it could with the whole marriage/dating iris being retconned.
 
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Old September 6th, 2011   Sentinel119 is offline   #3
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It's all that untapped potential for future storylines that was birthed in rebirth that really upset me. I feel like I was mislead into continuing to buy a book that just gave up midway.

That's why I'm upset about the reboot. I wanted to read new adventures of Barry in the modern DCU. I didn't want Barry to be rebooted to his mid-twenties. I wanted to see Barry come back to present-day DCU and deal with being back. To see him interacting with Iris after being gone for so long. Interacting with the league. With Wally. With Bart... with the Rogues.

And we hardly got any of that. We just got a lot of angst and a great supporting cast being swept under the rug.

Just feels like they didn't even try. But I guess that's what the market is like. Not enough people were buying the book, which is a shame because Geoff seemed to be building it into something grand.

I wish the new team luck, and I hope they do the past creative teams proud... but those are mighty big winged boots to fill.

And no, I don't think they're going to deal with any of that stuff. That stuff probably never happened. Not sure how it could with the whole marriage/dating iris being retconned.
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I suffer from the same same feeling. The more and more I look at the previews the less and less excited I become about it. I am thinking that I may not even pick up some of the 4 titles that I have on my pull list.
 
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Old September 7th, 2011   HPT is offline   #4
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I'm going to buy the Gail Simone books because she's been real upfront about this whole thing and empathizes with the fan reactions... that and she's an awesome writer.
 
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Old September 7th, 2011   Sentinel119 is offline   #5
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I think that I will actually read each first issue before I decide to buy it or not.
 
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Old September 7th, 2011   virtuadept is offline   #6
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I enjoyed Flash Rebirth. I read it as the HC version, not individual issues. There were some things about it I didn't like but overall I enjoyed it. I thought it was kind of odd that Flash Rebirth had such a great focus on the FLASH FAMILY and they just tossed that all out the window with the Flash ongoing up to and including Flashpoint. It was like, great idea, oh wait, nah, fuggitabowdit.

Oh well. I will give Flash in the DCnU a chance. The art is bound to be amazing, if nothing else.
 
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Old September 7th, 2011   Thirdflash is offline   #7
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Nice write up.

Still, I keep seeing Genie from Disney's Aladdin going over his three rules and think... if only DC had paid attention. Barry is a tool. A tool for DC to wipe out the old DCU. "I can't bring people back from the dead. It's not a pretty picture. I DON'T LIKE DOING IT!!!"

Today's random thought.
 
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Old September 7th, 2011   BarryAllenfan is offline   #8
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I feel bad that so many of you disliked the latest GJ run with Barry. I must be warped because I enjoyed the entire run and I even enjoyed Flashpoint. No one in DC is going to be the same hero you knew. they will all be changed somewhat. i have no problem with this. In DC it's a brave new world and i'm all for it. I'm very optimistic about Francis and Brian.
 
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Old September 7th, 2011   Thirdflash is offline   #9
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I feel bad that so many of you disliked the latest GJ run with Barry. I must be warped because I enjoyed the entire run and I even enjoyed Flashpoint. No one in DC is going to be the same hero you knew. they will all be changed somewhat. i have no problem with this. In DC it's a brave new world and i'm all for it. I'm very optimistic about Francis and Brian.
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Your Handle says everything we need to know. You're not warped. The stories you are talking about starred Barry. Whom you love. Not everyone does.

And I still maintain, this isn't DC, it's Ultimate DC. It only worked for Marvel because they kept the regular Marvel around.
 
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Old September 7th, 2011   virtuadept is offline   #10
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I didn't love the post Birth (after Birth?) Flash ongoing but I did like it and it was growing on me. Flashpoint and now the DCnU has abruptly ending an ongoing that had potential, IMHO. The art was fantastic, and some of the issues were on writing also. I am not overly optimistic about the new Flash ongoing for DCnU but I am also not pessimistic about it. I will take it for what it is, pretending I am a total Flash newb (which won't be a real stretch) and judge the stories for their entertainment value on their own without any emotional baggage left behind from previous Flash books. But YMMV. I know some people can't just turn off their feelings like that.
 
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Old September 7th, 2011   Thirdflash is offline   #11
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I think some fans that have been reading comics for fifteen plus years probably have a different mentality than newer fans, simply because of the lack of stability in comics over the last 5+ years. It seems like once a year we are rebooting certain titles, unless they are the top dogs like Batman and Superman. I've been becoming more and more disenfranchised with the Flash over the last 5 or so years. Green Lantern has been through a similar shake up in the last 10 years, but because the GLC can have thousands of GLs, there's plenty of room for multiple Earth GLs and you didn't have to get rid of Kyle to fit Hal back in, you just had to make him second fiddle, but continue to call him cute things like "Torch bearer" to appease the fans. Apparently, there can be only ONE fastest man alive at DC. Otherwise it gets too confusing. God forbid we have multiple heroes running around in similar uniforms... oh wait...
 
Question: when all those that your opinion differs from are gone, do you get lonely talking to yourself? I guess you wouldn't if you were Mob Rule.
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Old September 7th, 2011   Savitar77 is offline   #12
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I think some fans that have been reading comics for fifteen plus years probably have a different mentality than newer fans, simply because of the lack of stability in comics over the last 5+ years.
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I totally agree with you! I've been reading for almost 20 years. I haven't miss a single issue of Wally and believe me when I tell you that I bought almost the entire run of Barry Allen. You see, I'm not against Barry, but it seems this new "Barry" does not have the same personality as the Barry we knew and loved. For me it seems absurd to resurrect a name. I'm pretty sure more people or "non comic readers" were more familiar with the name Wally West because of the JLU. To bring Barry back and give him a new personality just doesn't make sense. That's why I liked Flash Rebirth, because it stayed true to the character of Barry Allen. Missed opportunities indeed.
 
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Old September 8th, 2011   Heatwave the Rogue is offline   #13
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I totally agree with you! I've been reading for almost 20 years. I haven't miss a single issue of Wally and believe me when I tell you that I bought almost the entire run of Barry Allen. You see, I'm not against Barry, but it seems this new "Barry" does not have the same personality as the Barry we knew and loved. For me it seems absurd to resurrect a name. I'm pretty sure more people or "non comic readers" were more familiar with the name Wally West because of the JLU. To bring Barry back and give him a new personality just doesn't make sense. That's why I liked Flash Rebirth, because it stayed true to the character of Barry Allen. Missed opportunities indeed.
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Where I can understand why you might think this, I don't agree. Barry Allen DOES have the same personality as before. The difference is that DC is showing more depth to it than was the norm during the 60's, 70's, and early 80's.

Now not having read a single issue by the new creative team, I can't say what they will do with him, but I would be surprised if they went in a completely new direction and made him a horn-dog, jerk, or Spiderman-styled comedian. I'm hoping that the new team can tap into what Darwyn Cooke was going for in DC: NEW FRONTIER's portrayal. I liked his geeky, laid-back, smart, but dedicated-to-Iris version of Barry Allen. He captured the "everyman" aspects and still showed touches of the saintly hero too. Where I don't expect Barry to be with Iris anytime too soon, I do feel that should be the end game. My prediction is that the new writers will toy with fans and give the impression that Barry and Iris will not be together in the DCnU. We shall see...
 
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Old September 8th, 2011   virtuadept is offline   #14
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but because the GLC can have thousands of GLs, there's plenty of room for multiple Earth GLs and you didn't have to get rid of Kyle to fit Hal back in, you just had to make him second fiddle, but continue to call him cute things like "Torch bearer" to appease the fans. Apparently, there can be only ONE fastest man alive at DC. Otherwise it gets too confusing. God forbid we have multiple heroes running around in similar uniforms... oh wait...
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Yeah, that is what doesn't make sense about how they handled the Flash franchise. And the funny thing is, I think the plan originally, based on how Flash Rebirth played out, was to expand the franchise just like they did with GL. But somewhere along the way they got it in their head that THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE and that has totally split the fanbase, alienated (needlessly) thousands of loyal buyers, and is contrary to how they have treated other franchises like Batman and Green Lantern.

It's like they have a personal vendetta against Wally.
 
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Old September 8th, 2011   Matches is offline   #15
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I don't think Rebirth worked out all that well. The story does have some good points - cool fight between Flash and Reverse-Flash. It really drowns in the meta-narrative of Johns trying as hard as he can to explain some creative rationale for returning Barry, though, to the point where it repeatedly pulls the reader out of the story. GL Rebirth "popped" a lot better - the pacing felt more natural and even the continuity-heavy bits flowed within the story rather than overshadowing it. Compare, for example, Hal & Kyle's first "official meeting" with the intro of Wally's new costume - both moments designed to incorporate the Silver Age and 90's takes, but the former had gravitas, while the latter felt like a toy commercial.
 
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Old September 8th, 2011   Thirdflash is offline   #16
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I don't think Rebirth worked out all that well. The story does have some good points - cool fight between Flash and Reverse-Flash. It really drowns in the meta-narrative of Johns trying as hard as he can to explain some creative rationale for returning Barry, though, to the point where it repeatedly pulls the reader out of the story. GL Rebirth "popped" a lot better - the pacing felt more natural and even the continuity-heavy bits flowed within the story rather than overshadowing it. Compare, for example, Hal & Kyle's first "official meeting" with the intro of Wally's new costume - both moments designed to incorporate the Silver Age and 90's takes, but the former had gravitas, while the latter felt like a toy commercial.
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Exactly. Besides blatantly reusing the "Rebirth" tag line, this story was all about retconing the Flash franchise to make Barry the bestestest and most important Flash ever. It wasn't enough that Wally looked up to him and his sacrifice. It's not enough that Barry had set an example for others to follow. Nope, we have to bring him back from the dead and nullify his sacrifice. I absolutely love a heroic death. Especially if its well done. Take the death of Chewbacca in the EU Star Wars, first book of the New Jedi Order storyline. It was meaningful. He died fulfilling his life-debt to the Solo family.

Making Barry the SOURCE of the Speed Force was ridiculous. It's the one moment of Geoff Johns' writing in the Flash title that I just wanted to puke over. But it was the only way to make Barry > Wally for the DC leadership and readers. They can't be equal. No, no, no. Barry must be greater.
 
Question: when all those that your opinion differs from are gone, do you get lonely talking to yourself? I guess you wouldn't if you were Mob Rule.
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