Monday, October 6, 2014

[BOOK REVIEW] The Flash: Rebirth by Geoff Johns

Title:  The Flash: Rebirth

Author: Geoff Johns

Artist: Ethan Van Sciver

Genre:  Science Fiction / Action / Superheroes / Family

Year Published:  2009

Year Read: 10/6/2014

Series:  The Flash

Publisher: DC Comics

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 12+ (Death and Fight Scenes)

Buy on:  Amazon  //  Book Depository 


My first introduction to Flash’s character was through the “Justice League” cartoon series that aired on Cartoon Network years ago.  Since then, I had become a huge fan of the Flash (even though for many years, I had actually thought that Barry Allen was the Flash in the “Justice League” cartoon, when it turned out to actually be Wally West).  So, not only did I want to check this comic book out to prepare for the new live action “Flash” TV series that is coming out on the CW, but I also wanted to learn more about Flash’s character in the DC comics and “The Flash: Rebirth” seemed like a good place to actually start reading the “Flash” comics.

What is this story about?

In this story, Barry Allen, who was hailed a hero after he sacrificed his life during a cosmic crisis in the past, has come back to life and all his friends and family are planning to throw him a special party for his return.  Unfortunately, since Barry Allen had been dead for so long, he finds himself being out of place in this new world and he became a bit distant towards his friends, due to wanting to solve the mystery of the person who murdered his mother and why he was brought back to life.  Barry will soon realize that a dark force is behind everything that happened to him in his life and he must gather the strength to defeat this new threat that is harming his family!

What I loved about this story:

Geoff Johns’ writing: Now, I will admit that this is the first time I had read anything by Geoff Johns and his run in the DC universe.  So, when I heard so many good things about what he has done for the DC universe, I just had to check this title out!  I really liked the way that Geoff Johns showed the relationships that Barry Allen has with his family, especially with his wife Iris West and his protégé Wally West.  It was great seeing that the Flash family is extremely close to each other and is willing to protect Barry Allen from whatever evil forces comes upon him.  I also enjoyed seeing Barry’s relationship with Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern, as it shows that they are truly best friends and that Hal always tries to cheer Barry up whenever Barry is feeling down on himself.  I really enjoyed the fact that Geoff Johns tries to make sure that the readers are caught up on Barry Allen’s history as we are treated to seeing Barry’s past from being the Flash to leading to the murder of his mother, which was a pretty nice mystery set up for this story!

Ethan Van Sciver’s artwork:  Ethan Van Sciver’s artwork was just marvelous in this volume as the characters look truly realistic and the action sequences were extremely well drawn out!  I really loved the scenes where the Flash family fight against various foes as the action sequences are full of bright colors and dramatic artwork and they really set the exciting mood for those scenes.  I also loved the way that Ethan Van Sciver drew the emotions on the characters’ faces, especially with Barry Allen’s facial expressions whenever he is feeling sad or angry at the situations he is thrown into.

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

The reason why I gave this graphic novel a four star rating was because there were a couple of places where the story seemed to drag on for so long that I found myself getting a little restless with the storytelling.  Also, if you are a new reader to the “Flash” universe, you might get a little confused about how Barry Allen had died in the first place or how his relationships with Iris and Wally West got established since the story does go through those developments a little too fast (I know, it is really because I did not read the previous “Flash” comics before this event, but I got to start somewhere)!

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “The Flash: Rebirth” is a good comic book to get into if you enjoyed Barry Allen as the Flash and if you liked his relationships with his family members. Or if you are just looking for a good Flash family comic in general, this is a pretty good comic to start off with!

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