YA Graphic Novel Review – The Flash: Rebirth

Central Library’s Library Live volunteer, Eric R., reviews “The Flash: Rebirth” by Geoff Johns

‘There was a flash of lighting from beyond, followed by a thousand thunderous footsteps. His strides bring a new age that would shatter the speed of sound, light, and time.’ The man’s infectious sense of justice made him unstoppable. His name is Barry Allen, also known as The Flash, and he is the fastest man alive. He has been gone, but not forgotten for 23 years by sacrificing himself to literally save the entire universe from being erased from existence, but lightning always strikes twice and so does Barry Allen. The Flash is back to fight crime a second time, but he is also a little more down to Earth. Barry now cherishes every second he has, after being revived from death. Barry stated, “But no matter what, one day, time will run out on me again. Every second does matter.” As much as he wants to slow down, he can’t because Barry can’t be late for whatever the rest of the world needs him for.

The Flash: Rebirth is a six issue monthly comic book series written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Ethan Van Sciver. The book was published on April 1, 2009 by DC Comics. The series was originally planed for five issues but was later extended to six. The genre of the book is science fiction and action/adventure.

The story starts of with two forensics scientist being murdered by a mysterious man. He then arranges the chemicals on the shelves to recreate the accident that gave Barry Allen his powers and then he escapes from arriving police officers. In Central city and Keystone City, there is a celebration held for Barry’s return. Members of the Flash family await his return and also the Justice Society made a welcome party for the Flash.

Barry visits the Flash museum to catch up on events that he missed when he has away, when he meets the Green Lantern (Hal Jordan). Barry feels that he is not suppose to be back and the Speed Force is drawing him in. He tells Hal that he will not attend the festivities for his return and runs off. Barry re-enters the Speed Force and discovers John Quick and Max Mercury who are imprisoned in the Speed Force. Professor Zoom, the Reverse-Flash, reveals himself as the villain and attacks The Flash in the Speed Force.

Then Professor Zoom disappears and Wally West enters the Speed Force to help Barry escape. Barry finds Zoom with the help of Wally and they battle against Zoom along with Jay Garrick, Bart Allen, Max Mercury, Liberty Belle and Irey West. Zoom taunts Barry and said that he will kill his wife, Iris West in the past so that Barry would forget about her. Zoom runs back into the past, when Iris was going on a first date with Barry, but Barry chases after him. Will Barry be able to stop Zoom before it’s too late? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

The main characters of the story are Barry Allen, also known as The Flash, Wally West, who is the current Flash, Bart Allen, known as Kid Flash, Jay Garrick, Max Mercury, Iris West-Allen, Irey West, Jai West, and Professor Zoom.

My favourite character in the story has to be Barry Allen because he is courageous, honest and incorruptible. Despite having super-speed, Barry never gets bored and he has incredible patience. He has enhanced intelligence because his brain moves as fast as he does, so he is able to think extremely quickly. Barry has many quirks but he is considered one of the purest and greatest heroes in the DC Universe.

Barry loves being a cop and piecing together evidence that solve crime and put criminals away and he has very high morals. Barry’s best friend is Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern, and although Barry is more introverted that Hal, they are both cops. They both have a similar set of moral for law enforcement and so they can relate to one another.

The Flash: Rebirth has a very well written story in my opinion. Geoff Johns, the author of the book, showed how Barry perceives the world he returned to from his death. For instance, he noticed that the world was moving faster and everybody seemed to be doing six things at once and not stopping to enjoy the things in life. He learns that he should slow down more and enjoy the moments that don’t last very long. Also, there were many characters from the DC Universe that were in the story such as Superman, Wonder Women, The Rogues, Teen Titans, and some Justice League members, only to name a few. Then, Barry learns in the story that Professor Zoom was the one that murdered his mother when he was young and his dad was wrongly framed for the murder. The story shows more about the Flash family and characters such as Jay Garrick and Wally West who were influenced by Barry Allen and his sense of justice.

The illustrations that Ethan Van Sciver had drawn in the book were magnificent and eye-catching. The drawings showed a lot of details such as the lightning effects when the speedsters run and also the colour and design of the superhero costumes in the book. My favourite part of the book was when all members of the Flash family helped Barry fight Professor Zoom and it felt like Barry was meant to return because of this. Barry helped a lot of people throughout his superhero career and now it is his time to get help from his friends.

In conclusion, the book was very well written with fantastic graphics. The elements in the story were captivating and so it made me want to read the next page. I would recommend the book to anybody that likes comic books but also anybody that likes action or adventure. The Flash: Rebirth is truly a great comic book and a marvellous read.


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