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The Flash: Rebirth Hardcover – May 4, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Geoff Johns has written scores of comics including Infinite Crisis, 52, Green Lantern, All Star Batgirl, Teen Titans, X-Men, The Avengers, The Flash, JSA and Superman. Ethan Van Sciver joined DC Comics to draw Impulse and has gone on to illustrate the adventures of its greatest heroes, including Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and The Flash. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781401225681
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401225681
  • ASIN: 1401225683
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #878,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Kiani on July 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'll start off by saying I'm not a big Flash fan. The main purpose of this book was to justify bringing back Barry Allen, the Flash who died saving the universe 25 years ago in Crisis on Infinite Earths. That death was considered sacred to comic book fans in that it was one of the few deaths that stuck in comic books.

After Barry died, his sidekick Wally carried on the legacy as the Flash in the 90s and 2000s, becoming the Flash for that generation. That doesn't apply to me because I wasn't a comic book reader until 2006 so I have no definitive Flash. So Johns can persuade me to accept any Flash he wants, whether it be Wally, Barry or Bart. If you are a relatively new comic book reader with no definitive Flash, you will probably dig this. If you are a rabid Wally West fan, then probably not. But you should try to give this a chance, regardless.

This book is very similar to Green Lantern: Rebirth, due it being by the same creative duo of Johns and Van Sciver. Throughout both books, Barry and Hal struggle with a changing world and have to play catchup with all their relationships. Johns basically makes his argument for bringing them both back right in the book. Hal regrets his actions as Parallax while Barry regrets a murder trial. The difference though is that Barry died a hero in the eyes of the DCU. Iris tells Barry to calm down and just spend time with the people he loves, and not to worry about why he came back. Jay Garrick recollects how if it weren't for Barry, he would not have returned to superheroing and there would not be a JSA anymore. Bart is upset Barry is back and considers Wally the real Flash (kind of like the fanboys who hate the idea of Barry coming back). Johns used retcons extensively in both Rebirth books, which I will get to now.
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Format: Hardcover
Of the many questions this volume leaves me with, I'll focus on one: why bring back Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash?

The short, flippant answer: nobody stays dead in comics. A better answer, provided by the superstar creative team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Ethan Van Sciver: Barry Allen is central to the Flash franchise, both ontologically and morally. "Flash: Rebirth" has so many plot twists and major revelations (including, at last, an explanation of how the "speed force" that all Flashes draw upon works) that it's difficult to suggest how good this story arc is without dropping any spoilers, so let's just say that in the aftermath of the Final Crisis, Barry Allen returns to Central City, which is more than happy to welcome back its original Flash. The moment Barry confronts his first supercriminal, though, things go catastrophically wrong.

Time and physics are always, uh, flexible concepts in a Flash story, and when I wasn't trying to wrap my head around this book's grim time travel/murder mystery plot, I found page after page of smaller pleasures to enjoy; for instance, Barry's conversation with Hal (Green Lantern) Jordan in the Flash Museum; Iris West's first meeting with Paul Gambi, tailor to the Rogues; another Superman/Flash race, ending with a SMALLVILLE-inspired punch line; even a thoroughly delightful explanation of why Barry Allen used to wear those goofy bow ties in his early appearances.

Geoff Johns, whose 2000-2005 run on the Flash comic book convinced me that Wally West was THE Flash, now imagines Barry Allen as "a man out of step with everyone else," from his quirky sartorial and social habits to his old school sense of morality.
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2 Comments 41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What happens when you've been dead for several years, and then come back to life? That is an odd question, but in comic books, that is a question that is worth asking. It is said that in comic books “death is cheap”. Most comic deaths, with the exception of Bruce Wayne's parents and Spider-Man's Uncle Ben, will eventually be reversed by a later storyline, if they haven't been reversed already.

One of the characters who has stayed “dead” the longest is the second Flash, Barry Allen, at 23 years before his return. Eventually, even he came back. During the events of the “crisis crossover” *Final Crisis*, Barry suddenly appeared alive and well, and helped the heroes finish killing the evil god Darkseid. As *The Flash: Rebirth* begins, all of Barry's friends, family, and other heroes in the Justice League of America and Justice Society of America, are celebrating the second Flash's return. No one quite understands what happened, but they all accept it with joy. All of them except for Barry, of course. He can't shake this uneasy feeling that he should be dead still. That there is something wrong with the way that death has been so “cheap” for heroes in the DC Universe.

Though much of Barry's struggle is spiritual and emotional, as he needs to accept his life with his wife Iris, and with his friends, he is not entirely unjustified in his paranoia. There is a sinister mind at work, using Barry to cement it's own power. A mind that needs Barry alive, but is obsessed with torturing him at the same time. If Barry does not defeat this villain, then his life will be destroyed, and every other speedster but himself and the villain will be dead.

The art here is more difficult to judge than in other comic series. It is not vivid, but more understated.
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