Speed Reading – Flash: Rebirth #1 Review Round-Up

Flash: Rebirth #1There’s no question that Flash: Rebirth #1 was one of this week’s hottest comics, as you can see by the huge number of reviews of the book.

The Absorbascon – “the most important superhero comic book in the last 20 years.”

The Weekly Crisis – “A solid, if slow opening issue that failed, by a large margin, to reach the expectations set for it.”

Not exactly a review, but 4thLetter! has some questions for continuity geeks about the book.

Major Spoilers is underwhelmed, but “If we can ease back on the hero worship and get inside that crewcut next time, I still might be swayed into the realm of the believers…”

IGN has two reviews, one by a Flash fan (7/10 stars) and one by a new reader (9/10). “it has been a while since I’ve read a comic which drew me into the characters and presented the DCU as a living, breathing entity as well as Rebirth #1”

Comic Book Resources – “it has definitely set up a more interesting character dynamic than Green Lantern ever did. Each Flash is directly vested in the others’ lives, so jealousy and admiration aren’t just convenient personality traits, they’re clearly paving the way for some intense stuff down the road.”

Comics411 – “Geoff Johns paints an almost dark Batman type of Barry Allen.”

Newsarama’s Best Shots Extra – “this is a series that I think is just coming out of first gear, and is going to be revving its way through the next few issues.”

iFanboy Pick of the Week – “The opening pages read like a checklist, addressing everything that needed to be addressed with an efficiency and skill so sleek that I was honestly a little awestruck.”

iFanboy’s kwisdumb – while I might not agree with the return of characters like these, it’s obvious to me that a masterful story is being told here”

iFanboy’s TheNextChampion – “The beginning of this story was great….But the whole ‘Oh I shouldnt be alive’ moping around got old really quick. I mean Barry just felt like a stick in the mud.”

And a bunch more iFanboy user reviews.

Comicvine: The Flash Rebirth #1…Reviewed In A Flash! (video — in a a Flash player, no less)

Nobody’s Non-Video Review of The Flash: Rebirth #1 – 3.5 stars for potential: “not the best title I have ever read but it looks like it will lead into a good series.”

Giant Size Man-Thing: New Comics – “This issue did what it needed to do, which was to help me finally remember which one is Barry and which one is Wally”

Weekly Comic Book Review – “Geoff Johns creates a strong, compelling narrative of life, post-Crisis for Barry Allen.”

Comic Pants – “This isn’t quite what I was expecting. Nor is it what I was hoping for…Flash should be an adrenaline laced adventure book, not mopey book that has some guy running really fast.”

Title Undetermined – “I feel like I’m that guy who was brought along to a wedding or birthday party for someone he doesn’t know.”

Comics and…other Imaginary Tales – “At the end of this issue I still do not have an answer to that question, but the foundation has been laid.”

Reilly2040 – “Geoff’s set up some interesting mysteries with this first issue, and I like that idea for a Barry Allen book. To focus on his detective traits. If we just wanted a book about a guy who runs really fast, then they could’ve just kept Wally as the title character.”

32 Pages found the issue “quite pedestrian” and needs more to convince him to come back.

Crave Online: “I can only hope that what I read falls in the realm of first issue blues.”

SKELETONSS – “while I can’t get into the guy in the suit, I love the words being spoken.”

The Fandom Zone – “I can’t complain too much. I’m just glad Barry’s back.”

Comic Book Thoughts: 5 Things I Didn’t Expect To See In Flash: Rebirth #1.

And of course there’s my review here at Speed Force.

I’m sure there are more. I’ve collected these from sites I follow directly, from Comic Blog Elite, and from search alerts on Google and Twitter.

Update (Friday, April 3)

Here’s a few more that have popped up on the radar today:

Rokk’s Comic Book Revolution – “Johns pulls off plenty of nice character work. It is obvious that Johns loves and understands the various members of the Flash family.”

dillonmania (a.k.a. Lia) – “a fairly good issue, and a nice start, but was quite dismayed by the apparent retcon to Barry’s history”

Pendragon’s Post – “For all the new readers who want to get into The Flash series, and those who love a good detective story, this book is for you.”

Clever Name “Does it measure up to Johns and VanSciver’s previous Rebirth of Green Lantern? Sort of…but it’s more like asking if Goodfellas compares to Godfather.”

Update 2 (Saturday, April 4)

Here’s a few more, some of which I found from a shorter round-up at Robot 6.

Comics Daily – “It’s entirely, thoroughly and inextricably rooted in “DCness”, and hugely reliant on prior knowledge of the identities of just about everyone that shows up.”

Comic Book Legacy – “the biggest problem I had with this issue is the sudden dark turn of Barry’s origin. The Flash family has always had one the more positive origins in comics.”

Pop Syndicate – “While Johns may have an interesting take on Barry Allen after all this time, he spends way to much time telling us about Barry Allen rather than showing us Barry Allen.” and “Now that he’s back, Johns immediately throws all of the modern baggage a hero supposedly needs on Barry, making him as dark and troubled as any character. Is this really how we wanted to see Barry Allen brought back?”

I think I’ll keep adding to this list through the end of the weekend, then call it done.

Update #3 (Sunday, April 5)

iFanboy’s Pick of the Week Podcast #178 starts with almost 10 minutes about Flash: Rebirth #1.

My Life as a Country Song – “In the 20 years Allen was absent from comics, the argument for keeping him that way is that Barry Allen has always been more interesting as an unseen mentor and motivation for Wally West to be a better hero. Lightning Strikes Twice seems to prove the point.”

Extra Sequential – “The ads for this series have claimed that Barry is back and it’s the worst thing that could’ve happened to him. How that plays out will be mildly intriguing, but I guess after the spoils of GL: Rebirth, I was expecting more.”

Digital College – “Johns is the perfect person to write this book ( and just about every other DC book for the most part). He introduces readers who might be foreign to Barry Allen and gives a brief update on his origin.”

The Source Wall – “My favorite moments come when Barry and Hal meet at the Flash Museum.”

Tpull’s Weekly DC Comics Review – “I could go on, but I won’t. I’ll just say the obvious: best read of the week.”

Bureau 42 – “High Point… ‘The world’s finally catching up.'”

Nerdage Comics Vodcast – “As a first issue, is it super-satisfyng? It’s very very good, but it’s just setting up a lot of things that hopefully will pay off a little more in the rest of the series.” (video clip)

Weekly Crisis also has its own round-up, Flash Fact – Johns Loves Barry; Reviewers Not So Much

Update #4 (Monday, April 6)

Robot Panic – “I still recommend this book, but if you aren’t a Flash fan, I would have to direct you to the nearest comic shop and tell you to pick up some Barry Allen trades before picking up Flash: Rebirth.”

Destroy the Cyb – “I’m intrigued enough to keep reading, and I’m willing to bet that Johns and Van Sciver can tie it all up nicely by the end of the miniseries, but I would honestly recommend waiting for the collected edition for this one”

Alternate Reality – “Van Sciver’s art is terrific, and Johns is a master story teller. I think Johns could make the three little pigs into a top ten comic; the guy’s just good at his craft.”

And I think I’ll wrap it up here. That’s a lot of reviews!

Update #5 (Tuesday, April 7)

Okay, one more update.

Robot 6’s Grumpy Old Fan – “despite all the festivities, I didn’t find much fun in F:R #1. There is the glimmer of an intriguing story, since it looks like Barry has succeeded the Black Flash as a speedster’s personal angel of death, but good grief there’s a lot of –let’s say “flair” instead — obscuring that story.”

Comic News Insider Episode 191 (audio) features a review of Flash: Rebirth (starts around 9:45).

The Outhousers – “Flash weeks always end in tears for the Review Group, but this is Johns and Van Sciver so an epic win was inevitable, right? Err, maybe not…”

Gamer’s Circle – “Some fans, like Bart, are upset about Barry’s return. If Barry has to come back – and it was inevitable in my mind – there is really no better person to do it than Johns. This needs to be on your pull list.”

Update #6 (Thursday April 9)

I know I said I wasn’t going to keep updating this, but The Source linked to a pair of high-profile reviews that I hadn’t seen.

Ain’t It Cool News – “It’s often said that the devil is in the details, but Johns and Van Sciver have proven yet again sometimes the details are the most delectable part of the story.”

IGN Comics SMASH! Podcast (audio, haven’t listened to it.)


13 thoughts on “Speed Reading – Flash: Rebirth #1 Review Round-Up

  1. Erik

    For what it’s worth (i.e. very little), I didn’t like it at all. I’m not saying it was bad necessarily, it’s just not my thing. (And for me, it’s kind of unfortunate, given Flash #3 was the first comic I ever bought and, for something like a decade, the Flash was the only non-creator-owned comic I read that wasn’t named All-Star Superman.)


    I did like the idea of Barry feeling more at home in the modern world with multi-tasking and mobile communications, etc. I also liked Bart’s reaction and the subtle hints that maybe, when this is all done, Wally won’t be dead, another-named superhero, or evil, but just retired, possibly depowered, and at home with Linda and the kids.

    The stuff I didn’t like? I wasn’t wild on the deaths at the beginning, which seemed an unnecessary attempt to show how ‘mature’ and ‘edgy’ and ‘serious’ this approach to super-heroics would be. I’m not opposed to graphic violence in comics — I LOVE 100 Bullets, Young Liars, Scalped, and From Hell. It’s just, in the pages of perhaps one of the most quintessential super-hero books (i.e. a guy in a red suit who runs around and fights villians who rob banks while wearing brightly coloured costumes), it feels a little forced.

    To me, the Flash was never supposed to be grim and gritty. It never made sense for him to fight straight-forward, cold-blooded killer-type guys like Murmur or Cicada. There are plenty of others (Green Arrow, Batman, Punisher, Daredevil, et al) who have that as their niche.

    So yeah, didn’t care for the retcon–not simply because it’s a pretty big change in a character’s back story, but also because it’s a pretty big change in his motivation. Within my understanding of the character, Barry Allen was the last guy that needed vengeance and objective black/white good/evil binary mentality.

    I don’t begrude the creative team for telling this story–a lot of people seem to like it. It just ain’t for me. At all. It actually represents one of the reasons why I moved away from DC and over to stuff like Madman, Jack Staff, and Perhapanauts. For me, they’re not any fun anymore. And if I want ‘not-fun,’ there are lots of really, really, really good stuff out there that doesn’t require me to selectively keep track and ignore decades of continuity and the inner workings of other comics I don’t collect.

    Wow, that sounds totally angry. Sigh.

    Besides, I’m probably biased. I vastly, vastly preferred Waid’s character-driven first run over Johns’ atmosphere-driven stories (but my favourites were written by Messner-Loebs who most people have either forgotten or never read–c’mon! Neil Gaiman loves those stories!)

    I also don’t care for the art, but that’s obviously a subjective thing. It’s clear van Sciver is putting a lot of work into it and it’s a labour of love.

    Ah well. No schadenfreude here. I hope the series does well. I’ll keep wearing my Flash watch (switching to Flash wristband for runs) and I’ll keep hoping Grant Morrison or Darwyn Cooke decides to do an All-Star Flash.

    Down the road, I might be willing to give the post-Rebirth series a chance (I’ll keep lurking here, Kelson, as I think our tastes may be similar in some respects, and I’m curious to see what you think.) Until then, I’m totally stoked for the Karl Kershl-drawn Flash pages in Wednesday Comics…

  2. Kelson Post author

    @Lia: I’d hardly call that lame. (But where the heck did you get your blog title from?)

    @Erik: I totally understand. I think my dream Flash writing team would be Mark Waid on Wally West, Grant Morrison on Barry Allen, and Geoff Johns on the Rogues.

  3. cm22

    Has anyone said anything in the reviews about Iris West in the book being called “Irey”. Because that REALLY bothered me (in a nit picking way obviously) as it was unprecedented as far as I recall, and I have no idea how it’s pronounced, why the change/nickname was made.

  4. Kelson Post author

    @Jason West: The Barry Allen who appeared in Final Crisis, racing death with a smile and visiting Iris before saving the world — that’s the Barry Allen I want to see. And crazy sci-fi adventures like the Morrison/Millar run on Wally’s series would fit Barry even better.

    @cm22: Someone brought it up on one of the boards EVS posts to, and he said it was just easier to distinguish Iris West I and Iris West II in dialog by giving the younger one a nickname. I’m guessing “EYE-ree” for the pronunciation.

  5. Jason West



    good point.

    a thought has just occurred to me: WHY THE FRIGG ISN’T GRANT MORRISON WRITING JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA????????????????????

    .-= Jason West’s latest blog post: 1 Week!!! =-.

  6. Kirk Warren

    Thanks for the link out.

    For those that didn’t click through to the Weekly Crisis review in the post, I considered this one of the biggest comic events for this year, right up there with Blackest Night in terms of anticipation.

    The ‘large margin’ quote in the post might come off as if I hated the issue or that it was a huge failure, but, when it wasn’t praising Saint Barry, I actually thought the mystery villain, speedster murder plot and setup for future stories was quite good – just not good enough for the amount of hype I had going in.

    .-= Kirk Warren’s latest blog post: Cover of the Week – Authority, Dark Reign: Fantastic Four & Astonishing Tales =-.

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