Full review coming later, but here are my initial thoughts on Flash: Rebirth #3.
It was fast — very fast. If Geoff Johns wanted to write a Flash book about speed, he’s succeeded. The Superman/Flash race worked well and grew organically out of the story. I liked Barry’s reactions to Wally, Jay and Bart. Not to mention seeing certain other speedsters again.
But the reveal of the villain? Too predictable. Too easy. It was the safe choice, like “killing” characters who are already dead. Too much “Let’s move the Flash franchise forward into the 1970s!” It reminded me of those Star Wars novels in the 1990s where every time you turned around they introduced yet another super-weapon, because what’s Star Wars without a Death Star? Or a Sun Crusher? Or a Galaxy Gun?
I’ve been willing to give Geoff Johns the benefit of the doubt up until now, based on his run on Wally’s series and buoyed by the excitement of getting a top-tier creative team on the book. Rather than convincing me of why Barry needs to be back, it’s making me wonder why I should care.
We’re at the halfway mark. I should be more enthusiastic than when I started, but instead I’m less. Here’s hoping it reads better on a second pass, and that it picks up over the back half of the story.
UPDATE: Full review is up.
Man Kelson, I don’t know what you’re reading. This issue had serious emotional scenes, The Charity line was classic. I think this is the best issue yet. Try not to read the issue and think what about Wally. Wally will get his time. As far as Prof Zoom goes, well he’s Barry’s Sinestro. Did they make as big a fuss when Sinestro showed up in GL Rebirth. Who’s to say Prof Zoom is the only big bad in the series. I loved Max not being afraid of Barry and grabbing him. I couldn’t have asked for more out of a Flash book. I don’t feel any 70’s retreag happening here. It feeld like now at the speed of light. Loved it
It’s not just about “What happens to Wally?” It’s about “Why should I care about a series with Barry?” That’s the whole purpose of this miniseries: convincing people (whether they were already Flash fans or not) that they’ll want to read The Flash starring Barry Allen. But after reading this issue, I’m less interested than I was before.
Was the villain predictable? Sure. I don’t think that’s a dealbreaker because of a more important question that must be asked… and you got it right – “why should I care?”
I think what has made this series feel so weird is the pacing and mystery approach. In a mystery you have to reveal story elements in an inconspicuous fashion which rarely translates to the kind of superhero comicbook pace we’re used to.
How much has happened to Barry? He went to the museum, just as he left museum he killed someone, he takes a trip to a field where a storm is taking place (?) where he kills someone else, other superheroes put him in a jar.
There isn’t a lot to work with storywise to suggest why we should care (other than self-referencing mythology) – but sometimes that is the apparent nature of a mystery before seeing the pieces come together.
This doesn’t mean that the story will answer the question to our satisfaction or with a gratifying resolution but it sure would feel like an awful waste if it didn’t.
I still wish they hadn’t brought Barry back. This mini-series should’ve changed my mind, but it isn’t. It still feels like a publicity stunt to me, as does Zoom’s appearance at the end. Came out of freakin’ nowhere, and not in a good way. Here was a chance for a brand new speedster villain, but we get another appearance by Zoom. I dunno, it feels like the series is moving backward instead of forward.
I agree while this issue move at much better pace it feels like Johns is trying to hard to make me like Barry and pick up Flash when it is relauched with Barry as the star. Also did we need two more pages about Barry and his bowties again. Enough with the bowties already.
[rq=1037,0,blog][/rq]Legen-wait-for it-dary Comic Book Highlights of the Week 6/3/09
I loved this issue! I had a completely different reaction Kelson, which is interesting. I can’t wait for issue #4 now — and also Barry Allen in Blackest Night. Maybe I’m just a Barry fanboy — but I really do love Flash: Rebirth.
Barry ran back into the Speed Force to save everyone — I thought that was great. He was about to sacrifice his life again.
Good job with the blog BTW. I just hope that you enjoy the book a bit more. You sound so frustrated.
Thanks. I really wanted to like this, at least as much as I liked the first two issues. And it did read better the second time through, just not enough.
A comparison with “GL:Rebirth” is king of inevitable now. If my memory serves me, then in GL:Rebirth#3 we were introduced to the mystery villain(s) behind the whole thing, namely Parallax and Sinestro. At that time, it felt like they were moving the GL franchise forward into the 70s as well, but 5 years down the line, with the benefit of hindsight we can see that it was the first place Geoff was setting up future storylines. So, it all depends as to what comes from this reveal rather than the reveal itself.