Joshua Williamson Gets It Right! – FLASH REBIRTH #1 (review)

5242387-flsreb_cv1_dsI was already a Joshua Williamson fan from his work on books like GHOSTED and NAILBITER, and I have been looking forward to his first work on my favorite speedster. Turns out, Williamson is a fan of the Flash…and it shows in his work on this first issue. FLASH REBIRTH is a great jumping on point for Barry…and Wally, and it hits a whole list of great points that we will discuss….after the jump!


This review will give some major points, but won’t give a scene by scene review, because this book is good enough that you really need to read and enjoy it for yourself.  But, here are some of the big takeaways for me after reading this great issue:

  • We have a concise retelling of Barry’s origin, enough info for new readers to catch up but not too much in terms of page count.  This one hits the Goldilocks standard of “just right”
  • We get Wally!
  • We see an expanded version of Wally’s return from REBIRTH, with a longer conversation that brings in some key points.
  • Did I mention we get Wally?
  • Wally still remembers his marriage to Linda…and apparently remembers that Barry was married to Iris, saying, “Iris is your friend?
  • Barry recognizes Wally as more than Kid Flash…as a Flash! This explains the upcoming uniform change in a way that also gives a nod to the fact that Wally was THE Flash prior to FLASHPOINT.
  • Wally also remembers (and reminds Barry) that both of them can create uniforms out of the Speed Force itself.
  • Barry and Batman find a mutual respect in terms of investigative abilities…putting the “I” (for investigations) back in “CSI” for Barry. This means we can expect to see Barry’s competence in BOTH his roles, and that’s a very good thing.
  • We find that Wally’s prior visit to the Batcave coincided with the appearance of the Comedian’s button (from WATCHMEN). This means both Barry AND Wally may have critical roles in the overall storyline for the DCU as the WATCHMEN element is woven in.  That means…
  • Not only is Wally back, but he is already front and center with Barry in the DCU!

Given where we are in the development of the post-New 52 “New Era” DCU, I cannot imagine a better FLASH story. Period. If I sound like a fanboy right now, so be it – this is a GREAT first story for the Josh Williamson era of THE FLASH!

The artwork has a definite indie feel – and as an indie fan I’m fine with the look. The style is a definite break from more recent stories, but at the same time this story is a major break from more recent tales.  That being said, my favorite panel by far was a tribute to the classic Carmine Infantino Barry pose…thank you to another Carmine (Di Giandomenico) for that, along with Ivan Plascencia for the colors.

Just a note – I realize there are Bart fans who are hoping to see more of Barry’s grandson…and that may come down the road. Keep in mind that we still haven’t put Barry and Iris together, though there is certainly hope for that now.

As for a rating…let’s call this one a 10. Can’t wait for the new FLASH series!


7 thoughts on “Joshua Williamson Gets It Right! – FLASH REBIRTH #1 (review)

  1. Josh

    While I wasn’t quite as head over heels as you seem to be, I absolutely loved the issue. Great art, great story, great characterization. I checked out of Flash after Manapul left, but now I’m jumping back in. So happy to have a Flash book that gets me excited again!

    1. JVerve

      Same here. After years of suffering with bad Flash comics, I’m finally back.
      This direction sounds promising, and it’s great to see the Flash front and center in the DCU.

  2. Flashfacts

    I liked it quite a bit. Little bit too much of a recap for me but being a “Rebirth” book, I can appreciate the need to set things up for new readers (being the first relaunch since the show started and all). I didn’t quite geek out the way I did after reading DCU Rebirth, but this was a really solid follow up.

    I like Williamson’s voice for Barry and Wally, while showing subtle differences in the way they use their powers, this could have been swept under the rug and resulted in a depowered Wally but I’m glad that doesn’t seem to be the case. Liked the vision of Reverse-Flash being choked out. Liked Wally’s response to Barry and Iris’ “friendship”. LOVE that Wally is still The Flash. Art worked great for me. A good start with some cool things but I think I’ll like Williamson’s work more once the ball gets rolling.

    Best Flash Rebirth issue #1 I’ve ever read though.

  3. FLASH

    Long opinion short. I agree with all you said and share the same excitement! This comic was refreshing. I read the Superman Rebirth too, and it also, was refreshing and a “super” read. So far, so good DC!

  4. Javi Trujillo

    I’ve been hesitant to jump on board this title. I waited for my library to get the New 52 trades and that’s how I’ve read Flash since Flashpoint. I’ve been intrigued by what I heard was coming for this book, but even after the magnificence that is DC Universe Rebirth, it wasn’t until this moment that I was sure I wanted to read The Flash as it hit the stands. I love the respect that was paid to Wally and that two page spread as he and Barry raced side by side! The art is definitely not what one expects from Flash, but I enjoyed it, particularly how they made the Speedsters crackle with electricity! It also felt like something that would be very accessible to those who watch the show. The less said about the variant cover, the better…SO HAPPY to be a Flash fan right now!

  5. Lee H

    A lot of recap and setup in this issue, but it was well done. The mystery with the visions and the murder was intriguing. The art was gorgeous, especially the colour work.

    Perhaps most importantly, the characters were recognisable. Their voices and personalities felt right. Barry was Barry. Wally was Wally. Bravo to Joshua Williamson.

  6. kyer

    For the first time in years I just may be buying The Flash trade again if #1 is anything to go by. Titans, definitely, but suddenly Barry is looking to be the Barry I’d hoped for just as Flash:Rebirth 2009 was about to start.

    Remember when we were pumped thinking Flashpoint would be about all the Flashes in a story? Before Editorial killed many a hope and dream? I’m back to that level again.

    Here’s hoping the rest of the true Flash Family are revived.


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