Ever since Barry Allen’s return from the dead was confirmed nearly a year ago, comics fans have been wondering who would be next to get the Rebirth treatment.
Now, the wait is over. With Flash: Rebirth hitting stores today, DC has announced that December 2009 will see the launch of Vibe: Rebirth, by the now-familiar team of Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver.
Vibe: What’s the Buzz?
In the early 1980s, the Justice League of America took on several new members as the “big guns” left the team. Paco Ramone, a Detroit gang leader with the ability to generate shock waves, decided to give up his life of crime and join the League as Vibe.
Vibe was a member of the Justice League from 1984 until 1987, when he was killed by one of Professor Ivo’s androids during the Legends crossover. He was the first member of the Justice League of America to die in the line of duty.
More than an Echo
On Tuesday, Ethan Van Sciver posted on his forum at the Comic Bloc:
Based on pre-sales success of Flash: Rebirth, Dan [Didio] has given me and Geoff the go-ahead to move forward with the next chapter in the Rebirth trilogy: Vibe: Rebirth.
Based on pre-release? It’s certainly not unprecedented. Just a few days ago, Paramount hired a writing team to write a sequel to the new Star Trek film, which won’t be out for another month.
When asked whether the artist would be able to hold to a schedule for another monthly project so close on the heels of Flash: Rebirth, he explained, “DC gave us a lot of lead time on Flash, so I should have plenty of time to get started on Vibe.”
“I hope this lays to rest any fears fans have about me being a ‘Silver-Age fanboy,’” Geoff Johns said. (Personally, given the tendency among many fans to think the Silver Age lasted right up to 1985, ignoring the Bronze Age entirely, I wouldn’t count on it.) When asked if he could provide any details of the story, he simply said, “Wait and see.”
Why Vibe? Why Now?
More detail came from Dan Didio, who told Newsarama:
It was really a melding of events. First of all, with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Green Lantern all leaving the Justice League, Dwayne McDuffie wanted to try and bring back some of the feel of the Detroit-era League. And what character is most associated with that League? Vibe! Plus we had some very positive fan response to his appearances in Trinity. And orders for Flash: Rebirth have been phenomenal. We want to strike while the iron is hot, so I asked Ethan if he’d be interested, and he just jumped at the opportunity. Literally, he jumped. I could hear the thump on the other end of the phone.
There is a downside, though. Just as Ethan Van Sciver had to scale back his involvement with Blackest Night in order to do Flash: Rebirth, Geoff Johns won’t be available immediately for the post-Rebirth relaunch of The Flash. “I’m sure the fans will be happy to know,” Didio said, “that for the first six months of the ongoing, the Flash will be in Judd Winick’s capable hands.”
Winick himself was unavailable for comment.
Once Upon a Geek has more information, including an interview with Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver and background on Vibe and his successor, Reverb.
Update: The blogosphere is starting to hum with commentary: Crimson Lightning is disappointed to hear that Geoff Johns will be leaving the Flash once again. Justice League Detroit is upset, asking “What were they thinking?” Fortress of Baileytude, however, has been won over to enthusiastic support.
Update 2: This is, of course, an April Fool’s joke! Thanks to the Irredeemable Shag of Once Upon a Geek for planning the event — it was a lot of fun coming up with the fake quotes and trying to make things almost fit!