Ricky Church reviews The Flash: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 1…
A new storm brews over Central City and disproves the old adage about lightning never, well…you know. Just as Barry begins to feel overwhelmed fighting crime, a new speedster debuts—but where did this amazing new friend come from? Spinning directly out of the epic events of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH, the Fastest Man Alive finds himself at the center of a DC Universe at a crossroads—and reeling from the reemergence of his protégé, Wally West! Collects issues #1-13 and THE FLASH: REBIRTH #1.
Since DC began its Rebirth launch last year, The Flash has been one of the publisher’s best books. Writer Joshua Williamson has imbued the title with a lot of fun and wit while exploring the aspects that make Barry Allen’s Flash so special. Now DC has collected the first part of Williamson’s run on the title in The Flash: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 1 in a nice collection of Barry’s adventures.
Included in the book are The Flash: Rebirth #1 and The Flash #1 – 13. The main draw of the book is the story ‘Lightning Strikes Twice’, which takes up 8 issues and sees a mysterious group called Black Hole manipulating the Speed Force, creating a whole new host of speedsters in Central City. Barry takes it upon himself to train each one, but has to balance his time with training and catching Black Hole. Meanwhile one of the new speedsters names himself Godspeed and sets out to steal of all the new speedsters.
Williamson brings something to The Flash that hasn’t been in the title for a long now: a sense of legacy. Not only do we have the original Wally West back in the universe, but we have Barry training a new group of speedsters as well as the other Wally West from The New 52. It’s great to see Barry back in the role of a mentor and having some fun with his new students. His later interactions with The New 52 Wally also stand out, showing how at ease Barry is as a teacher.
Williamson has a good handle on Barry’s character, balancing his bright side with the more serious elements of The Flash. His Flash is comedic, caring and heroic. Its one of the best characterizations of Flash fans have had in a while. Since this Flash is a bit ‘new’ to teaching new speedsters, he sometimes comes across a little impatient or rash, especially to Wally, but still teaches them some valuable lessons on what it means to be a hero. Williamson’s characterization of the supporting cast is well done too, creating some good side characters and building Wally’s evolution into Kid Flash nicely. The only main criticism is that while Godspeed proves to be a threat, his motivations seem rushed and not fleshed out quite as well.
The art throughout the book is quite good. Carmine Di Giandomenico is the illustrator for the majority of the issue while Ivan Plascencia remains the colourist throughout the whole thing. They do a good job of showing Flash and his allies in action, creating some cool visuals for the fight scenes. Plascencia makes each character crackle with electricity in cool, subtle ways.
Other artists who fill in are Felipe Wantanabe, Neil Googe, Jorge Corona and Davide Gianfelice. Each have different styles, ranging from a bit more of a cartoony look to using some rougher lines. Their varying styles can at times feel a bit inconsistent, but they each still creates some solid imagery.
Overall, The Flash: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 1 is a very good and enjoyable read for old fans and newcomers alike. While the stories also touch on the larger mystery of DC Rebirth, they’re still self-contained enough that readers won’t be confused and will be enthralled by the individual stories themselves.