By Koppy McFad
May 13, 2009 - 04:14
Barry Allen has returned to life but his resurrection has triggered a chain reaction that is affecting all the other super-speedsters out there.
The creators of this book have confounded the reading public by reversing everyone's expectations. Instead of making the return of Barry Allen a joyous event, they have made it an ominous occasion. Barry is morose and feels out of place even though everyone wants to celebrate his return. The characters even say things in the story that the fans have been repeating for years-- how Barry was considered a saint but how he really did not need to come back. How the times have passed him by and made him less relevant. How Barry's return is actually quite the opposite of Hal Jordan's return.
There is some re-writing of Barry's history here, with his parents having figured in some tragedy and a new version of his first meeting with Iris. Some of these changes feel a bit forced-- like they needed to give Barry Allen a tragic past to make him fit in with today's comic heroes. And the change in Barry and Iris's first meeting-- including the adoption of his trademark 'bowtie'-- seems a bit gratuitous. Like the writer just felt like putting his own 'spin" on an event which had already been written about dozens of times before.
But the mystery of Barry's return-- and the surprising twist on the last page-- really do grab the reader, making him realise that there is something major afoot here. This may not be the rousing adventure/cum-rehabilitation of Hal Jordan that GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH was about, but it has its own very different attractions.
The art is highly detailed and very dramatic. Sometimes it is a little too overdramatic with energy-lines exploding from the Flash in almost every panel he is in. Iris Allen is also drawn very strangely. Sometimes, she looks stiff, like a statue. She also appears to be about 20 years old instead of the 40-plus year old grandmother that she is. Then again, DC Comics seems to believe that any woman who looks over 30 is unattractive so all female leads look like they are just out of their teens.
Rating: 7 /10