So today, I am starting my look at the fourth week of releases in DC’s Rebirth relaunch, with Flash #1.
This issue starts off with showing Barry’s origin but adding the twist of an officer named August who was present when Barry was struck by the lightning. During a montage of the Flash helping people, there is some recap of the events of DC Universe: Rebirth and Flash: Rebirth. Wally is mentioned and that Batman and Flash are working on the case. This is reassuring for the plot threads started by those issues. Flash may be worth picking up just to get the continuation of that story.
Barry is called to a crime scene where August, now a detective shows up. The retcon of these guys being friends is laid on thick here. Almost as if someone wanted to establish an emotional connection between our hero and this new supporting character. Maybe it’s Doctor Manhattan?
Then Barry races to a lunch with Iris and New 52 Wally West. Speaking of race, for real, I’m trying really hard not to call this character “Black Wally.” I need a better way to ref this character without using pictures. So apparently, Wally doesn’t know that Barry is Flash? I’m not really up with this character, but how does Kid Flash, not know who THE Flash is? Is this something new with Rebirth? Seems weird and an unnecessary story point.
I’m happy to see New 52 Wally here though. I don’t want to see another member of the Flash family pushed off the page. See: Wally West when Barry came back, OG Jay Garrick, Max Mercury, Johnny & Jesse Quick, Impulse, Wally’s kids Jai and Iris, and John Fox.
Leaving lunch, Barry speeds off to deal with a fire and a robbery of a S.T.A.R. Labs truck. Over the next few pages we get a good sequence of Barry saving people trapped in the fire and cutting back to the robbery. Managing the fire takes the Scarlet Speedster longer than he thought it would. He rushes to the heist as one of the villains fires a gun at Barry’s newest friend that he goes way back with, honest, August.
It genuinely looks the Flash will be too late to save his friend and is a good moment of tension. Something that is rare in comics anymore, or maybe I’m just too old. Just as the bullet is about to strike, a green-tinted bolt of lightning rains down and strike August.
Time slows down for Barry as he runs around August and we see the lightning start to take the shape of a man striking out at the thieves. On the last page we see August reform and surrounded in greenish lightning. His eyes crackle as Barry’s did when he was struck by lightning years earlier.
So I really enjoyed this issue. I really hope they continue the Rebirth story of the universe reset. Is August Godspeed, the new villain supposed to be introduced in this story? They keep mentioning his brother was killed and that August keeps it 100 in regards to justice. Could his new powers twist him into a criminal? A man who had a family member murdered and was granted speed powers from a bolt of lighting. Almost like a reverse version of the Flash. Oh wait, we already have that.
I’m not saying you can’t have another speedster foil, but why invent one that invites comparison to Zoom so closely? Maybe that’s now where they are going with this, but that’s the feeling I’m left with at the end of this issue.
Anyway, I guess I’ll find out what the deal is as this story continues.
Only Jack Kirby can judge me.