Title: DC Universe:Rebirth, Issue #1
Author: Geoff Johns
Artist: Ethan Van Sciver
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: May 25, 2016
Throughout the corridors of time and space within the DC universe, in brief bursts of lightning, a stray, forgotten soul attempts to make contact with the heroes of this world in the hopes someone will remember him. The child is caught within the Speed Force, the source of power for all speedsters, but he is fading away with each failed attempt to make contact with someone. However, it is not only the mysterious kid’s existence that is at stake. He warns how legacies have been erased since the days of Flash Point and how a new threat is watching them.
Story-wise, the first issue of DC Rebirth seems like a rather lengthy read considering that it is split into a few chapters. Splitting a single comic into chapters in a single issue is an oddity since this is a single issue of a currently ongoing series. However, this does not hinder one’s enjoyment story if one is used to reading a more lengthy issue. The events that unfold with each chapter are enjoyable, even helpful for new readers. Event comics are ideal to new readers, and this first issue helps new comers or unaware fans by giving a cursory glance at the current events within the New 52 universe, such as this universe’s Superman having been declared missing at the moment. Not every single one of these events, however, are going to make complete sense to every reader though, such as the scenes with Lois and Clark from the pre-New 52 era, Constantine and Swamp Thing. Therefore this comic may require some external reading. The surprise return, which will be discussed later in the review, is a welcomed one and is indeed so emotional that all logic is irrelevant. Any needed explanations for this miraculous return can be explored in the next issue. While the issue did not give readers an exact idea as to who the antagonists for this comic are, the ending is a subtle hint as to whom it may be and is exciting for anyone who has read Allan Moore’s best known works.
In terms of characters, it was fun to see how all of the heroes have been doing, especially for Aquaman proposing to Mira and Ted trying to mentor Jamie. Hopefully all of the characters who had scenes devoted to them may have character arches for this event, seeing as how they were given such focus in the first issue, and might be major players.
However, the shining star of this first issue goes to the almost long forgotten speedster, the one who fans once remembered more than Barry Allan, the hero Kid Flash, also known as Wally West. Throughout the comic, Wally’s internal monologue really captures how afraid and desperate he is to try and get someone to remember him. Kid Flash’s dialogue never drags, and describes just how much he is in pain as his life is ebbing away. Each scene where he attempts and fails to get loved ones, friends, and heroes he once knew from his universe further displays the hopelessness, and builds up to the moment where Wally is at his lowest. The scene where Wally is ready to let go and say goodbye to Barry is so powerful invoke tears as a hopefully hero tries to say farewell to his mentor, and as the youth fades away, readers might feel the need to scream for Wally and beg him not to leave. Writer Geoff Johns, DC chief creative officer and author of Flash Rebrith and Green Lantern Rebirth, was indeed a befitting choice to helm this series.
As for the art by Ethan Van Sciver, it is very befitting as he too was the artist for Flash Rebirth. In terms of character models, however, the art is wonderful as everyone looks on point and aesthetically pleasing. Facial may be a bit too expressive when it comes to shock and dread to the point where it seems a bit awkward, though this is only a minor complaint. The art for the speed force is exceptionally amazing, as the colors really capture how sporadic, overwhelming, and vast it is, like a sea of pure energy, and pretty much a genuine force of nature.
While DC Rebirth may be a lengthy read, and may require some extra reading, such as Swamp Thing, Lois and Clark, Superman and Justice League, the issue is not too dense. The issue can still be picked up by new or unaware readers as the characters’ current statuses are at least made clear in their individual scenes. The art is wonderfully expressive and on point while making everyone look great. The dialogue is hardly boring when conveying how the main character is feeling, while not being too overly dramatic. Most of all the, the scene with Wally and Barry is arguably one of the most emotional scenes most DC Comics fans have seen in recent years. Definitely a must read for DC fans.
A legacy returns
Throughout the comic, readers can feel just how desperate and hopeless Kid Flash feels after every attempt at trying to help others remember him. With fantastic artwork and great dialogue, DC Rebirth’s first issue delivers a powerfully tear-inducing return of arguably one of the most remembered of the Flash family. New readers might need to do some extra reading, however, it is not impossible to piece together all the current events within the New 52. If readers are fans of Allan Moore, then they might want to check out that ending.
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