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on 5 May 2010
Of the many questions this volume leaves me with, I'll focus on one: why bring back Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash?

The short, flippant answer: nobody stays dead in comics. A better answer, provided by the superstar creative team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Ethan Van Sciver: Barry Allen is central to the Flash franchise, both ontologically and morally. "Flash: Rebirth" has so many plot twists and major revelations (including, at last, an explanation of how the "speed force" that all Flashes draw upon works) that it's difficult to suggest how good this story arc is without dropping any spoilers, so let's just say that in the aftermath of the Final Crisis, Barry Allen returns to Central City, which is more than happy to welcome back its original Flash. The moment Barry confronts his first supercriminal, though, things go catastrophically wrong.

Time and physics are always, uh, flexible concepts in a Flash story, and when I wasn't trying to wrap my head around this book's grim time travel/murder mystery plot, I found page after page of smaller pleasures to enjoy; for instance, Barry's conversation with Hal (Green Lantern) Jordan in the Flash Museum; Iris West's first meeting with Paul Gambi, tailor to the Rogues; another Superman/Flash race, ending with a SMALLVILLE-inspired punch line; even a thoroughly delightful explanation of why Barry Allen used to wear those goofy bow ties in his early appearances.

Geoff Johns, whose 2000-2005 run on the Flash comic book convinced me that Wally West was THE Flash, now imagines Barry Allen as "a man out of step with everyone else," from his quirky sartorial and social habits to his old school sense of morality. His reintegration into a grittier, somewhat more corrupt 21st century Central City will be a treat to watch. Ethan Van Sciver's artwork, a blend of photorealism and wild exaggeration, is in a class by itself, and "Rebirth" looks like a six-issue riff on Carmine Infantino's spare, stylized Flash pages from the 'sixties and 'seventies. Like their previous collaboration, Rebirth (Green Lantern Graphic Novels), the Johns/Van Sciver Flash is an exciting, must-read update of a classic Silver Age hero.
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on 29 June 2013
As a reader of "Barry Allen era" Flash from the 1960's, I bought this as an exercise in nostalgia as much as anything, and I wanted to see how they would revive a long-dead and much loved character (is it really over 20 years since he was killed off?)
What I found was a completely new approach to the characters and story-telling. Much more aimed at adults, without resorting to crudity, bad language or excessive and graphic violence (although elements of violence exist in the story). Characters die, villains are killers, not just thieves or megalomaniacs but true psychopaths. Heroes have wives, children and all the issues involved therein. They are three dimensional, rather than the cardboard cut-out goody-goodies of the past.
Indeed, Barry Allen acknowledges than he had a black & white / no grey areas world view before his "death". Guilty or not guilty, good or bad, innocent or evil. He was, simply, too good to be true.
Part of the story involves his journey towards a more enlightened, less naive attitude. For the most part, though, it is a fast moving, action packed exploration of the so-called "speed force", with some genre-altering exposition, and a really surprising twist affecting all those who wear / have worn the Flash costume, as well as forerunners (no pun intended) like Jay Garrick and Jonny Quick.
With cameos from old villians like Captain Cold and Gorilla Grodd, as well as appearances of the Justice League stalwarts Superman, Green Arrow and Wonder Woman, this is one for old time geeks like me, as well as those new to the DC Universe.
The Kindle edition was easy to read, even on my smaller, older basic version. Recommended.
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on 20 November 2013
I had never read any Flash comics previously but felt like dipping my toe and was drawn in by the always reliable Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver team. I did greatly enjoy this comic but did find myself getting a little lost/confused at certain moments because I didn't know any of the back story of many of the different iterations of The Flash. This does seem to be a good starting point though and it's certainly led me to track down more Flash books. A good starting point, but also worthwhile doing a little reading around the character first.
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on 19 October 2014
After I had read and hugely enjoyed Green Lantern: Rebirth by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver. I became very interested in Barry Allen's resurrection. This iconic character who is about to hit TV screens in a new live action series. Writer Geoff Johns has specified that this book serves as inspiration for the new show.

The success of Green Lantern: Rebirth led to popular acclaim for its creators and allowed them to revisit the concept for another classic DC character in 2009. The Flash: Rebirth gave Barry Allen the same treatment, which it had a lot to live up to. This six-issue miniseries celebrates Barry's return to the DC Universe after a more than 23 year absence. Barry Allen died during Crisis on Infinite Earths #8 in the 1985 series. Barry's death was truly heroic and is often regarded as one of the greatest, most selfless sacrifices in superhero comics. It's probably why the character wasn't resurrected for so long. Barry became untouchable where no creator potentially taint the character's legacy.

Barry Allen's eventual resurrection doesn't change the fact that his original sacrifice to stop the Anti-Monitor from destroying the universe remains one of the DC Universes most memorable and often-referenced moments. While some heroes had died saving a loved one, others maybe there beloved city or maybe even there home planet. Barry literally saved the entire universe from being erased from existence, he became a legendary hero. This Flash was a beacon of purity and inspiration which helped fuel the Flash lineage after he was gone for over 20 years. Barry's return happened within the Final Crisis event and Flash Rebirth is the story that explores his return and the exploration of The Flash mythology.

Barry Allen has broke free from the speed force where he had been trapped and has now returned after a lengthy absence. While the stage is set for celebrations for both Barry Allen and The Flash's return, he is reluctant to do so and is still adjusting to a world where he was always felt so detached from. We see how is return has impacted the other heroes and speedsters and what he means to them. Forgoing the parties, Barry is eager to get back his role as The Flash, but all is not right for the speedster and his powers. Barry is a police forensic scientist and seeks out the mystery of what and why has corrupted his connection to the speed force and why others speedsters are being adversely affected by it. Barry's friends and family are also at risk with the change he is experiencing and flees back to the speed force to avoid harming anyone further. The Speed Force is a new addition to the Flash mythos, a major revelation in the story is about its origin. The Speed Force is a vaguely defined extra-dimensional energy force from which most, but not all, superspeed-powered heroes source their enhanced abilities.

The book and it's issue covers contain some homages and references to key moments in The Flash's history including, meeting Jay Garrick the original Flash of the Golden Age, Barry's accident, the race with Superman along with Barry's death and return. The travel through time system allows the story to refer to these moments along with the flashbacks into important events in his life as well as being integral to the story. As the nature of the story deals a tampering of the Speed Force, only one person could be responsible; Eobard Thawne/The Reverse Flash/Professor Zoom. This series brings back the classic Flash villain as Barry's ultimate nemesis that just lives to antagonize him and ruin his legacy. There is a big revelation but if you're like me have pieced it together from the episodes of The Flash TV series.

This was a hugely enjoyable and great story that reintroduced the character into a new age.Barry Allen was back and the whole Flash family had joined him for the start of a new era. It' s a big story with many supporting characters and many speedsters including Wally West, Bart Allen/Kid Flash, Jay Garrick, Wally's twins and Barry's wife Iris West-Allen along with Max Mercury the "guru" of the speed force.

Flash Rebirth successfully brought back the character that was dear to so many fans hearts without undermining his ultimate sacrifice. It maintains the same style formula of story that the creators did with their previous rebirth miniseries story line with Hal Jordan Green Lantern. Re-Introducing the character and his history while telling a epic story that is a great starting point for new flash fans thus making Barry Allen the important Flash there ever was.

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on 23 January 2015
this was just a lovely book to read, i don't normally read flash comics but this was just a pleasure to read and i would definitely recommend this to those who love the flash (especially barry allen) or those who are just starting out with the flash or in general reading comics!
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on 21 January 2016
A great origin story for The Flash and a great way to introduce new fans. Some of the plot was used in the incredibly successful Flash TV show. It is pre- new 52 so some new reader may be left scratching their heads. The art is bold and consistent but doesn't really get to the wow stage. Geoff John's writing more than capable of picking up the slack and carrying the reader along on a fun romp.
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on 13 January 2014
What ever comic this guy touches turns to gold it seems, this is a good introduction if you've been out of comics or Flash for a while, it brings in the old with the new and with a bang!

Worth a read.

Shipped fast as usual.

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on 20 May 2013
This is a great start for anybody that hasn't read anything to do with the Flash before, it's where I started!
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on 5 September 2013
I was surprised, I love the Flash but I often find it's difficult to feel anything for the character as he is often poorly written and utilized. But Rebirth was a welcome break from all that. It's a great read for Flash fans, and new fans won't be disappointed either.
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on 21 March 2015
Brilliant artwork
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