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Review Group Week 164 - FLASH: REBIRTH #1

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Punchy
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Postby Punchy » Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:32 pm

I actually liked this more than I expected, review to come tomorrow.

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Postby chap22 » Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:42 pm

Punchy wrote:I actually liked this more than I expected, review to come tomorrow.
this is truly Bizarro-week. Punchy liked Flash: Rebirth and i didn't. what the hell? up is down, down is up.
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Postby Punchy » Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:46 pm

chap22 wrote:this is truly Bizarro-week. Punchy liked Flash: Rebirth and i didn't. what the hell? up is down, down is up.


I didn't love it, there were some big problems, like the unnecessary Bruce Wayning of Barry, and the somewhat ridiculous thing with Jay saying Barry inspired him, but everything else was well-done, I liked Bart's attitude, and I don't normally think Johns can write him at all, and Barry seemed modernised, but not corrupted (apart from the aforementioned Bruce Wayning)

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Postby ****** » Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:27 pm

young neil wrote:my pick for next week is Wolverine: Weapon X #1

[center]Image
Wolverine: Weapon X #1
as selected by young neil[/center]WRITER: JASON AARON
PENCILS: RON GARNEY

THE STORY:
“THE ADAMANTIUM MEN” Part 1 (of 5)
In the jungles of Colombia, people are turning up dead, whole villages brutally slaughtered by a team of soldiers who move through the shadows like ghosts. On the streets of San Francisco, Logan learns that the files from the old Weapon X program, the blueprints for building Adamantium-laced super soldiers like himself, have fallen into the hands of the evil corporation, Roxxon. Once again, it seems, someone is looking to build the perfect killing machine. That means it's time for Wolverine to step in, and remind them that someone already did. Plus 8 pages of Director's Cut Extras!

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Postby Punchy » Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:50 am

The Flash: Rebirth #1(of 5) - 'Lightning Strikes Twice' - Johns and Van Sciver
Story - So, Barry Allen is back, Bartholomew Henry Allen is back, and how does that make you feel? On the whole, response to this particular resurrection has been lukewarm at best, most people like Barry, but simply prefer Wally West more, and this is the trouble Johns faces here, this isn't like Green Lantern, where there was a rabid fanbase already asking for Hal, everyone has accepted that Barry Allen is gone, and moved on, so maybe this is why the series is presenting that as Barry the character himself, the DCU has accepted that he's dead, and so has he somewhat, so how do we justify this Rebirth?

Well, it remains unclear as of yet, but this comic was of a high-enough quality that Barry's return may have some merit. I haven't read much of Johns' previous Flash work with Wally, apart from 1 trade and the recent Rogue's Revenge Final Crisis mini-series, so I am being dropped into an unfamiliar world of bad speed-related puns and cheesy museums, ('hurry up and get it done', 'everybody wants to move faster today' a bit too on the nose there Geoff), but I didn't mind. The opening few pages are an atmospheric, first person sequence, which was an odd, and unusual choice, but I suppose it's a better, more original way to hide the identity of this new villain than shadow over his face, after this violent opening gambit, we get decidedly lighter, as the return of Barry celebrations begin across Keystone and Central Cities, and we see 3 generations of the Flash legacy discuss what Barry means to them, it is these scenes, particularly the Jay one which disappoint me the most about this comic. In what bizarre world does Barry Allen inspire Jay Garrick? It's the other way around! This is ridiculous writing, serving only to show how weak the reasoning behind Barry's return is, it's bad writing, and one of the worst things I've read from Johns, he's not writing characters here, he's writing a HEAT (it's BASH for Barry right)-esque fan-fic, and it just annoys me, the Wally scene is better, there are legitimate reasons for him to be inspired by Barry, he was his sidekick after all, but Barts is the most true, and shows Johns for once not treating his characters as perfect (Oh Hal! You're so awesome!), so he was messiah to everyone, so what? Exactly Bart, exactly.

So after pages of everyone talking up the character like he's some kind of Jesus-like adonis with perfect morals and a sexy ass and awesome hair, what do we get when we actually see Barry? We see him as a fairly decent and normal guy, slightly overwhelmed, but pleased by the increased pace of modern life (with DC's shrinking timeline, how long has Barry been gone in their time really? Probably only about 3 years!), it is this scene with Hal where Johns shines, we see that the character is non-plussed by all this attention, I hope this is what Johns aims to do with this mini and the subsequent ongoing, the Myth of Barry Allen has become so inflated, that he needs to deflate that, and show that, he's just a guy, but on the basis of the sickening Jay scene, it seems unlikely, all-conquering Hal Jordan 2.0 here we go! But maybe not, hopefully not, I pray not, deflate Geoff! Deflate! After this, we see Barry run off to fight some crime or something, and a flashback which has proved controversial, Geoff retcons it that Barry Allen's mother, who was alive when he died in Crisis, was killed when he was a child, and his father was a suspect, this too me is conflicting, it's certainly an interesting way to take things, a twist on Peter Parker or Bruce Wayne, but seems entirely unnecessary, the Barry Allen of old did not have this back-story and motivation, and when you've just spent 25 pages explaining why Barry was so great, it seems kind of counter-intuitive to me to introduce an element which fundamentally alters the character, if you're going to bring Barry back, why bring back a different guy? But I can see the logic behind it, the old, happy-go-lucky Barry Allen probably wouldn't cut in today's modern age of Dark Knights and Dark Reigns, so this may be necessary, but still, it was presented poorly, in contrast with the previous pages. It's also interesting in that Johns is playng on Fatherly relationships with Barry like he is with Hal, at this rate, the DCU is going to end up like LOST (seriously, nobody has a good relationship with their dads in that show, except the ones who's parents are dead), what is Geoff's deal? Does his dad have lot to answer for? It's his fault we had to suffer through Infinite Crisis and Thy Kingdom Come!

After this flashback, Waid-Era Flash villain Savitar pops out of Barry's chest in a weird scene, and then Barry touches him and he dies... what? Yeah, it was odd, but a decent cliffhanger all in all. So, overall, what did I, Punchy, the famed Johns and Silver-Age hater make of the return of a Silver-Age favourite? I thought it was decent, I had some problems with it, the mum murder retcon and the Jay Garrick scene were the worst offenders, but it was well-constructed and showed an awareness of the ambivalence surrounding Barry's return, and set up some interesting threads, so it's an entertaining, if not spectacular read, with some typical Geoff Johns problems and tropes.
Art - I think Ethan Van Sciver is one of the best artists currently working for DC Comics, so often they lag behind Marvel, who have a modern-looking stable, but DC is stuck in the past, with the exception of about artists, Van Sciver is one of them, he's just great, and his art is a big reason why this comic works, he's got a great sense of design, and plays around with the silly elements like speed trails well, and there were some excellent touches here, like the previously mentioned first person opening scene and the transitions between the present day and flashback, good stuff, but it would have been better with Moose Baumann colouring it, can't believe DC fucked up so much to piss him off.
Best Line - It's hard to choose one, not because there are too many, but because I find Johns to be terrible at crafting dialogue, it's so clunky and declarative, all those speed related nudges, where he thinks he's being clever, but it's just lame, and that innocent and guilty stuff, ugh, so no, there was no best line here, just average lines, and terrible clunky obvious ones, he's one step away from Claremont, truly.

6.5/10
Last edited by Punchy on Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby thefourthman » Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:53 am

Flash: Rebirth #1

So here's the thing, I have never been a big fan of the Flash. To me, he got the short end of the stick in Superpowers along with the Atom and Hank Pym. they get small, the Flash runs really fast. I know that there is more to it than that, but from an outsider's stand point that is basically true. If I were not an insatiable comic book junkie, I would know no more than that about those characters.

To make matters worse, my history with the Flash comics is not all that great either. The Millar/Morrison stuff is okay. I read the end of Wally's last run but was hardly impressed. The beginning of Bart's run as the big cheese was awful, but when Guggenheim came on, he knocked it out of the park. Only to have a short run where they killed the poor bastard. Then Waid came back and wrote a really interesting super hero family book, but then he left the book and it got convoluted and eventually disappeared so that Barry could come back. Seriously, this is why people think comics are hard to get into. Then there is Jay Garrick and it gets even more complicated. Then there is the fact that all the fucking Flashes (except for maybe Jay) have DIED. All of them. Jesus.

The next problem that the Flash presents is laid exposed in this issue Bart is not only alive again (ruining the much delayed Legion of Three Worlds), but also a kid again. Jeez. Some one draw me a flow chart. Oh wait, Marvel did that for Spider-Man once and my head exploded.

Alright, so now that I am done griping about convoluted continuity - seriously this is what Giffen is talking about, just write good books, screw making them all line up, the fans are going to bitch either way. Johns does manage to write a decent book here. There are a few problems - like I have no idea what happened in the first few pages of the book in the lab. Also, I have no idea how Barry is alive. It is as clear as mud. However, Johns does write a hugely entertaining, readable story that shows how important Barry is to the DC Universe. I may be confused by some of the small details like why so much hate is being thrown Oliver's way, but it was readable. Problem is, even with all that set up to the character's importance - I still don't care. Mostly because I don't know anything about this guy. Nothing. Not only that, even with all the importance talk in the book, he is still just a guy who runs fast. Speed Force schmeed force...

Sciver's art is real nice. Everything looks cool. There are just some unclear things going on. Like the stripe behind the panels was confusing, it was distracting. I am sure it was just a cosmetic choice, but I kept looking for some meaning in it. The other problem is it is so busy. There is a scene in the museum where Barry and Hal are walking through looking at stuff and Flash is running but Hal is at each exhibit with him. I have no idea what that is supposed to convey. That is a problem. It looks nice, but some times it gets in the way of the story and comics are supposed to be a synthesis of the two - words and pictures. If the pictures are sometimes hard to understand, it lessens the importance on them being pretty.

Despite all my reservations about this title (I can tell you right now, if after this there is a Flash book for about a year and one of these fuckers dies I will never ever read another Flash book again, that shit is getting played out), this is a good dense read, in fact it kind of felt like reading a trade, which in the days of super decompressed comics is a fantastic thing. It is a solid readable effort, I am just unsure how much I care.

Story 6
Art 6
Overall 6

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Postby KING King Impulse » Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:58 am

I know you're all waiting with baited breath for my review, it's coming soon. I'll say overall I liked it but there is one problem

GEOFF JOHNS DOES NOT GET BART ALLEN AND SHOULD BE ACTUALLY BANNED FROM WRITING HIM BECAUSE HE DOES NOT GET HIM AS A CHARACTER!!!
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Postby Punchy » Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:08 am

Also, the speed force is stupid, retcon it now, who needs a 'force' to explain why he runs fast, he just does!

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Postby Hermit_Sage » Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:24 pm

Punchy wrote:Also, the speed force is stupid, retcon it now, who needs a 'force' to explain why he runs fast, he just does!


Its Magic!



I dont know what I think, I was just eh, and when the hell did Bart come back! and as a kid WTF! they really need recap pages at DC jeez! I dunno, it was hmmmm sigh. I felt like I am SUPPOSED to love this since its a Rebirth, but it really didn't do anything to make me care about Barry as compared to the others, just glad Bart is back.

whatever I will score this overall - 7.


the art on this thing REALLY saves the overall score
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Postby ****** » Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:33 pm

Sire v 2.0 wrote:when the hell did Bart come back!


Legion of 3 Worlds #3

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Postby doombug » Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:00 am

So uh yeah I was at boston comic con so sorry for not a prompt response but here it is.

Flash Rebirth by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver:

So Barry Allen is back and I should be excited, the flash universe is finally getting the reboot it needs after everything that's happened the last couple years. Bart's been deaged, 2 speedsters one in a black costume and the other who was apparently trapped in the speed force both meet a horrible fate and Barry Allen confronts his past head on with his best friend. Honestly though...something feels like it's missing here, like we only got a third of what we should have.

The Hal/barry stuff was essential and honestly needs to be throughout the series, maybe add some Ollie in too with that weird friendship which was even alluded too. Plenty of Flash continuity is used but honestly I'm not sure what holds up. I wanted to love this, I really did. But Bart sounded off and out of character, not to mention this doesn't really fit into current continuity from what we know (Tim still being with the titans, Bart being back on the team) Oh and the speedsters that die...does anyone really care? Those were the most useless deaths ever which is funny seeing as that every other character that geoff killed is now apparently back. Oh and don't even get me started on Wally's treatment here, I usually trust geoff with these characters...what happened?

Verdict: This is a solid 6, really hoping next issue gets better as the flash universe deserves the allstar treatment.

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Postby john lewis hawk » Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:09 am

Punchy wrote:Also, the speed force is stupid, retcon it now, who needs a 'force' to explain why he runs fast, he just does!
The Speed Force should be abused by someone like Booster Gold or even the Beefeater.

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Postby Punchy » Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:23 am

john lewis hawk wrote:The Speed Force should be abused by someone like Booster Gold or even the Beefeater.


Why doesn't Superman use the speed force?

It's retarded, and another excuse for gay-ass 'mythology' like the different coloured rings.

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Postby Amoebas » Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:25 am

Punchy wrote:Also, the speed force is stupid, retcon it now, who needs a 'force' to explain why he runs fast, he just does!
Iirc, even Waid has admitted in the past that it wasn't the best idea he ever had.

It'd be easy to retcon too. Just say it's a place that they can get to when they run very fast (like how they can get to other worlds by vibrating) and the 'force' they feel is just a runner's high.

All the others aspects that we assumed were from the Speed Force really come from the tiny aliens living in Flash's rings.

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Postby Amoebas » Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:25 am

King Impulse wrote:GEOFF JOHNS DOES NOT GET BART ALLEN AND SHOULD BE ACTUALLY BANNED FROM WRITING HIM BECAUSE HE DOES NOT GET HIM AS A CHARACTER!!!
And it's when Johns took him in Titans that I actually started liking him. I really couldn't stand his character before that.

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