PLOT: Hitting the reset button on the DC Universe, Wally West tries to make his way back to this universe after he’s been stuck in the Speed Force since the New 52 launch. Along the way, he reaches out to DC’s most popular heroes for help and to warn them of the manipulation of this reality by some unseen forces.
A lot of The Comic Spot has been devoted to DC Comics’ New 52 run. Now, DC has done a new reboot, this time called DC Rebirth. More or less, DC Rebirth turns the clocks back on the whole shebang, as Wally West tries to bring himself back into the universe. This is the jump-point for all their new titles and for what it is, it does an admirable job.
This story serves two purposes. First, it is a mea culpa to anyone that basically hated the New 52. It tries to reset the supposed damage of what that relaunch event did to the DC Universe, including removing fan favorite Wally West from The Flash series. Secondly, it acts as the epicenter for everything that will come after that, as it is more or less just a check in with DC’s most popular titles.
Personally, I had no problem with the New 52, but I am the type of person that the event was created to attract: casual readers that were looking for a place to start. So when I picked up the first two volumes of The Flash New 52 canon, I didn’t miss Wally West because I never read anything with him in it. This starting point has its high points and some, not necessarily low points, but meh points. I don’t really have much interest (or backstory) on some of the characters that we check in with, like the Blue Beetle, so those pages are quicker flip-throughs than, say, the Batman or Flash pages. I can’t really blame DC for this in the same way I can’t blame Marvel for spending time with characters I don’t know in Civil War II. It’s sort of the point of a crossover story: to bring the universe together.
There are some great moments in this one, though, especially when Wally finally meets up with Barry Allen, the Flash that I am used to, as well as the revelations that take place in the Batman pages.
RATING: 4 out of 5
The artwork is gorgeous throughout, but what is even more impressive is that it all feels cohesive, despite the fact that various pencilers took the helm. Phil Jimenez, Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis, and Gary Frank are all given credits on the DC Comics website and they all do a fantastic job. There should be special mention to the artwork surrounding Wally West, as his drifting between our universe and the Speed Force realm is extraordinarily dynamic and a centerpiece for this title.
ARTWORK RATING: 5 out of 5
The only character we really get a full picture of is Wally West, which I guess is nice, seeing as how he’s been absence for the better part of this decade. We get a really nice moment with Barry Allen as he manages to pull Barry from the Speed Force, but everyone else feels a little like a cameo. There are a lot of cameos, though.
CHARACTER RATING: 3.5 out of 5
There’s not really a villain in this launch title, per se. We get inkling that there is someone other than Barry Allen behind the New 52 and it’s a pretty big bombshell. SPOILERS: it may be Dr. Manhattan. I’m not sure how I feel about the introduction of the Watchmen to DC canon, but I’m willing to see where it goes.
VILLAIN RATING: 2.5 out of 5
I’m interested to see where this goes, but I’m probably not as rabid as more seasoned comic book vets to see the New 52 be forgotten. It gave me a reason to get back into comics and it gave me a good starting point. This basically does the same thing, but now I feel like some really good storylines (The Court of Owls, for one) were a waste of time.
OVERALL RATING: 3.5 out of 5