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“Reruns of Your Grief”

June 12th, 2009 by | Tags: , , ,

Geoff Johns and Ethan van Sciver’s Flash: Rebirth #3 explains Barry Allen’s bowtie (again), features a race between Flash and Superman (Flash wins, because the other races were for charity), and the return of a Flash villain (surprise!). It’s bringing a very Silver Age character into a modern context, resulting in the kind of story that Barry hasn’t really appeared in before, to my knowledge. It’s kind of like Green Lantern: Rebirth, which was the revitalization and redemption of a Silver Age icon whose time had passed some years before. The new Supergirl is the old Supergirl, the new Kid Flash used to be the Flash, and Green Lantern is doing a story that springs from, what, eight pages from twenty years ago?

And I’m bored.

I’m not on the “DC sucks, Marvel rules!” tip, because a lot of Marvel books are boring me in a different way than most of DC’s current output. I’ll read a book if an interesting team is on it, obviously, and I buy a gang of Vertigo. But, when I think of what I’m least interested in currently, DC is the first thing on my lips.

It was the Flash/Superman race in Flash: Rebirth. I’m a Flash fan. It’s obvious, and I’ve written about my love for certain stories featuring character before. At the same time… the race was just another in a long line of nods at a time that was over before I was born. That’s the only reason it existed. It’s like a Family Guy joke– “do you remember when?” I don’t know what it added to the story except “Barry is a jerk now” and “Superman is slower than the Flash.” The bowtie thing– I don’t get it. Who cares about his bowtie? Is this something I’m missing? Does it hold some special significance, other than a woman he just met gave it to him, and he later married her?

No, it’s another “remember when?”

Answer: Yes.

“Interested yet?”

Answer: No. I’m tired of watching reruns.

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9 comments to ““Reruns of Your Grief””

  1. Me too. And my glance through issue one and Internet reading (your “Barry is a jerk now” fer instance) convince me that this is just the wrong way to go. Why retread a character best loved for his blandness by making him edgy in, admittedly, the most bland and cliched way (My past! it’s daaaaark!)? If we have to inject Barry back into this DCU, this modern supercomics era, I’d rather see him react against the dark (“Jesus, people, lighten up,” or “why is every crazy now a genocidal crazy?”).

    Anyway, while Johns’ Green Lantern series kinda works for me with its greater “edge” (though not nearly as well as if it were a little lighter), this doesn’t interest me at all.


  2. Really go listen to Tom vs the Flash podcast. The Tom Katers explains all the silver age stories make this rebirth WAAAAAAAAAAAY more enjoyable. but all being said the 3rd issue is the most interesting one so far.

    But really with Dick as Batman, they have a real opportunity to do a JLA with most of the old titans as the main people and I think they might be dropping the ball on pushing in something new.


  3. It’s just killing me that nothing happens in this series, the pace is just painfully slow. It’s just to “new reader friendly”, like you said all the flashbacks and unimportant crap like bow ties. Admittedly I have a nerd mancrush on Geoff Johns, and even I’m having a tough time justifying why this book is worth buying.


  4. @Julian Lytle:

    Yes, but shockingly there are people reading comics who were not around for the Silver Age and really don’t care about it. It’s not like The Flash is rocket science. You just take current or speculative science news related to the physics of velocity and have him use powers relating to that to fight a colorful rogue’s gallery. This can be accomplished without Johns’ ‘nods to the silver age.’

    How about some nods to the kids and teenagers who are just now being introduced to a truly awesome character? The whole point of The Flash should be going forward instead of back.


  5. personally, the newest issue reignited my interest in this mini. Seemed to me like Johns was just doing set up and it wasn’t will #3 that he decided to put effort.

    Also if he can make the original Zoom half as good as Sinestro, I’ll be satisfied.


  6. [...] is tired of re-runs in his [...]


  7. [...] no getting around it, Barry Allen wore a bow tie: Over on 4thletter, David Brothers talks a bit about why Flash: Rebirth just isn’t doing it for him, and notes [...]


  8. Superhero comics are all 2nd act. And most of the big properties are reset every few years to make way for…more 2nd act. It’s the illusion of change.

    Otherwise, permanent change would hit Batman or Superman. But how often do you see their careers progress to the point of them losing their skills, or settling down and having kids, grandkids? They’ve been around since the 1930s.

    My point is only that however long you’ve been reading comics, it should be painfully obvious that the history carries it. Barry really isn’t a long-dead icon of 40 years ago. His story was still being told, from the beyond, via his nephew: Wally has worn Barry’s exact costume, hangs with the family and associates, and fights all the same villains. It’s a great example of this illusion: Whoever is under the Flash mask, they’re going to run really fast and fight villains with cheesy names like Captain Cold, Mirror Master and Zoom. Rebirth is just more illusion.


  9. To me, what always made Wally work was that he started off with very circumscribed “traditional” midwesterner views. Then art imitated life. It becomes harder to be intolerant or even oblivious to others’ unique trials, after all, if you start hanging out with a gay ex-villain and a rather *ahem* substantial black man who is basically a walking black hole. not to mention your super-amazing girlfriend being of Korean descent. There are people whose circle is diverse who are still prejudiced/biased/bigoted, but I’m pretty sure they are the exception to the rule.

    off the topic, kinda sorta, but does anyone know why Linda’s middle name got changed from Kiyo to the “all-purpose ethnic girl” moniker, Jasmine. curious.