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Art By: Gary Frank, Ethan Van Sciver, Brad Anderson, Jason Wright, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Hi-Fi, Phil Jimenez, Matt Santorelli, Gabe Eltaeb, Brad Anderson, Nick J. Napolitano Cover Price: $2.99 Release Date: May 25, 2016
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
It's finally here boys and girls and it's about time because I was seriously getting burnt out by the comics that were just winding down and waiting for this moment to happen. Besides for getting the legacy and meat and potatoes back into our heroes and their stories, the biggest thing to me about this book being out is that all of us fools on the internet can stop speculating about what Rebirth will be and can just sit back with a couple of RC Colas........... maybe a pinata for good measure....... because who doesn't enjoy a good pinata? Anyway, we can sit back with those things now and just enjoy ourselves some DC Comics the way that they were meant to be........ or at least the way Geoff Johns thinks they were meant to be..... and honestly, I'm all good with that because I don't know about you, but in Geoff Johns I trust when it comes to my comic books. Let's jump into this over-sized Rebirth and see what our Universe will look like from here on out and how the New 52 was never what we were meant to get. Let's check it out.
Oh, and if you're looking for a *SPOILER FREE* review, why don't you check out Jim's HERE
It's time to get the world back to the way it was meant to be, or at least let everyone know that the world is wrong and like any good world changing event, we've got Flash as our narrator. Yeah, while it's normally Barry Allen being the one to bring about change, this time we've got Wally stuck in the Speed Force, desperately trying to break his way free since he disappeared after Flashpoint and it seems that the only way that will happen is if someone actually remembers him........ kind of like Mr. Twister in Titans Hunt........ OH MY GOD! WALLY IS MR. TWISTER!........ no, no, I'm just joking, but it is very similar. So throughout this issue Wally West goes to our heroes for help by breaking his way out of the Speed Force and hoping beyond hope that anyone will remember him, but each time he does this he loses more of himself and eventually he'll just die and become a part of the Speed Force itself....... So man it really sucks that everyone he goes to has no idea who he is and he's pulled right back into his Speed Force prison.
Besides for Wally's many escape attempts, our issue is all about what he sees as wrong in the Universe and the mysterious figure who made it this way. As it turns out, after Barry created the Flashpoint and then put things back to the way they were supposed to be, someone intervened as time and space were realigning and actually created this New 52 Universe that is slightly different than the world we knew before Flashpoint and apparently they stole ten years away from us and from what Wally thinks, it was done as a way to weaken our heroes, hence our heroes just starting out as the New 52 began. All the things that previously made up the DCU, hope, love, legacy, they were all taken away or tainted by something that wanted to infuse a darker feel to the Universe. Through Wally's quest to find someone who will remember him we see some things that will become a part of our comics in the upcoming months, like Johnny Thunder reassembling the Justice Society. If that wasn't cool enough, we've also got Ted Kord and Jaime Reyes teaming up....... which is awesome, but quickly becomes weird when we find out from a classic Dr. Fate that Jaime's scarab isn't alien at all, but actually comprised of magic..... which I'm not really a fan of, but I'll go with it. We've also got Ray Palmer being lost in the Microverse, when he detected a problem with the timeline and now it's up to Ryan Choi to save him. With all these awesome things going on, it's hard to believe that a glaring problem that I've had with the New 52 could be wiped away as well....... but it does. We've got Pandora running for her life from some unknown assailant, until she finds herself in a dead end. The woman, who we all saw create the New 52 begins talking about how the heroes of this world will overcome the despair because even though she sent out all the evils in the world thousands of years ago, she also gave this world hope.......... but that's about all we get because Pandora suddenly explodes...... a lot like Rorschach did at the end of Watchmen. So yeah, it's a great big dark world that our heroes live in and with the death of Superman in the Final Days of Superman arc, it might be awhile until we start seeing some sunshine again, especially since Wally wasn't able to get through to Linda Park, who he believed was always his anchor to get him back when he got lost in the Speed Force.
In the end, Wally has given up all hope and has accepted his fate of dying and becoming one with the Speed Force, but before he does he takes a look at Wally West of the New 52 and we get a kind of forced in explanation that this Wally is actually our Pre-Flashpoint Wally's cousin, who he never met. It doesn't hurt the story, but it just comes off as odd. After Wally sees that the Speed Force is in good hands with his cousin, he visits Barry to say thank you and goodbye....... and to Wally and Barry's...... and my surprise, before Wally is yanked back into the Speed Force, Barry says Wally's name. At once Wally is brought back into the world and Barry remembers everything........ and we all start crying. As our issue closes, Wally informs Barry that this change in the world wasn't his fault. It was done to them by something they have never met and something more powerful than they've ever seen. If it wasn't made perfectly clear that we're talking about Dr. Manhattan from when he blew up Pandora, then the Watchmen Universe breaching the DCU is made abundantly clear when we see Batman discover the Comedian's blood stained smiley face button in the Batcave.
That's it for this over-sized "holy shit" issue of Rebirth that will be our bridge into what the DCU will become in June and like every other event book like this, Geoff Johns didn't disappoint. Yeah, I'm still a bit weary about the Watchmen becoming involved because that story was perfect the way it was........... I'M TALKING TO YOU BEFORE WATCHMEN! Even with this strange addition to the mythology of our heroes and the Universe they encompass, I can't say that I'm not intrigued. DC promised us that we'd be getting back to basics with our heroes and this is just one stop closer to that....... which will ultimately lead to a giant war against hope and despair, but still we're getting there and that's exciting. This issue just really brought about the feels and with that tried to wrap up some continuity problems that has been plaguing us for the last six years of the New 52, while introducing some key players for the stories to come. It really was an experience to read and even though this issue is broken up in chapter form to tell different aspects of what Geoff Johns wanted our Universe to get back to and we were given separate artists for it...... it all worked really well together and I'm just really happy to have Wally West brought back into the continuity and I can't wait to see what this summer brings with our heroes.
Bits and Pieces:
If anything, Rebirth certainly promises exciting times again and with those exciting times, we also get the promise of hope and the idea that our heroes have been fundamentally wrong for the whole of the New 52 and it's about time to get them to be the beacons that they once were. This is a very emotional and entertaining issue that really tells you everything that we've been missing since the New 52 began and how our favorite comic company plans on righting these wrongs. I highly recommend this issue not only for its great story telling and amazing art, but because it's meant for anyone who ever loved DC Comics at one point or another.