What They Say:
FLASH FACT! He’s more powerful than ever… One-shot.
While the character of The Flash has stood tall for many, many years, things became much more complicated when alternate worlds and time travel was brought into play. When DC Comics brought back Barry Allen to the world of the living a few years ago, it left me rather displeased as I am a Wally fan and I preferred the longstanding death of Barry Allen in Crisis on Infinite Earths as it really was a powerful moment for comic book fans that really wasn’t tampered with all that much. With the time travel aspect, and the gradual tweaking and changing of the Reverse Flash character that came from the twenty-fifth century, they began to bond things together more between the two men. I have to admit that while I disliked the characterization of Barry Allen in his Rebirth series, I approved of the overall storyline showing how Thawne as the Reverse Flash had interfered with Barry’s life for so long in order to destroy him without destroying himself.
With this book, a one-shot, it encapsulates a lot of what was at the core of Rebirth and it does it in a way that actually makes it engaging and not drawn out. Thawne’s life in the twenty-fifth century is decent as we see him wanting to be a hero only to have it all go wrong when he gains the powers and goes to the past to see his idol. That set off years of attempts on his part to gain revenge on Barry for the way he felt he was wrong. But after quite a lot of time, Thawne started to get smart and figured out where he went wrong. Though he’s not entirely the sharpest tool in the shed because his plan is to not allow Barry to become The Flash, thereby removing his nemesis. But that also removes his own creation as the Reverse Flash in the future, and it has a great moment where he tries to stop the lightning and chemical mix, but finds that he’s unable to.
This book does a good job of breaking down what he learned over the years, both through his original timeline of events where he want after Barry in the good old days, but also from the Back to the Future perspective where he watches himself going through those events. It’s fun in a way to see him critique his own efforts and what he did to get back at Barry, and how the differences in their skills was a factor for a lot of it, something he couldn’t admit before. Scott Kolins does a really good job of bringing it all under one book and making it straightforward and very accessible in the space of twenty-two issues with what the longstanding rivalry between the two is. While I’m not as appreciative of Joel Gomez’s art here, he does give it all a striking look that feels strangely appropriate for it as we see the double-view of his plans against Barry over the years unfold.
This digital edition of Reverse Flash from Comixology features just the first printing cover of the issue with no additional extras included in the book.
While there was a lot I liked about the Flash: Rebirth series, the majority of it shows up in this single book and makes it a far easier recommendation when asked what the deal is with Barry, both as to why he was a bit of a jerk for awhile during his return and why there will always be a longstanding issue between these two men. I always dislike the way that Thawne becomes something of a go-to villain for Flash writers, but they did manage to make him the appropriate overall arch-nemesis for him through this retooling of Barry’s past and hints as to why it could be such a huge factor with the Flashpoint storyline itself. Though it’s essentially just a recap piece to help bring new readers up to speed, it’s also a very good refresher for fans who may have forgotten parts of it or prefer a more condensed and less annoying version of Flash: Rebirth. For that alone, Scott Kolins gets my heartfelt thanks.