Issue: DC Universe Rebirth Chapter One
Published: 2016 by DC Comics
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Gary Frank and Ethan Van Sciver
Colorist: Brad Anderson and Jason Wright
Letterer: Nick J. Napolitano
The Good: Wally West, Batman, Flash (Barry Allen), Iris West, Linda Park, and many more
The Bad: Big Hand
“Every second is a gift.” It’s the key theme of this chapter and one Wally has held dear until he realized that not only he, but everyone had lost time. He had finally found a purpose and his life was great when he met his hero but then it was all taken away. It had happened before, his stepping out of reality, but this time he couldn’t figure out how to get back to his time and reality. So he went in search of someone to help him.
And Bruce Wayne was a logical starting point. Batman’s been trying to decipher the situation with Superman’s “disappearance” and Joker’s seemingly multiple incarnations. With his recent experience with “The Chair” in the Justice League comic, Bruce was told there are 3 different Jokers and he’s just now geting a chance to try to figure out what it all means. He was also there when Superman fell in the fight against Denny Swan in Superman #52. So when Wally showed up in the batcave it was just another day for the Bat.
Since time was lost and Wally was outside reality, Batman didn’t remember him though. But Wally knew the detective in Bruce wouldn’t let his appearance go without investigation so he planted some clues – he referenced the letter Thomas Wayne left for Bruce and told him to talk with Barry. His time in the cave was short though as the Speed Force pulled him back and as Wally struggled against it, a tear occurred and something slipped into the cave.
Back outside reality, Wally sees parts of his life flash in front of him. His meeting the Flash, becoming Kid Flash, and making friends with the Teen Titans were all images he was happy to relive. Others weren’t so nice such as Barry’s death saving the universe. And then he saw Linda Park, the love of his life, and she became his anchor whenever the Speed Force tried to pull him away from reality.
But not even she could ground him as Barry went back to save his mother and created Flashpoint. Apparently that event and the subsequent resetting of time when Barry again saved the universe by stopping himself from changing the past were the opening that was used by some external entity to steal time. Somehow a darkness infected and stole time causing legends to be forgotten and friendships to disappear. And Wally is the only one who knows that things have been tampered with.
Someone changed the universe and they’re still there waiting to attack again. Somehow Wally needs to get a message to someone in reality to prevent further damage before he’s forgotten in the Speed Force.
What did I learn:
- The 3 Joker thing from Justice League is real.
- Superman’s death is a continuing story in Rebirth.
- Dr. Thomas Wayne was Batman during Flashpoint – I never read that event so it’s all news to me.
- The Big Hand is pretty ominous and seems pretty powerful to be able to steal 10 years from the universe.
As I mentioned in my First Look, this definitely has a feeling of something monumental. 10 years missing or rather being stole from the universe would take a significant amount of power – more than I’ve seen in any of the comics I’ve read so far. From my understanding, the Speed Force might have that much power but I don’t think it steals time, just pushes the universe to a different reality.
In any case, it was good to see the culmination of the various storylines I’ve been following in DC with Superman and Justice League tying together. But it was truly sad to see that Batman didn’t remember Wally. For me, I keep thinking of the Wally from the CW TV show but I know anyone who’s read Flash comics know him better from that medium. This chapter/issue serves as a good introduction to Wally (for me) with the whole life flashing before his eyes thing – it may be a trope, but it works here. I’m glad to have the synopsis of his life and to learn that he’s most likely the missing member from Titans Hunt that I couldn’t figure out.
The art is well done and I like the way thought bubbles and dialog bubbles are differentiated and the red/yellow coloring works great to let me know Wally is the one thinking. Also, the red outline to the dialog bubble to indicate emphasis works really well.
In all, I really liked this chapter and am happy to move on to the next to learn more about Rebirth.
My Rating: A
This comic can be found on Comixology or at your local comic book shop.