One panel from Flash Rebirth 2, a bit of an interview, and a little discussion about the issue
There were a couple of things I wanted to talk about from Flash Rebirth 2.
And yes, some of it has to do with how Johns writes Wonder Woman.
There were a couple of things that drove me nuts in the latest issue of Flash Rebirth.
The first was Johns' take on the bow tie.
It's not that Barry is naturally the sort of dweeb that really goes for bowties.
Barry's bowties are clipons. Barry doesn't really do ties. He's an open collar, leather jacket kinda guy. The clipon bow tie is just a quick way to "dress up" when he needs to make a court date or something. First one is actually left over from a policeman's ball, and is given to Barry by a coworker when he's running late for a court appearance and isn't dressed suitably.
Gone is Carmine Infantino's Barry Allen that showed up for his first day wearing a bow tie like it was the most natural thing in the world.
And then there's his parents.
Barry's mother is murdered, Barry's dad is framed. And in the latest issue we learn Barry's father died in prison. Barry's motivation to become a forensic scientist is a desire to prove his father's innocence. No, it's not just that he loved science or anything simple like that.
Okay, now comes the bit where people say "maybe he's going to undo those Flash flashbacks". Maybe it's a red herring. Maybe all these changes to the character are meant to strike us as wrong, and he's going to put things back to normal. Maybe. But he sounds to me like he's serious. ____ IGN Comics: Knowing so many fans will be unfamiliar with Barry, how are you planning on introducing him to a whole new generation?
Johns: Well the whole idea is to introduce Barry Allen to everybody, period. I think even people who know Barry Allen will find things in issue #1 that they've never seen before. We've never really visited Barry Allen's past before he got hit by the bolt of lightning. And so some of what Rebirth is going to do is delve back into the past and reveal some things about it that previously weren't there.
IGN Comics: You're speaking specifically of the whole tragedy involving his father and mother?
IGN Comics: That's interesting, because as far as I know, the character never really had any tragedy in his life up until the big Professor Zoom story right before Crisis. Why did you think it was important to bring some tragedy into his back-story?
Johns: What we'll find out is we'll see what drove him to adopt such a strong sense of justice. I really want to explore what drove Barry Allen to adopt his uncanny sense of wrong and right. You're not just born with that. Barry Allen strove for that and was somewhat obsessed with it. Also, it's about why he got into forensics. What led him to that area of work? Why not become a cop or a prosecutor? Why forensics? That's something I really wanted to explore – what drove Barry Allen to this life that he chose? What made him Barry Allen before he was hit by the bolt of lightning? ____
Make your own call, but I'm definitely leaning toward thinking Johns is going the Hunter Zolomon "heroes need tragedy" route.
And then there's how Barry gets back his secret identity. The cover story is that he's back from being in Witness Protection. Who set that up? Oracle? Mr. Terrific of Checkmate? Nah, they turned to the person you should always turn to for anything having to do with the US Government. The person with the well established secret identity working for the government, who is clearly in a position to do this sort of thing, and quite skilled at constructing complicated and detailed lies that will stand up under the scrutiny that would reasonably be expected.