Tag Archives: Rebirth

iReview | DC Comics THE FLASH #39 Celebrates 700 Issues

The Scarlet Speedster moves toward a publishing milestone with its Issue #39 celebrating 700 issues ever! And the very dramatic return of one of greatest villains in THE FLASH mythology!

Welcome to the new Modern Age of Comics! Where comics embrace and actually celebrate their publishing legacies by reverting back to or embracing their original numeric issues. With everyone eagerly counting down to the return of the “classic” Superman in the historic Action Comics #1000 most recently DC Comics released another milestone with The Flash #39 the 700th published issue of The Flash.

The arrival of the Scarlet Speedster signified the arrival of the “Silver Age” of comics, a modern publishing renaissance that invigorated DC’s line and reinvented many of its classic heroes introducing their contemporary counterparts. Among the heroes that always stood apart from the rest was Barry Allen, The Flash — who after getting struck by lightning, is inspired by the “Golden Age” comics character of Jay Garrick to don a red suit and fight crime in Central City.

In the latest issue of the “Rebirth” line written by Joshua Williamson and illustrated by Carmine Di Giandomenico Barry is taking a very harsh look at the decisions he’s made and how they’ve impacted the lives around him, and most significantly compromised his relationship with Iris West. After being kidnapped by the evil Reverse-Flash and hurled into the future, Iris has finally learned the man behind the mask is actually Barry Allen.

Barry still has great affection for Iris, but whether or not their love affair will survive the latest turbulence in their calamitous relationship is yet to be seen, but he’s opened up his world as a superhero to Iris, and even brought her aboard the Justice League’s Watchtower headquarters. Just as it appeared that the ice between them had begun to crack, Iris became trapped in “Flash Time” as Central City came to a standstill around The Flash revealing an attack from Multiplex?!

Negative-Flash has brought about a Speed Force revolution and sides with the million-man mob squad and the recently introduced Master of Lightning, Raijin, but this evil threesome is only the first wave and the true mastermind behind the Scarlet Speedster’s recent woes is revealed — Gorilla Grodd is back and he’s hungry for some Speed Force! The latest arc of The Flash “Perfect Storm” Part 1 is available digitally and at your favorite comic specialty shop now.

The issue successfully capitalizes on the nostalgic popularity of the character of The Flash especially the Barry Allen iteration of the hero, which has soared in popularity (surely) with a little bit of support from his live-action CW counterpart played by actor Grant Gustin which (also) continues the spirit of celebrating the hero’s legacy featuring John Wesley Shipp (the actor who originated the role in the CBS series in 1990) who now embodies the “Golden Age” Flash.

Just recently the television series adapted “The Trial of The Flash” storyline and also paid homage to the 1990 series by reintroducing the villainous “Prank” played by Corrine Bohrer, who many consider the template for The Joker’s sidekick Harley Quinn. Mark Hamill, who voiced The Joker on the now classic Batman: The Animated Series also played The Trickster on both iterations of The Flash.

Mark the occasion by sharing your favorite moment in 700 Issues Celebration The Flash!

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iReview :: TEEN TITANS #13 “The Return of Kid Flash” Part One

Following the recent events in Gotham City during the METAL crossover, Robin is looking to reboot the line-up, but it’s the Titans that expect Damian to fall in line! Can they persuade him to re-enlist Kid Flash?

When young Damian Wayne decided that he had all the makings to pull a team together that could rightly inherit the legacy of his father, the Batman and his teammates in the Justice League, Robin decided that he would gather alliances some tested and true. He pulled together the Teen Titans which had all but crumbled after losing their intrepid leader, the Red Robin in battle. DC Comics took its current company-wide rebrand “Rebirth” literally and raised the title from the ashes.

Robin convinced former Teen Titans, the shape-shifting Beast Boy and the telekinetic-witch Raven to stand by his side, and brought onboard the alien princess Starfire and the relative newcomer Kid Flash. It looked just like old times, except that with a penchant for being abrasive Damian didn’t immediately elicit the camaraderie necessary to inspire his teammates to follow him. Fortunately the Teen Titans eventually came around to help defeat Ra’s al Ghul.

The cover to the latest issue of TEEN TITANS #13, published by DC Comics.
Team Titans?

It’s unfortunate for Robin that he’s had to at many instances live in the shadow of his predecessors, and is most often confronted by the successes of the first Robin, Dick Grayson who helped co-found the original Teen Titans, then largely made up of the sidekicks of the Justice League. Now a full-fledged adventured of his own, Grayson is known as Nightwing and leads the Titans the original team of sidekicks, all-grown up and life-long friends into battle.

Most recently, the Damian’s team of Titans joined forces with Nightwing’s team to prevent the mercenary Deathstroke from altering history! With the advent of one-time “Kid Flash” Wally West having returned from his exile outside of mainstream continuity, Deathstroke intended to use the Speed Force to help him travel back in time and rescue his son from a fate worse than death. Chronicled in the recent crossover event “The Lazarus Contract”, ended with due consequences.

Both Wally Wests were held prisoner by Deathstroke who manipulated the younger Wally (Kid Flash) into helping him absorb the Speed Force for himself. In order the stop Slade from his dastardly task, Damian struck the older Wally West in the chest — in affect killing The Flash and stopping time, but irrevocably causing him to suffer permanent heart damage. Now whenever The Flash uses his powers he is danger of suffering a heart attack.

At the conclusion of that episode, Nightwing walked away not entirely trusting that Robin was a capable leader, and after firing Kid Flash from the active roster, Damian lost the confidence of his teammates. The mantle of leadership was passed to Starfire, a more experienced combatant and certainly a far more compassionate leader. Though the damage had been done, and with Kid Flash off the team the Teen Titans wondered if indeed they could be a team at all.

Full Circle

Although Robin has done his best to keep their faith, even bringing in the new Aqualad into their ranks, working closely with Nightwing and Green Arrow to protect Gotham City from the menace of the Dark Knights, he hasn’t won back the trust of his teammates — who decide that they want Kid Flash to rejoin the group. Damian, as usual, has other plans and goes off in pursuit of another candidate. At the behest of Green Arrow, Robin seeks out the archer known as Red Arrow.

The rest of the Titans try to convince Wally that his place is with them, but Wally will only return to the team on one condition — Damian has to apologize for treating him so badly. With the latest arc unraveling in the pages of Teen Titans #13 “The Return of Kid Flash” may be imminent, but can anyone predict what the team will look like when this latest adventure reaches its apex? Who have the Teen Titans put themselves in the crosshairs of this time?

What makes this line-up one of the more interesting reads published by DC Comics, is its very distinct personality. Although the characters are all very familiar and have a profoundly importantly legacy to live up to, with Damian in the reigns of this incarnation of the team, the Teen Titans is always unpredictable and fresh, keeping it one of the more consistently invigorating reads especially as the “Rebirth” rebrand continues.

Teen Titans #13 – “The Return of Kid Flash” Part One is on newsstands now.

DC Comics Reveals a “REBIRTH” Mystery in “The OZ Effect”

After months of speculation a mysterious adversary of the Man of Steel’s steps into the light and prepares to throw asunder everything that Superman has ever believed!

When DC Comics promised that it’s “Rebirth” rebranding would return many of its long-standing titles to a more proper state of familiarity, reestablishing years of legacy and working to retcon much of the unfavorable reaction that it received for “The New 52” era or reboots, many dedicated readers felt that perhaps the imprint had heard their cries! The “Rebirth” rebrand introduced an even more dense conundrum that was initiated with the return of Wally West!

The one-time Teen Titan, turned Flash had seemingly been eradicated from current continuity, along with much of the Golden Age heroes, and Superman had died — only to be replaced by his “pre-Flashpoint” counterpart; the “post-Crisis” Man of Steel that was apparently saved during the “Convergence” crossover event. Another additionally confounding mystery has also presented itself and that’s the fact that a decade of time has apparently been stolen!

Someone has been watching from the shadows, and we’re getting closer to learning the identity of the being that was powerful enough to steal time from our heroes, although most fans have already gathered there’s only one being capable of moving so fluidly between time and have such an adverse affect on the multiverse, but another shrouded agent who calls himself “Mr. OZ” has been exerted his own influence especially over the life of the Man of Steel.

The lenticular cover to ACTION COMICS #987 on sale now from DC Comics!

Who’s Watching?

It’s been theorized that the “someone” responsible for affecting the continuity is none other than the omnipotent Dr. Manhattan from the classic Watchmen series. There have been many clues to have lead us in that direction, but as for that other mystery man — Mr. OZ — who has been manipulating elements mostly connected to the world of Superman, that character’s identity has finally been revealed — and big surprise — it’s not exactly who you thought it might have been.

In the latest issue of Action Comics #987 feat. Superman the Man of Steel finally confronts Mr. OZ and after month’s of speculation it’s none other than (SPOILER ALERT) — Jor-El! That’s right! Mr. OZ is Superman, Kal-El’s Kryptonian father who so many years ago sent his son rocketing to Earth in order to survive the destruction of their home planet. Jor-El sent his infant son to Earth knowing that under our yellow sun, he would grow invincible and be gifted with unique abilities.

After some reflection though Jor-El is now regretting his decision, and has instead been plotting from the sidelines, setting in motion events to reveal humanity for the monsters that they truly are, convinced that his son — now Earth’s greatest hero, Superman — is not worthy of their protection. As the shrouded Mr. OZ, Jor-El manipulated the events that lead to the “resurrection” of Superman on Earth in a battle of wills against the mischievous Mister Mxyzptlk.

That event was chronicled in the recent “Superman Reborn” story arc that also cemented Clark Kent and Lois Lane’s marriage and place within the present continuity and firmed the legitimacy of their super-son Jon.

The OZ Effect

With the reveal of Mr. OZ’s identity marking the first part of this story event, and after the recent investigation by The Flash and Batman in “The Button” narrative that brought those characters back to the world of “Flashpoint” and back again, this latest part of the “Rebirth” chronicle is bringing everything closer to the upcoming “Doomsday Clock” limited series that is promising a final show down between the DC Comics heroes and those of the Watchmen continuity.

In the meantime, readers will have to digest and come to terms with this latest twist — one that places Jor-El not-necessarily on the side of the angels. If this is truly the Man of Steel’s long-thought dead father, how did he survive all these years and why has he been keeping his identity a secret? Why did Jor-El keep and capture some other heroes including Tim Drake, Red Robin a partner of the Caped Crusader?

What could Jor-El have in store for Superman, and does he indeed play an overall part in the entire “Rebirth” storyline, what role does he play in the scheme of things. What does this mean for Superman and his wife Lois, not to mention their son Jon?

“The OZ Effect” Part 1 is written by Dan Jurgens with art provided by Viktor Bogdanovic and is featured in Action Comics #987.

DC Comics Enters Into DARK DAYS

The comics event of the summer is still shrouded in great mystery, but one thing is certain as the FORGE begins for DC Comics there are DARK DAYS ahead indeed!

Though still knee deep in the midst of it “Rebirth” a publishing-wide initiative that more closely reintegrates its more than 75 year legacy back into its storylines DC Comics has gone a step further and thrown its readership into “Dark Days”. The latest summer event launched this month in June with a premiere edition one-shot entitled Dark Days: The Forge and is the first act leading to a series of events that will have repercussions throughout the DC Comics universe.

Yes — we’ve all heard that before, more than once or twice, but with the advent success of the “event” storyline this is the publishing giants way of producing a blockbuster in print. The story will involve major players in the DC Comics universe and is propelled by a mystery at the Earth’s core that has Batman investigating, and keeping secrets from the rest of his colleagues in the Justice League, which is especially troublesome to Aquaman.

There is also an evolving threat that will be reestablishing Hawkman, Carter Hall back into the mainstream continuity. The Winged Avenger’s origins, dating back to his reincarnations as an Egyptian prince are being reexamined in the course of this story, as is the re-entry of another old favorite Plastic Man — or at least that’s who it looks like the Batman and Mr. Terrific (back from his exile to Earth-2) have been keeping “on ice” on the moon.

The covers to the first arc leading into the epic event METAL from DC Comics, DARK DAYS: THE FORGE on sale now.

Forging the Mystery

All this is going on as much of the DC Comics universe is piecing itself back together, reestablishing its legacies, after the reboot controversy of “The New 52” that wiped out and/or retconned much of the 75 year history of the heroic pantheon. Since that initiate which relaunched many of the main titles back in 2011, plenty of other historic moments in DC Comics timeline have been rudimentarily erased including the first Crisis on Infinite Earths.

When “Rebirth” was announced as the latest continuity “reboot” it began with the revelation that 10 years had been misplaced from the DC Comics continuity, but not all the characters are aware of it. Until the return of Wally West / The Flash many of the main players were completely in dark of that fact, and only recently did Barry Allen / The Flash and Batman embark on a mystery that lead them back to the “FlashPoint” that stared it all.

Now events are beginning to coalesce for our heroes, and the Batman has uncovered a new mystery that strikes at the heart of the very multiverse — the core of the very Earth in fact. Whatever is going on, it’s affecting metal — and is having a distinct affect on metals with certain mystical or supernatural properties. It’s also triggered something that Batman has kept hidden inside Superman’s Fortress of Solitude — something that looks very familiar.

The Batman convinces Mister Miracle to trip the lock to a seal compartment underneath the fortress and inside resides a pillar — a antenna of sorts — used by the Monitor to prevent his evil alter-ego the Anti-Monitor from unleashing his anti-matter wrath on the multiverse during the first Crisis. While Batman investigates the device which has come online, deep beneath the Batcave, Green Lantern follows a path that leads him to non-other than the Joker!

How all this comes together is anyone’s guess for the moment, but scribe Scott Snyder has revealed that he’s been laying down the framework for “Dark Days” ever since he started his work on Batman. Now collaborating with James Tynion IV the pair are opening the gates of what is being dubbed the “Dark Multiverse”. How our heroes will fare against what’s in store? We’ll just have to grit our teeth as the prelude to Dark Days: “Metal” begins with “The Forge”!

Dark Days: THE FORGE #1 written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV and is out now published by DC Comics.

DC Comics :: TITANS #12 Reveals an Omen

One among them will betray them! Ever since Wally West returned from “elsewhere” the TITANS have had a hard time pulling it all together and now some searing revelations reveal there may be a wolf in the fold.

The Teen Titans have come to mean a great deal to fans over the course of their long history since first appearing as an official team-up when the group of teenage “sidekicks” first banded together in The Brave and the Bold #54 published in July of 1964. For most comic book readers, these characters including the Boy Wonder Robin, Kid Flash, Speedy, Aqualad and Wonder Girl resonated the most with its audience because in essence, the Teen Titans represented “us” — eager, young and  imaginative do-gooders who wanted to swing into adventure!

Well into the Silver Age and then into the Modern Age of comics, by the time Marv Wolfman returned to writing The New Teens Titans he’d recruited then still-emerging fan-favorite George Pérez to relaunch the title with an all-new, all-different line-up. The 1980’s reboot easily became the most popular monthly book and a ratings hit for DC Comics. Still to this day, those stories mark a major shift in the narrative and changed the way superheroes would be looked at.

When the recent “FlashPoint” event all-but erased the original Titans from history, there was a major outcry from fans and it wasn’t long before the creatives responded. The “Road to Rebirth” the more recent, publishing-wide reboot of the comics line began with writer Dan Abnett taking a look at some missing time in Titans Hunt which brought back the original founding members alongside Lilith Clay an obscure member from the Bronze Age of the Teen Titans storyline that has since assumed full status as a member of the reformed Titans as the telepath Omen.

History Lesson

After the recent return of Wally West the one-time, original Kid Flash who assumed the mantle of the Flash after his mentor Barry Allen was lost during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, fans rejoiced imagining that the time stream would now begin to reassert itself and things will get set right! Unfortunately what we learned is that there have been some major manipulations to the current continuity (Watchmen anyone?) and nothing is exactly where it should be! If that wasn’t enough — 10 years have apparently just been erased! Poof!

In the crossover event “The Lazarus Contract” which impacted the Titans, its companion title Teen Titans and centered on the mercenary Deathstroke several revelations were made, including the fact that Slade Wilson’s son the Ravager’s death, an early adversary of the reformed Teen Titans who faced the H.I.V.E. and the mercenaries in the now classic The New Teen Titans #2 published in 1980. Though this crossover team-up was the first event that brought members of the two Titans teams together, current history sees these past events differently.

Following a recent revelation fans are still left asking “Who is Donna Troy”? Will the Titans have to confront the truth sooner rather than later?

Following “The Lazarus Contract” there are some significant consequences on all sides, but especially among the Titans roster. Most obviously is the return Wally West’s heart condition which was miraculously healed at the conclusion of Crisis after he assumed the identity of Flash. It is also revealed that Nightwing had made a pact with Deathstroke that has compromised his standing with the rest of the Titans. There are also several other mysteries surrounding new revelations about Donna Troy’s origins and the “other” Wally West and current Kid Flash!

 

Psimon Says

In order to learn more about their existing predicament, Omen decides to pay a visit to the recently apprehended villain known as Psimon. The mentalist and his Fearsome Five recently battled the Titans and in the process stole the memories of Karen Duncan who is also a metahuman and one-time Teen Titan known as Bumblebee. It is Omen’s goal to be able to extract some information from Psimon in the hope that he will shed some light on how they can help Karen. The interview unearths several other secrets!

Among those secrets that one among them isn’t who they appear to be, and that still another will betray the Titans! Given that for all intents these Titans are still learning the ropes and piecing their lives together, it’s anyone’s guess exactly how these events will play out. It’s encourage to see that Tempest the now grown-up Aqualad is moving into a potentially more prominent place among the group. In the past Garth had been relegated to background, or the forefront of any “water related” cases, but never really stuck around.

Roy Harper the archer known as Arsenal who emerged on the scene as the original Titan Speedy had recently worked alongside the renegade Red Hood as one of his Outlaws, but seeing as how Donna Troy and Flash are getting closer, Arsenal’s unrequited attraction to Troy may play a significant role in upcoming issues. As for Nightwing, it’s clear that he’s assumed his place as the proper leader of the group, but there is still a lot to unpack as the Titans and the Teen Titans try to make sense of missing time and still-unwritten history that is unraveling the Titans legacy!

Titans #12 “Bad Omen” is written by Dan Abnett with art by Kenneth Rocafort and Dan Brown and is published by DC Comics.

DC Comics Rebirth Continues :: BATMAN and THE FLASH “The Button”

The DC Comics two greatest detectives are going to have their work cut out for them when the mystery behind “The Button” that materialized at the onset of the “Rebirth” takes our heroes back to where it all started!

At the onset of the DC Comics “Rebirth” story arc, Wally West, the one-time Kid Flash after having ascended to the mantle of The Flash makes an appeal to the Dark Knight and appears to Batman in the Batcave. Initially the attempt appears a failure, but before Wally moves on to eventually be rescued by his mentor Barry Allen, The Flash, in his wake he leaves something behind for Batman to find. Wedged in a wall inside the Batcave, Batman discovers a curiosity — a strikingly familiar smiley face button with a blood stain across its yellow facade.

But that’s impossible? Isn’t it? That button has no place within the context of the DC Universe…or does it?

Uncovering that mystery is the task that has befallen the DC Universe’s two most dedicated detectives! It’s a conundrum that may answer who has interfered with with timeline causing the nearly 10 years of missing time that Wally West insists has upset the balance of events in the wake of the “FlashPoint” event which rebooted the entire DC Comics multiverse more than 5-years ago. The Flash’s attempt at altering his past had a butterfly affect across the timeline which resulted in an alternate past, present and future for our heroes.

For nearly all that time, most of the heroes have gone on with their lives as usual, but when Wally returned and Superman was revealed to have been split into two and only restored to his whole self recently, history has appeared to have fractured. It would seem that one of the Flash’s rogues, the time-traveling Reverse-Flash Eobard Thawne, may have a hand in this mess, but after coming in contact with the button himself, Thawne blinked out of existence only to return seconds later — and then murdered by some unseen force (see Batman #21).

 

Using the Cosmic Treadmill (a blast from the past), The Flash and Batman attempt to chase down the energy source that Thawne was himself tracking, and along the way, the pair uncover missing pieces of their own history — “the missing time” is revealed to them — but not before the treadmill hits a slight bump and falls apart landing our heroes in the “FlashPoint” version of events (see The Flash #21) — and someone is waiting for them, someone that shouldn’t even exist!

As it turns out, the “FlashPoint” reality which should have never existed after The Flash worked to correct the mistakes he made that resulted in the “FlashPoint” event. When Barry Allen prevented himself from changing the past, he caused events t reassert — the result was the present continuity of “The New 52” timeline. Batman comes face-to-face with the “FlashPoint” Batman, his father Thomas Wayne who assumes the role of Gotham City’s vigilante grief riddled after losing his family in a dark alley to a mugger.

Both our heroes make a hasty retreat from the “FlashPoint” timeline (which shouldn’t exist in the first place, but there was another instance during the “Convergence” event where parts of this timeline did survive) — someone clearly not happy that Batman and The Flash discovered this “pocket timeline” immediately work to eradicate its existence! Having quickly repaired the Cosmic Treadmill they resume their chase of Thawne, who out paces them, as the villain races towards his fate and the source of the energy that is responsible for — the button!

Legacies Revealed

With fans and critics both not entirely thrilled with the changes that took place following “FlashPoint”, the DC Comics creative staff went to work on a plausible excuse to retcon plenty of “The New 52” narrative that established a leaner and meaner Justice League, a younger roguish Superman, a demigod Wonder Woman, and left other icons like Batman pretty much untouched. The DC Comics multiverse had returned, and the events of the very first Crisis were also erased; the most obvious casualty in this latest reboot — the fabled legacies were gone!

With 75 years of continuity to its name, and a “Golden Age” that leads to a “Silver Age” and a “Modern Age” that is considerably still evolving having worked itself out of a “Dark Age” into a full blown renaissance — which is what “Rebirth” is hoping to help recapture.

“The Button” is alluding to the presence of an all-powerful being that stole a considerable amount of time right out from under our heroes noses! There are now a handful of characters that are aware of this including Wally West (his teammates in the Titans), Batman, The Flash, Superman and to some extent even Wonder Woman (who’s discovering that her mythological origins may be false). There’s only one individual within the realm of the DC Comics multiverse that could wield that much power, but just how the characters of the Watchmen play into this story…

Well, that’s still developing. After all the button in question belongs to the vigilante super-agent known as The Comedian from the world of the Watchmen, and for all his bravado, that character is just a machine gun toting hired assassin. Is he trying to warn the heroes of the DC Universe continuity about a larger threat? Perhaps he is an emissary for Dr. Manhattan — in any event readers will find out soon enough!

One of the caveats of the “Rebirth” storyline promises to restore the “Golden Age” heroes as well as lay down the foundation for the heroic future of the Legion of Super Heroes. There are two displaced characters that are still playing a significant role in our story, but with the final act still some distance away, at least the return of one other speedster is guaranteed to shed some light on the situation!

“The Button” story arc is playing out in Batman #21 —  Part One written by Dan Jurgens with art by Ian Churchill is on sale now from DCComics and continues in The Flash #21, Batman #22, and concludes in The Flash #22.