[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico, Neil Googe, Ryan Sook
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
“RUNNING SCARED” part one! When Eobard Thawne murdered Barry Allen’s mother, he killed a piece of The Flash’s past. Now, Reverse-Flash is back to kill Barry’s future! The Flash’s biggest storyline yet begins as he is pushed to his limits and his secrets are laid bare in a chase through time itself in this extra-sized anniversary issue!
Well, Iris finally discovers Barry’s secret. But given the liberal amount of time travel involved in the story, is this a permanent development? If so, it offers a number of intriguing possibilities. Will she be okay with this, or will she resent that Barry has been lying to her? She will have to resolve that someone she wasn’t interested in at all and her boyfriend are actually the same person. Will their relationship survive?
I also like that they make a point to state that Thawne became a professor when telling Thawne’s backstory, hinting at Thawne’s other villainous nom de guerre: Professor Zoom. However, it does make one wonder where the “Zoom” part of the name came from. Is it just because he’s a speedster, or is there something else?
It seems that Thawne is also a key player in the DC Rebirth mystery. He was killed during “The Button” storyline, presumably by the being that has been messing with the history of the DCU. And this issue implies that he has memories of the pre-Flashpoint DCU, not the current New 52/Rebirth history. It will be interesting if he plays a part in the resolution of the Rebirth storyline.
Thawne’s motivation for hating Barry seems a bit weak to me. I can understand him being angry with Barry and wanting to get some level of revenge, but it doesn’t seem quite enough to justify his complete hatred of Barry. Maybe more could have been done to stress how absolutely delusional Thawne was. That he was completely convinced that Barry reciprocated the complete adoration that he heaped on Barry.
Personally, I prefer the motivation he was given in the pre-Flashpoint story “The Return Of Barry Allen,” where it is the discovery that he is ultimately killed by the Flash that pushes him over the edge. However, this new version does make sense if you consider that Thawne already had psychological problems well before he even met Barry.
The Flash remains one of my favourite Rebirth titles. It also is one of the core titles to watch for hints at the overarching Rebirth story. I eagerly await each new issue so I can dive right into Barry’s adventures as the Flash.