Does Barry Allen really need to have his origins explained again with a Year One storyline? Surely everyone knows his backstory thanks to The Flash television series on The CW. They even presented a short, short version of it in the Justice League movie!
While it may seem like The Flash is one of those heroes even non-comics readers should be familiar with at this point, there is one good reason for Joshua Williamson to rewrite the story that details precisely how Barry Allen became the Fastest Man Alive.
When the DC Comics Universe was reset back in 2011, there was a five year in-universe gap between when the World’s Finest heroes first joined forces in Justice League to fight an invasion from Apokolips and when the rest of the so-called New 52 timeline started in most of the other monthly comic books. As such, the vast majority of DC Comics titles started off with the assumption that the readers were already familiar with these characters and that there was no need for an origin story. This caused a lot of problems all over the line but it was particularly troublesome for The Flash since his entire backstory had been changed by The Flash: Rebirth and changed again by Flashpoint, just one year before the New 52 reboot. Now, nearly eight years later, Barry Allen’s origins in the current DC Universe are finally being revealed.
There’s no major changes to the lore. Barry is still struck by lightning and thrown through a shelf full of chemicals, which gives him super-human speed rather than a series of painful burns. The most notable differences here are that we get to see more of Barry’s friendship with August Heart – a police detective retroactively declared to be Barry’s best friend before his accident – and that we see Barry figuring out his powers on his own rather than being assisted by the scientists at STAR Labs. All in all it is an interesting new take that establishes all we need to know and is different enough from the classic story to be of interest, even before the final pages throw a major monkey wrench into the story. Ah, but that would be telling…
It’s no surprise that Williamson rocks the story, as he has every month since he took over The Flash with DC Rebirth. It’s also no surprise that Howard Porter delivers his usual high-energy artwork, which is perfectly suited towards this title. This is one fantastic looking comic.
Put simply and quickly, if you haven’t been reading The Flash, now is the time to start.
The Flash #70 releases on May 8, 2019!
Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight.