There’s no lack of new comic books this week, as I picked up 15 new books on Wednesday, bringing my October total so far to 29 comics… I remember the days when I would buy around 35 comics every month. I’ll definitely pass that next Wednesday. Today’s reviews focus on DC Comics’ Rebirth, as The Flash closes off its first arc and Wonder Woman takes a break from its two ongoing tales.
The Flash 8
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Carmine Di Giandomenico
The first few issues of the Flash’s first Rebirth tale, “Lightning Strikes Twice,” felt like a well-paced story that was introducing a new villain and getting everyone settled into the new status quo in Central City. But the story just feels like it got stretched out too far, and nothing within the story felt like it needed 8 issues (9, if you count Flash: Rebirth 1) to tell. In fact, we wrap up the fight with Godspeed pretty quickly, with the back half of the book serving as an epilogue to set up the future.
Barry Allen takes down his friend August, who gained speed from the lightning strike at the start of the story, with the help of Wally West. No, not the redhead who’s running around with the Titans. The other one. And the speed force grants Wally his Kid Flash suit. At least that explains where these outfits come from… We also learn that the man who August believed to have killed his brother was innocent, so we know what a future story arc will be dealing with. We don’t get one-and-done issues anymore. We don’t even get one-and-done story arcs any more. Everything just drags on and on.
Williamson also mentions the smiley face pin Batman found in the cave during the initial Rebirth issue, reminding us all that there’s something else looming over the horizon. But I doubt we’ll be reaching that point with any kind of speed. Oh well.
Despite the frustrating length of the first arc, I’m not completely turned off by Williamson’s run on the Flash, so I’ll be sticking around a bit longer. I just hope the next arc doesn’t drag on as long.
Wonder Woman 8
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Nicola Scott and Bilquis Evely
As Greg Rucka continues to tell two stories in alternating issues, apparently he felt the need for a bit of an interlude. Diana’s sometimes-friend, sometimes-foe Barbara Ann Minerva – Cheetah – has been an integral part of both stories. In the origin rebelling, she serves as a translator of sorts for Diana, while in the present day as the Cheetah, Diana is helping her fight the warrior tribe that transformed her.
So, the interlude we get this week shows Minerva’s origin tale, giving her an obsession with finding more about the Amazons that dates back to her childhood. It’s a well done tale and anyone who wants detailed origins for their super villains should be satisfied, but I just didn’t feel like it was necessary. When you start humanizing the comic book villains, you start to run out of people to use as antagonists, because people then want to see these characters find redemption. I really don’t have much faith in Rucka’s reworking of Diana’s origin, and while he did a great job with this story, he continues to tread on thin ice with me.