The Reverse Flash #8 – Rebirth
I have to immediately plead ignorance on this one. I did not even know the Reverse Flash existed until today, but I get the premise: this Anti-Flash has been an enemy of said hero throughout the history of the comic, with various incarnations and so forth. This issue is meant to serve as a retelling of the Eobard Thawne aka Professor Zoom origin story. Not knowing anything of this character, I went into it with a full, blank-slate curiousity; and was I rewarded? Well, sorta.
Geoff Johns is the writer, who is currently DC’s CCO, and has been in charge of writing DC’s largest titles this year (Blackest Night, Brightest Day). That being said, there is always some animosity and/or anxiety involved with origin tales and retelling. There is always the potential for retconning. I knew nothing of this character coming in, so that aspect didn’t affect me, I just took the story for the origin it was, not the origin it could have been replacing or altering.
It is pretty by-the-book as far as origin tales go, with the intro, conflict, and villain-making end scene. What Johns does to make this an interesting read, is unfortunately what also makes it a proverbial can of worms. The constant racing back in time to alter his current ‘present’, shows Thawne display great animosity to pretty much everyone around him, also increasing his mental instability in his quest to replicate the Barry Allen Flash’s power. The murdering, scheming, etc., all proves there is evidence of a budding-evil villain. The can of worms, however comes in with the time-travelling itself. It’s a strange area to navigate. It seemingly opens endless possibilities. And is that a good thing? Well, personally I don’t think so. While some areas can be creative and cool to consider, there’s always the remaining question of: where do these possibilities end? It can leave a lot of open areas, and sort of serves to dilute the theme.
Like I said, this was my first foray into this character, so chime in if I am out to lunch with my Flash knowledge. Knowing what I do though, I’d say this is a pretty average comic.