With The Flash: Rebirth hitting comic stores everywhere today, the scarlet speedster's triumphant return has been unexpectedly overshadowed by a development offering tantalizing hints regarding the future shape of the DC Universe. DC Comics has announced that the next chapter in the continuing rebirth cycle will resurrect Paco Ramone, the sonic superhero known as Vibe! Vibe: Rebirth, a five-part mini-series launching at the end of this year, will reunite the now familiar creative team of Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver and reinvent one of the DC Universe's forgotten heroes.
In a Newsarama interview Johns explained, "We want to turn Vibe into a pillar of the DC Universe... Our goal is to elevate the Vibe Universe... As a character, he's different because of his intrinsic values and what he believes in and how he approaches crime and how he approaches criminals and how he approaches the guilty and the not guilty. There are very specific details to his character and personality that we'll be exploring on a completely new level."
Unfortunately, although Paco Ramone's resurrection will undoubtedly have far-reaching ramifications for the Justice League and its associated heroes, this ambitious project does not bode well for fans of the fastest man alive. DC Executive Editor Dan Didio has revealed that the mini-series' fast-approaching December 2009 release date will ensure that writer Geoff Johns will not be guiding Barry Allen's adventures once the five-issue Flash: Rebirth comes to an end. The future, it would seem, belongs to Vibe.
The net is, naturally, buzzing with the news. Once Upon a Geek has posted further details on this epic event, including an extensive interview with Johns and Van Sciver. Speed Force considers the potential impact Vibe's return may have on the Flash. The Justice League Detroit blog looks at the unlikelihood of this particular creative development. Additionally, Fortress of Baileytude has posted a more enthusiastic commentary on what this means for DC Comics's publishing plan and fan base.
Update: Happy April Fools' Day from the Irredeemable Shag, Frank, Michael, Kelson, and myself! You can read about this and other comic book-themed April Fools' Day pranks at Publishers Weekly's The Beat. Vibe: Rebirth will be available, of course, only on the Bizarro World. Instead, boys and girls, enjoy The Flash: Rebirth!