Considered the consummate example of how to do an event series, Crisis on Infinite Earths gave us many things.
Among them, a streamlined DC Universe, allowing memorable takes on old characters. Crisis was the catalyst for John Byrne's reimagining of Superman in The Man of Steel. Crisis helped to give us a new look at the Amazonian cornerstone of the "DC Trinity" with George Pérez's Gods and Mortals. Crisis was even the catalyst to Frank Miller's timely and definitive take on the Dark Knight's genesis in Batman: Year One.
However, even above all of these, Crisis took something from us as well. A beacon of heroism that would shine like bright light (if he didn't run faster than it, that is). A character that arguably, single-handedly birthed the legendary Silver Age of comics into existence. A keen mind, a compassionate heart, and a defining character of the DC Universe.
His demise was epic. Sacrificing himself for the universe in Crisis, in the way that he did, is still talked about even today. But in the words of this character's new steward:
"When the greatest evil comes to the DC Universe, the greatest hero needed to return."
On the brink of the Final Crisis, the Rogues of Central and Keystone cities are alarmed to learn that this character is alive. Having to fight his successor, who tolerated games with his enemies, they knew that whatever fun time they had was over.
"The Rogues can't outrun him. Once the skies are back to blue, the game's back on... and if he is really back, there's no more rules in this universe to follow."
Newsflash, boys. He IS back.
All bets are off.
Check out my review of The Flash: Rebirth #1 on April 10th!