In the past few years, it was apparent to many in the comic book world that DC Comics had lost its true form, along with many of their fans. Some will automatically attribute that fall to begin when The New 52 basically took over the entire DC line-wide continuity. While the New 52 DC Universe was a great idea as a crossover event, in retrospect, it was far too big a pill for novice fans to swallow for so long. DC Comics also seemed to alienate many older fans, as this was not the DC Universe they grew up on. The push to introduce so much (great) material, left no room for the classic characters to find a home, much less a long-lasting creative team in this massive “multi-verse” mashup with Earth2.
I give much credit to DC Comics for trying such a bold endeavor to bring in new fans, the problem was that it was too ahead of its time (pun fully intended). Five years of fans trying to catch up and discover a completely inverted world of DC characters, which all seemed like stories and figures we have always been accustomed to admiring for so long, but in the end, this DC just didn’t feel right anymore.
The mega-event of 2015 that was supposed to help fix DC and get fans excited for a different ‘DC You,’ under a company-wide reboot called ‘Convergence,’ that fell spectacularly flat on its face. Other than the main 8-issue Convergence mini-series, nothing had fans hyped for “Multi-verse” stories anymore. DC was lost and we as fans felt it.
Here comes ‘Rebirth,’ DC Comics newest attempt to win over comic nerds (me included) once again, with what is being called “Geoff Johns Love Letter” to DC Comics (as Johns will be moving on over to DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer).
DC Universe: Rebirth (2016) #1 Written by super-scribe Geoff Johns (Blackest Night, Flashpoint), pencils from Gary Frank, Phil Jimenez , Ivan Ries and fan favorite Ethan Van Sciver – The future (and past) of the DC Universe starts here with ‘Rebirth,’ as we are on a journey to discover 10 years of lost DC history.
I was already anticipating for an epic comeback from DC Comics with this newest “reboot,” what I was not expecting was the way retcon-genius, Geoff Johns, has once again dug deep into the bag of DC archives to refresh an entire library of characters without using cheap “gimmicks”.
Here is what writer Geoff Johns had to say about what he plans to do with “DC Universe: Rebirth”
“Rebirth is about focusing in on the core of the character and their respective universe, It brings back what has been lost: the legacy of the characters, the love and the hope of the DCU!”
Here are 5 things that will be trending after DC Comics Rebirth #1!
5. Kid Flash
Is Wally West, back?! DC Universe: Rebirth is explained from the view of Wally, who is trying not to forget the world he once knew pre-Flashpoint. Still donning his classic Yellow and Red (Kid Flash) costume, Wally wants someone, anyone to listen to his pleas of being “lost” in this new world. Of course Johns is speaking for the vast majority of fans and maybe even himself with Wally being the conduit here in Rebirth, another bit of Geoff’s talents on full display. By the end of the issue, Wally finds Barry Allen, and he soon realizes, Barry doesn’t remember who he is. Wally comes to accept this and he is just going to say goodbye. Wally tells Barry they’ve all forgotten things, and he thanks him for a great life, as it appears Wally cannot be a part of this world. But Barry is able to pull him into the Rebirth Universe and two end embracing, Barry apologizing for forgetting him.
4. The Joker
Thanks to ‘Rebirth’ we now know that there are three Jokers in this new DC timeline. The first is based on Jerry Robinson’s original ‘prince of crime’ Joker, the second is the brutally maniacal Joker seen in Brian Bolland’s “The Killing Joke.” The third is a new twisted incarnation of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s recent Batman run in the New 52 (maybe with some sprinkles of the upcoming Jared Leto “Suicide Squad” Joker). If the three clowns have conspired to work together, simple manifestations of three different personalities tied to one man, or are completely separate alternate reality versions – is not yet known.
What is known, is that this means DC Elseworld stories will start becoming more canon to its universe (as we’ve seen a trend with in New 52).
3. The Trinity: Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman: After a devastating loss, Diana finds out from Grail, she has a long lost twin brother, Jason. What happened to him and where he’s been all this time will soon be revealed. We also will find out that her Lasso Of Truth is no longer working. Follow along with Greg Rucka as he takes Wonder Woman on a journey of secrets from her past that will unravel her present!
Superman: Legendary writer Dan Jurgens will be on Action Comics: Superman. New 52 Superman will be dying (in Superman #52), allowing for the real Man of Steel to return to form. Only there is one big surprise, Kal ‘El has his very own son! The creative team that brought to us Batman and Damian Wayne, show us how the DC Universe is going to handle this new “Superboy” in the Father/Son team-up in the Superman main title.
Batman: The entire Bat-family will be going through changes as well; As Batman and Batwoman begin training the young squad of Red Robin, Cassandra Cain and Clayface! But is the villainous Clayface ready for redemption? Creative heavy-hitters David Finch will be drawing Batman for a short run and writer Scott Snyder, with John Romita Jr., will be dropping their much anticipated All-Star Batman in August. Nightwing is coming back with his own monthly series written by Tim Seeley, donning the classic black and blue costume. Batgirl & the Birds of Prey… Is going coming back strong as Helena Bertinelli is going out of Spyral, wearing the hood of the Huntress, and spilling mafia blood on the streets, and can Batgirl and Black Canary be able to stop her in time?
2. DC Classic Characters
The JSA: One of the places Wally West visits in Rebirth #1 is an old man, a simple man who has a very long history. The man’s name is Johnny Thunder, a member of the original DC superhero group, the JSA. Johnny is nearly 100 and might be a bit too senile to help Wally, but does his appearance here indicate the JSA will make a comeback?!
Justice League: An all-new era begins with this epic new comic book by legendary creator Bryan Hitch (JLA, The Ultimates) and electric artist Tony S. Daniel (BATMAN: R.I.P., DEATHSTROKE). Earth’s greatest heroes will welcome three new members to the team, including two new Green Lanterns and…Superman? Who is this strange visitor from a dead world—and can he be trusted? Batman and Wonder Woman aren’t so sure.
Darkseid: Is not dead, he has simply been reborn as Superwoman’s baby and is in Grail’s (his Amazonian daughter) care.
Green Arrow/Oliver Queen and Black Canary/Dinah Lance: Each lay awake, alone at night feeling lost. Signaling a future rekindling their long complicated relationship.
Aquaman and Mera: The two have been through a lot together and Aquaman finally decides to propose. The silly “rules” from New 52 are gone
Blue Beatle: Ted Kord was the Beetle before Jaime Reyes found the scarab that attached itself to his back, making him the New Blue Beetle. In Rebirth #1, Ted is working on his bug-shaped aircraft (called the Bug), along with his traditional goggles and Beetle symbol on a t-shirt.
Dr. Fate: Did I forget to mention that Doctor Fate makes a return cameo appearance as well!
The Atom: Ryan Choi, receives a message from Ray Palmer. The message reveals Ray has shrunken down to the Microverse, and he’s in trouble. Ray informs Ryan of an extra size-changing belt and where to find it. Just as Ryan is about to become the Atom (as he was before the New 52), Ray tries to warn Ryan about someone that will seek him out, but the warning is cut off before he can give more details.
Teen Titans: Friends. Teammates. Titans. Donna Troy, Arsenal, Garth, Lilith and Nightwing were all that and more until a mysterious force erased their memories, forcing them to forget what they could accomplish together. Reunited once again, with artist Brett Booth will make for a dynamic comic book.
1. The Watchmen
The start of ‘Rebirth‘ begins with a close-up of a watch, at the ending of the issue we are back at the watch. As we are zoomed in on that same watch, it has magnificently been dismantled, suspended in mid-air, we see the clock face…..
With lines that are pulled directly from the end of the classic Alan Moore-written Watchmen graphic novel…..
The big shock at the end of ‘DC Universe Rebirth,’ is that we find out who manipulated those missing 10 years, weakening the relationships of many of the heroes in the DCU. It is the Watchmen’s very own, Dr. Manhattan! He has been the one responsible!! Brilliance!! Geoff Johns has taken on one of the most iconic tales and characters of all-time and has mashed them up with the beginning of this new DC Universe.
Apparently Dr. Manhattan laid waste to Pandora (just like he did Rorschach), the symbol of the New 52, and (possibly) created this new DC Universe after toying around, fine-tuning it to his liking. With Batman finding The Comedian’s smiley face button (with blood spot and all) in the batcave, we are left to wonder if the entire Watchmen group will also be transferring over to the DC Universe main-line of continuity.
Before taking off at the end of Watchmen, Dr. Manhattan did say he wanted to create some new life of his own, and in the updated stories of ‘Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan #4’ – Manhattan did just that very thing. So has Dr. Manhattan created and caused the changes of the New 52. With the powers of a symbolic God in DC comics, it is very possible that Dr. Manhattan had been controlling the DC Universe all along!!
As DC Universe: Rebirth #1 ends with the iconic “clock to midnight” from Watchmen with the tagline, “The Clock Is Ticking Across the DC Universe.”
DC Comics is coming back folks and back in a big way! This is one seminal event you don’t want to miss!