Let’s clear up something first and foremost! When DC Comics announced DC Rebirth, many (myself included) jumped on the wagon that the publisher was rebooting their reboot The New 52. It seems some comic fans still think this is the case. It’s far from it, though! Rebirth isn’t going to reboot, reset or restart anything, it’s following the events of Flashpoint into The New 52 series. Interesting and confusing all in one go!
“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!” – Geoff Johns
Mommy, where do reboots come from?
This isn’t DC Comics’ first Rebirth either! In 2004, Green Lantern: Rebirth by Geoff Johns focused on the return of Hal Jordan to the Lantern mantle. Then in 2009, Johns gave us The Flash: Rebirth with the return of Barry Allen to the role of The Flash. Guess who is responsible for DC Rebirth? If you said Geoff Johns, then you sir or ma’am are correct! Rebirth in DC Comics history has been thematically more about reconciliation than anything else.
So if your knowledge of the DC Universe, reboots and multi-verses is as limited as my own, is there much point jumping on at this point? There really is!
Am I reading this right?
DC Rebirth #1 is a lengthy, necessary but enjoyable read! As a DC dabbler who lost interest with The New 52, Rebirth #1 reads almost like an apology letter from the publishers. Holding their hands up, taking the blame and now hoping to move on! And move on we shall!
Rebirth follows on from the concluding events of The New 52. The first issue opens up with an unnamed voice talking about Earth and their love for all it stands for. We learn pretty quickly that this voice belongs to Wally West. Yes, the Wally West! The third Flash has been trapped in the speed force, aware of the world around him and the changes since the Flashpoint event, unable to return but unwilling to give up. The first issue is a serious pull on the heart strings; to return, Wally needs to latch on to someone he has a strong tie to, but the people he knows in this new world don’t know him and he bounces from ally to friend to love all in the hope of getting home.
While he desperately attempts to get back, we also learn that there is more to the story of Flashpoint than we know and that a greater force has been pulling the strings, strings that should have been left well alone.
After each failed attempt, Wally’s spirit begins to fade until he finally faces the fact that there is no one who remembers, no one he can anchor to to pull himself free and he accepts that he’s losing to the speed force and that his death will be soon. Deciding to say his goodbyes, West visits his friend and mentor, Barry Allen, only for Allen to sense West and pull him free from the speed force.
Who watches the Watchmen?
After crying and hugging things out, Wally informs Barry of all he knows and the setup for Rebirth is complete. For the characters at least! We learn, however, that the force behind these events, the being more powerful than Darkseid, is none other than Dr. Manhattan of the Watchmen.
What exactly this means is anyone’s guess right now. DC Comics has told us it will see the Watchmen characters/events become more tied to the mainstream DC continuity, but that’s all so far! And that’s enough! Rebirth #1 is the best thing to happen to DC in a long time. Johns and his team are due a serious amount of credit for rescuing some of the most beloved heroes and villains from the dregs of The New 52.
So what next?
I’m glad you asked! There’s a shake up coming for some of the big names and big teams! Start by picking up Batman: Rebirth #1 and Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1 – you will not be disappointed! Trust me! After that, brace yourself for a wild ride. DC Rebirth has kicked things off with a pretty loud shot and time will tell if it echoes on or just fades out.
Editor-in-Chief, part-time super villain and hoarder of cats. If you can’t find me writing, I’m probably in the kitchen!