As I’ve mentioned before, I said that I would take the time to write about the comic side of geek-dom, and what better way to start with one of the biggest comic events of the year: DC Rebirth?
It’s been about 5 years since DC rebooted their universe with the New 52. The histories of many of the characters and series were altered to give easier access to new readers. However, with DC Rebirth, the company intends to touch upon their roots and bring back old fans that may have left from the New 52. This doesn’t just mean bringing back old characters and series, but it’s how they will incorporate the past to create something new with their current material. On May 25, DC released an 80 page issue previewing what changes are in store for the entire DC Universe.
The story of the issue begins in the Batcave with Bruce Wayne. After the events of the Darkseid War, Bruce Wayne is left with an enigma involving his greatest enemy, the Joker. He ponders further into the mystery until a flash of light bursts into the cave, presenting Wally West/Kid Flash from before the events of Flashpoint. Wally was apparently stuck in the Speed Force for years and made as many efforts as he could to warn his friends of an impending danger. However, all of his friends in the New 52 universe held no memories of the Wally from the previous timeline. Every time he came across an acquaintance not only was he unrecognized, but his very existence was on the verge of being erased with each attempt.With his final attempt nearing death, Wally met with Barry Allen, the current Flash, telling him how fulfilling his life was and how Barry changed it for the better. Just as Wally was about fade away, Barry finally remembered Wally and pulled him out of the Speed Force. The two have a touching reunion, and Wally tells Barry about the reasons why history has been altered, telling him that Flashpoint wasn’t the cause. Back in the Batcave, Batman finds a pin embedded into his wall, revealing the Watchmen’s inception to the DC Universe.
Before I give my thoughts on Rebirth I thought I should give my thoughts on the New 52, which is still very much the core to the DC Universe. The New 52 rebooted almost all of the DC Universe, rewriting most of the histories of characters and changing their designs to make them younger.However, many older fans left the community outraged at these changes. What happened to the characters they grew up with? Did any of their past endeavors even matter up to this point now that they were nearly erased? Why is this character that was white now black? While their frustrations are understandable, these changes also brought many new fans to the front-lines. With this reboot, many people didn’t have to begin all the way back to the ’80s-’90s and read over 1000 issues just to understand and catch up to the current storyline. Another point to add is that the changes to the characters have made them more relatable. With the younger versions of characters we find some of their problems outside of kicking villains’ butts were more prone to their relationships with each other and the harshness of growing up in a world that’s standing stock still against waves of change. I was pretty amused with what they did with Superman and Batman, DC’s leading titans. Seeing Superman more human and Jim Gordon as Batman was something that couldn’t have been done before.
Overall I’m more for the New 52 than against. Although the reboot nearly erased all the history that made many of DC’s characters the legends they are today, this new generation breathed new life into an aging generation. The need to bring in a younger audience is especially important in current times and diversifying their cast definitely was not a mistake. At least with DC Rebirth, old fans will be allowed an entrance back into the franchise since they’re attempting to bring back elements of the pre-New 52.
Onto my thoughts with DC Rebirth. I’ll straight up mention my favorite part in Issue 0 of Rebirth was the return of pre-New 52 Wally West. Since Flashpoint was a key part in the creation of the new universe, it makes sense for Wally, a speedster, to be at the center of everything. His reunion with Barry was well executed, and the build up to that moment incorporated who Wally was and all the things that he lived for. I’m highly intrigued by the idea how the fact that there are 2 Wallys and how they’ll react with each other. It’s promising to see how else they’ll remind us of the past, which includes the 3 versions of the Jokers past (Golden Age, Killing Joke, and New 52). We’re also getting the return of the Justice Society of America with Johnny Thunderbolt, both creations of the Golden Age of comics. History and the roots of the franchise is important and how DC is going to incorporate everything is just exciting. Also, let’s not skip out on the fact that pre-New 52 Superman will become the new Superman with Lex Luthor also becoming Superman too. Boy was that a mouthful.
Now I can’t go too much into the Watchmen reveal, since I don’t know too much about the series itself. However, the significance of including the series into the DC Universe is pretty monumental. I’m already wondering how Dr. Manhattan changed things the way they are now and how he’ll be portrayed as the main antagonist of that universe. How will the rest of the Watchmen be included into the fray of things? These questions will have to wait until we get more news and a release date from DC for the series.
DC Rebirth seems like they’re taking a step in right direction for now. Sure, DC is trying to cover up some of the mistakes they made with the reboot, and it honestly feels too soon for it to happen. However, it’s at least good to see that they’re not going to wipe the entire slate clean again just to bring everything they erased back into continuity. All I can really say is that their plans for all their series definitely seem like interesting ones, and that this will be a ride I’m going to enjoy.
Before I end this article, here’s a list of what I’ll be looking forward to in Rebirth.
- Titans: The old Teen Titans brought together again by the old Wally West.
- Teen Titans: A new team of Titans led by newest Robin, Damian Wayne.
- Green Arrow Rebirth: Green Arrow and Black Canary, the one couple in all of DC that were meant to be, meet each other for the first time. AGAIN.
- Action Comics: Lex Luthor is back as Superman!
- Nightwing: Dick Grayson is leaving the spy business and returning to his superhero roots
- New Superman: Chinese Superman. That’s exciting.
- Super Sons: Damian Wayne, son of Batman, and Jonathan Kent, son of Superman, team up and go on daring adventures.