This week I am going to talk about DC’s newest attempt at continuity, DC Universe Rebirth #1 by Geoff Johns with art by Gary Frank, Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis and Phil Jimenez. This latest universal mix-up released a few weeks ago, long enough that I am going to be talking about it freely so if you have not read it then don’t bother reading this as I am going to spoil everything. That being said this won’t be my normal review; my plan is to talk mainly about what I think things mean rather than a note-by-note review.
The first thing I want to talk about is the return of Wally West. Bursting into the Batcave was awesome and a real triumph for fans who have long cried for his return. With his return he also explains what has and hasn’t shaped this new universe and really the origins of the entire New 52 universe. The New 52, with its changes and odd mixing of timelines and what not, can all be blamed on someone or something stealing literally 10 years from their timeline. This explains why people are different, don’t know each other, or don’t even exist, like Wally. No one can remember him because he was trapped outside of time due to these missing 10 years.
I quickly want to talk about this idea that the Joker is three different people. While it makes sense on a lot of levels, I think it’s also kind of dumb. This really just complicates things more as you will never be sure who he is facing as Joker — granted, I think the fact that no one is sure who he is, even himself, is fantastic.
There is a moment with an old man I really want to talk about also. This old man is named Johnny Thunder. Few of you may know who he is, though for those who don’t Johnny Thunder was a member of the Justice Society, a group of WWII-era heroes who mentored and helped the current heroes when they could. I am really glad that they are trying to reintroduce heroes from this era, and I will definitely buy that book. I also want to note that this is one of the saddest things I have ever read, really heart wrenching stuff. The despair going though Johnny is so heart breaking.
TED KORD IS ALIVE!!! This is something that I was utterly shocked about. I was floored that the original Blue Beetle is not only alive, but is the Blue Beetle. This was surprising as he is always dead — even in pre New 52 life Ted Kord was dead. I love that he is back and working with Jaime Reyes.
Pandora (I think that was her name… I forget and don’t care about a lot going on in the DCU) is also dead. Her body is seen exploding in a very familiar way. One we will get back to soon; remember that I said that.
I want to talk about what is possibly one of the most touching moments in comic-book history, the moment when Barry Allen and Wally West finally meet again. After his body started to dissolve into the Speed Force, Wally is finally remembered by someone, Barry. The moment that literally made me cry is when Barry embraces him, tears streaming down his face, exclaiming, “I’m so sorry Wally. My god… How could I ever forget you?” The agony in Barry’s face when he realizes that he had forgotten someone so close to him was disturbing. As I said, it literally made me cry. Well done, DC. Well done, Geoff Johns.
Finally I want to talk about the last few pages of the book. In these last few pages they show some very shocking things. The first is Batman finding the iconic Comedian pin, bloodstain and all, in the Batcave wall where Wally burst in. The next is a series of panels over the last few pages that spotlight Mars and are narrated in blue text boxes, the same style that is used to show Dr. Manhattan speaking. It’s clearly him talking to Ozymandias and, honestly, I feel like it was Dr. Manhattan who stole the 10 years and blew up Pandora. She is destroyed the exact same way that he destroys people.
This is seriously going to be awesome. I feel that this was the best and easiest way to bring in the Watchmen as a universe and I can’t wait to see what happens. Rebirth 100 percent worked and has me hopeful for DC for the first time in a long time.