Comics

REVIEW: DC Universe Rebirth #1

Written by Dara Berkey

DC Comics launched Rebirth in May. Rebirth is as it sounds, a relaunch of the DC Universe. The DC Universe Rebirth #1 set up the events for the rest of the Rebirth titles. To be honest, there was a lot going on in Rebirth #1, and if you were not up-to-date with everything that had been going on in the recent four years of comics (since the 2011 New 52 relaunch), it was a bit daunting. The three major reveals summed up everything major going on in the DC Universe.

SPOILERS!!

The first reveal concerned the original Wally West. The red-haired, white Wally West was back and traveling through the Speed Force since the end of Flashpoint. Wally was the narrator for most of the comic. He was trying to get a message to anyone—Batman, Dick Grayson, his wife in another life, Linda Park, and finally, the Flash, Barry Allen. Red head Wally set up Batman to make a major discovery at the end. Wally was eventually brought back to solid form, thanks to Barry. (Apparently, the new Wally West the red-haired Wally’s cousin. Iris had two brothers, Rudy and Daniel. Rudy’s is the red-haired Wally’s father and Daniel is the new Kid Flash’s father).

The second reveal concerned Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman has a twin brother named Jason. Thanks to the “New 52” hooking of Queen Hippolyta and Zeus, it was possible. The third reveal was that Dr. Manhattan from the Watchmen was the reason why the New 52 happened. When Barry tried to reverse the damages of the Flashpoint, it was Dr. Manhattan who manipulated time and space to create the changes and effects post-Flashpoint.

That was basically what was going on in Rebirth #1.

There were only a few parts of Rebirth #1 that was any kind of interesting. The whole Wally West and Wally West situation and the Wonder Woman twin brother reveal were not the best avenues but nor the worst. Depending on how it’s handled, both reveals could prove to be great, but considering DC Comic’s track record with Wonder Woman’s New 52 comics and the racial tones of bringing back the white Kid Flash while there’s an African-American Kid Flash still around, it’s probably not going to be any kind of good. However, I did enjoy the references to Watchmen. As far as I know, there’s some legalities with DC Comics using the Watchmen characters, but we’ll see where it goes. Dr. Manhattan had to wind up somewhere after he destroyed his world.

There were tons of cameos: an elderly and senile Johnny Thunder, The Atom Ray Palmer passing on his tech to his student, Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle with the second Blue Beetle Ted Kord (who was never Blue Beetle in the “New 52”), Dr. Fate, Robin, the new Aqualad, Pandora, Black Canary, Green Arrow, Clark, Loid and Jon from the other Earth and the mysterious Mr. Oz, as well as John Constantine, Swamp Thing, new heroes Gotham and sidekick, and of course, the Flash and the new Kid Flash. (Confused and overwhelmed yet?)

Did I mentioned that Superman was missing (not the other, older Superman from Clark and Lois)?

Overall, the DC Universe Rebirth #1 tries to simultaneously fix the problems of the New 52 by merging it with the pre-New 52 DC Universe and Watchmen. If this was a ploy to gain new readers, it would be an epic fail, because unless you are a comic book nerd to the nth degree, it’s confusing. Most die-hards would enjoy most of the cameos, but some of them have yet to prove necessary. In addition, it also assumes the readers have read everything in the New 52 to know everything that happened. BUT the whole Rebirth deal can still surprise comic book readers. Perhaps mixing the elements that people liked about the pre-New 52 Universe and what people liked about the New 52 might be just what DC Comics needed.

What are your thoughts on Rebirth? Like it? Hate it? Think it’s not as bad as I’m making it sound?  Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!

About the author

Dara Berkey

Superhero nerd. History nerd. Favorite personal hero--Shazam/The Original Captain Marvel. Favorite female hero--Any of the Batgirls. Favorite male hero, other than Shazam--Any of the Robins.