DC Universe Rebirth #1 (DC Comics)
This is it. Once again the hopes and dreams of the future of DC Comics rests on the shoulders of one man. No, not Superman, Geoff Johns! The master behind Sinestro Corps War, Infinite Crisis, and nearly every other major event at DC comics has brought us DC Universe Rebirth, the kick off of DC’s newest hope for taking back some of the comics market share that they so desperately need. Unfortunately, spoilers broke out about this bad boy over the weekend, and not even I was immune to them. But even though I know about the huge, “what the $&^#!” reveal, there are still plenty of interesting moments in this new one-shot issue that features art from Ethan Van Sciver, Gary Frank, and tons of other DC artists.
Wally West is back from the pre-Flashpoint era of DC, and can’t figure out why no one knows who he is, and why others can’t see him. He knows something is missing from this world (as he can’t account for the last 10 years), but he needs to get to someone who can help him get out of the speed force. West travels to see Batman, the New 52’s Linda Park (who’s his wife in Wally’s universe), and other areas of the DC universe until he finds Barry Allen, who is able to pull him out of the speed force and with that moment, reminds Barry of everything he had forgotten about the world. West then reveals the being responsible for what happened to them, and it’s……
Don’t worry; I’m not going to spoil the “big reveal”. But if you’ve been on any major comic sites, you know what it is, and to be honest, while it’s a big deal, it’s not as major as you expect. None of the characters hinted at make any appearances in Rebirth, but their presence is felt in a major way. Johns’ focus in this special is to reinstate a sense of hope and wonder to DC, and by and large he does, even if the book jumps around at a break neck pace. Johns plays catch up on not only the New 52 and Flashpoint, but also even goes as far back as events like Crisis On Infinite Earths. There’s a ton of material in Rebirth, but Johns keeps it all in check enough where it doesn’t completely fall apart.
DC Universe Rebirth’s greatest strength though is with the art. Gary Frank, Ethan Van Sciver, Phil Jimenez and a host of other artists take turns handling the different “chapters” in Rebirth. All of them bring their absolute best to this issue, delivering some epic pages that definitely live up to what Geoff Johns is promising with this issue. There’s really not a bad artist in the bunch, and they all add to the importance of the issue.
At times, DC Rebirth gets almost too meta, but that’s also one of the best things about it. With this special, Geoff Johns calls out the super gritty and dark tone that superhero comics have had for the past 20 or so years (especially in the New 52), and directly challenges that notion. While I’m still not entirely sure exactly where the DC universe will be going after this, I actually like this feeling. Rebirth has set the stage for DC Comics to become the books that they should be, and so far this new initiative is off to a pretty strong start.