The much-anticipated DC Rebirth is finally here, and Geoff Johns has written what is easily one of the best comic books released in the last twenty-five years. That’s not hyperbole. This is a story that will appeal to both old DC fans as well as those jumping on for the “Rebirth” relaunch of the DC line.
At 80 pages, the $2.99 book is a huge bargain. Johns weaves a story that uses a fan-favorite character forgotten in the New 52 reboot to both explain what happened to the DC Universe but also introduce new fans to the rich history and legacy that is a hallmark of DC Comics. Wally West frames the entire story. Trapped in the Speedforce, he’s trying to find a tether to bring him back into reality before it’s too late. And when he does that, with who is that tether, will bring DC Comics fans to tears. It’s one of the greatest comic pages ever.
Wally narrates the story, realizing that there’s something wrong with the DC Universe ever since the Flashpoint event. Relationships are missing. Love is missing. Something very bad happened to rob the DC Universe of ten years as well as every memory of that legacy that was missing from the New 52.
He goes from character to character. Batman is still pondering the existence of the three Jokers he learned about during the Darkseid War that just ended in Justice League. The world is wondering about the apparent death of the New 52 Superman. We get glimpses of long lost characters such as a very old member of the JSA, a mysterious woman with a Legion ring, and even Ted Kord and Dr. Fate! One of my favorite things about the issue is how Johns reconciles the New 52 Wally West (who is black, just like in The Flash TV Series) with the original. Simple one-panel explanation: they’re cousins!
DC Rebirth spoilers have been leaking out for the last week, so you probably already know about the big reveal at the end. But the book does lead up to it by dropping some cool hints. A giant blue hand is seen in one part, and Pandora (a character created just for the New 52) is vaporized in almost the exact same way as Rorschach was at the end of Watchmen. Bringing those characters into the DC Universe is an extremely cool idea, especially with what they begin to set up not just in this issue but older issues of Superman where the “Mr. Oz” character was introduced (he appears in this book as well).
I read DC Rebirth this morning, but will be re-reading it again tonight and likely a couple more times before the single issues begin for each series. It truly is that good. Geoff Johns has written a modern classic, one that will go down in history as one of the best DC Comics ever written and one of the best comics of all time. You absolutely must read this.