DC Universe Rebirth (2016)

By Geoff Johns and multiple artists including Gary Frank

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In light of this week’s reveal in the current Captain America series by Marvel, it seems DC Universe Rebirth has been a bit overshadowed in the news I have seen. This fact disappointed me because, even though I am not the most avid reader of DC comics, I am interested in how they planned to handle the next transformation of the DC Universe. Plus, this issue also provided controversial information regarding the combination of universes published by DC that were probably never supposed to meet.

The Rebirth issue begins by deconstructing a watch. The quote inscribed on the watch is “every second is a gift.” Through art and broken narration, regardless of my knowledge of the DCU, I understand that the issue is going to be about lost time. The question is: what happened to cause time to be erased?

The entire comic follows Wally West as he races through time trying to find a friend who recognizes him so that he can stop running through time’s extra dimension. At first appearance this story seems to relate with Flashpoint, a rewriting of reality that led into the New 52 DC relaunch in 2011. Though I am not exactly sure how much, as I was not reading comic books regularly at the time. Nevertheless, what Wally discovers is that reality was not so much affected by the Flashpoint itself, but something else more powerful than Darkseid is driving the changes. This is a moment when I wish I was more familiar with DC characters and lore. It might be helpful for solving some of these mysteries. Then again, this is probably the creator’s way of getting me interested in reading more of the Rebirth series as a whole…

Due to my unfamiliarity with the source materials for creating this comic, I did a bit of research (not in-depth or anything), but I did discover just how much the Watchmen really had an impact on the new DC Universe. One of the things I truly appreciated about the comic was the focus on love and hope. Wally finds that love is what connects them and hope is what drives them to keep saving the world. This story is divided into five parts called Lost, Legacy, Love, Life, and Epilogue. There is an optimism that is integral to the world of superheroes and the creators wanted to break away from the Watchmen’s dark influence on the DCU and superheroes in general. However, the creators were not wanting to eliminate the influence of the Watchmen, but instead integrate them into the main universe. If there truly is going to be a more optimistic tone to the DC Universe through Rebirth, then I am excited about the future of the comics and I will look forward to reading more of their titles.

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