Review: DC Universe Rebirth #1

5-26-2016 8-17-18 AMPublisher:  DC Comics
Writer:  Geoff Johns
Artists:  Gary Frank, Phil Jimenez, Ethan Van Sciver
Release Date: 
May 25, 2016
Cover Price: $2.99
Review:
 
digital copy from Comixology

Let’s say this from the get go, when it comes to universes, I’m a DC guy more than I’m a Marvel guy, always have been. Now, I liked the The New 52 Universe, and appreciated what it was trying to do, but about 10 things really pissed me off about it. And with everything we’re beginning to see about DC Rebirth, it seems like Geoff Johns is finally able to be the architect of a DC Universe that works for the fans.

So here’s my review:

Synopsis

There is a lot in this issue, filled with new plot developments, and recaps of some of the changes that have been happening in the new 52 Universe1.Like Superman dying and Wonder Woman having a twin brother

  • Since the events of FlashPoint, Wally West has been adrift in the Speed Force. He attempts to contact heroes, former friends, in the New 52 DC Universe, so that he isn’t forgotten.
  • First, Wally visits Batman in the Batcave, following the events of Justice League #50, where he tries to remind Bruce of the letter that Barry Allen gave him from his father at the end of the Flashpoint event.
  • Wally recaps his live and talks about the FlashPoint event where he reveals that someone else caused the DC Universe to change, and not Barry Allen.
  • Wally West visits Johnny Thunder in a home for the elderly, where he tells Johnny to find the Justice Society, who haven’t existed on this earth since Flashpoint.
  • In Metropolis, a young woman is arrested for stealing food. She has come to talk to Superman. She’s from the future and she has a Legion Flight Ring.
  • Ryan Choi is a TA for Professor Ray Palmer, also known as The Atom. Palmer is apparently stuck in the “Microverse” and needs Choi to put on a Size-Changing Belt and come save him.5-26-2016 8-42-29 AM
  • Ted Kord is showing Jaime Reyes his flying vehicle, The Bug. When Jaime leaves, Ted is confronted by Doctor Fate2.I don’t know if it’s the same one as in the Earth-2 comic or not telling him that the Beetle Scarab used by Jaime is magic and not science.
  • In a montage scene with several heroes, we see the character of Pandora obliterated by some unknown force.
  • Wally contacts the New 52 version of his wife, Linda Parks, to have her bring him back, but she doesn’t remember him.
  • Wally’s last act is to finally contact Barry Allen. At first, Barry doesn’t recognize him, but at the last minute Barry does, and reaches out to him, pulling him into the DC 52 Universe.
  • In the Batcave, after Wally’s visit, Batman is thinking about events. And inside the cave he digs out a smiley face pin with a blood smear across the left eye.3.A clue to the rest of us that this is tying The Watchmen into the DC Universe

Analysis

I loved everything about this cross over issue. Every beat was true. Every character felt real to me. And the moment when Barry and Wally hug each other was one of the most touching moments that I’ve felt in comics for years.4.It helps that I’m a huge fan of Wally West. For me, he is The Flash, and not Barry Allen

5-26-2016 8-42-57 AM

All of the directions shown in this comic make me feel excited for the DC Universe, more excited than I have felt about it in 4 years. I think the praise that I’ve seen around the internet has been very well deserved. With one exception, and I’ll get to that.

The artwork is really really good. Surprisingly good for a book this large. Usually in a multiple chapter, multiple artist book like this, there is one artist whose style doesn’t fit, or is just bad. Not here, everything is tremendous.

Now, let’s deal with the elephant in the room. I don’t like the ending of the book, or more specifically, I don’t like the implications of the ending of the book where Doctor Manhattan is going to be the shaper and potentially the ‘big bad’ of the DC Universe.

I’m not some Alan Moore worshiping devotee who puts The Watchmen on some pedestal, where it can never be touched again. But the characters created for The Watchmen were created only for that series. They weren’t part of some comic book universe that stood the test of time, and the characters were beloved due to the interpretations of many writers and artists through the years. No, these were characters created for a graphic novel created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons that were created solely so they could make whatever commentary they wanted about heroes and society at large. Pulling those characters out of that novel5.especially 30 years later seems like a poor decision to me.

But, that being said, if it brings back a universe where Green Arrow and Black Canary have a history, where there was an original Teen Titans, where Ted Kord is alive, where the Legion of Super Heroes exists again, where the original Justice Society existed in the past, and where Wally West is actually a character in the universe, then I can deal with Doctor Manhattan.

Verdict

A really tremendous effort overall, and the first summer mega-series that has made me excited in quite some time, certainly gives this a tremendous grade.

9.0 – Excellent

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