DC Universe: Rebirth #1

I liked the new 52.

Not only was DC’s last reset my jumping on point for buying monthlies but it also gave us Snyder and Capullo’s Batman. Fantastic stuff.

But there were problems from the off. How did Batman have so many Robins in such a short space of time? Superman and Wonder Woman together? Also, as much as I enjoyed the stories it seemed as though the DC Universe was not a place for any sort of joy or lightheartedness. This didn’t affect me massively me since Batman isn’t the most jovial but it was obvious that it affected other characters much more.

Geoff Johns clearly agrees.

After five years of the New 52, Rebirth once again nudges the DC Universe in a different direction. Johns has become a big deal in the film side of things so I doubt we’ll see him around these parts again. This is a very fitting swansong from him though. Using Wally West’s voice as a way to directly communicate with the readership is nicely done as Johns explains that he’s aware that relationships, friendships, love and hope have been lost. These losses have fundamentally shifted the tone and it’s time it moved back. I don’t generally read DC stories that don’t focus on The Dark Knight but this is spot on. Both as an apology and a promise. If you don’t feel a pang of emotion as Wally and Barry meet then you must be made of stone.

There’s a good 60 pages of comic book here, so it being sold for standard price makes it great value. Then you see that’s drawn by a series of heavyweights and it gets even better. Gary Frank, Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis and Phil Jiminez all bring their A-game through the four chapters. Their more realistic styles may not be my personal favourite but there’s no denying their quality.

So this is a well-written issue with great art. But what does it mean for the DCU? A look at the final page gives us a good idea. Nightwing back in Gotham (and in blue), Green Arrow and Black Canary back together, Hal Jordan fighting Sinestro. It all sounds so…right.

Rebirth feels like a huge admission. ‘Sorry we messed things up. We miss it too’. Let’s hope it continues that way.

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