The latest cross-publishing "reboot" continues and to celebrate its current momentum with a "Deluxe Edition" release of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1
It's true! The DC Comics Universe is still undergoing a state of "Rebirth". The company wide initiative that was intended to retcon some of the uncharacteristically unpopular elements of that last "reboot". After the earth-shattering events of "FlashPoint" the entire line of DC Comics were reintroduced and redefined. "The New 52" introduced a leaner and meaner continuity to the major players in the long-established pantheon, as well as re-introduced the multiverse -- a concept that had been reignited after the events of Infinite Crisis the proper sequel to the classic Crisis on Infinite Earths maxi-series that streamlined the then convoluted DC Universe.
Although "The New 52" initiative was widely criticized, it served to reignite the publishing imprint and brought in an entirely new audience, an audience that had since been glamoured by the big-screen interpretation and success of the competitor Marvel Comics, which had also begun to polish their cannon of characters for its diversifying readers. DC Entertainment had only begun to spread its wealth across other mediums; it's characters would dominate on primetime and their theatrical counterparts would also become enhanced by a unified cinematic universe that begun with the release of director Zack Snyder's Man of Steel.
Fittingly, Snyder -- the director of the much-panned big budget theatrical adaption of Watchmen -- would be the guiding light by which the DC Comics properties would translate to the big screen, while Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim would ignite an equally charged renaissance with their primetime adaptations of Arrow followed by the spin-offs The Flash and DC's Legends of Tomorrow. A third series would inspire the debut of Supergirl the Maid of Steel launched her own one-hour series on CBS before joining the rest of her paramour rightly on The CW for her second season. Indeed a "rebirth" was occurring!
DC Comics properties are more popular than ever, and even though fans were concerned by the inconsistent mythologies that had come into play following "FlashPoint" and into "The New 52" continuity, they remained engaged. The ingredient missing most from this latest reboot was the loss of the legacy element that had always been a consistent attribute and winning component of superheroes that had endured more than 75 years of storytelling, becoming a part of the pop-culture lexicon and adored by generations of fans. It was soon decided that a reexamining of these legacies was in order.
DC Comics co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee both approached Geoff Johns, the chief Creative Officer at DC Entertainment with a strategy for "Rebirth". Indeed Johns had very successfully given a similar treatment to two of the lines most popular characters when he relaunched Green Lantern and The Flash and jump-started the heroes with a "rebirth" of their own. DiDio and Lee both envisioned a "rebirth" across the entire publishing line, and opportunity to give fans some of the story elements they were nostalgic for and also expand on the current arcs with substantial backstory narratives that had gone missing, most obvious among them the history of the original Teen Titans.
After the Flash basically rewrote history when he traveled back in time and created the “FlashPoint” paradox, the very fabric of time and the DC Comics multiverse had been fractured so often and at least significantly in three very critical moments — readers were left to surmise that the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the events that occurred during the Zero Hour and finally the final act of Infinite Crisis (which reopened the multiverse) — all had serious repercussions that realigned to some affect when the timeline was “repaired”.
Through the eyes of Wally West, the successor to the mantle of the Flash following Barry Allen’s apparent death during the first Crisis, West has been tossed into a nether region — a flux in reality that was initiated by the FlashPoint. The hero, missing from titular continuity ever since, has been trying to make his way back home, unfortunately Wally West has been all-but forgotten among his peers — even his former mentor Barry Allen. Desperately aware that the continuity is flawed, West has also learned that a malevolent presence has tampered with the scheme of things, erasing 10 years off of linear time.
But who has such power? Why affect the lives of the DC Comics heroes so significantly, and most importantly why keep Wally out lost in limbo?
DC Universe: Rebirth #1 presented for the first time in the Deluxe Edition is perhaps the best way to digest the drama in this still unfolding narrative that has had ripple effects all across the current publishing line. In the stellar high-quality 7.3 x 11.2 inch hardcover format, the rich artwork contributed by today’s major talents including Gary Frank, Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis, and Phil Jimenez leaps from the page — literally! The volume also includes all the individual cover art depicting the various printings of this hit release and is full of illustrations detailing the “Rebirth” costume designs updating the major players in this new mythology.
Although the “Rebirth” is still playing itself out across all the books and we’re not any closer to solving the mysteries that the initial story presented including how is Wally West connected to everything, what happened to the missing time and most importantly — how is the Watchmen character Dr. Manhattan involved in all this? We’ll just have to stay tuned to see how it will all unravel. Titles to watch closely in the elaborately continuing series include The Titans, Superman and The Flash.