When DC announced its next event named Rebirth in February, a lot of people were skeptic about what it could bring to the table. We all had Convergence in mind which was a catastrophe that resolved nothing and DC You which was a complete failure. Why would Rebirth be any different ? Why would DC captivate the audience ?
With a look back at the recent past and what they did right and wrong, that’s how you do it.
« And thus DC Universe Rebirth happened ».
It is obvious that this review will contain spoilers of the issue.
The entire issue is based on the original Wally west reappearance. Wally was stuck in the Speed Force since Flashpoint and was intangible an invisible to everybody except on some rares occasions.
Wall will travel in the New DC Universe during the whole book to make the other character remember him in order to make him come back to life (with the power of Love?). But every time he tries and fail will make the Speed Force absorbs him more. It will be a way for Geoff Johns to show us the state of things in the New DC Universe. Wally explains what is generally wrong in this universe like the non existing relationships between some characters who should know each others but are here complete strangers, he also encounter his dear ones to make them remember but it is at first a failure.
The main story is cut by some teasing for the future of the DC Universe & the arrival of the Watchmen’s Universe (because it seems that it is now a universe too). We don’t see the characters directly but everything is made so we understand what are their rôle in this story.
Having the hard duty to save the « bizarro » DC Universe, Geoff Johns tries to give hope to the reader and make the heroes look a little more sympathetics to us unlike the last ten years. And it’s a almost a complete success.
The arrival of Wally on Earth Prime shows that DC is still willing to do efforts to please the « old » readership who felt betrayed by the lack of legacy by DC for the past 5 years. The issue also shows that the « dark mood » of DC Comics could end soon which is not a bad thing at all.
Johns likes the DC Character and even more the Flash, we can feel it when reading this book. It is surprising but nice to see the return of icons from the past who will probably have a bigger rôle in the future.
But it’s the Flash who is the star here. Not only is the return is a big step forward for DC and written in a subtle way but it is a direct echo to Crisis on Infinite Earths where Barry was one of the key character of the story.
The justification of the second Wally from Earth Prime was, without being the smartest move ever a good compromise and will allow the cohabitation of the two in the future. We can’t wait to see what will Wally’s return bring to futures stories.
But not everything is perfect in the book and even if the come back is well done and give hope for the future there are still some issues that need to be adressed.
First of all Johns proves two things : He is incapable of writing an event without without killing a character for no apparent reason. We saw that in the last Justice League where Metron and Owlman were killed in just two panels and it’s not Pandora who is victim of the murderous tendancies of the good old Geoff Johns.
But this killing raise a question. What was the point of Pandora ? Yes we had a series rapidly canceled and yes she was a part of Trinity War, which was really bad by the way. But other than that what a sad fate for a character supposedly important and at the supposed origin of everything wrong in the new DC Universe. DC and Johns are just treating the character like a second hand vilain that nobody wanted to write which is probably true this case.
The second problem is more an ethical one. As you now know the characters of Watchmen are now part of the DCU and we learn here that Dr Manhattan would be the one who created the New 52/Earth Prime Universe and he is also responsible for the dark mood of the said universe.
For me it is very hypocritical of DC to accuse the Watchmen (And Alan Moore by extent) to be the one who darkened the stories at DC because they forget tht not only Marvel did the same thing with Frank Miller’s Daredevil but even they did it with The Dark Knight Returns and Year One that were way more adult than a lot of comics released at this time. And even in the 2000s they continued this tradition by making titles like Identity Crisis which was good but incredibly violent in every aspects of the story or Cry for Justice the amazingly bad story that killed a beloved CHILD character for no other reason than to prove Dan Didio is a psychopath. . Even Forever Evil and Futures End were Dark and gritty and probably two of the worst things DC did in recent years.
So why blame Alan Moore in such not subtle way ? Maybe I am over analyzing but it seems that Moore is the easy target because they needed someone other than themselves to blame for every stupid thing DC did in the past.
As you can see DC Universe Rebirth #1 is a good issue that give a glimpse of a more light hearted future for the company and shows the love of Geoff Johns for the DC Universe. There are still a few questions left unanswered but it is not something that will be a burden for the reader.
We have to admit that this time DC didn’t fuck things up.