DC Comics, under the writing guidance of Geoff Johns, cracked open the door into the next chapter in DC’s long history on May 25, 2016. While portions (or all) of the comic found it’s way online days prior to the release, many fans waited anxiously to see what would happen within the pages of the 80-page story. Others, like me, couldn’t resist the internet’s call – reading several spoilers online.
What is DC Rebirth?
Warning! If you have not read DC Rebirth, I encourage you to visit your local comic shop or buy from DC Comics online. The following also provides storyline points from Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, and Flashpoint.
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Why is a “Rebirth” needed?
I believe DC went into CRISIS mode – literally. Some might say that it could be because of the poor reviews of Superman V Batman. Some might say that there was not enough time for the movie to impact the comics; however, I use the word CRISIS for a reason.
It all began with a CRISIS.
While we will discuss CRISIS in detail on a future episode – and will provide additional information on this blog about, REBIRTH is the next in a long line of universal/multiversal changes. The CRISIS tag dates back to the Silver Age crossovers between the Justice League of America and the Justice Society of America. But, again, more on that later.
Let’s talk New 52.
A Flash-centric crossover event, Flashpoint, gave DC an opportunity to “refresh” their comic universe in 2011. Yes, DC rebooted the entire comics line in 2011 – all with new #1s. While it was called a soft reboot, it was a reboot of many (essential) characters. Some characters, like Superboy, became unrecognizable. Others, like Wally West who we had known for decades, disappeared. Some things in the new 52 worked. In my opinion, most did not. DC severed the emotional ties between the reader and the character.
Just a few years prior, DC celebrated the 20th anniversary of Crisis on Infinite Earths with the Infinite Crisis event. It restored the multiversal concept. As a reader, I was happy.
Why change? Was it needed?
Is it different Earths, timelines, dimensions, or all of the above (you may answer this in the question above).
Rebirth architect Geoff Johns made room for a whole new DC Universe history to be written — one that smashes together the post-Crisis and “New 52” universes in a whole new way.
The most obvious evidence for this brand new, combined history? The two Wally Wests.
Before Rebirth, there was a distinct origin story for the old Wally West, and a distinct origin story for the new one.
After Rebirth, there’s a brand new origin story that includes both the old Wally West and the new one. And apparently, the characters are both completely aware of the rewrite. The new story of their past matches perfectly with their new memories
How would someone come to be caught in the Speed Force?
Each speedster accesses the Speed Force differently. Basically, if you run too fast – you lose yourself in the SF.
How does Batman get the power to know about multiple earths/timelines?
Batman does not know about multiple earths, timelines, per se. He did access the information of the Joker’s real name while sitting in the Mobius Chair during the Darkseid War – the last storyline of the current Justice League series. In that story, Batman asked for the Joker’s name. While we assumed it said a name – probably someone he knows – at the time, we found out that the chair told him the Joker had been three people.
Why does Wally leave Batman a letter from his father?
Wally does not. During Flashpoint, Thomas Wayne was Batman. At the end of Flashpoint, Thomas gave Barry a letter to give to Bruce when he returned the timeline to how it was supposed to be. We know with Pandora that this doesn’t happen – reality returning to as it should be. We see Barry give Bruce the letter. We must also assume that, as the timelines corrected themselves or “set” in the New 52, Bruce forgot…or was forced to ignore the letter.
Who is the old guy that he tries to connect to?
The old guy is Johnny Thunder, a member of the Justice Society of America. He first appeared in Flash Comics #1 in 1940. The Justice Society of America, for all intents and purposes, have been absent New 52. There is a version of these characters in the Earth 2 book, but they are very different. The JSA is the original superhero team.
It wasn’t until discussing the episode that I realized Johnny Thunder actually thought Wally was his “Thunderbolt.”
Doctor Fate is a member of the Justice Society of America. A version of Doctor Fate has also been a member of the Justice League. The character first appeared in More Fun Comics #1 in May 1940.
Doctor Fate is an avatar for Nabu, one of the Lords of Order. My understanding is that Doctor Fate is more of a title rather than a person. For example, Doctor Strange is named Doctor Strange because that is his name – Stephen Strange. His TITLE is Sorcerer Supreme.
What significance does the ring hold for Flash? His suit?
It does not. It is a Legion flight ring. It points to a potential/probable return of the Legion of Super-Heroes. There is also a scene from Crisis on Infinite Earths when Barry Allen dies and Barry assumes the mantle of Flash.
Wally West is not a new character. For many who first discovered The Flash in the late 80s, 90s, and 2000s, he was THE Flash.
Any guess as to what is so urgent the atom has to leave to work on?
No idea. What I do know is that it shows both Ryan Choi and Ray Palmer.
Who is the chick in the alley that gets vaporized?
The character’s name was Pandora. The character first appeared at the end of the Flashpoint miniseries in 2011 when she merged the DC Comics, Wildstorm, and Vertigo lines together. I recall that it was the DC, Wildstorm, and Milestone characters; however, Milestone has been the subject of recent changes and attempts to relaunch under another banner. The character also appeared in each of the 52 #1 issues of the original set of New 52 titles.
Her death in DC Rebirth, since storylines originally indicate she merged the timelines, serves as a symbolic gesture of the end of the New 52.
Wonder woman’s twin brother?
Wonder Woman’s origin changed in The New 52. She was no longer a child of clay, as had been her origin for decades. Now, she was the biological child of Zeus and Hippolyta. While the lineage appears to remain post-Rebirth, it looks like she will have a sibling.
Did Superman die?
Yes, it appears that the New 52 Superman died in Superman #52, released the same week as DC Rebirth. Gone for good?
Well, time will tell, won’t it?
So where did the other Clark come from?
This Clark is the Superman who existed prior to the launch of the New 52. This is the Superman who married Lois Lane – the same Superman who had been around since 1985. Lois and Clark returned last year during the Convergence storyline – and were revealed to be living on the New 52 Earth – in hiding – since the formation of the Justice League.
Wasn’t it obvious that he would connect with the other Flash?
No sure if it was obvious. That depends on the readers. I think it showed a bit of tension, anticipation, anxiety, emotion when Wally’s wife didn’t remember him. Perhaps one might wonder if Wally was brought back in Rebirth just to signal his demise – especially since there was already a Wally West.
Does the watch we see at the beginning and end of the book hold any significance?
I will need to research this one. While I read the book and watched the movie, I have never been a fan of the Watchmen. This is not any dislike to the work of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. It is just saying that the storyline wasn’t something that I personally enjoyed.
Who or what is this new evil?
We will have to watch and see.
(It’s Doctor Manhattan of the Watchmen.)
Did you enjoy DC Rebirth? What did you think about the revelations? Let us know in the comments.
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