The first issue of DC Universe: Rebirth is out, and everybody seems to be in love with it. It is yet another revision to the DC Universe continuity, it is driven by nostalgia, and it threatens to commit sacrilege to the most sacrosanct masterpiece of Alan Moore... But with good reason, it was well received.
|Rebirth in a nutshell.|
the gear is fixed. This metaphor is a no-brainer: the DC Universe is all wrong. This first chapter promises to fix the DC Universe and starts by satisfying a demand of many long time fans; more hope and optimism. The metaphor works as a possible presage to the way this series will change the DC Universe.
|The Renaissance of the DC Universe.|
As the past of this new "the New 52" continuity was revealed, long time readers learned that many of their favorite characters and storylines never happened. In the New 52 multiverse sidekicks like Wally West and Donna Troy don't exist, the new versions of the golden age characters like Jay Garrick or Alan Scott are way too different, the Martina Manhunter, the Elongated Man, and Zatanna never belong to the Justice League, Tim Drake barely knows Batman, and so on. Furthermore, all titles lost their numbering, even those that started it in the 1930s. For many readers, the New 52 seemed to be denialism.
|One of the inaugural images of the New 52.|
|This is what is at stake in Rebirth.|
The identity of the antagonist of the story, of course, is a meta-commentary on Watchmen (Alan Moore, 1986) and it's influence on comics. This raises many questions. Is the story actually blaming the pessimism on it? Will Rebirth keep the point of Watchmen? This seems like a cliffhanger of the 1966 Batman show ("Tune in tomorrow. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel, same Bat-peril") with Watchmen in Geoff's trap, but it's too soon to think negatively. Dealing with that franchise and its characters is a complex task, we will see if Johns is able to pull it in the upcoming issues.
As a first act, it offers previews of Ted Kord and Ray Palmer having Jaime Reyes and Ryan Choi as their protegees instead of their replacements, as well as a promise to bring back the golden-agers, and love relationships. This is what is at stake for the rest of the series.
DC Universe: Rebirth #1 isn't a Moorean masterpiece, but an effective hit with lots of teasing and a long expected editorial message of optimism and hope. It works fine as a story but excellent as a mission statement.
|Hope, optimism and legacy.|