DC Comics Rebirth Spoilers & Review: DC Universe Rebirth #1 By Geoff Johns And Various. Massive Monumental Makings!!!

DCU REBIRTH reg cover backDCU REBIRTH reg cover front

DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1

 (66 pages total)

Writer: Geoff Johns

Letterer: Nick J. Napolitano

Covers by: Gary Frank & Brad Anderson; Ivan Reis, Joe Prado & Alex Sinclair

DCU REBIRTH variant back
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

DCU REBIRTH variant front

 

You’re either gonna punch my lights out or give me the biggest bear hug. Despite the leak on Reddit from this past Saturday, I avoided all links and thumbnails like the plague. I wanted to be genuinely surprised reading this. Moreover, I wanted to respect Geoff Johns’ edict of not looking ahead. Truly, the wonder has been lost on some. I’m all about geeking out 52 Wednesdays every calendar year but the experience of hitting your LCS and leafing through the pages, eyes widening, gushing to whoever is in your vicinity, discussing the outrage or surprises afterwards is something that not every cares to undergo. Thus, spoilers hit the net faster than the main character of this time-tossed tale: Wally West, the original once Kid Flash who inherited the mantle for two decades. There, kill me or kiss me. Either way, follow me on this fantastical journey!!

Chapter 1: Lost (14 pages)

Artists: Gary Frank & Ethan Van Sciver

Colorists: Brad Anderson & Jason Wright

An ordinary-looking watch sets the scene. The interiors are shown with the gears in motion. An unseen narrator is having difficulty navigating through the timestream. Rather, reality is within his grasp but eludes him. If anyone can give him any assistance it would be the world’s greatest detective: the Batman!! The Dark Knight is musing the knowledge imparted to him by the Mobius Chair regarding his greatest foe – the Joker is literally a triple threat. Three men who resemble each other are all purported to be the Clown Prince of Crime.

DCU REBIRTH triple threat

The grim realization is interrupted by the wayward wordsmith: Wally West!!! Batman is disoriented by this sudden appearance. Since he does not recognize the young speedster, the connection to the Speed Force starts to waver. Two urgent instructions: (1) examine the letter by his father Thomas Wayne and (2) seek Barry Allen for answers. Wally is pulled back in and recalls his astonishing career. An unknown entity is responsible for having tampered with the Flashpoint. As a result, one decade has been drastically altered. Wally’s mission to warn everyone of what lies ahead. It matters little if he ceases to exist.

DCU REBIRTH guess who's back

Chapter 2: Legacy (14 pages)

Artist: Gary Frank

Colorist: Brad Anderson

Wally needs to establish a literal link with someone so that he remains solid to fulfill his mission. An elderly gentleman who is seen as a crazy old coot espies the gold-and-scarlet-clad costumer. Wally pleads with the senior citizen to assemble his pals from the JSA. The man in question is none other than Johnny Thunder!!! He can see the lightning surrounding Wally but is powerless to summon his genie after a prolonged absence. The magic words don’t produce anything.

Capt. Maggie Sawyer is informed by one of her officers that there is a highly unusual young woman in custody. Her crime? Stealing a sandwich. Three things that are off-putting: (a) her ID is too dangerous for them to know, (b) her accent is indistinguishable and (c) food is free in her ‘country’. She seeks an audience with Superman. She’s clearly out of the loop since the Man of Steel is reported MIA or deceased. The icing on the cake – she claims to be from the future and assures that all will be well. Her only valuable possession is a Legion flight ring!!!

Ryan Choi is ordered to seek Professor Ray Palmer who has been absent all week from teaching. The Dean is more than irate at his absence. Ryan approaches Ray’s lab. The mail has been piling up under the door. He fishes for his key and gains entry. There is a recorded message from Mr. Palmer’s alter ego The Atom. He has discovered a new realm that can only be appropriately named the Microverse. Ray requests that Ryan follow him to this domain. There is an identical size-changing belt for him to sport. Just as Ray is about to issue a warning, the recording ends. Ryan looks at the belt and contemplates his next move.

DCU REBIRTH Ryan & Ray

Jaime Reyes has come to Ted Kord for help in examining and ideally removing the Scarab. Ted is so gung-ho with the Blue Beetle that he has built a mobile crime-fighting base: The Bug. He wants to pair up with Jaime and do some real good in the world. Jaime is far from interested in being the Dynamic Duo 2.0. He armours up to head to class. Dr. Fate pays a visit to the young genius. Ted is going about his research all wrong: the Scarab derives from magic, not alien tech!!!

DCU REBIRTH Jaime & Ted

DCU REBIRTH Fate intrudes

Four tiny vignettes – Damian Wayne stares at a birthday cake; a concealed face cannot conceal a giant grin; newly-christened Green Lantern Jessica Cruz is unsettled when she has to train with gun-wielding Simon Baz; Jackson Hyde (Aqualad) embraces his homosexuality despite his mother’s protests. His metahuman abilities are not what make him different according to her.

DCU REBIRTH four corners

Pandora, the woman who undid Barry’s efforts in FLASHPOINT #5, is cornered in an alley. Her assailant is far more powerful than her. She is easily obliterated by this entity. Uh-oh!!

DCU REBIRTH snuffed out

Chapter 3: Love (14 pages)

Penciller: Ivan Reis

Inkers: Joe Prado & Ivan Reis

Colorist: Hi-Fi

Many songs have been sung about the power of love. Whether it is twisted, earned, prodded, or established, it is perhaps the primal force in humanity.

Grail gloats to her father Darkseid, now an infant, over the knowledge that Diana has a twin brother named Jason. The Amazons have some flaws, after all.

Heroes gather over the crater where Superman exploded. The built-up of Kryptonian energy led to his demise.

Green Arrow and Black Canary, long-time lovers in another era, catch each other’s eyes. The spark has been ignited. Separately, they contemplate their burgeoning feelings.

DCU REBIRTH colours of love

Lois and Clark discuss the parallel world’s Superman’s departure. The Last Son of Krypton made the most worthy sacrifice. Lois worries for her husband since he had been killed by Doomsday. Clark sets out to get nourishment for the two of them. He is caught off-guard by Mr. Oz – an otherworldly observer. He is neutral but he informs this strange visitor that neither he nor Lois nor the fallen Superman are who they appear to be.

DCU REBIRTH Mr. Oz the Mysterious

Aquaman furiously swims to a secret rendezvous with Mera in tow. He has brought here to the exact location where she attempted to murder him. Much has changed and developed since that defining moment. Xenophobia was to blame for that lapse in judgment. At any rate, Arthur wastes no time in his true motive – he proposes to his beloved just like the surface-dwellers do.

DCU REBIRTH marry me, Mera

Linda Park, aspiring reporter, tries to get the biggest scoop of the century by gaining info on Superman’s absence. The amateur doesn’t have the know-how to bypass the authorities. She desperately needs this gig to make ends meet. Rain starts coming down on her due to an un-forecast storm. It’s none other than Wally. As desperately as he tries to make her remember him, he is unsuccessful. He is a complete stranger to him. In writhing agony, Wally is whisked away.

 

Chapter 4: Life (18 pages)

Pencillers: Phil Jimenez & Gary Frank

Inkers: Matt Santorelli & Gary Frank

Colorists: Gabe Eltaeb & Brad Anderson

 

New characters Gotham [not a grammar error] spot the Bat-Signal. The protégée wonders whether it’s meant for them. Her mentor tells her to bide their time.

John Constantine and Swamp Thing bicker. Swampie wants his help in retrieving his disappeared spouse in exchange for getting all the heroes off the conjurer’s back.

Wally’s time is elapsing. He spots several individuals desperately seeking anyone who will acknowledge him – Captain Boomerang, Victor Stone, Dick Grayson.

***Wally comes across his never-acquainted cousin who also happens to be named Wally*** The two were given that moniker after their great-grandfather. Destiny, or perhaps the Speed Force, has ensured that Wally the second has also been hit by lightning. Wally-1 watches his cuz in action. Wally-2 is ecstatic over his good deed. This was simply a witnessing of a young hero in the making. The interaction was impossible.

Wally is finally reunited with his uncle-by-marriage, his idol, his ultimate hero: Barry Allen, the world’s greatest Flash!!! Barry can see his nephew as clear as day but remains puzzled by the visuals. It takes an enormous amount of effort for Wally to reach through. Barry snaps out of his rêverie. He takes a firm hold on Wally. FFFWWWAAASSSHHH!! Wally is restored!! He is flesh and bone once again. The duo are happily reunited.

DCU REBIRTH Barry & Wally

Barry’s regret in forgetting is minor. Wally is having difficulty remember his entire life. He tells his uncle that there is a greater force at play.  Wally continues to elaborate on the augmenting menace. The years lost were deliberate in an attempt to weaken the universe’s defenders.

DCU REBIRTH memory fleeting

The scene returns us to the Batcave. Batman gazes long and hard at his father’s letter now in one of his trophy cases. His line of sight is directed towards an unusual artifact: the smiley face button with the blood mark belonging to The Comedian!!! Wally relates that every single person is being watched.

DCU REBIRTH not amused

Fade to black.

 

Epilogue (6 pages)

Pencillers: Gary Frank & Ivan Reis

Inkers: Gary Frank & Joe Prado

Colorists: Brad Anderson & Hi-Fi

Earth, the hub of important events. The floating watch is broken and re-formed. The face turns to yellow. The third planet in the Solar System has been a fixation for many alien races as well as omnipotent individuals. Case in point: the dialogue between the invisibles states that reality can never be eradicated. The watch face morphs into the reverse image of the Comedian’s button. The Watchmen are coming to the DCU!!!

DCU REBIRTH tick-tock on the clock

DCU REBIRTH Watchmen cover

Geoff Johns has delivered the most resounding parting shot!! Reverberations, repercussions, and re-imaginings all spring from this!!! As I mentioned earlier, I pat myself on the back for resisting all douchey divulging. I went completely ballistic with this last-page reveal!! I almost had an aneurysm. It is extremely logical that the main character be Wally West. Hordes of fans, myself included, are elated to see him return. This is a definite parallel to Barry Allen’s return after CRISIS on INFINITE EARTHS. The major difference is that we only had to wait half a decade vs. twenty-three/four years. It has long been established that anyone tapped into the Speed Force can time-travel as well as cross dimensions and alter reality. Heavy stuff! Mr. Johns has perfectly capped his sixteen-year writing career with DC Comics. Admirers of WW were rabid in requesting Kid Flash’s comeback. He is the new tour guide, the bridge between pre- and post-New 52.

More commentaries.

Ch. 1: Call me dumb (pronounce the ‘b’) but aside from associating the watch with the fourth dimension, I didn’t clue in to its true intentional appearance. Again, kudos to me for not looking at any ruining done online. The last two panels on page 13 state the seriousness of the situation –reality has been tampered with an erasure of one whole decade. A perfectly logical explanation (and meta-commentary) justifies the initiative of The New 52 IRL and how it played out in the fictional DCU. The dark hand passing through the lighting is far more ominous that Krona’s. Barry didn’t mess up anything when creating the Flashpoint. A sinister someone decided to play god.

 

Ch. 2: Fan-faves JSA will grace the comic pages yet again. When exactly is unsure since EARTH 2: SOCIETY continues its run as far as August. Either way, this is an alternate reality. Johnny will reclaim his thunder (literally!) and he will be surrounded by his teammates once more.

The enigmatic blonde most likely is Saturn Girl since she is telepathic and would have prior knowledge of our time since she resides in the 31st century. Then again, it could also be Dream Girl since she has precognitive powers. Damn you, Geoff for inserting this ambiguity!!

The chapter lives up to its name with older, wiser, more experienced men passing the torch to the newer generation. One is a legitimate student with less than heroic aspirations whereas the other is an uneager apprentice already in super-hero skin.

I’m mildly shocked by the change in Aqualad’s sexuality. When introduced in BRIGHTEST DAY, he was hetero. Anyone can attest that in 2016, it’s irrelevant. Mr. Johns introduced this character six years ago. I applaud him for making this minor tweak. Jackson will have to deal with his mother’s lack of acceptance while honing his abilities.

Pandora’s vanishing epitomizes the eradication of the New 52. It’s clearer than any transparent surface. It seems fitting that the one responsible for creating a radical departure of a classic version be punished despite her eternal quest for atonement. The blemish has been removed.

 

Ch. 3: If you haven’t read JUSTICE LEAGUE #50 nor SUPERMAN #52, get on it!! Threads from those major issues carry over here. Grail is creepier than ever. She did a complete 360: she now lovingly dotes on her reborn father.

The inevitable re-matching of Ollie and Dinah warms many a heart, mine included. It definitely left a giant gap that these two never met in the New 52 except for the brief panels here.

Readers met Mr. Oz back in SUPERMAN #32. I’ll admit that I had to look up his info on the DC Wikia page. As a result, with the unveiling of the Watchmen’s inclusion, one can speculate that this is Ozymandias. The misguided mega-mind pondered the folly of his scheme at the end of WATCHMEN #12. Unlike a Watcher-like prescient, he is willing to readjust that which is out of synch. His presence does not bode well for the displaced Clark Kent and his family.

Wally makes a most pertinent observation: what was missing from the newer DCU was not ten years but LOVE!!! King Arthur of Atlantis realizes this. Hence asking Mera’s hand in marriage. This move is another move in the right direction, resulting in heaps of satisfaction from fans.

Linda Park is Wally’s better half in every single way!! The abstract concept that is love materializes in their relationship. She is an actual anchor to Wally when he traipses to places unknown. It is heart-wrenching and completely crushing that she is not the one to bring him back.

 

Ch. 4: Mr. Johns does some expert card shuffling. He balances the pre-determined settings with the more current or novel. The two vigilantes named Gotham will strike in next month’s BATMAN {3rd Series} #1. The Hellblazer and the Swamp Thing make an uneasy alliance. Wally West II will embark on his own path in TEEN TITANS {6th Series} #1.

The following nine pages are the crux of this entire issue. Barry is reacquainted with his former sidekick, worthy successor, and surrogate son. Love is a wonderful thing to quote Michael Bolton. The familial bonds between the two men are the impetus for Wally’s legitimate re-entry in comicdom. It’s touching and nerve-wracking.

Red skies have been replaced by black ones. This is more than a simple crisis. It is appropriate that the most hardened character in the DCU discover a contrasting shiny object in his lair. This is akin to the Joker’s M.O. and/or motif except that the Comedian is a whole other level of crazy.

 

Epilogue: Time is a river. It is ever flowing. Higher-dimensional beings are certainly adept at tweaking it. Reality is but a plaything and altering it is an erroneous justification. The clock points to 11:45, fifteen minutes before the halfway mark separating night and day.

DCU REBIRTH right or wrongDCU REBIRTH shaper of world

Man oh man!! This is the hottest potato. Alan Moore will have massive conniptions upon seeing this. The controversy from four years prior emerged with the BEFORE WATCHMEN mini-series. Mr. Moore lost the creative rights to his modern opus. Who’s more nervy: DC or Geoff Johns?? The institution has passed the eighty-year mark; the third-in-command is now heading to film writing and television management.

DCU REBIRTH Ozymandias

DCU REBIRTH Dr. Manhattan

All art masters involved made the entire story uninterrupted. There are obvious differences in the pencils but truth be told I find that the colours were superbly synchronous. The inks are all solid [natch!] The star of the show is Kid Flash. I enjoyed the several close-ups and the emotions conveyed. The crackling energy must have been an enjoyable challenge.

Nick J. Napolitano is a super-star in his own right. He gets sixty-six medals for his efforts. My abso fave was the “awesome” blurb on page 46.

The whipper-snapper only fulfilled part of his quest. Forces must unite against the overpowering evil. To say that we’ve entered a new age of interesting is a hyped understatement.

DCU REBIRTH Manhattan is mad

DCU REBIRTH Kid Flash red-dy for action

In acknowledgement of the infamous Watchmen clock, I give this book 11:55/12:00 [96.25%]

DCU REBIRTH bleeding time

Say hello to the best and brightest of the reborn DC Universe!!!

DCU REBIRTH new cast

Ginormous gratitude to my abso fave local comic shop!

Gotham Central ad 2015 feat. Deadpool

 

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