Wednesday, May 25, 2016

DC Universe Rebirth #1

   After five years of the "New 52," DC has finally admitted that the reboot was (mostly) a mistake.

   They haven't admitted it in so many words, of course - but DC Universe Rebirth makes it obvious.

   Written by Geoff Johns, the story hinges on the idea that the DC universe is broken - cut off from its origins, its legacy - its heart and soul. (I will not argue with that.)

   The "New 52" included some good stories, but far too many moved away from the core of the characters, stripping away the Teen Titans, the Flash Family, Superman's supporting cast, the Legion of Super-heroes and on and on. In the attempt to be new and edgy, it jettisoned too much of the backstory on its characters - some of the things that made them so popular in the first place.

   It's the same problem we've seen with the films Man of Steel and Batman v Superman - and Rebirth is an attempt to correct the course of the DC Universe.

   (By the way, I can't urge you strongly enough to try to avoid spoilers here.)

   The story starts and ends with a mystery narrator, and brings back a classic (and much-missed) character to jump-start the change that's rippling across the DC Universe - one that hearkens back to the event that started the New 52, Flashpoint.

   The story is like a wonderful Easter Egg hunt, as we touch base with characters long-missing (some I thought were dead) - we get a quick update on others and we witness an emotional, heartfelt reunion.

   The twist at the end is a genuine shock (a true rarity in comics) and suggests a new dynamic for the entire company - and boy, does it need it!

   I have no idea if "Rebirth" is going to work (New 52 certainly didn't). I applaud the change in tone, I think they're on the right track - but I don't like the idea of twice-monthly comics (even at $2.99 per issue), and some of the ads in the back of the issue leave me cold. But others show great promise!

   I'm hopeful that it will work. I didn't last long with the "New 52" - by the end, I was only buying Batman and Flash (more out of nostalgia than anything) and the Justice League. I'd like to buy more - and I hope to give many of the new issues a try - but the company has some ground to make up and good will to earn back.

   This is just the first step - but it's a good start.

 Grade: A



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