I was a DC Comics super-fan. Green Lantern was my favorite superhero, followed closely by Superman and Batman; Crisis on Infinite Earths blew my mind and Geoff Johns and Grant Morrison were, in my opinion, the greatest comic book writers on the planet. So when DC announced in 2011 that it was rebooting the entire DCU, I was totally on board – they could do no wrong in my book.
Then the “New 52” happened…
Look, DC’s “New 52” wasn’t the worst. But it also was nowhere near DC’s best, either. Besides Geoff John’s incredible finish to his Green Lantern run, Grant Morrison’s epic Action Comics and Batman, Incorporated arcs, and a couple other honorable mentions (anything by Geoff Johns; The Flash by Francis Manupul and Brian Buccellato; Batman by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo), the “New 52” just fell…flat. A lot of this stemmed from the fact that it seemed like every time you turned around, there was another “New 52” cross-over event happening. A lot of it was also due to DC’s editorial keeping the writers on a short leash, and having an incredibly high turnaround on any comic that wasn’t helmed by Geoff Johns or Grant Morrison.
Mostly, though, the “New 52” just failed to grasp what made DC Comics great. So this DC fanboy stopped his subscriptions, tried in vain to enjoy Robert Venditti’s run on Green Lantern (to be fair, he seems to have finally found his footing), and decided that if he wanted to read DC, digging into the collected editions of DC comics past was the best way to go. As far as new comics were concerned, Marvel became my go-to.
DC Comics had lost their touch. And from what I heard, their “DC You” initiative didn’t go so well, either.
By this point you’re asking yourself, “Ok, what does any of that have to do with DC Rebirth?”
Here you go, you filthy animals: DC Rebirth has officially got me excited about DC Comics again. DC Rebirth has officially got this fan-boy all fan-boyed-up. I’m chomping at the bit. I’m constantly drafting and editing and re-drafting my new pull-list for my local comic shop, just to make sure I’m getting all I can get of DC Rebirth.
When I first came across the news that DC Comics was yet again rebooting their universe (even though they strictly said it wasn’t a reboot, I knew), I just shook my head. When I saw that picture of the blue curtain with REBIRTH written on it, I shook my head. There was no way this would be good.
On a whim, I picked up DC Comics’ Previews magazine covering April through June of 2016. I figured since it was free, it was a safe way to prove that my preconceived notions of DC Rebirth were on the money.
Turns out I was wrong. I can’t wait for DC Rebirth!
WHAT IS DC REBIRTH?
Before I go any further, I just want to say: do yourself a favor and go pick up a copy of DC Comics Previews right away. It’s awesome.
Ok, so: What is DC Rebirth? To best answer that, I’ll share what Geoff Johns wrote in the letter that opens the April – June 2016 issue of Previews:
“As the writer of Green Lantern: Rebirth and The Flash: Rebirth, the word “Rebirth” has come to mean something very important to me. It’s not a brand or a marketing tool; it never has been. To me, “Rebirth” is about how to approach mythology – about how to honor and celebrate the characters and their respective universes and embrace the values they embody. It’s about the past, the present and most importantly, the future...And if we were going to do a “Rebirth” across the DC Universe, we needed to take a hard look at where it was now. And a “Rebirth” starts with bringing something back that’s been missing…For the DC Universe…it’s about the intrinsic values of what DC Comics and its universe stand for. That’s epic storytelling. That’s legacy and honoring the past, while moving it all to the future. That’s hope.”
WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT DC REBIRTH?
Beginning with DC Universe: Rebirth #1, which hits stands May 25th, 2016, “the original [DCU] evolves by mixing traditional values and a modern aesthetic.” Johns explains that the themes of the issue are split into four chapters: Loss, Legacy, Love, and Life. It seems that these themes permeate the entire Rebirth re-boot (oops, I mean re-vamp) going forward, not just the DC Universe issue.
One of the first things that is different about Rebirth is that most, if not all, of DC’s titles will be shipping twice-monthly. For example: on June 8, The Flash: Rebirth #1 will be released, while on June 22, The Flash #1 will hit stands. That’s two Flash issues in one month! Awesome, right?
I know what you’re thinking. “Sure, but it’s not going to be awesome on my wallet.” Wrong. Here’s another thing that is different and awesome about Rebirth: DC’s titles will be fixed at a $2.99 price point. Not bad at all! I love Marvel, but man do they gouge my wallet. It’s nice to see DC making an effort to meet the fans we’re we are at, wallet-wise.
Last but not least, another great thing about Rebirth is that DC’s titles will be spear-headed by some AWESOME creative teams. Just check some of these out:
- Batman by Tom King and David Finch
- Superman by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
- Aquaman by Dan Abnett and Brad Walker
- The Flash by Joshua Williamson and Carmine Di Giandomenico
- Green Lanterns by Sam Humphries and Robson Rocha
- Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka and Liam Sharp
- Hal Jordan & the Green Lantern Corps by Robert Venditii and Ethan Van Sciver
Personally, the books I’m most excited for (besides The Flash, both Green Lantern books, and Superman by Tomasi and Gleason) are Trinity by writer and artist Francis Manupul, and All-Star Batman by Scott Snyder and a roster of artists including John Romita Jr., Jock, Declan Shalvey, Tula Lotay, Sean Murphy, and others.
There’s a lot more about DC Rebirth that is awesome and has me excited about the coming months. Let me finish by saying this: DC’s mythology has, in my mind, always been the draw for me and for many other fans. DC dropped the ball with the “New 52” and “DC You” in terms of mythology, and if Geoff Johns’ words are any indication, I think they realize that. I think DC is starting to realize what it is that set them apart from Marvel, and they’re owning it now.**
I for one can’t wait until May 25th and the new Number One issues coming out in the months that follow. Make mine DC Rebirth!
**Case and point: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. That movie was pure DC goodness, through and through – I don’t care what anybody says. DC made a serious, grown-up comic book movie with a great plot, amazing visuals, and incredible characterization, and they didn’t spoon-feed anything to the audience; they also didn’t just rework a specific comic book issue or graphic novel – they took inspiration, paid homage, but allow the characters to grow and not just be cardboard cut-outs of their comic counterparts. I think BvS is hands down the best comic book film ever, but that’s just me. Bring it on, Captain America: Civil War, you’ve got a bat-shaped shadow looming over you…