Spoiler Warnings On
I got back into comics about five years ago with the Flashpoint event in DC Comics. Watching the various alternate stories play out as the result of the Flash trying to save his mother from dying was something that intrigued me and sparked my interest in reading about these characters. So, I started reading the DC’s New 52 and would pick up and drop titles as I searched for that spark that I wanted out of my super heroes.
I will be honest. For awhile, I was just happy reading these stories again. It was nice to be transported to the world of the Justice League, Green Lantern, and the Legion of Super Heroes. Time passed and the Legion was canceled and titles came and went. I kept reading but the amount dropped as I realized what I really want in my comic reading.
I wanted my super heroes to have a core of hope, joy, and light. This was missing from what I was reading and it made me sad.
DC Universe: Rebirth brings my comics reading full circle. It reaches back to the Flashpoint event and moves forward through what has passed and charts a new path. It made me so happy to have read it and it makes me look forward to the new books coming out.
This books pulls out Wally West, Kid Flash, who has been missing from the DC Universe since Flashpoint. We learn that Wally has been trapped in the speed force as he was traveling through time when Flashpoint occurred and this caused him to lose his anchor to reality. It opens as he is struggling to find a connection to this new world to allow him entry. We watch as Wally visits and the different people of the DC Universe that in the hopes of finding the one that remembers him so that he may live again and warn them of the coming danger.
I loved this book!
First, we get Kid Flash back. I will never call myself a Flash fan but I always liked Kid Flash. I loved the relationship that was built up between Wally and Barry over time and how when Barry died in Crisis Wally took up the mantle. This feeling of a continuation of the name despite the person behind the mask changing was something that resonated with me and I felt that the rest of the DC Universe could benefit from this. It was the ideal that the other characters needed to emulate. In particular, I like that this book does not assume that you know everything about Kid Flash. It does an excellent job of giving you the basics behind the character as well as how he ended up in this place to begin with.
Next, This books gives a glimpse of things to come. As Wally is trying to find that connection we get to see several of the heroes as they begin their journey into Rebirth. Each of these little vignettes gives a nice introduction to the continuing story arc that will be occurring in these new titles while giving a great sampling of the characters that will be making an appearance. I was so happy to see that we would be getting both the old Blue Beetle and the New Blue Beetle in rebirth. I enjoyed the playful attitude that was always present in the Ted Kord character but also enjoyed the new character design and youthful perspective of Jaime Reyes. The new Kid Flash and Aqualad also give me hope that DC is going to try and work harder at providing a more diverse hero in Rebirth.
This book also hits one right in the feels at several points throughout. These are times when Wally drop out of the speed force to attempt to reconnect with someone he knows. There are lots of these throughout but a few that are punches to the gut. When he drops in to see Johnny Thunder, I was heartbroken. Johnny is in an old folks home and being treated like a demented fool. Wally asks him to find the Justice Society and to use the Thunderbolt. Johnny’s answer is that is what he has been trying to do for a long time. Just…damn. I love the Justice Society and seeing the happiest of that team struggling so much just hit me right in the heart. This happens again when Wally goes to meet Linda, the woman he loves and has been his anchor so many times before. He appears before her and she has no clue who he is. The anguish of lost love is just crushing.
Finally, the villain of this piece and going forward is wonderful. This book opens and closes with a watch and some text. If you are a fan of Watchman, you will recognize the imagery and the text. It is taken from the story of Doctor Manhattan. All we get to see in these pieces are the watch pieces. They are either working or being put back together on Mars. Throughout the book there are hints as to Watchman being brought into the DC Universe as a whole. We get to see as Pandora accuses an off-screen villain of trying to destroy hope before she is killed in the same manner that Doctor Manhattan kills people in Watchmen. There is also the introduction of Mr. Oz who speaks to Superman and The Comedian’s button appearing in the Batcave. All signs point to Doctor Manhattan as the big bad of Rebirth without ever showing his face.
Like I said. I love this book. It has beautiful art throughout. Each artist does an excellent job of catching the feeling of things lost and things regained with skill and panache. Each panel does an excellent job of communicating the story and the energy that this book is trying to generate. The story is well written and draws you in with its emotional overtones of love, loss, and hope. Each of the characters we meet has a story that I want to know more about and see how it plays out. I want to see more of the new Green Lantern, Kid Flash, and Aqualad. I want to know more about how Wally West integrates back into a world that doesn’t remember him. I want to see Hope, Love, and Legacy be a thing in DC Comics again and it looks like that this is the promise of rebirth.
Four bear paws out of four for DC Universe: Rebirth. And, at only $2.99, a cheap way to get back into DC books as they start a new storyline.