DC Universe Rebirth #1 comes with a bold personal guarantee from DC’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, “If anyone wants to check out comics, wants to check out ‘DC Universe: Rebirth’ #1 and doesn’t like it, they can mail (the comic book) to Warner Bros., to me, and I will send them a check, I literally will, for both postage and for the book. I will buy all these books back because I believe in this issue a lot. I think it’ll do very well. I hope it does well. But I seriously will, I’ll buy back this book.”
This story is told entirely from the perspective of pre-New 52 Wally West, the third Flash. Wally has been trapped within the Speed Force since the time rupture that occurred when Barry Allen travelled back in time to save his mother from being murdered, inadvertently causing the Flashpoint event that gave birth to the New 52.
In order for West to return to Earth, he needs to make an emotional connection with someone who remembers that he existed. He has to convince one of his old friends that there is a force at work, more powerful than Darkseid, that has robbed them all of 10 years and has rewritten reality. If West fails to make a connection and establish an emotional anchor, he will be absorbed by the Speed Force and become part of the energy that empowers future speedsters. Every attempt he makes to cross dimensional boundaries drains West physically and weakens his spirit.
In the interest of spoiler free review, all I’ll say about the final reveal of the issue is that it’s a biggie, guaranteed to generate heat.
I was very impressed that Johns made no apologies for the New 52. Instead, he took an opportunity to reconnect with the history and legacy of the DC universe, while acknowledging within the story plot that something has been very wrong and needs to be corrected. He’s provided us with all the setup required to get back to an era of hope and optimism that used to define the DC Universe.
DC Universe Rebirth #1, released May 25, 2016, writer: Geoff Johns, artists: Gary Frank, Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis, Phil Jimenez, ink: Joe Prado, Matt Santorelli, color: HI-FI, Brad Anderson, Gabe Eltaeb, letters: Nick J. Napolitano.
Review by Brendan Allen.