DC Comics has announced that in June they will be doing another line wide soft reboot.
This publishing initiative is being called “Rebirth” and is once again attempting to reset the DC Universe. A lot of the controversy surrounding this announcement is that this is happening less than 5 years after DC Comics launched the New 52.
At first we were literally presented with a teaser of the following:
Ok, so my initial reaction to the teaser was literally:
I’m not proud of that. I’ve tried to not jump on the internet hate bandwagons for a while now, but this brought it out. It seemed too soon. Plus, with the mixed feelings I have for the New 52 (that’s a whole other article), it felt like they were scrapping it and starting over again. In my defense, DC has a history of rebooting, so I feel like precedent was on my side here.
Now that announcements have been made and we have more information I thought I would go through and detail my thoughts on the DC Rebirth before it launches in June. A follow up will probably follow this once the books start to come out.
I feel that the best way to organize this is to go through the solicitations for June and break things down that way.
I’m gonna be biased on this one. DC is apparently bringing back Post-Crisis, Pre-New 52 Superman. This is the Superman that I grew up reading. Now, I like New 52 Superman and Grant Morrison established some really cool things with him, but I had 25 years with this version and naturally, I’m more invested in this version of the character. Developing the character as they did to where he and Lois finally get married and now have a child is something that I felt was lost during the New 52 transition. I’ll concede that that may be due to my age and it may not appeal to younger readers. That’s understandable.
I look forward to this character returning and am trying to get caught up on Lois & Clark so I can be up to speed with what they’ve been doing with him. Likewise, I’m apprehensive about the fate of the New 52 Superman during The Final Days of Superman storyline. Not crazy about the new costume for Superman, but am on board for the return of the classic “S” shield as I detailed earlier on here. Didn’t really expect them to bring back the shorts, but I’m not a fan of the “non-belts” that have been showing up in costume designs lately.
On the fence about Luthor having super powers since the year he starred in Action a while back left a bad taste in my mouth. Interested to see what they do with the Chinese New Super-Man. The potential is here to tell some new kinds of stories.
Scott Snyder is off of Batman. That’s a bummer, but no one stays on these books forever. He is getting his new All-Star Batman book with JRJR though. Hopefully this lives up more to the standard of All-Star Superman and not All-Star Goddamned Batman and Robin the Boy Retard. BTW, for the record, Frank Miller’s words, not mine:
Tom King is the new writer on Batman. Hear good things about Grayson, but haven’t been reading it. Batman is one of those characters that bring out the best in creators so I’m on board until he has Batman fight Orca and Banner. The new character on the cover with a “G” on his chest is apparently named Gotham. Be interesting to see what his deal is. James Tynion IV on Detective should be good as I liked what he’s done so far.
It’s going to take a lot for me to pick up an Aquaman book again. I feel it’s time for a dramatic reinvention of a lot of the tropes of the character. Something needs to be done to make Atlantis interesting. Is an Aquaman who is on land all the time, really an Aquaman?
Art looks good, but I haven’t been keeping up with Flash since the start of the New 52. Not really sure why I should pick it up now.
Green Lantern Books:
Hal has always been the least interesting aspect of Green Lantern for me. To see some other Lanterns take center stage may be worth reading, but I’m not really familiar with them, so we’ll see.
Green Arrow Book:
Haven’t read Green Arrow regularly since the Brightest Day series. Liked the initial concept of the New 52 version, but wasn’t enough to keep me reading. Not sure what would bring me back here.
Wonder Woman Book:
Seems odd that Greg Rucka is coming back for this. Don’t get me wrong, I like his writing and have stood in line at a convention to meet him, but it feels like a step backward. Also seems like the time to introduce a second monthly title, especially with the movie approaching. I know they are doing the digital first Legend of Wonder Woman, but you know what I mean. What I’ve gathered about the story indicates to me that they are undoing some of the things established in the New 52 run. Azzarello’s run has appeared to be universally loved. That makes this change seem almost petty. Like the new creative team is coming in all “No, that’s not what we wanna do!” Again, making this series feel like a step backward not forward.
Hey, Donna Troy is in this. If ever there were a character that exemplified streamlining and smooth continuity, it’s her!
My overall impressions are that this seems closer to what DC would have done for the New 52 reboot if they had adequate time to plan it. Like the New 52 relaunch, I don’t expect much to change here. Hopefully, things are planned out better this time so we get a smoother transition. Returning Action and Detective to their former numbering is buying a lot of goodwill with me right now. It’s a move I expected since they renumbered those titles and this is as good a time as any to do it.
Making so many of the series bi-weekly is an interesting move. Instead of 4 Batman core titles, technically there are just 2, but they still get the sales of 4 books. Probably more since Batman fans will pick up Batman and Detective before another Gotham Knights or Shadow of the Bat. If they are really committed to keeping the price point down though, everyone should be happy with this.
Noticing too that it seems like none of the pre-existing logos are changing. Visually, it would be an effective way to differentiate the titles from the previous volumes, and that usually happens. Of course, they may just be using these logos for the solicitations and previews and the physical books will have revised logos.
I’m a little disappointed that we aren’t getting a clear cut off schedule wise from the previous series like we got with the start of the New 52. Justice League and other titles have fallen behind so those books will be continuing when the Rebirth books launch. Hopefully, the overlap doesn’t effect those books negatively.
Realizing that a lot of this may seem negative, but I really am interested in seeing what DC does with this. The reality is that I don’t pick up every book DC publishes, and I’m not going to now. Couldn’t afford it even if I wanted to, like most readers.
Still, hopeful for what comes out of this.