Megaspoilers ahoy.


Rebirth has been spoiled every which way and back again since Friday, with sites and Reddit threads and DC itself and whatnot more or less giving everything away that you might want to know.

I’ve actually read the thing now and aim to make sense of it all, especially for readers who may have become disenchanted with DC over the years. I’m not one of the disaffected, but I know plenty who are, so here goes:

1. The original Kid Flash returns. This has now been formally revealed by DC and it’s great to see Wally West back in what is one of the greatest costumes ever. It’s even explained how this Wally West can exist at the same time as the new Wally West and while it strains a tiny bit of credibility, it makes sense.


2. Legacy is huge. Where the New 52 tried to dispense with the past, Rebirth is neck deep in it. We’re going to have both Ray Palmer and Ryan Choi, Ted Kord and Jaime Reyes, mentors and proteges. Whether this means Palmer and Choi will both be called the Atom, or Kord and Reyes will each be the Blue Beetle, remains to be seen.


3. We know that the younger Wally West will be called Kid Flash. We don’t know what original Wally West will be called — but he will, WOO HOO! — be a member of the Titans.


From this glimpse of his new outfit, it just may end up looking something like this:


Which would be hilarious — and just fine by me.

4. The whole thing reads very much like a meta-commentary on DC, internally and externally. On the face of it, it’s a mea culpa — an understanding that the publisher has strayed too far from its roots. It also feels like an outright rebuke of Dan DiDio’s vision of the New 52. Whether that’s true or not, I actually think DiDio deserves a world of credit for trying something incredibly daring with the line in 2011. The dude tried. The execution? Well, that obviously varied.


5. Yes, Wonder Woman has a twin brother named Jason. And yes, as we’ve known for awhile now, pre-Flashpoint Superman will be Superman again. But there’s more to it than that, of course.



6. But Rebirth also seems to take shots at fans for being unforgiving while at the same time giving them what they seem to want, like promises that the Legion of Super-Heroes and the Justice Society will be back.

7. One of the biggest footprints on this book belongs to Dr. Manhattan — and by extension the whole Watchmen universe. We learn that these universes will merge in some fashion, and I’d wager that next year we’ll get some DC mega-event that will feature team-ups and showdowns and all sorts of controversial craziness. There’s no explanation for it, but DC does exist in a Multiverse, so…


8. I’m not deeply troubled by that idea, but as I noted in #4 and #5, there’s a weird undercurrent to the Watchmen angle. Rebirth seems to suggest — in a very meta and accurate way — that the DC Universe’s problems started with Watchmen. Not that there’s anything wrong with Watchmen, obviously, but it ushered in as many good developments in comics (mature storytelling when done well) as it did bad (poor, unnecessarily violent imitations when not). This is something I’ve argued when it comes to The Killing Joke (click here, if you dare).

9. In any event, do not think too hard about making sense of any of what you read in Rebirth, beyond the fun and welcome return of some old friends. Because if you start trying to figure out how it works, you’ll go mad. Thankfully, I’ve given up doing that sort of thing a long time ago. Making up your own continuity is the way to go. (Click here for more on that, if you dare.)

10. I think I’d forgotten that Aquaman and Mera weren’t married in the New 52.


11. I’m saving the whole Joker mystery for another column, so stay tuned for that. (UPDATED: For the full Joker “reveal” from Justice League #50 and Rebirth, click here. BUT YES THERE ARE SPOILERS!)

12. Word leaked that Aqualad was gay. Turns out it’s not Garth. It’s Jackson Hyde, the Aqualad fans know from Brightest Day and the cartoon Young Justice.


13. Oh, I forgot to tell you whether it was good or not. Yes, it was good. A little overwrought, but it was good. Read it.


DC Universe Rebirth #1 was written by Geoff Johns, with art by a whole load of people including Gary Frank, Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis and Phil Jimenez.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. They could call OldWally Flashpoint now – only meant half-serious but he does need a new name. And I think his comment on him and NuWally possibly being cousins could be literal, not metaphorical.

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  2. Lemme know when Superman shaves, gets rid of the kid and dons the red trunks again.

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  3. Re: #10: While I don’t think it was ever explicitly said Aquaman & Mera were married, it was certainly assumed by everyone that they were until the furor over the Batwoman team leaving after their long-planned end to a storyline where Batwoman was to marry another woman was abruptly nixed by those in charge at DC even though that end to the storyline had been okayed for some time prior. This had DC getting a big black eye which caused the spin to go “superheroes can’t get married because their superheroic activities put their spouse at too much risk” or some sort of BS like that. During that small firestorm it was explicitly said by management that Aquaman & Mera were not nor were they ever married.

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