For several weeks, comic book fans have been speculating about a mysterious DC Comics event called “Rebirth.” While some believe it will be part of yet another line-wide reboot of the DC Universe continuity, after the mixed reception of the New 52 relaunch, creators have continued to insist this is not the case, and another full revamp of their favorite characters isn’t in the cards.
Now, DC chief creative officer Geoff Johns has stepped up in a new video to officially explain what Rebirth is actually about, which you can check out above.
In the video, Johns describes the event as a successor to his earlier series Green Lantern: Rebirth and The Flash: Rebirth, before launching into extended praise of the DCU’s sense of legacy and history. While not revealing exactly what Rebirth will actually entail, Johns does speak about the need to “get back to what we loved” about the DCU and its heroes. He then closes with the reveal that the 80-page one-shot special kicking off the event on May 25 — “DC Universe: Rebirth” — will open with a mysterious narrator stating: “I love this world. But there is something missing.”
While that’s cryptic enough to mean just about anything, interviews with Johns (via CBR), along with a closer look at the visual clues in the video help to paint a more specific picture — though one with plenty of room for interpretation. This is particularly true given the Green Lantern and Flash Rebirth storylines shared the idea of aligning their title characters more with the original Silver Age versions of them, while also correcting elements widely perceived to be missteps in their respective histories. While there are bound to be some surprises, the video and titles feel crafted to get fans thinking about the restoration of missing pieces to DC’s long and complicated continuity.
For the last several years following the Flashpoint crossover event, the DC heroes have existed in a “refreshed” continuity collectively referred to as the New 52 Universe. This event rebooted the iconic characters to younger versions of themselves with their respective backstories streamlined, stripped-down, and rewritten to reflect their only having existed for a relatively short period of time. The event also shifted most of the DC “Multiverse” back into limbo. While it’s unlikely the Rebirth initiative will simply erase The New 52, it does seem more plausible the strategy will offer a line-wide push to revive fan-favorite books, restore lost characters, and return portions of the missing legacy to the backgrounds of various heroes.
Observant fans will note the video announcement prominently features the Silver Age debut issues for various characters among its graphics, along with name and image-drops for Birds of Prey, The Justice Society, and The Legion of Superheroes — all characters whose histories are strongly tied to areas of the DC Universe frequently reshaped or tossed out due to associations with Multiverse continuity or time travel. A promotional image for the event features what looks like The Flash standing at the forefront of a lineup of characters that appears to include Superboy, Supergirl, a female Green Lantern (possibly Jade?), either the Green or Red Arrow, and the Golden Age (or Earth 2) Flash — which could itself be another clue. Historically, The Flash has been a key player in DCU-reboot events, with The Multiverse itself being introduced in a Flash story, Crisis on Infinite Earths, featuring the death of Barry Allen and Flashpoint ending the original Universe to create The New 52.
Following DC Universe: Rebirth’s release in May, multiple books across the line will undergo major changes, either being replaced entirely by new series or relaunching with new #1 issues. The exceptions to this will be Superman’s Action Comics and Batman’s Detective Comics, which will return to their original numbering count starting with #957 and #934, respectively — which, if held to, will allow DC to officially publish landmark “1,000th issues” for both books a few years from now.
Screen Rant will have more details regarding DC Universe: Rebirth as they are made available.