The DC Comics Rebirth event is starting today, and some shocking reveals are already coming down the pipeline. The event appears to be trying to find a balance between nostalgia and progress, and for now it seems to have DC fans pretty excited. One place that Rebirth is playing up the balance between progression and nostalgia is in its marketing. A Rebirth splash page has been revealed that is a definite throwback to days gone by, even though it acknowledges some more modern parts of the DC lineup.
The Rebirth splash page bears a pretty strong resemblance to the art used in the “Drawing the Line at $2.99” campaign back in 2010, as well as other classic group shots created by José Luis García-López. The group shot was illustrated by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Hi-Fi, and features both classic heroes (with the “Big Three” right up front) and newer additions such as Super-Man Kenan Kong, Green Lantern Jessica Cruz and the recently revived Wally West.
One notable difference from the darker tone of a lot of DC offerings as of late is that just about everyone in the Rebirth splash page is smiling. Even Batman sports a bit of a grin — which is a major departure from the “always serious and brooding” reputation that Bats has acquired in recent years. Rebirth is supposed to be about “optimism and legacy,” and that’s captured pretty well in this new art.
Much like the new DC logo, this page is obviously trying to remind fans of the time before the New 52 without quite writing it off. Not all fans loved the new logo, though, so it’ll be interesting to see whether they like this figurative step back to a previous age. There’s obviously going to be a lot revealed in Rebirth and the DC universe moving forward and this is just a single splash page, but if fans don’t embrace the nostalgia then it could mean that the team at DC has its work cut out for it.
Not everyone will like the changes that are in store for DC Comics as a result of Rebirth. Not everyone liked the New 52 either, and it seems that DC is trying to correct perceived issues without acting as though the New 52 stories never happened. With any luck, DC will have learned the right lessons from the last few years and will find the balance it needs while still being able to tell the stories that it wants to tell.
“DC Universe: Rebirth” #1 hits stores on May 25. It is written by DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, with illustrations by Ivan Reis, Gary Frank, Ethan Van Sciver, and Phil Jimenez