Warning: Spoilers ahoy me hearties!
Legends aren’t just made, they are born from tradition, myths and a rather large measure of hero worship, and they come in many forms and from many generations. King Arthur and his loyal Knights, Jason and the Argonauts and our own modern day equivalents – Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and more, comic book heroes are the 21st century equivalent of the Greek Gods of Olympus, or the Norse Gods of Asgard, they are modern day myths, allegorical tales of strength and justice, but also reflect mankind’s inherent weaknesses and immorality.
There is though a significant difference between the legends and myths of yore and our very own Superheroes of modern day, the time-honoured legends of yesteryear, like say, the aforementioned King Arthur, are very much set in stone, changing very little throughout the centuries. Yet in this modern age of technological wizardry, which is advancing at incredible speeds (in fact, we have advanced more technologically in the past fifty years than in our entire history!) our own legendary comic book heroes, such as the Batman have been forced to advance along with us, changing constantly (though importantly keeping what makes them unique at the core) not remaining stagnant like their belles-lettres forebears.
DC Comics, that fine purveyor of modern day myths and legends, have become synonymous with the reboot, it is something they have done on many occasion throughout their eighty plus years of publishing. Rebirth, though resembling a classic DC ‘Crisis’ style reboot is less of a revamp but more of a restructuring of its archetypal characters and universe. Coming just five years after the ‘New 52’ reset, which relaunched the entire line of DC’s comics with 52 new #1’s, Rebirth retains the New 52 universe, everything that happened to the characters during the past five years since the reboot stand true, though radical changes loom on the horizon.
The story of Rebirth itself harkens back and weaves its way into to the 2011 ‘Flashpoint’ crossover series. Flashpoint showed an altered DC Universe, with Barry Allen (The Flash) seemingly the only hero to realise that somehow history had been changed. In this universe Barry has no powers, Batman is actually Bruce Wayne’s father Thomas Wayne and countless other paradoxes, with no explanation as to how or why this had happened.
Rebirth reunites us with a character who was wiped from the timeline during such a paradox, the original Wally West – Kid Flash. Trapped in the speed force, all memory of him lost to friends, family and foe alike, but after the events detailed in the recent Justice League #50 (a must read if you intend to follow the Rebirth story) the door in the timeline that he was trapped behind opens for the briefest of times, allowing Wally the chance to return to the world and warn everyone of a mysterious entity who altered the very fabric of time during the Flashpoint, ultimately relieving every being of ten years of history, gone… in a flash.
It is of course the reveal of the entity itself that is without a shadow of a doubt,the coolest thing about Rebirth. This enigmatic character is probably comic’s most powerful being, one who existed in a completely parallel universe to the heroes and villains of the DCU.
The above image will probably bring a huge smile to your face if you’re in anyway a big fan of DC Comics, it is an earth shattering and iconic moment for comic books, Geoff Johns, the real architect behind Rebirth has confirmed that the characters and events of Alan Moore’s seminal Watchmen series will be merged into ongoing DC continuity. Imagine it, Rorschach and Batman, coexisting, in the same time and space!
The Rebirth has begun my comic collecting cohorts, and will, absolutely, be a major event in comics’ history. Follow along with the expanding storyline that begins with ‘DC Universe Rebirth #1’ (available right now) and continues on throughout all the major monthlies and beyond into continuous DC Universe continuity.