My Week In Comics: DC Rebirth #1
Spoilers for DC Rebirth #1 ahead. You have been warned.
I haven’t read a mainstream superhero DC comic in a long time that I can think of. Oh, several years back I was super into Nightwing and was pretty into Green Lantern for a while, but that’s been a while. I was always a much bigger fan of Marvel books (X-men especially) and I got completely lost by DC in the post Infinite Crisis world. I read some of it, but then it felt like it was followed very quickly by Final Crisis. And then by Flashpoint five years ago. It seemed like too many reboots too quickly. I didn’t know anything about the characters anymore because they had tried to create one true canon. The buzz around DC Rebirth, though, was something interesting to me. It wasn’t about how crazy it would be, but on how they were trying to set things right.
Whatever that means. Which is a bunch more #1s. Anyway, I was willing to give it a try and I’m glad I did. DC Rebirth #1 is Wally West’s story. West was Kid Flash and then the third Flash. When I was most active reading DC books, he was the Flash, but he had been written out in recent years from what I can tell in favor of Barry Allen, who had caused the Flashpoint event and rewritten the world after killing the Reverse Flash. I am telling you this because I have spent a lot of time trying to figure it out. Basically, it amounts to ‘the world was reset by magic’. So, through magic Wally West was deleted by the world because Barry Allen forgot (or, as it seems, was made to forget) certain things when he rebuilt the world, one of them his former sidekick and heir. Which is a weird thing to forget. Anyway, Wally spends most of the comic trying to escape from the Speed Dimension by getting someone to remember him so he can be pulled back in the world. Which I guess is how that works? Has this been pre-established? It sounds a lot like a deus ex machine to me. Anyway, that’s fine, it’s a comic and we are resetting the world for the 52nd time in the last ten years. Anyway, it’s a well written book and the big crescendo of Allen remembering West actually caught me in a way that I didn’t expect. It does a lot of showing you people and implying some things (apparently Superman is dead but there is a different Superman and maybe the dead Superman isn’t Superman, anyway), but it doesn’t do much to fill in those like myself that are behind. But, hey, we’re rebooting so I’m giving it a go. I’m not going to tell you who the person that influenced West in reconstructing the world is, but it’s a neat reveal if you didn’t have it already spoiled for you. I’m not sure how many of the Rebirth books (I guess we couldn’t do a Newer 52) I will read, but this is a good start, I think. It feels more personal by using the point of view of Wally West than a world reset could. Now, if the other books keep that tone, I suppose we will see. I just hope they let this reality breathe for more than five years before Aquaman pulls the plug in the bottom of the ocean causing the world to be sucked into an alternate reality and each of the two versions of each character has to fight the other to determine the true version. At least until the next time.