Your favorite heroes are going to be experiencing some growing pains this season, as DC Comics prepares for yet another revamp of its major titles, and a look at the legacy that has made them legends of today…and tomorrow.
This spring the DC Comics Universe will once again get a major overhaul! DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns has gone on the record to confirm that the publishing imprint’s latest relaunch will not be another “reboot.” No cataclysmic event, not an earth-shattering evil scheme by an all-powerful overload — this time the changes will be more subtle. Fans have a “Rebirth” waiting in the wings.
After the mixed reviews the last major reinvention of the brand received, perhaps this time it’s a more sensible stance to take things a little lightly. In 2011 The New 52 introduced readers to an entirely redesigned and reexamined history of the DC Universe. All of the major characters were reintroduced as more contemporary versions of their previous incarnations, and existed in a world where heroes are regarded with fear and suspicion.
All the major tentpole heroes including Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman had only begun their crusade, joining forces in a newly formed Justice League to repel the warmongering conqueror Darkseid. Since the reboot, the multiverse has also been reestablished, and after a seismic “Convergence” the events of the first “Crisis” (which celebrated its 30th anniversary) were effectively erased.
For the last year, most of the centrifugal heroes in the pantheon have had their existences turned upside down. After discovering a new “super power” — the ability to light up like a nova — Superman effectively lost most of his abilities and has been rendered practically mortal. Batman challenged his greatest enemy to an “endgame” and paid the ultimate price. Now Bruce Wayne has no memory of his career as the Dark Knight, and Wonder Woman…is the God of War.
Their storylines are all now coming to a head as most of the still running original titles that were launched at the beginning of The New 52 will be entering into a final arc as they (mostly) all hit issue #52. And what comes next is what Johns and the creative team are hailing as the “Rebirth” of the DC Comics continuity. It will all begin with an 80-page one-shot special appropriately entitled DC Universe Rebirth that will be penned by Geoff Johns.
Johns was responsible for the “rebirth” launches of both fan favorites Green Lantern and The Flash helping to reintegrate Hal Jordan and Barry Allen back into the continuity after both characters had been effectively removed and killed in defining story arcs. Geoff Johns intention is to help reignite the legacy of which these character were built upon. All the major players will be reinterpreted in each of their on Rebirth Specials.
With the exception of some titles like Action Comics and Detective Comics who will be reassuming their classic renumbering and resume an anthology style of storytelling, rumored to also begin to publish twice-monthly, all other titles will be relaunched with brand new issue #1, or otherwise conclude their arcs, to be replaced with all-new titles. Some old favorites will be returning including Nightwing and the Titans, while Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps return.
Faithful readers will be happy to see Superman suit up in the familiar cape, and Batman reassume his cape and cowl. The Justice League will return to full-force, and expect some major shake-ups within the Teen Titans and Suicide Squad, the latter of which will be moving into the spotlight with the release of a major motion picture this summer following the titanic showdown between DC’s two biggest stars.
However this “Rebirth” is spun, the hope is that the titles will give creatives a bigger sandbox to play in and that our heroes’ lives will remain as engaging and compelling in their adventures especially as the playing field expands into the various multimedia. Both Arrow and The Flash continue to entice viewers bringing comic books to life, and inspiring The CW network to spin-off once more with a third series DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
With DC Comics superheroes on the big screen, and in primetime, it is time that in the comics their heroic journey continue its epic climb. “Rebirth” may reshape some of our most favorite and classic characters, but it promises to pay homage to the rich history — the legacy — that inspires us all to imagine leaping tall buildings in a single bound, continue to look up to the stars, and seek justice.