Rebirth #1 Review: A Promise Of Hope


Does Rebirth instill new hope in not only the DC universe, but comic readers as well?

Rebirth, the kind of reboot that isn’t, hit store shelves today, and within the pages of it are contained some revelations that will rock the world of DC (specifically the universe of the New 52 that started in 2011) to its core. The universe of the New 52 was a dark place and dismissed or outright destroyed years of legacy within DC, and supposedly Rebirth aims to change that and as DC head Geoff Johns put it, “bring back hope, optimism and legacy” to DC. But does it succeed, and can new or lapsed readers pick it up without missing a beat?

First I think it’s important to establish where I, as a reviewer am coming into Rebirth. I was very into comics in my youth and into my early teens (though Marvel was easily my favorite, I definitely enjoyed a few DC comics here and there) and really due to comics being a pretty expensive hobby even 20+ years back, I kind of dropped off of them. But I still watched every comic-book based show and movie I could, good and bad, and kept up with a lot of major events.

Obviously coming into this position as site editor for the last couple of years and with the explosion of TV shows and movies in the last ten years or show that has been more the case, but while dabbling a little bit more and picking up trades here and there, I haven’t really kept up. So I come to Rebirth as someone with pretty good knowledge of the general events of the universe, but I couldn’t tell you what happened in Batman #48, or the end of the Darkseid War, or anything that wasn’t a massive event, because that’s always been a problem with comics in general. If you drop out of comics for awhile, how the hell do you get back in?


And in that aspect, I wouldn’t say Rebirth is really a comic for somebody who has never picked up a comic before. There’s just too much density, a requirement that yes, you do know this stuff somewhat and if you don’t, you better pick up these random comics we are referencing if you want to have any idea what is going on. Seriously, few things irk me more than a comic saying “Read issues X, Y, Z that explain this thing”. And Rebirth has an instance or two of that, which is a major flaw in my opinion. You are already trying to sell me on your new status quo and getting me to buy some of your comics based on that, many of which while having a cheaper price tag than before, are bimonthly, it seems in poor taste to try and get me to buy a couple of back issues as well (even if they are released in the same period).

That being said, I think most comic book fans, even lapsed ones like myself can pick up Rebirth and get some real enjoyment out of it, because it is an excellently told story. Rebirth is told from the point of the original Kid Flash, Wally West’s point of view. Ever since The New 52 started, he hasn’t been around. Turns out he was trapped in the speed force, and is on the verge of disappearing forever, unless he can reach out to someone and they can actually remember him.

But someone erased not just Wally West and any memory of him, but really most of the last 10 years before the New 52 took place. I won’t really get into the who and the why here, because frankly I don’t want to spoil everything.

I don’t feel qualified to get into specifics, but I really liked the look of Rebirth. The art has a great and exciting visual style that despite different teams working on each chapter, remains very consistent, and I really like the designs of the characters. There aren’t any drastic changes ro costumes, but they all evoke a classic look.

In closing, Rebirth #1,l like many line-wide mega events that change everything, is a promise. It’s a promise that there is a war coming that really might change everything, hopefully for the better. And I think it succeeds in that.

Rebirth #1 definitely evokes a feeling of hope and optimism, a drive to regain what we have lost in comics really ever since gritty and grim became the status quo and certain comics just kept doubling down on that. Whether or not DC can successfully return to that is anybody’s guess, but I feel like they have gotten off to a good start. My biggest quibble with Rebirth #1 is that for an entry point, it relies a little too much on prior comics knowledge for someone who doesn’t really know comics, but it is overall a great read and should get you potentially excited for where DC comics is going from here.

Final Score: 9/10