So, after serveral crises, various retcons, universe- and timeline-shattering events here it is: DCs newest attempt to start fresh and different – and make sense of it all (but probably not).
Beware: This post contains some minor spoilers. But if you read the usual comic websites you will know most of the stuff anyway.
The last big DC event I read was Flashpoint. One of those time-shattering events, which was kind of OK on its own if it hadn’t started the whole »New 52« mess. Boy, what a stupid idea that was! I remember Green Lantern showing up in Justice League #1 and thought: »Oh, my god, this is the new 52? Introducing the Douchebag League of America!« Didn’t read much DC after that. They managed to ignore my favorites: No Wally West. No Legion of Super-Heroes. I read the cliffnotes of the big events – Villains Month, Forever Evil, The Multiversity, Convergence. But none of them could interest me in buying anything.
So why buy Rebirth #1? Well, I made the mistake of reading the cliffnotes again. And three points stood out: 1. The return of Wally West who had been absent from The New 52 so far (if you don’t count the new Wally West II, which I don’t, cause who’s that guy?). Yeah! 2. The return of the Legion of Super-Heroes. More Yeah! And 3. the idea, that the characters of Watchmen apparently occopy the New 52’s universe. WHAT! THE! FRICKIN! HELL!
Anyway, you can get Rebirth #1 for 2,69 Euro (2,99 US-Dollar) for 60 pages from Comixology, which is good enough to give it a shot. So I started reading and hit an all time low a few seconds later: I never despised anything in comics as much as the first nine panels of Rebirth #1! Look for yourself.
Within the DC universe a text like this coupled with the watch usually belongs to one of the speedsters. Maybe it’s Barry Allen speaking. Or it might even be Wally West? But: The whole framing of the 3×3 panels, the colors, the clock, all invoke memories of Watchmen. And that’s of course no coincidence, that’s deliberately. For a second I thought this could be Dr. Manhatten speaking. But then the texts would have been on a blue background. (So yes, this is Wally West reminiscing.)
Anyway, there aren’t many big events I like (Crisis on Infinite Earths, Underworld Unleashed, Sinestro Corps, Salvation Run, Infinite Crisis). Most of them suck donkey balls, someone dies, afterwards everything is supposed to be new and exiting. Except it isn’t. You just waste a lot of time and money on plotholes and logic-defying back-to-normal conclusions. Now they take one of the greatest comics of all time (probably the greatest) and tie it together with their stupid blockbuster event to correct their idiotic New 52 universe. What good can come of this? Dragging Watchmen down with you? Thank you very much.
After my initial outburst of anger and frustation, caused by nine small panels, the bottom of the page invites you to read two other issues before this one. I surely needed a break from Rebirth #1 and spend more money on Justice League #50 and Superman #52 (my regards to the marketing, that part worked out fine for DC). Both issues are ending the latest arcs of the respective series. And whoa, what the hell is going on? Superman’s dead again (the 52-version, don’t care). Another Superman is »back« to take his place (how convenient). Wonder Woman has a twin brother (ok). Another earth based Green Lantern (why don’t they just relocate their headquarters to Earth, seems way easier). There are three Jokers now (of course, considering all the mess with universes and timelines there are probably more than 50 hiding somewhere)? And Darkseid is now Baby Darkseid (because comics). Boy, there’s clearly a reason why I prefer comics like Fables, Chew or The Wicked & The Divine.
The rest of Rebirth #1 sets up the whole series. Apparently someone has messed with the universe and stole ten years from everybody. That’s what really started the New 52, so it isn’t Barry Allen’s fault. Wally West is the only one who knows about it and tries to contact some people, Batman, Linda Park, Barry Allen. Page by page the book gives you a summary of Wally West’s life and a rundown of what is going on in the DC universe. And not only Wally West is back, a legion flight ring promises the return of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Finally.
But, if your feelings towards at the first page of Rebirth #1 are similar to mine just wait till you read the last eight pages. You will HATE THEM.