When word of Flashpoint broke I was excited. When the New 52 started I was skeptical. I read a few issues and decided it wasn’t for me. Geoff Johns once said in a Wizard World Chicago panel, “Everyone has continuity when you meet them. That doesn’t stop you from getting to know them.” He lived by that and made the DC Universe a living breathing being. Then he murdered that being and scattered its ashes. He tried to clone it like Jurassic Park, but what came out was more like Bizarro. Some things were similar (some were exactly the freaking same, yes I’m looking at you Batman and Green Lantern), some things were wildly different (Superman!). Maybe he had a plan. Maybe he didn’t.

dcr3Perhaps it is no coincidence that the New 52 ended fifty-two issues later. 52 was fifty-two weeks. The New 52 was fifty-two(ish) months. Maybe he was playing the long game. Whether he was or not, it’s over. We have moved on to Rebirth. I for one couldn’t be more excited!

For the first time in forever I am SUPER excited about DC (and if that got Frozen stuck in your head you should let it go, LET IT GO!). When Convergence came out last year I was excited to revisit some of my favorite worlds and times. It was like visiting with old friends you don’t see anymore. There was Conner Kent/Kon-El Superboy. There was Connor Hawke Green Arrow. There was the REAL JSA. More importantly, there was SUPERMAN!

Ah, how I had missed him. Sure, there was some dude running around calling himself Superman, but I can call myself Daryl Dixon all day and it doesn’t make me him. That’s why I couldn’t get into the New 52. He just wasn’t Superman to me. I’m sure it’s how people felt after Crisis on Infinite Earths. But now MY Superman was back!

Flash-forward (pun intended) to Rebirth and now he’s REALLY back! As if that didn’t make me happy enough WALLY WEST has come back to the DCU! Ah, Wally. You were one of my favorites ever. You were my Flash just as Man of Steel (1986) Superman was my Superman. I never liked Barry Allen. He was just too boring for me. And as much as I love The Flash on CW, his personality and supporting cast remind me more of Wally than Barry. Mark Waid and Geoff Johns did such amazing work on The Flash (volume 2). They helped differentiate DC from Marvel by giving a sense of history, of tradition, of legacy.

DCRWhile the New 52 wiped all that legacy away, it seems to be back with a vengeance. Not only is Man Of Steel Superman back, but his son is along for the ride. Wally and all of his history has been restored. The JSA may be senile and in nursing homes but it would appear that they are back as well! DC’s history,
their LEGACY, is back!

Not every character remembers pre-Flashpoint and those that do aren’t sure which history is real and which has been manipulated. That creates a wonderful storytelling device. When you combine that with the seemingly infinite Earths and The Watchmen, I don’t know how any writer would have trouble finding/telling a great story for the next five years.

The thing that always excited me more about DC than Marvel was the legacy aspect. There was a Flash who Barry Allen read about and drew inspiration from. When he died Wally picked up the mantle and ran. When he died, Bart Allen stepped into the yellow boots. There were several Flashes running around working together.

Kyle Rayner was a rookie Green Lantern who turned to Guy Gardner, John Stewart and Alan Scott for advice and help. Generations of GL’s fought side by side for the good of the DCU. Green Arrow’s son took up the mantle when his father died. Hawkman and Hawkgirl died and were reincarnated over and over, giving each age a new set of heroes.

DCR2Superman was much more man than super. He was raised by loving parents with no tragic story to spur him into action (much like Barry Allen before Flashpoint). He was motivated by genuinely wanting to help people, not because of the destruction of Krypton. When he died and others took up the mantle, he worked with them upon his resurrection. He even had his parents take in the clone Superboy and gave him both a Kryptonian name and human name.

No matter what happened in the DCU there would always be someone to take up the mantle and carry on the tradition of being a hero. Marvel would reboot their universe in some form or another every few years, but DC stayed true to themselves. Until the Dark Age, aka New 52.

I lost all excitement. I stopped buying comics. I had every Superman comic from Crisis on Infinite Earths to New 52 #3. I just couldn’t do it anymore. Now I can’t get enough of Superman or Wally. There are other great books as well, like Wonder Woman and Green Arrow. I’m looking forward to Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps once Kyle is around and working with his friends again. If they put out a JSA series with the classic JSA, I’ll be on that in a heartbeat. I would be more excited for Flash if it had more Wally or some Jay Garrick and Bart.

As DC rebuilds its legacy and restores the forgotten heroes I will only grow more and more excited. It’s amazing to see these characters that I loved, that I had become emotionally and financially invested in, return. Like I said, it’s like seeing old friends again after years of being away. Sure they’re different, but they are the still the same people you knew and dcr4cared for.

If DC can keep the momentum and hold on to the things their fans love, Rebirth will be a critical and sales success. The DCCM (DC Cinematic Multiverse) could learn a thing or two from Rebirth. Of course, that may be why Geoff Johns has been moved from comics to movies. Fans love legacy. Fans love the characters they know and care about. Fans love good art and great stories. Fans love new characters being added to enhance and expand the universe, not just replacing characters for the sake of change.

I loved when Dan Jurgens and company created new characters or retooled old ones to give Clark Kent a supporting cast (Ron Troupe, Bibbo, Steel, Guardian, Gangbuster, Kelex, Outburst, etc…) Green Lantern and The Flash were other books that were amazing at creating a strong supporting cast of old and new characters, including Wally’s kids who he doesn’t seem too concerned about…Regardless, if DC can continue down the path they’ve set out on, Rebirth will be the best thing they’ve done in decades. And I, for one, am incredibly excited to see where it goes!


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