I have not read a comic book in a very long time. I feel like it has been at least five or six years. I know I picked up a few of the Batman trades a few years ago (it was actually three years ago, I checked), but other than that, I have not read anything in awhile. I think it was all the mega-events. They just drove me from the comic book world. And yet, I knew I missed it. I followed the comic book world without picking up a book.
The other day I read an interview with Geoff Johns about DC Universe: Rebirth #1. Johns was one of the writers I definitely enjoyed, especially his run on The Flash. One of the things I always like about him was that he was a fan. He loves the characters and the stories. I think back to those days of when I started reading comics. The early 90s. I loved reading the Superman books because they had a constant narrative. Each Superman book had a little triangle with a number. If you read them, there would be little side stories about the supporting characters, which is what made it so fascinating.
I bet people who picked up the Death of Superman were confused about tons of the little minor details going on about Jimmy Olsen, Professor Hamilton, Bibbo, or Lex Luthor II. There would be all of these little notes to refer back to a certain issue in case you missed what happened and did not get the reference.
Sadly though, the days of that long story ended and we got the story-arcs. You know, a writer/artist team get a six (sometimes longer) mini-series run to tell a story. Then every few months there is some major crossover event. What was lost in all of that were the supporting characters. Or if they did get included it would turn out that they were some mastermind villain hiding in plain sight for years.
Anyways, when I read the interview with Johns, his talk about how he loved DC Comics because of the hope that the characters inspired and brought to life on the pages made me miss those old days. I am guessing that Geoff Johns was a fan of those comics as well. He said that he wanted to return the New52 to the old universe. And so I decided to give it a shot.
To my surprise, on the very first page at the bottom is a note that you should read two other comics before jumping into this story. I cannot say anything bad about this book. Johns definitely revitalized my love for DC Comics or at least made me miss what I used to have. I will definitely continue reading this series and see where things go from there.
I will admit to being a little confused about some of the stuff happening since I have not read anything from the New52. However, the story was good enough to cover up my lack of knowledge. It did not hurt that Wally West (my favorite Flash) is the narrator and main character. I am also curious to see how things play out with the big reveal at the end (SPOILER!!!!) that this is connected to Watchmen. Another question involves Superman: are he and Lois trapped in the New52 Universe with their child? I will probably have to read up on some of that stuff. I also really loved the mention of the Joker being three separate people. Again, is that something that has been hinted in the New52 or is this something that Johns is coming up with now?
One of the things I can say is that if this is the work of Dr. Manhattan, i.e. he was the one that removed a decade from the DC universe, as Wally put it “like a Jenga piece.” It seems to be interesting commentary from Geoff Johns. Is he saying that the reason the New52 is darker in tone is because the DC editorial board/writers themselves wanted to capture/copy the tone of Alan Moore’s Watchmen? Could this be his way of saying that as great as that book was, it created so many copycats that now everyone wants their stuff to be a dark, gritty interpretation of what a superhero should be? I do not know, I look forward to reading the rest of the series with that idea in the back of my mind.