WHATEVER YOU DO - DON'T READ THIS COUNTDOWN!1 of 12DC Universe: Rebirth #1, the one-shot that kicks off DC's Rebirth relaunch, doesn't hit shelves until next Wednesday (or in some cases Tuesday night), but some naughty so-and-so has gone and spoiled all its surprises on Reddit.
We're warning you - the stuff on this list is big. Like, ending of The Sixth Sense, Rosebud is a sled, Snape kills Dumbledore level spoilers.
If you're one of those who wants to go into DC Universe: Rebirth totally fresh, don't read any further (but you can check out a spoiler-free review here). But if you're one of those brave souls who fears no spoiler, boy, have we got some stuff to tell you.
DYNAMIC DUOS2 of 12A lot of fans will be pleased to see that Ted Kord, the classic Blue Beetle, is back in the DC Universe proper after being killed over a decade ago in The OMAC Project. Not only that, he’s teaming up with Jaime Reyes, who visits Kord Industries to get his Scarab removed in DC Universe Rebirth. But that’s not all – the new Doctor Fate shows up to retcon a retcon and reveals that the Scarab is magic after all, and not alien technology.
The Blue Beetles aren’t the only generational pair that’s reestablished in DC Universe Rebirth. Nerdy T.A. Ryan Choi stumbles across a video message from his boss, professor Ray Palmer, asking Ryan to venture into the Microverse and find him. But there’s something else lurking down there, and Ray’s message is cut off before it’s revealed exactly what awaits Ryan on his journey.
And of course that old feeling is back between Ollie and Dinah...
LOVE IS IN THE AIR3 of 12There have been questions about the status of Aquaman and Mera’s relationship in the New 52. It seemed as though they weren’t married, but Mera called Aquaman her “husband” in a recent issue. Well, wonder no more, as Aquaman proposes to Mera in DC Universe Rebirth, telling her it’s a “surface custom” as he gets down on one knee. That’s not the only romantic spark that’s being rekindled. Though it seems Green Arrow and Black Canary have never had a relationship in the New 52, they do lock eyes and wonder about what could have been – or what could still be – if they become romantically entangled.
THERE IS ANOTHER4 of 12Darkseid’s daughter, Grail, has a revelation about one of DC’s biggest heroes – a secret she only shares with her reborn infant father (comic books, amirite?).
As it turns out, Wonder Woman has a secret twin brother named Jason. Whether he has any connection to the Jason of Greek myth, or what his true nature is is left unrevealed – likely to be explored in the upcoming Wonder Woman story “The Lies”.
JOKER IN THE PACK5 of 12Way back when Batman first sat in the all-knowing Moebius Chair, he asked the Joker’s true identity. He was shocked by the answer, and now we know why.
There’s not one Joker – there are three. The original, Jerry Robinson Joker, the Brian Bolland Killing Joke Joker, and the Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo New 52 Joker are all separate people who have operated as the Clown Prince of Crime.
It’s not made clear whether any of these Jokers have operated simultaneously, whether it’s a pre-Crisis/post-Crisis kind of switcheroo, or some other explanation, but it’s a mystery that’s sure to get a lot of play in the very near future.
THE DEATH AND RETURN OF SUPERMAN6 of 12We’ve known for some time that the original Superman – as in, the pre-New 52 Superman – would be taking the current guy’s place as DC’s Man of Steel, and that story begins in DC Universe Rebirth.
There’s still more story to be told in Superman’s own titles, but it looks as though New 52 Superman is dead – and his powers likely distributed to Lois Lane – the new Superwoman – and possibly others (Kenan Kong, the New Super-Man, anyone?).
LONG LIVE THE LEGION7 of 12Geoff Johns told Newsarama that the Legion of Super-Heroes would be back, and DC Universe Rebirth sets the stage for that return even earlier than we expected.
In a scene set in the present day, a woman tells the police that she’s seen the future, and everything is going to be all right. In her possession is a Legion Flight Ring.
It’s unclear whether this is Saturn Girl, or possibly the precognitive Dream Girl, but one this is clear – the Legion lives.
JSA REBIRTH8 of 12The Legion aren’t the only heroes who look to be returning. At the DC Rebirth press event at WonderCon, Geoff Johns also told Newsarama that the JSA would be back, and DC Universe Rebirth looks to be sewing the seeds of that return.
In a scene that lightly calls back to Johns’s JSA, Johnny Thunder is seen in a psychiatric ward. He’s incoherent, saying people don’t remember him, and that McCarthy (as in Joe McCarthy) “told them to take off their masks”.
Thunder doesn’t have his pen that summons his wish-granting Thunderbolt, but he does end the scene struggling with orderlies and calling out his magic word, “Cei U!”.
WILD, WILD WEST9 of 12Readers are guided through DC Universe Rebirth by a familiar narrator – Wally West. That’s right, the original, red-headed Wally West who was mentored by Barry Allen and hasn’t been seen since the New 52 began. As he runs from scene to scene, encountering heroes who don’t recognize him, he desperately tries to avoid succumbing to the Speed Force and being swept away again.
Finally, just as he’s about to disintegrate, in a scene drawn by Phil Jiminez that echoes an image of Barry Allen in Crisis on Infinite Earths, he finds Barry, who tearfully tells Wally that he could never forget him, fully restoring him to the DC Universe.
Wally is de-aged here – he’s even in his Kid Flash costume. He’s still an adult, but he’s no longer a husband and father (we’re shown that Linda Park doesn’t even know who he is). Only time will tell what his role in the DC Universe will be moving forward – especially considering there’s another Wally West who’s still out there.
10 YEARS GONE10 of 12DC Universe Rebirth establishes the idea that, when the world was reset at the end of Flashpoint, someone – or something – stole ten years from the history of the DC Universe. This concept explains the continuity inconsistencies, broken relationships, and lost stories between the pre-Flashpoint universe and the New 52.
It’s also established that, whoever stole those ten years, did so to weaken the DC Universe and leave its Earth undefended. There’s good news though – the pre-New 52 universe still exists, and is back in continuity.
But who stole those 10 years from its timeline...?
WHO WATCHES THE DC UNIVERSE?11 of 12This is it. The massive, headscratching, door opening twist that leaves the DCU in a place it’s never been before – in direct conflict with the Watchmen universe.
If that sounds hard to believe, it’s all laid out in the issue. In a bit of meta-commentary, the symbol of the New 52, Pandora, is killed in the same manner as Rorschach, disintegrated while cursing a “cruel, lonely monster.” Later, Batman finds the Comedian’s smiley face button in his Batcave. Finally, DC Universe Rebirth ends with a shot of Dr. Manhattan’s iconic watch coming together on the surface of Mars, along with the Watchmen quote “Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends,” making it clear that Doctor Manhattan is the one who stole those ten years from the DC Universe.
It’s more than a little crazy, but from a thematic standpoint, it pits the brighter, friendlier DC Universe against the bleak, gritty world of the Watchmen, creating a foe that, when defeated, will bring DC back to its friendly, high-flying roots.
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