DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH Splash Page Introduces New Heroes, Raises Questions

DC Universe: Rebirth #1 splash page
Credit: DC Comics

Although readers have learned a lot about the new direction of the DCU that will spin out of this week's DC Universe: Rebirth, but some of the revelations from the book's final splash page are still a mystery.

The splash page, which shows "the greatest heroes" and "their greatest threats" in the new Rebirth DCU, includes many recognizable characters, from the well-known Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman to the upcoming incarnations of Superwoman Lois Lane (who's getting her own Superwoman title in Rebirth) and the flying, super powered Lex Luthor (who's featured in the Rebirth version of Action Comics, which returns to its original numbering).

Credit: DC Comics

But there are also characters that aren't as recognizable, or at least are wearing costumes that don't have any explanation yet.

On the top right of the splash page is a group of heroes that are clearly associate with what has become the "Shazam" franchise (and used to be known as the "Marvel Family," but has been distanced from the name "Marvel" in recent years). The group of five kids plus the Shazam character just to their left, bring the total to six teenagers who were first introduced as the Captain Thunder kids from the Flashpoint universe.

The kids were later incorporated into the New 52 — they're Billy, Mary, Freddy, Eugene, Pedro and Darla — shown during Geoff Johns' Justice League run in his Shazam back-up stories.

In this image, they're all part of the featured heroes, yet there's no word on where these kids might first show up in the Rebirth universe. But DC has confirmed to Newsarama that the Shazam characters will be getting some type of comic book treatment for Rebirth in upcoming months.

Another interesting change: In the bottom left side of the image is Wally West, who just returned to the DCU as the surprise narrator of this week's issue. In this splash page, Wally is wearing a costume that appears to be a hybrid Flash-Kid Flash costume. The splash page also features Barry Allen as the Flash and the other Wally West in the Kid Flash costume. The nature of Wally's role in the Rebirth DCU hasn't really been defined by DC yet, but Newsarama has learned that he'll be part of the Titans team in that new comic.

There are also a few other characters who haven't been mentioned as team members in the Rebirth world, yet they show up in this splash page — including Firestorm, Martian Manhunter, Vixen, Atom, Deadman, Zatanna and the Demon. Presumably, they'll be showing up in one of the Rebirth comic books soon, as they're featured here, or maybe in some yet-to-be-announced plans for new titles — perhaps a new Justice League Dark (for the latter three)?

But perhaps as noticeable are the characters that are missing, particularly the folks who are traditionally associated with the Justice Society of America, which is teased within earlier pages. There are no Hawks, no Power Girl, and no other JSA characters. And even though they were shown in the special, there's no Jackson Hyde Aqualad or Khalid Nassour Doctor Fate. And although the Legion of Super-Heroes is also hinted about in the special, they make no appearance here.

Other notable absences include Steel and Captain Atom (both cameo in the story), Booster Gold, the Metal Men and Doom Patrol, the Fourth World characters, and any and all WildStorm characters, who were fully integrated into the DCU during the New 52. 

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