Now that DC's "Rebirth" is in full swing, a lot of the questions readers had about the event have been answered, but new ones have arrived. With a few weeks under their belt, DC creators have introduced new characters, brought back some old favorites, and started their characters down the road toward the impending DC vs. Watchmen battle foretold in May's DC Universe: Rebirth.
Four weeks into "Rebirth," here's a round-up of the biggest surprises we've seen and what they might mean for the future of the DCU.
Green Arrow and Black Canary are working together, but aren't exactly back together — but hey, it's a welcome start. And the Green Arrow series is returning to the political realm a bit with Ollie openly calling himself a "social justice warior" in-story.
There was also a surprising twist in Green Arrow #1 involving Emiko — surprisingly aligning with her absentee mother Shado as part of the returned Outsiders' conspiracy to take over Queen Industries. The sum total of what we've seen so far shows a lot of promise for long-time Arrow fans, as Ollie appears to be getting back some of what he used to be — and the fact that the issue sold out is good news for the future of the title.
Green Lantern changes
Earth's new Green Lanterns are Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz, and the latter still has that gun he was shown wearing in his earliest appearances. "I don't trust the ring," Simon says in Green Lanterns #1, as he points out his gun. "And I definitely don't trust her. That's why I always keep backup."
While Jessica and Simon are sharing Earth (reluctantly, and only because Hal Jordan told them they had to share), Hal himself has crafted a new ring, created by his will in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth #1. He's off to find the Green Lantern Corps, defeat evil (in the form of the Sinestro Corps, who have taken over Sector Zero) and kick butt.
Shocking Developments for the Flash & Titans
Surprisingly, the Speed Force can "spark" memories back to life from previous timelines, which is a good thing because, otherwise, nobody would remember Wally West. But eventually, all the important folks in his life do — from Barry Allen to all the Titans — except for Linda Parks. She doesn't remember him yet, anyway. But the Speed Force has been shocking memories of the redheaded speedster back to life in the minds of the DCU – most recently at the hands of Wally West (no, literally, the memories have been returning via a shock from Wally's hands) — so we can only hope Linda's memories will return soon.
And thanks to Wally, there are several people working on the problem of the "missing years" and the mysterious folks who "attacked the world by changing its history" (as Wally put it — or as readers know, Doctor Manhattan and possibly other Watchmen characters).
Batman and Barry Allen are working on solving the mystery together (without telling the Justice League) at the same time that the newly-formed Titans are investigating over in the Titans title.
Readers also found out that the smiley face button in the Batcave wall (from DC Universe: Rebirth #1) was embedded there when Wally visited Batman during that issue's story. And Wally has revealed that he feels the heroes are "being watched," and that he thinks history will be tampered with again (which means it probably will — watch out, DC fans).
Too Many Clarks
Most of the surprises in the world of Superman were teased early in the "Rebirth" process, but it was still fun to see it all play out. Now that the "New 52" Superman is dead, the post-Crisis Superman is playing the role of resident Supes, fighting against a power-suit-wearing Lex Luthor while also trying to protect the identity of his wife Lois and son Jonathan, who live a semi-normal (but becoming less and less normal) life with him on a farm under the fake surname "Smith."
We got a glimpse into the superpowers that Jon has — although he can't quite control that heat vision — and having Superman as a father looks both amazing and intimidating. He's cute as a button, too, which means his team-ups with less-cute-than-hilariously-pushy Damian Wayne should be interesting.
And of course, Batman and Wonder Woman ended up tracking down the new-to-them-but-old-to-us version of Superman for a talk. There's a lot of mistrust going around, so that should make for some interesting developments.
One of the ongoing mysteries in Action Comics is the appearance of yet another Clark Kent. He showed up at The Daily Planet as if he never left, even though we all know the "New 52" Clark was killed. Who is this new guy?
And then there's the question of why there were two Supermen in the first place — one from before the "New 52" and the one during — when in the case of other heroes, "Rebirth" appears to be combining the "New 52" heroes with their post-Crisis selves. Of course, we still don't know what Mr. Oz (whom we think might be Ozymandias of Watchmen) meant when he confronted Superman during DC Universe: Rebirth #1, telling him that he wasn't what he seemed.
Bat-teams and New Heroes
As advertised, the new Detective Comics features Tim Drake in a decent costume again — finally! — as part of a team-up between Batwoman, Spoiler, Tim, Cassandra Cain (now called "Orphan"), and Clayface. The issue appears to be returning the Bat to the fun team-up approach. Biggest surprise? Batman revealed his secret identity to his Kane cousin, but it didn't surprise her. She says she had already figured it out.
In the main Batman title (and Batman: Rebirth #1), readers learned out that Duke Thomas has a new costume and a new role as trainee. It's not clear yet whether he'll become the new Robin or something else, but for now, he's hanging in the Batcave while Damian Wayne is expected to show up in a new Teen Titans book later.
There are two new super-powered characters in town, named Gotham and Gotham Girl — they can fly and carry an airplane, so they're pretty powerful. They introduce themselves to Batman as good guys, but the jury's still out on that, of course. And there's a shadowy figure involved, who references the "clock" and took out some Kobra terrorists.
Wonder Woman and Aquaman Origins
The new Wonder Woman title is using the fact that Wonder Woman has multiple origin stories as a tool to move things forward in "Rebirth," showcasing her attempt at discovering the truth of her past. She ended up using the lasso of truth on herself, seeking that which she has lost, and when she later finds Cheetah — who's now apparently a goddess in the "Rebirth" era — Diana admits that she cannot find her Amazon family or their home on Themyscira.
And in the "Rebirth" issues of Aquaman, it was great to see Garth (a.k.a. Aqualad a.k.a. Tempest) in the cast again. The title also included the expected reintroduction of Black Manta and some fan-pleasing exposition about the loving relationship between Arthur and Mera. By the end of Aquaman #1, things didn't look so good for Mera and Arthur, but it's doubtful DC would kill them off this early... right?