The Biggest Continuity Questions Of DC's REBIRTH

Page from "DC Universe: Rebirth #1"
Credit: Gary Frank (DC Comics)
Credit: DC Comics

After DC published DC Universe: Rebirth #1, there were plenty of questions about both the past and future of the DCU. And even several weeks into the company's "Rebirth" initiative, there are still plenty of questions.

Most of them are related to stories, such as who is the new Clark Kent that showed up in Action Comics? Or similarly, who are the Gotham characters in Batman?

But there are big-picture questions as well, some that tie directly into the status of DC's continuity itself.

Here are the five biggest continuity questions of DC's "Rebirth" that have yet to be answered:

Credit: DC Comics

How are there Supermen?

While it may be strange that there are two Wally Wests, DC Universe Rebirth #1 at least took the time to remedy the situation, explaining their presence as a situation where relatives had the same name, since they were named after the same ancestor.

Hey, it could happen.

As for just about every other hero — from Donna Troy to Cassandra Cain — there's still only one version of them. The post-Crisis versions doesn't really exist as a separate entities — it's just treated as memories that the new version is starting to access somehow. (More on that later.)

The one glaring exception to this idea is that there still exists a separate post-Crisis version of Superman and a separate post-Crisis version of Lois Lane. Yes, we are aware of the story in Convergence that brought them to current-day Prime Earth. But if all other post-Crisis memories are just being accessed by a current-day version of the character, how are the Supermen still being portrayed as separate?

"Rebirth"'s Superman #1 hinted that something strange is going on with these two Supermen existing in the same universe, as the older Superman was visiting the other's grave and had some sort of blue-handprint supernatural thing-a-ma-jig happen.

Presumably, the answer will be associated with Mr. Oz's speech in DC Universe: Rebirth #1 about how Superman wasn't what he "believed" he was.

And speaking of Mr. Oz...

Credit: Gary Frank (DC Comics)

From whence came the Watchmen?

DC Universe: Rebirth #1 made it clear that a Watchmen character — most likely Dr. Manhattan — caused the "New 52" changes to continuity (apparently negating the roles Flashpoint and Pandora's powers had in the event).

Or maybe it was more than one Watchmen character?

Of course, the question that hasn't been answered is, at what point in DC history did a character — or characters — from Watchmen cross over not the DCU? And at what point in Watchmen continuity?

The story of DC Universe: Rebirth #1 also implied that there was a negative influence from Watchmen that had been around a long time. How long?

And when did the characters' manipulations of the DCU begin? Wally West claims that they not only manipulated the timeline to help cause the "New 52," but they also caused a 10-year gap in continuity.

There's indication that we'll gain clues in series like Batman, The Flash, and Titans, as those characters all react to clues they've already found. (As readers saw at the end of DC Universe: Rebirth #1, Batman discovered the Comedian's smiley face button that was embedded into the wall of the Batcave. According to The Flash: Rebirth #1, when Wally appeared to Batman (a scene from DC Universe: Rebirth #1), his lightning embedded the button into the wall. Tests on the button have shown that the "blood on the button has traces of a radiation unlike anything we've seen.")

So obviously, there was an invasion of some sort that caused all this, and according to hints from creators and various "Rebirth" stories, this is all going to lead to a showdown.

Credit: John Romita Jr. (DC Comics)

Is Mr. Oz Ozymandias?

This is less of a continuity question and more of a story element, but if the answer to the question is "yes," then there are lots of continuity ramifications.

Newsarama already speculated that Mr. Oz might be Ozymandias, with a lot of clues that point toward that possibility.

If he is Ozymandias, then is the character he's keeping prisoner in the room shown in Superman #34 also a Watchmen character? (For details, again, see our list of clues.)

And what did the character mean when he talked to Superman about considering the "long game"? If he's been watching and knowing all this time, what was he doing? How was he (and whoever else crossed into the DCU) influencing events in both the post-Crisis and "New 52" universe?

Credit: Gary Frank (DC Comics)

How are characters remembering their past?

In the The Flash and Titans, it's been implied that the Speed Force is causing people to remember Wally West's return. In Titans, there's an addition implication that the villain Twister caused the Titans characters to forget their past.

But now there are other memories and situations from the post-Crisis universe that are bleeding their way into "Rebirth" continuity. What's causing the bleed? Is there a Watchmen character allowing this? Or did that character's manipulation of the timeline simply not completely take?

What's canon now?

Wally claims that there's a 10-year gap, but which 10 years? "Rebirth" seems to embrace Crisis on Infinite Earths — which completely undoes the events of Convergence — but it rejects other post-Crisis stories, like Identity Crisis.

Credit: DC Comics

DC Co-Publisher Jim Lee hinted to Newsarama that DC's current approach to continuity is similar to Geoff Johns' approach to his various Rebirth stories, which featured "sorting through of the past and picking out the elements that are more core and representative of the characters and elevating them and pushing them to the forefront. That's not necessarily to rewrite past continuity, but it's really a focusing on what's important going forward."

And Co-Publisher Dan DiDio added that "things will unravel [regarding questions about continuity] as we go forward. Some things will be explained and some things will probably be left hanging."

So we may never have a complete list of what counts and what doesn't, but surely a story in the future will at least attempt to straighten out the timeline a bit? Are there a specific 10 years that were stolen?

In "Rebirth," is there such a thing as something being "in canon," or are characters simply going to remember and honor the bits and pieces that make sense with their current direction?

Tell us what you think will happen and what you want to see in the comments.

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