Since “Rebirth” launched in 2016, several characters have suddenly obtained new memories, from Barry Allen and Wally West to the Titans characters to Superman and his family.
But in the first two weeks of May, two more “memory” developments have helped usher in new continuity for several DC characters for the “Rebirth” era.
Hawkman’s influx of new memories in the last issue of his title probably didn’t come as much of a surprise to readers who have been following the new Hawkman series since writer Robert Venditti and artist Bryan Hitch.
In Hawkman #12, the character was suddenly given the ability to remember every one of his past lives, helping to bring into current continuity every incarnation remembered by long-time DC fans of the character.
The series had already established that Carter Hall was originally Ktar Deathbringer, a mass murderer who was sentenced by God (or at least some all-knowing, unseen judge) to reincarnate across time and space until he saves as many lives as he killed.
Even though Hawkman could remember bits and pieces of his past lives, couldn’t remember everything - until issue #12. Now Carter has the memories of all his past lives, which reach back far back further than ancient Egypt and include versions other planets.
Now the series will be visiting some of those past lives in future issues, telling the story of at least one of the adventures that Carter experienced in a past life in June's #13.
The story of Hawkgirl’s connection to this new history for Hawkman, however, remains undefined.
Tim Drake’s Memories
Another influx of memories that is changing DC history just showed up in Young Justice, where Tim Drake has suddenly remembered his post-Crisis life.
Tim Drake’s origin story from the "New 52" had already been retconned out of existence in the 2017 Rebirth issue Detective Comics #965 during James Tynion IV’s run.
Tim’s new “Rebirth” origin greatly resembles his post-Crisis one, although there was no real explanation for the sudden change back besides, you know, “Rebirth!”
Now it appears that more of Tim’s post-Crisis history is being put back in place, including his close friendship with Conner Kent.
In Young Justice #5, a flashback showed that Tim Drake recently talked to Zatanna about how seeing a future version of himself (the “Batman of Tomorrow,” also from Detective Comics) felt “very wrong.”
(Readers will remember that, in Detective Comics, a future version of Tim Drake showed up, one that had become a brutal version of Batman and mentioned Conner Kent. At that time, Tim Drake did not remember anything about Conner.)
Zatana helped Tim by simply putting her hands onto the side of his head and saying, “WOHS EM HTURT.”
Suddenly, Tim Drake remembered Conner Kent, and he recalled that he was once part of a post-Crisis-looking Young Justice team. A two-page spread in Young Justice #5 revealed that Tim’s memories include characters who were on the original 1990s Young Justice team, like Conner, Bart Allen/Impulse, Cassie Sandsmark, Arrowette, Secret, Empress, Li’l Lobo, Snapper Carr and more.
Because it’s a flashback, this apparently happened before Young Justice #1, when Tim Drake already seemed to know the other members of the team.
With Tim Drake’s sudden burst of memories, Young Justice has taken another step toward bringing characters like Conner Kent and Bart Allen back into the “Rebirth” continuity.
Readers already saw that a young, Impulse-version Bart Allen came back to the “Rebirth” continuity at the end of last year’s “Flash War” in the main The Flash title (where he apparently escaped from the Speed Force).
And previous issues of Young Justice have already established that the new version of Conner Kent (who’s an Earth-made clone just like the post-Crisis version), has been spending most of his recent time trapped in Gemworld. In fact, it looks like he has a wife and kid there.
Now that readers know Tim Drake regained many of his post-Crisis memories before Young Justice began, the story is starting to make more sense, although some questions still remain. As the series continues to advertise that it’s going to explain those unanswered questions to readers (issue #5 even opened with a page admitting there were a lot of mysteries yet to be solved), readers will have to stick with the story of Young Justice to learn more.