DC has issued the image above with the word "REBIRTH" on it, leading fans to speculate that another reboot for the universe is coming. Along with tweets from Jim Lee, Dan Didio, Geoff Johns, and Ethan Van Sciver and all of the rumors/leaks running rampant about what this means, we feel the need to ask...WHY??
Consistency. That is probably a word that is lost on today's creators from Marvel and DC. Back in 1985 we were treated to the first continuity streamlining, reboot, rebirth, event from DC in the form of Crisis on Infinite Earths. What was originally meant as an event to celebrate DC's 50 years was also used to streamline the DCU so fans wouldn't be confused by the multiple worlds and backstories that had been accumulated over time. They got down to a single Earth that encompassed various components of the previous ones.
Then in 1994 we got Zero Hour: Crisis in Time that was used to fix leftover issues from the original Crisis as well as streamline the DCU future timelines. This event was a soft reboot and negated some remaining storyline issues while creating new problems. This series was followed up in 2005 by the truer sequel to the original Crisis, Infinite Crisis, which served to bring back themes and characters from the original series. We see the brief return of the multiverse then have one Earth again with no major issues being fixed or created.
Then in 2008 we get Final Crisis, which is the (supposed) finale of the Crisis events. Unless you count the unrelated Identity Crisis, that still remains to be seen. Final Crisis was a little more convoluted and didn't reboot or reset anything, all we really got was the "death" of Batman, and even that didn't last long. Then we had a few years of a lull in reboots and in 2011 DC did the unthinkable: they completely reset the DCU from the start. Aside from a handful of titles that kept their backstories (albeit crunched into a 5 year span), we had:
- All new origins
- Line wide new #1's
- Superman losing the red trunks
- Superman and Lois Lane were no longer a couple
- The Kents were dead
- Sinestro was a Green Lantern again
- Wonder Woman in pants
- Barbara Gordon was no longer paralyzed and returned as Batgirl
- The newly acquired Wildstorm Universe was integrated into the DCU
- A lot of angry fans.
All of this was due to the Flashpoint mini-series that saw yet another alternate DC Universe come into play and be destroyed.
The biggest issues we had with the reboot were the following:
- The starting over of the numbering on the comics. Now let me clarify, the renumbering wasn't the big issue so much as it was the missing out on history. Action Comics and Detective Comics were close to hitting a mark that no comic book had yet to touch, the 1000th issue. Action was at #904 and Detective was at #881, with Action being about 8 years away from hitting issue #1000.
- The lack of respect for what came before. To many fans we spoke with, it felt as though DC simply did not care about the characters they spent so long cultivating with the way they tossed the Real DCU aside for something unknown. Now we do give them props for having the guts to actually dump what was working for something new, but not much.
- The glaring omission of the Wally West that was The Flash for many readers for years since the passing of Barry Allen in the first Crisis. He was well known as a founding member of the Teen Titans, Kid Flash. When he finally made his New 52 debut he was changed to a bi-racial character and a teenager again. Fans were outraged since Wally had become one of the greatest DC heroes in his own right and had forged his own path out of the shadow of Barry.
The New 52 took some time to grow on me but it had slightly. Then we get the news that DC is going through some kind of rebirth....again. Jim Lee and Dan Didio are saying that it isn't a full reboot but something else entirely. We're not holding our breath and from the looks of retailers they aren't either. According to Bleedingcool.com many retailers have been on Facebook stating their feelings:
Dennis Barger: Your decision to take an already failed relaunch of #new52 (which only has 12 that are actually still around) and attempt to #rebirth it seems even more desperate than what you have been doing for the last year. #dcyou #dk3 no wait and #dk4 has forced me to reassess my entire product mix in my store as it pertains to your “product”. Effective immediately I am cutting all DC comics to 1 week sell through, no wall copies after 1 week will be my goal. As my and most of my your current customers have expressed through social media, they will not give this nonsense a try, they are done with you and so am I.#dianenelson your failure to see that #dandidio is a visionless captain of the listless ship spinning uncontrollably into a void. Everything is not alright with your company #kevintsujihara and I for one will not pay into your frantic attempts to keep from drowning. As a comic retailer I will place a vote of no confidence with my orders and you can decide if your faith is#didio is well founded. #firedidio come up with a better plan and let get back to selling comic books. Who else is with me???
Jesse James: WE have officially cut all orders to box holders and 5 copies for the display. This will reduce our orders by a little over 200+ copies a week. This will free up money that will be put in with other Publishers. In 3 days box holders have dropped a combined order of 75 issues of Dc. Now since Dc Comics is our 6th best selling publisher I probably should have done this earlier to begin with, anyways. I wish I could say that I decided to do this, but this was decide by our customers. P.S. HARLEY QUINN FANS you can ignore this post.. we will continue over buying on this title…
Chris Rupps: Wow. I have not experienced anything like this with our customers.
I will agree that DC (outside of Batman related) seem to have lost their way. I’ll talk with my manager to get a better feel. And I know he is not too supportive of DC currently either.
Dennis Barger: I look at it from past experience. Bleeding Cool reported on new 52 in May, I didn’t proactively watch my orders, kept ordering the same, when they officially announced in July it was too late most August focs had been done at that point. When fans saw that July and August books would have little in the way of sustaining content they dropped books proactively. Yes they stormed the doors for issue one, stated in for most books for 3 issues, but by issue 4 we all knew what we had wasted money on, returned the duds (which is just like loaning them money at a reverse interest rate on you for labor and shipping). I for one will not be caught with my pants down to f-ck me like the last time. We’ve seen this before and I want all my brother and sister retailers to be aware that it’s not wise to continue to trust these clowns.
Larry Doherty: The DC rebirth is all the buzz in the shop.
Some hate it, others are interested. Nobody can ignore it…
The big two are making so much cash in other areas, the comics are an afterthought.
This will increase their market share.
All of these were in a chain of comments from Barger's original post, for more click the link : https://www.facebook.com/dennis.barger/posts/10153466533451359
Now we will admit that nothing is confirmed yet other than all titles will be starting back at #1's...again. A number of existing titles will be cancelled in favor of only titles with popular characters and those in TV/movie projects, and Damian Wayne will be leading a new Teen Titans team. So we'll speculate on the titles that should be around for the "Rebirth."
Superman, Action Comics, Man of Steel, Batman, Detective Comics, The Dark Knight, Trinity (Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman), Teen Titans, Titans, JLA, JL, Green Lantern, Arrow, Flash, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Harley Quinn, Aquaman, JSA, The Authority, and DC Comics Presents.
To me, all of this rebooting/relaunching/rebirthing is just proof that DC has no faith in their creative teams to put out quality material that fans will want to read. Maybe when droves of fans drop DC in favor of Marvel, Image, IDW, and other publishers they will finally get the message and realize that those in charge do not know what they are doing and make a change there instead of starting the Universe over again. But we're not holding our breath for that...