Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

DC Universe: Rebirth

DC Universe: Rebirth #1

Rate this book
It all begins here. Do not skip to the last page. Do not let a friend or message board ruin this comic for you. The future (and past) of the DC Universe starts here. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

THEY SAID IT: “Rebirth is about focusing in on the core of the character and their respective universe,” says writer and DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns. “It brings back what has been lost: the legacy of the characters, the love and the hope of the DCU!”

80 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 25, 2016

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Geoff Johns

2,890 books2,218 followers
Geoff Johns originally hails from Detroit, Michigan. He attended Michigan State University, where he earned a degree in Media Arts and Film. He moved to Los Angeles in the late 1990s in search of work within the film industry. Through perseverance, Geoff ended up as the assistant to Richard Donner, working on Conspiracy Theory and Lethal Weapon 4. During that time, he also began his comics career writing Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. and JSA (co-written with David S. Goyer) for DC Comics. He worked with Richard Donner for four years, leaving the company to pursue writing full-time.

His first comics assignments led to a critically acclaimed five-year run on the The Flash. Since then, he has quickly become one of the most popular and prolific comics writers today, working on such titles including a highly successful re-imagining of Green Lantern, Action Comics (co-written with Richard Donner), Teen Titans, Justice Society of America, Infinite Crisis and the experimental breakout hit series 52 for DC with Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid. Geoff received the Wizard Fan Award for Breakout Talent of 2002 and Writer of the Year for 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 as well as the CBG Writer of the Year 2003 thru 2005, 2007 and CBG Best Comic Book Series for JSA 2001 thru 2005. Geoff also developed BLADE: THE SERIES with David S. Goyer, as well as penned the acclaimed “Legion” episode of SMALLVILLE. He also served as staff writer for the fourth season of ROBOT CHICKEN.

Geoff recently became a New York Times Bestselling author with the graphic novel Superman: Brainiac with art by Gary Frank.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
2,437 (41%)
4 stars
2,087 (35%)
3 stars
1,085 (18%)
2 stars
222 (3%)
1 star
68 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 627 reviews
Profile Image for Anne.
3,918 reviews69.3k followers
November 1, 2016
Rebirth! <---99% better than Afterbirth!

Kidding. I already knew most of the spoilers before going into this one, because my curiosity got the better of me. *hangs head*
But I know not everyone is as weak as I am. So, if you haven't read this yet and don't want any hints, then for God's sake, turn away, man! I'm gonna try to tag the major stuff, but I wouldn't want to inadvertently ruin anything for you.


Ok, even with all the spoilers that I'd read, I still wasn't sure exactly what this whole Rebirth thing was about. And to be perfectly honest, I still have a lot of questions about what direction DC is headed.


Like other reboots in the DC universe, the Speedsters are front and center. Instead of Barry Allen tampering with the timeline to create New 52, it's Wally West who's been lost outside the time stream in the Speed Force. He's been able to somehow observe that everything has been twisted by some sort of a (seemingly) malevolent force. Although, he's been stuck in the Speed Force for (almost) too long now, and if he doesn't find a way out soon, he's just going to be absorbed into it.
He needs an anchor, someone to pull him out, but he's literally been wiped from everyone's memory by whomever/whatever is responsible for creating the New 52.


Just when you think it's curtains for Wally...

Throughout the story you see different heroes who are getting somewhat suspicious that not everything is as it should be...


Some heroes that you thought didn't exist anymore...

Part of what was taken from the heroes (besides the missing years) was the relationships that made them who they were. One of Wally's problems had been trying to find love. Or something corny like that...

My man Arthur wasn't having that problem though.
Suck it haters! Pbbbbt!


Of course, if there's a mystery to be solved...Who You Gonna Call?


Sadly, I haven't been interested in reading much about him since Batman, Vol. 7: Endgame, and Batman, Vol. 8: Superheavy didn't do much to change my opinion. Soooo.
Yeah, I need to go catch up with what's been going on in Gotham, I guess.
Because, apparently,

Now, if you (like me) haven't been able to keep up with all the things that have happened lately, don't worry too much about it. There's enough recap in this to keep it from being totally confusing.

I'm still conflicted about the ending.
But for the most part I'm really interested to see where all of this is going!


Big thank you to my friend, Josh for gifting me a copy of this one!
August 4, 2017
SPEEDY TRIAL REVIEW (Special comic book version)

The Defense – “POW!”

- Long-term DC Comics fans will marvel (oops, can’t use that word in a DC review) be in awe at seeing Wally West in action again!
- Wally’s journey through a world that has forgotten him packs an emotional punch at times.
- Wally’s observations on everything wrong with the DC Universe makes for a great meta-commentary.
- Very intriguing ending!

The Prosecution – “OOF!”

- Exposition-heavy narration gets a little dull after a while.
- Much of the 80 pages of this issue are just Wally running from place to place.
- Frequent references to both pre-New 52 and New 52 stories will be confusing to casual readers.

The Verdict – “ZOWIE!”

“DC Universe #1” was intended to be the first step towards fixing the problems of the New 52 continuity, and that’s exactly what it is, nothing more, nothing less. While not a whole lot happens in the issue and not much is resolved by the issue’s end, it does set the stage for an exciting story ahead. In the more emotional moments of the issue, Wally West seeks to restore hope to the DC Universe, and that’s exactly what he's brought the DC readers as well!


In order to talk about my opinions on “DC Universe Rebirth #1”, first I need to explain exactly what this comic meant to me. I had been an avid reader of DC Comics since the late 80’s. Although I had lots of knowledge of the history of the DC universe, after not one but two history altering reboots, keeping track of its continuity required more genius than Lex Luthor and Batman combined possessed! Adding to the chaos, writers were beginning to alter key pieces of DC’s history under the flimsiest of pretenses. Jason Todd, the Robin who was exploded to death by the Joker in the late 80's, was now revealed to be alive and well, thanks to (and I’m not making this up) a rogue Superboy altering reality by punching it! It’s believed this explanation was the result of comic book writers not realizing anyone was actually reading comic books any more. If only they knew what was coming…

By 2011, comic book sales in general had been in a decline for quite a while. As the cost of living got higher and higher over the years, old time readers like myself were dropping more and more titles, and potential new customers looked at DC’s muddled history and said, ”Uh… no!”. DC decided that the best way to draw in new readers and fix the confusion caused by two reality-altering reboots was to implement a third reality-altering reboot! You probably see where this is going…

The New 52 was intended as a starting point for new readers. A chance to reintroduce classic beloved characters in new exciting ways. The writer who was tasked with spearheading the New 52 continuity was one of DC’s most popular writers at the time, Geoff Johns. However, some of the writers at DC Comics were less than thrilled at the thought of having their earlier work declared null and void. One writer in particular outright refused to reboot the series he had been working on, and instead of a new beginning, his “Green Lantern #1” was simply a continuation of the storyline that had been running throughout the series before the reboot.

Would you like to guess who that writer was? Yep… Geoff Johns! The very same writer in charge of spearheading the New 52 reboot did not want his own series to be affected by the reboot!

Shockingly enough, despite that bold vote of confidence, the New 52 was not a smashing success!

Instead of using the New 52 as an opportunity to update some of the more outdated (and in some cases, outright offensive) parts of DC Comics’ history, editors decided to explore ideas like, “how can we make Superman and Lois Lane completely unlikeable” ! No serious attempt was made to streamline the new continuity, which left readers more confused than ever. The New 52 timeline made no sense, as “Justice League” suggested Batman had been active for only five years, yet there had already been 4 different Robins. Trying to figure out what pieces of DC Comics’ history were still considered canon and which ones were not got so frustrating, that not only did readers quit DC Comics, writers did, too! The New 52 failed in terms of being a jumping on point for new readers, but it became the perfect jumping off point for the old readers. Sales plummeted, series got cancelled, and by 2016, the only people who considered the New 52 a success were Marvel Comics stockholders!

One of the most controversial aspects of the New 52 was the complete absence of certain characters, most notably Wally West. Wally had been The Flash from the late 80's up until right before the New 52 was implemented. He was one of DC’s more popular heroes, thanks in big part to stellar runs on the series by Mark Waid and Geoff Johns (him again). Wally was a rare example of a character in comic books who truly did grow and evolve, starting out as brash and arrogant (not to mention possessing such a lack of commitment towards relationships that even James Bond would consider him a pig), but later developing into an altruistic hero and a dedicated family man with a wife and two children. When the New 52 began, readers were outraged that Wally West was absent. As the New 52 began to crumble under its own weight, those same readers were relieved that at least Wally wasn’t a part of this disaster!

Which brings us to DC Rebirth!

DC Rebirth seems to be DC Comics finally admitting that perhaps trying to reboot an entire universe with no clear blueprint or outline was not a good idea! This issue begins a storyline (which is still running through DC Comics titles as of the writing of this review), in which the true nature of the New 52 continuity is explored. The DC Universe history isn’t being rebooted again (yet), but some explanation is given as to why the New 52 just feels… off!

This issue focuses on Wally West finally entering the New 52. Even though this issue has been out for well over a year now, I don’t to talk about specific revelations, because… spoilers. But I will give you my overall impression of it. First of all, this issue is absolutely not a good jumping on point for new readers, as they would be confused as to all the historical references being made throughout. But that’s okay, because I don’t really think this was ever intended to be a starting point for new readers. Rather, it’s a jumping on point for the former readers who jumped ship during the New 52 reboot!

I liked “DC Universe Rebirth #1”, but I didn’t love it. The nostalgic part of me loved seeing Wally West back in action. And Geoff Johns did a great job adding some emotional depth to Wally’s journey as he became more and more distraught by a world that had seemingly forgotten he had ever existed. However, the story itself just wasn’t very exciting. Ironically, although much of the issue features Wally racing at breakneck speed, the pacing of the story is rather plodding. The exposition-heavy narration gets clunky in parts, and while Wally running from place to place to see if anyone remembers him may have been intriguing for a standard 22-page length comic book, at 80 pages, it begins to wear thinner than the pages it’s printed on!

That’s not to say the issue was a bust, however! As I said before, some parts of Wally’s emotional journey do resonate, and there’s no denying that the reveal at the end of the issue sent chills down this old-school comic book reader’s spine. Also, Wally’s observations on the lack of meaningful relationships in the New 52 continuity made for a great meta-commentary on the inherent problems of the last few years of DC storytelling.

After I read my first New 52 issue (in which at least 75% of the story was nothing more than Batman and Green Lantern arguing with each other), my initial reaction was “Uh-oh!” After reading my first DC Rebirth issue, however, I’m left with a feeling of… hope! This issue doesn’t immediately fix any of the problems of the New 52, but it’s a promising first step towards that goal. “DC Universe Rebirth #1” isn’t a very exciting story by itself, but it certainly seems to be paving the way towards one. I’m looking forward to seeing more of what this reborn DC Universe has to offer!
Profile Image for Sam Quixote.
4,484 reviews12.8k followers
May 26, 2016
The New 52 exploded like a giant stink-bomb in September 2011, a line-wide reboot tying their DC, Wildstorm and Vertigo characters together into one overloaded, incoherent universe, and, spitting in the face of 70+ years of continuity, reset their numbering back to #1. The desperate move put DC ahead of Marvel briefly before readers realised from the shoddy quality of too many of the comics that DC didn’t know what they were doing and then sales tapered off; the New 52 died quietly in the summer of 2015 amidst indifferent yawns.

After the godawful Convergence last year, DC attempted a soft relaunch called DC You which aimed to address the lack of diversity in its catalogue and appealed to a wider demographic, particularly the growing number of women comics readers. Sales didn’t improve and so now we have yet another reconfiguration of the DC line with Rebirth which aims to reinstate pre-New 52 continuity and characters, appealing this time to the hardcore DC faithful (ie. middle-aged white men).

I’ll say SPOILSIES at this point even though this issue is basically one long spoiler and is meant to be a sizzle reel for what’s to come in the next few months from DC. The short version of my review is that this comic is not very good and what’s coming looks boring for the most part.

How you feel about this issue will largely depend on your familiarity with DC lore. If you’re a more casual reader like me who pretty much only likes the Trinity – Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman – you’re not going to be terribly impressed with what DC have to offer here.

Continuing Gene Luen Yang’s Superman storyline, the Man of Steel is still “dead” and has a beard; Batman is still in Metron’s chair, discovers Joker is really three people (that alone made me cancel my preorder for the series), and a mysterious letter from his dad becomes super-important; and Wonder Woman finds out she has a brother. Nothing but meh here though it shows that this isn’t a reboot as these characters’ current storylines are ongoing.

Like waving a bag of dogshit in front of you before you sit down for a meal, it doesn’t help that the comic kicks off with a similar scene from Batman v Superman where Wally West Flash appears to Batman in a brief confusing scene before disappearing again. That’s who our narrator is for this comic - Wally West – and it’s supposed to be a big deal because the white guy version of Wally West was erased from the New 52 timeline. I honestly didn’t notice but my knowledge of the Flash saga is extremely limited because I’ve never liked the character(s) much.

Wally the Flash is doing what every Flash does in a Crisis-storyline (which this is in all but name): running right quick and using the Speedforce to change timelines or something. There’s a brief bio of Wally’s dull and derivative life and a recap of the Flashpoint storyline, because this is a sort of sequel to that, before something new – what a novelty! – is mentioned: “someone” stole ten years from the heroes and wiped out their memories! Interesting that the DC chuckleheads who dreamt up the New 52 are being framed as villains by their own characters – or are they... (steeples fingers)?

So Wally’s running to let everyone know it’s not over (“it” is classic continuity) – and then what, Wally? You enigmatically tell people “Hey, it’s not over!” and then you disappear? I don’t understand what he’s doing in this comic.

The rest of the issue is a slideshow of pure fan service. Ray Palmer/The Atom is back. Ted Kord/The Blue Beetle is teaming up with a kid for some reason – and Doctor Fate! Aquaman proposes to Mera – weren’t they already married?! Romance is hinted at between Green Arrow and Black Canary so that relationship is being re-done. Aqualad is black AND gay so DC are can pat themselves on the back for doing their part for diverse representation in comics. Barry Allen Flash and Wally reuniting is the “emotional” crux of the issue but, like I said, whether that means anything to you – like everything else listed above – depends on your familiarity with the characters. If you know little to nothing about them, like me, you’re not gonna care about any of that. Two Flashes hugging - fart. I’m definitely not tempted to pick up any of these titles to read what happens next!

Fuming DC Fanboy: Did you like anything about the comic, YOU MISERABLE MARVEL-TARD FUCK!?

(Brushes foam off face) I’m not a Marvel zombie (go Drawn + Quarterly!) and yes – the Watchmen reveal at the end was interesting. I mentioned earlier that “someone” had stolen ten years from the heroes and wiped their memories and it turns out it wasn’t the DC Editors (even though it was) but it was the Watchmen who’re now part of the DCU. I think I liked it because I’m not much of a Watchmen fan – it’s definitely the most overrated comic ever – and it’ll be amusing seeing the reactions of the hardcore Watchmen fans who’re probably gonna be mad as hell to see DC fucking with their beloved characters again (remember Before Watchmen a few years ago?). You know DC’s L’il Gotham series? We’re so close to having the Simpsons joke, Watchmen Babies, come true! I wonder if a Watchmen/DC event comic - it’ll have some dumb name like Watchmen War or DC Universe Vs Watchmen - is the secret title Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are working on?

I also liked the death of Pandora, a character who appeared in every first issue of the New 52 and came to symbolically represent the New 52 as a whole (that is, garbage). Killing her off is DC definitively putting a lid on the whole New 52 crapfest. The art team for this issue was very strong too: Gary Frank, Ethan van Sciver, Ivan Reis, and Phil Jimenez are all first class artists. And you can’t knock the value of the comic - $2.99 (or $1.99 digital) for a 60+ page issue (the remaining 20ish pages are covers/ads) is very decent.

Because of DC’s regular universe rejigging (three reboots/relaunches in five years!) I’ve not come to expect much from them and Rebirth pretty much lived up to that. This issue tells us that they’re not trying anything new and heading back to the same old stuff. It’s disappointing for me because I want to see DC take some chances (mixing in the Watchmen kinda counts - we’ll have to see what they do with them).

The best, most memorable (and, inevitably, some of the worst) storylines come from taking risks with your characters - I can’t think of any that emerged from playing it safe. That said, I was willing to give Tom King’s Batman series a shot but after finding out here where that title is headed, it’s turned me completely off buying it. I’ll still read it (and Superman and Wonder Woman) but it’ll be in collected edition – from the library. So actually this bumper issue launching Rebirth not only failed to excite me but also had a detrimental effect on what forthcoming titles I’ll be picking up.

If you’re an old school DC fan you’ll probably get a lot from this issue and fill your Batman drawers in anticipation of what’s ahead. A lot of casual, newer readers though are gonna be baffled with a number of scenes crammed into this issue and might think twice about delving into these new Rebirth titles.

Whatever your reaction, know that we’re never far away from DC’s next universe changing relaunch so don’t worry, they’ll give you something you like eventually before yanking it away just as quickly! I just have one suggestion: when Rebirth fails in a year or two, DC have to call their next reconfiguration Afterbirth!
Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,539 followers
April 6, 2017
An interesting one-shot where DC is rebooting their Universe once again (killing off the unpopular New 52) this time with Rebirth. Here Wayne West comes from an alternative reality to warn his friends about an aberration which has changed their relationships and poses a danger. The artwork is great, the story is interesting but most importantly, they introduce the Watchmen into this Rebirth series. I will be interested to see how this new series develops.
Profile Image for Liz Janet.
579 reviews381 followers
April 9, 2018
What can I say without spoiling anything? Well, after this, I am definitely re-reading Watchmen.

I am extremely glad that this is not a reboot. Instead we have been told and shown that the continuity was not erased with The New 52, but that 10 years of the lives of the characters were erased, but the stories are still there, it has just been altered. But by whom? Or what? Wally West knows of this, but he does not know the culprit, so he is trying to remain in this plane in order to alert his old friends before the Speed Force fully takes him forever. He is trying to get anyone he hopes will remember him to do so, that way he will have time to warn them, but not even his wife remembers him. Of course, he will end up alerting someone, but it is fun to see how he narrates until the one person remembers him. This scene brought tears to my eyes, it was a similar effect I had to the death of Barry Allen.


Basically, this is a story of friends trapped in time and space, and there is no guarantee that they will come back, but they just might (which I am hoping for). A story of loves long lost that might make a reappearance (I am looking at you Green Arrow + Black Canary), of friendships that were weakened through the years being gone, that will hopefully be established once more.

This event will not erase the more modern characters that have been brought up with New 52, nor will it take any of the older characters, but we will see a merge of the best of both worlds. Luckily for us, the new characters are diverse in sexuality and race, and they might just be taking very powerful mantles. They might not be treated as second fiddle anymore, but might have their own spotlight (looking at you, Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz).

This did what it set out to do. It somehow managed to semi-fix the continuity and plot holes created by New 52, and it hyped me up for the new series to come. I just want to know who used the memory erasing to weaken friendships, and why. And when are they/it coming to “finish” the deed. GOOD JOB GEOFF JOHNS AND CREW, GOOD JOB!!!
Profile Image for Chad.
7,714 reviews867 followers
October 23, 2020
Unfortunately, the new 52 is alive and well. However, Johns does a fantastic job of setting up where the DC universe is headed for the next few years. He introduces a larger mystery, that someone orchestrated the new 52 out of Flashpoint. We visit a lot of characters throughout the DCU, setting them on new paths and reminding them of things wiped out in new 52. The book is full of great art. Finally Johns introduces something really cool at the end of the book. I just hope the rest of DC doesn't screw it up.

Reread this as part of the DC Rebirth Omnibus and had a few additional thoughts. This sets up Atom to have a big roll in Rebirth, but we haven't really seen him yet that I'm aware of. I was hoping we'd get an Atom series out of this. Hopefully DC will also still deal with the JSA and Legion of Super-Heroes threads left dangling here.

2020 Update: I decided to go back and reread this now that Batman: Three Jokers has finally come out. It just gets a couple panel reference in this. This time I read the Deluxe Edition and the back matter goes out of its way to show you how this is related to Watchmen, breaking down pages and panels that are modeled off Watchmen. It's worth checking out if you like that kind of thing.
Profile Image for Scott.
1,746 reviews123 followers
August 15, 2022
"There's a force out there we've never met. There's going to be a war between hope and despair. Love and apathy. Faith and disbelief." -- Wally West, a.k.a. The Flash, delivering a doom-laden message

Consistently great illustrations and a handful of well-written - albeit often too brief, most of the time - scenes made this volume good but not quite outstanding. Actually, I'm not sure that A LOT really transpired here other than the set-up an eventual story arc. However, at less than 100 pages it did not have a chance to get boring. The cover art depicting the Justice League members dramatically striking a pose (referencing 'The Creation of Adam' by Michelangelo - the artist, not the TMNT) also veers into 'bait & switch' territory, as many of the characters are lucky if the get a single scene inside.
Profile Image for Roxanne.
463 reviews43 followers
May 25, 2016
The new 52 is done! You don't have to complain about it any longer, for the most part i liked the new 52 stuff, and the name wasn't as disgusting as rebirth but whatever we gotta let it go.

Johns does a pretty neat job in trying to explain the fuck up of the DC timeline, which some are more obsessed with than others. Me, i don't really care, personally i didn't feel the story needed to be done, if DC were just like we're rebooting most of our comics, crack on with it, i'd be like cool fine i don't need some timeline explanation to just accept Batman or Superman now have different capes or sidekicks, like it's fine really.
So it's a different timeline, people are back, relationships are either split or together, it's just the usual stuff, but it is cool to see DC getting a bit of a change up, i nearly lost my shit when i saw Aqualad because flippin' heck tucker it's about time so i hope he shows up more and it wasn't just a one off for this. The story isn't overly confusing either, new readers may feel a bit lost but welcome to the club, that confusion may wear off over time, or possibly like me you might start reading DC comics and think you know your shit and then they decide to reboot everything and everything you read doesn't mean shit any more, have fun new readers!
Overall it's a quick read, explains as little and as most as it can, it basically gears up the rest of the rebirth titles, drags watchmen into it, did they screw the timeline up? Who knows, who cares just let me read the new Batman already with his fucking 300 odd jokers.
Profile Image for Anthony.
781 reviews57 followers
November 24, 2017
That Geoff Johns guy. He knows what he's doing. He knows how to write a good comic and set up lots of cool stuff for Rebirth. Some of the stuff in this is just straight up masterful, which sounds like hyper bowl, but I consider myself more of Marvel guy and just a casual DC guy and I still loved this. I can't really get into much else without spoiling it but I think if you've ever read a DC comic, especially one from the 80s onwards, you should check this out.
Profile Image for Lashaan Balasingam.
1,361 reviews4,619 followers
March 8, 2018
You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

Hey Lashaan, is this another reboot by DC? No, my friend. This is far from being a reboot. We don’t start from scratch. We aren’t about to re-explore all the origin stories of our beloved superheroes. We will not be looking looking at rehashed stories from the past. Wait. Are we? DC Universe Rebirth is a new step by DC Comics. You can gladly say goodbye to all the New 52 tags that you’ve been seeing for the past couple years. DC even changed their logo to mark their brand new beginning. While some people are probably lost and completely disoriented by all the things that happened during the New 52 era, others just jumped into anything that tickled their curiosity. More often than not, people found the New 52 a real big mess, even if some series had some really amazing runs here and there. Rebirth is probably something that was much needed by the company. I’m all in for a completely new management, new creative teams, new series and new numbering.

DC Universe Rebirth #1 is a single-shot story with Geoff Johns as lead writer. This 80 page comic is where it all begins. Readers are presented with the big plot twist that will run throughout the whole Rebirth universe from now on. This is where everyone should start, theoretically, in order to understand anything Rebirth related. I say theoretically because the truth of the matter is that you would still need to check out some of the last issues of some New 52 series in order to follow some of the events that will directly continued. Among those series, Justice League (especially #50) and Superman (especially #52) from the New 52 universe are two key issues to have read before engaging Rebirth, unless you don’t mind getting spoiled to some extent. Once those have been read, DC Universe Rebirth #1 will propel you into a completely new and original storyline that will affect absolutely everyone. Except Wally West.

What Geoff Johns brings to DC Comics with this single-short story is ingenious. If you ask me, the idea behind Rebirth, based on this lone story, is a tremendous, extravagant and glorious step forward. It’s hard to talk about the story without jumping into spoilers, but to comprehend this story, several keys issues should be read. Besides the ones mentioned earlier, the famous story of Flashpoint by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert is also a MAJOR plot to be conscious about. Flashpoint is exactly what explains DC Comics relaunch notably called the New 52. In this story, Geoff Johns uses the Flashpoint again, but in an even more substantial manner. DC Universe Rebirth securely uses that plotline to devise a clever twist to the universe that will potentially revitalize DC Comics. To narrate the story, Wally West figures center stage. He alone knows what everyone else doesn’t. This factor drives the majority of the story until the denouement. A part of the story that will bring tears to our inner child.

Wally West’s narration was flawless. Geoff Johns makes this a beautiful story about relationships and does a brilliant job in keeping the momentum steady throughout the issue. What Wally West knows could save every heroes future, but he, himself, is stuck in the speedforce looking for a way out. To do so, he needs to find someone that actually remembers him, which is not the case. While he tries to find someone to connect with, readers finds out that there’s a brand new villain that had something to do with Wally’s situation and the big secret that he alone knows: someone has deleted the past 10 years from existence. Throughout the story, Geoff Johns explores the current situation of a vast array of superheroes and popular characters. These quick moments give readers a glimpse into the lives of the heroes that they might soon follow throughout their respective Rebirth series.

The best part of this story is the end. The big finale where we are finally shown the missing puzzle, and the big surprise, of what Rebirth has in store for us. Besides the great writing, the original direction, the efficient summaries of the lives of all our beloved heroes and the fantastic artwork, DC Universe Rebirth #1 delivers a formidable plot twist. Every time I went through this issue, it always ended up sending shivers down my spine. I cannot repeat how optimistic this series makes feel for the Rebirth series to come. But this is not to say that everything that is to come is going to be part of the classics we know and love to this day. I’m glad that about the direction its taking and the ideas that have been presented. I just hope that the future will have more amazing surprises for fans. Hopefully, DC Comics will know where they want to go with Rebirth.

Where should you go after reading this issue? DC Comics is really good at confusing people, so I’ll hook you guys up with some tips and tricks. After this big one-shot story, DC Comics started to roll out these #1 issues (they are also one-shot stories) for major series (which comes down to around 21 different #1s). These Rebirth Specials is what you should look for before jumping into the Rebirth series of your desired superhero. And so, for example, if you want to read the Rebirth Flash series. You should go after the Rebirth Special called The Flash Rebirth #1. Afterwards, you should hunt for The Flash #1 and so on. These main series normally ship twice monthly, while others are monthly.

Click here to check out the list of series.

Of course, for those who don’t plan on collection issues, you can always wait for the DC Rebirth Omnibus (link below) for all the one-shot Rebirth Specials, including this 80 page one-shot story. And then check out the trade paperbacks of the series you’d love to follow!

Yours truly,

Lashaan | Blogger and Book Reviewer
Official blog: http://bookidote.wordpress.com

Damn.. That plot twist was wild. I definitely enjoyed how the continuity was managed and how things have been reorganized for-potentially-a better reboot. I enjoyed Wally West's narration and his fight to survive. This one-shot issue had its emotional moments and succeeded in well presenting all the heroes that are bound to have more spotlight in the near future.

I enjoyed how the Flashpoint was summarized and implemented into the storyline. I'm sort of optimistic about Rebirth, but who knows. It's all in the hands of all the new creative teams to come.

P.S. A full review to come.

Lashaan | Blogger and Book Reviewer
Official blog: http://bookidote.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Ray.
Author 16 books289 followers
June 11, 2021
If you like Geoff Johns, then you'll like DC Rebirth. It is overall an improvement over New 52, but also weird that Johns himself spearheaded the whole Flashpoint and Justice League reboots just to undo it a few years later.

All this DC continuity stuff is exhausting. What's the point? Superheroes don't seem to do anything to really save anyone from bad guys anymore, they just play around with cosmic arcs about how history is constantly rewritten. Guess it makes for some good character moments, like Flashes Barry Allen remembering Wally West and all that. But overall is there really a point for anyone except for diehard fans...

The art is excellent. A good intro to the new era, of which inspired plenty of quality comics recently. Still an essential one-shot to read, but I dunno I just think too much about it, and it's hard to support this kind of storytelling overall.
Profile Image for Paul.
303 reviews73 followers
November 30, 2016
when you're one of the two major comic book publishers, with hundreds of not thousands of characters that have been around decades, there's a possibility, no probability that the mythos will get messy. that's when you call in Geoff John's the creator cool enough to have 2 first names
Profile Image for Donovan.
697 reviews66 followers
February 5, 2018
A classic DC “event” setup. It builds mystery only to divulge the secret like a rabid reader too eager to wait. But that’s okay. The mashup itself is exciting enough to excuse the built-in spoilers. Fantastic illustrations.
Profile Image for The Sapphic Nerd.
958 reviews43 followers
June 14, 2016
Two very significant things happen in this book:

1) I teared up over two male characters saying goodbye who I have no emotional attachment to. I'm not trying to be sexist, but it is admittedly more difficult for me, personally, to get emotional over male characters. I just don't relate to them as well. So to say that I teared up over two male characters who I have little-to-no experience with is saying a lot.

2) There's this one crazy reveal at the end that boggles my mind. I never expected it, but it's going to be immensely interesting to see how they pull it off.

Needless to say, I'm excited about DC Universe Rebirth - the main story. Before reading this issue I had no intention of following the main series. I just wanted to know what context the branching stories were happening in. But things are different now.
Profile Image for Read with Sandee ・❥・.
645 reviews1,298 followers
September 11, 2016
The intro and the epilogue sent shivers up my spine!

I freakin loved this.

For someone who is new to reading DC stuff, this would definitely walk you through what's happening to the DC universe moving forward. I liked how they wrote this in a way that new readers would understand. It didn't assume that everyone reading this would have read every other DC comic book out there, which is mostly the case in comic books that are follow ups to previous series. There was a note though, that you should read Justice League #50 and Superman #52, which I have not read (because I only saw the notes when I reread this), but I still appreciated this for what it was.

I've never read any Flash comic book with Wally West in it, so this would have to be my first encouter with this character. He seems to be the main narrator. Despite being just introduced to this character, I felt drawn to him. I felt sympathy for his situation and the gravity of what he was trying to do.

A summary of what's going on so far:

Everything is in chaos and an invisible threat looming in the horizon. No one knows who it is, but I think, I sort of have an idea.


I'm not exactly sure.

But that pin though, I'm not sure why it's here. No spoilers coming from me. But I am very curious on what its role to the story is, because for as far as I know, it exists in an entirely different universe.

I can't wait to read the next one!

Holy shit I'm excited as fuck.
Profile Image for Chelsea &#x1f3f3;️‍&#x1f308;.
1,526 reviews6 followers
March 29, 2017
This went from 4 to 5 stars with the last 6 pages or so.

Full disclosure, I've yet to meet a version of Wally West that I really, truly care about. I like him on the CW show and he was cool in Young Justice but this is the first time I found him compelling. The entirety of this book is from his point of view. And I cared. I even teared up a bit in the end.

This explains why Rebirth happens in a way Marvel has failed to explain their universe shifts. I'm still fairly new to DC comics and even I understood what was happening here. It's a clever, non-bullshit-y way to reboot your characters and bring them closer to who they used to be.

This book gives just enough of each of the other titles that branch out from here. There were glimpses of Damian Wayne, Dick Grayson, Cyborg, Batsy, Jessica Cruz, Constantine and the "Smith" family with Jon, Lois and Clark. It's just the right about to get you psyched for the books and it doesn't distract from Wally's story.

He's traveling the world trying to find someone who will remember him despite their fucked up timeline and it's kind of heartbreaking. When he finally comes across Linda Park, I really felt for him. I know nothing of their relationship but now I really want to.

The end with Barry and Wally was really touching.

And the actual ending left me with a lot of questions.

Anyway, hate to go there but DC Rebirth is kicking Marvel's ass right now and this book explains why. They didn't revamp their characters just to ruin their characterization or try outlandish, offensive twists to draw readers and attention. They did this universe wide reboot to get closer to who the characters used to be. And so far, I'm loving it! I'm way more excited to pick up their books than 95% of the garbage Marvel has been pushing at me lately.

This is really easy to get into, even if you know nothing about the characters. So, it's definitely a recommend from me.

Sidenote: I guess I have to give Geoff Johns a slight apology. This is a really good book with character development. Give me more, Johns. More books like this!

I'm gonna check out that $80 omnibus!

5 stars.
Profile Image for Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣.
651 reviews402 followers
August 7, 2016

Oh, wow! I have little to no experience with DC comics unless we're talking Harley Quinn, Suicide Squad or the Joker.

But this is the first comic to bring tears to my eyes. And it was over two men bonding.
I'm actually speechless. This is simply beautiful. And I need to go back and read all those comics I hear everybody talking about.
Profile Image for Sud666.
1,938 reviews158 followers
January 22, 2018
I am not a fan of Afterbirth. Neither in real life, where thankfully I've never come across it, nor in the DC universe. But I must say this is an Afterbirth story that's not bad. I mean it IS the Justice League and it IS Geoff Johns, a combination that ought not to fail, but DC's stories/plots/decisions over the past several versions (New 52, Newer 52, Newest 52 and now Afterbirth) show they can manage to fuck just about anything up. So it was nice to read a decent story and see some damn good art.

Wally West, the Kid Flash, is stuck in the Speed Force. He is trying to make it back to our world, but to do so he must be able to gain the recognition of someone from our universe. Easier said than done. It seems someone has taken a decade away from the timestream (yeah? how does that work? Never mind..)and it's changed things. Wally needs to get back to our timestream to fix things or at least alert people to the problems. This world tour of Wally showing up randomly to scare the shit out of people and then asking if they know him before discorporating is a nice setup for DC to introduce us to the new Afterbirth world. I did enjoy the subtle Watchmen hints..from the badge to the similarities in conversation in some of the characters. No spoilers-so figure it out on your own.

The art? It's REALLY good. Impressive, clean and beautiful-heads and shoulder's over what passes for art in some comics. So all in all this is a fun read. Most JL fans will like this story especially since it helps explain the setup of the Afterbirth universe.
Profile Image for Ali Mahfoodh.
194 reviews146 followers
January 8, 2020
I don't think that I'm going to continue with the rebirth. There are too much things that I have to know to enjoy it. Most of the time while reading I found myself just asking: What the hell is going on! I have no idea about the previous incidents on the new 52, so that's may make sense. I can understand (barely) why it would be amazing for others... and why it's not for me.
Profile Image for Rizwan Khalil.
331 reviews511 followers
July 10, 2018
It was pretty good, but as a graphic novel less than great in my opinion, felt too much like a giant preview session for the upcoming events than an actual fullfledged story. Still it was really engaging and emotional at times, I loved the narration with the voice of Wally West and could connect with his sadness and panic as time's running out for him. It did it's job of summing up the past timelines of DC and explaining what's the difference between Pre-Flashpoint continuity and The New 52, and why exactly everything changed (other than it being a decision from the DC Editorial to revamp everything for the new generation, that is). All these in less than just 80 pages, which is rather commendable. Its perfectly clear why writer Geoff Johns is the main think-tank behind DC in the last 10-12 years or so: he knows, respects and appreciates the long legacy of DCU and it's characters, builds upon it to move forward that legacy into new groundbreaking ideas and worlds, all the while telling a great story with wonderful characterizations. DCU Rebirth is a perfect example of that. I also liked the final twist very much, it was totally unexpected but intriguing with many possibilities. Even though I've yet to read that graphic novel, I knew about it and I got the point: .

Over all, Rebirth fulfilled what it's set out to do: explaining the next continuity (which is NOT a total reboot, thank God! rather merging of both worlds), telling an interesting story (if you can ignore all the dangling new plotlines), and making me hopeful and interested in where everything will go next. 8.5 out of 10.
Profile Image for Rory Wilding.
636 reviews25 followers
February 7, 2017

As a DC fan, I can understand the readers’ frustration over The New 52 which was a clean slate after Flashpoint altered the timeline which has been around for many decades. A lot of what readers loved about DC’s history was removed and even though there were great moments, for me at least Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s wonderful run on Batman, it just wasn’t their DC anymore.

As a clear response to the negativity, another relaunch was inevitable and beginning with this one-shot issue, DC Universe: Rebirth by Geoff Johns re-lays the groundwork for DC's future while celebrating the past and present. Although it does continue with The New 52, you have the pre-Flashpoint Wally West aka Kid Flash lost in the Speed Force trying to find his way home as the Earth has been altered by some outside force, hence the existence of the New 52.

Very much the protagonist of this story, Wally West is a welcoming sight for those who prefer him over Barry Allen, although their reunion is so touching that this was the joy that DC fans have craved for quite some time.

If you haven’t caught up with the continuity from the last five years, you may be baffled by a number of individual sequences here (the aftermath of one Superman’s death and the arrival of another as bearded father and husband). However, this is all about how these characters are reinvigorated and old faces returning, as well as setting up a major mystery which will run across the Rebirth titles.

In regards to the mystery, the final pages reveal Batman holding a smiley face badge and the big reveal of Dr Manhattan playing god with the DC Universe. The inclusion of Watchmen is both exciting and worrisome, as on the one hand, it’ll be interesting to see how these characters by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons will interact with DC’s iconic heroes and yet Moore and Gibbons authored the greatest graphic novel of all time and anyone else stepping into their turf is almost sacrilege. That’s why I avoided the Before Watchmen titles!

Given his role as head co-runner of the DC Extended Universe (following the mixed results of Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad), Johns has stated his return to comics and it will be interesting to see what plans he has for the pages of DC.

However, the best thing I got out of this enjoyable read, is the temptation of re-reading Watchmen again.
Profile Image for Nicolo.
2,109 reviews128 followers
January 10, 2017
I wanted the first print when it was released in the stores, but always it was sold out. This hardcover edition is pricier than bargain price the original, but I got this as a gift and the oversized page trim gives the reader more room to enjoy the art.

This was the last comic work writer Geoff Johns did before going on hiatus but he went out on a great note. He always writes Wally West so well and that made him the right man to pen the first story of the new DC relaunch.

Initially, I have some misgiving about accepting the Watchmen characters in to the DC Universe fold. They don't actually appear her but the hints aren't as subtle as they are blunt. Still, if there was one man who could do it, it would be Johns.
Profile Image for Jedi JC Daquis.
902 reviews42 followers
October 8, 2016
Now on my seventh time reading this, I still cry. DC Universe Rebirth is gonna be the one-shot comic of the decade. Seriously man, what is the reason that you haven't read this Geoff Johns baby?

I admit to all people, both young and old, that the New 52 has got me into reading superhero DC titles (which were limited to Alan Moore titles before that). It has then led me to collect a number of pre-new 52 titles, from Crises stories to Birthright to Animal Man etc. So whatever dogshit New 52 threw to the old world, it was clear that the reboot of fresh issue 1s gained the publisher new followers at the expense of so many fans who felt annoyed with the change.

So I didn't know what the DC landscape was pre-New52. I have read a bunch of stories, but not really felt the whole picture. Now I'm starting to see. And my god, it was really, really way better than New52. So many things were lost! I felt almost guilty that I didn't bother reading such rich material. It was filled with ideals and hope.

Now here comes DC Rebirth. It is funny that DC doesn't call it a reboot, but in fact it is a semi-reboot. Props to Geoff Johns though, because Rebirth is a restart which is done correctly. This made me research all the easter eggs. Wow. The things that DC are promising to its readers, I hope they do meet our expectations.

Yes I said I cried. And this is coming from someone who is not emotionally invested with the narrator. But his return was so heartfelt and genuine. Why? Well it is more than the great artwork and crisp lines. It is because Rebirth is a love letter. DC basically admitted they messed up and now is saying sorry and promises to bring back the ones that were missing yet not destroying the new. The whole story is more grounded and not like previous reboots which are lavishly grandiose and overly ambitious. Rebirth hits your fragile emotions, like a Nicholas Sparks or a Korean family movie for comic book nerds.

The villain reveal, oh yes! Personally (and what many feel as well), the story the villains came from is sacred ground in DC Universe and must not interact with the main DC superheroes. A big risk for them I may say. So DC better has to handle this seriously and carefully. But yes, I am extremely pumped-up to see how our DC superheroes will go against these group of baddies.

Read Rebirth all of you. Okay? This is one helluva issue.
Profile Image for Arturo.
366 reviews13 followers
June 15, 2016
Long story short.. The story is of one lone hero who was 'forgotten' during the new 52, who is trying to.. basically exist, and warn everyone or just someone of why the new 52 universe is different.

As I was reaching the end I started thinking, oh no they're not gonna get me this time, they got me when Wally West was saying good bye to Linda West and their twins in Infinite Crisis, they got me in Flashpoint. But I see where this is going, they won't get me this time, and bam, surprise! they got me :..(

Awesome storytelling.

Also included, unlike previous one-shots before or after a crisis with short stories previewing future titles (Brave New World one-shot comes to mind), throughout the story we have hints and concepts of future storylines of all the rebirth titles, sometimes in just three panels.

Will you give up on the DC universe after this? Doubt it. Will at least one concept interest you enough to pick up a title? Most likely.

On the first page it's says to read JL#50 and Superman#52. So yes, I put the comic down and finished those stories arcs that I was barely in the middle of, this was one time it seemed important to do. Especially 'The Last Days of Superman'

I think some subplots will continue into Titans and with Dan Abnett writing, I'll check it out.
The concepts to draw you in and check out Wonder Woman is good, especially with Greg Rucka writing but not enough to buy the issues for me.
The Joker concept is over the top and doubt it will resolve any time soon, or this year.
Will buy for writer and artist, though.
Not only are there changes in the Superman titles but this issue calls into question the whole thing : o. Will buy.
The ending with what Batman finds in his Batcave I thought was AWESOME!!! It wasn't until I felt like telling the world that I realized maybe it's not that big a deal : /

On another note, I'm kinda glad I stopped buying comics before the new 52 started, on account of having kids, it saved me money. You might wanna skip all this until another reboot. Choose your destiny.

Profile Image for Aaron McGowan.
Author 12 books46 followers
June 9, 2016
If you don't read comics and want a place to start this is it! Mr Johns writes this awesome beginning to something that I can tell will lead to the biggest battle in the DCU! Don't miss this one! Batman, superman, GL and flash... What more do you need? This is a spoiler free review I would love to spoil but damn it's too good to do that to you! Enjoy!
Profile Image for Dimitris Papastergiou.
1,811 reviews55 followers
February 28, 2018
Shit is happening.

You have to read it.

This was like waiting to have sex and then she's showing you one boob and leaves the room.


It was definitely the best I've read from DC since Snyder's Batman.

(so basically anything since Batman Court of Owls wasn't THAT good as this one. So that's good. It means it's great.. READ IT.)
Profile Image for RG.
3,090 reviews
June 6, 2018
I actually kinda liked this. Art was fun, the story was fun as I'm new to most of the characters. Gave a cool sense of epicness but made the flash seem centre of the story. Intrigued me with regards to The Flash and his background.
Profile Image for Sesana.
5,186 reviews345 followers
December 21, 2016
A bit of a snooze, but the last chapter makes up for it. There's a nice scene between Barry and Wally, and the ending really is quite a kick in the pants if you don't know it's going to happen.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 627 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.