Every so often, cataclysmic, reality-revising events shake the DC comic book universe to its very core. In 1985, it was Crisis on Infinite Earths. In 1994, it was Zero Hour. In 2005, it was Infinite Crisis. And, in 2011, it was Flashpoint. And now, that time has come again.
This Wednesday, DC Comics will release the DC Universe: Rebirth one-shot, re-writing and refining the history and continuity of the DC Universe, and officially ushering in the end of the New 52 era. Details about the one-shot’s contents have begun to leak out, and several months of solicitations are available, so we now have a better idea of what the reborn DCU will be (and whether the initiative is getting the important things right) and what lies ahead for fans.
The New 52 launched in September 2011 following the reality-altering Flashpoint event, and saw the history of the old universe shortened, altered and merged with aspects of the Wildstorm universe. The initial 52 series expanded with subsequent ongoings, miniseries and one-shots that filled a new vision of the classic DC characters.
The New 52 line has been polarizing amongst fans for its '90s-inspired aesthetic, simplified history, and alterations and removal of beloved characters. There is certainly a lot that can be improved about the New 52 — as evidenced by the fact that DC feels the need to re-write it not even 5 years later — but, despite its problems, the era did have its bright spots that shouldn’t be tossed out prematurely.
From Gotham to Earth 2 and from the icons of the Justice League to the most obscure corners of the DC Universe, there are quite a few aspects of DC’s New 52 that laid a foundation worth building upon. Hopefully DC capitalizes on these strengths going forward, and doesn’t double-down on the line’s weaknesses.
This is all just one man’s opinion, of course, so be sure to let me know in the comments what you think of what’s announced of Rebirth so far, what your favorite parts of the New 52 are, and what you hope they get rid of.