Thinking about reading some comics? You should. And DC’s latest event ‘Rebirth’ is an ideal starting point for newcomers.
What is a reboot?
Often, to some people’s annoyance, comic book ‘universes’, as they’re known, are rebooted. This basically means that parts, if not all, of the previous continuity is scrapped, the numbering on the issues goes back to #1 and the character’s basically go back to square one. It’s like hitting the reset button. The degree to which these reboots go to is variable. Marvel have done a few ‘soft’ reboots, most recently after the events of Secret Wars while DC did a huge reboot in 2011, named the New 52, where much of the history of the DC universe was flushed down the toilet.
Often, these reboots are caused by huge cross-over events spanning multiple comics and usually involve some sort of huge time/ cosmic/ God-like event, which results in timelines/ multiple dimensions colliding. Or something. It gets a bit confusing. Basically, something goes wrong which results in the time itself or something being reset. Which gives the writers a blank canvas to write on.
Why do they do this?
One, it’s hard to keep things fresh if you have 70 years of history that the writers have to adhere to. It can become confusing and it’s much easier just to reboot and start afresh.
Two, it’s so new people can jump on board. With the increasing popularity of comic book films, its becoming more and more likely that people who otherwise might scoff at reading a comic, might just feel like picking one up. Reboots are an ideal opportunity. It gives newcomers an obvious starting point. They’re not going to be jumping on mid story arc, having to know what happened in a story 5 years ago.
What’s Rebirth, then?
What DC have done with their Rebirth event is essentially rebooted the universe but instead of wiping the history, they’ve actually restored a huge chunk of history that they wiped out when they started the New 52.
The flashpoint event which caused the aforementioned New 52 continuum resulted in a lot of the history of the DC universe being reset – much to the annoyance of a lot of long time comic book readers. What they’ve cleverly done with Rebirth is reintroduced this history and simultaneously rebooted the universe, making it an ideal jump on point for newcomers while appeasing long time fans.
Is Rebirth any good?
In short – yes. It’s very good so far. Rebirth #1 is a thrilling and emotional way to kick off this new era and it will appeal to long time fans and newcomers alike. It sets the scene perfectly. It explains briefly what happened in Flashpoint to cause the New 52 and explains (ish) why Rebirth is happening.
We’ve read the Rebirth #1 and the ‘reboot’ issues of Batman, Detective comics, Superman and Wonder Woman so far and they’ve all been pretty great. We’d really recommend jumping on board.
Bad news is, all the first print issues sold out pretty quickly. Good news…they’re reprinting so be sure to pick them up if you’re interested! If you don’t have a local comic book shop, eBay is often a good place to look as a lot of stores round the country will sell on there. I get a lot of my comics from Ace comics, who have a great online service. Forbidden Planet is another place you might want to look.
Have we convinced you? Already reading Rebirth? Let us know what you think so far!