It’s re­boot time ( again) for the ven­er­a­ble comics out­fit

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When is­are boot not are boot?

The ru­mours were build­ing for weeks. DC Comics was plan­ning some­thing big that would en­com­pass their en­tire su­per­hero line. At the Comic­sPRO event in Fe­bru­ary, Co- Pub­lisher Dan DiDio re­vealed the truth. DC Re­birth is a re­launch pro­gramme that aims to re­store the legacy to DC Comics that its pre­vi­ous re­fresh, the New 52, erased.

Ripit up and start again

Let’s back­track a lit­tle. Once upon a time, DC’s con­ti­nu­ity was a tangle of al­ter­nate re­al­i­ties. In 1986 Cri­sis On In­fi­nite Earths stream­lined ev­ery­thing into a co­her­ent con­ti­nu­ity. It worked, but DC con­tin­ued to tin­ker with things. De­cid­ing that a clean slate was needed, 2011’ s Flash­point sto­ry­line kick­started the New 52 – a re­boot which wiped out decades of char­ac­ter his­tory and started again.

Court­ing con­tro­versy

Re­birth is an at­tempt to re­store some of that his­tory – though how we don’t yet know. The event kicks off with DC Re­birth # 1, by Ge­off Johns, Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis, Phil Jiminez and Gary Frank. Dan DiDio has promised that it will fea­ture “the sin­gle most con­tro­ver­sial scene in DC Comics in the time I’ve been there”. Yay?

What’ sin a num­ber?

There’s noth­ing comics pub­lish­ers love more than a new # 1, and Re­birth gives DC the chance to slap them across al­most all of its ti­tles. The no­table ex­cep­tions are Su­per­man and Bat­man ti­tles Ac­tion Comics and De­tec­tive Comics, which will be re­turn­ing to their pre- Flash­point num­bers. So, # 957 and # 934 re­spec­tively.

It will cost you­less… kind of

In­stead of us­ing this an op­por­tu­nity for a price hike, DC is tak­ing the op­po­site ap­proach, re­duc­ing their is­sue costs to $ 2.99 ( they’re cur­rently $ 3.99). That’s smart – it en­cour­ages new read­ers while also tak­ing the sting out of this next piece of news: 10 of the more pop­u­lar ti­tles like Bat­man, Su­per­man, The Flash and Won­der Woman will be mov­ing to a fort­nightly sched­ule.

Some­thin­gold, some­thing new ...

DC is be­ing cagey about ex­actly who is writ­ing and draw­ing what, but we know some of the ti­tles. As well as the big books there are some in­trigu­ing spin- offs like The Su­per- Man and Su­per Sons, along with books for lesser­known char­ac­ters like the Blue Bee­tle. More trou­bling is the ap­par­ent can­cel­la­tion of di­ver­sity- friendly ti­tles like Se­cret Six, Mid­nighter, Doc­tor Fate and Black Ca­nary.

Who isthis aimed at?

Re­birth looks like an at­tempt by DC to have its cake and eat it. It’s bring­ing back the el­e­ments of the old con­ti­nu­ity that fans missed, while also look­ing to en­tice new fans with new # 1 is­sues. It’s a bit of a gam­ble to start over again so soon af­ter the New 52, but it may just work...

When does it start?

DC Re­birth # 1, by Ge­off Johns, kicks the whole thing off on Wed­nes­day 25 May.

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