Friday, May 27, 2016

DC Universe Rebirth #1

First there was the Pre-Crisis Universe. Then the Post-Crisis Universe. Then the Zero Hour Touch-up Universe. Then there was the 2000s with about two dozen crises. That became the Preboot Universe. Then came the Reboot Universe. Then the DC Youniverse. Now after Rebirth, it will be the Afterbirth Universe.

The Review!
I can live with this change. I can't say for sure but it sounds like DC Comics is finally taking my advice that I've been giving for free for five years now and decided to go with a really loose continuity. Everything happened if a writer wants the thing from the past to have happened and wants to use it in their story. And since Wally keeps mentioning how he's forgetting things, he's helping frame the universe in a way that defies explanation. "Well how did that come about?" "I don't remember! Because if I remembered, it wouldn't make any fucking sense!" This is the kind of continuity I like. You know what? Forget even that word: continuity. It's history. It's the history of the DC Universe that makes the characters who they are and DC is once again acknowledging it. Let the Fangenders who need a consistent world that makes sense day by day struggle for a change. I just want to be able to read a comic book and think, "This is the world where Shade the Changing Man took place. At least until he got the Vertigo label, I guess! Same with Doom Patrol! I can now have the Cliff Steele who was friends with Crazy Jane and mentor to Dorothy Spinner. Although Booster Gold is still AWOL. Maybe he'll be the final fix to the universe. Actually, if Booster Gold were the Narrator in this comic book and it was Ted Kord who remembered him and brought him back, I might have actually cried. But as it was, I don't really have any emotional attachment to any Flash that ever existed. All in all, I like the direction the DC Universe is headed. I mean, since it's a universe, it's headed in all directions. Which isn't exactly true either because it's just expanding but not really moving! Or something.

The Commentary!
This comic book has a lot of pages for just $2.99! I don't mean that as praise that DC has held the line at $2.99 because they really haven't. They only do it when it suits them. Like with Rebirth! This is like handing out ecstasy at the local Junior High School. You know those kids won't be able to spend their lunch money fast enough for more of that shit. Of course, if the comic book is awful, DC could give this away with free hand-job or digital manipulation and nobody will be back for more. Hmm, even I wasn't convinced by that. If I got a free hand-job with this comic book, I'd ask my local comic book store to order more.

Okay, I'm going to take a serious guess as to whose hand is coming out of that bright light! I'm not going to make a bunch of jokes just to cover for my ignorance so that afterward I could be all, "Oh, ha ha! My guess was so obviously a joke because I totally knew who it was but who wants to read page after page of me bragging about my Grand Master Comic Book Reader status?! My guess is...

Jonni DC!

It would be just like Johns to turn Jonni DC into a dramatic character whose much more important than anybody first suspected! If I'm wrong, I'll never do what I would have said I was going to do here anyway so I'm just going to forget I said it.

The issue begins with somebody talking about a watch they received from their uncle which had been in the family for generations. Is Geoff Johns trying to make us think of things shoved up people's asses on purpose? That would make a good category on Jeopardy. I bet I'd do really well with that category.

The Narration Boxes are yellow and red so I'm going to guess they're Wally West's thoughts. Plus the Narrator mentions meeting a hero and becoming a legacy. Also because fans of Wally West have never been able to shut up about his disappearance from the DC Universe. Are there worse fans out there than Wally West fans? Of course! Look at the barely human monsters who like Deathstroke! Wally West fans are just over-enthusiastic! And whiny!

Nonexistent Wally West has decided that maybe Batman can help the DC Youniverse remember him because Batman can do anything. But Batman is currently obsessing over The Joker. Better yet, he's obsessing over three Jokers! This must be Batman's best day ever! Finding out there were three Jokers! My theory is that Rebirth is going to allow all events in DC's history to be part of continuity. Nothing has been labeled an Impossible Tale. Nothing has been Retconned. Nothing has been forgotten and thrown into the bin. It can all be referenced because it all happened. How it all happened doesn't fucking matter, you nerds! Just let it be! Let it all lie in a big disgusting mess on the floor like some forgotten, vile, stinking Afterbirth. Oh yeah! I mentioned my theory to continue with the three Jokers thing! I bet it's Geoff Johns way of explaining the various Joker-type stories. You have Joker stories where he's just a goofy flirt. And you have Joker stories where he's a dangerous, murdering, maniacal madman. And you have Joker stories where he puts things up Commissioner Gordon's butt while taking pictures. Hmm, maybe that falls into one of the first two categories. Anyway, I think you can probably think up a third type of Joker story better than I can because I'm barely paying attention to anything. I mean, I just farted a really long fart and am still giggling about it.

Great. The tomato goblin is back.

So is this how things stand, DC Comics? If I whine long and hard enough, you'll bring back my favorite character, the original Sgt. Rock? I don't mean an old guy who lived through World War II! I mean the same guy who was in the World War II comic books but is now alive in the modern era after having lived through World War II and all the intervening years without aging somehow. You figure it out! You're the comic book writers! I guess I just have to complain loudly enough until I get my way! Let me practice with some of the things the Wally West fans probably said to get this moment again.

"I will never accept that black kid as Wally West!"
"I can't believe you Blackwashed Wally West!"
"Wally West was my favorite when he wasn't a black and a criminal and not a white!"
"I hate when things change and they're not the way I wanted them to change! Plus some derogatory stuff about black Wally West! Like referring to him as Kanye!"

Okay! I think I got the hang of it!

I know people weren't simply upset that DC brought back Wally West as a totally different colored person (who was black). They were upset long before DC tried to bring Wally back as a totally different person. I guess I just don't understand the kind of love and loyalty a person can generate for a fictional character. Especially one with red hair.

Look, Afterbirth is messy! I'm going to ruffle some feathers here with some real honest facts like how redheaded people aren't actually people but some kind of meat-vegetable hybrid.

As an aside, people should remember a few words as they read my comic book "reviews". Those words are "hyperbole," "facetiousness", and "genius".

Wally is currently in a place where he remembers Flashpoint and probably all of the other stories he's ever been a part of. He's in the DC Afterbirth! Some people call it the Speed Force but I call it the Afterbirth. Mmm-hmm.

Two identical workplace accidents?! I bet OSHA was all over that.

Wally goes on to explain, in story terms, how The New 52 (and stories preceding it and Flashpoint) were huge mistakes that needed to be set right. But they needed to be set right in story terms! So instead of a bunch of editors taking the DC Universe and fucking it in every orifice they could until the Universe oozed from every pore, the DC Universe would have to be set right by the heroes from within! They would have to pretend the bad guys weren't the editors at all and were actually fictional supervillains or space aliens or time monsters who had to be stopped at all costs! It might not return the universe to something that fangenders can make sense of but it will hopefully return all of DC's history that was once lost. It has to be that way because look at what Giffen is doing in the Sugar and Spike comic book in Legends of Tomorrow! He's got DC's whole history as his playground and he's making full use of it! I mean, in Issue #3 he brought one of DC's Impossible Tales into actual continuity! If Rebirth is doing that, I'm all for Rebirth! Even if it means this idiot Wally West is back!

Just kidding, Wally West fans! Sheesh, you're so easy to piss off! It's like taking candy from a baby and then punching that baby to death so it shuts up about the loss of candy.

Chapter One ends and I realize I'm going to be writing a novella about this thing. I hope you're comfortable and have plenty of Oreos to eat while you read this. Speaking of Oreos, I'm going to go get a Ho-Ho now.

Next, Wally visits an old man in a facility for the elderly. If he's tied to the Speed Force, might it be some version of Jay Garrick who's still tied to the Afterbirth so he realizes something isn't quite right with the world?

Oh! It's almost Jonni DC, right?!

Johnny Thunder can't help because he's old and has lost the genie. So Wally continues his search. While traveling to his next destination, he feels somebody else lost outside of time whom he can't reach. Probably Booster Gold. He's been missing for quite awhile and he's supposedly important to straightening out all of these time shenanigans.

Some blonde member of the Legion of Super-heroes has also arrived in the present DC Youniverse to speak with Superman. The Legion of Super-heroes has about five million members and a good portion of them are blonde, so I don't know who it might be. Saturn Girl? One of the other ones I don't know the name of? Infectious Lass? Is she one of them?

Next there's a scene with Ryan Choi so I know Gail Simone just got some bonerses.

Ray Palmer has discovered a new universe that he's dubbed the Microverse! I'm snickering because I can now see "bonerses" and "Microverse" next to each other. Apparently the Microverse has something to do with how time has been fiddled with and The Atom has gotten lost investigating it. He needs Ryan Choi to once again become The Atom and to try not to die this time. Did he die the first time? I don't remember because time may have been changed and I can't trust my memories! Also I've never read a single comic book that had "The Atom" boldly printed across the cover.

The next legacy character to be visited is Jaime Reyes and his mentor, not dead Ted Kord. It's about time New 52 Ted Kord made an appearance as Blue Beetle and not just as some guy considering going into business with Lex Luthor!

I can't believe how long it's been since I've been able to do this again! Although I think I only used to do it when Jaime was in costume.

Jaime flies off to school while Ted is visited by Doctor Fate. Not that namby-pamby Doctor Fate who won't take his job seriously! This is the Doctor Fate that everybody wants to fuck. His voice is! He explains that the Blue Beetle scarab is magic and not created by a race of aliens like everybody and their animated universes would have you believe! It's more of a Dan Garrett Scarab!

Elsewhere in the soon-to-be soup of Afterbirth, Damian turns thirteen which makes him eligible for the Teen Titans, Jessica Cruz has decided that what would make her costume really stand out is a Green Lantern Insignia monocle, and Aqualad is into boys. Thankfully! I always thought he was a fish-fucker.

Chapter Two ends with Pandora exploding into dust and smoke, much like what happened to Metron and Owlman on the moon. Good riddance! She never played the part she was supposed to have played anyway! I don't think. It's hard to say. All that Trinity War stuff was legerdemain. DC was all, "Look! Look! The Trinity of Sin! This is about them! Or is it about Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman! Oh, oh! We fooled you all! It was really about Earth-3! Which isn't actually a trinity unless you include it as one part of three Earths. Which you shouldn't because Earth-2 never came into play in that story! By the way, fuck you, you stupid fans! Ha ha!"

They lost a chance at a one night stand is what they lost. And besides, what are Green Arrow and Black Canary doing at the site of Superman's death? Especially Black Canary! Shouldn't she be rocking somebody's face off right now?

Clark White and his family are hiding out in a hotel room trying to figure out where they go from here. Clark runs into the enigmatic Mister Oz last seen in Geoff Johns' run of Superman. I think. He's all, "I sent a blank Superman notebook to Superman! So funny! Maybe! I'm mysterious! Maybe it was foreboding! Things aren't what they appear! Or are they?! Oooooh! I can't say too much! Gotta go!"

On a deserted island somewhere, Aquaman asks Mera to marry him. Is this Didio and Johns' way of saying they were wrong and they realized all the things that they stole from their universe with The New 52? Because I can think of better ways to go about it than by making Mera miserable! Can you imagine spending the rest of your life as Aquaman's wife?! How humiliating.

Finally at the end of Chapter Three, Wally finds Linda Park and asks her to help him. But she doesn't remember him and he fucks off back to Afterbirth. Ha ha! I can't believe some Tumblrer thought this would make me cry! I don't give a shit about Wally West and Linda Park and their "true love!" Those quotes indicate you should read "true love" in a mocking, sing-song way. This story had better come with something a lot sadder than Park not remembering West!

Chapter Four explains who the new Wally West is. He was never meant to be a replacement for old Wally West. And by that I mean, he obviously was but now Geoff Johns has thought of a way to make him Wally's cousin Wally. Although he says that New 52 Wally West is Daniel West's son which isn't true at all. Or at least it wasn't true. I guess it's true now. But since this is Afterbirth, we have to hold both possibilities as true! Because every story DC has ever told has now happened! Even if some of them had glaring errors in them. Like this one I'm reading right now that says New 52 Wallace West is Daniel West's son.

After Linda forgets him and he sees Kid Flash is in good feet, he finally decides to confront the guy who caused all of this to happen (or, at least, gave the mysterious villain the opportunity to cause it). He really should have gone to see Barry Allen first. I know Batman is the go-to guy to solve every problem but when time is fucked up? That's all Flash.

Still not sad. If Wally really does die before this is over, still won't be sad. Might even have a little dance.

The Flash manages to recognize Wally and pull him back into the world. Or it was a mistake and he thought it was New 52 Wally he was rescuing. Either way, it worked! Preboot Wally West is back in the world! Now he can tell everybody about the danger and they can stop it by the end of this issue and the DC Youniverse can turn into the DC Afterbirth! Or it could go another way. It could go the Geoff Johns' way where nothing is really explained but he keeps on baiting hook after hook after hook for ten years telling his story without ever satisfying anybody because he keeps changing direction every year or so. You know, it'll probably go that way.

The Flash suddenly remembers everything thanks to remembering Kid Flash. He now knows lots of things that don't add up or make any sense if thought about for too long. So don't think about them! Just remember that all of your favorite Flash stories happened at some point. Every single one of them. Even the bad ones happened! But you don't have to acknowledge those if you don't want to. Because it's all right there. DC acknowledges that they all exist. All of it. No matter how hard it is to explain things now.

The way Wally West tells the story about the people who want to destroy the universe just make it sound like he's talking about DC's editors and readership. I suppose he could be but that would actually suck because I don't want that kind of meta-bullshit invading my mainstream superhero comic books! Although I suppose the bad guys might just be aliens called "Eddortors" or something.

The last page of the main story has Batman finding the Comedian's button with the blood on it in the wall of the Batcave. Well, that explains why Johns made the first page so reminiscent of the Watchmen.

The Epilogue takes place on Mars where Ozymandias and Doctor Manhattan are having a conversation as Doctor Manhattan fixes Wally's lost watch. It sounds like Adrian, once again, manipulated events to save everybody from themselves. Instead of a giant exploding space octopus in Times Square, he used Flashpoint to change shit so that DC Comics wouldn't go bankrupt. Or something. I don't know. He's way smarter than I am! I'm sure he had a reason!

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