DC Rebirth may not be a hard reboot in the same vein as Crisis on Infinite Earths or the Flashpoint Paradox, but it is rebooting the general attitude of those comics. Out with the grim, and in with a more optimistic outlook as the heroes of that universe battle it out to save the day and be a beacon of hope in a world filled with some dangerously crazy individuals of mass destruction.
And that all requires one unifying factor to pull off. Which is why you really, really might want to stop reading now before the spoilers become too heavy.
Right, enough warning. Like I said, you need a rallying point for these heroes. Something which can unite them as DC Rebirth looks to capture that spark that has been missing ever since the pop fizzled out of the New 52. And that one factor, is an enemy. But not just any enemy. We’re talking about someone who has been mucking around with the cosmic timeline ever since the Flash inadvertently rewrote it at the end of The Flashpoint Paradox, resulting in the New 52 universe that wasn’t quite as perfect as it was supposed to be.
And that individual was Doctor Manhattan.
Yes, Alan Moore’s Watchmen is now part of the DC Comics canon, as DC Rebirth writer and architect Geoff Johns explained to USA Today that the drive for more optimism and hope in the DCU was perfectly counter-balanced by the Nihilistic outlook of Doctor Manhattan:
It felt like there were things that had gone missing — not the characters but an overall feeling of hope and optimism. There’s a sense of warmth and emotion to this universe beyond the big epic threats and continuity stuff.
If you’re going to have a conflict between optimism and pessimism, you need to have someone who represents a cynical view of life and also has the ability to affect this. I know it’s crazy but [Dr. Manhattan] felt like the right character to use.
In 1986’s Watchmen, Dr. Manhattan was the sole superhuman of that series. An atomic-powered god who saw everything there ever was, is and will be all at once like some sort of super Bret Hart, Dr Manhattan will serve as the new big bad of DC Rebirth. There’ll be other revelations of course, involving the first Kid Flash Wally West, Ray Palmer being trapped in the microverse and the upcoming death of the New 52 universe Superman.
But it doesn’t get any bigger than Dr Manhattan becoming a force of destruction and despair. And you can bet that right now, Alan Moore is working on casting one hell of a curse on DC, as the magician and co-creator of Watchmen has always hated the fact that his most famous creation is the property of that company.
Last Updated: May 24, 2016