Imagine with me for a moment. Picture this scene. Your grandfather, a well-respected man of many accomplishments has died. He left you many things in his will but the items that interested you the most were his fine, shiny ballroom dancing shoes. No sooner is grandpa in the ground than you have slipped those treasures onto your own feet. You feel exhilarated. Now you can walk in grandpa’s shoes.
With your heart pounding, you rush out the front door giddy at all of life’s possibilities…and you immediately step right into a fresh pile of dog shit. At first you stand their sheepishly, hoping no one has noticed but then you see the village idiot. He’s beaming a gormless grim right at you.
“That smells really good,” he says.
Encouraged, now, you dash headlong for the dog park. Capering about the rolling hills you stomp in every puppy pancake you can find. Your family and friends chase after you in horror but you gambol on from turd-pie to poop-patty, laughing as your grandfather’s shoes become unrecognizable. All the while, the village idiot follows behind you, grinning and egging you on.
As nightfall approaches, you run back to the ancestral home, howling in triumph. Once there, you burst through the front door and wipe your shit covered feet all over your grandmother’s antique rugs.
“That looks really pretty,” says the village idiot.
“What a great day,” you reply. “I feel like I’ve really made my mark.”
And that, gentle reader, is how you get The New 52.
Perhaps I overstate things. Maybe I have been a little too critical of The New 52. No, of course I haven’t. Criminy, DC just rebooted their universe…AGAIN!!! How many times does that make in my lifetime? Never mind. Suffice to say, it’s more than I care to think of. But this time…this time, everything is going to be great. Just wait and see.
Well, honestly, it does look rather promising. The first story, aptly titled DC Universe Rebirth, is out and I am relieved to say it “ain’t that bad”.
Geoff Johns, along with a bevy of pencillers, has crafted a worthy mea culpa for the sins of the recent past. Johns treats The New 52 like a bucket of rancid fish heads that no one wants to claim. So, the whole fiasco is explained away as the work of some mystery villain…some archfiend more odious than we can imagine. I assume he means Dan Didio. Bwa ha hah ha hah! Heh heh. Sniff…sniff. I slay me. But, I digress.
I give Johns full points for making use of a great cast. Johnny Thunder makes a brief and poignant cameo. Doctor Manhattan shows up in an attempt to add gravitas to the story. Wally West, forlorn and forgotten, bounces around the edge of reality desperate to make someone remember him and the way things used to be. Again, it’s equal parts poignant and hilarious, considering the situation DC has gotten itself into.
I have to give DC Universe Rebirth the thumbs up. The art is uniformly excellent. Johns is verbose and he’s trying too hard to be taken seriously but he still managed to craft a compelling and (dare I say it) exciting story. I was really hoping that at some point, Wally West would ask why every hero in The New 52 had the same tailor, but hey, you can’t have everything you want. Or maybe you can. The readers voted with their wallets and DC responded. This reboot is due to one thing…poor sales. Bitching online didn’t get the fans what they wanted. Money did.
Ah, sweet commerce.
He also sings for the Supra-70s band, RIFLE.