Today, DC is releasing the first issues in another reboot (?) of the universe, this one titled Rebirth. Instead of a total overhaul like they did with the New 52, Rebirth will still incorporate elements of the New 52. In addition, they plan on re-incorporating some elements from before Flashpoint. So Rebirth seems kind of a blend of the old and the new.

This came as a surprise to me, first off because it seemed like New 52 just happened. I was a little alarmed to read that it occurred back in 2011 – five years ago! Where did the time go? X,D Both fans and critics have been split on New 52 ever since it’s inception. It was a good move from an editorial and business standpoint, as DC’s sales during the first couple months shot through the roof. It also gave people who previously had never read comics before a chance to start at an actual starting point: Issue #1. In some ways, New 52 worked out. Overall, the blank slate encouraged experimentation with the characters and stories. The Batman series was popular from the start. Batgirl of Burnside led to other stories drawn and written in the same lighthearted style. Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s Wonder Woman is often cited as one of the most successful stories in the reboot.

However, as the series went on, DC gained a lot of criticism for editorial and creative issues forcing top artists and writers to resign, and for their portrayal of women and Barbara Gordon regaining her mobility. One of the most well-known controversies of the New 52 was DC’s refusal to marry Kat Kane and Maggie Sawyer in Batwoman. Creators J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman immediately quit the book, fans were outraged, and DC had to pull one of their most popular books as a result. Sales have been fluctuating ever since the reboot, but with the economy that was probably expected. Part of it could also be due to a lot of titles being cut early, such as Static Shock and Blue Beetle. Some titles started out strong but dwindled, like Superman, Justice League, and Wonder Woman after Meredith and David Finch took over for Azzarello and Chiang.

Because the events of the New 52 are still relevant in Rebirth, I guess it’s not technically a reboot. Everyone is getting new artists and writers, however, and some titles are being continued while others are being cut. It just kind of seems to me like they’re hyping it up to increase sales again. I might check it out, but I haven’t really been keeping up with anything except Bombshells. As long as they leave that alone, I’ll be a happy girl.

– Kathleen