|Synonyms:||Rebirth, DC Universe: Rebirth, DC Universe|
|See also:||New 52, DC Comics|
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In 2011, DC Comics staged the New 52, a relaunch of their entire line of superhero books. DC Rebirth is a 2016 relaunch which restored the DC Universe to a form much like that prior to the "Flashpoint" storyline while still incorporating numerous elements of The New 52, including its continuity.
In May 2011, a crossover arc called "Flashpoint" was released, involving The Flash (Barry Allen) exploring altered timelines. The storyline ends with the DC, Vertigo, and Wildstorm universes being merged, creating a brand new universe. Reception for the partial reboot of all the storylines in the DC Universe was decidedly mixed among fans. While some applauded the new direction of the DC Universe and welcomed the new characters that had been introduced, others lamented the loss of favorite characters and were put off by the "soft reboot" aspect of the changed history that kept some past storylines while erasing others.
DC Universe: Rebirth Special
In 2016, DC announced its Rebirth initiative, a line-wide relaunch of its titles, to begin in June 2016. The reaunched would begin with a 80-page one-shot which was released in May 2016. According to Geoff Johns, The Rebirth initiative would reintroduce concepts from pre-Flashpoint continuity, such as legacy, that was lost with The New 52 and build "on everything that's been published since Action Comics #1 up thru The New 52." Jim Lee said that Johns "came up with this brilliant story [for the DC Universe: Rebirth Special] that basically allows us to seat the New 52 within the continuity that preceded it. So it really synchronizes and harmonizes pre-52 with New 52 continuity". A number of existing titles relaunched with new #1s and several new titles were released.
Second phase and end of Rebirth
In December 2017, the Rebirth branding and logo was discontinued from DC Comics titles, releasing everything under a single umbrella title as the "DC Universe." Dan DiDio explained, "We want to make it clear that this is all the DC Universe... Rebirth pretty much is the DCU now; while we're taking Rebirth off the books, we'll be following the direction that Rebirth established."
In DC Universe: Rebirth Special characters not seen during the "New 52" line of DC Comics comic books, such as the first version of the character Wally West, Jackson Hyde, Donna Troy, and Ryan Choi, reappeared in the DC Comics line of comic books, while other characters, such as Ted Kord and Ray Palmer, were revised to be similar to their characters as they appeared prior to the "Flashpoint" storyline. Within the story, Wally West states to Barry Allen that the cause of the alterations to "history" following the end of "Flashpoint" was an outside force (revealed to be Doctor Manhattan from the Watchmen universe) removing 10 years of history from the internal timeline of the comic books' stories (resulting in the younger age of heroes in the "New 52" storyline, the resurrections of several deceased characters, and the loss of legacy and previous relationships) rather than Barry's merging of several alternate timelines, as was previously presented in the "Flashpoint" story Nearly all characters had their designs revised., as had been done with the New 52. Some of those who are also featured in the DC Extended Universe now more closely resemble their on-screen counterparts, such as Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman.
- Biggers, Cliff (October 25, 2017). "DC's Eventful December". Comic Shop News. No. 1584.