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DC Rebirth

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Main character
DC Universe

Publication date
May 25, 2016 – present


DC Comics

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The New 52, Teen Titans, Justice League, Justice, 52

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DC Rebirth is a 2016 relaunch by DC Comics of its entire line of ongoing monthly superhero comic books. Using the end of The New 52 initiative in May 2016 as its launching point, DC Rebirth 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. It also saw many of its titles move to a twice-monthly release schedule, along with being released at US$2.99.


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DC Universe: Rebirth Special and initiative launch

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In January 2016, DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio and Jim Lee tweeted an image of a blue curtain with the word "Rebirth" on it, teasing the event. The following month, DC announced its Rebirth initiative, a line-wide relaunch of its titles, to begin in June 2016. Beginning with an 80-page one-shot which was released on May 25, 2016, Rebirth also sees Action Comics and Detective Comics return to their previous numbering (#957 and #934, respectively), all books being released at US$2.99, multiple books being shifted to a twice-monthly release schedule, a number of existing titles being relaunched with new #1s, and the release of several new titles.

Geoff Johns described the 80-page one-shot as "re-laying the groundwork for DC's future while celebrating the past and present. It's not about throwing anything away. It's quite the opposite." On the initiative, which was described as a rebirth of the DC Universe, Johns call Rebirth more "in the same vein as Green Lantern: Rebirth and The Flash: Rebirth. Some things alter and change, but it's more character-driven, and it's also more about revealing secrets and mysteries within the DC Universe about "Flashpoint" and The New 52 that are part of a bigger tapestry." The Rebirth initiative will reintroduce concepts from pre-Flashpoint continuity, such as legacy, that were lost with The New 52 and build "on everything that's been published since Action Comics #1 up thru The New 52." 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".

Creative teams for the Rebirth titles, along with some art and storylines, were revealed at WonderCon 2016. Johns worked with each writing team and the editors for the titles to help refocus "on these characters, deconstructing them down to their core DNA and building out story arcs based on that DNA". Additionally, two titles part of the initial announcement in February, Gotham Academy: Second Semester and Earth 2, were revealed to no longer be considered Rebirth titles, instead acting as continuations of their New 52 titles, Gotham Academy and Earth 2: Society, respectively. Regarding the decision to focus on fewer titles, with some shipping twice-monthly, DiDio said, "What we did was eliminate some of the lower ranked titles, and we're trying to incorporate those ideas into the main books themselves, because we feel that makes the main books stronger" adding, "we look at things like... Gotham by Midnight. And I loved Gotham by Midnight, but it never got the sampling that a Batman book would. But if we did that Gotham by Midnight story and integrated it into the Batman series that was shipping twice monthly, there was a better chance for people to see those characters, get excited by those characters, and more importantly, if we ever decided to thin them out, maybe we'd have a stronger audience and a better chance for series like that to succeed." DiDio also revealed that DC had breaks in the schedule "where we'll decide whether or not a double-ship is working" and potentially change it to monthly status. "We're going to be examining that on a regular basis," he added. "We're not going to keep book double-shipping if we don't think the demand is there."

Regarding the release of variant covers for titles, Lee said, "we're only using specialty variants with comic book shops and variant covers in judicious ways. We're not going to have a gazillion SKUs across the entire line. We find that, at that point, why publish a story inside at all, if you're just going to build a business based on variant covers. We're still using variant covers, but we're actually using one variant cover artist for each book. They sort of get tenure, as it were. And they're going to be responsible for being the alternate cover artist on that book. And we're only doing it on our top-selling books."

On May 27, 2016, DC announced that DC Universe: Rebirth Special #1 would receive a second printing. The rerelease, being sold at US$5.99, featured an update to Gary Frank's cover, better revealing the outstretched hand of Doctor Manhattan in the top right corner, as well as a square bound format. Less than a week later, DC revealed the title would receive a third printing, again being released at US$5.99 with a square bound format, and a new cover from Frank. Additionally, the first wave of Rebirth one-shots – Batman: Rebirth, Green Lanterns: Rebirth, Superman: Rebirth and Green Arrow: Rebirth – also received second printings, with a recolored Rebirth banner to differentiate it from the original printing. A fourth printing featured a cover by Ethan Van Sciver depicting the scene where Wally West interrupts Batman in the Batcave, with the image of three Jokers on the Batcomputer. DC Universe: Rebirth Special's fifth printing, announced in August 2016, featured a new cover by Phil Jimenez that depicts Barry Allen and Wally West grabbing each other's hands.

Second phase and price increase

In September 2016, DC announced the Justice League vs. Suicide Squad miniseries for release in December 2016 through January 2017, which would "reintroduce a supervillain that hasn't been seen for some time." Johns called the story in the miniseries "another building block to 'Rebirth’" and would "set the stage for ‘Rebirth’ Phase 2" with the reemergence of "a surprising team... and another piece of the puzzle of the future of the DC Universe, and the past, [coming] into focus." The second phase of Rebirth will begin in February 2017, with the launch of Justice League of America, Super Sons and Batwoman. In January 2017, DC announced the four issues storyline "The Button" for release in April and May 2017. Taking place in issues 21 and 22 of Batman and The Flash, the storyline continues plot elements from the DC Universe: Rebirth Special with Batman and Barry Allen investigating the mystery of the Comedian's smiley face button found in the Batcave. Shortly after, DC revealed that in April 2017, all of the monthly titles releasing at the time (Batgirl, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, Batman Beyond, Batwoman, Blue Beetle, Cyborg, The Hellblazer, New Super-Man, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Super Sons, Supergirl, Superwoman, Teen Titans, Titans, and Trinity), would increase their price to US$3.99, with All-Star Batman continuing to maintain its US$4.99 price. To account for the price increase, each physical copy will come with a code to redeem a free digital copy of the title. DC also indicated that the bi-monthly titles would stay at the US$2.99 price point.

Changes to the DC Universe

With the release of DC Universe: Rebirth Special, characters not seen during The New 52, including Wally West, Jackson Hyde / Aqualad, Ryan Choi and Doctor Fate, returned to continuity, while other characters, such as Ted Kord and Ray Palmer / Atom returned to their characterization from prior to "Flashpoint". Additionally, Wally West explains the in-universe cause of the reboot following "Flashpoint" was not due to Barry Allen attempting to fix the timelines. Rather, for reasons yet unknown, it is revealed that Doctor Manhattan (from the Watchmen universe) interfered and removed approximately 10 years from each character, which resulted in the younger age of heroes in The New 52, and the loss of legacy and previous relationships.

Ongoing series

At WonderCon 2016, DC revealed the initial titles under four different "families", grouping similar characters or titles together.


These titles feature Batman and the "Batman Family" of characters.

"Superman/Wonder Woman"

These titles feature Superman, the "Superman Family" of characters and Wonder Woman.

"Justice League"

These titles feature characters related to the Justice League, as well as the Green Lantern Corps and the Teen Titans.


These titles do not fall under the larger headings above, or were not announced with those titles.


A Rebirth issue for Trinity was also planned for release in August 2016, written by Francis Manapul with art by Manapul and Clay Mann that did not release.


The six issue miniseries Death of Hawkman, written by Marc Andreyko with art by Aaron Lopresti, does not feature the "Rebirth" banner on its cover, but is considered by Andreyko to be "'Rebirth' adjacent".


By the end of August 2016, all Rebirth titles combined accounted for 12 million units shipped, with 11 issues exceeding 200,000 units shipped, over 60 issues exceeding 100,000 units shipped, and 21 issues having multiple printings.


Beginning in January 2017, television commercials will air on AMC, IFC, TBS, TNT, truTV, El Rey Network and Boomerang through February 2017. The commercials will promote the release of the first wave of collected editions, highlighting Batman, The Flash, Green Arrow, Justice League, Suicide Squad, Supergirl, Superman, and Wonder Woman, with three additional commercials promoting Rebirth as a whole. Additionally, DC "is also offering [comic] retailers co-op funds to help pay for ads on local markets, promoting Rebirth with a space for a store tag at the end of the commercial." In February 2017, DC partnered once again with National CineMedia to promote its comics and partner comic shops with pre-movie advertisements. Having worked with National CineMedia for ads during The New 52, DC created 15 and 30 second ads for Rebirth "that comic shops can have their contact info added into," with DC "offering a 50% reimbursement on these ads should a retailer buy them with National CineMedia."


DC Rebirth Wikipedia