This summer’s Rebirth won’t be the first time that DC Comics has started it all over again. From our count, we are currently on the fourth new DC Universe. I thought it might be cool to look back on some of the stories that have come from previous “rebirths”.
The Golden Age DC Universe – 1939 – 1956
This was the original DC Universe, featuring Superman, Batman, the Alan Scott Green Lantern and the Jay Garrick Flash, titles rarely crossed over, and there wasn’t much in the way of “continuity”, things could happen in one title and have no bearing on the same characters in another title.
The Silver Age DC Universe – 1956 – 1985
After Showcase #4 with the introduction of Barry Allen to the DC Universe, the world of “Earth One” began to really develop. This is where most of DC Comics World Building took place, there were tons of new stories being invented, and editors like Julie Schwartz and Denny O’Neil steered the ship, focusing on continuity and good story telling. Stories had repercussions, and long lasting effects.
Some notable stories from the Silver Age:
- Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga
- New Teen Titans Volume 1
- Superman Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow
Post Crisis – 1985 – 2011
The Crisis on Infinite Earths changed everything, the multiverse was folded into one singular universe, and many titles were rebooted. Batman had already had a successful reinvention at Frank Miller’s hands, and was building on that success. DC enlisted famous Marvel creator John Byrne to give Superman a revamp, while George Perez, hot off the success of New Teen Titans and Crisis, would reinvent Wonder Woman for a new generation. Legacy became important to this timeline as Barry’s nephew Wally West was given the mantle of Flash, and newcomers like Kyle Rayner and Connor Hawke would take over the mantle of Green Lantern and Green Arrow respectively.
During this period there were several “Soft Reboots”, including Zero Hour, Green Lantern Rebirth, and Flash Rebirth all of which saw different changes to status quos.
Great stories from Post Crisis
- Crisis on Infinite Earths
- Batman Year One
- Superman: Man Of Steel Vol.1
- Superman: The Death of Superman
- Wonder Woman Volume 1
- Green Lantern Rebirth
- Flash Rebirth
- Suicide Squad Trial by Fire
- Justice League International Volume 1
- Batman and Robin Volume 1
The New 52
In 2011, DC Comics embarked on a bold move, restarting every single series with a #1, introducing a brand new world, and removing all of the barriers of continuity. This was met with mixed reactions, bringing in a ton of lapsed comic fans, but at the same time alienating some of the core base. There’s no question about the success of the move though as DC shot up in sales, and books like Batman became the best selling titles in the industry due to superstar creative teams like Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo on Batman.
Good reading from the New 52