First teased in Justice League #50, DC Universe – Rebirth #1 shocked fans when it revealed that the villains of the era are actually the stars of Alan Moore’s Watchmen! To understand the significance of this reveal, you have to understand the impact Watchmen had on DC Comics.
Though it’s never before been part of the established continuity, the comic’s success led DC to gradually realign their universe around some of the darker principles fans loved in Watchmen. A classic example is that DC’s heroes began to follow the pattern of Doctor Manhattan, becoming ‘gods among men’ who were distances from the world they strove to protect. The New 52 even saw Superman essentially rebooted, with the Lois Lane relationship dropped; instead, Superman and Wonder Woman became an item.
Rebirth should be seen as a reaction against this. According to DC Universe – Rebirth #1, something has stolen ten years of time from the DC Universe; in doing so, these dangerous forces stole the love, the joy, the hope, the relationships, and the general pervading sense of optimism. Rebirth is all about bringing that back. And, fittingly, the characters of Watchmen are the ones who were responsible for it all – just as Watchmen inspired the cultural shift in comics!
Since launching Rebirth back in May, Geoff Johns has gone on to head up DC Film; but looking forward to the new year, he revealed that he’s soon to return to comics. He also hinted that he’ll be revisiting that Watchmen theme…
And 1) Writing comics again… stay tuned! Happy New Year!!! pic.twitter.com/zUvs4NIXhM
— Geoff Johns (@geoffjohns) January 1, 2017