DC Comics' Geoff Johns on how the 'Rebirth' reboot is actually a lot like Star Wars

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Feb 19, 2016, 3:22 PM EST

With Marvel enjoying some renewed critical and sales success coming off the All New, All Different relaunch, DC Comics is also gearing up for its own semi-reboot — and the spirit of the idea might owe a debt of gratitude to a galaxy far, far away.

DC’s chief creative officer Geoff Johns chatted with Comic Book Resources about the mysterious “Rebirth” plan, which looks to be the biggest reboot since DC reset everything with the New 52. While we still don’t know exactly what the publisher is cooking up for the line-wide shakeup, Johns does offer up some revealing details.

First up, Johns said “Rebirth” is an event aimed at longtime comic fans who know the stories and the history, though they’re trying to keep it open enough to where new fans could still jump on and follow along. That’s a tough tightrope to walk, to be sure, but it’s encouraging (for longtime fans) to see they want to respect the history and tell a story that fits into that larger narrative. He likened it to the recent release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as in something fans will love, but newbies are still able to jump on and enjoy the ride.

Speaking of larger narratives: Johns kept returning to theme of being part of a bigger universe, and it seems “Rebirth” will be a big push to connect all the separate corners of the DC universe into a more cohesive world, which is something Marvel has found huge success with in recent years.

Here’s an excerpt from his comments:

“It's 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. A hidden and forbidden secret. DC has always felt mythic and sprawling. You can't put boundaries on it or rules. It will break them. And it should. This does. It does in a big way. This is the start of a storyline that continues, not through one book, but through the entire DC Universe -- something I'll be able to talk about after the one-shot is out. Again, I know we're keeping a lot of details under wraps -- frustratingly so for a lot of people -- but "DC Universe: Rebirth" #1 will answer a lot of your questions while raising a whole bunch of new ones. It will reverberate for a long, long time and we can talk more after this massive one-shot is in your hands on May 25!…

If you look at the new Star Wars -- it's kind of a rebirth, right? It goes back to the classic tropes of Star Wars, but it introduces new characters. New threats. It has the spirit of Star Wars, it feels like a Star Wars movie. Probably the first Star Wars movie that's felt like a Star Wars movie in a long, long time. That's a perfect example of what I think "Rebirth" is -- a celebration, but it doesn't mean we're just going backwards. It's an echo of the past, but looking to the future. That's what I want to do with this. There's got to be an umbilical cord that goes all the way back to ‘Action Comics’ #1, that connects the whole DC Universe. Grant Morrison has said it best -- DC is a living, breathing universe that's truly alive -- and it gets new life by those who write and draw the books. That's what makes a better DC Universe, a better line of books, and quite frankly, makes it all much more fun -- working together."

Considering how fragmented parts of the DC universe have become in recent years, and the mixed reaction to the lingering parts of the New 52, a “spiritual” reboot (if you will) could be just the thing to serve as a catalyst for some new excitement in the pages at DC.

What do you think? Do you like what Johns is selling here?


(Via Comic Book Resources)