As Co-Producer of DC Comics, Dan DiDio stated, DC Rebirth aims to restore the legacy of the DC Universe prior to the Flashpoint storyline. That, it seems, includes bringing back some characters that are missing from “The New 52”. We take a look at some of the most prominent returns in Rebirth and what effect they’ll have on the new DC Universe.
Whether you know him from the hit show The Flash or his 23-year run as The Flash in the wake of Barry Allen’s death, Wally West is well-known in the DC Universe. Although Wally West appeared in The Flash Annual #3 in “The New 52”, this was not the original. That Wally was actually the cousin of the pre-Flashpoint Wally West. He was also the son of Daniel West, aka Reverse Flash, whereas the original was the son of Rudy West.
However, there is an explanation for the original Wally’s absence during “The New 52”. In DC Rebirth, following the Flashpoint Paradox, Wally was lost in the Speed Force for 10 years. Wally, who made his first appearance as the original Kid Flash in 1959, was a founding member of several groups. These include the Teen Titans, New Teen Titans, Justice League Europe, Justice League Task Force… need we go on? He was ranked #8 on IGN’s Top 100 Superheroes of All Time, and 6th on their Top 25 Heroes of DC Comics.
Wally will return in DC Rebirth in both The Flash Rebirth and Titans Rebirth.
Jackson Hyde is a relatively new character in the world of comics, having first appeared in Brightest Day #4 in 2010. He was, however, not entirely new, having appeared before that in the TV series Young Justice.
The character is a lot different in the TV show than in comics. Even his origin story is different where we find out he is the son of Black Manta. However, just to be clear, we will only be talking about the comic character. Like Aquaman, Jackson is a human/Atlantean hybrid. Cal Durham, a henchman of Black Manta, fell in love with an Atlantean, Sha’lain’a of Shayeris, when he was meant to be infiltrating Atlantis. They have a son together, whom they name Kaldur’ahm after his father. When he goes to Earth, Kaldur’ahm takes the name Jackson Hyde.
Although he is new to the comics, Jackson is quite liked. However, he did not appear at all in “The New 52”. When he returns in Rebirth, he will be portrayed as a gay teenager. Although we do not yet know the full extent of his powers, it is known that he has near superhuman swimming abilities.
Ryan Choi was a college student working under Professor Ray Palmer. When Palmer (the Atom) suddenly disappears, Ryan finds clues left by him that lead him to the professor’s ‘bio-belt’ – a device that allows him to manipulate his size, weight, and density. And so, Ryan Choi becomes the fourth Atom.
Now imagine this: if your mysteriously missing schoolteacher led you on a treasure hunt that led you to a mystical, one-of-a-kind tech belt that gives you superpowers and told you to save and protect the world as a superhero called the Atom, would you immediately answer the call without hesitation? Of course you wouldn’t! But Ryan Choi doesn’t hesitate. He takes up the mantle of the Atom and fights for truth and justice, and he lives happily ever after. Until, that is, he is murdered.
During the Brightest Day storyline, Deathstroke and his Titans, aka the Villains for Hire, kill Ryan as their first mission. Ryan’s body is delivered in a matchbox to the evil Dwarfstar, who had employed Deathstroke to have Ryan killed. In fact, his death becomes a subject of racial controversy, as Ryan is one of the few high-profile Asian characters in the DC universe. However, Ryan returns in Rebirth as a student of Ray Palmer, who leaves him a size-changing belt and tells him to find the professor in the Microverse (which is a whole other story).
It can take a long time to figure this one out. There are actually eight or nine different Doctor Fates, so even for a comic reader and fan, it can be confusing. Some go as far back as 1940, and some are as recent as being in Flashpoint and “The New 52”. The reason for this is because Doctor Fate’s source of power, the Helmet of Fate, is constantly passed on from person to person. The only qualifications you must have for the job is worthiness to wield the Helmet’s power. The Doctor we will be focusing on, however, is the all-new one created for Rebirth.
Khalid Nassour is a young Egyptian-American med student, but not much else is known about the new character. We can tell a lot about his powers and abilities because they will likely be the same as his predecessors. These powers include spell casting, flight, super strength, invulnerability, telekinesis, telepathy, pyrokinesis, and lightning manipulation. To put it simply, he is powerful enough to rival Superman. Yowza! Doctor Fate’s undeniable awesomeness has returned in the new Doctor Fate series, which will continue to run through Rebirth.