DC’s Rebirth #1 Arrives With A Mysterious Supervillain And A Game-Changing Joker Twist

DC’s Rebirth #1 Arrives With A Mysterious Supervillain And A Game-Changing Joker Twist by Jack Carr , May 26th, 2016 at 6:59am Share on Facebook Share to TwitterSeems like the joke is on us.This week the heavily-hyped DC Universe: Rebirth #1 hit the shelves, and to say the issue is a major reinvention of the DC Universe doesn’t even begin to cover it.There’s almost too much to talk about, so let’s just dive right into the juicy stuff – the biggest and most major revelation comes when we finally learn what the all-knowing Mobius Chair, which came into Bruce’s possession during the Darkseid War, told Batman back in Justice League #42 about the real identity of the Joker…In that issue, Bruce learned the truth but the reader was kept in the dark. Now, during a conversation with Green Lantern, we discover that while he never got that name, he did learn something considerable more shocking:If that seems like a major shock, it actually makes quite a lot of sense – after all, the Joker’s backstory is, by his own admission, “multiple choice”. It also explains why his constantly shifting personality has often veered wildly between comic trickster and cold-blooded killer, and perhaps even how he’s managed to seemingly cheat death time and time again.It could be that the Joker we’ll meet in The Killing Joke animated movie……loosely resembles one of the three featured in the comics, assuming we’re even anywhere close to meeting them.Tom King, who authored Grayson #1–17 (and who also works on Marvel’s current Vision volume), is taking over from Scott Snyder as the writer of Batman, beginning with Batman #1 this Summer, meaning he’ll probably be responsible for tying this Clown Prince reveal into the wider Rebirth mythos.Could it be, though, that the chair was misleading Bruce while technically telling the truth? “Three Jokers” could be a reference to a split-personality disorder – what if each of the Joker’s triad of personas takes on an entirely separate identity, perhaps even unaware of the existence of the others?Needless to say, we could be looking at the most iconic Joker arc in years if King runs with this intrigue and creates something readers don’t see coming.So who’s the big bad of Rebirth?The issue very quickly establishes an overarching mystery which Wally West takes it upon himself to investigate. Condensed, it basically amount to this: the majority of the superheroes appear to have lost a significant chunk of time in their lives up until the present day.For instance, Barry Allen doesn’t remember Wally. Oliver Queen and Dinah Lance each lie awake at night, alone, feeling something is missing but unable to pinpoint what, or who, it is. The theory Wally formulates is that some kind of mysterious villainous being or entity has removed the shared history and relationships that bind the heroes of the DC Universe.Just as Wally looks to the sky and predicts something terrible is coming, Batman discovers the iconic yellow, blood-splattered smiley face badge belonging to the Comedian. In the epilogue we journey off Earth and onto Mars, where we learn that…There’s really only one way to interpret those words, which is that the all-powerful being responsible for screwing with the fabric of the DC Universe on Earth is Dr. Manhattan.You may remember that in Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan #4 , the doc experimented with the creation of life in a way that left the door open for entire new universes to be discovered down the line.Is that what we’re seeing here? Did Dr. Manhattan create the very universe our heroes roam, or is he merely responsible for altering it in some way – and if so, what’s his end game?If he were dead, I’d say that Alan Moore might be turning in his grave. Still, I’m super stoked to see the Watchmen being made canon, especially if it means we’ll see Nite Owl, Rohrschach and Silk Spectre sharing the page with Batman at some point.The implications of Rebirth #1 are bound to be felt across the DCU for years to come, so here’s hoping this saga has plenty of twists in its storytelling arsenal. The issue is out now. So tell me…