Midday Friday, Dan DiDio and Jim Lee both tweeted the same cryptic image, and the American comics world has been swirling with rumors since.
Lee and DiDio are co-publishers of DC Comics, the co-bosses of the creative end of the business, so when they both tweet something at the same time, it's a solid indication that something is afoot. But what sort of something? We don't have any hard information.
We have the #Rebirth tag, and an equally image obtuse image. But taken along with the rumors surrounding DC Comics in the past few months, the fan reaction has been no less strong.
It has not gone unnoticed that all the still-going titles that launched with the New 52 in 2011 are coming up on their 52nd issue, to debut in May. The assumption that DC is going with another line-wide relaunch/reboot like the New 52 is popular, thanks to one notable scoop site running with that outcome. DC has yet to confirm or elaborate on DiDio and Lee's tweets.
What seems undeniable is that this June will see another line-wide event at DC Comics, like last year's Convergence, during which a number of titles will be cancelled and from which a number of new titles will be launched. It's possible that DC would use the opportunity to reassert the pre-New 52 continuity, but this writer, at least, remains skeptical that the company would throw away nearly five years of storytelling in the New 52 timeline. (Regardless of the extent to which she is still annoyed by the condensation of Batman's career into an absurdly constrictive five years.)
The relaunch also may be used to bring the DC comics universe closer in line with how it is being portrayed in Warner Bros.' film and/or television franchises.
As Alexander Lu on The Beat points out, "By beginning the Rebirth relaunch in June and running the event and its associated tie-ins throughout the summer, DC and WB could potentially launch their new line at the end of August or beginning of September, tying into the release of August's Suicide Squad film and the inevitable new seasons of Green Lantern, Arrow, Supergirl, and potentially Legends of Tomorrow."
"Rebirth" is also the name of two popular events in the history of Green Lantern and the Flash, a title given to the major events that brought Hal Jordan and Barry Allen (the first Green Lantern and Flash of the modern DC continuity) back into the fore of their respective storylines. Until Green Lantern: Rebirth, Hal Jordan had spent a long stretch as the villain Parallax, and The Flash: Rebirth brought deceased hero Barry Allen back to modern continuity for the first time since the mid-eighties.
Polygon has reached out to DC Comics for comment, with no response as of the writing of this post.
Update: A DC Comics representative has responded to say "We have no comment on this as yet."