Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  This week Bennett deconstructs DC's upcoming "Rebirth."

Well, DC's "Rebirth" was finally revealed (see "DC Unveils 'Rebirth'") and, as advertised, it wasn't a "Reboot," or even a "Revamp," for that matter.  DC Entertainment co-publisher Dan Didio has been selling it as a return to what he's calling "the essence of the DCU," by which he meant the lattice of legacy and mythology which once supported their comics.  So for all of the retailers and readers who've been waiting five years to tell the publisher "I told you so" over "The New 52," well, now's your chance.

Because it's kind of hard not to see "Rebirth" as a tantamount admission of the obvious; that what "The New 52" principally had going for it was the shock of the new.  Stressing the fresh was a successful way of reintroducing DC's core characters to new readers.   And whatever you thought of the initiative, for a while this young, sexy, modern mindset worked, until the initial shock wore off.

Business is indisputably bad for DC and in business when things are bad you basically have the two choices which are so often favored by fast food franchises: you can either undergo a big change or return to your core menu.  And since DC has already done the first, the only other option is the latter, which is why loads of previously redacted mythology is going to get reloaded back into the DCU starting in May.  Well, it's actually already begun in the pages of the current Titans Hunt mini-series, where the original Teen Titans are in the progress of discovering they had a pre-"New 52" existence.

Of course, the idea is to use brand loyalty to try and bring back the missing "core comics fans," as Didio is calling them, to rejuvenate DC's monthly comic sales, while somehow not alienating the new fans the "New 52" brought them.  On the Blastr website, DC's chief creative officer Geoff Johns used Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as a model for how to do this, it being something that "fans will love, but newbies are still able to jump on and enjoy the ride."

As an old fan I can't say I don't appreciate the return of the DCU as I knew it (and the possibility, however remote, that one day I will see the return of Detective Chimp and Rex the Wonder Dog), but as a retailer, I'm interested in the most practical parts of "Rebirth."  Nostalgia is fun but focusing more on their core (i.e. cinematic) characters, making the bulk of them bimonthly and dropping the SRP to $2.99 will have a better chance of regaining some of their lost market share.

Last week I went on (and on) about the recent return of Wonder Woman's Golden Age sidekick Etta Candy in the pages of The Legend of Wonder Woman,  About what a great a character she was and how she should be returned to the DCU proper double quick.  Well, in one of those weird serendipity things they've just released photos of British actress Lucy David, who appeared in the original version of The Office, who'll (apparently) be playing Etta.  Other than Suicide Squad, I have less than a little interest in seeing any of the upcoming DC movies; I honestly hadn't given the Wonder Woman one any thought at all.  But now I may have to...

I also went off on one of my favorite tangents, about the serious lack of sidekicks in today's superhero comics.  Along with just giving them someone to talk to they provided the important role of grounding a larger than life character into something approximating reality.  Well, then I learned that perhaps the last great Marvel sidekick will be appearing in the upcoming movie Captain America: Civil War.  I write of course about Everett Ross, the self-proclaimed Emperor of Useless White Boys who appeared in writer Christopher Priest's 90s run on Black Panther.  If you don't know him, do yourself a favor and read "'Captain America: Civil War': The Backstory of Everett Ross," a piece that appeared in The Hollywood Reporter.

{IMAGE_6}Longtime readers of these things know that I consider myself to be the #1 Astro Boy fan in America, not that it's hotly contested title (for the record I've never met anyone who wanted to challenge me for it), so of course, I was intrigued by news of an impending non-animated Astro Boy feature film (see "'Astro Boy' Live Action Feature Takes Off").  First industry insider wannabe me had to go and Google "four-quadrant movie" (Wikipedia says it's one "which appeals to all four major demographic 'quadrants' of the moviegoing audience; both male and female, and both over -- and under -- 25s").  But after that, I looked up The Hollywood Reporter story linked to in the piece and learned the live-action movie would "shed some of its child-skewing trappings."  I initially thought that a live-action Astro Boy movie was a really terrible idea, but after reading this… it just seems so much worse.  If they're determined to go in this direction I can only hope that the film will finally deal with the existential horror of what it would really be like to discover you have machine guns in your butt.  It's like Kafka, except with butt-mounted machine guns.

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of