DC cosmology is made up of a pantheon of gods, cosmic beings, space patrol police officers, superheroes, and alien species. Within this DC Universe, as defined by the DC comics relaunchDC Rebirth, stands the Source at the edge of the DC Universe, beyond the Source Wall. It lies at the edge of the Promethean Galaxy behind the Source Wall, which is ornate with the mummified statues of great beings that have attempted to breach the Source Wall.
The New 52 multiverse was not well received. It was characterized for having lost the joy of the characters. In an interview with Comic Vine, Dan Didio stated DC Rebirth "is about getting back to the core of what DC characters are all about" and will be a "return to greatness!"
As many readers speculated, this entire issue is presented from the viewpoint of Wally West. Not the controversial New 52 Wally West, but the pre-Flashpoint Wally West who became so synonymous with Johns thanks to the writer's hugely influential Flash run in the early 2000's. In many ways, Wally is the only character who could have starred in a comic like this. He embodies what DC lost with the shift to the New 52—that sense of hope and optimism and also the idea of superhero legacies being passed down from one generation to the next. The simple fact of his return is an immediate source of comfort and a sign that things really are changing for the better.—Jesse Schedeen, DC Universe Rebirth #1 Review, IGN
DC Rebirth is a new beginning for the DC Universe. It tells the story of Flash and of the theft of ten years of comic book continuity, story and legacy from DC superheroes and of the loss of joy from the superheroes. During the DC Universe: Rebirth #1 issue, Flash uncovers that 10 years of the superheroes' lives have been taken away since the events of Flashpoint, by none other than Watchmen character, Dr. Manhattan! He has been manipulating the superheroes' lives and depriving the DC Universe of its optimism and sense of legacy.
Above all, Rebirth is about the notion that the DCU must rediscover the hope and optimism that once defined it. Its characters have become cold and heartless, much like the wave of grim and gritty anti-heroes that Watchmen spawned. Rebirth offers DC's heroes a chance to be better, while at the same time making Doctor Manhattan the face of everything they should and must stand against. It's not that Manhattan is being positioned as a villain in the traditional sense, but that he embodies a darker, more cynical form of storytelling that's become far too prevalent over the years. As much as Rebirth is Johns' farewell to the DC Universe, it's also very much the beginning of an ongoing story about these characters confronting this looming threat and reclaiming their destinies.—Jesse Schedeen, DC Universe Rebirth #1 Review, IGN
The Source is the being that released the GodWave at the beginning of the DC Universe—19 billion years ago—in order to create the pantheon of gods, and DC superheroes in the DC Universe. The Source Wall lies at the edge of the DC Universe and traps those who try to enter the Source. It is the creator of the DC Universe. (The Source)
The Source is the creator of the DC Universe. It created the First, the Second, the Third, and the Fourth worlds. It was attacked by three elder gods of the Third World and split into two, the Source and the Anti-Life Entity. It sought to create the Fourth World, though it was to be flawed. It planned to use the Infinity Man to kill all the New Gods and merge with the Anti-Life Entity in order to be whole again. Then, it was going to use the Soul Fire Equation in order to remake everything. (The Source)
Darkseid discovers the Source's plan, with Soul Fire Equation
Darkseid discovers the Source's plan, steals the Soul Fire Equation, battles the Source and eventually traps it. Superman eventually finds the souls of the New Gods, frees them along with the Source, then the Source is able to defeat Darkseid and leave this plane of existence. (The Source)
'Dark Nights: Metal'
In DC Rebirth, during the Dark Nights: Metal storyline, the Source Wall ends up cracked. We discover that the Source Wall protects the DC Universe from the Dark multiverse, which Batman accidentally unleashes. As evil versions of Batman—disciples of Barbatos—make their incursion into the DC Universe, the Justice League uses the 10th metal (life) in order to send back the darkness, in the process they crack the Source Wall. (The Source Wall: Why Is the Edge of the DC Universe Crumbling?)
In Justice League: No Justice, the Justice League and the Lanterns attempt to seal the crack only to discover that it is the gate keeping the Omega Titans from crossing over and consuming the DC Universe. The heroes succeed though seven cosmic forces leak into the DC Universe. (The Source Wall: Why Is the Edge of the DC Universe Crumbling?)
Powers and Abilities
Originally, The Source "is fully omnipresent, omniscient, and nigh omnipotent." (The Source) It is considered to be the 'Buddha' of the DC Universe and is a shared cosmic consciousness of the DC Universe. Its power is beyond Lucifer Morningstar and Michael Demiurgos. (The Source)
In Death of the New Gods, The Source is split into two, The Source and the Anti Life Entity. For this reason, it is weaker. The Anti Life Entity is not an equation in this storyline, but the dark side of The Source. "It has cosmic awareness, and unlimited power capable of destroying entire universes with ease." (The Source)
While investigating the death of the New Gods, Metron encountered the Anti Life Entity, and he cried because he felt the Entity's infinite power; "I can feel the limitless power that is the entity. I now see what a God truly is. I've never felt so insignificant. Next to this deity, I am nothing." Darkseid described it as; "Call it death. Call it Anti-Life. It is beyond imagining. It is the complete unknown. It is fear."- The Source (Concept), Comic Vine
The Source Tells of the Creation of the New Gods, a Flawed Creation
In the Justice League Unlimited final episode of season 3, Destroyer, Metron leads Lex Luthor to The Source Wall in order to find a means to beat Darkseid's invasion of Earth with the armies of Apokolips. Metron remarks: "Behold! The Source Wall. Behind it, is the single greatest secret of the universe. This is as far as I dare to go. I warn you one final time: Only a 12th level intellect has the slightest hope of surviving what you are about to experience."
To which Luthor responds: "Then I am over-qualified!"
Then Luthor jumps into The Source Wall.
- The Source is the creator of the DC Universe. 19 billion years ago, the GodWave created the pantheon of gods and the DC superheroes and returned to The Source.
- DC Rebirth created the DC Universe. It restored hope, optimism and legacy to the DC Universe. It restored 10 years of history and legacy to the superheroes' lives.
- The Source created the Fourth World, when it was separated into two, The Source and the Anti-Life Entity, opposite aspects of The Source. It called the Fourth World a flawed creation.
- During Dark Nights: Metal, The Source ends up cracked by the superheroes' attempt at repelling the invasion by the Dark multiverse. The Source Wall protects the DC Universe from the Dark multiverse.
- The Source is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. According to 'Justice League Unlimited', only a 12th level intellect can survive its experience.