The Rebirth has begun! DC mastermind Geoff Johns and company have been prepping for this a while now and the all the hard work is coming to fruition. Check out some great jumping on points for new readers in the various Rebirth specials, and see if maybe any of them might peek your interest!
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DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1
Story: Geoff Johns Art: Gary Frank, Ivan Reis, Ethan Van Sciver, Phil Jimenez, etc
Review: This came out on 05/25/2016 but I’m doing a quick recap here so it fits in with the rest of the rebirth reviews. This is it, the big bang of getting the DC Universe back on track and “fixing” some of the mistakes of the “New 52” era. Johns writes a plausible enough reason for how everything in “52” was created-seemingly by an all-powerful being (A very awesome character that I’m glad to see making an impact in the DC Universe) whom for mysterious reasons wanted to alter and change the DC Universe landscape upon its reformation after the events of Flashpoint. To what end is never really discussed (most likely to be revealed later on) but whatever the reasons, it seems pre-52 Wally West might have some of the answers.
The problem is he’s lost in the time stream and needs someone to be an anchor for him to return to the world. His return will spark the beginning of change within the DC Universe, as a “Rebirth” begins. Not a reboot, but rather a merging. Johns does his best to keep this set up going, and I hope we see it pay off in the various Rebirth One shots and ongoing series. The art team here is an all-star lineup and so it should come as no surprise to anyone that each page is a stand out success. One page after the next is just absolutely beautifully illustrated and there no wasted space in the 80 pages. I’d highly recommend this book for new and old readers, as it seems we will be seeing some subtle (and some not so subtle) changes to everyone and everything.
Batman: Rebirth #1
Story: Scott Snyder, Tom King Art: Mikel Janin Colors: June Chung
Review: This is the fresh start, as one great batman writer passes the torch to the next. Snyder gave what I’d call a hit or miss run on Batman, but overall it was a great run with some beautiful art by Greg Capullo. Now that time has passed, and Tom King and Mikel Janin will have some big shoes to fill and I absolutely think they have shown they can here. King has been knocking it out of the park with Marvel on VISION, and Janin was just excellent during the Grayson run, so putting these two together was brilliant on DC’s part. Janin already has a nice feel for these characters, so when we see Bruce doing pull ups on the edge of a helicopter pad on a skyscraper, or Calendar Man undergoing a strange metamorphosis, it looks so damn good!
King crafts a simple but important story here with an introduction to HIS batman, a detective, and seemingly a mentor as it seems Duke Thomas (from the Batman: Zero Year and We Are Robin series) will be filling some sort of protégé role. Overall the issue gives us a revamped Calendar Man and a reinvigorated Bruce (who’s once again got his fortune!), but how this fits into the “rebirth” storyline in the grand scheme of things I can’t say- it really is more or less just a jumping on point for some new readers.
Green Lantern: Rebirth #1
Story: Geoff Johns, Sam Humphries Art: Ethan Van Sciver, Ed Benes Colors: Jason Wright
Review: Johns and Humphries give a nice starting point for the future of the earth GLs in GL Rebirth #1. From the conclusion of the Darkseid War and DC Rebirth, Jessica Cruz is now a full blown Green Lantern (seemingly odd due to the large amount of Earth Gls with 5 in total!) she’s still new to it all despite having limited experience with the evil ring-Volthoom. At the same time, the other Lantern (slightly lesser rookie) Simon Baz is struggling with the repercussions of previous actions in his civilian life. After being summoned by legendary GL Hal Jordan it becomes clear that something big and bad is brewing in the universe and somehow earth will be the epicenter of it all (a potential reason for the increase in earth GLs by the rings).
With Jordan knowing he will need to go off earth to handle the problem, he does his best to get these two very different people to form a partnership to protect the earth while he’s gone. It’s a simple enough story from Humphries and Johns, and like most of the Rebirth one shots, gives a chance for new readers to get into the series with some minimal background information. Ethan Van Sciver returns and delivers some beautiful artwork, as he is simply just the man to have when it comes to Green Lantern! Jason Wright delivers big time with the colors, giving everything a fresh vibrant feel to the amazing structures and energy from the GL rings. GL was dipping a little bit for me towards the end of the 52 run, but this rebirth might have just sparked my interest again.
Green Arrow: Rebirth #1
Story: Benjamin Percy Art: Otto Schmidt
Review: I’ll be the first to admit, when the “New 52” happened, I quickly lost interest in Green Arrow. It didn’t feel like the old green arrow from pre-52- it appeared to be attempting to be like the TV show- but wasn’t quite catching the same vibe and ultimately the history of the character just seemed a mess. Maybe it got better, but by issue 8 I was pretty much done with it. So, here we are in a “Rebirth” DC Universe and what’s going on with GA? Percy seems to be getting back to basics, as this is Oliver operating solo, sort of disheveled but still holding down the fort at Queen Industries and protecting his streets.
All this changes when he meets Black Canary! For whatever reason these two characters had been kept apart during their tenure in the New 52 despite the pleas of many fans. Well Percy is giving the people what they want-a liberal minded, goatee sporting, kick ass Oliver who will continue to develop a budding relationship with Dinah Lance. This so far has been the arrow I remember (just younger) and the pacing seems on point. Hopefully Percy can keep this momentum going into the regular series. Otto Schmidt delivers some solid artwork, giving us some of the best action sequences I’ve seen from a GA book in a while.
Superman: Rebirth #1
Story: Peter J Tomasi Art: Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza Colors: Wil Quintana
Review: Superman is dead! Well it seems New 52 Superman is dead, the pre-52 Superman is still very much alive and stranded in this…umm reality? Earth? It’s a bit confusing since DC: Rebirth hinted that 52 is actually the pre-52 universe just altered due to the manipulation of a powerful being (Hint-He’s a Doctor). With New 52 Superman seemingly dead (due to events taking place in his series) Pre-Superman (can we just call him beard Superman? Although that will probably be gone soon) believes he might able to revive dead Superman similar to how he was resurrected after his battle with Doomsday! (Ya know, the really kick butt one that actually was a terrifying force). Tomasi mostly has Pre-52 Superman working with new 52 Lana Lang to see if it’s possible to resurrect the fallen hero.
It leaves an interesting dilemma for Pre-52 Superman-If this earth’s Superman really is dead, then should he replace him? My guess is that will be part of the storyline in the New Superman Series starting up soon from this creative team. Alongside the unique story set up by Tomasi, Mahnke and Mendoza bring their A game. I love the body language and facial expressions from these characters, and how much is said in as few panels as possible. Quintana gives life to the series with some really great color work that mixes perfectly with the pencils and inks. For all the fans who have been wanting a Superman they can relate, the “back to basics” Superman, well this seems to be the series for you.