To be sure, we’re just getting started, but DC has now released 10 books carrying the Rebirth brand, so here’s your guide to what’s what at this point:
SPOILERS AHEAD for published books:
1. The Rebirth #1s, which are basically #0 issues, are a mixed bag. There’s some Frankensteining going on because in its haste to get this off the ground, DC matched the new writers with a legion of artists to push these books out the door. Still, you get what you need: the foundations these books are being built on.
2. Batman: Rebirth #1 is the best of the bunch so far, which is unsurprising because it was co-written by Scott Snyder and Tom King, two of the best in the DC stable. Also, Batman’s obviously my fave, so that helps. And I loved Mikel Janin’s art. It’s too bad he’s not the regular artist on the book. Beyond that, though, check out my 13 QUICK THOUGHTS on Batman: Rebirth #1, by clicking here.
3. Same with DC Universe: Rebirth #1, which I covered here.
4. Mind you, I’m not sold on a book because it’s a Batbook. Hardly. Detective Comics #934 was OK, but it’s really at heart a sequel to Batman and Robin Eternal. I’m not a big fan of an extended Batfamily. I think there can be too much of a good thing and I’ve never been invested in Spoiler or Cassie Cain, for example. I’ve got more to say about this another time.
5. The Flash: Rebirth was busy. The main Flash part of the story felt a little been-there-done-that. Reverse-Flash is my favorite Flash villain but even if there will be differences, it feels like between the show and the comic, we’re seeing the same thing over and over. On the other hand, the whole overall Rebirth storyline, with Watchmen and Flashpoint and Batman and all that, is obviously intriguing. I like it when Flash and Batman team up.
6. Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1: Clearly Greg Rucka’s going to be clarifying the conflicting origin stories — possibly dispensing with the controversial Zeus one. One thing about this book? It really popped when Liam Sharp, one of the biweekly series’ regular artists, joined in late in the issue.
7. DC needs to stop apologizing for the last five years. A lot of the dialogue and voiceovers in these issues include metacommentary that are effectively mea culpas. The New 52 was worth a try. A lot of it didn’t work. Some of it did. But stop apologizing. Just make good comics. That’s all the fans want.
8. I don’t blame writer Dan Abnett because his Aquastories have been good, but Aquaman: Rebirth #1 felt very much like Aquaman #1 by Geoff Johns from 2011. The same references to talking to fish, the same hoary, “Aquaman needs to be taken seriously” stuff. Aquaman was one of the few substantial successes of the New 52, so let the story tell itself. We don’t need more explanation of his role in the world or that he’s underappreciated. This whole thing felt like an editorial memo. I look forward to the series itself. Let’s get on with it.
9. I read Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1 the other night but I don’t remember much of it, so make of that what you will.
10. Somebody on Facebook the other day said that something about Green Arrow: Rebirth #1 felt off. I agree and I can’t really put my finger on it either. Good to see Black Canary, though.
11. Superman: Rebirth #1 and Action Comics #957 feel very much of a piece, with pre-New 52 Superman making his decision to go public. I never cottoned to New 52 Superman so this has all been a relief, going back to the recently ended Lois and Clark series.
12. By the way, I’m assuming that clues to the solution to the multiple Clarks, the Last Days of Superman storyline, etc. etc., can be found 40-something years ago. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the villainous doppelganger in the final issues before Rebirth was named Denny Swan.
13. The regular #1s start in earnest this coming week (6/15) with Batman #1, Green Arrow #1, Green Lanterns #1 and Superman #1. There’s also Titans: Rebirth #1 and Justice League #51, which most definitely deals with this new world. I am really looking forward to Titans …