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Thoughts on Rebirth #1, Lois and Clark #8 and Superman #52[SPOILERS]


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I’d been looking forward to these issues for awhile, with way more excitement and interest than I’ve had in most comics in ages.

Please be forewarned, I’m going to spoil these issues here, especially the Rebirth issue!

Superman: Lois and Clark #8

I remember highly anticipating the first issue of this series, due to the prospect of this meager “bone” tossed to me as a fan of the pre-Flashpoint Superman. It’s been a rich series, giving me so much that I’ve wanted, particularly as “my” Superman was now like I remembered the pre-CoIE Earth-2 Superman–not being the focus, not being “the” Superman, there could be hugely major shakeups in the status quo, such as Clark and Lois actually having a (biological) son. There’s the huge, overwhelming (to me) loss of the pre-Flashpoint world they knew…but with stuff in Rebirth I think there’s something to be said/suggested in this Superman sticking around but at least us as readers having “hope” that his world and past and loved ones are still “out there somewhere.”

While the above was more speculative and incomplete, I’ll be “spoiling” Superman #52 below as well as the Rebirth issue after it.

Superman #52

This issue concludes the Super-Leag…er…The Final Days of Superman story that’s crossed the various Super-books for the last few weeks/couple months. I’ve known what was coming, it was part of why I opted to follow the story. Get the story, see the events that lead to the apparent death of the New 52 Superman.

SPOILERS!

I don’t know what I expected, but this was not it. Surely there’s more DEPTH to stuff, things to be explored, subtexts one can root out…but on the surface, on initial reading, reading to get to the end…I felt like this was a letdown.

That’s it?!? That’s how he goes out?

And even with an 8-part story leading into it (remember, 1992’s Doomsday! arc (aka The Death of Superman was 6 chapters plus a Justice League tie-in) that should have made this epic, this felt padded and drawn-out, and while Superman “knew it was coming” this seemed like a weak way for him to go out, despite doing so literally in a “blaze” of glory (and that is NOT intended as a reference to the character Blaze).

Clark–the pre-Flashpoint Superman–steps in, the two DO meet (albeit briefly–and yeah, here’s the selling point that had me buying the #50s…I wanted to see them MEET), and we get an abrupt end to the New 52 Superman, which paves the way for the other Superman to ‘take over’ or ‘step back into his rightful place’ or some such.

The story ultimately doesn’t seem to have had much POINT except to “clear the board” and allow for things to keep moving FORWARD without actually backtracking or saying someone didn’t exist, etc. And that will surely also be coming into play in the next few months of stories.

Below, I SPOIL stuff in the issue, so be forewarned!

DC Universe: Rebirth #1

Now that I’m ready to actually write about this, I’m at a loss for words.

The art was an immediate attention-grabber…it just looked GOOD. And with the likes of Gary Frank, Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis, and so many other “brand name creators”, how could this not? These are The Big Guns, some of THE big names whose art I’ve so enjoyed in the past (over the last 10-15 some years), so seeing their work was a huge treat, and I did not mind the bits of difference between ‘chapters’ and such…I was far, far more interested in the story itself.

And that story takes place across nearly 70 pages, with so many little moments that I really can’t even begin to properly “summarize” it, nor am I going to offer a page by page commentary on the issue.

Suffice it to say, I’m spoiling this issue.

This.

Is.

Your.

Final.

Bit of.

Spoiler.

Space.

To quote one River Song… “Spoilers, Sweetie!”

So…

Wally is BACK. My Wally. Original Wally. Wally West, Wally that was Kid Flash, in the Teen Titans, great friends with Dick Grayson, that became Flash after Barry died in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wally that “died” during Zero Hour, Wally that was the focus of more than 226 issues of his own ongoing series, Wally that disappeared and was seemingly–at best–“replaced” to be in line with the then-upcoming/now established tv show.

And he’s brought back in a way, it’s explained such that it does NOT invalidate the New 52 Wally West, it allows both to exist, to co-exist without my having any particular problem with it.

All the hype, and in getting to that, typing that…I’ve realized that THAT was my take-away with this issue.

Wally West is BACK!

Add to that we have some coy setup, more someone behind the scenes of the ones behind the scenes of the ones behind the scenes.

I remember the woman from Flashpoint #5, the ending, when stuff was somewhat supposedly “put right,” she had influence on what became the New 52 including the incorporation of the Wildstorm characters into the main unierse along with elements formerly/primarily Vertigo. Well, this woman–Pandora, I believe–is dealt with, and whatever power she had? She’s minor compared to this other power.

And from Wally’s narration, there’s this concept that 10 years had been “stolen,” that “love” had been stolen, “legacy” had been stolen, that it had all been stolen to make the heroes weaker, prevent them from being capable of taking something on.

Everyone being YOUNGER. A Superman in his early/mid-20s instead of mid-30s, and never married, etc. Barry, with no Legacy; no Jay to Barry to Wally to Bart. A compressed span of time in which Batman went through numerous Robins. Etc and so on and so forth.

And ultimately, to ME, to MY reading, the way I read this, the way I took it to heart…this “salvages” things. This validates the New 52 against pre-Flashpoint DCU. Essentially we have someone messing behind the scenes, manipulating vastly untold powers in ways that affect the very multiverse…and there’s still something COMING.

So “my” DC universe has fallen. Zoom killing Nora Allen, Barry giving in and going back in time to save her, causing that flashpoint? That was something planned to have happen. When everyone thought reality was put right but it was actually the New 52, that was planned as well. But it’s going to involve remnants of both timelines/universes/whatever to defeat the coming darkness, somehow.

And the rumors of some 2-year thing being set up…yeah, I see that. And I hope maybe we get some great stories in the meantime.

The ending of this issue, though…

It was immediately recognizable to me. I knew exactly what (I think) was going on. We had key pieces and references throughout this issue. References to the Charlton characters, even. A smiley button with a line of blood. An old fashioned, historical watch of many tiny pieces…parts and gears.

And the name that’s dropped.

It looks like somehow, Ozymandias and Dr. Manhattan have some hand in this rewriting of reality, and the Watchmen characters for the first time in 30+ years are touching actual, live, current, real DC continuity.

I’ll need time to process it, and I’ll probably be of several minds about it.

But in the end?

I bought this thing DIGITALLY. DC app, IN-APP PURCHASE on an APPLE DEVICE, I bought this so I could read it before 7:30am, before work, before my day was truly off and running.

I bought the print edition as planned shortly after, on my lunch break.

I was THAT excited about this, that eager and HOPEFUL for something I’d enjoy, that’d be touching, and huge, and justify stuff, and reignite my interest in DC stuff.

And I was not let down. I thought this was gonna be some last-hurrah for Wally, like a tease or a bone tossed to us before phasing out again, permanently, ceding the name and such. But they KEPT him.

I want to see what the DC titles hold, as a whole, for this Rebirth business. Maybe it’ll suck. Maybe there will be some klunkers. Maybe I’ll quickly drop back to just Superman and Action Comics and perhaps a handful of others. With a bunch of books double-shipping, I’m counting on there being less overall titles…so whatever I do stick with, it’ll likely be more frequent.

And at “only” $2.99 an issue…despite that once having been my INTENDED “upper ceiling” on pricing…it’s now a bargain.

Compared to Marvel, anyway, where everything is $3.99 (or so it sure seems!).

$2.99? I’ll get behind it. I’ll try stuff I would NOT try at $3.99. Even if we “only” have 20 pages for it…I can handle that WAY better at $2.99 than I can $3.99.

I loved this issue, and I’m truly stoked for the coming months…the Rebirth one-shots, and the new iterations of the various series.

I’ve done this stream-of-conscious rambling long enough that that should be obvious…so I’ll cut myself off here and now.

I look forward to others’ thoughts; to discussing it with others, to sharing this ride, and so on…

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One Response

  1. […] Essentially, it seems Batman is finally ready or able to "get serious" about this button he found waaaay back in DC Universe: Rebirth #1. […]

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