This week saw the release of the first of the individual titled Rebirth one-shots, that serve (functionally, it would seem) as #0 issues leading into new relaunched titles from the publisher, utilizing a new status quo set up by last week’s DC Rebirth one-shot.
SUPERMAN: REBIRTH #1
I really dug this issue. It touches on the events from The Final Days of Superman, and begins transitioning the pre-Flashpoint Superman into the lead role. We get some interaction between him and Lana, as well as some flashback/context establishing some differences between this Superman and that of the New 52. I really liked that we got to see reference–even 24 years later–to an event as significant as the Death of Superman–even as it is used to add depth to this world’s fallen Superman. That these events are brought up while the older Superman seeks to resurrect the younger pays definite homage to the fallen hero, while establishing that we’re getting a somewhat reluctant Superman–he’s stepping in out of necessity, and certainly NOT from any desire to replace a counterpart. This issue has some great art to go with the solid–and refreshing–story, and makes this (for me) probably the best, most exciting Superman issue I’ve read in a long, long time in terms of “new” issues…and surpasses last year’s Superman: Lois and Clark #1.
BATMAN: REBIRTH #1
I’m way outta the loop on Batman…I only just a couple weeks ago read the Endgame arc, and never read beyond the first half of Batman Eternal nor beyond the first couple issues of Batman and Robin Eternal. I’ve not kept up with any of the “family” books for various reasons, despite any initial interest. So I don’t know who this Duke is, or his context…but I roll with it. Alfred has both his hands, it seems, which sure beats the way Endgame ended! It seems that Batman is training a new “junior partner,” but getting away from the Robin model. We see him face the Calendar Man–who threatens Gotham with a dangerous spore. Batman and Duke keep things under control but remain challenged–having to better themselves to keep up with a comes-back-better-each-time villain. I’m not familiar with this villain, but there’s enough in this issue for me to “get by,” and to be interested in the new/ongoing Batman title. I enjoyed this as I read it, but didn’t retain much from it in conscious memory. Still, a solid issue–one that does a great job of being a one-shot WHILE also setting some stuff up for a continuing, ongoing story.
GREEN LANTERNS: REBIRTH #1
Other than the plurality of the title and “knowing” that there would be multiple Lanterns starring in this issue, I had zero idea what to expect. I figured ok, read it, but I wasn’t expecting to like it or care about any of the characters or the title…it’s just another Rebirth issue. But darned if the art didn’t impress me, even as I enjoyed reading about Simon Baz as well as an (apparently) new character that I could identify with, in that I’m not much of a social person, so being thrust into any kind of public eye would be quite anxiety-inducing. This gives us a glimpse of Hal as he initiates the new GLs of Earth and sets before them a mission and motivation. We see that they don’t (yet) get along or care for each other…but despite that Hal is forcing them to work together, and if they don’t, they won’t even be able to power their rings (an arbitrary limitation that I can already see being a major weakness for villains to exploit). When I opened the issue I cared nothing…on reaching the conclusion, I’m anxious to read more and see where things go with these characters. I’d call that a pretty effective (and successful) introductory issue!
GREEN ARROW: REBIRTH #1
Once upon a time, I considered myself somewhat familiar with Green Arrow. I jumped in with Kevin Smith‘s run back in 2001, and followed it through the end of Meltzer‘s arc or so. Prior to that, I’d had some exposure to the character–primarily a scene in 1994’s Zero Hour that moved me then and moves me to this day, and a bit to his son via the “next generation” stuff with him and Kyle. When they undid the Ollie/Dinah marriage heading into the New 52, I wasn’t that bothered–by then I wasn’t following the character and didn’t really “miss” anything. But…I wasn’t interested in the “new” Green Arrow, either. Then Arrow hit tv, and has led to quite a tv universe, and I’m once more interested–at least conceptually–in the character. The Ollie/Dinah scene in the Rebirth special last week hit particularly well…and so I really quite enjoyed this issue. While not as “old” as the Ollie I remembered, I’m good with appearances…if nothing else, “someone” stole 10 years or so from our heroes, right? So he’s younger. But the goatee is there, the attitude is there, he and Dinah “meet” and it’s no rocket science to see where things COULD go from here. The story itself didn’t make much of an impression on me beyond that…it was just an enjoyable issue that has me looking forward to where things go!