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REBIRTH WEEK 3: Titans, Superman, Batman, Green Lanterns, Green Arrow


This is the third week of DC‘s Rebirth initiative…and already the fourth week including the one-shot DC Universe: Rebirth #1. And though so far it’s basically all a ton of #1s on covers…it’s truly the quality of the stories that’s got me so all-in and interested and excited and just simply digging these stories, loving the DC Universe again!

TITANS: REBIRTH #1

titans_rebirth0001I’ve been looking forward to this issue probably more than any of the other Rebirth books. As much as I’d been pulled back into the Superman books with the Final Days of Superman story…the reveal several weeks ago of Wally West and his return was really the tipping point, the selling point, for me on this whole Rebirth thing. It was what pushed me from curiosity into embracing it. And here, we get to see the returned Wally West–formerly Kid Flash, now…something. Flash? In a new costume reminiscent of the Kid Flash outfit but sporting “adult Flash” colors. And while seeking answers, Wally winds up tangling with his old friends…but soon realizes that running away from his problem is no help…tactile contact sparks their memories, restoring Wally to them. By issue’s end, they remember him, know who he is–and they share with him that they’re already on the trail of someone they know messed with their memories…whether this is the same “big bad” Wally is pursuing as well remains to be seen.

I totally “appreciate” the Titans, and Teen Titans…I even followed a run of Teen Titans for several years into Infinite Crisis. But particularly at the New 52, they just failed to hold my interest, and so my enjoying this as much as I did is an extremely welcome thing. Add to that the (to me) “official” reunion image–and Wally realizing he’s home–and this was a highly enjoyable issue!

SUPERMAN #1

superman(2016)_0001I really dug this issue, especially as a #1. Of course, this is a #1 geared for someone like me…even as it provides this starting point, a jump-on point, for new readers. We get to see the title character both in costume and out, as well as meet supporting cast–his wife Lois, his son Jon…even the neighbor’s daughter (surely to be a Lana Lang type figure). There’s even an early double-page spread that in some ways I “ought to” complain about (given my usual complaints about so many double-page spreads being “cheats” and “wastes of space” and all that)…but it just made me grin. I think the first official “shirt rip” as this Clark changes over to Superman to go into action.

What disturbs me about the issue–there’s a scene in which young Jon races off across a field along with the family cat…and he sees the cat snatched up by a bird (a falcon of some kind?)…and we see a display of his as-yet uncontrolled power: Jon lashes out instinctively at the bird with his heat vision…but–lacking control–the blast incinerates bird and cat. The kid is certainly not happy about this–a definite weight of failure on him–but it very definitely broke my heart…ESPECIALLY having imagined the joy at seeing the boy fly, or race after the bird, and rescue the cat. An argument with his parents, perhaps–he HAD TO use his powers, he saved the cat! But instead, in attempting to save the cat…

I’m an easy mark for stuff with fuzzy animals. I am admittedly desensitized to human death in fiction, but even in fiction I can’t not feel something at the loss of an animal…especially like this.

That said…the fact the scene hit me as it did, I can also see so much potential for stuff, and I look forward to more (even as I’ll try to “forget” those particular panels).

The cover, too, looks like a #1, and I’m again glad FOR the “regular” cover actually having an iconic look to it.

BATMAN #1

batman(2016)_0001In a way, I actually was not looking forward to this issue. I don’t know now what I was fully picturing regarding it–something like the Court of Owls, but people embodying the City itself, another “secret society” going after Batman. Seeing Batman leap into action to try to save a plane–or at least minimize catastrophic damage and loss of life when it crashes–was both exciting and a bit over-the-top. I’ve really grown tired of a Batman prepared for anything/everything. But I have to be honest that despite that, it’s still exciting and impressive to see the character in action like this, and to picture it as just some big summer action/blockbuster thriller that’s over the top but right in range of what I’m looking for.

While I certainly had zero expectation of yet another “death of Batman,” it was also–for me–quite effective seeing a Batman really not even phased at facing death. Regretful, perhaps, at unfinished/unfulfilled objectives, but plans in place for such circumstances…and then a mortal moment, wondering if his parents would be proud of him despite his dying. Aaaand then we get a couple of new characters–though for a moment I actually thought they might’ve just crossed over from Superman #1 and felt a thrill of continuity-excitement there. What I got leaves me “interested” and curious, definitely looking forward to the next issue.

And the art? I like this rendition of Batman…it’s slightly “off” but works, and I just simply like it.

GREEN LANTERNS #1

green_lanterns_(2016)_0001This title is a real surprise for me. I can say I definitely “miss” Kyle and Guy, even Hal. But where I was not at all interested in anything with Simon Baz in the “meta” sense several years ago in the hubbub of the character’s original introduction…now that I’m actually reading stuff with him and it’s tempered with another character completely new to me (yet who I can certainly identify with–probably way more than I’d prefer–I’m really enjoying this, and it’s technically only the first issue!

I like the idea of two “rookies” working together…and at least so far am definitely digging the dynamics we get here–the two focal characters vs. the world, vs. each other, and the simmering background developments with the Red Lanterns (whose series I have yet to really read). I don’t know how long my interest will hold, but I’ll definitely get the next issue!

GREEN ARROW #1

green_arrow_(2016)_0001I usually don’t much care for stuff tying in to TV, or feeling like a comic is drawing inspiration from a tv show inspired by the comic. But I haven’t really read much Green Arrow in so long, and a lot of stuff with what I had been reading had gone “downhill” that–the TV show Arrow being my main exposure lately–I rather welcome it. With “the goatee” and fond expressions like “Pretty Bird” being back, I’m cool with other differences and such, and willing to go with the flow, just glad to be on the ride and actually enjoying a book with this title again. I know Seattle had been the characters’ town for quite awhile in the ’80s and such during the Grell run, so even seeing them back there is a bit nostalgic, and yet there’s still a sense of freshness to me.

I actually waffled on the cover for this issue–I really liked the image on a variant, but figured while it was a great image, this one fits both the issue and my expectation better. Though I feel like the end of the issue is just a cheap shot at a clichéd cliffhanger…it actually leaves me curious, wondering at a couple possible directions stuff could be taken, depending on what the writer’s got in store, though the more jarring surprise would seem to fly in the face of this whole initiative. I’m definitely gonna be looking for the next issue, though! (and in the end, THAT is what shows the effectiveness…I’m looking forward to ‘finding out’ regardless of assumption or cliché!).

OVERALL:

These FELT LIKE #1 issues. We’ve had the prologue/#0/ __: Rebirth one-shots to set things up, but just as those felt appropriately like prologue, these feel like true #1 issues. However, they’re not cold-start, from-a-blank-slate #1s. These embrace their new directions, the modified status quo, giving us both beginning AND continuation. It’s been years since I’ve read Green Lantern, even more years since Green Arrow, I have not kept current with Batman, I only just “came back to” Superman a couple months ago, and really haven’t touched Titans or Teen Titans overall since well before the New 52. But I’m back in, I’m following stuff, I’m enjoying the reading, being reunited with characters/concepts I’ve enjoyed in the past and learning of newer ones I’m less–or not at all yet–familiar with.

And I’m truly having a blast, having a larger stack of comics each week that I’m actually eager to read into. Not shift a couple books to read while others go in the “I’ll get to it whenever” pile but actually ordering the issues, eager to read them ALL.

weekly_haul_week_of_20160615d

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