DC Rebirth – Overall Review

I had a plan, you see. To do a full review of all the DC Rebirth titles here in my blog. And then when that plan seemed a bit much1.what with the Preacher premiere, and normal life stuff, the second plan was to fully review one DC Rebirth title, and then do a short review of the rest in a separate post. That plan didn’t work out the last two weeks either.2.Not that you care, you’re just a reader. No worries, I wouldn’t care if I were you

So long story short, this is a catch-up blog post. I’m going to do short reviews of all of the DC Rebirth titles from the last two weeks, other than Superman: Rebirth, which I already reviewed.

Batman: Rebirth #1

Writers:    Scott Snyder & Tom King
Aritst:    Mikel Janín
Release Date:    June 1, 2016
Cover Price:
    $2.99

Of all of the titles in the DC Universe, Batman probably needed the least ‘rebirthing’, as most people have enjoyed the direction that Scott Snyder has taken The Dark Knight in the last five years. So instead, this is kind-of a summation of what has been built in the Batman corner of the universe in the titles of Batman, Detective, We are Robin, Batman Eternal, and Batman and Robin Eternal.

The basic story is that Batman and his new recruit Duke Thomas3.sounds too much like a character from G.I. Joe to me fights the menace of Julian Day (aka the Calendar Man). So basically, they don’t want to use any of the main event villains in Batman just yet. All the while showing how uber bad-ass Batman is at everything, from taking an electrical charge that would kill most people, doing one handed pull-ups from the helicopter pad of Wayne Enterprises, and holding his breath underwater for six minutes when he tells Duke that he can only last three.

The story is perfectly fine, but nothing special. It remakes The Calendar Man, but I’m not sure he’s changed into anything that interesting. And if Duke is going to be a vigilante, then giving him a name in a Rebirth title would have suited here. And most importantly, there is nothing specific that is making me read the next issue of Batman, unless I’m already planning on reading Batman. But with Detective Comics and All Star Batman on the way, I don’t know that I would necessarily fit it into my budget based on this issue.

Review: 6.0 (Pretty good)

Green Arrow: Rebirth #1

Writer:    Benjamin Percy
Artist:    Otto Schmidt
Release Date:    June 1, 2016
Cover Price:
    $2.99

Okay, I am an old school Green Arrow fan. I like Oliver Queen, and I was disappointed in the decision to remove his history with Black Canary when they rebooted the DC Universe for the new 52. Additionally, I like the show Arrow4.even though it has dropped off significantly in the last season, and have watched all four seasons. So this book is geared towards a reader like me. However, I can’t let nostalgia for an Oliver Queen and Dinah Lance cloud my judgement over a comic book itself.

This book feels so rushed. As if the writers want so badly to hit the ground running with the series, where Ollie and Dinah already have a relationship, that they squeeze everything into a single evening encounter. Fighting, camaraderie and empathy, combativeness, teamwork, flirtation, and promise, are all covered in a 20 page story. It was like the writers thought they could just add water and make Green Arrow and Black Canary instant soup.

The story is that Black Canary has come to Seattle for some reason, and she rescues a homeless girl whose mom got abducted. Turns out the Underground Men are bad guys who abduct homeless people who live in the greenbelt forest in Seattle. Arrow and Canary save the homeless people, and Ollie makes a vow to shut the organization down. A very paint by numbers story.

I don’t know if the story is creating supernatural like humanoids, or if the intention is that these are just disgusting human beings, but the muted and blurry artwork does a story no favors.5.It’s a personal choice, but I just think crisp artwork suits urban warrior comics better It’s decent and very Mike Mignola-esque, but not good for this story.

I saw lots of review that loved this, saying it was the best Rebirth comic. Apparently, I was reading a different comic, because I was very underwhelmed.

Review: 5.0 (Average)

Green Lantern: Rebirth #1

Writers:    Geoff Johns & Sam Humphries
Artists:    Ethan Van Sciver & Ed Benes
Release Date:    June 1, 2016
Cover Price:
    $2.99

Like Batman, I’ve gotten the sense for a while now that Green Lantern is not one of the comic book series/franchises that needs to be reborn. But this issue does a nice job of bringing any non-Green Lantern readers up-to-speed. And you feel Geoff Johns familiar Green Lantern touches throughout the book, and these are both positive and negative.

In this story, two relatively new Green Lanterns of Earth, Simon Bay and Jessica Cruz, are paired together by Hal Jordan to be the lanterns of Sector 2814, which is an interesting idea to say the least, and in fact he merges their power batteries so they must work together to even power up. All the while, a new power from a mysterious unknown guardian is unleashed on the universe6.yes another new one, and this power is sought after by Atrocitus, the leader of the Red Lanterns.

Okay, so this book is interesting in the following way. I am not that interested in the plot going on here, I mean after the Sinestro Corps, the Rage of the Red Lanterns, the Black Lanterns, the White Lanterns, and the First Lantern7.I didn’t keep reading after Geoff Johns left the book, I’m pretty non-plussed by new secret guardians, new prophecies, and in-fighting between the lanterns. However, the idea of Hal Jordan as mentor to two new rookie Green Lanterns who he is forcing to work together, that is pretty interesting to me. So I liked that side of the story, and the artwork was really good. And I did like the narration by Attrocituys. Plus when you put both Dominators and Manhunters in a comic book, it certainly bumps the score up.

So, I liked it, and I would definitely check out the next few issues to see where this goes.8.And to see if Sam Humphries can do it without Geoff John’s touches.

Review: 7.0 (Good)

Aquaman: Rebirth #1

Writers:    Dan Abnett
Pencilers:    Scott Eaton & Oscar Jiménez
Release Date:    June 8, 2016
Cover Price:
    $2.99

I’ve never been a fan of writers apologizing for comic book characters. I didn’t like it when Geoff Johns rebooted Aquaman at the beginning of the new 52, and there’s still a hint of having to apologize for Aquaman now. The only thing that you need to apologize for is bad writers take on Aquaman, and the fact that no one has created a new lasting villain for him.9.More on that later

The plot of this story is that Aquaman has to stop a group of Atlanteans known as The Deluge, who are basically are terrorists who plan on destroying a section of the eastern seaboard. Aquaman with a new support team of at his Atlantean embassy is able to defeat them, all the while being watched by one of his old enemies Black Manta. 10.Or is it the son of Black Manta

The story is perfectly serviceable. I’m not a huge fan of trying to split Aquaman’s time of being a superhero and a king at the same time, but him working hard on ambassadorial relationships with the surface world is interesting enough. The artwork is really nice, and I do very much enjoy the costume design of Black Manta, even though whenever you have someone interested in Aquaman, it always has to be Black Manta or Ocean Master.11.that is more why Aquaman is a joke, rather than simply that he talks to fish The really bad part of this issue is the depiction of Mera. After being a very strong character in her own right, in this episode, she dutifully follows him as if her love for him makes her automatically agree with all of his decisions. It feels like, in going back to the classics, the writers are turning Mera into Aquaman’s arm candy. She says nothing in the comic book that doesn’t relate to her relationship with Aquaman, including the following line: “Arthur, you ask for nothing of me. I give what is in my heart to give.”

The book is fine enough if you like Aquaman, and Mera’s purpose in the book isn’t enough to sink it, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. I wouldn’t rush out to pick up the next issue though.

Review: 5.5 (Above Average)

The Flash: Rebirth #1

Writers:    Joshua Williamson
Artist:    Carmine Di Giandomenico
Release Date:    June 8, 2016
Cover Price:
    $2.99

In this issue, Barry Allen is investigating a crime scene not unlike that of the one when his Mom was murdered. The bulk of the book shows Barry living his dual liife in Central City as both Barry Allen crime scene investigator, and The Flash. And then Barry pulls Wally West into the current DC Universe, and they go off to investigate the anomalies in the current DC Universe.

The biggest problem of this book is totally not its fault. The problem is that if you already read DC Universe Rebirth, then half of this book is just a retelling of that story from Barry’s perspective. It has to be done, cause there are probably fans of The Flash who haven’t read the DC Universe Rebirth issue. But as someone who did, getting 8 pages of the same story with a narration from Barry Allen instead of Wally West, just isn’t that compelling.

There were a few other issues too. I didn’t think the artwork was really great or thought that it fit a book like The Flash. And I felt there was a blatant effort in pulling in elements from The Flash television show12.I expect this, but would have preferred it in the main series rather than dumping it in an entry issue.

All that aside, I liked this comic quite a bit. I found the insight into Barry’s head to be well written and interesting. And the whole exchange between Wally and Barry was really well done, especially when Barry said that Wally needs a new costume, because “You’re not Kid Flash anymore… You’re a Flash.” The splash page with both Barry and Wally running was just tremendous. The exchange with Flash and Batman, even though it’s done in internal monologue instead of dialog. And then the final bit of the issue where we start to see some flaws in Barry Allen that may cause problems, is very interesting.

So yes, this was one of my favorite of the Rebirth issues so far.

Review: 7.0 (Good)

Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1

Writers:    Greg Rucka
Artists:    Matthew Clark & Liam Sharp
Release Date:    June 8, 2016
Cover Price:
    $2.99

Greg Rucka is on my personal list. I’m sure you all have a list yourself. The list of writers whose stuff you will read no matter what.13.my list: Brubaker, Ellis, Peter David, Rucka, Azzarello, Bendis, Busiek, Terry Moore, Geoff Johns, Alan Moore So I was certainly excited that he was returning to Wonder Woman, which he wrote over 10 years ago. And I still am excited about his return, but just disappointed in this issue.

Every once in a while, you can feel a writer (or the editorial/continuity police) take an eraser to what has gone on before, and that’s what this issue feels like to me. Someone, whether it was Rucka himself or someone else, decided that they wanted the old Wonder Woman back, meaning the classic outfit, made from clay by Hypollita, no longer the Olympian God of War. Now, I enjoyed the Azzarello run of Wonder Woman, but I can certainly understand how it goes against positioning Wonder Woman for a future movie and working it into the tales of Wonder Woman from before. But this just feels clumsy.

In this story, Diana is in her apartment, having an identity crisis, where she feels multiple versions of her story crashing together, as she tries to discover what the truth is. Eventually he search leads her to Olympus, where she is attacked by some unknown force, who apparently is behind the lie of her life, and she vows to discover the truth. And tune into the next issue to start Diana’s journey.

A few things save this from being below average for me. The artwork is really good. I think both Clark and Sharp both really capture the warrior of Diana without having her lose her regal bearing.  And I liked the idea of Diana using the lasso on herself.14.I have no idea if that’s been done before.

This could have been done much better. I know there is a better way to transition Diana to a Wonder Woman that is more traditional or closer to the movie version. I like Rucka and Wonder Woman15.and his take on Wonder Woman to not have this push me away from reading this comic in the future. But this would not pull me in, unless I just hated the New 52 version so bad that any way to get the old Wonder Woman back is acceptable.

Review: 5.0 (Average)

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