DC Rebirth Reviewed: Batman, Superman, Green Arrow

So the much hyped and mixedly anticipated DC: Rebirth has gotten underway.

I don’t know what your background with all this is but here’s mine: I’m a DC fan since I was a kid, long before I was a Marvel fan or read any other comics besides Lee Falks Phantom, Tintin, Asterix and stuff like Amar Chitra Katha. I’ve had my ups and downs but I admit that the last 5 years have steadily seen me go from ardent DC follower to reading less and less and less until I had only 3 or 4 DC comics in my pull-list the past year or so.

So I was understandably weary when yet another reboot was put on the cards and yet again DC played it like this was all part of some grand scheme – which if it was, to my mind was a terrible scheme that alienated a lot of people.

BUT, I’m a hopeful dude, so I said let’s give it a shot. Read through the summary of the frankly-terribly rubbish Darkseid War and decided to just slide past that and focus on the new. After all this time I’m assuming DC has learned something – that they promise of a less grim-dark and more hopeful superhero world has some chance of actually happening. My main hope with Rebirth? That though it may have it’s ups and downs and bumps-on-the-road, that DC can start to get back on a better track where fans are not as angry/alienated/divided, where creators are less angry at the company and just generally to see DC start to be something close to the quality powerhouse it once was… so without further jibber-jabber, let’s move on to the title’s I’ve read so far:

Batman - Rebirth (2016) 01Batman Rebirth #1

STORY : Scotty Snyder & Tom King

ART : Mikel Janin (art) and June Chung (colours)

Mediocre to terrible.

I found nothing engaging, wanted to smack someone for the crap like the bat-helipad-pullups and the new twist on Calender Man… I mean I get it, it’s not a bad idea but you’d have been better of just creating a new villain. Also, so much for the grimdark being a thing of the past, this issue was so grimdark by the end that I was convinced that “happy-DC” thing was just a trick.

Batman as a series lost me very rapidly partway into the Gordon-Bat storyline (though I tried to like it) and after the terribly dragged out and boring (in-my-opinion) Year Zero and Endgame storylines.

THE LAST WORD:

I have very little nice to say about this comic besides the fact that Mikel Janin and June Chung did a stellar job on the artwork. If this is the kind of thing to expect from this series then yeah, I can continue to not read Batman’s self-titled series, something that has been happening more and more shortly after the enjoyable Court of Owls storyline wrapped up.

STORY SCORE: 3 / 10

ART SCORE: 8.5 / 10

OVERALL SCORE: 5.8 / 10

 

Superman - Rebirth (2016) 01Superman Rebirth #1

STORY : Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason

ART : Doug Mahnke (pencils), Jaime Mendoza (inks) and Wil Quintana (colours)

Actually not bad. Interesting way to bring Supes v1.0 back into the fold, I didn’t read the JL nonsense before so the recap gave me a lot of bits of info I didn’t know and in a simple and easy way. I can imagine this would actually work well for bringing on new readers despite showing that this new-old Supes has all that backstory, had a nice kind of “this is a fresh start for us all but yes, there is a lot of history that we don’t need to dig into” thing going for it.

Also, ended well and on a happy kind of note so that was good.

Not a lot to say about this issue, it’s short, it’s breezy and while it has a lot of somber content being about the death of Superman – there’s an undeniable feeling of lightness and positivity all the way through that really comes on strong at the end, largely because of the new-old Supes who seems to exude hopefulness, something that the Superman character was desperately missing for a long time now. In fairness the New52 Supes was getting there recently when he was depowered strangely enough, but I suppose too little too late.

THE LAST WORD:

Possibly the biggest surprise for me out of all the issues I read in that I liked the story a great deal more than I expected. The art was surprisingly ‘blah’ to me because I actually don’t mind Mahnke’s work usually but here I felt like over the issue it was inconsistent and as though the inks and colours tried to balance it out – but it didn’t work.
Would I read more of this comic? Don’t know, still debating. But yes, for the first time in a while, following on from Superman: Lois & Clark (which is where this Supes has been recently and was actually a good Superman comic after a long, long time) I’m actually hopeful that Superman could have a good comic again.

It’s almost sad for me as a fan of both that as Supermans book starts to show that it’s getting good, his best buddy Batmans book continues to go downhill.

STORY SCORE: 7.5 / 10

ART SCORE: 6 / 10

OVERALL SCORE: 6.8 / 10

 

Green Arrow - Rebirth (2016) 01Green Arrow Rebirth #1

STORY : Benjamin Percy

ART : Otto Schmidt

Not the most original setup per-se as far the homelessnapping goes, but well handled and actually made me want to see what happens next on the hunt for the creepy mask-faced dudes and who all they might be – plus what the deal with the undergroundhog dudes is.

The big highlight of the issue is the art for sure – totally surprised the hell out of me! At first I thought it was oddly weird and dirty, but it grew on me really fast and by the end I was quite enjoying the style and how GA looked under Schmidt’s pencils.

What I didn’t care for was that despite just doing a literal reboot and all, they kept the rockstar canary bit – a plot direction that I never cared for since it started. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad book, but I’d have preferred that be an alternate timeline or something because for the BC of the main universe, especially with the past she had in just the New52 universe she belonged to, it was quite nonsensical all-said. PLUS, I really found her attitude at the start when she condescends to Ollie to make her downright unlikeable. Sure they tried to correct for that as we got further along and toward the end, but yeah, didn’t like it here. Someone else I heard, pointed out that this was some weird reversal of the GL/GA comic from back in the day and yeah, might have been intended as a clever version of that but didn’t work for me.

THE LAST WORD:

The storyline itself was pretty decent and made me curious, but the Black Canary character put me off. Overall I may still give this a shot but it the future of that depends a LOT on how the characters are portrayed and if they can keep the story interesting – this could become very interesting or very been-there-done-that.

STORY SCORE: 6.5 / 10

ART SCORE: 8 / 10

OVERALL SCORE: 7.3 / 10


 

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