Batman Rebirth – Review

Sorry about the absence for that last month or so! My wife and I had a CRAZY June and July, but we are back in full swing.

Today I thought I’d review Batman Rebirth issue 1! For those of you new to the DC Comics Universe, DC Comics just went through a massive “rebirth” event. The end result was the discovery Dr. Manhattan had taken 10 years from everyone during the Flashpoint event and has something strange in play. The end result is a new number system for most books and some returning to pre-52 numbers. To help the transition each book got a “Rebirth” issue.

offerBatman Rebirth opens up with Duke Thomas coming to Wayne Manner to discuss an “offer.” I may do a post about Duke later because he really is a very interesting character. Quick synopsis…. Batman first met Bruce first met Duke during Zero Year, a time when the Riddler had taken over the entire city and challenged the city to come up with a question that would stump him. Duke, a small child at the time started his mental training then. He was determined to come up with a question that would stump the Riddler. Later he becomes a member of the vigilante street gang “We Are Robin.” So what is this offer?

As we turn the page we see an amazing two page spread given to us by artist Mikel Janin. Mikel has done a lot of great work on Grayson, Nightwing, and a slew of other titles but this is one of my favorite spreads. It’s this great action spread of Batman crashing in on the Calendar Man. The panels really lend itself the action and chaos but not in a confusing way. It almost feels cinematic.  Calendar Man seems to be releasing spoors into the air that are deadly to the public. Batman orders Alfred to set off an electric charge from the batsuit that ultimately kills off all the spoors, saving everyone.

The next day is summer. We find Bruce doing his usual work out… you know one arm pull ups off the side of a sky scraper… kid stuff really. While doing his work his old friend Lucius Fox is having a bit of a business meeting with him. During his absence, following “Endgame,” His company has been lost but Lucius has once again saved the day. This scene holds one of my favorite lines that I really believe sums up one of the greatest aspects of Batman.

Lucius had at one point tried to convince Doctor Thomas Wayne to stop being a doctor. “Told him (Thomas) being a doctor drives you crazy. Whatever you do people just get sick again. You make no progress.” However, Thomas gave him a very stern look and gave him an answer the struck Lucius very deeply. Lucius finishes the story, “Finally in a dark voice he said,

“You’re right Lucius, I am Crazy. But the sick need someone crazy enough to believe they can be better. So what else could I be.”

Well that’s a punch in the chest.

Next thing we know it’s Wednesday… Fall. Seasons are speeding up in Gotham and Batman suspects the cause is something Calendar Man has set up. He has sped up the season so he can start his life cycle over again. Briefing Duke on the situation Duke begins to question why he’s there. He’s fine on his own. He’s fine just being a solo Robin. To which Batman replies “I’m not training you to be Robin. I’m trying something new. Batman reveals to him a new black and yellow suit with a bat-symbol. Is this the “Lark” Costume we saw in the crazy parallel/futuristic visions Bruce had when he was getting his memories back?introducing-lark-the-new-robin-kind-of-of-dc-comics-batman-rebirth-1012353

Now it’s Thursday…. Winter. Batman is dived into icy water to shut down the mystery machine that Calendar Man has set up. I have to say I love the art in this first page. There is something about seeing Batman slowly coming into view as he dives deeper into the icy depths. One word comes to mind, epic. In this section Batman is pushing his newly revived body to the limits. How strong are his lungs?  How far can he push himself? The answer? Beyond the limits.

Finally it’s Friday… Spring. Calendar Man’s body wilts and births a new and better version of himself. Batman may have shut down the machine but it was too late.  It then cuts to Bruce and Duke doing some training. Duke has a very interesting conversation with Bruce that parallels one that Lucius had with Thomas Wayne. “Just that he (Calendar Man) comes back better every time. How are we supposed to combat that?” asked Duke. Bruce replies, “Easy. We come back better each time too.” With a smirk Duke responds, “You’re crazy you know that right?”

So what did you think of Batman Rebirth? Personally I think it’s a great jumping on point for those new to the series. I have LOVED the Batman title for a long time now because I feel like it’s been the line that really dives into not just what Batman does but who the man really is. I can’t wait to see what develops. Leave me your thoughts on this issue below. Also what do you think is going on with Duke? Is he going to be “Lark?”

DC Universe Rebirth Review 4 (FINAL)

Welcome to the final review of DC Universe Rebirth 1! If you are a bit behind then check out my other reviews.

::Spoilers::

When we last saw Wally sucked back into the Speedforce after the revelation that the love of his life has absolutely no idea who he is.  This leaves Wally contemplating what’s left of his life. He’s never been a quitter but what is left to do? Is there anyone else who will hear him? Is there any hope in stopping whoever it is that has made these drastic changes?

ntwreb_cv1_57082f747debd3-72475684As he tumbles through the Speedforce we see glimpses of the lead up to life after the Rebirth event. We see two mysterious figures looking over Gotham City. Who are they? What do they want with Batman’s City. We see John Constantine and Swamp Thing bickering over a deal to help each other.  We even see former secret agent Grayson holding up a blue (yes finally blue again) Nightwing suit.

As Wally about comes to the point of complete defeat he sees something that encourages him, a young Wally West of this New 52 Universe. I’ve not read a lot of the Flash comics so I’m not sure if this was an established idea prior to the Rebirth event, but they establish that Wally of 52 (we’ll call him 52 Wally from here on out) is actually a cousin of our pre-Flahspoint Wally.  I don’t want to draw any opinion on this idea until I know some more info so if any of you can tell me when this took place that would be great.

All that said, he sees 52 Wally do something that makes him very happy. A young girl who is about to ran over by an absent minded driver is suddenly whisked away in a bolt of lightning caused by 52 Wally. Wally watches with pride as 52 Wally stands in shock, amazement, and celebration. Wally knows that feeling very well. He knows the exhilaration of knowing that you’ve done the impossible to save help someone in need. He knows that this new world is in good hands with this new Kid Flash.

Wally feels the end is near now. He knows that soon he’ll be one with the Speedforce. As he does he sees his mentor, his inspiration, his father-figure, the world’s fastest man, Barry Allen… the Flash. As he appears in an explosion of Speedforce he looks upon the bewildered Barry he tries to tell him to find Batman and remind him of the letter.  He tries to warn him that something is wrong and that they have to fix it.

As we watch Wally being ripped into the Speedforce he says, “Barry…Thank you for an amazing life. Thank you for your kindness. For your inspiration. For being there for me so many times.” Barry yells back that he is confused and Wally responds, “I hope one day you will. You were right Barry….every second was a gift. That’s why I won’t die in anguish. I’ll go with love in my heart.”

Wally is at this point almost entirely engulfed and infused with the Speedforce.  Then suddenly, something snaps for Barry. This is Wally! This is Iris’ nephew! This is the young man that he mentored, trained, and loved. With all the strength he could muster he reached into the speed force and pulled Wally back into reality! They then embraced in a hug that could only exist between a father and son. Not going to lie… I teared up a bit at this point.

dcu-rebirth-barry-wally-300x462

31fm25cgxel-_ac_ul160_sr160160_Now that Wally is back he tries to give Barry a bit more detail about what’s happening. He reassures him that it wasn’t his fault that everything changed. The Flashpoint didn’t change everything… someone else did. Whoever it was took years away from our beloved heroes to weaken them. He tells him that there will be a war. A war between hope and despair, love and despair, faith and disbelief.  As he speaks we see panels of Batman walking his cave. Something has caught his eye in the wall. As he picks at it he finds something… impossible. He finds the button that belonged to the Comedian

In the epilogue we are taken from earth to the red sands of Mars. There we see a small watch that saw originally in the begging of this book. As it it floats up into the air, dismantles, and slowly comes together again, a revelation… or possibly a speculation, comes to view. Is it possible that the person behind all of that has happened is in all actuality…. Dr. Manhattan?

Needless to say this final chapter and epilogue left us with some very interesting questions. What is left of the lives lost in the Flashpoint? What will life after this Rebirth look like?  What do the Watchmen have to do with all this? What is Dr. Manhattan’s plan? Let me know your thoughts and feelings about this in the comments. Also don’t forget to join the Facebook page, “Comic Collectors and other Geeky People.”

DC Universe Rebirth Review 3

This next chapter is called, “Love.” True to its name it deals with several types of love from start to finish…

::Spoiler Alter::

The chapter opens up with Grail holding her infant father (I know… it is weird). Here she excitedly tells her father how she knows Diana’s secret. What secret is that? She has a twin brother! I know I’m shocked too and so what Diana when Myrina found told her. But what does this mean for Diana and what plans does Grail have for Jason?

green_arrow_and_black_canary_1As you turn the page you find a scene of mourning heroes. They’ve experience the loss of someone they all loved and admired.  Wally can feel the emotions of each one of them. He knows this grief. He knows what it’s like to lose a Superman.  But though the grief he finds something else. In the darkness of sadness he finds a spark of love. Oliver Queen and Dinah Lance.

These two have yet to develop the kind of relationship we have grown to know. Since the launch of the New 52 there has been no love for these two. Yet In this moment we see the sparks of something new, a budding love that we can only hope properly echoes what see saw in the pages before the Flashpoint event.

smlocl_cv1_dsWe then come to a hotel where Lois and Clark are trying to come to grips with their new reality. They are from a parallel world. From my understanding this is the Louis and Clark from before the Flashpoint event.  I honestly don’t know but I’m kind of hoping it’s true. If you know otherwise please let me know and refer me to the books that show us that.

As Clark heads out to the local Taco Bueno (Actually it says he just getting some lunch. I am just hungry and could kill for a B.O.B. or B.F.T.) He is surprised by a visit from the Mysterious Mr. Oz. What is this stranger’s end game? He seems to know something about Louis and Clark that they don’t’ even know. He knows something that the recently fallen Superman didn’t know. And what is his “long game” as he puts it?

aquaman33The love train continues on with Aquaman having romantic revenue with Mera. What could be more romantic then; meeting up with the love of your life in the very spot where she psychotically tried to kill you for the first time?  Then while walking the shores of these formally blood stained beaches, Aquaman drops to one knee to propose to the love of his life. Cyrano de Bergerac should take some notes.

This heartwarming scene… well… it warms Wally’s heart.  This made Wally realize what connection he was really missing. He believes there is one final person who can really help ground him. That one person is the love of his life is Linda Park.  Wally truly believes that Linda is the one person who would remember him if she only saw him.

Flash_Wally_West_0184His appears to her kind of reminds me of your typical Jr. High love story. You know what I’m talking about. Boy see’s the love of his life. He shows up suddenly in a very shocking way. Then ignoring any kind of physical hits he confesses his passionate love and dedication. Then the girl, with a mixture of shock and horror responds, “I don’t know you.” Yeah… painful but that is exactly what happens. The pain of the rejection form the love of his life… a woman in this new universe that has never met him… rips Wally back into the time stream.

This chapter covered a vast range of types of love. Not sure the scene between Grail and her father would be considered Father and daughterly relationship… but the rest makes sense. You have that brotherly love as you see the Heroes mourning the loss of their brother in arms. We have the exciting experience of young budding love between Arrow and Canary. We have the love of family as we have Clark trying to figure out how to care for his family in this brave new world. We then have the nervousness of love being taken to the next level of commitment.  Finally have the heart wrenching experience of love lost.

All of these are experiences that seem to be lost in the New 52.  Established relationships were destroyed, rearranged, and completely ignored.  I can only hope that the highlight of love in this book means that we will see a reestablishment of some of things. Love is a major aspect of the human experience. I would have to say that the need to feel loved and to love is one of the things that make characters the most relatable.

So what are your thoughts on this topic? What love story do you miss from the Pre-Flashpoint days? What kind of tacos do you think Clark was on his way to buy? Did that scene of Wally and Linda remind you of your Jr. High days? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

 

 

New Comics – 6.8.16

New comic day is tomorrow!!! I’ll be posting part 3 of my review of DC Universe Rebirth later tonight. If you want to get caught up check out “DC Universe Rebirth” Link on the right side of the page.

So back to new comic! I don’t have anything on my pull list for this week but what do you have on yours? Let me know in the comics below. If you’re not sure what’s coming out tomorrow  or want to watch a fun video with some guys talking about comics then check out the video below! These are the amazing guys at Excalibur Comics Cards and Games here in the Ark-La-Tex. Leave them a comment and show them some love.

DC Universe Rebirth Review 2

Welcome to part two of the DC Universe Rebirth Review.  I’m not going to lie to you guys. This chapter was a bit harder to write a review for. Why was it so difficult? It was difficult because I honestly didn’t know some of the characters.  That said, even though I didn’t know who some people were it wasn’t hard to follow along with the story. I have to say this is a credit to the team. This book was written in such a way that someone can come into come into the comic and not have a massive knowledge of the universe.

Even with it’s writing, however, I would still recommend that you read Flashpoint, Justice League issue 50 (New 52), and Superman issue 52 (New 52), because it will help a lot when reading this book.  Remember, they are trying to bring something back from the pre-Flashpoint event.  An event that causes us to, as we talked about in my last post, caused us to lose something…

::Warning Spoilers::

Johnny_ThunderThis chapter was called “Legacy.”  It opens up with a rampaging old man storming through an elderly home.  Who is this lunatic you ask? Johnny Lightning! It’s been a long time since this former JSA member has been any kind of hero. However, still Wally visits him. While locked in a room trying to avoid the orderlies Wally appears and warns him that it is wartime again and that the world will need him and his friends.  As he disappears the orderlies bust in to drag a very emotionally upset Johnny Thunder.

Tumbling through the Speed force Wally is shown a series of images. First is a mysterious woman in the police station waiting to have an audience with the currently deceased Superman.  Who is this strange woman who claims to be from the future? Why does she carry a Legion Flight Ring?  Looking at her blond hair I’m wondering if maybe she’s Princes Projecta.

ryan-choi-atom_ryan_choi_0027The visions then go to an University lecture hall where the recently resurrected Ryan Choi is being chewed up by a very unpleasant administrator. She is apparently angry that Mr. Palmer had missed another class. When Choi gets to Palmer’s office he finds a pre recorded message from Palmer in his Atom Suit. Essentially there seems to be a disturbance in time and when Palmer went into investigate he discovered an entire new universe… a microverse. He asks Choi to join him using a replica size-changing belt. Right as his signal is cut off he tries to warn Choi about someone he will meet. “whatever you do, whatever you say, do not…” Well that’s not ominous.

tumblr_inline_myukooqgdg1rb6n02The scene jumps to a very enthusiastic Ted Kord and a very non enthusiastic Jaime Reyes. Ted really wants to help Jaime to become a superhero. Jaime, well he just wants to go to school without having a giant alien bug on his back. As Jamie heads to school Dr. Fate appears to Ted Kord. He reveals that the idea that the Blue Beetle Scarab is XenoTechnology is actually a “lie perpetrated by the darkest of sorcerers.” It’s actually magic! Pretty sure this just made Kord far more excited.

Wally is then shown a series of images of young heroes stepping into a new aspect of their lives. As it highlights Damian Wayne (Robin), Jessica Cruz (a new Green Lantern), and Jackson Hyde (Aqualad) Wally continues to ponder. “New heroes, with new ideas, shining new light, men and women who not only discover their power but embrace it.”

300px-pandoraFinally it cuts to a scene of Pandora running. This appears to be an event that Wally doesn’t actually see.  You may recognize Pandora from the Flashpoint event. She’s actually the one that helped Barry to merge the DC Universe, Vertigo Universe, and Wildstorm Universe into one. But who is she running from? Who is she running from? At this point we can’t say for sure but we know she’s not happy with them. Her final words before her mysterious yet familiar demise are interesting…

“Skepticism, doubt, corruption, all things your cold heart believes in. But in the end there was hope. And the heroes of this universe embody it. Their hope, their devotion, their love for one another will vanquish what you’ve done. It may be over for me but they will prove you wrong.”

Clearly she knows who is at the heart of the mystery that Wally wishes to solve.   Whoever it is she is clearly placing the blame on for causing the loss of hope in this New 52 universe.  At the same time, however, she seems to see something great in them still. It’s almost like she believes that the hope they represent is still there and will emerge shortly.

This of course is the Legacy that is missing from the New 52.  Not just the aspect of hope, devotion, and love, but many of the very people who represent it. Johnny Thunder clearly represented the Golden Age days, our mystery girl from the Legion of Superheroes possibly representing the Silver age, and Ryan Choi representing the modern age.  All of these have a Legacy that reaches deep into comic history through a very intricate string of stories and epics.

I believe the inclusion of Damian, Jessica, and Jackson was to highlight the future of DC.  These are characters based on established legacies that will one day hopefully inspire and create their own legacy. Wally himself is an example of that kind of legacy. First you had Jay of the Golden age, then Barry of the Silver age, then Wally becoming the Flash in the modern age.  Each carrying that one name, “The Flash.”

So will this Rebirth truly honor the Legacy of the past? Will it bring a new era of hope and inspiration? Leave your thoughts in the comments and let me know! Also let me know what you thought of this review.  If you liked it, then share it with your friends!

Also I’d like to encourage you guys to check out the Facebook group “Comic Collectors and Other Geeky People.” It is a new start up community for us to share our reviews, our collections, and love for comics and other geeky things. If you know other great comic bloggers let me know!

DC Universe Rebirth Review 1

Welcome to my first review. As I said in my last post “New Comics,” I have decided to break up my review on DC Universe Rebirth into 4 parts.

In my opinion Geoff Johns really has done something spectacular with this book.  He is quoted on the DC website as saying…

“Rebirth is about focusing in on the core of the character and their respective universe,… It brings back what has been lost: the legacy of the characters, the love and the hope of the DCU!””

I honestly believe this book shows us exactly what that means.  Each chapter expertly highlights one aspect of the DC Universe that seems to have been lost since the launch of the New 52.  That being said, please understand I am not personally angry or overly disappointed with DC for the New 52. Some of my favorite moments took place in the New 52. However, like many of you… I too have noticed something missing, something has been… lost.

::Warning Spoilers Ahead::

maxresdefaultThis first chapter, Lost, opens up with dialog boxes from Wally West. Only, not the New 52 Wally… no someone we lost… the pre-Flashpoint Wally. The one that many of my generation had grown up knowing to be The Flash. Yes it’s true. Being born in 1984, most of the Flash comics I had seen were about Wally, not Barry.  If it wasn’t for that amazing library in Ash Grove, Missouri and that ridiculous 1990’s Flash TV show… I may not have ever known about Barry.

That said this book opens up with Wally talking about having lost time… not just him but everyone.  He doesn’t know how, but he knows that this mystery has to be solved. So what do you do if you have a mystery? You call up the world’s greatest detective… Batman.  With a very electrifying entrance he appears to Bruce in the Batcave.  In this painful agenizing moment of breaking through the walls of time itself, Wally screams for help from an old friend. However, he is met only with confusion.

“The connection isn’t strong enough,” is the thought that ran through Wally’s panicked mind.  As he is ripped back into the time stream he gives a brief history of his life. Highlighting all the main points it could be stream lined into a few things.

  1. The people in his life weren’t just people, they were family.
  2. That family meant more to him than anything else.
  3. Losing his family was like dying and he wasn’t ready to die yet.

Also through this ending section of the chapter we get our first glimpse of our villain. Who is this mysterious hand lurking in the darkness? How is it that they have seemingly changed everything? Have they really been around since before the Flashpoint?

As Wally tumbles through the time stream we end this chapter with these final words…

“My name is Wally West. I was the fastest man alive. I was the Flash. Whether I eve will be gain isn’t what’s important. What’s important is that I get back so I can warn everyone. So I can deliver a message… It’s not over.”

In my opinion what Geoff was trying to say through this chapter is that we really have lost something from the pre-Flashpoint era. He’s quoted saying just as much! Even through all the different Crises (Crisis on Infinite Earths, Zero Hour, Identity Crisis, Final Crisis, etc.), there was still some sort of connection that was carried over.  Yet at Flashpoint there was something lost.  What did we lose? Exactly what Geoff said, “the legacy of the characters, the love and the hope of the DCU!”

Thanks for reading through this first section. What do you all think? Do you think the DC team was trying to say something different in this first chapter? Are they just trying to do some clean up duty? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you all!

 

New Comics! 6.1.16

dcureb_cv1_ds_300dpi_cropped_5743b270aaaae3-39723701Well I’m still working on my review of the DC Universe Rebirth one shot. I’ve decided that since it’s broken up into chapters that I’d do one post per chapter. I will say this for right now… I really enjoyed this book. The story was very interesting and and the ending… wow. But I’ll get more into that later. If you haven’t read the book yet check out your local comic shop or go to DC Comics.

As you can see the title is “New Comics!” so let’s talk about new comics! For me, this week I’ll only be getting Batman Rebirth issue 1. But there are MANY great titles dropping. Like I said in my previous post “Intentions,” I’m only going to be able to review what is on my pull list. (Which isn’t much because I’m on a budget.) But leave some comments below and tell me what comics you have coming out this week and if you do reviews please give me some links! I love to hear everyone’s thoughts!

Also below I’ve posted this week’s episode of Talking Comics by Excalibur CCGTV. This is my local comic shop. Give them some love and if you are in the Ark-La-Tex Area go check them out!

Intentions…

So my intentions with this site is to discuss portions of my personal collection, do some reviews, and connect with other comic collectors and lovers!  With the launch of the DC Universe Rebirth I’m going to do some reviews starting from here.

Like many I am on a budget so I can only review what’s on my pull list, but I plan to also review some other things too. On my list of things to share other than the DC Rebirth line are:

  1. Batman New 52
  2. Legends of Dead Earth
  3. Cable Vol 1
  4. Nightwing Vol 3
  5. Grayson
  6. and… much more!

I’m looking forward to having great conversation with others and reading great comics!