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.
Batman 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?
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?”