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 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!

 

 

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!