If you are paying any attention to the comic book world, you know that DC Comics has just launched what they are calling a Rebirth, essentially resetting the universe and establishing a new starting point. (They previously did this with the New 52 in 2011.)
In general, I am a Marvel guy; cut me and I bleed X-Men and Avengers and try to patch the wound with a steady run of reading from the Marvel Unlimited app. But I am not so Marvel that I am not willing to give DC books a try. I committed early on the Greg Rucka’s Wonder Woman book and decided that I would also read at least some of the major DC Rebirth #1 books. Here are some my reviews:
A Marvel Zombie experiences the DC Rebirth
DC Universe: Rebirth was a whopping book in terms of page count and in story. It is written by Geoff Johns, who is THE DC guru, and it does some interesting things. It resonated for me in part because of the presence of Wally West, the former Kid Flash. I knew Wally because of my love for the Wolfman and Perez run on Teen Titans, so I don’t know that I count as a blank canvas as much as someone else would.
But I liked the story, saw what was happening and, overall, thought it was a great launching point. Using the Flash(es) is a no brainer as they were at the core of several major reboots in DC history, especially Crisis on Infinite Earths. The big reveal at the end that it is going to be tied into the Watchmen universe, which is crossing a boundary that most people never thought DC would do. (Watchmen and its universe has always been a stand alone thing.)
This week, 4 books dropped:
Superman: Rebirth. From what I heard, most of the New 52 Superman stuff was a mix of creators all trying to tell young Superman stories and they never gelled. (But Superman did have jeans and it was astonishing how many people cared about that.)
What this book essentially does is have the original Superman, who was killed by Doomsday and resurrected in the 1990s, be on the same Earth and prepare for this Clark Kent’s resurrection with Lana Lang. I would classify it as “Still waiting to see”.
Green Arrow: Rebirth. This feels like they wanted to do two things in one move. First, they established Oliver Queen again as a leftist superhero fighting for justice; the roots of the character do have that, especially in some Green Arrow/ Green Lantern stories in the 1970s.
The second is that they want to tie this character to the one on the CW show a little more closely, so you get references to the island and flashbacks that is so prominent on that show. You also get the beginning stages of romance between the Black Canary and the Green Arrow, which is one of the time honored couples in comics. I liked this one slightly more than Superman but the reference to rich white guy Oliver Queen as a “social justice warrior” made me cringe enough that I am not sure I will stay with this one.
Batman: Rebirth. So, this title is in the hands of the writer who did the only run of new 52 that is universally praised (Scott Synder’s Batman run) and the new hot writer (Tom King.) It is definitely a Batman comic.
In it, we see all the key parts: Alfred as his right hand man, Commissioner Gordon is involved, and a sidekick, a new African American character who isn’t going to be Robin but be something else. I liked this one enough to stick with it, even though I wasn’t sure there was much story in this one issue.
Green Lanterns: Rebirth. The last book that came out this week centered around two Green Lanterns from Earth. In fairness, I looked it up and discovered that these two characters weren’t brand new but they are to me and I have to say that I love them.
Jessica Cruz is a young woman who suffers from social anxiety issues and seems to be confused as to why the ring choose her and Simon Baz is a character of Muslim descent that wound up being accused of terrorism.
The two characters had a great interaction and dynamic that was only heightened when Hal Jordan merged their two power lanterns so that they have to share one. My only hesitation on this book is that I don’t want it to go into the “Will they or won’t they?” romantic trope. If you understand the basics of who the Green Lanterns are as space police, you can jump into this book and have a great time.
All in all, I would give Green Lanterns a definite “You should check this out”, a “Interesting so let’s see where it goes” to Batman, and two “I want to wait and see what happens” to Superman and Green Arrow.