Saturday, July 2, 2016

DC Rebirth (Salvo 1) Rapid-Fire Review

Hello my brothers and sisters!

    I AM BACK! We had a great, short family vacation. It was pretty awesome.

   Just as I promised, I'm here to give you the skinny on my feelings on the opening salvo of DC's Rebirth titles!! I have compiled all the like titles into one corresponding number to make things a bit shorter. I hope you don't mind.  :)

   So without further ado, let's get into my rapid-fire DC Rebirth review!

1. "The Flash: Rebirth" #1 and "DC Universe Rebirth: The Flash" #1 - Barry Allen is doing his best to fight crime in Central City but he has a feeling that something's not right with the world. After pulling the original Wally West out of the Speed Force, saving his life, Barry enlists Batman's aid to find out what, or who, has been tampering with the timeline and the memories of the people in it.

   Joshua Williamson writes a competent Flash story here which shows Barry as less light-hearted, and as a hero somewhere between Superman's boy-scout-ishness, and Batman's beautiful mind. Carmine Di Giandomenico's pencils are pretty, but wispy and a bit overdone.  But this is definitely a solid beginning to a good Flash story.

RATING: 7.5 out of 10

2. "Titans: Rebirth" #1 - After Barry Allen saves him from death in the Speed Force, Wally seeks out his former allies, and best friends, The Titans (Nightwing, Aqualad, Roy Harper, Lilith and Donna Troy). But will they reunite with him, or kill him before he finds out who, or what, stole ten years of their lives and memories away?

  I usually love Dan Abnett (especially when he's working with Andy Lanning), but this book had lots of the feels without much of anything else interesting to add to the Rebirth storyline. Brett Booth does action and anatomy well - but all of the characters' faces seemed too similar to me at times.

RATING: 6.5 out of 10

3. "Aquaman: Rebirth" #1 and "DC Universe Rebirth: Aquaman" #1 - Aquaman is the king of the greater part of the planet, and he feels it's time to start acting like it by focusing on working for peace with the surface world as a representative of his entire kingdom. He is determined to make diplomacy work - but Black Manta has other, far more sinister plans.

Dan Abnett focuses on Aquaman as a husband, monarch and diplomat. Aquaman comes off as really likable and sincere, but the story itself doesn't balance out Aquaman's personality as well as the previous series did. Pencillers Scott Eaton and Oscar Jiménez ("Aquaman: Rebirth) deliver gorgeous work. Brad Walker also delivers great work in "DC Universe Rebirth: Aquaman" #1; however, it is often stiff with anatomy that is sometimes off-putting.

RATING: 6.5 out of 10

4. "Wonder Woman Rebirth" #1 and "DC Universe Rebirth: Wonder Woman" #1 - Wonder Woman is unsure of her origin story, she is unsure of her lineage and her entire history. She uses the Lasso of Truth on herself which leads her to Olympus where she meets a violent welcome, which in turn leads her to seek out Cheetah (Barbara Ann Minerva) to help her find her way back to Themyscira. Something is wrong with her history, with the story of the world. Someone's made the world into a lie, and the Princess of the Amazons will have the truth.

Greg Rucka is back, writing Wonder Woman with the power and sensitivity that should always have characterized her. Unfortunately, outside of the protagonist, the story itself just isn't very compelling. Both books feature great artwork; however the art in "DC Universe Rebirth: Wonder Woman" is consistently the better of the two. "Wonder Woman: Rebirth" #1 has various artists, and the contrast between the work is sometimes a bit jolting.

RATING: 7 out 10

5. "Green Arrow: Rebirth" #1 and "DC Universe Rebirth: Green Arrow" #1 - Oliver Queen is in Seattle, trying to save the city by day through many philanthropic strategies, and by night as the costumed vigilante, Green Arrow. When Green Arrow finds out someone is kidnapping the homeless of his city to be sold on a vile black market, he goes on the warpath. Lucky for him he's got the beautiful, talented and deadly Black Canary fighting by his side. What Oliver doesn't know is that someone knows his secret and is stalking him ready to strike!

Benjamin Percy lights up the pages with this cool, classic take on the far-left leaning Green Arrow, side-by-side with a slick, rock-star, sassy Black Canary. The characters are fun, and so is the way they interact with one another, and the story really had me locked in. Pair these up with Otto Schmidt's playful, cartoony pencils, and you have a winner.

RATING: 9 out of 10

6. "Green Lanterns: Rebirth" #1 and "DC Universe Rebirth: Green Lanterns" #1 - Hal Jordan has to leave planet Earth, but before he does, he ensures that Earth's protectors, two rookie Green Lanterns, Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz, will work as a team. Jordan fuses their power batteries together, making it impossible for them to recharge their rings without the other present. Jordan leaves Earth in their hands, trusting that they will overcome their differences and keep it safe...But Atrocitus has other plans already in motion.

   Geoff Johns and Sam Humphries are on on writing duty here - Sam Humphries has made the transition from sci-fi writer to superhero scribe well. Sometimes it's hard to believe that he is the same guy that wrote the groundbreaking, but unsettling, sci-fi sleeper hit, "Our Love Is Real" a few years ago. Pairing up Baz and Cruz is brilliant - I enjoy reading about their personal hang-ups, and struggles, and the tensions that are produced when they are forced to work together and depend upon one another. Of course, Ethan Van Sciver's and Ed Benes' pencils are on point as usual, and surprisingly, Robson Rocha (unknown to me) does just as well soloing "DCU Rebirth: Green Lanterns." These books look GREAT.

RATING: 8.5 out of 10

7. "Superman: Rebirth" #1, "DC Universe Rebirth: Superman" #1, and "DC Universe Rebirth Superman: Action Comics" #s 957 and 958 - Superman is dead. The Superman born in the New 52 is no more, but this universe will still have a Superman...Because the Post-Crisis Superman will take up the mantle once more to face both a Lex Luthor bent on taking the fallen Superman's place, and the Post-Crisis DOOMSDAY!! All this, while running a farm, being a husband, and the being the father of a half-human, half-Kryptonian boy whose powers are starting to kick in. And who is the new, mysterious man claiming to be none other than Clark Kent?!

Peter Tomasi, and comics legend, Dan Jurgens write these THRILLING, SPECTACULAR stories putting the Post-Crisis Superman back in the saddle, which also puts Superman back on my pull list! And the art in each one of these books is absolutely top-notch! It's good to see a stronger, more mature, more confident Superman on the scene again, even though he's struggling a bit to get his footing on some new ground (a new universe, a wife, a super-powered kid and Lex Luthor as a hero?!).

RATING: 10 out of 10.

8. "DC Universe Rebirth Batman" #1, "Batman: Rebirth" #1, "DC Universe Rebirth: Detective Comics" #934, and "DC Universe Batman: Detective Comics" #935 - Jean Paul Valley, highly trained vigilante and ex-assassin, has been nearly murdered. As Batman investigates, he finds that he may be in the middle of the beginnings of a clandestine war against his Bat-Family. He enlists the aid of Batwoman to help him to train several young warriors for the war to come. Tim Drake (Red Robin), Duke Thomas, Stephanie Brown (Spoiler), Cassandra Cain (Orphan), and Basil Karlo (Clayface) all agree to be pushed to their limits to save themselves and Gotham. But that's not all. Two new superpowered heroes, Gotham and Gotham Girl, arrive in Gotham just in time to avert a plane crash and save Batman's life. But are they truly friends to Gotham, or something sinister?

   Several writers are rocking the mic here: Tom King, James Tynion IV, and Scott Snyder, and boy, are they hitting the ball out of the park! Batman faces villains who seem to have to have his number, and almost the entire Bat-Family has to get in on the act and go hard. Again, the art is unquestionably top-drawer here as well - even David Finch is back! Batwoman is getting a big push in these pages (sweet!), as the writers seek to paint her as an equal to Batman (which I'm not ready to buy into yet). These books have got engrossing stories, mysterious villains, and great art. Love them!

RATING: 10 out 10

Top of the heap for TEX: The Superman, Green Arrow, Green Lantern and Batman titles.

Confused questions: Why all the first issues, when these issues like "Superman: Rebirth" #1, "DC Universe Rebirth: Superman" #1, just seem to be issues #1 and #2? And why do "DC Universe Rebirth: Detective Comics" #934, and "DC Universe Batman: Detective Comics" #935 have consecutive numbering, but different titles? Was the "Batman" in "DC Universe Batman: Detective Comics" #935 REALLY necessary?

So, which DC Rebirth titles did you like most?

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  1. Great stuff Tex! (Quick reviews is an idea that i had from the old CPG forum, Need to that again)!
    Will have to agree on everything you said, I did not buy them all, But my brother got the ones i didn't & they where not so good. Still looking forward to Detective & Action comics going ahead to the 1000 mark again.

    1. Thanks Gil!!

      I try to keep my reviews down to two paragraphs - but I had so many of these, it had to be shorter! LOL!

      I am glad to see Action Comics and Detective Comics heading towards 1000 again too. 2000AD is nearly up at 2000 (I know it's a weekly, but I would love to see AC and DC get there as well.)