Gotham and Gotham Girl have Batman’s respect, but do they have the chops to take over when he’s gone?
Batman #2 drums up an incoming threat that will likely test everyone’s resolve, but we don’t really know exactly what’s coming and to the detriment of the story.
Right now, all we know is that something or someones called the Monster Men are coming, and it’s driving some people crazy. Batman’s handled huge threats before, but it seems like writer Tom King is plotting something huge, though something can be said for speed of the issue’s pacing.
After someone lets Solomon Grundy loose in Gotham City, Batman comes to the rescue. The new Gotham duo, while incredibly powerful, have a lot of learning to do, and both get a taste of that trademark Bat-disapproval — enough to make them both glad they didn’t have to pay their dues as Robins in order to live in Batman’s shadow.
When Bruce goes over tape of the battle, he and Alfred Pennyworth discuss the Dark Knight’s mortality, and it’s apparent that Wayne is coming to grips with being a veteran in the superhero world. He decides to bring the Gotham duo under his wing, so to speak, because necessity demands it.
The Superman of the New 52 has passed, and the original Superman takes his place in the first issue ongoing issue of the Rebirth relaunch.
During a visit to his alternate-timeline-self’s grave, Clark Kent bids farewell and takes up the mantle of the world’s greatest superhero.
The family has moved from Salinas, California, to a farm in Hamilton County, 300 miles north of Metropolis. Taking a new surname — the Smiths — the former-Kents try to live a life as normal as possible.
Things take a turn after a thunderstorm sends a bolt of lightning which lights the barn on fire.
Jon Kent becomes the lens through which we see the story for issue #1. Before they rebuild the barn, Clark sends his son to fill the corn harvester with gas, but Jon returns from his chores without his cat Goldie. Out in the fields, a hawk captured Goldie in its talons, causing Jon to shoot it down with eyebeams.
Five years ago, the New 52 exploded onto shelves, and Batman #1 became a runaway bestseller partly because it was the first time the Batman title had a #1 since the first volume launched way back in 1940.
Every issue of the second volume then went on to sell quite well. Many of them landed somewhere in the top-ten each month on the sales charts competing well against #1s and big issues from the other publishers.
And now, as we say goodbye to the creative team of old, we are now in the thick of things with a brand new team for a brand new launch.
And — so far — it happens to be very, very good.
I wouldn’t say great. Not yet. The rebirthed Batman #1 is a solid book that’s on to something, but I’ll keep myself from jumping completely overboard until I see more of what the current team does with the title.
After Barry Allen tried to prevent his mother’s death, he created an alternate future on the verge of destroying itself. At Thomas Wayne’s behest, Flash went back in time to stop himself, and a new version of the universe was created out of the old that merged the distinct and separate DC, Vertigo, and Wildstorm entities.
Until now, Allen believed he was responsible for the New 52 universe, but a sudden appearance by pre-Flashpoint Wally West trying to escape the Speed Force turns everything on its head.
The reveal — you should read DC Universe: Rebirth #1 if you need a primer — is that someone else existing outside of time and place had a hand in creating this new timeline, bending and removing events, relationships, and key factors in order to keep the heroes weakened.
Flash: Rebirth #1 takes readers through what happened before, during, and after Wally West appeared to Barry, starting with a murder case that reminds Allen of his mother’s death — the very thing that kicked off Flashpoint.
The New 52’s Wonder Woman #1 was met with plenty of controversy when her origin story was revealed to be a lie — instead of being molded out of clay, Diana Prince was revealed to be a daughter of Zeus.
The lie was created to protect her from Hera’s wrath, which gave her all the motivation she needed to protect Zora’s unborn child who was also being hunted down by Hera.
With Rebirth in full swing, Wonder Woman thinks upon the memories now returning to her mind and considers the truth of her creation. Using the Lasso of Truth on herself, she reveals to herself that she has been deceived.
It’s unknown who or what is in control over Diana Prince at the moment, but it’s powerful enough that when she teleports to Olympus, she arrives in a familiar but strange place.
Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1 doesn’t give much away, but it’s a sneak peek at what’s to come. With famed author Greg Rucka back on the title and artist Liam Sharp providing interiors, the future of Wonder Woman looks bright even if her journey will take her to some dark places.
Rucka’s point of entry examines the essence of Wonder Woman — the character acknowledges the word wonder may have once meant awe, but things have changed.
The Superman of Earth-Prime is gone, and the world comes to terms with the loss.
In Superman: Rebirth #1, Lana Lang and pre-Flashpoint Superman head to the New 52’s burial site to deal with his death in their own ways.
For Lang, it’s to keep a promise and have Kent’s body taken to Smallville, Kansas, to be interred next to his parents. For the original Superman, death is only another beginning. Having been reborn after being killed by Doomsday, Superman believes the same can happen to this timeline’s Superman — provided there’s a Fortress of Solitude with the proper resurrection tech.
Lang, who somehow gained the knowledge of the Fortress’ whereabouts when Superman died, leads the new (or old) Superman there. While they’re devastated to know that Superman cannot be resurrected, they honor him in their own ways.
Superman: Rebirth #1 seems geared as a primer — a way for new fans to jump in and for old fans to get caught up with the whole Rebirth thing going on. While, at best, it’s a moving tribute on the subject of existence if you can dig deep into it, the issue is rather cut and dry with an anti-climactic plot point that’s meant to establish more of the old continuity going forward.
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
That’s from Semisonic’s Closing Time — a song about leaving comfort zones and returning to stark realities. When Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo formally announced their departure on the Batman series — a partnership and run with an endgame in mind that was so successful, DC pulled out all the stops to keep it going for as long as possible — fans were crushed. It was time to face the inevitable, the reality of a Batman book written and drawn by a new creative team.
And while Capullo has already moved on, Snyder is still with DC and will continue to work on at least one Bat-title, All-Star Batman. In the meantime, and for one more issue, the soon-to-be-former Bat-scribe Snyder puts his flourishing touches on Batman: Rebirth #1, a one-shot co-written with Tom King, the incoming writer tasked with taking Batman into his next chapter.
That next chapter will likely involve incorporating Wally West returning to continuity along with an imminent showdown with the Watchmen. So far, Rebirth is grounds for both a return to form and a potentially epic storyline that will affect all of DC’s titles, henceforth.
Over and over, DC staff sounded like a broken record repeating the words in case you didn’t hear or didn’t want to believe: Rebirth is not a reboot. It’s not. It never was or was intended to be.
Even in his release night appearance on Late Night with Seth Myers, Geoff Johns made it every clear Rebirth was a relaunch and not a reboot.
Nope. Not a reboot. Not at all. A reboot it isn’t.
And once you’ve finished reading Rebirth, you’re inclined to agree because it’s very obvious, and in the best way.
Rebirth is not a reboot. It’s an apology.
After DC tossed away 90% of its continuity for the ill-fated New 52 reboot — Batman and Green Lantern held onto their continuities, though they were weirdly compressed — the publisher brings everything back on track and explains away the inconsistencies of having Batman go through three Robins in the span of five years by putting the blame on — well, someone. I’m not going to go there yet, and if you haven’t read Rebirth, please do yourself a favor and open up the issue because I am going to spoil this story as I am wont to do.
(This is HyperGeeky after all, in case you weren’t paying attention.)
Jim Gordon jumps out of the fire and into the frying pan, so to speak, as he tries to capture Mr. Bloom.
In Batman #44, Gordon was about to be cooked alive, trapped in an industrial furnace firing at 1,000-degrees. Relying on his ability to throw a batarang, Jim makes it out, slightly toasted and a bit worse for the wear. All he has to do now is fend off the remaining members of the Four Fives who immediately overwhelm him.
Sometimes the legend becomes so heavy, it drowns everything else out.
And after 75-plus years of amazing stories, the Batman series must be a challenge for any writer. I imagine the hardest thing about writing a new story is coming up with something that hasn’t been done before or hasn’t been done recently — something exciting that’s bigger and better than anything that’s come before.