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.
Hot off the heels of a Civil War movie — which, in turn, was based very loosely on the comic crossover of the same name — comes Civil War Part Dos #1. Written by Brian Michael Bendis with beautifully rendered panels from artist David Marquez and colorist Justin Ponsor, the next big event in Marvel history explodes from the pages of its first issue.
After Terrigen mist rolls through Columbus, Ohio, a new batch of Inhumans are born. One of them, Ulysses, gains the power of foresight and predicts a major invasion by a Celestial — or is it Galactus?
With the Avengers getting the heads-up and calling in all of its membership and various allies, the threat is averted, and Tony Stark throws a celebration to honor the victory.
Curiosity gets the better of Captain Marvel Carol Danvers, and the Inhumans decide it’s time to become a little more transparent. They introduce Ulysses to the Avengers, and Danvers makes a move to bring the human crystal ball onto her squad — which causes Stark to express his reservations.
“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.)
Until now, the battle between the Vigil and the Necromancers has been a tactical chess match.
A skirmish here and there, a minor power play elsewhere — the secret war has played out with pawns being traded as the Vigil shores up its defenses while the Necromancers continue poking away, looking for a weak spot.
But Maria Benes’ plan to take Bernadette’s scythe has finally come to fruition, and the Vigil must come to terms with an enemy that’s ready to take the war out into the open.
Last issue, an Orach was summoned in the middle of the city in broad daylight. This issue, the Vigil works in combination to contain the collateral damage and quickly remove the threat. One by one, the Necromancers fall thanks to some unique Veilripper powers, while Mia takes on the Orach’s fury and comes out with a full stomach.
As Bernadette pulls Sam Lewis back from rushing after a retreating Lord Asrah — and manages to save him from getting split in two from Orach debris in the process — Clara Jenkins uses her feather to try and be the hero. She finds herself quickly outmatched, but a mysterious figure saves her from doom.
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.
Tony Stark’s hot on the trail of the sniper who killed Miriam Sharpe, but the unforgiven sins of the past will keep the killer safe for another day.
In Civil War #2, Charles Soule tethers the plot points tightly around relationships as we get a better look at the two factions set to go to war. The Blue and The Iron have been set apart by key ideologies which have only widened the gap.