Tuesday, June 28, 2016

DC Comics Rebirth Continues

A couple weeks back, I looked at the introductory comic, DC Universe Rebirth, and since then more than a few first issues of this new continuity dynamic have come out. Here I'll look at some of them briefly.

Superman - One of the bits in the above-mentioned comic that I didn't care about was the death of the New 52 Superman. This comic picks up on those hanging threads as the pre-Flashpoint Superman visits the Fortress of Solitude and reminisces about Doomsday with the New 52 Lana Lang. It was more fun and much better than I expected. I want to read more, despite the huge amount of baggage here to move forward.

Batman - Much like Superman, I'm not thrilled with the new Batman costume. Sorry, I'm a traditionalist and resistant to most change. If it was an alternate Batman, I'd be cool, but not the 'real' Batman. Much of the issue is taken up by the Calendar Man and his antics, including a weird new supernatural twist of his aging and rejuvenating through the seasons. There is also the inclusion of Duke Thomas, who may or may not be a new Robin, or perhaps a Lark, or something new. Darker and more sociopathic than I like my Batman, I'll pass.

Wonder Woman - Greg Rucka returns to the Amazon Princess in this issue, and while his run was critically acclaimed, it was not by me, as you can see here. This Rebirth issue, while well done, enticing, and encouraging, is one of those 'everything-you-know-is-a-lie' stories that may or may not return Wonder Woman to what I consider greatness, or create yet another version of the character I won't be reading. It's a great start, let's hope it's the former and not the latter.

Titans - I miss the Teen Titans, and yeah, I'm in get-off-my-lawn-mode, but I was never a big fan of the New Teen Titans that everyone went gaga over in the 1980s. They were cool, yeah, but my Titans were the Nick Cardy teen hero generation of the early 1970s. What's weird is that these Rebirth Titans are twisted versions of the ones I dug. I looked forward to this book as Wally West was the best thing about DC Universe Rebirth and I wanted to see more - what I got instead was a distorted revisionist history of characters I thought I knew. It isn't the same, as a matter of fact, it's all-new. I don't know who any of these people are, and I'm not interested.

Green Arrow - One of the tragedies of the new 52 in my opinion was the rejuvenation and Tony Stark-ization of Green Arrow, as well as the removal of Black Canary as his romantic and 'business' partner. Their reunion is about all I liked about this new start, I disliked the art and the story as well.

Green Lanterns - I'm sure Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz are someone's favorite Green Lanterns but I'm just not that into them. This book is more about them than Hal Jordan, and if I'm going to read a Geoff Johns Green Lantern comic, I want Hal Jordan. Pass.

Aquaman - Speaking of Johns, another great bit from the original Rebirth comic was Aquaman proposing to Mera, thereby breaking the unspoken rule about no happy marriages in the DC Universe. The problem of course is that Johns is not writing the new Aquaman series, so who knows what happens next. Dan Abnett, who had been writing the regular series, feels right at home with this soft reboot. I look forward to more of this, and more of Black Manta.

Flash - As I said, Wally West was my favorite part of the book that started all this, so like Titans, this was another I was looking forward to. The first thing that struck me was the art. It's not bad per se, but it's definitely not suited to the character of The Flash. Carmine Di Giadomenico is a terrific artist, and I admire his attempts to pay homage to Carmine Infantino, but for me, it just doesn't work. We don't get much more in the way of story than we did in the initial Rebirth book. It reminded me very much of the retelling going on in Marvel's Civil War II. I'm still on the fence with this one.

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