Welcome to the first Rebirth Roundup! Here I’ll do quick reviews of most DC Comics published books. I’m not entirely caught up on everything, but am working on that front, so some titles are not included yet. But as soon as I can I’ll be reviewing everything, right here, every week. That said, there will be some spoilers (and not just in Detective Comics), but I will try to keep them minimal. I will also make a Rebirth Royalty pick of the week–this week’s pick being Mister Miracle by Tom King and Mitch Gerads.
Mister Miracle #1
Written by Tom King
Art by Mitch Gerads
Cover by Nick Derington
Variant cover by Mitch Gerads
Wow. This book was not at all what I was expecting. I will however, provide a content warning that DC should have and doesn’t. This book is very dark and has an attempted suicide, and suicide talk throughout. That said, the issue was incredible. It felt very much like a Vertigo horror title, and I mean that in the absolute best way. The mix of coloring styles by Mitch provides a stark tone for the book. The nine panel layouts through most of the book are also something that works incredibly well, giving us just the right pace, especially when they are interspersed frequently with black “Darkseid is.” panels. The talkshow segment with G. Gordon Godfrey is quite possibly the creepiest sequence of panels I’ve ever experienced in my life. Throughout the whole issue, we get a very real sense of Scott’s warped reality, from hallucinations to his wife’s changing eye color. The reader knows what to believe just about as much as Scott does, and I look forward to seeing all this unravel in upcoming issues.
Action Comics #985
Written by Rob Williams
Art and cover by Guillem March
Variant cover by Mikel Janin
This issue was quite obviously a fill-in issue, in terms of both art and story. It’s not a bad issue, just unremarkable, and not what we’ve come to expect from the Dan Jurgens era on Action Comics. The story is simple; Superman and Lex Luthor team up against microchip-controlled people and animals, and lends nothing to the overarching series plot, despite the solicitations leading us to believe otherwise.
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #13
Written by Julie Benson and Shawna Benson
Art by Roge Antonio
Cover by Yanick Paquette
Variant cover by Kamome Shirahama
The last chapter in Source Code is buzz worthy, to say the least. Poison Ivy’s attack on Terracare has her attempting to exact an ironic revenge. The company made a fertilizer that kills bees, so she’s going to kill their CEO with bees. The arc ends with Gus having hung up his headset as Oracle, and Babs taking some time behind the keyboard. Ivy and Catwoman look to stay on the team for awhile longer. The Benson sisters have done some great things with this book, and I feel like their efforts are lost amongst the noise of some of the bigger titles on the Rebirth slate.
Detective Comics #962
Written by James Tynion IV • Art and cover by Alvaro Martine and Raul Fernandez
Variant cover by Rafael Albuquerque
This book probably would have been Rebirth Royalty had it released any other week. It was a magical conclusion to the Intelligence arc. Seeing the updated AzBat armor took me right back to my childhood, as Azrael was Batman (wiki it) when I just had started reading comics. And where Action didn’t give us any lead into things to come, Detective most certainly did, as it’s revealed to Batman that Tim is still alive. Detective Comics remains one of my favorite books on the shelf, week in and week out.
Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps #26
Written by Robert Venditti
Art and cover Rafa Sandoval and Jordi Tarragona
More New Gods! Not a lot happens in this issue, but by Highfather is it sure pretty. Specifically, this is one of the prettiest coloring jobs I think I’ve ever seen in comics. It truly feels like I’m in a light show while reading it. Well done, Tomeu Morey–you brought colors that deserve to be in a Green Lantern book.
Jack Kirby 100 – The Newsboy Legion and the New Commandos #1
Written by Howard Chaykin
Art and cover by Howard Chaykin
Oh boy. This is definitely and resolutely my least favorite book of the week. For a book that is supposed to be all about celebrating the legacy of the King, this book does not do that job. Chaykin is going out of his way to be edgy, just for the sake of being edgy. The art is also very sketchy, with few clean lines, in a way that really made the whole thing seem a little rushed. The Kirby story at the back was a lot of fun, and did a lot to distract away from the less desired story at the beginning.
Justice League of America #12
Written by Steve Orlando
Art and cover by Ivan Reis
This issue is mostly setup and team dynamics, but Steve Orlando’s gift for characters still makes it a fun read. And much like the other arc opening issue this week in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, this one also has some bits of beautiful color, provided here by Marcelo Maiolo.
Justice League/Power Rangers #5
Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Stephen Byrne
Cover by Karl Kerschl
What a fun ride this series has been. It’s a crossover I had always dreamed of as a kid who loved both DC Comics and the Power Rangers, but one that I never imagined I’d get to see unfold. Thank you DC and BOOM! for making this thing a reality.
New Super-Man #14
Written by Gene Luen Yang
Art by Billy Tan
Cover by Philip Tan
Variant cover by Bernard Chang
The Justice League of China has to be one of my absolute favorite additions to the DC Universe with Rebirth. I’m happy that we are finally seeing the fruition of the romantic tension between Bat-Man and Wonder-Woman. Kenan continues to develop as a hero, and the story arc is barreling towards what looks to be a very good conclusion. The threads that have been laid throughout this series have just been very well placed.
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Daniel Henriques and Robson Rocha
Variant cover by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau
Steve Orlando continues to show us just how much he understands Kara’s character. Kara deals with her powers on overload, but still focuses on trying to help others first. Steve also continues to pull from Silver and Bronze Age Kryptonian history, as he does so well, this time bringing us Supergirl movie villain Selena. Unlike the movie version, though, this Selena is more threat and less camp. The other highlight of this issue was the Robson Rocha and Daniel Henriques art. This issue was absolutely gorgeous. The change between Bryan Ching’s more cartoonish and sketchy style and Rocha’s more realistic style is stark, and one that fits the tone of the series better.
Written by K. Perkins
Art by Stephen Segovia and Art Thibert
Cover by Ken Lashley
Variant cover by Renato Guides
Superwoman is probably the title that has been least well supported by Rebirth. Between what many saw as a bait and switch with Lois and Lana, and the fact that the Superman Reborn arc completely retconned Lana’s powers origin, this poor book has not had a chance to get its feet. Aside from the continuity snaggles, it continues to be a good book, and Kat Perkins brings the magic that she brought to the end of the New 52 Supergirl run. I most definitely look forward to the Superladies being together in issue 14.
Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Norm Rapmund and Brett Booth
Variant cover by Dan Mora
I have lots of questions. Most of them involve the fact that a restaurant named Pizza Fish exists in the DC Universe. Who buys pizza from a place called Pizza Fish? Are all of their pizzas fish shaped? Do they only have fish toppings? Was this Roy’s idea? How is it a chain?! My only other question has to do with the ending, which I guess we’ll get answers to next issue.
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #84
Written by Sholly Fisch
Art and cover by Randy Elliott
THE PUNS. GOD HELP ME, THE PUNS. This book is FULL of puns. They’re everywhere. It gets very meta at one point, as even Daphne gets disgusted at one of the puns. Otherwise it’s a great kids book, even has a maze in it for a youngster to deface their comic book with. This book is to blame for the bevy of puns I have haphazardly strewn throughout this column.
That’s it for this week, I’ll get caught up on Harley Quinn, Suicide Squad, Flash, Red Hood, and Scooby Apocalypse soon. Join me back here next week when we kick off Dark Nights: Metal, along with more from the War of Jokes and Riddles, and Sinestro Corps Superman?!