Rebirth Roundup: Everything From September 13
For DC, this was a real hit or miss week. The issues that worked really worked, and the issues that didn’t just kind of felt there. A lot of the best stuff this week took more time to read than usual, because they were so packed with things to pick apart. It was honestly hard to pick a favorite this week, so I went with my heart and gave it to Supergirl. But really, there were at least four books I could have given it to. Spoilers ahead, though I’m leaving the biggest one out, because I want everyone to experience that the way I did.
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques and Michael Atiyeh
Cover by Rocha, Henriques and Atiyeh
Variant Cover by Stanley “Artgem” Lau
What a game changer. This issue was incredible. Steve’s grasp on Kara’s character has never been more clear, and the art on this book has never been more beautiful. I took my time this issue pouring over all the wonderful detail that Robson and Daniel packed into every page. There are a few pages I’m going to definitely look into buying when I can afford it. This was the finale of the “Girl of No Tomorrow” arc, and it leaves us with a really fresh status quo. Kara is no longer trusted by the general public, and is no longer with the DEO. It looks like Supergirl and the DEO are going to be at odds going forward, and I am intrigued by the big return at the end of the issue. Also, tying Mr. Oz in was a very nice way of closing the issue, especially with the reveal we got in Action Comics this week. If you do read both books, I encourage you to read Supergirl first, because I don’t think that last page would have the same effect if you read them in the other order.
Action Comics #987
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Victor Bogdanovic, Jonathan Glapion, Jay Leisten, and Mike Spicer
Cover by Nick Bradshaw and Brad Anderson
Variant Cover by Neil Edwards and Jeromy Cox
WHAT?! That was NOT the reveal I expected out of Mr. Oz. I am going to need to go back and reread the hints that have been laid, to see if I ignored the obvious. I’m not going to spoil the reveal here other than to say it was not any of the characters I expected. Beyond the shocking reveal, I loved this issue. Much like the current Supergirl arc, it deals with how Superman’s greatest weakness is that he can’t save everyone. He can’t be everywhere at once, he can’t stop every tragedy, he can’t stop the evil that corrupts chunks of humanity–that little bit of corruption that Oz pushes in humanity throughout the issue, one of the few things Superman’s powers are useless against. But Superman himself is not useless, because no matter how dark the world gets, he’ll always be a beacon of hope.
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #14
Written by Julie Benson and Shawna Benson
Art by Marcio Takara and Jordan Boyd
Cover by Yanick Paquette and Nathan Fairbairn
Variant Cover by Kamome Shirahama
This was a fun arc-break issue, which the Bensons seem to be extremely good at. It was nice to see Selina and Ivy again so soon, and I hope they continue to be a fixture in this book. Both stories worked really well.
Detective Comics #964
Written by James Tynion IV and Christopher Sebela
Art by Carmen Carnero and Ulises Arreola
Cover by Yasmin Putri
Variant Cover by Rafael Albuquerque
This is definitely not a light reading week. as the first four books that I’ve read this week have all been very meaty and time consuming reads. There’s a lot to this issue, from the Clayface bits to the Steph and Anarky bits, and it makes it a very powerful issue. Sebela continues to write Steph really well, and also writes a mean Clayface. We have to wait at least another issue to see Steph’s reaction to Tim being alive, but probably not more than that since the next issue starts the long awaited “A Lonely Place of Living” arc.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #28
Written by Robert Vendetti
Art by Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarrabona, and Tomeu Moreu
Cover by Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarrabona, and Tomeu Moreu
Variant Cover by Barry Kitson and Hi-Fi
The one thing I just can’t get over with this book is how absolutely stunning the colors are. I’ve read Green Lantern books for over a decade and I can’t think of a time where I’ve seen colors this perfect for the book. You deserve all the acclaim I can heap on you, Tomeu. The story to this issue was a bit introspective and not a lot happened, but it looked very pretty.
Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special
Written by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Paul Dini, Daniel Kibblesmith and Chip “Zdark Knight” Zdarsky
Art by Amanda Conner, Paul Mounts, Dave Sharpe, Bengal, Dustin Nguyen, Chad Hardin, Alex Sinclair, Babs Tarr, Annie Wu, David Lafuente, John Rauch, Greg Tocchini, Kamome Shirahama and Joe Quinones
Cover by Amanda Conner and Paul Mounts
Variant Cover by Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Alex Sinclair, Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson
This was an enjoyable tribute to 25 years of Harley Quinn, by creators past and present. All four stories did a good job of showing different takes on the character, and different points in her career. I think my favorite of the four was the surprise party story, where the abusive Joker and Harley “romance” was lampshaded, and the much healthier Ivy and Harley romance was highlighted. Though the fact that this issue allows Chip Zdarsky to factually state that he’s written Batman is a scary thought.
Justice League of America #14
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Ivan Reis, Julio Ferreira and Marcelo Maiolo
Cover by Ivan Reis and Marcelo Maiolo
Variant Cover by Doug Mahnke and Will Quintana
I’m not a huge fan of this arc, mostly because the Atom’s never been a particular favorite of mine. At least we finally got to the point where we found Ray Palmer, so hopefully we’ll be wrapping up soon. I will say that the color work for this arc remains amazing though.
Mister Miracle #2
Written by Tom King
Art by Mitch Gerads
Cover by Nick Derrington
Variant Cover by Mitch Gerads
Oh man. I don’t know what is going on, and that’s kind of the point of this book, I think? It was a captivating story, and the art was beautiful, but I can’t tell what’s reality and what isn’t. Which, to be fair, neither can Scott. I loved little things in this book. Barda having pink panties. A Family Circus dotted line trail gag. The use and absence of color in certain panels. This book is really working, and really feeling special, but it’s definitely one that I think I’ll need to sit and read all at once at the end.
New Super-Man #15
Written by Gene Luen Yang
Art by Brent Peeples, Richard Friend and Hi-Fi
Cover by Philip Tan and Rain Beredo
Variant Cover by Bernard Chang
Well, that’s a thing that happened. I wasn’t expecting Chinese Doomsday. And as someone whose introduction to comics as a whole was “The Death of Superman”, I really appreciated the homages to that story in this issue. Was not expecting the issue to end like it did, though.
Red Hood and the Outlaws #14
Written by Scott Lobdell
Art by Joe Bennett, Sean Parsons, Veronica Gandini and Blond
Cover by Mike McKone and Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Variant Cover by Guillem March
I find it funny that we’ve had two Professor Pyg stories during the Rebirth era, both in ancillary Bat-Books. I was a little taken aback by Pyg breaking the fourth wall though, because he’s not the kind of character you’d really expect to do that. The issue itself was mainly a demonstration of the Outlaws’ new hideout and Bizarro’s new brains, with a nice twist at the end.
Scooby Apocalypse #17
Written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis
Art by Dale Eaglesham, Hi-Fi, Rick Leonardi and Dan Green
Cover by Carlos D’anda
Variant Cover by David Finch
This issue gave us a lot of Daphne’s backstory, which was nice. I’m curious as to what her exact fall from grace at The Washington Post was, so hopefully we learn that in the future. This series has really grown on me, considering I didn’t care at all for the premise. Giffen and DeMatteis have told a very interesting story and made me care about this version of the Scooby gang. I’m still unsold on realistic Secret Squirrel though.
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #85
Written by Derek Fridolfs, John Rozum and Robbie Busch
Art by Walter Carzon, Horacio Ottolini, Silvana Brys, Robert Pope, Scott McRae, Heroic Age, Leo Batic,
Cover by Fridolfs and Pamela Lovas
We don’t even make it past the cover without having to endure a pun… and I lost count of the puns around ten. All in all it made for a fun little break after several heavy reads this week.
Suicide Squad #25
Written by Rob Williams
Art by Giuseppe Cafaro, Agustin Paqilla and Hi-Fi
Cover by Juan Ferreyra
Variant Cover by Whilce Portico and Alex Sinclair
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Suicide Squad. It’s not a title I had any particular interest in, in almost any of it’s iterations. I don’t typically like rooting for villains, so it’s never been a priority book for me. That said, I have, for the most part, enjoyed this run of the book. The biggest disappointment to me is the characterization of Amanda Waller. No, she’s not a nice person, or even probably a good person. But she’s not the megalomaniac that she seems to be in this series. Also some of the lines she said in this issue are not, well, good. The second biggest disappointment I’ve had is that in this big anniversary issue we didn’t lose any team members. You’re not living up to your name, Squad!
Written by K. Perkins
Art by Stephen Segovia, Art Thibert and Hi-Fi
Cover by Ken Lashley and Hi-Fi
Variant Cover by Emanuela Lupacchino
Supergirl! Maxima! Another Maxima! Consider me sold! But really, this issue was great fun, and Kat Perkins is really taking this book in a good direction. I’ve not read her Supergirl run yet, but I’ve heard good things about it, and Steve Orlando has confirmed it’s still canon, so it was nice to see her able to reference back to it here.
Teen Titans #12
Written by Benjamin Percy
Art by Mirka Andolfo and Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Cover by Stjepan Sejic
A very interesting tie-in to the Metal storyline, I’m most intrigued by the choice of characters to focus on. Rather than the actual Teen Titans team, we have Damian teaming up with Green Arrow, Harley Quinn and Killer Croc. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing this story play out through Nightwing, especially because that means we’ll get more Damian and Dick moments.
The Flash #30
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Neil Googe and Ivan Plascencia
Cover by Googe and Plascencia
Variant Cover by Howard Porter and Hi-Fi
Flash is one of the few heroes that you can easily add to his Rogues Gallery and make it feel organic and unique very easily. Both Mark Waid and Geoff Johns did this with great success, and Williamson is following in their footsteps. I loved Godspeed, and I really love the concept behind Bloodwork. It’s also fun to see how the Negative Speed Force is continuing to effect Barry, and hopefully soon we’ll see a great payoff on that.
Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Brett Booth, Norm Rapmond and Andrew Dalhouse
Cover by Booth, Rapmond, and Dalhouse
Variant Cover by Dan Mora
Wally’s letter-as-narration throughout the issue was a little heavy handed for foreshadowing, but my love for Wally still made the ending of the issue hit me pretty hard. Otherwise this issue felt mostly like padding.
Wonder Woman #30
Written by Shea Fontana
Art by David Messina and Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Cover by Jesus Merino and Alex Sinclair
Variant Cover by Jenny Frison
Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this issue as much as I liked the previous issues of Shea’s run. It wasn’t bad, but not really all that impressive either. It just really felt like a weak end to the arc, despite a few great moments. I did enjoy Diana playing with Etta’s niece at the end, though!