Welcome back to Rebirth Roundup! This week we have lots of Batfamily guest spots in books that aren’t their own. Batman’s in Blue Beetle and Suicide Squad, and Nightwing’s in Batgirl. There are spoilers below, especially in this week’s Rebirth Royalty, Detective Comics. I know I promised to stop using that pun, but she’s actually in this week’s issue!
Detective Comics #963
Written by James Tynion IV and Christopher Sebela
Art by Carmen Carnero
Cover by Yasmine Putri
Variant Cover by Rafael Albuquerque
Spoiler! No really this time. Spoiler is in this comic. And Chris and James give me all sorts of feelings about her and Tim. I cried during the flashback scene between them. They also gave me feelings for Clayface, which was much more unexpected. Since the beginning of Rebirth, Detective has consistently been one of the best books. This issue is no exception. Steph’s struggle with her role in Gotham is heartbreaking. Sebela could write Steph forever, and I’d be happy. He gets her voice as really only Dixon and Miller had before. I’m wondering if next issue is going to have Batman tell Steph that Tim is still alive. That’s a moment I really want to see.
Action Comics #986
Written by Rob Williams
Art by Guillem March
Cover by Guillem March and Tomeu Morey
Variant Cover by Neil Edwards and Jeromy Cox
This one wasn’t big, and then it was. Most of the issue is as inconsequential as the previous issue. I did enjoy the art evolution taking Lex from his own face to Darkseid’s. The art was wildly inconsistent though. There were moments of greatness, but also moments of where the whole image just doesn’t work. The most important thing about this issue though is that Mr. Oz and Luthor met, and Mr. Oz proves (for now) to be smarter.
Written by Hope Larsen
Art by Chris Wildgoose and Jose Marzan Jr.
Cover by Dan Mora
Variant Cover by Joshua Middleton
Oh man, I love when my babies get together. I’m not a big Babs and Dick shipper, but I do love them working together. I enjoyed the flashbacks too, though I’m annoyed at both costumes from the past. Dick wearing pants as Robin is something I’ll never get over. THE PANTS ARE A LIE. And Batgirl’s “original” costume makes her look too much like Misfit for my tastes.
Batman Beyond #11
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Bernard Chang
Cover by Bernard Chang and Marcel Maiolo
Variant Cover by Dave Johnson
My key takeaway here is that we are decades in the future, and Damian is still very short. This makes me very happy. I enjoy stories where Bruce is actually a father, no matter how poor of one. Bringing Damian back to the side of good, the way he did it, was perfectly executed. Chang’s art throughout the issue was beautiful and clean, really capturing the futuristic feel needed for a book like this.
Batman/The Shadow #5
Written by Scott Snyder and Steve Orlando
Art by Riley Rossmo
Cover by Riley Rossmo
Variant Covers by Francesco Mattina, Tim Sale and Brennan Wagner
What evil lurks in the hearts of men? Batman and the Shadow know. Never has a crossover felt more natural to me than this. At the same time I was discovering the depths of Batmans world, I also listened to several of the Shadow radio plays. Snyder and Orlando are able to perfectly play up both the similarities and differences of Batman and the Shadow. The art of Rossmo also brings a very pulp feel to the book, which is good for the story. The only real question I have is where this fits in continuity wise. I’d assume not at all, but then we have a Knightfall reference last issue and Batman’s wearing his Rebirth costume.
Blue Beetle #12
Written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis
Art by Scott Kolins
Cover by Scott Kolins
I’ve got a lot of confusion about this issue, most of it stemming once more from what bits of canon are still around. We know Batman’s knockout of Guy Gardner happened because it got mentioned in Green Lanterns. But now it seems that Batman was never on the Justice League with Ted (and maybe that Ted was never on the Justice League at all?) So when did the punch happen? Did Batman just belt Guy for being Guy? The other point of confusion I had was due to Romulo Fajardo’s colors. Ted Kord and Jaime Reyes have almost the same exact skin tone, and that’s not cool to me. The story was fun, but I couldn’t stop thinking about those two things.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #27
Written by Robert Vendetti
Art by Rafa Sandoval and Jordi Tarrasona
Cover by Rafa Sandoval and Jordi Tarrasona
Variant Cover by Cully Hamner
My biggest gripe about the Rebirth universe is not knowing which bits of continuity remain from which universe. We know most of Grant Morrison’s Batman is still canon from things like Nightwing. But from both Dark Nights: Metal and this, it’s safe to assume we can’t say the same about Morrison’s JLA run. Orion and Kyle obviously don’t know each other here, while they served on the JLA together for a time under Morrison’s hand. It’s always nice to see the New Gods, and this arc is building into something important to the whole DC Universe by the looks of it.
Harley Quinn #26
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner
Art by John Timms
Cover by Amanda Conner and Alex Sinclair
Variant Cover by Frank Cho and Sabine Rich
A gang of assassins ruined Harley’s birthday party… at the order of the Mayor of New York… So what’s a psychotic clown to do? VOTE HARLEY FOR MAYOR, gods help us all. I’m not the biggest Harley fan, but this was still a fun arc, and I’m frightened to see where the next arc is going to lead us.
Written by Keith Giffen, Dan DiDio, Sam Humphries, Ed Herron and Joe Simon
Art by Keith Giffen, Mark Buckingham, Steve Rude, and Jack Kirby
Cover by Bruce Timm and Steve Buccellato
This issue was a fun read, excellently capturing the kinetic energy of Kirby’s artwork. The stories are nothing special, but they do serve as a nice tribute. The choice of Kirby backups bewilders me though. It’s a bizarre mystery tale not starring either of the Kirby characters in the book.
Nightwing the New Order #1
Written by Kyle Higgins
Art by Trevor McCarthy
Cover by Trevor McCarthy
Variant Cover by Paul Pope and Lovern Kindzierski
I have very strong feelings about this book, and few of them are good. Expect a longer article soon on just all the reasons I feel this is a bad story to tell right now, and especially a bad character to use for it. The short version is that it’s in bad taste to make a canon Romani character into a fascist, and especially one that has mountains of evidence against him ever killing.
Scooby-Doo Team Up #29
Written by Sholly Fisch
Art by Dave Alvarez
Cover by Dave Alvarez and Silvana Brys
A fun team up issue of the Top Cat and Scooby-Doo gangs, including not one, not two, but three ghosts. I saw the reveal coming, but I’m a little older than the target demographic. And thankfully, nowhere near as many puns as the other Scooby-Doo book this month.
Suicide Squad #24
Written by Rob Williams
Art by Agustin Padilla and Juan Ferreyra
Cover by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira and Adriano Lucas
Variant Cover by Whilce Portacio and Alex Sinclair
I really loved the art in this issue, as it really fit the dark tone of the story. I don’t know how I feel about dark and dry Harley, though I’m glad Digger was left in the cold. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing Waller’s war against the superheroes next issue.
Teen Titans #11
Written by Benjamin Percy
Art by Phil Hester, Khoi Pham and Trevor Scott
Cover by Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy and Jim Charalampidis
Variant Cover by Chad Hardin and Alex Sinclair
Both Titans series are doing great things in representing what the Titans are all about. While the Justice League is a team, and the Justice Society represents inspiration and legacy, the Teen Titans are and always will be a family. It’s been nice to see Starfire wrest leadership from Damian, but not in a way that makes him feel unworthy, just inexperienced. The passing of the torch from Garth to Kaldur was incredibly well done, and made me so happy.
The Flash #29
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Pop Mhan and Christian Duce
Cover by Neil Googe and Ivan Plascencia
Variant Cover by Howard Porter and Hi-Fi
This issue gave me a very Gotham Central vibe, which is always welcome. Even the art had a noir quality, which is not really what I expect out of a Flash comic. The change in Barry’s powers is an intriguing development, and the cliffhanger was intense.
The Hellblazer #13
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Jesus Merino
Cover by Tim Seeley
Variant Cover by Yasmine Putri
Holy hell, was this a creepy issue. This is the first issue of Hellblazer I’ve read that wasn’t Vertigo, but it certainly still felt like Vertigo. Constantine is still the right bisexual bastard that I know and sorta love. Jesus’s art gives it a very eerie vibe, and good lord the blood. This is a great jumping on point for any new reader.
The Kamandi Challenge #8
Written by Keith Giffen
Art by Steve Rude
Cover by Jim Lee and Scott Williams
Variant Cover by Steve Rude
I love this concept a lot. I was in the room at Emerald City Comic Con when it was announced, and the creative teams brought me a lot of joy. The previous issue was the one I’d been awaiting most, because it’s so rare to see Dan Jurgens draw anything anymore, and he was my first favorite artist. Marguerite and Dan left Kamandi attacked by an ice parasite and falling to his doom above the frigid ocean, leaving Giffen and Rude to find their way out. Their solution was a little bit boring, especially when compared to some of the previous solutions. Where their save was lacking though, their death trap to close the issue was one of the funnest yet, with Kamandi facing off against a sea monster. I can’t wait to see how Tom King and Kevin Eastman (In his first DC work that isn’t also Ninja Turtles related!) get out of this!