Rebirth – Reborn – My 3 Favourite Rebirth Trades Thus Far
So truth time, DC’s Nu52 didn’t do much for me. I was one of the few who loved Azzarello’s Wonder Woman, finding the mythic route very appealing. I was very appreciative of Paul Levitz’s return to Huntress and Power Girl, which gave the girls some of the spunk they had lost in their rise as sex symbols. I found Geoff Johns’ usual savage-heroic-brutality stories to be always enjoyable, but as time wore on I realized that the new generation of DC comics were not meant for me, the old diehard. With Rebirth, I think I went in expecting too much and was just about to write it off again, being forced to accept that I am getting older and that I should be satisfied with forty plus years of beloved stories and not push my luck. But there’s been a lot of buzz on these books, so I have been sampling all of the volume one trades to see what grabbed me and surprisingly there were more than one that not only restored my love of the DCU, but also blew me away.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps – Sinestro’s Law
Robert Venditti – Ethan Van Sciver – Rafa Sandoval – Jordi Tarragona
This book was so good I couldn’t even put it down. It has all the pace and momentum of Green Lantern at its best. It feels important, but self contained and manages to rekindle old joys, while stirring up new and interesting ideas that I actually want to know more about. I found it easy to pick up without having any knowledge of what happened during the new 52, as it was so true to the characters and the concepts of what I remember without being repetitive or redundant. This volume, to me, was the very manifesto of what I wanted from Rebirth, and it did not disappoint. I can’t point to a direct thing the appealed to me the most, but I couldn’t stop reading it, getting excited at the end of every page for what was on the next. Sinestro’s daughter has somehow managed to make the Sinestro Corps a valid police force in the universe, as the Green Lanterns have vanished completely. Except for Hal, whose deep connection to the green power of will spark a return, which threatens all of Sinestro’s carefully manipulated plans. This first volume ends with a crazy cliff-hanger and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Batman: Detective Comics – Rise of the Batmen
James Tynion IV – Eddy Barrows – Alvaro Martinez
I wasn’t expecting to like this volume as much as I did, as I have such fond connections for earlier versions of these characters I didn’t know where I would fit in. The high concept is Batman is getting serious about all the vigilantes running about in Gotham, bringing in Batwoman to help organize and train the next generation, without the usual mental manipulation Batman likes to employ. The story has endless twists, all of which were tightly bound to true character beats. In fact Tynion manages to showcase an incredible grasp of these characters, highlighting what makes them classic icons. This book also ends on a crazy cliff-hanger and I can’t wait for what comes next. Big highlights for this book is the return of Cassandra Cain to prominence and restoration of what made her cool to begin with, and the use of Clayface who fits in surprisingly well with the core cast. This is a great return to form for the Bat-family.
Batman – I Am Gotham
Tom King – David Finch
So I don’t think this is King’s best work. As the wise Brian of the Snail pointed out to me, it’s likely that on a book like Batman editorial involvement is probably much heavier. I say this because I felt the story lacked the larger thematic integration of story and art that King excels at, in just about every other book he does. That said, let’s be fair, this was still an incredibly good read. There are a lot of seeds being planted for larger stories, while juxtaposing the usual powerless heroes of Gotham with a new duo of powered individuals who seem more appropriate to Metropolis. The juxtaposition is extremely compelling and though I was ready to give Batman a rest for a bit, I am definitely very curious to see where King is going with all of this. There’s Bane, Psycho Pirate, Hugo Strange all presenting classic characterizations in new ways. The highlight here is the return of a radically made over Kite-Man that was totally awesome. The art here is also pretty sweet, some Finch’s best work since his Ultimate days. Good show!