Batman: Rebirth #1
- Written by: Tom King & Scott Snyder
- Art by: Mikel Janin
- Colors by: June Chung
- Letters by: Deron Bennett
- Cover by:Mikel Janin, Howard Porter, Hi-Fi
- Available June 1, for $2.99
- Published by: DC Comics
DC Comics Rebirth has arrived, and with it begins a new era.
While there are a great many things that needed some updates and changes that are coming with this Rebirth, the Batman line was not one of those things. Which is what makes Batman: Rebirth #1 so great.
Back in 2011 when DC Comics decided to pretty suddenly, they’re on record in many cases saying it was a spur of the moment type decision, to reboot their entire line after the Flashpoint event there were only two areas they left alone. The Batman line and the Green Lantern line. Both of them got sort of condensed of course to fit into the five year time period since heroes first appeared, but the majority of stuff that was done right before Flashpoint was just carried over because those were the two lines that were the most profitable and liked by fans.
The rest of the lines were sagging and needed a jolt, not that New 52 was the exact type of boost needed. Now that Rebirth is here, Batman is again a line that isn’t really getting an overhaul. Rebirth isn’t really overhauling most things, but most of the lines are getting new directions and new creative teams and the like. In the Batman line, they’re just shifting around books.
That’s why Scott Snyder and Tom King’s Rebirth issue is so fantastic. It’s not some radical new direction for Batman. In fact it’s the perfect direction that is based upon what Snyder had already been doing in his five year long super popular run with Greg Capullo.
The issue is a pretty standard, some would say slow or run of the mill, type and that is quite fine. The actual plot with Calendar Man, spores, a machine changing the weather that needs to be stopped is all well and good but it serves its purpose. The issue is a bridge.
In the last issues of Snyder and Capullo’s run they had already given Batman/Bruce Wayne a Rebirth through the Superheavy arc and had already shuffled the pieces back to where they belong. Bruce as Batman. Gordon as the Police Commissioner. The batcave. Bat signal. Etc.
So this issue, which leads into King taking over the main Batman title and Snyder moving over to the new All-Star Batman title, just continues on that trend to put Batman back into a classic spot while also moving him forward again. Bruce Wayne has his home and fortune again, he’s back working alongside Lucius Fox, and now the young Duke Thomas has come aboard to work alongside him in a non-Robin capacity.
The issue isn’t mean to be some huge revolutionary thing like Snyder did during his run numerous times, or tons of previous writers did with other aspects. The simplicity of it all is what makes it revolutionary.
Really what stands out about this issue, other than the beautiful art by Mikel Janin (that Bat logo panel near the start was freaking amazing! You know you were thinking that too. And all that sexy shirtless Bruce Wayne.), is the bold and clever reinvention of a typically pretty low tier Batman villain Calendar Man. Having the character live out his own cycle of seasons over a couple of days Benjamin Button style, only to be reborn in spring by crawling out of his own skin is pretty great.
It also shows something I’ve stated for a long time, there is no such thing as bad or poor characters. Any character, no matter if they are A-list or Z-list, can be fantastic with the right writers or with the right tweak to their story. Guaranteed that Snyder or King would even be able to take a usually pretty ridiculous character like The Condiment King (yes that is a real villain, I promise you) and make him a true threat for the Dark Knight and company.
Overall Batman: Rebirth #1 is a perfect display of a DC Comics character, and the reality that these characters are not outdated or in need of some grim or gritty setting. Sure Batman has darkness to him and around him, it’s part of the character after all, but what Snyder’s run showed and what this continues to show into King’s taking over is that Batman can be a hopeful character too. An inspiring character. Not one to fear or worry about.
What did you think of Batman: Rebirth #1? Let us know by commenting below or through Facebook or Twitter, and check back Monday for more Rebirth reviews alongside reviews of more of last Wednesday’s comics!