The wave of change that’s currently sweeping through the DC Universe in the aftermath of DC Universe Rebirth and the return of Wally West continues to gain momentum; and the in Titans Rebirth, the “forgotten” hero who returned from the grave is reunited with his friends and comrades in the Teen Titans. It’s an uneasy reunion in which Wally discovers that he has the ability, with a little help from the Speed Force, to make people remember who he is and what he meant to them. Dan Abnett’s moving, emotional story is bolstered by the frankly incredible artwork of Brett Booth, whose work is stylistically similar to Ivan Reis, yet at the same time has a distinct identity of its own. With Wally and his colleagues united in their determination to find out who, or what, was responsible for the New 52 timeline, Titans Rebirth is off to a more than promising start. And if Abnett and Booth can make a believer out of someone who previously never believed in the Titans (which would be me), then they must be doing something right.
Having already had the changes to their individual worlds established in their own Rebirth one shots, two of the DCU’s big hitters make their post event proper debuts, and in Batman #1, the Dark Knight not only saves his city from a terrorist attack but is also introduced to a duo of enigmatic heroes who aid him his mission, albeit at the very last moment. The beginning of Tom King’s I Am Gotham storyline casts Bruce Wayne’s alter ego in a very human light as he questions, and accepts, his own mortality while soaring at building level height through David Finch’s exquisitely detailed urban landscape. It’s sort of hard to get a measure of the direction that the character is heading in as the excitement levels start to peak on the second page and soar way beyond overload by the time you reach the end, but by having him muse what constitutes a good death, I think it’s safe to say that his humanity, and everything that encompasses it will be at the forefront of the Guardian of Gotham’s decision making process. His destiny is in very safe, and extremely able hands.
Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason take charge of the second of the DCU heavyweights hitting the stands this week, and in Superman #1 a “new” hero dons the cape to battle the evils of a “new” world. It’s a strangely delicate, almost whimsical story in which Clark accepts his role and his son, Jon, realises, in a heartbreaking, childhood destroying moment of misjudgement, why he isn’t ready to use, or cope with his abilities. In fact, Jon is very much the central character in Tomasi and Gleason’s Son of Superman, which starts to explore his relationship with his parents, his refusal to accept the consequences of his aforementioned actions and how he feels about his new home, before heading in a Something Wicked This Way Comes meets Alfred Hitchcock direction in its closing moments. And that Bradbury-esque quality that the book is imbued with is also reflected in the precise, yet timeless art of Mick Gray and Jon Kalisz that creates a perfect symbiosis between prose and imagery in a tale that returns Superman to the mid-West and brings him “home”.
While Green Lanterns Rebirth didn’t exactly endear me to the new Corps members, Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz, assigned to protect Sector 2814, after reading Sam Humphries Green Lanterns #1 which sees the start of Rage Planet, I’m a lot more confident that this book is not only going to work, but that that the characters have enough depth and are interesting enough to carry it. The disparity between them is pivotal not only to the story, in which the Red Lanterns set their sights on, and their plans in motion for, Earth, but also helps to establish their fractious working relationship. Having broken people with very real issues and problems serve in the Corps lets the reader immediately engage with them, something that’s aided in no small part by the magnificent artwork of Rocha, Leisten and Blond, because let’s face it, who doesn’t like staring at something that looks this good?
There’s the street level, vigilante justice and then there’s the bone breaking, cartilage crunching retribution served up by Oliver Queen in Benjamin Percy’s Green Arrow #1, which over the course of two issues has punched its way to the top of my must read list. While Oliver and the Black Canary continue to track down those responsible for selling Seattle’s homeless into slavery and try to make sense of where their partnership is heading, a spate of shocking discoveries knocks the wind out of the Green Arrow’s sails and in a final shocking revelation, brings his world crashing down around him. Otto Schmidt’s dark, noir flavoured art lends Green Arrow a unique look that reflects the story being told and if you’re not already rabidly devouring it, it’s time to take a long, hard look at yourself in the mirror and simply ask yourself “Why? Why isn’t this book on my pull list?” After all, you work hard and you should be able to enjoy the finer things in life. So go on, treat yourself and add it your weekly reading pile. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.