Rebirth Review: Comics Released 8/24
Welcome to Graphic Policy’s Rebirth Review where we take a look at the comics released under DC‘s Rebirth banner and try to work out just how accessible they are for new readers, because although Rebirth has been positioned as an apology to long time fans, we were curious to see how accessible the publisher’s comics are to new readers now that we’re seeing a large number of first issues hit the racks. So far, for the most part, the comics have been easy for new readers to pick up – minus one or two here and there that rely heavily on previous events.
Last week we took a look at whether the comics released on 8/17 had been new reader friendly, and proceeded to give each a simple rating of Friendly/Unfriendly based on how easy it was for new readers to pick them up; the ratings are based solely on the issues released in the post-Rebirth ongoing series, with more consideration given for the specific issue being read when it comes to the final rating than the series overall.
Eagle eyed readers may notice that not every comic is covered week to week, and that’s because I have a memory like a sieve and sometimes forget to pick them up, but because we’re focusing on the series’ accessibility I won’t go looking for back issues to fill me in on the stories. When I’ve noticed that I missed an issue I’ll point it out, otherwise I probably won’t mention it.
The comics won’t receive an overall grade out of ten, although some of them may be covered in our weekly Mini Reviews feature (no promises). That said, the quality may be commented on if it directly hampers the ease with which new readers can dive into the story.
Shall we get to this week’s Rebirth comics, then?
Action Comics #962
Frankly, this Unfriendly comic is fantastic – it’s just not quite ideal as a starting point for new readers.
I missed the first issue and while I wasn’t quite sure what was happening for a couple pages, I was able to follow along with the story quite easily. Friendly whether you’re new this issue or not.
Blue Beetle Rebirth #1
I was a huge fan of Blue Beetle before the New 52… and then for whatever reason I stopped reading. Picking up this issue, I was nervous about whether I’d be able to easily follow along with the story. I shouldn’t have been. This is a Friendly enough comic that new readers can easily pick up and enjoy.
A direct continuation from the Rebirth special that will be tough to follow unless you read that comic – it’s still possible, but only just. The issue would have been better served being the second, not the first. Friendly, but only just.
Detective Comics #939
There’s some great artistic moments here that are worth seeing, but the story isn’t going to welcome you you with open arms, because unless you’ve been on board for a couple of issues, you’re going to find this issue Unfriendly.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #3
I completely forgot to pick this one up, so I honestly have no idea whether this is freindly or not.
Sixpack and Dogwelder Hard Travellin’ Heroz #1
Having never heard of these characters before, I was curious about the comic. It’s certainly one of the more unique comics to come from DC now the New 52 is over, and it’s decent enough – and, yes, Friendly enough – to pull me back for another issue.
The Flash #5
By focusing the first few pages on one of the other speedsters who gained their powers from a Speed Force lightning storm a few issues ago, we get a very well scripted recap/story blend that makes the comic very Friendly for new readers right away. There is also the standard comic style reminders in the narration boxes that give you minor bits of relevant information from previous issues as the story progresses
The Hellblazer #1
I’d say that after the Rebirth special I was left with the impression that we were going back to the Constantine we had before the New 52 integrated him into the regular DC Universe, but I honestly wouldn’t know. But if you’re coming to the comic after having watched the short lived television show, you’re going to find this a Friendly place to start out.
Action Comics #962 aside, this was the comic I most looking forward too this week. Much like the previously mentioned comic, it’s very good… it’s just not an ideal starting place for new readers. Friendly, but only if you’ve read at least the first issue.
Wonder Woman #5
The two stories running concurrently in alternating issues lend Wonder Woman more of a monthly release feeling than the bi-weekly schedule we’re actually getting. Both stories have – at least in part – been exploring the relationship between Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor, so despite this being a fairly Friendly starting place, you’d enjoy the series much more if you read some previous issues.