Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few months, you can’t have missed DC‘s line-wide relaunch-of-sorts Rebirth. Last week we took a look at whether the comics released up until 7/13 had been new reader friendly, and proceeded to give each a simple Friendly/Unfriendly rating based on how easy it was for new readers to pick them up. Although I missed a couple of issues (Detective Comics #934 and Action Comics #957), for the most part the newly relaunched series were pretty accessible to new readers – especially Action Comics despite not having read the first issue post relaunch. The Rebirth specials didn’t fair as well (although some were missed, most notably Flash Rebirth #1), but the two that were less accessible were less of a recap story than they were a standalone one shot (Batman Rebirth #1) or the events were explained better elsewhere (Justice League Rebirth #1 can be avoided if you’re reading Superman or Action Comics).
There isn’t as many comics to cover this week as we’re not playing catch up, but we’re still going to take a look at DC’s titles from a new reader’s perspective, and see just how easy it is to jump in on the titles now that the ten years of missing history the New 52 wiped out has returned.
All comics will have a Friendly/Unfriendly rating based solely on the issues released in the newly ongoing series, but the comics won’t receive an overall grade out of ten (you can find my thoughts on the overall quality of them here). That said, the quality may be commented on if it directly hampers the ease with which new readers can dive in, but only in passing.
So shall we get to this week’s Rebirth comics?
While not my favourite comic this week, that doesn’t detract from it’s accessibility. Those who read last week’s Rebirth Review will notice that I haven’t exactly been Aquaman’s biggest fan, but I’ve been happy with how easy this series is to pick up. This issue deals with the fallout of the last two, and while reading those may help, even just starting at the third issue is still possible once you know that Something Bad happened at a certain location. The comic is Friendly enough that you can put that together within a couple pages, which is also handy as there’s no recap page.
Batgirl And The Birds Of Prey Rebirth #1
If you didn’t pay much attention to Black Canary, Batgirl/Oracl or Huntress during the New 52, this’ll be for you. As with most of the Rebirth specials this issue serves as a scene setter for the main series, although this seems more like a first issue than a one shot comic. Still, Friendly no matter how you look at it, but this may be more of a necessity to read than the other Rebirth specials have been, and I say that after reading less than half of the ones released up until this week because I was able to dive into the ongoing series with ease. Whether that’s the case here, I suppose we’ll find out when the first issue hits in a couple weeks.
Despite being three issues in, there is no reason that new readers wouldn’t be able to pick up this comic. Dealing with the origins of Gotham City’s newest heroes gives existing readers an extra level of understanding of just where they’re coming from and why they do what they do now, while simultaneously it also allows newer readers the opportunity get started at the 3rd issue. Tom King seems to be working on a slow build here, which is perfectly suited to a twice monthly release schedule – here’s hoping he can keep the high quality going in this Friendly comic.
Green Arrow #3
If you’ve been reading the series so far, you’ll be fine. Otherwise, this just crosses the line into Unfriendly territory for new readers.
Green Lanterns #3
There’s an internal monologue at the beginning of this comic that will allow new readers to hop onto this series with ease, making it into one of the more Friendly comics released this week in the Rebirth issues. If you have read the first two issues, then you shouldn’t find the recap/monologue off putting at all.
Justice League #1
I had absolutely no idea what was happening here, but I think that was intentional given the cataclysmic events in the comic. I’m giving this issue the benefit of the doubt and saying it’s Friendly because I have a feeling that the confusion is a story element and not a product of excessive backstory that I’m entirely unfamiliar with.
If you’ve been following this series since #1 then you’ll find nothing that will throw you off here; an introduction to a new character (well, new to those who haven’t read much Superman before) is well handled, providing enough detail to easily follow along with whether you’ve been reading the series since the first issue or this is the first you’ve picked up. Still a very new reader Friendly comic, and possibly one of the best.
The Hellblazer Rebirth #1
There has to be better ways to introduce new readers to John Constantine while also giving long time fans a new single comic story, but I honestly can’t think of one (but then I’m not a person who has been reading about Constantine for any length of time, either). By the time you finish this story you’ll have a firm grasp on just what type of man John Constantine is, even if you don’t know much about what he’s done; making this Friendly comic a great introduction to the character.