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Review: DC Universe: Rebirth The Deluxe Edition

May kicked off DC Comics’ latest major shift with the launch of DC Universe: Rebirth a seismic change blending the New 52 with lots of classic elements from the pre-52 world. It was the best of both worlds blending old and new.

Numerous printings later, DC has released a hardcover version of DC Universe: Rebirth. This deluxe edition includes the best selling comic as well as extras that gives you even more info on the new DC world

I show off the deluxe edition showing off what you’ll find inside.

You can buy a copy today!

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

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Around the Tubes

Civil_War_II_Vol_1_4It was new comic book day yesterday. What’d everyone get? What’d you like? What’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below!

While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

The Beat – Geoff Johns is now President AND CCO at DC Entertainment — with a complete updated DC masthead – Congrats!

Kotaku – Zombie Batman Thirsts For Flesh, Not Justice – Looks pretty cool.

CBR – Netflix Explains Why It Didn’t Pick Up Marvel’s “Agent Carter” – Figured it was due to business reasons.

Kotaku – The Marvel Ultimate Alliance PC Ports Are A Disaster – That’s a shame. It’s a good game.

Cosmopolitan – When Will Black Women Feel Like They “Belong” at Comic-Con? – Rather odd and sad.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Newsarama – Batgirl #1

Comicvine – Civil War II #4

Comicvine – Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #1

ICv2 – Jughead Vol. 1

Comicvine – Titans #1

Comicvine – Wonder Woman #3

DC Universe: Rebirth #1 Gets a Third Printing a New Cover

DC Entertainment has announced that DC Universe: Rebirth, the 80-page blockbuster, written by Geoff Johns with art by Ethan Van Sciver, Gary Frank, Phil Jimenez and Ivan Reis is headed into its THIRD printing, featuring new cover art by Gary Frank (pencils & inks) and Alex Sinclair (colors). The cover features the newly returned speedster Wally West! More info on when this cover will be available soon.

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DC Rebirth Roundup: Week One

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Right off the bat, I have to say — this is a little more like it. As someone who can in no way, shape, or form be accused of being a “fan” of last week’s DC Universe: Rebirth 80-page introductory salvo, I’m more than pleased to see the continuity-drenched, backstory-heavy, and new-reader-alienating premise of that truly atrocious comic ditched (more or less) in favor of the simpler, scaled-back, one-shot stories that constitute the first wave of Rebirth specials. The approach on display here is, frankly, the one DC should have taken all along, in my view — and basically it’s one of “the characters you love have been here all along, we just haven’t been doing them proper justice. From now on, we will.”

Which isn’t to say that the four Rebirth  comics we got this week were necessarily all that good — truth be told, most of them were thoroughly forgettable and a couple of them didn’t even rise to the level of mediocrity. But seriously, folks, this is all that was needed. All that shit about ten stolen years and Flashpoint essentially being one giant hoax and the implication that the characters from Watchmen are now going to be brought into the DCU “proper”? I’m just gonna pretend like all that didn’t happen unless and until I’m forced to acknowledge otherwise. At which point I’ll probably find myself seriously trimming my pull list. For now, though, DC seems quite content with ignoring all of that, as well, in favor of re-setting the table on all their books and just getting back to basics. I respectfully contend that it’s that very “back to basics” mindset that was all this entire Rebirth enterprise ever needed to be about.

But enough about the big picture. What of the individual books themselves? Let’s take a somewhat closer look at each :

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Superman : Rebirth #1

Co-writers (actually, the credits list them as “storytellers”) Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason serve up a “let’s-bring-you-up-to-speed” yarn that not only feels the need to recap events from the “New 52” Universe, but from its predecessor, as well — which makes sense, I suppose, given that it’s the “old-school Superman” of earlier vintage that we’re going to be following from here on out. Most of the issue is an extended conversation between said Superman and “New 52”-era Lana Lang, who meet each other when they’re both out — doing a bit of grave-robbing? Yes, you read that correctly, and it sets the tone for what’s an awkward, stilted, highly disjointed story. Suffice to say, the Superman we’ve all been following for the past five years appears to be well and truly dead — and his Super-antecedent is finally convinced of that fact over the space of about two panels after denying it for the first 18 pages. Pretty lame stuff, really, but this comic had the most to do in terms of “housekeeping,” so let’s hope things get better from here on out. Penciller Doug Mahnke and inker Jaime Mendoza deliver flat, generic, thoroughly-uninspired “corporate comics” art that does nothing so much as provide the strongest possible “visual echo” of the question a lot of us have been asking, namely :  “How can ‘The New 52’ really be over with if all the same people are still working on the books?”

Overall Score: 2  Recommendation: Pass

 

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Batman: Rebirth #1

On the other side of the coin, Batman was probably in better shape coming into this thing than any other character in the DCU. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo‘s run was loved by fans, critics, and retailers all for the same essential reason : it was good, and good stuff sells. Still, it’s “out with the old, in with the new” time,  so Snyder helps to usher in new writer Tom King by purportedly “co-writing” a book with him that, to be honest, feels almost nothing like a Scott Snyder comic. Which isn’t meant as a “knock” on this issue at all, given that King finds his “voice” with Bruce Wayne and Batman immediately, and introduces us to a chilling new iteration of the Calendar Man that  propels that formerly-lame villain up a good few notches in my estimation — all while dropping some intriguing hints as to an entirely new role for former We Are Robin star Duke Thomas, as well. Much like his colleague behind the word processor, incoming artist Mikel Janin is allowed to delineate the proceedings in his own style right from the word “go” with little to no visual referencing of his celebrated predecessor on offer, and the results are pretty damn spectacular. DC “brass” seems to have the right idea with the Batman title — hire the best possible creators for the job, and then get the hell out of their way and let them tell stories. Too bad that philosophy hasn’t been adopted across their entire line.

Overall Score: 8  Recommendation: Buy

 

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Green Arrow: Rebirth #1

Like most, I was pretty “iffy” on the idea of Benjamin Percy continuing on as writer of this book given that he seems to have done his level best to drive it into the ditch during the “New 52” era, but this issue at least proves that he understands the basics of Ollie Queen’s character and, needless to say, finally getting him together with Dinah Lance a.k.a. Black Canary should make pretty much everyone happy. The two of them bust up an underground human trafficking ring in fairly short order here and maybe make the acquaintance of some new recurring villains, as well. Hardly a memorable story, but a reasonably effective one with sleek, angular, individualistic art from Otto Schmidt that looks pretty darn nice.

Overall Score: 6.5  Recommendation: Read

 

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Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1

Can you say “Same shit, different Lanterns?” Sure you can, and so can Geoff Johns, who takes one more swing at these characters by co-writing this book along with new scribe Sam Humphries. Simon Baz was introduced as a new GL some time back and subsequently forgotten about, while Jessica Cruz was introduced as Power Ring and subsequently focused on to the point of becoming annoying. Now they’re in charge of patrolling our “sector” of space and in between all the recapping and cheap, shorthand “character development,” we’re treated to some supposed “mystery” about the Guardians themselves that fails to elicit much interest right from the outset. There’s a fight with a Manhunter, too. Whatever. Co-artists Ethan Van Sciver and Ed Benes are virtually indistinguishable from each other stylistically, so don’t ask me which one of them drew which pages here. Essentially a “New 52” comic in all but name.

Overall Score: 3.5  Recommendation: Pass

 

So, there you have it. Not sure if I’ll keep this up over the course of the next few weeks here or not given that a lot of these books (which, incidentally, I paid for with my own money — no “freebies” involved) were thoroughly uninspired in terms of their execution, but at least DC editorial seems to have a grasp on how to put together an accessible-enough “jumping-on point.” It’s just too bad they didn’t roll these out before last week’s “crossover event”-style book that required a couple decades’ worth of prior knowledge to even begin to decipher.

Review: Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1

Green Lanterns Rebirth #1 coverCreative powerhouse Geoff Johns puts the ring on again as he, co-writer Sam Humphries and artist Ethan Van Sciver debut a new era of emerald greatness! Rookie Green Lanterns Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz tackle the universe’s toughest beat: Earth.

When Rebirth was announced a lot was said about the focus on legacy. For many, myself included, there was fear of newer characters being pushed to the side for those that have come before. In some ways the return of Hal Jordan in Green Lantern: Rebirth years ago pushed Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardner, and John Stewart to the side for the return of Jordan. Like that miniseries, this is also written by Johns with the help of Humphries who seems to be going a different route and have instead put the spotlight on newer Lanterns Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz. The old is instead pushed to the side by the new and a new dynamic is set up.

GreenLanternsRebirth-1-5The reception to Baz hasn’t been too kind and Cruz has literally been a Green Lantern for a few pages before this. But things are forging ahead with these two now the Lanterns of Earth as Jordan has to head to space (in his own series to come). The comic sets up the two in an interesting way forcing Baz and Cruz into a buddy cop situation and playing off both of their rookie newness. Beyond that newness, the idea of a Muslim Lantern and a Hispanic Lantern has me excited bringing even more diversity to the Green Lantern Corps., a group full of diversity, it is made up of aliens after all. Their being front and center, as the comic hints at, also brings diversity to the focus of what’s to come with DC’s Rebirth. It all feels natural and the dynamic of the two are welcome additions in so many ways with each sporting their own very distinct personalities and attitudes.

Artist Ethan Van Sciver is “my” Lantern artist and his and Johns’ run is where I came back to the series and characters. To see him forge this comic and direction to come is fantastic. The design for Cruz is fantastic I think with the cool addition of the “tattoo.” There’s one scene in particular with Jordan entering the story that’s just awe inspiring of how great it looks.

As it should, Green Lanterns: Rebirth has me excited to see what’s to come and brings the series back to its roots in some way with this team focused on protecting Earth. If that last page and prologue in the comic are any indication, it looks like they have their work cut out for them. The comic has some great energy about it, and has gotten me excited to see what’s to come. It passes the torch ring to a new generation of Lanterns.

Story: Sam Humphries, Geoff Johns Art: Ed Benes, Ethan Van Sciver
Story: 7.95 Art: 8.65 Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

DC Universe: Rebirth Gets a Second Printing

DC Entertainment has announced that this 80-page blockbuster, written by Geoff Johns with art by Ethan Van Sciver, Gary Frank, Phil Jimenez and Ivan Reis is headed into its second printing, featuring updated cover art (by Gary Frank) and a new, square bound format at a price of $5.99. This version will be produced in limited quantities and are sure to go fast once they hit retailers on Wednesday, June 8!

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Why Marvel Made Cap Hydra in Two Graphs

Did you hear that Captain America is really a Hydra sleeper agent? If you’re new to it all here’s an article and another as to what the shitstorm is all about.

The twist has lit up social networks, both good and bad, and launched dozens of “think pieces,” and Marvel is likely laughing to the bank over it all. The stunt, and the date of its launch, was Marvel’s latest effort to one-up their rival DC Comics, and take the wind out of their sales. Along with the launch of Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, yesterday also saw the launch of DC Comics’ DC Universe: Rebirth #1, an over-sized issue launching the publishers next big shake up of the DCU. It was supposed to be a big deal, and at least online it was eclipsed according to Google Trends.

In the first graph below it compares “DC Comics” (blue), “DC Rebirth” (red), “Captain America” (yellow), “Captain America Hydra” (green), and “Marvel Comics” (purple) for the last 7 days.

While we see generally that Marvel and Captain America outrank DC Comics when it comes to interest, what’s interesting are the boost of interest in everything in the far right. That’s May 25 when each comic launched, and we can see “Captain America Hydra” leap frogs over either DC term. Interest in Cap being Hydra just stole the limelight and let the wind out of the sails.

cap_google_1I’d expect a press announcement by Marvel of Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 selling out and getting a second printing any moment, and with that, more news coverage.

But the trends get more interesting when you look at the profile of some of the creators involved. In DC’s corner is Geoff Johns (blue) the architect behind the publisher’s new direction. In Marvel’s corner is writer Nick Spencer (red) and editor Tom Brevoort (yellow), the writer of the comic and editor who made the news rounds talking about the change.

While Johns beats both handily, we see interest in Spencer begin to perk up when purposely leaked news rumors cropped up something would be happening in Captain America: Steve Rogers. Spencer leapfrogs Johns in interest according to trends and Brevoort too sees a boost as the mainstream media roll-out occurs.

cap_google_2In other words, Marvel played this one as far as press attention perfectly. They stole the news cycle from DC and we’ll find out next month how the actual sales went.

Geoff Johns on Late Night with Seth Meyers

DC ComicsGeoff Johns headed to Late Night with Seth Meyers to talk Rebirth. The first part DC Universe: Rebirth #1 hit shelves this week. Check out two videos below of his visit to the show.

 

Around the Tubes

SDOAPOC_Cv1_dsIt’s new comic book day! Yaaaaaaaay!

While you wait for shops to open, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

Kotaku – The New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Game Feels A Lot Like Transformers: Devastation  – This looks cool

Newsarama – Geoff Johns: ‘If You Don’t Like DCU: Rebirth, I’ll Send You a Check’ … For Reals – So tempted to try this.

Kotaku – LEGO Marvel’s Avengers adds a complimentary six-pack of spiders today – Nice!

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Attack – Aliens Defiance #2

Newsarama – Scooby Apocalypse #1

Review: Justice League #50

Justice League #50 CoverThis is it!! The massive, 48-page conclusion to “Darkseid War” can hardly be contained between two covers! Don’t miss the final fates of the world’s greatest heroes and villains, along with world-changing revelations for Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.

While it’s been uneven at times, it can’t be argued that Geoff Johns hasn’t given us an epic storyline with “Darkseid War.” For 10 parts we’ve seen heroes battle gods and be turned into gods themselves, and then battle more gods. Everything about this event feels like it’s been upped to 11 and this issue is no exception as everything comes together to battle Grail and her mad plan.

Everyone seems to come out of the woodwork for this battle, and theirs some twists and alliances I don’t want to spoil, but this truly feels like a battle for the ages as the Justice League faces an opponent that feels worthy of them.

But as the battle settles Johns gives us some exciting moments that directly tie into DC Universe: Rebirth that asks so many questions that we’ll find out in the many series to come. As much as that comic is a beginning, this one is a beginning and an end. Superman. Batman. Wonder Woman. They all have big changes and this issue is a major beginning for them. I actually found myself cheering out loud as I read it, and when finishing it, like a big box buster film, it felt empty in ways too.

While this closes one chapter, it feels like it opens up more as it sets the stage for the next year and beyond! It’s an exciting issue that’s oversized in every way, both good and bad, but it’s still a hell of a lot of fun.

Story: Geoff Johns Art: Jason Fabok
Story: 8.1 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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