Tag Archives: geoff johns

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.

REBIRTH_Wally_CVR[1]

DC Rebirth Roundup: Week One

DC-Comics-Rebirth-teaser-art-by-Jim-Lee

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 :

5238290-01

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

 

5238251-01

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

 

5239731-01

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

 

5239733-01

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!

DCUREB_Cv1_2P_PRFCT BND

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

Review : DC Universe : Rebirth #1 (Warning! Spoilers Ahead!)

DC-Universe-Rebirth-1-1-600x923

This wasn’t supposed to happen, was it?

Less than five years ago, when DC re-launched their entire line with their obviously-hastily-assembled “New 52” initiative, we were promised that “this was the big one,” that the changes it introduced were “permanent,” and that the then-new version of the corporate universe it presented was “here to stay.” At first, of course, sales were strong, but it didn’t take long for one thing to become very clear : people just weren’t crazy about this purportedly “darker,” more “mature,” and more “realistic” world their favorite characters were inhabiting. DC’s “brain” trust tried some tinkering around the edges here and there, and even went the “soft relaunch” route just last summer when they re-branded everything “DC You” and tried to impose a “lighter” tone on just about everything by means of editorial edict, but the writing was on the wall — as sales on pretty much every title apart from Batman continued to tail off, everybody knew the days of the “New 52 Universe” were numbered, and that we’d be starting all over from scratch with brand new first issues sooner rather than later.

Well, that “sooner” day has arrived with the release of DC Universe : Rebirth #1, an 80-page special (priced at only $2.99) written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Gary FrankEthan Van SciverIvan Reis, and Phil Jimenez (with an equally-large committee of inkers and colorists in tow) that, depending on your outlook, either manages to right the flagging ship that is the DCU or simply rearranges the deck chairs on the Titanic. Unfortunately, from this critic’s point of view, the latter seems much more likely to be the case.

DC-Universe-Rebirth-1-5-600x914

Even though my headline already screams it out fairly boldly, this is the point at which my conscience compels me to reiterate one more time that there are, in fact, SPOILERS AHEAD, so if you haven’t read the book yet and don’t want a few key developments given away (I’ll be concentrating more heavily on thematic “spoilers” than on specific plot points, but still —), go no further. Are we all absolutely clear on that? Okay, good.

Let’s be brutally honest about something, then, shall we? If you want a writer who feels that addressing the obvious and superficial, surface-level deficiencies in any given character or group of characters is tantamount to fixing their “problems,” Geoff Johns is your guy. He did it with previous “Rebirth” efforts more narrowly focused on the Green Lantern Corps and the Flash, and this time he’s been tasked with doing the same for — well, everybody (never mind that he penned the Flashpoint mini-series that set this whole “New 52” mess rolling). In fact, the “suits” at Warner Brothers are so confident in his ability to get to the so-called “essence” of their four-color properties that he’s been elevated to co-head honcho (along with Jon Berg) of the so-called “DCEU” movie line, ostensibly to do some sort of “course correction” on that nascent enterprise since the roughly $900 million Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman : Dawn Of Justice took in at the worldwide box office is absurdly considered to be a “disappointment.” On the plus side, that means that Snyder’s probably on the way out over there. On the minus side, it means that Johns is in.

But let’s concentrate on the “plus” side of the ledger again for a moment, shall we? Because there’s one other huge plus to Johns’ elevation — it means that DC Universe : Rebirth will probably be the last comic book he writes in a good, long while, and that’s very welcome news indeed because, given the evidence on display here, the guy is absolutely out of new ideas.

For all its readily-apparent faults, the “New 52” at least was a forward-thinking enterprise. It had as its primary goal bringing new readers into the fold, simplifying and streamlinig DCU continuity, and telling accessible stories. It failed at all of those things, by and large, to be sure — but at their core, those are all good ideas. Rebirth, by contrast, takes the opposite tack : its primary objective is to bring back all the old readers that have been lost over the past few years and to “re-set” the characters and their timeline back to the way things were, albeit with a few wrinkles thrown in to keep folks guessing. There’s just one major flaw in this “thinking”: where they were was such a convoluted mess that it necessitated the previous re-launch in the first place.

Still, if nostalgia is your bag, DC Universe : Rebirth #1 has it in spades. Nightwing is back in blue. Wally West is a redhead (and, crucially for a depressingly large number of people, a white dude) again. Aquaman and Mera are back together. Green Arrow and Black Canary are back together. If that’s enough to convince you that DC is back on the right track, then sit back and enjoy the ride — you’re gonna love Rebirth.

Still, if that’s not enough for you, don’t worry, there’s more : That “New 52” version of Superman that nobody ever really liked? He’s apparently dead. Pandora, the character purportedly responsible (at least on some level) for the “creation” of the “New 52 Universe”? She dies, as well — rather brutally, it must be said — in a scene clearly heavy with “metafictional” elements designed by Johns to absolve himself of any guilt over what happened as a result of Flashpoint. Heck, he even lets the Barry Allen Flash off the hook — and, by extension, wipes his own conscience completely clean — by revealing that the whole paradoxical mess he unleashed was, unbeknownst to him (and, by extension, us), the work of some “unseen hand” (as seen on the cover of this issue) who literally stole ten years from the DCU and meddled in the affairs of its heroes in order to “weaken” them and make their world easy pickings for some “outside force.” And it’s that “unseen hand” and “outside force” that proves what a creatively bankrupt enterprise this whole thing is.

At this point we’re firmly into “let’s not kid ourselves” territory, so let’s not : the reason the “New 52” failed comes down to one simple factor, my friends — overly-tight, unbending, pig-headed editorial control. The artwork on most of the books displayed a depressing uniformity of style clearly informed by mid-90s WildStorm comics (thank you, Jim Lee). The various storylines in many of the titles were obviously coming not from the creators, but from their bosses. Many of the lead characters — and almost all of the side characters — were flat-out interchangeable in terms of tone and dialogue. And the “assembly-line” approach taken on the books was such a painfully obvious exercise in micro-management that one could even flip through the pages of any given DC title and count on a fight breaking out every four pages, tensions between characters bubbling to the surface every 12 pages, a villain making a “surprise” appearance every 16 pages — you get the idea. It was some serious “by-the-numbers” stuff, quite literally.

Sure, the overall tone of the books was “darker” and “more somber” — and yes, our heroes are finally fucking smiling again in Rebirth. But guess what? They have no real reason to be, because all the powers-that-be that have been screwing up their stories for at least a decade, if not longer — Dan DidioEddie BerganzaBob Harras, the aforementioned Jim Lee, and others (you know, DC’s real “Rogues’ Gallery”) — they’re all still there. And with most of the titles post-Rebirth now being slated to ship twice a month and the vast majority of them taking the same “art-by-committee” approach seen in this 80-page special, do you really think the level of direction and influence the editorial ranks has over DC’s product (and “product” is exactly what it is at this point) is going to lessen? Be serious.

Still, Johns is clearly in the midst of one bloated, confused non-apology here, and while he and his bosses have been saying all the right things in public about having “lost our way” and “failed to honor our legacy” and what have you, the underlying message of Rebirth is as painfully clear as it is preposterous — none of this is our fault. Fortunately, he does offer up a couple of scapegoats for the truly dim-witted to focus their ire on : Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.

DC-Universe-Rebirth-1-7-600x910

It’s standard fan-boy “logic” these days, of course, to blame Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns for setting DC on a “darker” path. Never mind for an instant that neither of those books are anywhere near as “dark” as they’re touted as being, or that they brought DC a level of relevance they haven’t enjoyed before or since, or that the company is still milking both of ’em for all they’re worth and then some. They “set the tone.” They “steered DC onto the wrong path.” They “took all the joy and wonder out of superhero adventures” by deconstructing them in plain sight a little too successfully.

Which is all complete and utter bullshit, of course. Yes, those seminal series were more “mature” and “somber” than what had come before, but that was only a very small part of why they were — and remain — such successful and revolutionary comics. They each had wicked senses of humor, were plainly relevant to real-world issues and concerns, and most importantly, addressed the human condition in a meaningful and substantive way , utilizing the much-maligned superhero genre as their means for doing so. But the geniuses in editorial and (perhaps even more significantly) accounting  — both at the time and since — never understood that. The message they took from the runaway critical and commercial success of the two titles that could (and by all rights should) have transformed the industry was that readers wanted “more dark comics” rather than “more good comics.” Is it any wonder the heights those books achieved have never been equaled at DC since?

REB_1_dylux-low-33-720x1107

“So,” you rightly ask ” what the fuck has all this got to do with Rebirth“? Quite a bit, actually — the “New 52,” you see, was all Dr. Manhattan’s fault! There have been a lot of rumors flying around about Big, Blue, and Naked being “revealed” as “the creator” or even “the God,” of the DC Universe, but while Johns and his largely-competent-if-hopelessly-dull team of artists never go so far as to make that explicitly clear, he is, in fact, shown to be that “unseen hand” I was blathering on about a few paragraphs (shit, it feels like a lifetime) back, and the existential conflict that’s being set up to propel this storyline forward into and through the newly-renumbered (except for Action Comics and Detective Comics, which are reverting to their “classic” numbering) slew of comics making their way onto shelves starting next week is one of the “classic, more hopeful” DCU vs. the “grim and gritty” universe of the Watchmen.

This just sucks on so many levels. For one thing, Before Watchmen was bad enough, but even if you’re one of the legions of suckers who has fallen victim to the years-long propaganda campaign perpetrated by DC and its compliant shills in the comics “press” to falsely portray Moore as some bitter, crazy old man, pissing on he and Gibbons’ creative legacy like this is just plain mean-spirited and gratuitous. The image we’re “treated to” in this comic of Batman holding up the Comedian’s iconic, blood-stained “smiley-face” button is both depressing for the clear “hey! We still don’t get it!” signal it sends, and infuriating for the insult it adds to previously-administered injuries. “Piling on” will get you a 15-yard penalty in a football game — in today’s comics world, it will probably earn Geoff Johns unmitigated praise for “having the guts to go where no one else would before.” And people wonder why I despair sometimes.

Still, for all the bitter taste DC Universe : Rebirth left in my mouth, there were a couple of things that even I have to admit to liking about it : it was beyond nice to see Ted Kord back as the Blue Beetle. Having Dick Grayson ditch the spy game and return to super-heroing full-time is a good move. The JSA returning in its “classic” iteration is a no-brainer. And while the whole thing plays out as more a slap-dash series of “Cliff’s Notes”-style vignettes assembled for the purposes of both getting us up to speed on what we’ve been missing while we’ve been shelling out three and four bucks per issue every month for comics that take place in a universe that doesn’t even “count” anymore and to “tease” where things might be headed in subsequent months than it does an actual, cohesive narrative, some of Johns’ rapid-fire “let’s check in over here for a minute” stuff does, in fact, work.

But not nearly enough of it by any stretch of the imagination. And while a number of the creative teams on the forthcoming Rebirth titles seem reasonably promising on paper (Peter Tomasi Patrick Gleason and Doug Mahnke on SupermanGreg RuckaLiam Sharp, and Nicola Scott on Wonder WomanTom KingDavid Finch, and Mikel Janin on BatmanChristopher Priest and Carlo Pagulayan on Deathstroke), until I see some kind of proof that DC is loosening up their editorial control and actually allowing their creators to tell good stories, I remain beyond skeptical. If you’ve been waiting for years to see who wins a fight between Superman and Dr. Manhattan, or what happens when Blue Beetle and Night Owl team up to cleanse the streets of Hub City of evildoers, congratulations — odds are that you’re about to get your wish. For the rest of us, though, the downright pathological lack of originality on display in DC Universe : Rebirth #1 offers evidence of nothing other than the fact that five years (or less) from now, they’ll be doing the whole thing over yet again.

Story: Geoff Johns  Art: Gary Frank, Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis, and Phil Jimenez
Story: 2 Art: 5 Overall: 3.5 Recommendation: Pass. Please.

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

« Older Entries