Superman returns in intriguing first issue of Rebirth run.
DC Rebirth served pretty well as a starting point for old school fans attempting to get back into DC Comics. Superman Rebirth #1 makes a strong case for why fans should stick around and enjoy the ride.
DC creators have been adamant from the start that Rebirth was not a reboot. That’s instantly apparent here as the book picks up plot threads from the most recent Final Days of Superman story arc. If you read Rebirth this won’t be a major spoiler, but if you want to get the full scoop reading Superman #52 first is essential. From here on, there’ll be spoilers regarding the Final Days’ fallout.
The New 52 Superman was killed battling alongside Batman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Steel and his pre-New 52 counterpart. For the longtime post-Crisis readers, this is ‘our’ Superman who’s been around and kicking it since John Byrne’s Man of Steel.
Ever since arriving on the New 52 Earth, Clark has been keeping a low profile going as far as rocking a beard. With his wife, Lois Lane, and their son, Jonathan, Clark has traded in heroics for a nomadic lifestyle. Now with his counterpart dead, Superman questions his role in this new unfamiliar realm.
Writers Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleeson don’t provide answers right away. Instead, Kal-El considers his death and resurrection and how he can help do the same for his counterpart. After all, if one Superman could return from death’s door, why couldn’t another? Accompanying him on this journey is Lana Lang. Lana is far more realistic about the situation — still reflecting that grounded, cynical take from the ‘infection’ mentioned in Rebirth. Still, if there’s a chance to see her friend again, Lana is willing to go along on this quest.
Doug Mahnke’s art still has that hyper detailed style, but aren’t as sharp as they were under his longtime inkers Christian Alamy and Keith Champagne. Mahnke is one of my favorite artists. He’s got a great command of facial expressions and his storytelling style from both from a conversational or action perspective is one of the best in the business.
Superman Rebirth #1 is an easy jumping on point for old school fans, particularly those who abandoned DC with the shift to the New 52. Our Clark represents a newcomer to the New 52 world and his interactions with familiar faces should prove interesting.
Bonds with Batman, who lost a brother in arms, and Wonder Woman, who lost her lover, are going to be ripe for storytelling. And how Superman fits in with this world’s Justice League and if he can provide that desperately needed sense of hope and optimism will be key.
For the first issue of a kickoff title, it was a little disappointing that the story continues in Action Comics #957 not in the regular Superman title. That already suggests reading Superman titles will be an all or nothing proposition that could scare off some readers not wanting to commit to 5-6 monthly titles just to follow the adventures of The Man of Steel. Hopefully that’s not the case as this run of Superman deserves to soar on its own not as part of a committee.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Images Credit: DC Entertainment