News Ticker

DC Rebirth Rapid-Fire Reviews for August 17, 2016

We’re almost at the end of most of the “Rebirth” books’ opening arcs, which makes you wonder how much longer the “Rebirth” logo will be attached to everything. Anyway, let’s see what’s working this week and what isn’t.

Batman #5 (King/Finch): Batman’s got a Justice League-sized problem on his hands with Gotham running amok, so obviously, it’s time to bring in the Justice League. It’s always a tricky step to bring the JLA into Batman’s world–he fits in theirs, but the League doesn’t necessarily work in his. Still, the nature of Batman stories requires that they can’t have a Justice League solution, so no, Gotham isn’t defeated by a well-placed Superman punch, impossible as it sounds. King goes for something much more clever than that, and it works. Rating: Four bats out of five.

Harley Quinn #2 (Palmiotti/Conner/Blevins): Belle hated the last issue, in part because it was heavy on recap. This issue’s a little better, jumping back into Harley and her friends being caught in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. With the exposition out of the way, there’s a little more time to focus on story…except for multiple splash pages which, despite the pretty art, is once again heavy on exposition. Also, even after many issues, it’s hard to care about Harley’s supporting cast, with the exception of one important member who shows up on the last page. About time. Rating: Two and a half hammers out of five.

Aquaman #5 (Abnett/Briones): It’s Arthur and Mera versus the entire U.S. military in this issue, and they manage to kick an incredible amount of ass in an effort to clear their names. Not bad, even if Abnett is taking a cue from Geoff Johns by excessively reminding you that Arthur is more than “the fish guy.” And here’s a question: with the amount of spotlight Mera gets, why isn’t this book called Aquamen? Er, Aquapeople? Er, Aquaman and Mera? Yeah, ok, dual-gendering the title may not work as well as Green LanternsRating: Three and a half mackerels out of five.

Green Arrow #5 (Percy/Ferreya): This book is lacking some of the simplicity of the other “Rebirth” titles. Aquaman was easy enough to pick up if you haven’t read the prior four issues. Green Lantern had a heck of a lot going on with years worth of continuity, including an ending that harkens back to very specific Green Arrow storyline. Longtime readers will probably get this issue; new folks may want to start from the beginning. Rating: Three shafts out of five.

Green Lanterns #5 (Humphries/Rocha/Pansica): Green Lanterns, in contrast, is a little more tightly woven and easier to get into: it continues to fairly split its focus between Simon and Jessica and highlight the emotional weaknesses of each (that’s important in the GL mythos). Like other “Rebirth” books, though, this arc is really stretching out a story that would have been two or three issues in the past. It’s likable, but not after five issues and we’re still not done. “Writing for the trade” is hurting those of us who want to see the Red Lanterns beaten in much less time. Rating: Two and a half rings out of five.

Justice League #3 (Hitch/Daniel): Hitch’s Justice League makes a fair attempt at being the glue that ties all these books together, and yet he’s only got 20 pages to do it in. It doesn’t quite work, but he deserves a nod for trying to get it right. The Kindred continue to attack the Earth, and the Green Lanterns, Aquaman, and Superman (with a bonus appearance by Lois that’s so on-the-mark) highlight the issue. Unfortunately, the other Leaguers just kind of fall by the wayside in the process. Somebody offers Batman a cookie. Really. This whole thing will probably read much better in trade; you can tell that the individual parts do something amazing, but the whole of the opening arc isn’t fully in focus. Rating: Three watchtowers out of five.

Superman #5 (Tomasi/Gleason/Mahnke): At this point, the best “Rebirth” books are those that have a tight cast and tight single-issue stories. Tomasi’s Superman at least has the former, but like so many other books here, it’s a stretched-out story that’s being written for the trade. We’re still in an ongoing fight with the Eradicator that has a lot at stake, until you realize that Superman and family are appearing in several other books and therefore this story has to have a happy resolution. Bonus: Lois has a moment to shine which, although very reminiscent of a scene from a recent Slott Spider-Man comic, is still a lot of fun to actually see. Rating: Three and a half out of five capes.

Nightwing #3 (Seely/Fernandez): Nightwing seems to be pulling off the “tight” rule, and that’s no pun against Dick’s notorious costumes. Nightwing and Talon are on a morally ambiguous quest to stop the Court of Owls, and Batgirl guest-stars in an opportunity to act as Dick’s conscience. The opening page is a little jarring, as it feels like you’re walking in on a continuation from last issue (but you’re not). Once the issue gets moving, it’s moving. Paradoxically, this issue may be tricky to read in trade, but as a single issue, it’s not a bad jumping-on point. Rating: Four trapezes out of five.

Scooby Apocalypse #4 (DeMatteis/Giffen/Porter): The Scooby Gang’s mission is becoming a little clearer, and jinkies, it’s consistent with the spirit of the original show: solve the mystery of who’s behind the worldwide mutations. (Here’s hoping it’s a real estate developer.) But the team is slowly learning to get along with each other, even if the constant “Daphne distrusts Velma” is getting old. Also, this issue introduces the most obvious and worst of Scooby villains. Porter and DeMatteis are planning something interesting with the character if you can stop yourself from groaning. Rating: Three and a half Scooby snacks out of five.

About Adam Frey (372 Articles)
Adam Frey is still trying to figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. In the meantime, he's an attorney and moonlights as an Emergency Medical Technician in Maryland. A comic reader for over 30 years, he's gradually introducing his daughter to the hobby, much to the chagrin of his wife and their bank account.
%d bloggers like this: