Batman Rebirth #1
Writers: Scott Snyder & Tom King
Artist: Mikel Janin
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Colorist: June Chung
Cover: Mikel Janin
Review by Gregory Brothers
Batman Rebirth #1 is one of four new DC comics hitting the shelves this week as part of the Rebirth line. While much of the DC universe, and some of the supporting cast in Gotham did change under the New 52 banner, Batman himself remained relatively unchanged. The lack of change during the New 52 in the Batman series can often be contributed to the idea of if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. It would be safe to assume that much like with the change to the new 52, when it comes to the origin of Batman we will not see many major changes.
Batman Rebirth #1 picks up right where Scott Snyder ended with the last issue as the status quo is continued to be put back into place while the foundations for the future are laid. We start with seeing Duke Thomas arriving at Wayne Manor to talk to Bruce about an offer that was made to him back in the New 52. Through the issue, it’s obvious that the relationship between Bruce and Duke will be different than many of the other people he has ever worked with in the past. Duke does not need Batman/Bruce Wayne and lets him know that a couple of times throughout the issue. For his part Batman seems to want to do things different after his own return to the cowl.
A long forgotten Calendar Man shows up in this issue with a devious plan for taking out Gotham City. The changes that Tom King makes in the character make him seem much more of a threat than any of his previous incarnations. What is not obvious by the end is if this is the beginning of a story arc with Calendar Man, or if this was a set up for something that will be revisited later. The theme of the entire issue fit into the idea of rebirth, be it from Batman, or Bruce Wayne, or even the Calendar Man: all have a story to tell that focuses on new beginnings,
The first thing that jumped out to me with the art was how much brighter everything is in this incarnation. Several of the scenes take place outdoors during the day so it lends itself to being a little more bright, but even the batcave seems a bit brighter than before. The way Batman is drawn you get the understanding that he is still serious but you can almost feel that he does not have the weight that he had on his shoulders before. The action sequences are drawn brilliantly as the readers eyes are seamlessly taken from panel to panel without missing a beat. I thought that the use of the header at the beginning of scene worked in giving you the idea of the importance of each day and how time was running out for Batman to complete his mission.
Buy it! Yes Scott Snyder helped to write this issue but, if Tom King is going to continue to with the quality that is seen in this issue, Batman fans wont miss a beat and before long will be singing praise for King. At times, Batman Rebirth #1 does feel as if it’s lacking action, but that can be attributed to the fact that the foundation for the beginning of Kings run is being laid out for the reader here. Bringing in Duke Thomas will provide Batman with someone new to work with while making fans of the We Are Robin series happy. This is a great jumping on point for people that may have fallen off during the New 52, while having enough connections to the past that loyal readers won’t feel shortchanged. It seems we have the start of what should be another great run in the Batman universe