Rebirth Recaps – Batman Vol. 1: I Am Gotham (Spoilers Discussed)

After a missile is shot at a plane over Gotham City, Batman comes face to face with two new superpowered heroes in Gotham and Gotham Girl. Can these two be trusted? What’s the mystery of the Monster Men that appear to be coming to the city?

These questions arise in Volume One of Batman titled I Am Gotham. It collects Batman: Rebirth #1 and Batman #1-6. The book is written by Tom King with artwork by David Finch.

The story opens with the Rebirth one-shot which has Bruce training Duke Thomas for a role in the Bat family. It’s a mostly self-contained story that gets you in the mindset of Batman’s setting up a new team that we will see in Detective Comics.

The main narrative kicks off when a plane begins to go down over Gotham City. Batman rushes to save it, but encounters a moment when he realizes that saving the plane will result in his death. Here we have a really touching moment between Bruce and Alfred as Bruce asks his longtime friend “is this a good death?” Even though we know he’s going to survive, it was nice to see this classic character actually faced with a scenario that he does not have a contingency for. 

Suddenly both Bruce and the plane are saved. His saviors? A brother and sister team who call themselves Gotham and Gotham Girl.

The book spends the majority of its time devoted the new heroes and Batman’s reaction to their arrival. Unlike his recent cinematic portrayal in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the Dark Knight counsels and is patient with the newcomers. Always reminding them to “be better.” At the same time we discover the background of these 2 characters and how they came to be. 

I found this to be a very good book. I was honestly surprised with how much more of a mentor Bruce was to these newcomers with amazing power. Particularly as the story reaches its climax as the characters slowly loses their grip on reality.

The artwork by David Finch is also impressive. Giving the reader that classic, pulpy detective feel that Batman and Gotham City are best known for.

Batman Vol 1. I Am Gotham doesn’t kick off Rebirth for Batman the same way Scott Snyder’s amazing Court of Owls did, but it is still a solid adventure with Batman having to deal with young and inexperienced super powered individuals.

Final Rating (4.5/5) I Am Gotham, despite its introduction of 2 new superhumans, is actually a more character focused story for Batman’s Rebirth era debut. There’s plent of action, but the mystery of Gotham and Gotham Girl make this a really good read.

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Rebirth Recaps – Superman Vol. 1: Son of Superman (Spoilers Discussed)

The superhero genre began with him, the DC Universe began with him as well. Therefore it’s only proper that the first Rebirth collection recapped be Superman.

Son of Superman collects the Superman: Rebirth one-shot and Superman #1-6. Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason share the writing credit, along with art by Gleason, Doug Mahnke, Jorge Jimenez, Mick Gray and Jaime Mendoza.

The book opens with the Superman Rebirth one-shot. In this issue, Clark makes a pact with Lana Lang to honor the memory of the New 52 Superman, who is recently deceased. From there this initial volume shines a light on the Kent family, Clark, Lois and their son Jon. This is not the New 52 Superman, but the pre-Flashpoint version whose family survived the destruction of their world. They have settled on this Earth and keep a low profile. However once the Eradicator shows up, the family must make a choice to finally step out of the shadows.


The big focus of this series is the family dynamics of the Kent family. Particularly the handling of Jon and his developing abilities. Unlike his father who had 2 human parents to discover, Jon has Clark. The difficulty comes in that since he is also half human, his powers don’t always function as simply as Clark’s does. Clark actually takes a stance similar to his adoptive father Jonathan Kent in taking the more protective role while Lois is more willing to take her time with him and let him discover more about himself. I really found myself engaged in watching the three of them interact. Seeing this Clark in the position his parents were really reminds me of Jor-El’s words in 1978’s Superman the movie, “the son becomes the father and the father the son.”

During the story, the family travels to the Fortress of Solitude where they come in contact with The Eradicator, an artifact of Krypton. A battle begins when the machine wants to purge Jon of his human biology. From there the story takes a weird, almost supernatural turn involving the souls of Krypton inside of the Eradicator. This element took me out of the book for a bit. I was really enjoying the family drama as well as the idea of getting rid of Jon’s human side. This plot line was working and then it took one step too far for me.


The book’s artwork is a mixed bag for me. I loved the colors and the vivid displays of action, yet I wasn’t a fan of how the faces were drawn. Yet any scene with Superman exhibiting his full strength looked beautiful and vibrant.

This book also drops a couple of hints regarding the overall Rebirth mysteries. This is what I’m liking in these stories. It really is gonna be a slow burn.

Son of Superman is good introductory chapter to the Kent family adapting to their new home. There is a good mix of family drama and action, however the drama is what is most compelling and it really is the strength of this story.

Final Rating (3.5/5) Superman Vol. 1 Son of Superman gets the Man of Steel off to a good start in the Rebirth era. Bright and vibrant art combined with some compelling family drama and dynamics make this an easy read. It’s when the drama is replaced with action does the interest seem to waver, but not in any major fashion.


Rebirth Recaps- DC Universe Rebirth: The Deluxe Edition (Spoilers Discussed)

This is the first of my new set of reviews that I call “Rebirth Recaps.” I plan to use these to read and review the books of DC Comics as they go through their current Rebirth initiative. This is my first time diving back into DC on the comics side since the early days of the New 52 era. I was not a huge fan of the New 52. Although there were some bright spots (Geoff John’s Justice League, Scott Snyder’s Batman and Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman), the New 52 felt like it shut me out as a person who loved the saga of the DC Universe and began it anew. Everything that I knew was gone. Characters I liked in the past weren’t the same and things just felt off. Rebirth was intriguing to me because it wasn’t a reboot like New 52. Those elements would remain in place, yet the feel of the classic DCU would return. The initiative would launch with an 80 page one-shot which was described by President and Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns as “re-laying the groundwork for DC’s future while celebrating the past and present. It’s not about throwing anything away. It’s quite the opposite.” Johns also wrote the one-shot and it was released May 25, 2016 with a price tag of $2.99. That was enough for me to jump back in. Now finances don’t allow me to read every book that comes out so I waited patiently for the trade paperbacks to be released. I also purchased the deluxe edition of the one-shot which will be the the first review. 

I’ve been enjoying reading Rebirth titles and I want to take time to read these stories and share my thoughts about them. That was what inspired this new initiative from me. So we’re going to start with DC Universe Rebirth which was written by Geoff Johns with art by Gary Frank, Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis and Phil Jimenez.


The deluxe edition opens with a nice introduction by the President of DC Entertainment Diane Nelson. In this she explains how they know of the reception to the New 52 and wanted to try to bring back the magic that people say was lost. Even though I wasn’t a fan of the last relaunch, I appreciate their willingness to try something new and their self-awareness that it may not have worked the way they wanted to. Some very kind and sincere words.

The one-shot is split into 4 chapters. They are Lost, Legacy, Love and Life. There is also an epilogue that sets up the larger mystery of Rebirth that will be developing over time. I will warn right not that I will be entering SPOILER TERRITORY from this point on.

Let’s begin.

Narration in our story is provided by Wally West, the first Kid Flash and third Flash. Wally has been lost and forgotten in the Speed Force due to the events of Flashpoint caused by his friend and mentor Barry Allen. Wally is trying to make a connection with someone he knows so that he’s not lost to the Speed Force forever. After his first attempt to make a connection with Batman fails, he’s sucked back in but also he reveals that in addition to the actions of Flashpoint, something or someone else is interfering and has stolen ten years of everyone’s life.

Wally attempts to plead to as many people as he knows, including the love of his life Linda Park. It all seems for nothing as no one can remember him. All hope seems lost as he resigns himself to his fate when he makes an appeal to Barry Allen to warn him of what has happened to all he heroes. Then, in what is a heartwarming scene, Barry remembers. 


The story closes with quite a reveal. Hints were being dropped throughout but by story’s end we get confirmation that somehow the changes that have been made are the result of Doctor Manhattan from Alan Moore’s seminal comic Watchmen. 


That concludes DC Universe Rebirth #1. So what did I think about this? I certainly enjoyed the one-shot. I felt it well written and the artwork throughout was fantastic. The main story of Wally trying to find an anchor really captured my attention from start to finish. I also enjoyed picking up on some threads that will be present in future stories. I was riveted as Wally seemed to be losing on his chance to return and could feel my own heart breaking as he prepared to accept his fate. Johns’ writing has always been fantastic for me and it remains so here.

My criticisms would be that this isn’t really accessible for new readers. There’s a lot going on that they may not be familiar with. The same goes for characters as there are some with ties to the New 52 that aren’t easily recognizable. Next is the big Watchmen connection. This isn’t so much a criticism as it is me keeping my expectations in check. I know it appears DC is blaming the classic book for many of its negative aspects  over the last few years, however there is a larger mystery at play and I will wait to pass judgement. My hope is that Doctor Manhattan’s role is not that of an antagonist in the traditional sense. We shall see as more Rebirth trades are released and I catch up with those.

DC Rebirth gets off to a good start with this one-shot and I can’t wait to follow up with more reading as this initiative continues and the story unfolds.

Final Rating (4/5) DC Universe Rebirth offers a promising start to a new era for th DC Universe. The story is well written with great art. Doesn’t seem very accessible to new readers however and the big reveal and connection may turn some people off before even getting on. But I will patiently and excitedly wait and see where this goes.

Next Recap: Superman Vol. 1 – Son of Superman