Revew: DC Universe: Rebirth #1 Sets Up One Hell of a Rivalry

Credit: DC Comics via

Okay, I’m coming into DC Universe: Rebirth #1 kind of like a n00b.  Okay, I’m pretty much a n00b when it comes to quite a few DC Comics properties–it’s not like they’ve been helpful in helping us get reviews and money doesn’t grow on trees–so this review is for the people who are new to DC, new to comics, or even giving DC another chance after taking a few years off.

Writer Geoff Johns brought out the big guns for Rebirth #1 because I was picking up everything he was dropping.  That is to say, he wrote an incredibly compelling story that sets things right but also in motion.  The repercussions will be major!  Rebirth #1 is comprised of several chapters, with chapter one starting by focusing on a rusted, broken watch.  Explaining what has happened to shake up the Universe, one major character seeks out people from his past to not only warn them but to save him from his impending demise.  He’s the only one that seems to know that something potentially (read: most likely) sinister is going on, indicating that “love” was what was ultimately taken away from many of the world’s heroes.  Does it work out for said character?  I won’t spoil it for you.  I will say that it is a bit emotional.  And while I didn’t shed any tears, it was pretty freaking touching.

Credit: DC Comics

From a n00b’s standpoint, I really appreciate what Johns did with Rebirth #1.  Yes, a basic understanding or quick review of several DC titles would be helpful, but they weren’t necessary.  Johns manages to do a quick recap of some of the most pivotal events that will influence DC’s Rebirth event while simultaneously laying a solid foundation for the future.  If DC’s 2011 New 52 event pushed you away, Rebirth should bring you back.  I was captivated and to be honest, as far as DC properties go, I only really dig Constantine, Preacher, Batman, Vixen (she got hosed in the Rebirth lottery) and Joker titles (especially the latter).  After finishing Rebirth #1, I wanted to explore more DC titles and step out of my “comfort” zone because I feel like it’s an event that I can’t miss.  It’s one of those things that you want to be “there” for; a pop culture and geek zeitgeist, if you will.

For such a major launch, Johns was assisted by a squad of artists like Ivan Reis, Phil Jimenez, and Gary Frank, and let me tell you, it was very rich.  Without giving too much away, the narrator in the comic required a lot of color and detail (you’ll see what I mean when you read it).  The pain he was feeling for most of the comic was damn near palatable, that’s how good the art was.  I also noticed some old school shading techniques by the pencillers, especially in the first chapter.  I know that Batman always looks brooding, but he looked absolutely concerned in that chapter.  There was no “one size fits” all art here.  Each situation was drawn in a way that would bring the writing to life.  I also loved the layout of the panels.

The ending, though… Whoa!  My mind is still racing and I have so many questions and theories rolling around in my head.  But the ramifications of what we discover at the end of the issue, and the clear crossover from another beloved comic book series, is a huge development.  HUGE.  And not just, “Oh, they’re working together. It’s just another tie-in” huge.  I’m talking major.

By the end of this issue, I wanted to pre-order every bloody upcoming Rebirth title (except for maybe the Green Lantern one because I’m kind of “meh” about it).  And I’m an avowed Marvel girl.  That is a first for me.  Bravo, Geoff Johns.  Bravo.