Justice League REBIRTH #1
JUSTICE LEAGUE: REBIRTH #1
- Great Writing
- Fantastic Character Development
- Terrific Lois and Clark subplot
- Mediocre Art
- "Pirate" Batman
With all of the “major” heroes’ new status quo in place, it’s time to bring them together for the newest iteration of DC’s flagship team book.SPOILER WARNING: If you are expecting any kind of follow up to any of the mysteries from DC Universe REBIRTH or the end of Darkseid War in this issue, then you are going to be sorely disappointed. You don’t get any of that here. What you do get, like with most of the REBIRTH one shots, is a well done summary of who these heroes are, what they’re about and the “family” dynamic that exemplifies this team. Nowhere is this on starker display than when they are discussing the “new” Superman, and whether or not they can trust him.
Written by Bryan Hitch, this is, at it’s heart, a story about a Superman without a Justice League and a Justice League without a Superman joining together to make a more complete hole. In this case, the actual plot, about an alien harvester race called the Reapers, is secondary. And, in this case, THAT’S COMPLETELY OK! What we are treated to in this issue is some great character moments. For example, there is a scene where the League is on the Watchtower, and they are still mourning the death of the new 52 Superman. Wonder Woman’s grief is palpable. Batman, ever the pragmatist, wants to invite the “new” Superman to join the League, so that they can keep him close till they discover whether or not they can trust him. This is one of the things Hitch has absolutely nailed. Each hero’s personality is conveyed perfectly. By the way, just so I don’t forget, The new Justice League is made up of: Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Green Lanterns. The Justice League attempts to fight the monster on the ground and when that doesn’t work, the decide to fight it from the inside. While this is going on, Superman and Lois see the batlle on TV, and in a brilliant bit of perspective switching, we are treated to a page of the Justice League fighting the monster, followed by a page of Clark trying to decide whether he should help, with Lois telling him it is his place as Superman to go help. As the League try to fight off “antibodies” inside the creature, Superman suddenly appears and attacks areas of the creature’s brain, telling the League to target those areas with everything they have. They do, and they hurt it. Aquaman, who can communicate with the creature, tells the League that a Judgement is coming. The League sends a telepathic message telling the creature to tell the other Reapers that Earth is protected by them. Superman leaves, telling the League he’ll be around. I am excited to see how this “new” Superman meshes with the other “established heroes. And, they are teasing a big threat. Unfortunately, what we might not be getting anytime soon, is the resolution of the REBIRTH plot threads, as people are saying that Geoff Johns will be the one to tell that story. I guess time will tell, meanwhile, let the next era of the Justice League begin!
While the writing is spectacular, the art is a bit of a mixed bag. Daniel Henriques and Scott Hanna do a fine job with the large scale events they are asked to portray, but it comes at the expense of smaller details. Faces lose a lot of definition in wider shots and Batman seems to become a pirate in several panels, losing his right eye completely. Aquaman also grows and loses facial hair. It’s nitpicky, I know, but it took me out of the story for a second, so it was worth mentioning. Hopefully, it is an isolated occurrence.
In the end, Justice League: REBIRTH is a tantalizing taste of what is to come for the World’s Greatest Heroes, but some mediocre art weighs down a stellar first story. I still recommend you read it, if only to get excited about what Bryan Hitch has in store.