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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.
I read 9 comics last week: Batman Rebirth #1, Green Lantern Rebirth #1, Superman Rebirth #1, Green Arrow Rebirth #1, Coming of the Supermen #5, Invincible Iron Man #10, Avengers #10, Amazing Spider-Man #13 and Civil War II #1.
The best comic I read last week was Batman Rebirth #1.
Is the DC Rebirth initiative going to make splash? Will it inspire the kind of sales that “The New 52” did almost 5 years ago? Will the company reverse some of the perceived and real errors of that last, company-wide reboot?
I don’t know. I know that I am a reader that comic book companies must like. I am loyal to characters and creators even when the quality is not as it should be. Quality should drive what I read – the quality of the art and the quality of the story. The quality of the comic book reading experience overall should be the reason I buy a certain comic.
So, I can say that if Batman Rebirth is a sign of what’s to come from DC throughout the Rebirth period, I can rest assured that I can read characters I love by good creators and experience stories that are original and thought provoking.
Those were my reactions to Batman Rebirth #1. I liked the team, the product and the story. I liked them very much. Though they none were up to the standard set by last week’s DC Universe Rebirth, that was a very high bar to clear. Writers Scott Snyder and Tom King (though I think there is more King here than Snyder) weave a marvelous story that stays very true to the flavor of what the character has been in recent arcs, but injects more than enough mystery and forward momentum to keep long time readers interested and to get new readers hooked. For Snyder, writing Batman must feel like old hat. He’s been doing it for some time now. What’s impressive is that he seems to still have stories to tell. I love Snyder and am very excited for his All Star Batman, but it’s King who has something to prove.
After a great run on Grayson, a title I wanted to dislike but eventually found myself loving, King comes to the flagship character of DC Comics and, instead of giving a play-it-safe, I hope I don’t screw up story, King delivers an intriguing spin of Batman and sets up a few arcs that will resonate into the future. Duke Thomas is a character with great potential and he’s set up not as just another side kick.
I don’t know if it was Snyder or King who came up with the new and terrific spin on Calendar Man, but bravo. I love when writers take a fairly laughable villain whose gimmick is the best thing about him and make him something special. This version of Calendar Man is a real threat.
Mikel Janin is a star. I wrote a few years ago that the artist was a star in the making. Not anymore. He’s arrived. His lines are clean. His action dynamic. His expression work well rendered. His Batman isn’t some kind of proto-Miller hulking menace. No, he’s more of a toned and terrible athlete whose body is primed and whose eyes tell you not to screw with him.
I hope he and King put together a Snyder/Capullo type run.
Batman is rebirthed in very, very good hands.