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Thursday, June 9, 2016

DC Rebirth: A (Somewhat) Outsider's Perspective - Week Two

Welcome everyone to Week Two of DC Rebirth!  Last week, I took a look at all the new books DC Comics was launching with my (somewhat) outsider's perspective.  As a comic reader who jumped into most of the DCU with the New 52, I wanted to see how DC's effort to return to its former continuity would work for newer fans.  You can check out what I wrote about last week by clicking here
This week saw the launch of three new Rebirth specials (think issue 0 for new comics). Action Comics and Detective Comics also returned to their original numbering, in pursuit of #1000.  So how did this books shape up?  Were they good for new and old readers alike?  Let's find out!

Action Comics #957

Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Patrick Zircher, Tomeu Morey

Premise: Pre-New 52 Superman makes his presence in the DCU known when he takes on Metropolis's new Superman....Lex Luthor.

New Reader Friendliness: While there may be a few questions readers may have about how Pre-New 52 Superman made it to the current DCU, overall this is a pretty easy issue to pick up.  Some more fresh readers may not understand how Lex Luthor has powers, but that doesn't change the fact that this is, at its core, a classic Superman vs Lex Luthor story, something which should attract a lot of people.  After Superman Rebirth was such a disappointment last week, this comic gives you the Superman story you expect.  Don't let the issue number scare you, this is just fine for newbies.

Verdict: In for the next issue

Aquaman Rebirth #1

Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Scot Eaton, Oscar Jimenez, Gabe Eltaeb

Premise: Aquaman must stop an Atlantean terrorist group before they blow up an American city.

New Reader Friendliness: Don't let the premise of this issue fool you.  Bar none, this is easily the most boring comic of DC's Rebirth thus far, which is saying a lot considering last week's fiasco with Superman.  As for new reader friendliness, this is probably the most new reader friendly book of the week.  Almost the entire issue is devoted to telling you Aquaman's origin, the plight he finds himself in today, and how you should definitely take Dan Abnett's word for it that he is an awesome character and does more than "talk to fish."  It's a tired jokey-conceit that we have seen before in this comic paired with some very bland artwork.  New readers would have no problem with this book, but that doesn't mean they should waste the $2.99.

Verdict: Stopping Here

Detective Comics #934

Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Eddy Barrows, Adriano Lucas

Premise: Batman and Batwoman team up to train the next generation of Gotham's heroes.

New Reader Friendliness: Like with Action Comics this week, don't let the issue number keep you from trying this book out if you're interested.  For the most part, I'd say this book is good for new readers.  Most of the characters are explained in just enough detail and the story is very easy to follow.  Overall your enjoyment of this will depend on whether you want Detective Comics to be more of a noir/mystery tale as the title implies, or are okay with it being an adventure that just doesn't fit in the main Batman book.  Your mileage my vary.

Verdict: Stopping Here (May pick up trade paperback)

The Flash Rebirth #1

Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Carmine di Giandomenico, Ivan Plascencia

Premise: The Flash works a case eerily similar to the death of his mother and is reunited with an old friend.

New Reader Friendliness: Much like Aquaman, this comic is VERY new reader friendly.  Thankfully, it's also a much better comic overall.  Whether you only know Barry Allen from television or you've never read a Flash comic in your life, this should be a pretty easy book to pick up as everything is explained very well, but not in a way that feels like it is talking down to the reader.  Some events from DC Rebirth #1 are repeated, but it makes sense.  The only way you'll dislike this comic is if you really hate the idea of Watchmen now having a place in the DCU.

Verdict: Going on the pull list

Wonder Woman Rebirth #1

Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Matthew Clark, Sean Parsons, Liam Sharp

Premise: Wonder Woman struggles to remember which memory of her past is the correct one.

New Reader Friendliness: Out of all the Rebirth books this week, this one probably comes away with the most intriguing concept.  Wonder Woman has been around for over 75 years, but has perhaps the most convoluted backstory of DC's Trinity.  With that in mind, Greg Rucka sets Diana on a path here to find the truth, laying bear all the possible memories she has of the past, trying to decide which ones are true.  With that concept, this issue becomes great for new and old reader alike.  New readers drawn in by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will find a lot to enjoy not only in Diana's new costume but in being told several possible origins that can only be deciphered if you choose to keep reading.

Verdict: On my pull list and staying there

That's another week down, but let's break down how Rebirth is shaping up thus far.

Week Two
Most New Reader Friendly: Aquaman Rebirth, Wonder Woman Rebirth, The Flash Rebirth
Best Overall: Action Comics #957, Wonder Woman Rebirth

Week One
Most New Reader Friendly: Green Arrow Rebirth, Superman Rebirth
Best Overall: Batman Rebirth
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