DC has started the event that has come to be known as Rebirth. This event is not a full reboot of the DC characters you know and love like what happened after Secret Wars over at Marvel. Rebirth is getting back to its roots with stories we have all fallen in love with. With the reboot, DC found it fitting to give different characters their own Rebirth comic book issues. I enjoyed this idea until I read the one issue I was extremely excited about: Batman Rebirth.
Batman Rebirth revolves around the villain Calendar Man and his attack on the city of Gotham. I will be discussing this issue so do expect some Spoilers!
Like I was saying Calendar Man is attacking the city of Gotham. He feels that with all of the destruction caused by the city it is time to destroy it. He releases a type of spore that speeds up the seasons in the city. Each day is a different season. Monday is Spring, Tuesday is Summer, Wednesday is Fall, Thursday is Winter, and Friday resets the cycle to Spring. Batman easily defeats Calendar Man in a fight only to see the spores being released into Gotham. From then we meet Duke Thomas who is being given a new opportunity after his last stint in the comic book We are Robin. Batman at this point saves the day as usual with minimal help from Duke Thomas. The danger of the spores is then wasted since we just went through this kind of conflict in Gotham with the villain Mr. Bloom.
This whole story felt like a cheap waste of time compared to the possibilities that could have been. Wasting a villain like Calendar Man for a one shot issue just feels to cheap. Also introducing Duke’s new costume without any buildup just seemed out of place to me. I understand that this issue was a subtle way to show Batman being reborn into something new. I just don’t feel like it was worth the wait.
Actual character development in this issue is lacking. Expectations in a premier issue like this were set high but nothing significant actually happened to the characters. Coming from past works, a lot can happen in an individual issue yet that is not found here. Tom King has taken over a series that can go from Batman being broken in one page by the Court of Owls to becoming the savior of Gotham after he survives Year One. I was expecting some range in this issue and I received nothing. Some fans may not know who Duke Thomas is in the New 52 universe. This young man lost his parents to the Joker chemical that caused his parents to lose their minds. Duke went on a long personal journey to find his parents which led him to the series We are Robin in which he became Robin for a time.
The issue lacked character development and story telling. Calendar Man could have used some more time in the comics. His lack of panel time is one of the biggest frustrations I had with this issue. The other DC Rebirth comics use the length of one comic to pull off some great story telling. The Green Arrow Rebirth comic showed the hero saving poor people from being sold into some insane slavery run. The was proper story telling unlike that found in this Batman issue.
Artwork in this issue is still up to par with the past excluding issue 52. Mikel Janin the artist on the Rebirth series is the man behind Justice League Dark, Grayson( 1 – 16), and a some Batman Eternal. One thing Janin does well is keeping the same color tone throughout the issue even as the seasons change. I honestly have no problems with the art in this issue. I hope that the future issues use the art of Mike Janin. Batman Rebirth is truly great looking comic book that should be ignored.
Verdict on Batman Rebirth
With Batman Rebirth finally here I really felt that Batman should have dealt with some of those issues that were brought up in the DC Universe Rebirth Special. Like why are the Watchmen significant or why did Dr. Manhattan take ten years away from them. With other DC Rebirth issues actually hinting at certain things about the mysteries of the Rebirth universe, this comic takes us on a journey that should have been a five issue story. As said before, this issue is just a huge waste of time. Scott Snyder is credited as the writer even though I feel like he wasn’t that involved in this issue. Being the final issue with his involvement in the series, it doesn’t do him justice.
My advice is to skip Batman Rebirth issue and just jump right into the new Batman series. So far it isn’t what Scott Snyder gave us with the New 52, it could be something special with some time. Batman Rebirth is available through most comic stores or that awesome site Comixology.com for the low price of $2.99.