Thursday, June 2, 2016

Batman: Rebirth #1 - A Review

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I always felt that a #1 issue should serve as an introduction to a series. Granting that it is rare even outside of comics fandom for a person not to know who Batman is at this point, it would not be unexpected for the first book in a new series to be somewhat accessible to new readers. Unfortunately, while Batman: Rebirth #1 is many things, "user-friendly" isn't one of them.

The plot for this issue continues on from the previous Batman series, as if nothing had changed. Given the success of the book under Scott Snyder, that's probably for the best. Yet I can easily see new readers attracted by a #1 issue being confused by who Duke Thomas is (apparently he was a character in We Are Robin) and what is going on with The Calendar Man in this issue. The script by Snyder and Tom King is well written but I felt like I was walking into a movie theater when the film was half-over.

For all the problems I have with the accessibility of the story, I have no complaints about the artwork. Mikel Janin is a great artist, whose previous work on Superman and Justice League Dark I enjoyed immensely. And colorist June Chung completes every panel perfectly.

Bottom Line: If you liked the previous Batman book, you'll love this one.  Nothing has changed. Everything is as it should be. But if you're just now getting into the New 52 Batman, you'll want to go read the last five year's worth of material first.

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