Sunday, 18 September 2016

Rebirth: Batman #1 Review (Tom King, David Finch)

Though the quality tapered off towards the end, Scott Snyder’s Batman run is definitely up there with the best if only for Death of the Family and Zero Year. So Grayson co-writer Tom King has a lot to live up to by picking up where he left off - and actually he doesn’t do a bad job, at least as far as this first issue goes. 

It’s an all-action opening chapter to the I Am Gotham storyline when someone fires a missile at a commercial jet as it begins its descent to Gotham Airport. The plane’s going to crash into the city itself - Batman to the rescue! 

The status quo has thankfully been restored with Bruce back as Batman and Gordon as the GCPD Commish once again with full mustache - that awful Mecha-Batman garbage is nowhere in sight! And, I could be wrong because David Finch isn’t the most consistent artist, but it looks like Alfred’s got both of his hands back somehow? I hope so, that Endgame shit wasn’t fair to the guy! 

The action is solid with Batman doing some awesome inventive superhero stuff to steer the plane away from the buildings and into the river. It’s only really let down with the wussy dialogue he has with Alfred where Bruce actually seems to think he’s going to die for some reason. After all the madness he’s gone through as Batman, riding a jet into a river’s gonna be the death of him? Really? Come on, Bruce, stop acting so silly and pull yourself together! 

And I don’t buy the false dichotomy King’s setting up that Gotham City is the worse for having a non-super-powered hero like Superman or Green Lantern when Batman does a pretty bang-up job of saving the city and the people on the plane - just like he’s always done in the past!! 

Rebirth is both a fresh start for DC as well as embracing and acknowledging their history once again so it’s nice that King includes nods to Batman’s creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger as well as Robin and Joker co-creator Jerry Robinson by naming Gotham’s buildings after them. 

If you read the DC Universe Rebirth issue or pay attention to comics news, you’ll know the Watchmen are now part of the DCU. One panel here shows a shadowy figure saying “Observe the clock, Batman” which might be a reference to the Watchmen Doomsday clock - is the shadowy figure Ozymandias, Comedian or Rorschach? 

I’ve heard some pretty bad things about Tom King’s first Batman arc so I was pleasantly surprised to find the first issue to be an entertaining and fun start. I don’t feel very excited about the ending but maybe King’ll wring something decent out of it - just look at Batman’s rich history with Superman for a precedent. And I didn’t even mind David Finch’s art all that much, which I’m usually not a huge fan of. 

Batman #1 is well worth checking out especially as it’s free! 

Pick it up here: 
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