Saturday, 1 October 2016
Superman: Rebirth #1 Review (Peter Tomasi, Doug Mahnke)
Despite advertising itself as a fresh start I think Superman: Rebirth #1 is gonna be a confusing issue for new readers to jump on with, continuing as it does Peter Tomasi’s story from The Final Days of Superman. To catch those people up: New 52 Superman is dead, Superman Prime (a pre-New 52 Superman) is somehow back and, together with Lana Lang, they set about bringing New 52 Superman back to life.
Rebirth is DC drawing a line under the New 52 and trying to pick up continuity from where they left it in the summer of 2011. That’s why in this issue New 52 Superman is “dead”, as a symbol of this move, and we’re getting a rehashed, truncated version of Death of Superman to signal to old readers that the classic continuity is back in play.
So we have flashbacks to the fight between Superman and Doomsday as well as the iconic final image of Lois cradling a lifeless Superman while his torn cape flutters from an upright stick like a flag, and Superman Prime is back minus the mullet plus a beard and ‘tache. I guess the new Rebirth Superman series is about this villainous-looking dude then? Ok… weird choice…
Tomasi/Gleason could’ve done a better job with this prologue as it feels like the middle point of a story that it is rather than a new beginning. But, though it’s a little ham-fisted, I suppose they do accomplish what they set out to do in pushing New 52 Superman out of the picture and bringing back old continuity.
The story that’s being set up doesn’t really excite me: it looks like it’s going to be Superman Prime getting used to being the new Superman of this world. Meh. It’s just regular Superman with a more emo look with his black suit and no cape. I’ll still give the first arc a chance though my hopes aren’t sky high after this issue.
Superman: Rebirth #1 isn’t the best start to the new Superman series but it’s not an incompetent comic either - just an unexciting one that should’ve been better.