DC Universe: Rebirth #1
Writer – Geoff Johns
Artist – Ivan Reis, Ethan Van Sciver, Gary Frank, Phil Jimenez
Inker – Joe Prado, Ivan Reis, Matt Santorelli, Gary Frank
Colours – Brad Anderson, Jason Wright, Hi-Fi, Gabe Eltaeb
Letters – Nick J. Napolitano
After reading this mammoth issue that is set to restart DC’s universe of books again – sort of – the one thing they would have you believe is that it has been in the works for a very long time. There have been articles about it and interviews and all sorts of stuff and whether any of it is true or not, whether the seeds have been planted over the last few years or not, this book sets up a mystery that will presumably do just that. Thankfully, in the hands of master scribe Geoff Johns, the book works and it works well by bringing back Wally West to essentially take us through the current DCU and shine a light upon its past and quite possible, what might be its future. What is most interesting is that after Flashpoint, we are supposed to believe that the DC Universe proper did not supposedly end. If that is true, then that will make many a fan pretty happy, yet at the same time, there is still the current universe and whatever it might be, whatever may be revealed, is going to either make complete sense and or be the biggest mistake the DC head honcho’s ever decided to do. If it were left to Geoff Johns, like this issue was, then it will probably be the former and we can probably expect a nice, seamless integration of the old and current universe. One thing that seems to be concrete at the moment is that not everybody is going to make it out of this alive with one casualty already taking place. Despite what the universe might be once all is said and done, what this book does ultimately do is bring back a Flash that everyone has been missing and it happens in the best way possible like every good Flash story with the Speed Force and enough drama and emotion to really pack a punch. The ending of the story involving the Flash was slightly predictable, but you had to know that it would end as such or at least in some slight variation. The true ending of the book was a complete shock and whether you read the spoilers that were all over the internet or waited until you read the actual book, the impact was immediately felt and it is one that you can be sure will send reverberations throughout the collective comic community. The artwork by the bevy of artists that worked on the book looked fantastic and flowed from one to the next without being jarring or out of place and from beginning to end, Rebirth managed to succeed where many predicted it would not. If you were not excited for DC’s latest reboot/relaunch/re-whatever, you will be now.
4.5 out of 5
Captain America: Steve Rogers #1
Writer – Nick Spencer
Artist – Jesus Saiz
Letters – VC’s Joe Caramagna
Once again, Steve Rogers is back in the saddle as Captain America, one of two and with a new shield to boot. Having been de-aged by Kobik, the sentient Cosmic Cube in Pleasant Hill, Steve is once again working with S.H.I.E.L.D. and trying to make the world a better a place and this book finds him going up against Hydra. This is not the Hydra everyone is familiar with though, this is the Red Skull’s Hydra, the one he is building from the ground up, one he is determined to get right in order to cement his dreams of conquest. As such, there are no super-villains present – just men, men who have been beaten down, broken down and just plain have it bad. Men who need a reason to go on and with the Red Skull providing that reason, Captain America is going to have his hands full. Nick Spencer, the man who also chronicle’s Sam Wilson’s ongoing adventures, gets the train rolling so to speak and he does so by providing us with a little bit of history while the book moves forward in the present. The more interesting of the sub-plots going on is indeed the one that takes place from when he was a child and he rewrites history a little bit as his mother is ultimately asked to go to a Hydra meeting after a woman saves her from the latest beating her husband is about to give her. It weaves in and out of the events playing currently, all of them having to do with Hydra in some way, whether with the Red Skull or with Baron Zemo who also returns to the book and is looking to claim his evil organization back from the Skull. Additionally, Jack Flag and Free Spirit are now a part of Team Cap and it is nice to see Spencer dusting off some characters that have not been utilized in quite some time. The artwork on the book is provided by Jesus Saiz who handles everything from pencils to colours and it all looks stunning. Steve’s new costume is reminiscent of the classic design without swaying too far from it and the shield he wields also harkens back to the one he used during the Great War. All in all, those looking for a return of the first Captain America should be pleased with this new book, even given the very surprise ending provided by the creative team. A win on all fronts.
4 out of 5