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Batman: Rebirth is a very popular title for DC Comics, as they continue to move towards the climax of their newest story arcs. Our Abel Loza takes a deep dive into the series and to the effect the Batman: Rebirth arc is having on the Caped Crusader.
Review: Batman Rebirth
The newest issue of Batman just dropped on Wednesday September 21st, so let recap and look back at the last 7 issues of Batman and to get you caught up in time before issue 8 drops on October 5th. “I am Gotham” has been the newest story arc from the main Batman title, which introduces a few new characters into the Batman mythos.
In the first post-Snyder arc, writer Tom King has taken the mantle on DC’s most important title. King, who has written for both Marvel and DC before, has written some really extraordinary stuff before Batman.
I highly recommend, if you have not already, that you read King’s one shot spin offs from the Justice League: Darkseid War arc or Green Lantern: Will you be my God? I also HIGHLY recommend you read King’s run on Vision on the Marvel side of things.
Penciler David Finch, has some big shoes to fill as many as he takes over the epic Greg Capullo run, but he has worked on other Batman titles before like 2010’s Batman: The return #1, Batman #700 and Batman: The Dark Knight, all from 2010, all from the same year.
Major Spoilers Alert!
Batman: Rebirth Synopsis
In the first post-Snyder arc, we see Batman take down a newly, and might I add terrifically, redesigned Calendar man, we find out that Duke Thomas has taken the role of his sidekick. Duke is not your typical Robin, or a Robin at all for that matter. As a passenger plane is shot down and hurls its way to the heart of Gotham, Batman truly believes this is his last mission and is settling things with Alfred. While Batman is preparing for the end, two powerful being help save Batman and reveal themselves to be the new brother and sister saviors of Gotham City: Gotham and Gotham girl.
We soon find out that Gotham and Gotham Girl were inspired by Batman to become Gotham’s newest heroes at an early age and want to learn from the Dark Knight. The appearance of the Gothams coincides with Bruce coming to term with his mortality and wondering who will protect Gotham after he is gone. This is why Batman embraces the two new heroes and wants to teach them all he knows.
Commissioner Gordon encounters a man who offers ominous words before he kills himself in front of Jim, “THE MONSTER MEN ARE COMING.” (By the way, is it just me or does Commissioner Gordon always sound like Bob Hastings from the animated Series in my head)? Commissioner Gordon then turns on the Bat Signal to inform Batman of the situation. Batman brings along his new friends to meet Jim, and we learn that those involved in the bombing of the plane also killed themselves, as the man in Jim’s office did. Amanda Waller has gained the custody of Psycho-Pirate and is enlisting the help of Dr. Strange help unlock the true potential of Roger Hayden’s, also known as Psycho-Pirate, emotion altering skills to help bring order to Gotham City.
Batman, the ever-creative detective, found out through the Gotham’s parents that in a sense, Batman created Gotham and Gotham Girl. He also found out that the Gotham’s real names are Hank and Claire Clover. After a bombing on a Gotham City bridge is taken care of by the Gothams and Batman, they decide to split up and figure out what is going on. That is when Gotham and Gotham Girl run into Hugo Strange and Psycho-Pirate who then is able to control them with his unique powers.
Now under the control of Psycho-Pirate, Gotham is enraged and Gotham Girl is completely overtaken by fear, are taking out their emotions on Gotham and Batman soon finds a bloody mess left in their wake. The destruction of the city caused by the Gothams helped Hugo Strange escape from Waller’s watch and both, strange and Psycho-Pirate are on the loose.
A rogue soldier who is under the control of Psycho-Pirate, found out the identity of Gotham and in angry revenge, killed Hank and Claire’s parents. Before Batman could stop Hank from killing the soldier, Gotham killed his parent’s murder and decided that since he could not save Gotham city, he would destroy it once-and-for-all before it hurt anyone else.
With the help of Alfred (Yes. Alfred) and the Justice League, Batman and friends tried to stop Gotham before he causes any more damage to the city. None of them stood a change as Claire reveals to Duke that the powers they have had been bought and can match the strength of any person they are fighting, including those of Superman. The downside to these abilities, however, is that one hour of powers cuts down years of their lives.
Batman makes a plea to Gotham that if he wants to destroy Gotham he has to kill him, since metaphorically Batman is Gotham City. Claire now realizing what is going on realizes that she has to stop her brother from killing Batman. Claire ends up killing Gotham.
Mentality not there, Gotham girl shaved her head and is going around Gotham saving people, wasting years off her life just wondering around talking to her brother in her head. It is apparent that she has not yet been able to recover from Psycho Pirate and her brother’s death. After Batman was able to console Claire, and connect to her on an emotional level, he was able to turn his attention to Amanda Waller and see how they could get to Dr. Strange, Psycho-Pirate and Bane, YES BANE, in Santa Prisca. Waller states, that the mission is “But I have to admit, the plan’s fairly risky. You go, you probably don’t come back. One might say …it’s suicide” (HINT: SUICIDE SQUAD!)
Night of the Monster Men Part I: The inside of the Tolliver memorial morgue shows bodies are laying on cutting tables waiting to have an autopsy done. Batwoman, Nightwing and Batman are working on a way to fight an upcoming Hurricane that is going to hit Gotham. Batman is pushing harder the crew harder than usual, mainly because he feels responsible for the loss of Tim Drake (issue #940 of Detective Comics), Gotham and nearly loosing Gotham Girl. While our heroes are fighting the hurricane, Dr. Strange sets off a mutation of the corpses from Tolliver and claims that, “This is batman’s final night.”
As a huge explosion occurs, a mutated giant corpse appears and now the Bat-family have to deal with giant dead, mutated monsters and a hurricane that is flooding Gotham City. DNA found inside the now incapacitated monster shows Bob Castro, the man that killed himself in front of Gordon was involved in the creation of the monster. Batman quickly figures realizes that Hugo Strange is behind this as well.
Batman: Rebirth Analysis
There seems to be optimism, hope and humor that many thought the New 52 lacked. I personally liked the Snyder/Capullo run, but I understand why some did not like the tone of the New 52 universe. Tom King does a fantastic job at writing subtle humor into his work and I caught myself chuckling out loud quite a few times to a some of his sarcastic, one-liners. King, to me, returned Batman to what we know him to be: an amazing detective who is versed in a thousand fight styles and knows the thousand different scenarios that could happened at any given time. Not that Snyder didn’t do that, but Snyder’s Batman was shown to be a bit more vulnerable at times and he was able to humanize Batman a bit. Not that King doesn’t do that, or for that matter that I disliked what Snyder did, I actually really enjoyed that batman, but it is good to see a different take on the character.
Before I move on, I have to talk about the redesign for Batman’s suit, IT IS AWESOME. I love the inside detail for the cape that Finch has added. That Royal purple inside Batman’s cape is gorgeous (look at picture below).
These first seven issues have an incredible amount of fan service which mentions old characters and events. From the Dark Knight Returns homage (see picture above), to the perhaps unintentional homage to the Batman’s history to the color purple, and if you pay close enough attention you can pick out enough references to the old pre-flashpoint universe and the New 52 universe. It helps tie both universes together, which is what the main aim of the Rebirth rebooted universe is.
The introduction of characters, specifically villains that have not been mentioned in the Batman main title is exciting and welcomed. Hugo Strange when written right can be one of the most dynamic and interesting characters in Batman’s Rogue Gallery. The addition of Gotham and Gotham Girl play as a metaphorical representation of the city itself and perhaps how Batman sees the hope of the cities future in the sibling heroes. It isn’t until the end of the fight between Gotham and Batman, that Bruce realizes he is in fact Gotham (pictured above) and that will never change. I hope we get to see some more of Gotham ( I know he’s dead but that doesn’t seem to stop the dead from coming back in this story line) and more of how Gotham Girl is coping with the death of her brother.
The story has enough familiarity that a new Batman reader will not be lost, but enough new stuff to keep us old readers interested in what is coming up next. Tom King does a The new design of the new Batmobile is spectacular. It has a mix of the old golden age Batmobile (the bat face at the front) and the structure of the animated series Batmobile.
There is allot to like in this “reboot” of the Batman main title. If you are a Batman fan, I would highly suggest picking up this series, if you haven’t already. I really like the direction they are going towards in these new arcs, with humor and villains we have not seen on the Batman main series in a long time. I obviously could not give the new story enough justice in the synopsis, so in order to get all the detail and nuances you need to go read them for yourself.
Batman #8 comes out this upcoming Wednesday October 5, so make sure to go get it, and make sure to grab issues 1-7 to catch up as well.
What do you think of Batman: Rebirth so far?
Do you like it better so far than the New52 run?
Let us know in the comment section below!
Abel Loza is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @st_abel45
Source: DC Comics
There is a lot to like in this “reboot” of the Batman main title. If you are a Batman fan, I would highly suggest picking up this series, if you haven’t already. I really like the direction they are going towards in these new arcs, with humor and villains we have not seen on the Batman main series in a long time.