Once I think I’m out – DC Comics pulls me back in. The last Batman comic I read was issue #33 in which Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo’s Zero Year story arc concluded. So, it’s been awhile since I check out a Batman issue, but that all changed after reading Rebirth #1. I just had to pick up Batman Rebirth #1 to see where all the craziness of Rebirth was leading. Unfortunately, the self-contained story in this issue doesn’t have anything to do with the Rebirth one-shot comic. However, the theme of the story has everything to do with death, life, and the starting of something new.
I have been hearing the praises of former CIA employee turned comic book writer Tom King for some time now so I was interested to read his take on Batman. I’m not sure how much of what I read was written by King because Snyder also was credited for writing the issue. Regardless, I thought the issue was written very, very well. The cycle of life was very much played up in this issue and it conveyed to me that DC is serious about moving in a new direction, but staying true to the characters.
Appropriately selected as the antagonist was Calendar-Man who is trying to kill Gothamites by releasing killer spores into the atmosphere, and speeding up the seasons by using a weather machine. Each day of the week is a new season thanks to Calendar-Man’s meddling. A very Batman 66-ish storyline but the realistic art style of Mikel Janin gave the story a grounded feeling.
Here’s a little known fact about Calendar-Man – he rapidly ages as each season passes and by the time it’s winter he dies and molts his skin to be reborn as a new Calendar-Man. A much better version of the character than previous ones.
The one aspect of the story where I was lost was when Duke Thomas shows up at Wayne Manor to be made part of the Bat Family. I never heard of the guy before this issue. Regardless, I was able to piece together that Bruce had some kind of connection to Duke and that Bruce trusted him. Interestingly, Duke does not become another Robin, but his own character (yet to be named). I thought that it was good that King/Snyder decided to go a new route and not make Bat’s new sidekick another Robin.
Can you skip this issue? I’d say no because of Duke Thomas becoming Bat’s new sidekick.
I’m still not a fan of the character design of Batman and his new sidekick (who I’ll call the Booster Gold look-a-like), but maybe they will grow on me like the New 52 designs did.
Consume Review Repeat gives Batman Rebirth #1 a seven out of ten purple Batman capes.