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Rebirth

Wonder Woman (Rebirth, Vol. 3): The Truth

Diana is completely devastated after learning she has never been home. She has been deceived into thinking she’d been able to go back and forth between Themyscira and Man’s World at will. Her mind breaks, and Steve hastily admits her to a psychiatric hospital before fleeing to find Etta. Veronica Cale, leader of Godwatch, is still after Wonder Woman, thinking she can lead them to Themyscira. Steve, Etta, and Barbara Ann need to throw them off the trail. But Cale is relentless, and it’s only a matter of time before she catches up to them. How can they stop her when what she wants – Wonder Woman and the way to Themyscira – may be lost forever?

This comic hit me harder than it should have. Wonder Woman losing her sense of self, becoming hurt and confused, is very emotional. Rucka is not afraid to let her be human. With this volume, we are reminded that our heroes are human, too. We are also reminded that we can pick ourselves up, forge on, and eventually our faith will be rewarded. This is by far the best Rebirth title I’ve picked up, and I’m eagerly looking forward to more.

– Kathleen

Rucka, Greg, Liam Sharp, and Laura Martin. Wonder Woman (Rebirth, Vol. 3): The Truth. 2017.

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Nightwing (Rebirth, Vol. 1): Better than Batman

Dick Grayson is, well, Dick Grayson again. He’s finished with Spyral, he’s back from the (figurative) dead, and he’s got his secret identity back. There is one last bit of spy business he needs to take care of, though: the Parliament of Owls. They threatened Damian Wayne in order to get Dick to join them, and that is something Dick won’t stand for. He infiltrates their ranks once again, but this time they pair him with someone called Raptor. Though he’s a liar and a thief, Dick can’t help but feel like he can trust him. Almost like… like they have a connection. When the bond between them is revealed to be more than coincidence, can Dick continue to trust him? Can he even carry out this last spy mission without losing himself?

Well, the title got it right. The Rebirth Nightwing is way better than Rebirth Batman. The thing about Dick is, he’s got most of Batman’s characteristics and morals, but overall wrapped in a cheerier and (dare I say) more attractive package. Little hints are dropped as to Raptor’s secret identity throughout the book, leaving us readers hanging on the edge of our seats to see the mystery revealed. The art wasn’t as detailed and defined as I’d like, but the story was more than enough to keep me going.

– Kathleen

Seeley, Tim, Javier Fernandez, and Christ Sotomayor. Nightwing (Rebirth, Vol. 1): Better than Batman. 2017.

Supergirl (Rebirth, Vol. 1): Reign of the Cyborg Supermen

Supergirl’s certainly got her work cut out for her. She needs to get Cameron Chase, the formidable director of the D.E.O., to trust her, her foster parents to hone their Kryptonian, and pass her driving test. Like a normal teenager. Which she certainly isn’t! On Krypton, Kara was top of her class, but at her new science academy on Earth, she has trouble operating a projector. She feels clumsy, frustrated – and homesick most of all. She flees to the Fortress of Solitude and wishes she could be closer to Krypton. Be careful what you wish for, though… or a Cyborg Superman claiming to be your father will just show up and offer to show you Argo City, just as he’s restored it back to life. It’s impossible – isn’t it?

I didn’t read New 52 Supergirl, so I went in completely blind. In the first issue especially there were vague references to past events that left me lost. These petered out, and it did get marginally better, but… honestly, it felt as if the whole book was a rewrite of the first season of the show if Kara was a teenager instead of a young adult. I wanted to like it a lot more than I actually did. The art was super cool, and lively, which kept it moving along at a quick pace. The tension between Kara and Cyborg Superman, and the question of whether or not he really is her father, was very well-done and disturbing as we learn what lengths he will go to take Kara back for Argo City.

The redeeming factor: A NON-SKIMPY COSTUME!!! She wears a long skirt and thigh-high boots, which are much more practical for fighting crime.

(Even her costume is almost a carbon copy of the show’s costume, but I’m so happy it’s not stupidly impractical I’m letting it slide)

Has anyone read further than me? Should I keep going? I keep being so disappointed by Rebirth I’m not sure if I want to continue this one =(

– Kathleen

Orlando, Steve, Brian Ching, and Emanuela Lupacchino. Supergirl (Rebirth, Vol. 1): Reign of the Cyborg Supermen. 2017.

Wonder Woman (Rebirth, Vol. 2): Year One

Y’all should know Wonder Woman’s origin story like the back of your hand by now from dealing with me, so I’ll gloss over that part of this book =P After returning Steve Trevor to Man’s World, Diana finds herself detained in a military base. She’s alone, scared, and she can’t make anyone understand her. But then, she’s visited by the gods. Each of her patrons bestows upon her a gift, but what they are, they say will reveal themselves in time. By the time Lieutenant Etta Candy and Steve manage to find someone who can understand the language Diana is speaking, Diana has gone pretty stir crazy. She accidentally rips the bars off her cell, and Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva decides Diana was telling the truth about her heavenly visit! More gifts reveal themselves at the mall they take Diana to, during an attack by the Sear Group… who are familiar to both Dr. Minerva and Diana. What do they want?

This may be a Year One, but it’s especially interesting after reading Volume 1, because we are going back to the beginning after glimpsing the ending. The middle will be a great ride! I adored that they actually utilized a language barrier here when Diana enters Man’s World. It makes sense, and it made for some pretty fun moments! The art is wonderful, and I love that Diana was portrayed with especial wide-eyed innocence here. It was fun to watch her learn her gifts for a change instead of knowing them immediately. There were lots of little cameos and hints to WW past that made me smile. I can’t wait for more!

– Kathleen

Rucka, Greg, Nicola Scott, and Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Wonder Woman (Rebirth, Vol. 2): Year One. 2017.

Batgirl and The Birds of Prey (Rebirth, Vol. 1): Who is Oracle?

The name “Oracle” has been haunting Babs – no, literally. The criminals she takes down seem to be getting their information from Oracle, and what’s worse, it looks like they’re selling information to the mob, too. She calls Dinah to help her out. She desperately needs to find out who Oracle is, and why they’re sullying that name… the name that’s both Barbara’s past, and her future. Unfortunately, someone calling herself Huntress is after the mob, for reasons she won’t say. Batgirl and Huntress butt heads, as they both feel the other is getting in her way. But if what they both want is information… then it’s in their best interests to both go after Oracle. They work together for a time, until tensions run too high. Do the Birds have room for one more? Or will Huntress strike out on her own?

I. Love. This. Comic! This has been the first example of a Rebirth title I’ve read that’s blended the past and forged a new story perfectly. (Then again, I’m most familiar with the past of this comic!) The mystery surrounding Oracle’s identity was especially compelling because of how much it means to Barbara, and of Dinah’s determination to help her clear her name. Babs’ and Dinah’s rock solid friendship, that they then extend to Helena, is the main reason I keep coming back to this title. The art was really cool – and much better than Rebirth Batgirl, for which I was very happy!!!

Man, Rebirth as whole though is not exactly impressing me… only have liked 2/4 that I’ve read! What Rebirth titles have you liked?

– Kathleen

Benson, Julie, Claire Roe, and Shawna Benson. Batgirl and the Birds of Prey (Rebirth, Vol. 1): Who is Oracle? 2017.

Batgirl (Rebirth, Vol. 1): Beyond Burnside

Babs needs a break after those chaotic few weeks in Burnside where her memory was tampered with. So she sets off on a backpacking trip through Asia. On pure coincidence, she runs into an old friend, Kai, at the hostel she’s staying at in Okinawa. It becomes clear that he’s being targeted – but by who? The attackers all have the same tattoo: the Chinese characters for “student.” So who is the Teacher, and why do they want Kai so badly? He’s gotten into trouble in the past, but he swears to Babs he’s clean now. Batgirl isn’t so sure. She needs to find this Teacher, and why he or she is after her friend, fast.

I’m 50/50 on this one. It was a quick, light read, the story was pretty good, and the international setting was refreshing. There was a really fun story at the end, when Babs is traveling back to Gotham, with a killer plant eating the plane and Batgirl and Poison Ivy trying to stop it. But the art was AWFUL. It looked like the entire book was half-finished. The backgrounds were blurred and out of focus, and the figures had that odd blend of cross-hatch and block shading that I absolutely loathe. I’ll pick up the second volume to see what Babs makes of herself in Gotham after this adventure, but if the art is more of the same I’m just going to have to put it down.

– Kathleen

Larson, Hope, Rafael Albuquerque, and Dave McCaig. Batgirl (Rebirth, Vol. 1): Beyond Burnside. 2017.

Batman (Rebirth) Vol. 1: I Am Gotham

A plane is going down in Gotham. Batman launches himself from the Batmobile onto literally the top of the plane to steer it into the river. He knows the impact may very well kill him. But at the last second, just before the point of impact, the plane is lifted and set gently on the water, and he is saved. By a boy and a girl in blue masks, introducing themselves as Gotham and Gotham Girl. Who are they? Why do they have Superman-like powers? Are they really out to save Gotham, or are they its’ destroyers in disguise?

I didn’t read the back before reading it, so by the time I got to the inevitable downfall of Gotham and Gotham Girl, I rolled my eyes super hard. Like we haven’t seen Batman go up against Superman or Supergirl or someone ELSE with Kryptonian powers who’s gone SUUUUPER BAAAD a million times before. Just because they’re new kids doesn’t make the trope any less tired or annoying. They even LOOK like Clark and Kara, and the costumes are very similar. How they got their powers and turned bad was very creepy, so points for that. There are a few moments of true compassion between Bruce and others, but my favorite part turned out to be Alfred. Snark was on point. Can we get an Alfred comic already???

– Kathleen

King, Tom and David Finch. Batman (Rebirth) Vol. 1: I Am Gotham. 2017.

Wonder Woman (Rebirth, Vol. 1): The Lies

The truth has been hidden from Wonder Woman. Who she was, who she is, how she came to be… all are confused and jumbled in her mind. She no longer knows the truth, and she can no longer get back to her home, Themyscira. The way has never been closed to her before, and she is worried. She sets out to find the truth, and who has deceived her so. She needs to get back home, and the only person who might be able to help her is Cheetah. Can she convince Cheetah to help her get home and find the truth? Or are Cheetah’s claws too sharp?

I must confess I haven’t read any New 52 WW after Azzarello and Chiang, so I was going in a little blind. I was able to pick things up well enough, though. The art is beautiful: feral and rugged and dark, as if everything was shrouded in mist, obscuring the truth from both us and Diana. We see how human she is here, in her confusion and her overwhelming desire to go back home. She’s not a goddess, not a superhero, not anything else she’s been called… she’s just a woman who wants to go home. I think that is the real power in this story. I look forward to more.

– Kathleen

Rucka, Greg, Liam Sharp, and Laura Martin. Wonder Woman (Rebirth, Vol. 1): The Lies. 2017.

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