Batman: Rebirth #1 review

'Batman: Rebirth' #1 art by David Finch & Matt Banning
'Batman: Rebirth' #1 cover by Matt Banning & David Finch
‘Batman: Rebirth’ #1 cover by Matt Banning & David Finch
  • Written by Tom King
  • Pencils by David Finch
  • Inks by Matt Banning
  • Cover by David Finch & Matt Banning

“I AM GOTHAM” Chapter One

No one has ever stopped the Caped Crusader. Not The Joker. Not Two-Face. Not even the entire Justice League. But how does Batman confront a new hero who wants to save the city from the Dark Knight?

Pickup your copy of ‘Batman: Rebirth’ #1 @ Comixology now!

Anybody that knows me knows that as and when I chose to dive in to the world of DC Comics Rebirth rebranding the first character that I would checking on would be Batman.

I make no attempt to hide the fact that Bats is not just my favourite DC Comics character but he is my favourite comic book character of all time. Unlike some I was a fan of some of the work that Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo did with their final arc of New 52 ‘Batman’ comics with Jim Gordon taking on the heroic mantle. However I can’t deny that with Bruce Wayne back in the cowl it’s good to have the characters back in familiar territory.

The story, entitled “I am Gotham: Chapter One” sets up an ongoing story arc as an aside to a really basic self contained story. Tom King was recently interviewed on the DC All Access webshow (check out the episode here) where he teased the airplane storyline which takes up the bulk of this issue. The simplicity of the story is its crowning glory. Asking the question of how and whether Batman could stop a catastrophic event like a plane crash works very well to reconextualise the Gotham world for the Rebirth-era.

As an audience we all know that Batman doesn’t have superpowers but as one of the passengers on the plane points out you get the superhero you deserve depending on which city you are in. Having Bruce call for help from the Justice League only to be turned down allows him to command the issue saving the day entirely by his own merit.

The Batman of late has been surrounded by supporting cast members and side-kicks so to strip that away was a brilliant idea. Alfred on the comms put him exactly where he needed to be without taking away the emotional connection between the two.

As a story this issue feels entirely self contained bar the introduction of Gotham and Gotham Girl at the end which is intriguing enough to setup the remainder of the arc. This issue also steps away from the missing few years of memory that makes up the overall Rebirth storyline. It’s good to know that even at this early stage the entire of Rebirth isn’t going to be defined by its overall purpose.

King has started things off well with chapter one, hopefully chapter two can continue the momentum that has already begun to build.

Visually having David Finch back on Batman is a triumph. Greg Capullo defined such a unique look to the series that it could only be taken on by a big name. Finch brings back some of the flare he brought to the recent ‘The Dark Knight’ series. The colours are much more toned down, dark hues overtake the brighter notes of the Capullo days. Facial expressions are much more sullen and evoke a more noir feeling to the reborn Batman.

As an overall package the downbeat artwork is balanced well with the hopeful undertones of the story. As an opening issue it feels incredibly fresh and ticks all the boxes for just what Batman-fans need as a step forwards from the Snyder-era.

If ‘Batman’ isn’t on your Rebirth shopping list I highly recommend you add it on immediately!

4 stars

 

 

4 stars

About Neil Vagg 1570 Articles
Neil is the GYCO Editorial Chief. He has a BA in Film & Tv and an MA in Scriptwriting; he currently works 9-5 as an office manager and 5-9 as a reviewer/web designer. He has been subscribing to comics for around nine years but has been reading them as long as he can remember. Favourite comics: Batman; Nightwing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and All New X-Men Favourite films: Batman (any apart from & Robin); Star Trek Generations, Underworld, Beetlejuice Favourite TV shows: Fringe; Buffy, Arrow, TBBT, Being Human UK and Star Trek TNG