Comics/Graphic Novels

Superman: Rebirth #1 (2016) Comic Book Review

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s ‘Superman: Rebirth’! ‘Superman: Rebirth’ is the first title in DC’s ‘Rebirth’ to land in my NG mailbox and so I thought I would give it a whirl. I’ll be the first to admit that I have never really been a fan of the ‘Man of Steel’, despite the fact he might arguably be the greatest, and most powerful hero in the DCU. Personally, however, I have always preferred the anti-hero. I like a character with flaws, and Superman is about as flawless as his ‘S’ adorned torso… Given this, you might find it a little odd that I’m reviewing a Superman title, but as this is part of the ‘Rebirth’ launch, and I want to know as much as I can about this ‘re-do’, I thought I would give even ‘Supes’ a chance.

WARNING: Possible spoilers ahead.

First and foremost, I’ll say this now: for those that are not up to speed on the events that lead up to this issue (in the New 52), I would close this tab now and head to the back issue section of your comic-book store, otherwise you’re in for a whole host of spoilers. Spoiler alert now complete I’ll address the, super-sized, elephant in the room.. Superman is dead and this time it seems he really won’t be back. For Superman fans out there, that aren’t up to speed, hold those fan-boy/girl tears, as another Superman is in town, and this one will probably appease the masses.

Part of the real premise of the Rebirth initiative is to right some wrongs that occurred in the New 52 and one of those is arguably their adaptation of Superman. Although many may have preferred the moody offering, sporting a t-shirt and blue jeans, he wasn’t really the Boy-Scout that a lot of us had grown up with… Also one of the greatest romances in comic book history was erased and Lois and Clark were no more… So, as one of the goals of Rebirth is to focus on love and relationships, this new Superman is, seemingly the old Superman, complete with wife Lois and Super-son Jonathan (and some questionable facial-hair).

Writers Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason have been faced with a mammoth task, in that they have to both do the old Superman justice as well as convince those that started with the New 52, that this Superman is the superior one. So far, I’m glad to say, they have done a super (ahem) job.

In this first issue, readers are treated to an interaction between two old friends, that have never met. A visit to an iconic location (in Superman’s world) and also a glimpse of how loyal any Superman can be. Despite not being a fan of Big Blue, I was more than a little pleased to see a familiar characterisation return and was also impressed with how Tomasi and Gleason have managed to pay homage to both an old ideal as well as the, recently demised, representation.  Artist Doug Mahnke has also managed to create further appeal within his illustrations, allowing great detail as well as depicting how truly imposing, yet comforting, this classic Superman can be.

In all, Superman: Rebirth has proved to be a huge surprise for me. It is a rare thing for me to finish a Superman title and crave a read of the next installment, but this has managed just that.

Score: 8.5/10

Superman: Rebirth #1 is available to buy from today by clicking here or by visiting your local comic book retailer.

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