When we last left our budding group of heroes, they were still finding their feet in the training arena. A number were beginning to feel the heat whilst some were itching for a chance to prove themselves. With Batman now M.I.A, this wish is prematurely granted and this issue sees the group well and truly thrown into the deep end, as they come face to face with the entity, they had aimed to pursue.
Warning: Possible spoilers ahead.
As we now know, one of the central aims of ‘Rebirth’ is to restore some of the relationships that were torn apart by the time shift. This series has already seen the confirmation of ‘Spoiler’s’ and ‘Red Robin’s’ relationship but, in possibly an even more exciting turn, this issue sees the return of ‘Kate’s’ ex-girlfriend ‘Renee Montoya’.
Those that know ‘Renee’ will know that she was the successor to the original ‘Question’ and had disappeared completely from the ‘New 52’ Universe, even to the extent that it had been hinted that she had been K.I.A. This issue, albeit in a brief interlude, depicts these two ex lovers sharing a casual drink, in what is hopefully an indication that we will be seeing a lot more of this pairing (fingers crossed).
In terms of the issue itself, this is yet another master class in storytelling. Tynion has brought new life into a number of characters, like ‘Renee’, that were all but forgotten in the ‘New 52’ and truly cements their position in this ‘Rebirth’ Universe.
Whilst ‘Spoiler’ has maintained the humour and good nature that made her a memorable ‘Batgirl’, ‘Clayface’ is a laugh a minute in his new, unfamiliar role of a ‘do-gooder’ hero. Meanwhile, ‘Orphan’ truly lives up to her reputation of being a martial arts expert and fills the pages with glorious action, whilst ‘Red Robin’ levels the playing field with his signature detective skills and meticulous planning. At the head of it all is the prolific ‘Batwoman’, displaying leadership skills that, not even she, knew she possessed. So yes, in all readers, we have a hell of a team on our hands…
This particular issue also sheds light onto who is leading this new army of antagonists, and I will say that I, for one, did not see this culprit coming…
Hand in hand with this tour de force of narrative are guest artist’s Alvaro Martinez’s spectacular panels. Personally, the standout is the first page which depicts Kate’s musings via a pint glass, however, every page is a power house of detail and delivers action and drama with every line.
So yes, in all readers, ‘Detective Comic’ continues to be the stand out (in my opinion) within the ‘Rebirth’ titles. It’s a daunting task to assemble a new team, however this band of determined heroes are clearly showing they are more than up for the challenge.