Check out Our Review [WITH SPOILERS] for Superman REBIRTH #1!
Writers: Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Penciller: Doug Mahnke
Inker: Jamie Mendoza
Colorist: Wil Quintana
Of all the DC icons, Superman was probably the character that was most broken by the New 52 universe. There was a smattering of good Superman stories, but for the most part, New 52 Superman was inconsistent, unpleasant, directionless, and confounding. Things got so bad that with this particular character rebirth, DC threw the super-baby out with the bathwater and brought back the pre-Flashpoint version of Superman.
In other words, Superman Rebirth #1 might be impenetrable to new readers. Enjoyment of this issue is predicated on reading Justice League #50, the final New 52 Superman arc, and the Superman: Lois and Clark miniseries. If one does, one can enjoy a brand new day for Superman. If one doesn’t, well, good luck.
All that being said, Superman Rebirth #1 is the best regular Superman comic I’ve read in some time. Mainly because no matter who is wearing the big “S,” the issue feels like a Superman comic. It’s exciting (if a bit exposition heavy), inspiring, fun, and while it is tonally serious, it is not dire.
Tomasi and Gleason do their best to explain the two-world Superman thing and they do a pretty good job. I can see a new reader tapping out after a few pages, but if a reader has been braving the Superman family of titles, that reader will have a great deal to sink their teeth into.
The issue consists of the pre-Flashpoint Superman explaining who he is and where he comes from to Lana Lang. Through this, old-time fans will be able to compare the lives of this old-school Superman and the recently fallen Superman and enjoy reuniting with a Superman from DC’s glorious past. New readers will just be left with lots of Wikipedia entries to catch up on.
Superman Rebirth is a well-paced, gorgeous stroll through Superman history. I mean really, is there a better Superman artist in the business than Doug Mahnke? Mahnke conjures up a double-page Superman versus Doomsday spread that will transport you back to the early 90s. Freakin’ powerful stuff.
No new threats are put forth as the issue is dedicated to saying farewell to the New 52 Superman and welcoming back the post-Crisis, pre-Flashpoint Kal-El. There will probably be a bunch of new readers saying good-bye as well as this issue is not for the uninitiated, but if you’ve been following along with Superman these past few years (and bless you if you have, it must have been rough), there’s a lot here to love.