First Look for January 8, 2018
Looking at the comics I read today, I see a common theme of transitions. In Letter 44 we see that Gomez is transitioning into some kind of hybrid. The leg where he was stabbed by the aliens has become “infected” and he seems to be susceptible to alien influences now. So much so, that he actually starts a fight with Pritchard and Willitt in the middle of a medical emergency. In Superman Rebirth there is a transition from the old to the new. The old Superman who was of the Earth has passed on and while the New Superman looks for the equipment to revive him, it’s not to be found. He and Lana Lang resolve that the old “New 52” Superman is really gone and not coming back. It’s sad, but the transition to a new Superman leaves much to be hoped for.
Letter 44 #11
*Redshift Chapter 4 by Charles Soule and Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque. Published by Oni Press, 2014.
I’ll say again that this title does a great job of keeping things moving forward on many fronts. This issue focuses on at least 4 different tracks and each gets plenty of coverage and feels like they’re impactful on the story. Nothing seems to be introduced that’s extrenious.
First, we have the aftermath of the explosion in Afghanistan where a few of the soldiers survived and while they expect to die due to radiation poisoning, they’re determined to find the terrorist who caused the explosion.
On the Clarke, Gomez seems to be infected in the leg where the alien stabbed him. He recovered from his seizure but they’re keeping a close eye on him.
At the White House, President Blades mourns the loss of the soldiers in the nuclear attack, rescinds Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and is told by his old Chief of Staff that he doesn’t see a way out of the current troubles they’re in. Meanwhile, Congressman Higgins moves forward with articles of impeachment.
Back on the Clarke, there’s something wrong with baby Astra.
They let Gomez out of confinement to help with surgery but instead, he assaults Pritchard and Willett and seems to send some kind of message to the aliens. He’s definitely messed up.
So we’ve got conflicts all over the place. No one knows who blew up the Blades Brigades, Higgins screwed Isabel and went back on his word, the crew of the Clarke is fighting one if their own, and baby Astra needs open heart surgery in space. Kinda a lot going on in this issue but Soule and Alburquerque seem to have a handle on things.
You can find first looks at other issues in this title linked in my January Reading List.
I rate this issue a B.
Superman: Rebirth #1
Rebirth by Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Doug Mahnke. Published by DC Comics, 2016.
Superman: Rebirth follows the death of Superman in the Superman *New 52) 52 and is basically set up nicely from that point. The old Superman is dead. He saved the world but took to much damage and this issue starts with a quick recap of that tale. In that story arc, we saw that there was another Superman from a different Earth that was hiding out. He tried to save the “New 52” Superman but wasn’t able to, so now, he’s trying to help him come back from the dead.
Lana Lang is also at the crypt but she’s got a different agenda. She had promised Clark that she would bury him next to his parents in Smallville. At first she’s excited to see the new Superman, mistaking him for her hero but then she’s angry with him, calling him an imposter. In the end, he explains the situation and goes on to explain how he was able to be reborn.
The story of Superman vs. Doomsday was shown in a recent movie, but even though I didn’t read comics back then, I heard about his death when it happened in 1993. It was a world event even for people not intersected in Superhero comics. The story is recapped here along with the events leading to Superman’s rebirth and I have to say, I like his black costume.
Lana and the new Clark head to the dead Superman’s Fortress of Solitude in hopes that the new Superman can find the equipment necessary to bring him back. Sad to say, the regeneration matrix is nowhere to be found in the fortress and there’s nothing that can be used to regenerate the dead Superman. He is really gone.
With that fact established, Lana and new “the only Superman left” head to Smallville to fulfill her promise.
It’s a good introduction to the new Superman and an nice goodbye to the previous one. There’s some emotion here, but it seems like most of the grief has been spent prior to the events in this issue and we don’t see much of it. Doug Mehnke does a great job with the art, with scenes in the current timeline exhibiting more of a spare background while in the flashback, there’s all kinds of things going on behind the foreground characters. I think that’s more in tune with how comics were drawn back then so I think it’s great. The bottom line for me though is that I enjoyed the issue and am looking forward to seeing more of this team in future issues.
You can find first looks at other issues in DC Rebirth linked in my January Reading List.
I rate this issue a B-.