Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Adriano Lucas and Marilyn Patrizio
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: June 8, 2016
Rebirth has been a lot of things to the books I've read so far. A return to the fun, a call back to the legacy of the characters and even a new start. James Tynion is combining them all here with Detective Comics. It's kind of like Batman and the far out Outsiders put together by Eric Shea playing with his Imaginext. Take Eric out of that equation and I'm all in and thankfully, that's what we have here. I love fun and I love team books and boy, I LOVE fun team books. Does Tynion come through on the promise of his team and give us just that? Let's find out...
The issue opens with a flashback of Azrael getting the shit kicked out of him by...Batman? I know I wasn't exactly thrilled with Azrael's performance in Batman and Robin Eternal, but Batman wasn't even around then. Maybe he read my reviews. If that's the case, I'm sorry Azrael. Actually, I'm not and it's not actually Batman. Oh snap! The mysteries keep building as we cue Rockwell's, "Somebody's Watching Me" and catch up to the present.
The only thing that upset me about this beginning is that we don't get Azrael on the team. Why can't we have Azrael on the team? Pretty please, Mr. Tynion. I let it pass for now because in the mean time we do get a kick ass team including...
Batwoman!!! It's been too long and I had such a huge smile on my face seeing her zipping across Gotham. She's talking to her father as she does her superhero moves and he wants her to stop going after Batman's sloppy seconds and while he has a point, she is also being watched. Finally, Kate is getting some Bat Family respect.
The issue continues with Batman paying Batwoman a little visit. It seems that our mysterious watcher has been watching all of Gotham's vigilantes and Batman has a plan. He wants Kate to help him train a team...a crazy team!
The rest of the issue is a cinematic look at the members of the team and their recruitment. We get Spoiler who should be in Birds of Prey (just my opinion), but deserves all the attention she can get. Hopefully, she doesn't disappear for lengths of time like every other book she's been in lately because I love her.
We also get Tim Drake in his old Robin costume and this is really the only thing I have a problem with in this issue. I like the Tim and Stephanie Brown interaction right away, but it feels odd for Tim to agree to this. He should be training the others, not being trained. Plus, Batman sent him a letter? A letter?!?! Pretty low, Batman, pretty low. (Note: Issac and Mike N. told me in the comments below that the letter Tim got was a college acceptance letter...I had no idea he was waiting for one and it totally threw me off.)
The roster continues to grow with Cassandra Cain and while I'm still not sold with her taking up the name "Orphan", I love the character and will put up with a lot of nonsense to see her every two weeks.
Then Tynion gives readers one of the best things in all of Rebirth...Batman and Batwoman recruit Basil Karlo! Yep, Clayface in in the house and it's a touching entrance and ties in with the last arc of Batwoman's solo book perfectly. It also leads to the best joke of the issue as the new team zips off into the night leaving Basil kind of hanging.
I like what Tynion is cooking up here. He gives us a fun team and a reason for it to be. Right now, I am less concerned about the mysterious watcher (we see a bit more in the cliffhanger) because I just want more of the team's interactions with each other. If Tynion gives us a heavy dose of that going forward, I am all in. As it stands, this was probably the most fun of all the Rebirth #1s and I like fun so you know where I stand here.
I liked Eddy Barrows art as well. Most of the scenes are in close quarters and I can't wait to see the whole team battling hundreds of enemies at once. His characters are big and bold and dominate the page and it already gives the team a larger than life feel.
Bits and Pieces:
This may easily become my fun book of this whole Rebirth menu. James Tynion gives readers a cool team that I want to see a whole lot more of and a mysterious reason to be one in the first place. This issue is basically a roll call and I liked it. Eddy Barrows' art helps give it all a cinematic feel and so far, this is the popcorn movie book that I was hoping for.