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Art By: Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Wil Quintana, Rob Leigh Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: June 1, 2016
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
While the Final Days of Superman came off a bit rough because of how it seemed to be just working off a check list instead of telling a really cohesive and insightful story, I think we can all agree that the final pages of that arc were something of a tearjerker. Goddamn if it didn't make me feel like I was ten years old again reading about when Superman died the first time at the hands of Doomsday. Yeah, the arc with the Solar Superman didn't have that "oomf" that the original death of Superman had, but in the end it had all feels that we've been missing from a Superman title and hopefully those kind of feels should remain with Superman continuing over into Rebirth. That's right boys and girls, Superman is dead and now it's up to a Pre-Flashpoint Superman to take his place and inspire hope to the masses as he protects his adoptive world and the rest of us that also happen to call it home. Let's jump into this issue and see what's up with Rebirth and how our Superman title will be affected by it. Let's check it out.
Our Rebirth story begins with Pre-Flashpoint Superman going to the grave of the New 52 Superman and looking on at the monument in the works. Right now it's just a base in the form of Superman's shield, but soon a statue remembering Superman and all he's done will be placed upon it........... and for everything that the New 52 Superman and all of us fans went through during the DCYou faze last year and into this one, it's weird to think that the people of Metropolis would be all about giving the Last Son of Krypton this big ass monument because it wasn't too long ago that they were shouting things like "dirty alien" and a whole lot of other shit that I'm sure was a hundred times worse. Probably though, like all of us, Metropolis is trying to put that time behind them and move on and nothing says I'm sorry like a monument built after someone dies so that they don't actually have to say the words to the person's face. I just realized that I went into this review with a real positive attitude, but goddamn the people of Metropolis are a bunch of dicks. Okay, okay, I'm done talking about that, let's get back to the book........... and for now on since we're in Rebirth territory, I'm going to be referring to Pre-Flashpoint Superman as just Superman......... You know, since he's Superman now. Anyway, Superman is at the monument waiting for the New 52 Superman to return to the land of the living, but after he discovers Lana Lang breaking into the crypt underneath to take Superman's body, we learn that this was Superman's plan too.
While Lana had made a promise to take the New 52 Superman's body and bury it next to his parents in Smallville, Superman intended to take it back to the Fortress and see if he could acquire the Regeneration Matrix that brought him back to life after his fight with Doomsday....... which leads into an awesome recap of those events that gave me the feels the way they did twenty four years ago. I don't know what it is about that story, but whenever it's referenced or shown I can't help but get the chills. It's a bit weird though after story time because we learn that Superman doesn't know where the Fortress of Solitude is and needed to track the New 52 Superman in order to find it, but since he's dead it looks like that will never happen. I just think it would be pretty easy for Superman to fly over the Arctic until he came across a ice fortress type structure, but it doesn't matter anyway because Lana somehow knows where it is......... This plays into the final pages of The Final Days of Superman arc, when the New 52 Superman died we saw energy come off of that Superman and hit not only Lois Lane, but Lana Lang too. So Lana's got something going on with her, but besides for her strange knowledge about where the Fortress is, we don't get into all of that here.
In the end, Superman and Lana travel to the Fortress of Solitude, but sadly this Universe's Superman doesn't have a Regeneration Matrix the way our current Superman did so all seems lost in bringing him back to life. We do see Superman really impressed though that the New 52 Superman built ice statues of not only his parents from Krytpon, but the Kents as well and we get a real nice feeling that for how dark the New 52 was, there were slivers of hope that even surpassed their Pre-Flashpoint counterparts. As our issue closes, with no hope of resurrecting the New 52 Superman, Superman helps Lana fulfill her promise by taking the New 52 Superman's body back to Smallville, where Lana begins to dig and since she wants to do it alone, we see Superman go back to the Fortress and continue to inspire hope when we close this issue out with him building a statue of the New 52 Superman between the statues of the Kents.
That's it for this issue of Superman Rebirth and like Jim and I talked about on the podcast and countless other places, Rebirth seemed to be all about the tone of what we'd be getting in the future over some drastic story change and that becomes really evident in this issue because the tone of this book is everything that you'd want from a Superman title. We've got the heart, the legacy and even the hope of a better tomorrow oozing out of this book and I honestly can't wait to see this title in the upcoming months because it really feels like everything that we've wanted a Superman title to be for a long time now. It's all about moving forward from here on out and putting the darkness and sometimes jerkiness of this title and character behind us and with solid storytelling and art all the way through this is definitely a title you won't want to miss. It's a brand new day and I already have my shoes on. Let's get going.
Bits and Pieces:
Rebirth has finally come out and smacked all of us in the face and now it's up to the individual books to continue what that prologue started and since we here at Weird Science believe everything in that massive book was all about setting a tone..... Well, Superman Rebirth continues that tone tremendously and gets me really excited for how our Man of Steel will continue from here on out. Everything that you've missed about Superman or even felt was wrong about Superman of the New 52 is pushed aside here as we just let hope, legacy and heart back into our lives and the comic works beautifully because of it.