Rebirth This RebirthWritten by: Bryan Hitch
Art by: Jesus Merino, Andy Owens, Tomeu Morey, and Richard Starkings
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 7, 2016
I don't think it would surprise anyone to find out that in general, I have not been enjoying Justice League since Rebirth. I have a full list of reasons that I will not go into, but instead will try to stay focused on the positives...at least for this intro. The art in this book has been pretty solid lately and the inclusion of the Green Lanterns (Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz) and Pre-Flashpoint Superman gives the book a different dynamic than we've had in years. That's about it for the positives as far as I'm concerned so I am just going to get on with the review. Is this the issue that turns it all around and shows that Bryan Hitch had a great story going right under our noses all this time? Let's find out...
The issue begins with Jessica and Simon in space and right away I was thrown out of the issue by the awful dialogue. I think I've finally figured out what I hate about it...everyone in this book talks, but nobody seems to listen. Not even to themselves. Take this opener for example. Jessica and Simon are trying to stop the "things" from getting to Earth and Jessica tells Simon, "Barry is trying to stop them single-handedly. We have to make sure no more get through, Simon." Simon responds, "If Flash says he can do the job, Jess, he can DO the job. Now we have to do OURS and keep these freaky things away from Earth." Suddenly, I yearn for the bickering of the Green Lanterns book.
The scene continues with what may be even worse dialogue and then switches over to Cyborg and Batman. They are still on the Kent's Farm and Cyborg is still being attacked by those "things". He ends up turning their language back on them and purges them and then utters the words that sum up what most of us say every time we put money down for this book..."We are so screwed!"
It's then off to see the gathered Kindred who talk of songs, purge, world breaking and the final phase. I have said it before, but I will again, lack of information does not make something a mystery. This story is not the new boy who moved into town right before the school year started and has all the girls hearts a flutter. This is a comic book and by issue #4 I expect to know a little of what is going on! The problem is, Hitch writes everything in such a general way that it's hard to get a grasp on anything. Our heroes us general statements...we need to stop those things...It's their language...It says the end is coming and they can fix it. I don't know about you, but I want to know more, not because I'm intrigued, but because I think I deserve something by now! Anything!!!
We then head to the Earth's core to visit Superman and besides the fact that he doesn't act like the hero who stood up to Doomsday and made sure he defeated him with his final blow, the stuff we get with Lois is pretty good and really puts her Clark squarely on the Justice League.
We get back to the norm with Flash running around trying to stop the Purge when he runs into the Kindred and an earthquake. Then we see Wonder Woman finding out a little information from the Kindred themselves and it looks pretty grim. This is when we go back to Superman and suddenly I'm confused about where these earthquake machines are. We have talked inner and outer core so much now that I just think they are wherever is convenient at the time.
I guess it is no big deal because he comes up with a successful plan of attack (which may even be a jab at Superman throwing everything into the Sun), but there are still three more! The issue then ends with Wonder Woman threatening the Kindred, Barry losing The Speed again and the Green Lanterns finding something crazy on the dead planet that isn't so dead.
I have had about enough of this book, this story, this whatever the hell it is. I know it can't just be me. Bryan Hitch is making this the worst book of Rebirth and that's a shame for any book, let alone one that is supposed to be a flagship title. I will continue reading and reviewing it and patiently wait for it to get better or get a new writer. I think the later will happen first.
Jesus Merino does a decent job on art and I give him credit for that. There is nothing that really stood out to me (save maybe the cliffhanger page) and the art could not even get close to making this mess any more enjoyable. It did keep it form an even lower score, so there is that.
Note: For those of you in the know (ie: listeners to our podcast), I could not give this issue an F-U 5, not because it doesn't deserve the other meaning of such score, but because I don't want anyone to even think for one moment that this is an "average" book. It is not. It is way worse.
Bits and Pieces:
While it's hard to figure out who the real villain is in the Justice League book, the real villain in Bryan Hitch. His story is convoluted, confusing and worst of all, boring. Really, it is awful and everyone should stay far away from it until DC gets wise and puts a new writer on it.