Art by: Francis Manapul and Steve Wands
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 21, 2016
There are only a couple of books that I've been waiting for to debut in Rebirth and this is one of them.For the longest time, Eric had claimed this for review, but the way the books fell, he was overloaded this week so I snatched it away from him. I am a huge Francis Manapul fan and I am so hoping that this book can take the place of Bryan Hitch's lackluster Justice League book. Now that it's here, does it? Let's find out...
The issue opens with a voiceover that threw me off a bit before I realized it was Lois Lane talking. It's all about Lois and Clark being parents and strangers on this earth, but it's also about the care that Clark has used to keep his family shielded. Shielded from the good and the bad...until now. It seems that Lois has invited Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince over for dinner. Oh Snap!
While the beginning narration confused me at first, there is nothing confusing about the art in this book. Francis Manapul is a freaking boss here and I could just sit and stare at the introductory pages of Wonder Woman and Batman. Actually, I wish I could, but I have reviews to do! Just believe me when I tell you that these first few pages are worth the price of admission alone...and it gets even better!
When Bruce and Diana arrive at the farm, Jon runs to answer the door, but gets excited after using his x-ray vision and heat visions both of the heroes. It was a funny enough scene, but both Clark and Bruce's reactions bring it down a bit. I understand Clark's concern, but Bruce is just a dick. A concerned dick, but a dick nonetheless.
Things pick up again at dinner when Clark tells Jon a story about Batman protecting Robin by wearing a rainbow Bat Suit. Yes, it's a direct reference to Detective Comics #241 (and also the Batman: Brave and the Bold homage) and I loved it! I also love that Bruce claims he doesn't remember. I know that Rebirth continuity is a pretzel (!), but I hope that Bruce is just embarrassed and angry! As far as I go, it happened!
While Bruce and Clark argue about raising boys, something strange is going on in the barn outside. We leave that, however, to get a little New 52 Superman tribute (he's Unchained!) and Lois and Diana getting to know each other. These scenes (especially Diana's story about Cheetah) really plant this book square into Rebirth and might even push those few not reading the awesome Rebirth Wonder Woman book to give it a try.
The issue ends with the Trinity actually enjoying each other's company and wondering what is in store in their collective futures. The cliffhanger shows that it is something odd and very personal. I am not really sure what we are really seeing, but it has me intrigued for the next issue.
I liked this issue as a start, but it really is just setup to get this story off the ground. Francis Manapul gives us some New 52 recap, some Rebirth rundown and some pretty good character interactions to boot. After finishing, however, I couldn't say a lot happened between the covers, but what we got was nice and will make me return for more. It's not a Justice League replacement yet, but there is still hope.
All that being said, Francis Manapul puts on an art show in this issue. I already mentioned the art above, but I don't care about repeating myself...Francis Manapul is a freaking boss! This book goes up there as one of the best looking issues in Rebirth and the combination of pencils, colors, textures and panel layout is second to none. Seriously, it looks totally fantastic!
Bits and Pieces:
Francis Manapul starts off his series, not with a bang, but by catching up the reader before moving forward. He does a good job of getting these familiar strangers together and I am intrigued to see where it is all heading. His art is simply incredible and I could spend a long time just staring at the pages he gives us here. All in all, this was a good start to a series I now have high hopes for.