I’ve been waiting months for Batman Rebirth #1 to be released. I wasn’t disappointed. Scott Snyder uses this collaboration to seamlessly pass the torch to Tom King, who will be taking the helm for the new Batman series releasing June 15, 2016. Snyder will move on to write All-Star Batman, releasing in August of this year. The story feels like a natural segue from the last issue of the New 52 Batman into the new series and teases some interesting developments for future installments.
The story opens with Duke Thomas, from the We Are Robin series, standing at the door of Wayne Manor. The obvious assumption is that Duke will be taking up the green and red as our new Robin. You know what they say about assumptions.
While some liberties have been taken with his appearance and abilities, Calendar Man is an appropriate villain choice for this transition from New 52 into Rebirth. This version of Calendar Man ages with the seasons, young in the Spring, growing older until he dies in Winter, to molt and be reborn the following Spring. Calendar Man has hidden spores of an unnamed biological agent all over the city and is using some mechanism to speed up the seasons so the spores will mature more quickly and disperse.
There is a repetitive theme of seasonal change throughout the story. Seasons change, heroes and villains change, writers change, but in the end, we end up right back at the beginning.
Overall, this is a very good chapter. The writing is very solid, although I am a little anxious for the new series to pick up so we can see how much of this story is Snyder’s voice, and what King will bring on his own. The artwork is some of the most innovative I’ve seen. Mikel Janin pulls out some tricks I’ve never seen. In one instance, he uses gutters and panels to form a bat symbol at the bottom of a two-page spread.
If this issue is any indication of what is to come, I’m all in.
Review by Brendan Allen.