It’s safe to say that Tom King and David Finch have some very big shoes to fill. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo did such an excellent job with the New 52 Batman series that readers have been waiting with great anticipation to see exactly what the new team will bring to the table.
Batman #1 jumps right into the action and doesn’t let up until the final spread. In the opening pages, we see Batman and Commissioner Gordon in their familiar places on the rooftop, Bat-Signal illuminating the sky above their heads. Gordon is filling Batman in on the recent heist of three surface-to-air missiles, only two of which have been recovered.
Just as Gordon slyly suggests the Dark Knight should entrust him with his cell phone number so these rooftop meetings would no longer be necessary, the missing rocket is launched in the background, striking a passing plane. In classic Dark Knight fashion, Batman bails on Gordon mid sentence to prevent the critically damaged plane from dropping in the middle of Gotham. The real time elapsed from opening spread to final teaser is only six minutes, but those six minutes are some of the most tense, action packed, and emotional six minutes I’ve read.
This chapter nicely re-establishes the classic relationships we expect from previous series and introduces the new dynamic between Batman and his ally Duke Thomas. I’m calling him an ally for now, because we still don’t know exactly what Duke’s new role is in the family. We’ve been told in Batman Rebirth #1 that he isn’t going to be a new Robin and that Batman is trying something new with Duke. We also caught a glimpse of a yellow and black suit hanging in the Bat Cave.
So far, all of the Rebirth titles have delivered, and Batman #1 is no exception. King and Finch appear to be very comfortable in their new roles. This offering is fresh enough to warrant the Rebirth branding, but remains familiar enough to keep fans of the Snyder/Capullo run interested.
Review by Brendan Allen