How does that song go?
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
That’s from Semisonic’s Closing Time — a song about leaving comfort zones and returning to stark realities. When Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo formally announced their departure on the Batman series — a partnership and run with an endgame in mind that was so successful, DC pulled out all the stops to keep it going for as long as possible — fans were crushed. It was time to face the inevitable, the reality of a Batman book written and drawn by a new creative team.
And while Capullo has already moved on, Snyder is still with DC and will continue to work on at least one Bat-title, All-Star Batman. In the meantime, and for one more issue, the soon-to-be-former Bat-scribe Snyder puts his flourishing touches on Batman: Rebirth #1, a one-shot co-written with Tom King, the incoming writer tasked with taking Batman into his next chapter.
That next chapter will likely involve incorporating Wally West returning to continuity along with an imminent showdown with the Watchmen. So far, Rebirth is grounds for both a return to form and a potentially epic storyline that will affect all of DC’s titles, henceforth.
The message was on repeat.
Rebirth is not a reboot.
Over and over, DC staff sounded like a broken record repeating the words in case you didn’t hear or didn’t want to believe: Rebirth is not a reboot. It’s not. It never was or was intended to be.
Even in his release night appearance on Late Night with Seth Myers, Geoff Johns made it every clear Rebirth was a relaunch and not a reboot.
Nope. Not a reboot. Not at all. A reboot it isn’t.
And once you’ve finished reading Rebirth, you’re inclined to agree because it’s very obvious, and in the best way.
Rebirth is not a reboot. It’s an apology.
After DC tossed away 90% of its continuity for the ill-fated New 52 reboot — Batman and Green Lantern held onto their continuities, though they were weirdly compressed — the publisher brings everything back on track and explains away the inconsistencies of having Batman go through three Robins in the span of five years by putting the blame on — well, someone. I’m not going to go there yet, and if you haven’t read Rebirth, please do yourself a favor and open up the issue because I am going to spoil this story as I am wont to do.
(This is HyperGeeky after all, in case you weren’t paying attention.)
Jim Gordon jumps out of the fire and into the frying pan, so to speak, as he tries to capture Mr. Bloom.
In Batman #44, Gordon was about to be cooked alive, trapped in an industrial furnace firing at 1,000-degrees. Relying on his ability to throw a batarang, Jim makes it out, slightly toasted and a bit worse for the wear. All he has to do now is fend off the remaining members of the Four Fives who immediately overwhelm him.
Sometimes the legend becomes so heavy, it drowns everything else out.
And after 75-plus years of amazing stories, the Batman series must be a challenge for any writer. I imagine the hardest thing about writing a new story is coming up with something that hasn’t been done before or hasn’t been done recently — something exciting that’s bigger and better than anything that’s come before.
Jim Gordon found Bruce Wayne working at the Lucius Fox Center for Gotham Youth last issue, and Batman #43 sets the record straight.
Wayne is alive and well.
Batman is dead.