The Superman of the New 52 has passed, and the original Superman takes his place in the first issue ongoing issue of the Rebirth relaunch.
During a visit to his alternate-timeline-self’s grave, Clark Kent bids farewell and takes up the mantle of the world’s greatest superhero.
The family has moved from Salinas, California, to a farm in Hamilton County, 300 miles north of Metropolis. Taking a new surname — the Smiths — the former-Kents try to live a life as normal as possible.
Things take a turn after a thunderstorm sends a bolt of lightning which lights the barn on fire.
Jon Kent becomes the lens through which we see the story for issue #1. Before they rebuild the barn, Clark sends his son to fill the corn harvester with gas, but Jon returns from his chores without his cat Goldie. Out in the fields, a hawk captured Goldie in its talons, causing Jon to shoot it down with eyebeams.
Tony Stark infiltrates New Attilan, setting off even more conflict in Civil War II #2.
Having losing best friend James Rhodes (War Machine) last issue, Stark kidnaps Ulysses from his new home to learn more about the young man’s supposed ability to see visions of the future.
While he studies and interrogates the boy, the Inhumans respond by following an enraged Karnak to Stark Tower. Captain Marvel and the Ultimates arrive with Maria Hill to defuse the situation. Together, they find Tony and Ulysses after the former has finished downloading a copy of latter’s brain for study.
Though you could chalk up Tony’s response to his best friend dying as something in between impulsive and insane, the issue never really gives the normally rational man a really good reason for infiltrating a sovereign country and kidnapping one of its citizens. While it’s clear that Tony wants to study Ulysses’ brain and precog abilities, it’s not like the Inhumans were against any sort of rational measure. It’s actually pretty clear that Medusa — having caught Tony in the kidnapping act — seems like she’s willing to help. When Tony refuses to go home, things escalate, turning a shaky situation into full-blown war.
It’s a little weird reviewing another Batman #1.
Five years ago, the New 52 exploded onto shelves, and Batman #1 became a runaway bestseller partly because it was the first time the Batman title had a #1 since the first volume launched way back in 1940.
Every issue of the second volume then went on to sell quite well. Many of them landed somewhere in the top-ten each month on the sales charts competing well against #1s and big issues from the other publishers.
And now, as we say goodbye to the creative team of old, we are now in the thick of things with a brand new team for a brand new launch.
And — so far — it happens to be very, very good.
I wouldn’t say great. Not yet. The rebirthed Batman #1 is a solid book that’s on to something, but I’ll keep myself from jumping completely overboard until I see more of what the current team does with the title.
The New 52’s Wonder Woman #1 was met with plenty of controversy when her origin story was revealed to be a lie — instead of being molded out of clay, Diana Prince was revealed to be a daughter of Zeus.
The lie was created to protect her from Hera’s wrath, which gave her all the motivation she needed to protect Zora’s unborn child who was also being hunted down by Hera.
With Rebirth in full swing, Wonder Woman thinks upon the memories now returning to her mind and considers the truth of her creation. Using the Lasso of Truth on herself, she reveals to herself that she has been deceived.
It’s unknown who or what is in control over Diana Prince at the moment, but it’s powerful enough that when she teleports to Olympus, she arrives in a familiar but strange place.
Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1 doesn’t give much away, but it’s a sneak peek at what’s to come. With famed author Greg Rucka back on the title and artist Liam Sharp providing interiors, the future of Wonder Woman looks bright even if her journey will take her to some dark places.
Rucka’s point of entry examines the essence of Wonder Woman — the character acknowledges the word wonder may have once meant awe, but things have changed.
The Superman of Earth-Prime is gone, and the world comes to terms with the loss.
In Superman: Rebirth #1, Lana Lang and pre-Flashpoint Superman head to the New 52’s burial site to deal with his death in their own ways.
For Lang, it’s to keep a promise and have Kent’s body taken to Smallville, Kansas, to be interred next to his parents. For the original Superman, death is only another beginning. Having been reborn after being killed by Doomsday, Superman believes the same can happen to this timeline’s Superman — provided there’s a Fortress of Solitude with the proper resurrection tech.
Lang, who somehow gained the knowledge of the Fortress’ whereabouts when Superman died, leads the new (or old) Superman there. While they’re devastated to know that Superman cannot be resurrected, they honor him in their own ways.
Superman: Rebirth #1 seems geared as a primer — a way for new fans to jump in and for old fans to get caught up with the whole Rebirth thing going on. While, at best, it’s a moving tribute on the subject of existence if you can dig deep into it, the issue is rather cut and dry with an anti-climactic plot point that’s meant to establish more of the old continuity going forward.