Batman’s foes have an existential crisis in his latest outing, The LEGO Batman Movie.
Kicking off with an amazing 10-minute song-and-punch introduction, the LEGO Batman Movie not only features a bevy of villains, known and obscure — Crazy Quilt and Killer Moth! — the movie also treads into interesting meta territory.
After Batman saves another day in Gotham City, he drops a bombshell on the Joker — the Dark Knight doesn’t think the Clown Prince of Crime is his greatest foe.
Teary-eyed, the devastated supervillain escapes and begins work on a new plan to get Batman’s attention.
Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne finds himself torn against a potential love interest and a new commissioner who sees Batman as a problem. Between bouts of love and anger at Commissioner Barbara Gordon’s new plans for the city, Bruce agrees to adopt the orphan Dick Grayson.
Gotham and Gotham Girl have Batman’s respect, but do they have the chops to take over when he’s gone?
Batman #2 drums up an incoming threat that will likely test everyone’s resolve, but we don’t really know exactly what’s coming and to the detriment of the story.
Right now, all we know is that something or someones called the Monster Men are coming, and it’s driving some people crazy. Batman’s handled huge threats before, but it seems like writer Tom King is plotting something huge, though something can be said for speed of the issue’s pacing.
After someone lets Solomon Grundy loose in Gotham City, Batman comes to the rescue. The new Gotham duo, while incredibly powerful, have a lot of learning to do, and both get a taste of that trademark Bat-disapproval — enough to make them both glad they didn’t have to pay their dues as Robins in order to live in Batman’s shadow.
When Bruce goes over tape of the battle, he and Alfred Pennyworth discuss the Dark Knight’s mortality, and it’s apparent that Wayne is coming to grips with being a veteran in the superhero world. He decides to bring the Gotham duo under his wing, so to speak, because necessity demands it.
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.
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.)