This week we’ve got a one-two punch of DC Rebirth titles, as Batman Beyond gets the Rebirth treatment, and Damien Wayne joins the Teen Titans!
Batman Beyond Rebirth #1 (DC Comics)
For long time now the Batman Beyond property has been a tough nut for DC Comics to crack. The now classic TV show has a huge following, but the numerous times that DC has tried to tap into that audience with a Batman Beyond comic have fallen flat. For some reason, Terry McGinnis’ adventures haven’t been as easy to bring to the paneled page as they should be. Until now. Dan Jurgens and Ryan Sook’s Batman Beyond Rebirth special hits all the right beats, and brings us all up to speed on the Dark Knight of tomorrow’s current adventures.
After being believed dead for a year thanks to Spellbinder, Terry McGinnis is back as Batman and making up for lost time. After stopping a crew of Jokerz gang members who were attempting to kidnap some kids, Terry tries to figure out who’s responsible for bringing the notorious gang back together. Unfortunately before he and Commissioner Barbara Gordon can interrogate the thugs more, they die from joker gas capsules in their mouths, something that hasn’t been seen in decades. But the Joker can’t be responsible, since he’s been dead for years. Or is he?
That’s the main hook for this new Batman Beyond run, and I’m not going to go any future, other than to say that the last page has me VERY interested in what’s to come in the Batman Beyond series proper. Dan Jurgens’ script does a spectacular job of catching us up on the bullet points of the previous Beyond series, wisely skipping over a lot of the parts that didn’t work all that well, like Tim Drake being in the costume for a majority of the series (it’s a long story). Jurgens also has a great handle on what makes Terry McGinnis tick, and it’s really interesting to see how the legacy of Batman and his villains makes an impact on the future.
Ryan Sook’s art evokes the classic Bruce Timm style of the original Batman Beyond series, but also keeps a style that is entirely his own. Sook’s layouts for the issue are spectacular, as are his design choices for Batman. There are some really awesome depictions of the future Batman and Neo-Gotham in these panels, and the action is portrayed wonderfully. If Sook keeps it up, this could be a book that makes him a star.
Batman Beyond Rebirth was a book that I was rooting for, and I’m really glad that it delivered. This property has always had the potential to be something really cool, and it’s about time that it’s started to live up to that. As someone who’s a big fan of the Batman Beyond TV show, I’m ecstatic that I’ll be able to pick up a comic that gives me the same feeling was watching the show.
Teen Titans Rebirth #1 (DC Comics)
The Teen Titans had a pretty rough time in the New 52. They started off being mocked right out of the gate, with the original group being considered “too edgy”, and the mini relaunch that they’re just now ending started off really strong, but quickly lost steam. Add in a bunch of weird crossovers and events, and the Teen Titan franchise was left in a pretty bad state. However, with DC Rebirth it’s time for new beginnings, and with the creative team of Green Arrow’s Ben Percy and Spawn artist Jonboy Meyers, Teen Titans Rebirth has what it takes to make a good comic. But there’s one thing that’s holding it back.
Teen Titans Rebirth serves as introduction to this new version of the team, which has been scattered across the globe in recent months. Introducing us to Beast Boy, Raven, Kid Flash, and Starfire, Percy’s script spends a few pages with each character before they’re kidnapped by a mysterious force, which ends up being Damien Wayne (before you say spoiler, it’s right on the cover). This is a really great framing device for the issue, and Percy has a great handle on all of the characters, but his dialogue for Damien Wayne is pretty cheesy. The premise of Damien kidnapping the former members to make them a team again is really, really strong though, so I’ll give Percy some slack, but some of the lines Damien says are extremely cheesy.
Jonboy Meyers’ cartoony style is much better suited for a series like this than it ever was on Spawn. From Beast Boy and his animal shape shifting to Raven’s dark powers, Meyers’ style is a great bridge between the current Teen Titans GO cartoon and the more mature style of other Teen Titan books, and it works phenomenally well for this series. There are a few weird angles and figure work here and there, but for the most part Meyers’ makes a great impression with Teen Titans.
Teen Titans Rebirth, despite the Damien misstep, could be pretty fun showpiece for the younger members of the DC Universe. I’ve never been a big Teen Titans fan, but this could be the book to change that. Like I said before, the idea of Damien putting together the Teen Titans against their will is really great, and well worth checking out. Let’s just hope that those one-liners are improved next time.