When I heard that DC Comics was rebooting (it’s a reboot. I don’t care what you guys say), I was a bit wary. Convergence last summer launched DCYou which ended in a catastrophe. While many of the titles had critical acclaims, the sales weren’t there unless it was Batman or Harley Quinn. The titles spouted a lot of the dark and gritty stories that streamed from the New 52. I don’t mind the occasional dark comic, but it’s not my general cup of tea. It’s a big reason I don’t read many DC Comics of late. I’m not a huge fan of the New 52 in general. This isn’t the DC Universe I love. When I think of DC Comics, I think of stories like the positive ones in Justice League Unlimited and other animated works.
Then last week, DC Comics released DC Universe: Rebirth as their new launch. I work in a comic book store, so I wanted to read it anyway. That way I knew what I was selling. What I didn’t expect was the return of [Spoiler just in case you haven’t heard!] exclaiming that hope, joy, and love was needed in the universe. YES! This is what I’ve missed in DC Comics since 2011 when the New 52 launched. While I’m still on the fence about the end of Rebirth with the [Spoilers again!] reveal, this is the first time I’ve been excited for DC Comics in a long time.
This week, many of the Rebirth titles dropped. The one I was most excited to get my hands on was Oliver Queen in Green Arrow: Rebirth. I’m a sucker for archers and Robin Hood types. Anyone who knows me knows I have an enormous love of Hawkeye. Green Arrow falls into the category of everything I love about these types of superheroes. They’re regular humans, and they choose to go out and fight suped up baddies. Thor, Superman, Hyperion, Wonder Woman can all take a hit and be fine. Green Arrow or Hawkeye take the same hit, and it could kill them. That’s what I love about Oliver and Clint. They’re the bravest members of their team, and I highly admire them for it.
We see this same mentality with Oliver in Rebirth. He is looking out for the little guy in his return. When gross, mutated bad guys kidnap homeless women and children, Oliver is on the case! He knows that his money as a socialite gave him a bad reputation. He clearly lays out that being a superhero isn’t cheap. You sometimes have to make money to save lives. I love the moment when Dinah calls him out, and Oliver lists the ways his company helps charities. It really defines him as a character.
They also bring up he’s a liberal, egotistical, social justice warrior which is pretty much his character in a nutshell. It’s incredibly refreshing to see a man labeled as a “social justice warrior,” because many times that phrase is often linked with feminism. It’s become a negative internet trope whenever people disagree about certain issues like saying a female character in a video game is oversexualized. Having a very manly guy like Oliver Queen labeling himself with this phrase is a great turn in an age where women often feel they can’t speak out about equality issues especially with comics.
Speaking of equality, Dinah Lance is back with Oliver! Okay, they’re not dating yet, but I’m hopeful. Oliver and Dinah are one of my top favorite comic book couples. It was upsetting that they never married in the New 52. In Rebirth, he’s definitely impressed and attracted to this woman. I hope we’ll see the pair back together soon.
I did have one criticism, but I have this issue with a lot of comics. Right in the middle of the story was eight pages of advertisements for Rebirth and a new video game. They had little intros for the new Superman, Supergirl, etc. explaining who they are. I understand DC Comics is pimping out their new reboot. If they stuck it at the end, most people would skip over it. My issue is it massively threw off the pace of the story. You’re really getting into the comic. Then, you have to flip, flip, flip some more through the ads. I could understand maybe two to three pages of advertisements. That’s fairly normal. Eight pages is excessive! Good thing this comic is $2.99. If this had been a Marvel comic which lately teeters between $3.99 and up to $5.99 (like this week’s Civil War II), I would be livid that a good amount of my money went towards this many ads.
Overall, this was a great read. Seeing how Rebirth is mixing pre-Flashpoint and New 52 stories together is interesting. The characters have a sense that at one point there was some history between them, but it hasn’t been unveiled how that past necessarily works in this new canon. I really enjoyed getting back to basics with characters I love. The set up story with the new bad guys looks like the groundwork for the series. If all Rebirth titles are going to be like this, I’m in it for the long run.
I gave Green Arrow: Rebirth #1 an 8 out of 10.