Postal is one of those rare books that consistently gets better and more engaging with every issue. The overarching story of the town of Eden that is made up entirely of fugitive criminals in hiding has been superb, with writer Bryan Edward Hill keeping the tension high without ever overplaying his hand. This issue switches focus from Mark and his mother and the other goings on in town to take a closer look at Rowan, a character introduced in passing in the first issue. A white supremacist who changed his ways in prison due to letters from his victim’s mother, Rowan sees his past catching up with him as he’s been tracked to Eden and has to make a final stand. Unpacking social issues in fiction, especially the heightened fiction of a comic book, can be tricky. More often than not, it comes across as clunky or obvious, but Hill deftly switches between the Rowan of the past and the reformed Rowan to present a complicated picture of a man in the middle of one society’s most complicated issues.
I’m not exactly sure what to say about Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens because if the title alone isn’t enough to sell you on it, I’m not sure we can be friends. I can say that this is everything you want it to be. Chew writer John Layman knows exactly what kind of book he’s writing and clearly has a love for all three properties. The solid foundation of the story sees Dredd, Anderson and a team of Judges tracking some perps in the badlands. Their search leads them to an overgrown area controlled by what is essentially a hillbilly Dr. Moreau who is already having problems as a group of Predators have also shown up in his backyard. It’s a fun, funny action packed story that delivers totally on its pedigree (well, the Aliens haven’t shown up yet, but I bet they will and they’ll be awesome).
Okay so here’s the quick Rebirth Rundown!
Okay, Action Comics #960, I’ve gotta say it- WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO GET TO THE FIREWORKS FACTORY? It’s actually been 4 issues with zero forward plot momentum, which seems odd considering the benefit of double shipping is more story. Between the lack of direction and the inconsistent art, this one is on the bubble.
If Action Comics needs a role model, it should look to its sister title, as this week’s Detective #937 continues the series hot streak of great writing and eye popping art. The idea of the government co-opting Batman’s methods and iconography to create a highly trained and loyal army feels genuinely fresh and when added to the engaging team dynamic and stellar art, this is the really the must-read of the entire Rebirth line.
Speaking of the fireworks factory Flash #3 sees its pitch coming to fruition as multiple Central City citizens are imbued with the power of the speed force. The majority of the issue focuses on Flash adjusting to the new status quo at STAR Labs, which is now full of people learning to control their powers. The new villain, Godspeed, is introduced and he’s appropriately creepy and uses the speed force in an interesting way that could see him transcending the fact that he’s yet another fast villain.
Wonder Woman #3 sees her confrontation with Cheetah play out in a uniquely Wonder Woman way with Liam Sharpe’s art bringing a perfect layer of dread and grime to the proceedings.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #1 sets the stage for a wonderful space opera. With the Yellow Lanterns as the force of order in the universe, Hal sets out to find his missing comrades and restore the Green Lanterns to power. It’s an exciting, colorful story that handles its large cast well, especially Sinestro.
Titans #1 was my least favorite Rebirth title so far, but that probably has less to do with the book itself than my general ambivalence to the characters overall. It is worth noting that the Titans aim here is to find out who stole time from all of the heroes, meaning that it’ll probably have some reverberations for the larger DCU.
Batgirl #1 sees Barbara Gordon leaving Burnside (for now) and man does it feel great. The lauded Fletcher/Stewart/Tarr run was most definitely not for me, and while she’s still wearing the Docs, this story has my attention. Deciding she needs a change of scenery, Barbara heads out on a trip across Asia starting with Japan. There she encounters a childhood friend as she seeks to train with a superhero who was active in the 1950’s. Rafael Albuquerque’s art is gorgeous with heavy linework and a great sense of motion, making this a fun, fast, Barbara-centric tale.
Nightwing sees Dick Grayson undercover, this time with Parliament of Owls and while that aspect of the plot doesn’t really excite me, the idea of Dick finding a new (albeit evil) mentor who claims to be ‘Better Than Batman’ should make for an interesting story.
Red Hood and the Outlaws Rebirth doesn’t really deliver on the ‘Outlaws’ part of the title, with the focus squarely on Jason Todd, but for someone like myself who’s never been fully sold on his resurrection being necessary, it may have been the right move. The book reaffirms Jason’s origin as the kid who was stealing tires off the Batmobile (which is awesome), erasing the Nu52 origin where he was a drug addict who stole meds from Leslie Thompkins (which isn’t as awesome) before doing some solid work on Jason’s relationship with Batman. It’s also laugh out loud funny, which is something Bat-family books don’t often get to be.