I can’t blame Greg Capullo for wanting to stretch his wings after 50 or so wonderful issues of Batman with Scott Snyder, as great as they were! Also, when Mark Millar comes a-callin’, you’d best answer!
Still, I look at Mr. Millar as I do Grant Morrison: When he’s great, he’s excellent, but when he’s not so hot, he blows chunks, in my opinion.
Fortunately, I enjoyed Reborn, so here’s my review of the debut issue!
Previously in REBORN: MARK MILLAR & GREG CAPULLO join forces to create the smash hit sci-fi/fantasy story of the year: REBORN. Where do you go when you die? Not heaven or hell; somewhere else. Somewhere you have to fight to survive. Somewhere the people from the past are waiting for you-the good and the bad.
I have to admit that death truly scares me. I’ve had family members pass away, and it always seriously shook me. Still does at times, when I remember them. I also have had a tough time with the passing of a beloved dog, Ginger, who I became very close to in the last two years or so of her life.
The notion that people simply don’t pass off into the ether is an appealing one to me. So I took solace in this comic. If they go somewhere that keeps them happy, I’m all for it.
In the first few pages, we see several people murdered on the streets. Then they show up, even one who greatly resembles Bruce Wayne, in another time and place.
Then the book goes to a nursing home where we meet Mrs. Black, a resident who is coming to the end of her existence. We spend a good deal of time getting to know her, including the life she’s led to this point, and then experience the end of her life.
However, like the other people we’ve seen previously here, she appears in a world where she’s wearing a costume and is someone who the folks there are looking forward to getting there. She finds her father there, and she begins to understand what’s taking place.
Millar (pronounced both MillAR and Miller) does an excellent job of helping us get to the know the people in this comic, and it sometimes only takes a panel or two for that to happen. On the other hand, getting to know Mrs. Black takes a while, but it’s worth it.
It’ll be fascinating to see just how other people we’ve been introduced to in this issue. Will they be in the good guy camp, or in the bad guy group? We’ll have to find out when the next issue arrives!
CAPULLO ART ALWAYS SHINES
I can understand why Millar wanted to work with Capullo on this title. After all, he does facial expressions extremely well. Also, his ability to display action is one of the best I’ve ever seen.
The panels where some of the folks are shot were really unsettling, but that’s the point. The loss of a life shouldn’t be just a “Oh, yeah” kind of moment. And that’s the kind of power Capullo brings to Reborn.
BOTTOM LINE: A HAPPY, YET UNHAPPY LAUNCH
As I’ve mentioned previously, the notion that people move on to another life is a comforting one to me. On the other hand, having to get shot to get there, and in a rather gruesome circumstance, well, that was tough to read.
I don’t buy a lot of Marvel comics these days, but I do pick up Empress, another Millar offering. I like his characterization and the fact that the people we’ve seen are not likely to be wearing wings and playing harps – either that or going the other direction.
I always think that a start like this one is a great time to jump on, so I highly recommend you find this debut issue. If there aren’t any paper copies around, digital ones are easy to purchase and download. Don’t miss it!