With Rebirth now in full swing and so many exciting new titles to try, we can’t blame anyone for needing a reminder of what happened in the previous issue. Or perhaps you’re looking to add a new title to your list and need to get caught up on earlier chapters? Either way, our new “Reader Recaps” should help. Every Tuesday, we’ll be recapping the prior issue of that week’s new Rebirth and Hanna-Barbera comics, as well as sharing our favorite moment. It’s a quick, easy way to ensure you’re up to speed and ready for New Comic Day. We hope you find these recaps helpful, but be aware that they do contain some spoilers!
Batman: Rebirth #1
By Scott Snyder, Tom King, Mikel Janin and June Chung
Batman faces off against the terrifying Calendar Man, who has infested Gotham with deadly toxic spores and installed a machine that can accelerate the changing of the seasons. The Dark Knight’s on a ticking clock: find Calendar Man’s machine and disable it before Spring returns at the end of the week or watch his city die. Luckily, he’s not without help. Duke Thomas, the former leader of the band of Robins that patrolled Gotham in the pages of WE ARE ROBIN, has accepted Bruce’s offer to train under him. Now outfitted in a new black and yellow costume, Duke fights alongside Batman to track down Calendar Man’s machine and put an end to his plot. As the dust settles, Duke observes that the victory doesn’t feel all that sweet—villains always seem to come back stronger and smarter and Calendar Man will return eventually with a whole new plan. Bruce, however, is undeterred. The evil in Gotham may always be evolving, but so are they, and they’ll be always be ready for it.
Unforgettable Moment: The last few panels feature Duke and Bruce training as they slowly work to kick down a tree on the grounds of Wayne Manor. This might look a little familiar to fans of Frank Miller’s BATMAN: YEAR ONE.
Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1
By Geoff Johns, Sam Humphries, Ethan Van Sciver, Ed Benes and Jason Wright
A Guardian of the Universe, believed to have been lost long ago, runs for his life from a race of violent aliens known as the Dominators. Clutched in his hand is a mysterious box. With the Dominators upon him, he panics and opens the box, unleashing a new and mysterious power into the galaxy. On Earth, new Green Lanterns Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz bump heads, as they struggle to get along and understand why exactly they were chosen to be Green Lanterns. In an effort to force the two to get along, their mentor Hal Jordan fuses their Power Batteries together—forcing the two to have to be together in order to use it. Before he leaves to join the Corps on their latest endeavor, Hal informs Simon and Jessica that the justice League will be there to assist the two as they work at honing their skills. As Hal departs, we’re left with a tease of things to come as Red Lantern Atrocitus speaks of visions he’s had related to the mysterious power released by the Guardian—a prophecy that he calls The Red Dawn.
Unforgettable Moment: Hal Jordan as a teacher is one thing. Using a Manhunter to train your students is something else entirely. We loved seeing a robot of the original-interstellar-police-force-turned-bad used as a practice dummy for Green Lantern cadets!
Superman Rebirth #1
By Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza and Wil Quintana
The “Clark White” version of Superman (as seen in the pre-Rebirth series, SUPERMAN: LOIS AND CLARK) finds himself at the memorial site for the recently killed Superman of The New 52. As he recaps the events that led to the death, he hears footsteps within the memorial caverns. Investigating, he discovers Lana Lang chiseling away at the wall. She explains she is trying to get to his remains so that she can bury them next to Clark Kent’s parents back in Smallville—a promise she made to him before his death. Superman explains that it might not be necessary, citing that he too had been killed on his Earth, but was able to be “reborn” and come back with the aid of a Kryptonian tool called the Regeneration Matrix. Lana, with her Superman’s remains, leads this new Superman to Clark’s Fortress of Solitude, where unfortunately, there is not a Regeneration Matrix and no way to bring the fallen hero back. Realizing that this Superman’s sacrifice was truly an ultimate one and that this world now needs him, Clark White travels to Smallville with Lana, where she buries the remains next to Martha and Jonathan Kent. In an ultimate tribute of respect for a man he barely knew, Superman returns to the Fortress of Solitude and uses his heat vision to sculpt a statue of the now deceased Superman holding up the world—right next to his four parents, Jonathan, Martha, Jor-El and Lara.
Unforgettable Moment: Superman reflecting on his fight with Doomsday and explaining to Lana the wide range of emotions he went through when battling the beast, illustrates perfectly why Superman is who he is and shows us that being a hero is more than having extraordinary powers…it’s about being human.
Green Arrow: Rebirth #1
By Benjamin Percy and Otto Schmidt
The homeless population of Seattle is being abducted and local law enforcement is turning a blind eye after deeming the situation low priority. This simply cannot stand according to self proclaimed “social justice warrior” Oliver Queen, who decides to take matters into his own hands as the Green Arrow. No one, no matter how powerful, gets to decide one life is worth more than another in his city. Ollie’s search brings him face to face with Dinah Lance, the Black Canary, who is in town following similar leads for the same case and the two decide to work together. The trail leads them to a condemned mansion; the ballroom of which is now playing host to an auction where masked buyers, represented on huge screens, are able to bid for the ownership of the abductees as their kidnappers present them. Enraged by the revelation that these buyers are seeing human beings as objects to bought and sold, Ollie destroys the screens and frees the victims, proclaiming that he’ll hunt down the buyers, no matter the cost. When Green Arrow is done with them, they’ll “know what it feels like to be no one.”
Unforgettable Moment: While they figure out their plan of attack, Dinah lets Ollie know that both the Gotham crew and the Justice League have branded him a “sanctimonious jerk.” Lucky for poor Ollie’s ego, he’s got the water running as he shaves his full beard into something a little more fashionable so he doesn’t quite hear her.
Scooby Apocalypse #1
By Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Howard Porter and HI-FI
While on assignment at a festival filled with artists and tech visionaries, TV personality, Daphne Blake and her cameraman, Fred, have an unorthodox meeting with Dr. Velma Dinkly—a paranoid, but concerned scientist currently working for a military research facility that trains and equips dogs with high-tech gadgets for military purposes. As the three get acquainted, they are discovered by one of the company’s failed experiments—a Great Dane named Scooby Doo. Not far behind him is his handler and company dog trainer, Mr. Rogers—who prefers the name Shaggy. Velma takes the group to a secret part of the facility, explaining that the Smart Dog initiative is really just a side project for a much larger-scale plan called Elysium—a project using a tech virus that will be released in key points of the planet to weed out man’s baser instincts like greed, anger and violence, in an attempt to end war and hunger. However, the four scientists who developed the virus may have a more sinister plan in mind. They activate the virus, causing the happenstance group to scramble to find a way out of the complex and figure out how to stop the virus, while a horde of monsters and all sorts of frightening and remarkable creatures await them on the outside.
Unforgettable Moment: The bonus story of Shaggy’s first day on the job and how he rescues Scooby, first from other more vicious dogs in the program and then from the order to have him euthanized is a heartwarming, special treat.
We'll be back in a week with another set of Reader Recaps. Also, don't miss our weekly new comic book unboxing every Tuesday on Periscope for an exclusive preview of this week's new comics!