Superman: Rebirth #1 (2016) Review
The below contains a bunch of spoilers for Superman: Rebirth, the one-shot relaunch of DC Comics’ Superman.
As I’ve said in the other Rebirth reviews, I’ve not read DC Comics for a long time, but in the current DC Universe there exist at least two Supermen (Supermans? Anyway, actually it looks like from the info at the end of the comics that there are actually several others including Lex Luthor that will vie for the title. I kind of wish it was Lex Luger, who could defeat Doomsday with his forearm plate, but it is not to be). The Superman from this world is dead. I have no idea how he died, but he’s dead and Lana Lang and new Superman (who is in fact totally the 90’s Superman who has been conveniently living in obscurity and so is really the old Superman, I guess?) are going to have a comic book-length discussion about it. You see, Superman (the live one) is convinced that the dead Superman is going to come back to life like he dead. As opposed to Batman: Rebirth, Superman: Rebirth is a bunch of exposition and is really quite talky. Writer Peter Tomasi crams a ton of lore and backstory into this book as now-and-former Superman tries to convince Lana Lang that he’s not just some jerk cosplaying as her dead friend. Anyway, it turns out that dead Superman is, in fact, dead and so now living Superman (who I learned in DC Rebirth has a wife and a kid and a farm) will now need to be Superman full time. I actually really like the idea of giving Superman a family. It’s the sort of stakes that Superman lore has often danced around that has stopped him from being as humanized as, say, Spider-man.
Verdict: An exposition heavy comic that explains the Death of Superman in its entirety and is mostly just Lana Lang and Superman talking for a while and confirming that her friend is dead. Honestly, glibness aside, it does what it needs to do by setting up the world that this Superman will be in going forward and showing how he is distinct, at least in part, from his dead counterpart.