By Dustin Cabeal
After Huck, I came back into the fold on Mark Millar. Before that, I had read and dropped off a lot of Millar titles after the first or second issue. I’ve learned that you have to give him two issues before you heap praise on him, with Huck being the exception.Reborn is vintage Millar. It’s high concept and easy, to sum up. The afterlife is real, but we’re all reborn in different bodies and fighting some fantasy adventure world of good and evil. Like I said, high concept. The charm of the issue comes from the methodical build up that leads to the reveal I just mentioned. We follow a woman’s life as it’s approaching its end and Millar carefully reveals to us each of the characters she’s lost and will once again be united with. It works because Millar is a talented writer and if he would just get over his need to have some kind of ultraviolence, then this issue would have been damn good. His dialogue, in particular, is the closest to the masterful work he did on Huck. I know I’ve brought up Huck way too much, but it is his masterpiece.
As for Greg Capullo, I barely recognized his artwork. I know that I’m in the minority when I say that I found his work on Batman that good. Being a fan of Capullo’s work on Spawn I was excited about him going to Batman, but when I saw it, it didn’t look like his style. It didn’t look like his level of detail or care. I never recovered from the crushed expectations, and since then I have had lowered expectations.
This is my roundabout way of saying that he delivered what I had hoped to see on Batman with Reborn. It was exactly what I wanted to see previously, but here it was on a new title. Sure it’s a mini-series, sure he’s been given twice the time to illustrated it compared to a DC title, but it’s still so much better. If his Batman looked like this, I would wait the extra time in-between arcs just to see his art (that and I would only be showing up for the art). His art shines on this issue from the mundane to the extreme fantasy elements.
This is still the first issue, and it sets up a world that we’ve yet to fully explore so while I think this issue is a solid opening, I’ll still be cautious on the next issue. That aside, though, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this issue. It’s been a while since a new Image title grabbed me and made me want to read more. Whether Reborn keeps me for more than two remains to be seen, but you could do a lot worse by not picking this up this week.
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Greg Capullo