By Patrick Wolf
Concluding the series of the hit sell-out franchise, Reborn shines in this action-packed sixth issue. While the story still suffers from weak characterization and broken promises, the series is still an excellent read and is definitely worth the cover price. So, if you’re feeling down and need a little pick-me-upper to help you though the day, Reborn might just be that jolt you’ve been waiting for.
The showdown is finally here: Bonnie and her father are going to face off against Lord Golgotha and his entire dark army. To make matters worse, Bonnie’s husband is being held hostage and will be killed if Bonnie brings anyone other than her father as support. Will Bonnie be able to defeat Lord Golgotha, free her ex-husband, and close the gateway to Earth before it’s too late?
There are a lot of great things about this franchise. For one, the artwork is phenomenal. If Mark Miller’s name wasn’t already enough to attract attention to this series, Greg Capullo’s illustrations would certainly get the job done. His drawings are so stunning and well-crafted they remind me of Oscar Wilde’s prose: just as nearly every line in Wild’s writing is quotable, so is nearly every panel in Capullo’s work memorable. You could almost just randomly flip to a page, pick a panel, and have something better than most top-tier cover arts. It’s that good.
Another element that stands out is how the plot and subplots all tie-up nicely. I can’t tell you how many story arcs I’ve read with loose ends and forgotten subplots. It’s nice to see a master writer connect all the dots in a plausible and satisfactory manner. The third act twist was also a pleasant surprise. For a while there I really believed Bonnie would fail and the quest would continue in a new story arc. Creating that kind of suspense is never easy.
Unfortunately, besides the fleeting suspense at the end, I never believed Bonnie and her father were ever in any real danger. To begin with, it’s been prophesized she’d win, so there’s that, but also Bonnie seems overwhelmingly powerful compared to the bad guys. She beats everyone very easily and even boss figures, like Golgotha’s second-in-command, fall as effortlessly to Bonnie’s strength as any other foot soldier.
Another problem with Bonnie’s strength is that you never get to see her develop her powers. It’s one thing to see heroes, like Dragon Ball Z’s Goku, gradually increase their might, and it’s another for the heroes to just spontaneously have it. Even heroes who do acquire their strength spontaneously (e.g. Spider-man) still need practice and hone and master their skills. Bonnie, however, just gets it, and that kind of takes away from the wonder of Reborn.
Speaking of wonder, one of the most annoying things about this series is how it teased a world filled with mythical creatures and high-tech machinery, and then gradually removed the sci-fi elements until the story was pretty much just a fantasy. Don’t get me wrong, I like fantasies; I just like fantasies that are mixed with sci-fi elements more. So, don’t tease a world populated with space ships and dragons if you’re not going to commit to the space ships.
In spite of these setbacks, Reborn is still a very good series. In fact, if it weren’t by Mark Miller and Greg Capullo, I’d probably praise it some more. But since the bar has been set so high for these guys, it’s natural to subject them to a higher grade of scrutiny. With that in mind, Reborn is an awesome series and issue # 6 concludes Bonnie’s journey in a very satisfactory manner. If you’re feeling down and need something to lift your spirit, pick up this series. It might just be the charm you need to give your day its own rebirth.
Reborn # 6
Writer: Mark Miller
Artist: Greg Capullo
Inker: Jonathan Glapion
Colorist: Fco Plascencia
Letterer: Nate Piekos
Publisher: Image Comics