dc_rebirth_charactersIt’s the first full week of DC Comics: Rebirth, and not a single Watchmen character appears in those issues, so we decided it would be a good opportunity to complain again about Watchmen characters appearing in the DC Universe.

Specifically, it was revealed this week that DC Comics didn’t contact Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons to ask him his opinion about adding Watchmen characters to Dc Universe: Rebirth. So we talk about whether that was a bush league move (protip: yeah), some of the history around DC leaving Watchmen alone, and whether DC Editorial really had any choice in asking for Gibbons or writer Alan Moore for even a half-hearted blessing in using their characters in Rebirth.

Then, since we were on a Rebirth roll, we discussed all this week’s titles from that event:

  • Superman: Rebirth #1, written by Peter Tomasi with art by Doug Mahnke,
  • Green Arrow: Rebirth #1, written by Benjamin Percy with art by Otto Schmidt,
  • Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1, written by Geoff Johns and Sam Humphries with art by Ethan Van Sciver and Ed Benes, and:
  • Batman: Rebirth #1, written by Scott Snyder and Tom King with art by Miken Janin.

And, just so Marvel doesn’t feel neglected, we close the show by talking about:

  • Civil War II #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez!

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you want to avoid knowing how the DC: Rebirth books end (spoiler alert: no matter what happens, it probably won’t matter next month), then consider yourself warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your mom to know what “giddy bottom” means? Get some ear buds.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

Batgirl #0 is kind of a strange book. It endeavors to explain Barbara Gordon’s first work in a bat costume, and some of her motivations behind her initial moves into costumed adventuring, and it does that… kind of. But it also leaves open as many questions as it answers, introduces a bunch of vague mysteries that allow writer Gail Simone to tease assumed future stories, and winds up leading directly into the flashback of one of the most famous moments in the history of the character. It also spends a lot of time telling us Barbara’s character traits by, well, telling us about Barbara’s character traits, and it never really explains why Barbara is so fascinated with Batman – certainly not to the point where it makes sense that she’d put on a suit and start working with him.

But on the plus side, this is a superhero comic drawn by Ed Benes that features almost no gratuitous ass shots. Then again, depending on your taste, that might be a negative.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This review was written when the writer was extremely hung over. This has affected his mood, and his ability to remember if he has included spoilers or not. You have been warned.

Red Lanterns is one of the damnedest comics on the stands right now. Every issue I’ve read feels like it has some kind of underlying theme, some kind of Big Message it’s trying to impart. Issue one felt like it was hinting at the underlying motivations and effect of vigilante violence. The third issue teased themes of the effects of sexual violence. This issue intimates a greater examination of the vary nature of what it would mean to become suddenly superhuman. These are all admirable aspirations for a monthly comic book, and it would be exciting and interesting to read… if those themes weren’t buried in hamfisted storytelling that seemingly goes nowhere and gratuitous ass shots and brokeback poses. This book serves up more ass on a consistent basis than a back alley Chinese food place… in more ways than one.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This review contains spoilers. It also contains at least three euphemisms for male ejaculation, several vulgar terms for female genitalia, and more than one filthy joke. With the entirety of Red Lanterns #3 being one of those filthy jokes. You have been warned.

I’ve read three issues of DC’s Red Lanterns now, and having done so, I have one obvious question: who hurt you, Peter Milligan?

What was her name? Sit on down, crack open a beer and tell Uncle Rob aaaaallll about that cooze. Get it out of your system. And then maybe you can get back to writing a superhero book that makes some fucking sense.

Red Lanterns #3 opens with a bat chick with big knockers (You remember Bleez, right?) inverted, look of terror on her face while she chokes on thick, viscous liquid, while Atrocitus narrates:

With luck, the pain will be intense.

That’ll mean it’s working. the gelatinous liquids of Ysmault entering her brain.

Sure, Atrocitus. I call mine “Old Sparky,” but “Ysmault” works too, I guess. Seriously, Peter: where’d you salvage that narration from? Your letter to fucking Penthouse?

EDITOR’S NOTE: This review contains immediate, thoughtless, prejudicial spoilers. It is even possible that the story has already been ruined for you. So you might as well keep reading.

If you’ve been a comic book fon for the past couple of years, particularly if you’ve been one who followed Geoff Johns’s Green Lantern saga from the Sinestro Corps War through the Blackest Night event of 2010, you are going to cream your pants over the first seven pages of Red Lanterns #1. Peter Milligan NAILS everything fun and cool about the Red Lantern Corps, so much so that at one point I stopped what I was doing and I told Amanda, “You know what? Red Lanterns has the opening I’ve liked best of any of DC’s New 52 so far.”

“That’s great, Rob,” she said, “But I’d appreciate it if you’d put the comic book away until after we’re done having sex.”

But I digress… actually, I don’t, because that seven page opener is as much a non-sequiter as the above joke was. It has next to nothing to do with the remainder of the story that follows, and frankly? If you’re one of those ephemeral “new readers” that the New 52 is supposed to be reaching, I’m guessing you’ll quit somewhere during those seven pages and never read the book again.

Because if you don’t already know the characters, their backgrounds and motivations, what you’re seeing as an introduction to the Red Lantern Corps is an angry kitty in a red jumpsuit who bites some space dicks (The aliens in question being dicks, not ACTUAL, dangling space wangs. And the aliens themselves aren’t actually penises, they’re DICKS. Oh, forget it.), and his owner, who appears to be Mike Tyson if he ate too many carrots and tore his own lips off to give his teeth room to reproduce in his own mouth. And you’ll close the book, say something like, “Huh. those comics people DO eat mushrooms,” and go back and read Harry Potter again.