It's Complicated, But It Needs To Be
After having not read any DC titles past more than an issue or so for a few months, I decided to dive in head-first into Justice League: Rebirth. (July 2016 to the present), written and drawn by Bryan Hitch with cover art by Tony S. Daniel
Starting at JLA #1, Vol. 4 through #2, I got myself all caught up on what was going on in the lives of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Cyborg, and Flash. What I learned pretty much from the start was nothing was as I remembered it. Initially, the titled began being published twice per month.
First off, the events of these books take place following the highly publicized DC Rebirth arc. So, for the sake of catching up for those who are here because of DC television (Hey, it's possible.), Rebirth combines pre-Flashpoint and New 52 continuity.
Flashpoint erased much of the established past of DC's strongest heroes, but Rebirth adds some of it back. Still, there are many things in this continuity that seem out of place. During Rebirth, which started in July 2016 following the end of New 52, the Superman of "our" world (Prime Earth) is killed due to the cumulative effects of fighting a confused, superpowered man named Denny Swann, revealed in Last Days of Superman, exposure to a S.T.A.R. Labs kryptonite room, and battling Father Rao, a Kryptonian sun god personified in the pages of Superman: New Krypton.
He ain't coming back either, y'all. Especially since he sorta flamed out and turned into a pile of ash before his comrades' eyes. However, unbeknownst to the rest of the Justice League of America, there was already another Superman living on Earth. Yep, how convenient!
This Superman is revealed in Superman Lois & Clark: Convergence to be the Superman of Pre-Flashpoint continuity. He is married to Lois Lane and has a precocious young son. As is to be expected. Batman trusts this dude less than truck stop toilet seats, and the feeling is kind of mutual. This is not the Batman that Superman knows, although it really is, and vice versa.
Additionally, the Green Lantern Corps now has two guarding Space Sector 2814, which includes Earth. They are Simon Baz, of Arab descent, and Jessica Cruz, a Latina. Flash seems to be the same as before, and he and Cruz are actually dating. The storyline begins with a series of cataclysmic, global earthquakes that exponentially become stronger hour by hour.
Then, in the midst of a worldwide rescue mission, large waves of bio-mechanical creatures housed in large missiles begin attacking folks. Then, as if things couldn't get any worse, the invaders begin possessing normal humans, both dead and alive, stealing powers of some JLA members, and reveals its name as Kindred.
Aquaman is in Atlantis when the cataclysm strikes and is buried under the rubble of falling buildings. He awakens to find a series of ancient crystals housed in a museum that fell were singing to him. However, only he can hear their song.
The cosmic crew gathers at the Watchtower and realizes the cause of the earthquakes are three objects measuring five miles in diameter are activating every fault line on earth with each cycle. Though he doesn't trust him, Batman soon realizes the only person alive who can take care of this problem is the new Superman. Actually, I believe he had to be convinced by Wonder Woman or else he would have already done it. After all, he's the Batman.
Just prior to his departure, the Watchtower is attacked by the same bio-mechanical missiles he encountered in issue #1. Thousands more appear on earth simultaneously and more victims are entranced. All over the world, thousands of people are drawn together by the energy of the Kindred to form four giant humanoid figures, which we later found out are powered in part by the powers of Flash and the two Green Lanterns, and represent Magic, Speed Force, Emotional Light Spectrum and Cosmic Energy.
Somehow, by causing the Flash and Green Lantern Cruz to doubt themselves, the Kindred are able to siphon off their energy. Wonder Woman takes the challenge head on but is absorbed by one of the giant figures.
On the final page of issue #2, we see Batman arrive in Metropolis as Superman destroys Purge ships with ease. Batman laments that, while he doesn't trust this person, he is just the person for the job that needs to get done.
Review to be continued with further breakdown of issues 3 and 4, as well as our take on the overall storyline and the artwork, next week. Up to this point, the book served as a crash course to catch up on what I've missed earlier, as well as a foreshadowing of the fight to come.