DC Comic’s kicked off its Rebirth back at the end of May and now, four months later, we’re still seeing new first issues being released. This week saw the kick-off of the Rebirth version of Teen Titans and the first official issue of the new Blue Beetle.
Of course, DC Comics isn’t the only company releasing revamped versions of their characters with new number ones. Archie Comics continues to roll out new books with the first issue of an updated Josie & the Pussycats.
Josie & the Pussycats 1
Written by Marguerite Bennett and Cameron Deordio
Art by Audrey Mok
I’m not really familiar with Josie & the Pussycats, so this new number one from Archie Comics is probably the most experience I have with the characters, outside of the 2001 movie starring Rachel Leigh Cook, Rosario Dawson and Tara Reid. So, this new issue was mostly my introduction to Josie, Melody and Valerie.
The first issue is the origin of the group and Bennett and Deordio don’t bother stretching that origin out. By the time the issue is over, the band has been formed, even through some tribulations brought about by series antagonist Alexandra Cabot. Honestly, there was a point where I thought they were going to keep the band apart for a couple of issues, but they thankfully pushed through it.
There was one panel in particular that caught me off guard. I know the revamped Archie Comics have pushed the boundaries a bit further than what they’re historically been, but I definitely wasn’t prepared for this:
I nearly did a spit take on the train on my way home. Well, I would have if I was drinking anything. That’s definitely the panel of the week, in my humble opinion.
If the first issue is any indication, Archie Comics has another hit on its hands with Josie & the Pussycats.
Teen Titans Rebirth 1
Written by Benjamin Percy
Art by Jonboy Meyers
These Rebirth issues were great when DC Comics was getting Rebirth off the ground, but as they continue to move forward with the new books, these have essentially become preview issues that get repeated or ignored once the actual first issue hits. This preview issue of the new Teen Titans group, which is still reeling from the apparent death of its former leader Tim Drake, shows how the new team gets brought together.
Of course, because the new leader of the group is Damian Wayne, the twisted byproduct of Batman and the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, the group is very much brought together under duress. Damian Wayne shocks and kidnaps Raven, Starfire, Beast Boy and Kid Flash over the course of the issue’s 20 story pages. There really isn’t much of a story here, just vignettes introducing the “team members” targeted by Robin and then the various kidnappings. I’ve never really been a big fan of DamianWayne, so the new Teen Titans is a bit of a tough sell for me right out of the gate, and watching his new “team” get kidnapped into joining probably won’t help the cause there.
I’ve been really enjoying writer Benjamin Percy’s work on the new Green Arrow, but I think the Rebirth Teen Titans series may be a hard pass for me for right now.
Blue Beetle 1
Written by Keith Giffen
Art by Scott Kolins
Keith Giffen can be a lot of fun as a writer, but he can also get a little too cute for his own good some times. The first real issue of Blue Beetle is one of those times. The entire issue is a series of snark, first between Jaime Reyes and his school friends and then between Reyes and his “benefactor/partner” Ted Kord, which was basically a rehash of the Rebirth issue from last month. The bad guys and the situation are a bit different, but the effect is the same.
The crux of the Rebirth issue lead to Doctor Fate telling Kord that the scarab attached to Reyes’ back isn’t alien in origin – it’s mystical – and Giffen spends the issue teasing and tip-toeing around it. We open with Jaime telling his friends about a dream he had involving Doctor Fate, and then, Kord casually mentions toward the end of the issue that Fate came to see him and they should probably talk about that.
It’s not bad, it’s just unnecessary to go over the same material from the Rebirth issue in issue 1 and it feels like I wasted $2.99 somewhere along the way. I’m still on board, because I miss having Ted Kord around, but the ice got a bit thinner with this issue.