Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Review - Reborn #1 (@imagecomics)


"I know you look different and have no idea what's going on..."

Life after death is something of an abstract concept that's riddled societies for years. It's a very abstract concept that has a relatively simple scientific solution, but the question of the soul isn't nearly as simplistic. Reborn #1 from Image Comics seeks to offer a solution for both sides of the coin. The issue is written by Mark Millar, penciled by Greg Capullo, inked by Jonathan Glapion, colored by Fco Plascenscia and lettered by Nate Piekos.

Where do you go when you die? Not heaven or hell; somewhere else. Somewhere you have to fight to survive. Somewhere the people from the past are waiting for you-the good and the bad.

There's a lot to emotionally unpack in Reborn #1 as Millar brings the reader along for the death of someone who's lived a full life. The nuanced approach by Millar that distills a life down to its most important and cherished memories requires the reader to be extraordinarily patient as the book unfolds via very deliberate pacing. In fact, Millar's script will probably bore a lot of readers at first, but amidst the ennui are some pretty heady takes on the concept of mortality and what happens after we die. And once you get past the more philosophical dealings of Reborn #1, Millar ensures that things really take a science-fiction turn and get both interesting and weird. The first issue is definitely a somewhat erratic mix of ideas that eventually settle down into what will be the crux of the series and Millar clearly has his lead he's staying focused on.

The linework by Capullo is gorgeous. There's an elegance in how he presents death and mayhem, infusing those scenes with a grizzled take on the life that preceded the deceased. Each and every character is illustrated very cleanly and Capullo presents them with plenty of emotion that's befitting of the contextual action on the page. Glapion's inks are very light and accentuate Capullo's pencils very well. And the colors by Plascenscia are surprisingly vibrant given the subject matter.

Reborn #1 is an interesting book that offers a science-fiction explanation for what has typically been a philosophical conundrum. Bonnie is an effective lead character for the the narrative to funnel itself through as she's lived a full life and gets to experience the next phase. Millar's script is a little discombobulated at points, but it rapidly comes together as it progresses. The linework by Capullo is brilliant and it effectively conveys to the reader a sense of life and death. Reborn #1 is a very strong first issue that demands patience of the reader as they get invested in what is sure to be a longer haul.

Reborn #1 is in stores now.

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