Mark Millar, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia's second issue of Reborn is a stark departure from the rocket of a first issue.
I was fond of the opening issue (would've rated it 4 out of 5, for various reasons, but mostly emotions for the protagonist) but I found a few parts of this one which dragged me down a little.
After thoroughly enjoying one of Image's other series (shutter) that also have a lot of animal based players with full agency and legitimacy, I'm left a little dead by one of Millar's choices in driving one of the bad guys. I'm not saying that it doesn't wholly work (and my shutter reference isn't comparison, it's just a reference), and the world doesn't end as a result, but it seems like a short cut when we could have given more (or the allusion of more) to this character to sow our sympathies harder to bring their drives to the fore. It's still a little giggle, though, which the book has a few of. There's another niggle, but we'll get there in a second, because it's bad overall.
Some of the good is in Millar's very pure handling of group dynamics which bond you very quickly with the people on the page, their interactions with the well realised ancillary folk, and how those interactions build. It's just a shame, therefore (here's that niggle) that a lot of the dialogue is clunky and expository. I just feel that there's a lot to be said for "letting the actors tell the story." To help demonstrate this I've included a full page (see right, click to enlarge) which shows both of these to great effect, and it also shows the duality of the dialogue. After all it's hard to be both clunky and natural at the same time. But I think that a lot of that comes from Capullo, too (see the below "fun"), and I'm assuming Mark's direction of Greg's talents. As I hope I've intoned, I'm not entirely comfortable with lots of exposition, but I do like good interactions, so I think that saves this from fully jumping in to Suicide Squad film territory.
So Greg Capullo's talents with these actors is open and expressive, he's doing just fine here. With the very vaguest hint of A Distant Soil (Colleen Doran's masterpiece of Sci-fi/fantasy) Capullo skews much closer to fun and the lighter side of 80s Sci-Fantasy(?) film, and it really helps lift the book with Plascencia on the colour detail. My only small bone of contention might be how father and daughter are occasionally drawn just a little … weirdly … too 'close'. I think this is demonstrated well in the panel to our left.
However the minor setbacks are just that, minor, they don't severely hamper this romp. Although, I'd have thought that with all the exposition we might have just been told all the odd stuff, too, to get it over with and maybe allow for more character work later on, but I'm sure that there's a reason for all of this. Millar, Capullo, and co. have 'world built' phenomenally well here (mostly in this issue, actually) and it's pretty and fun, but just a little shallow. But we all need a few less layers sometimes.
Keep exploring with them to the next issue if you're already on board, it's worth it. If you're not there, though, I can certainly say that issue one would be worth checking out.
- Title: Reborn
- Volume: 1
- Issue: 2
- Published: 16th November 2016
- Publisher: Image Comics
- Writer: Mark Millar
- Penciler: Greg Capullo
- Inker: Jonathan Glapion
- Colorist: FCO Plascencia
- Letterer: Nate Piekos (of BLAMBOT®)
- Story pages: 24
- Print price: $3.99
- Digital price: $3.99