The penultimate issue of Reborn is out this week and that means it’s time to set things up for the greatest battle Heaven and Hell has ever faced! We review, but is it good?
Reborn #5 (Image Comics)
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
MILLAR-CAPULLO’s epic, sell-out sci-fi fantasy story continues. On Bonnie’s intrepid trek to find her dead husband, Roy-Boy has finally picked up Harry’s scent. Will the couple reunite, or does the message scrawled in blood spell further danger?
Why does this book matter?
Aside from the two powerhouses that are Mark Millar and Greg Capullo teaming up for the first time? How about a very cool reimagining of what Heaven and Hell can be like that’s made vividly real via Capullo’s awesome pencils.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
When you put it that way life kinda blows.
This issue does two things very well. The first is open with a montage of our heroes traversing the world fighting and fleeing from all sorts of science fiction and fantasy craziness. It’s a fun way to show how varied and interesting this world is–and make you want to see more of it–that also allows Capullo to run amok and do whatever he likes. In this montage we see cities strapped to the backs of giants, wizards stopping a tidal wave and a lot more. One of the best elements of this series is how varied and wild Capullo can be and together this team has shown off something only the wildest of dreams could portray. The second thing done very well is the opening captions as Bonnie explains how she went from an old person living her last days in pain and torment to becoming an adventurer. These captions overlaid with Capullo’s wicked montage helps convey how, even with insane monsters and danger, this new life is better than the one she had.
Outside of this great opening, Millar writes a fantastic bit about family and learning what makes life worth living. This ties well into a bit of dialogue where Bonnie explains how she wants to live her life in this version of Heaven. By setting this up, Millar forces Bonnie in a bit of a corner and forces us to experience a Heaven where maybe not everything is possible.
Capullo does another fantastic job with this one and there’s so much to like if you listed it out it’d be longer than the issue itself. From really great facial expressions that cue you into how Bonnie and others are feeling, to the amazing adventure moments to open the book it’s all top notch. I really dig how Capullo draws helmets and technology. Bonnie’s helmet looks functional, but also cool and it’s got a look I could see being worn on convention floors. A few rocket ships show up early on and they’re done so well you’ll wish Capullo was drawing a Top Gun comic (seriously). You’ll turn the pages thinking Capullo is either a genius, or a madman for how long it probably took to draw some of these panels.
Dang that’s pretty.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There’s a scene where Bonnie confronts bad news and the villagers deliver all the needed information in concise and efficient panels. It rings a bit false since it’s so convenient and layered on so thickly. It’s exposition heavy which makes for a moment where the writer is seen forcing things along. A little later, a character we’ve only heard about shows up and having not met them before makes you really not care about them as much, especially given the new information we learned in a prior scene. These things combined make the last few pages seem rushed and uninteresting.
Is It Good?
Reborn #5 is a great penultimate issue that sets up the stakes, reminds readers of the protagonist’s point of view, and looks good doing it. Unfortunately the last few pages stuff a lot in so as to get readers set up for the next issue, but that doesn’t hurt the overall product all that much.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!