Somebody's Watched Groundhog DayWritten by: Bryan Hitch
Art by: Bryan Hitch, Daniel Henriques, Andrew Currie, Paul Neary, Alex Sinclair, Jeromy Cox, Pete Pentazis and Richard Starkings
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: March 3, 2017
I have not been the biggest fan of the Rebirth Justice League...Okay, I have pretty much hated it from the start and that's a real shame. This should be DC's flagship book, but instead of giving us great stories with our favorite characters, Bryan Hitch is giving us a seemingly never ending string of world ending disasters with little to no resolution featuring barely recognizable characters. Seriously, this is not your father's Justice League, but it's also not your mother's, your brother's and it is certainly not mine. However, I will go into this new arc with an open mind and heart and hope that it is at least decent. Well, was it? Let's find out...
The issue opens with Barry crying over Jessica. Yep, shit has gone wrong and in this book, that is no surprise. Does Bryan Hitch hate the Justice League? Is he afraid to write an issue that things go kind of bad? I guess not. Barry does confront the bad guy, but at this point, he is just an armored guy holding what looks like a golden Lantern yelling that Barry killed "them".
We then head off to a diner where Barry and Jessica are having breakfast. The shift in time is jarring at first, but it does make sense eventually. However, if you don't go for a second read through, you might think that there was an error at the printers. That is until the guy with the Lantern interrupts things, yells about Flash killing "them" and then kills Jess. In the middle of it all, Barry gets a little Deja Vu and so did I...of another start of another ridiculously awful issue.
The scene then starts up again, but with a little variation and that's my main nitpick of the story...I get the Groundhog Day vibe going on here, but things are changing for no reason. Things are happening more and more in the past each time Barry and this unknown villain fight, but why? Maybe we will find out in the future, but for now, we have to sit back and try to enjoy the ride. Things pick up a bit when Barry decides to go "where it all started" and while it is nonsense that he then does, at least the story moves forward from there.
Barry ends up with the League before the explosion this time and convinces his wary teammates to walk this way. We then get a very forced and confusing setup of the villain, whose name is Jason, and meet his family who are obviously going to be the "them" of the story. The problem is, after this scene, I have no connection at all with the bad guy or his family so what happens really has no effect on me whatsoever. Now I know that I am not a caring fellow, but I swear this is not just because I have no compassion at all. Make me feel, Bryan Hitch! Make me feel!!!
The issue ends by showing us that while Jason was dealing with some pretty dangerous things, it was Barry's desire to go back to the beginning that caused the trouble in the first place. I guess Bryan Hitch had a free evening and followed his Groundhog Day viewing with a reading of Behold the Man by Michael Moorcock. In other words, we have seen all of this before in way better ways.
Yea, this issue was a bunch of ridiculous and contrived nonsense. Bryan Hitch continues to try to wow the reader with "epic" stories, but forgets to set them up properly and as a result, they just come off as laughable. It doesn't help that the villain in this issue is just a generic guy with a generic family, but why would I expect more when his heroes still have no depth to them after twenty issues. The Justice League seem more like robots who only react to what is going on at that moment than living, breathing characters. Because of that, I could care less what happens to them since I would rather read about them in every other book they are in way more than this one.
Bryan Hitch is also on art this issue (with six others) and if that is your cup of meat, then enjoy. I have never been a fan in that department and while there is nothing inherently wrong here, there is nothing impressive either. It certainly doesn't make the issue any better.
Bits and Pieces:
Bryan Hitch starts a new arc and it's the beginning of another "epic" story. I put that in quotes because we've seen it all before and without a good setup, it all falls flat. This is just another piece of the puzzle that is the most disappointing title in Rebirth and while I want to care, I am way past that point.