Story by Mark Millar (@mrmarkmillar)
Art by Greg Capullo (@GregCapullo)
Inking by Jonathan Glapion (@jonathanglapion)
Coloring by FCO Plascencia (@fcoo)
Reborn #1 tells the story of Bonnie, a woman in her golden years, who’s trying to accept her own mortality. She’s lost her husband, parents, and best friend, but still contends with the prospect of her own potential. She isn’t sure of her significance in the world and the effect she had on the grand scheme of things. Before she could unravel this existential burden and come to terms with death she finds herself facing it.
Millar and Capullo aim to make a distinction between life and the after life with images that a reader has seen before in movies or themselves personally. There are magazines flaunting Hollywood’s “Hottest Celebrities,” nurses, and wedding photos. There archetypal images that illustrate a more subdued version of living which could make people question the legitimacy of their existence. Until Bonnie’s death occurs and a world of a fantastical nature filled with space ships, dragons, and evil warlocks appears.
The art by Capullo, Glapion, and Plascencia structure their worlds with great restraint until releasing their talents like magic-filled firecrackers that burst on the page.
Plascencia’s coloring for Bonnie’s memories are distinguishable from one another through tightening the spectrum of colors used. The newer the memories, the fresher they look on the page. The older they are the more he mutes the coloring to create the effect of an old photograph weathered by time. He doesn’t use a more complete palette of colors until he works on the “afterlife” that Millar and Capullo have created. Though before he reaches that, Bonnie revisits her memories in a spinning carousel of her experiences full of color shattering into her being reborn.
The issue plays with the philosophy of death through the idea that we meet our loved ones in an afterlife and uses that to build a new world. A world filled with different problems and a purpose alluding to a facet of life harder to understand. What Millar and Capullo seem to set their eyes on is telling a sci-fi/fantasy story that must contend with the finite nature of the human condition. Death isn’t merely the ending of a story, it’s the beginning of a new understanding in a world where our significance is called to action and our metaphysical potential is put to the test.
Buy! Capullo’s art is enamoring and his story with Millar is an entertaining mystery that calls up a series of engaging questions about life and death. It is a personal story and the team have meticulously played with how to structure its magnitude. It’s a damn good building block to a fantasy that if Millar/Capullo play correctly can bend the rules of the hero’s journey all while making sense of a deeply troubling topic.