Earlier this year, Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar and Batman artist Greg Capullo released a new comic book series for Image titled Reborn. Combining Millar’s irreverent storytelling with Capullo’s iconic art, the duo have essentially reimagined a world where death allows people to be reborn into a fantasy role-playing game. Kind of like Black Mirror’s “San Junipero” episode, only people awake to The Lord of the Rings, not a retirement city in Southern California.
Reborn stars Bonnie Black, an old woman living in a nursing care facility, awaiting death. Her husband and family have already passed away, as well as her best friend who passed away after refusing chemotherapy for cancer. Then, Bonnie dies of a heart attack.
Of course this is where the book actually begins, with Bonnie waking up in the body she had in her 20s, only the world around her is something out of a fantasy novel.
Wizards, goblins, and magical airships surround her … that is, until her father, now some kind of viking warrior, fends them off.
Turns out there is no heaven or hell after death, only a second life in an actual fairy tale, and Bonnie has been reborn as the world’s savior. The only mission she wants to accomplish, however, is finding her husband who died before her and is lost somewhere in this world. Reborn’s second issue continues to build this fascinating world in ways that only Millar could mess around with.
The fantasy afterlife is divided up into two parts: the heaven-like Adystria where everyone is born as some kind of RPG character, and the Dark Lands where the bad people are reborn as demons of sorts. Although, it’s not just people; as it turns out, pets get reborn as fantasy creatures as well, with the same good and evil rules applied to them as well.
Mark Millar, far removed from the gritty, street-level heroism of Kick-Ass is building a huge fantasy world, complete with all the usual tropes, but given his trademark humor. Capullo likewise is doing great job illustrating the high-fantasy of Reborn after giving his own, unique spin to Gotham City. As the brand new second issue reveals even more of Reborn’s fantasy RPG.
Reborn #2 is available now in comic book stores and digital retailers.