By Phillip Eubanks
It has been no secret that DC’s Rebirth line of comics has been considered a runaway success not only among the industry, but also among readers and fans. Coming out of after “DCYOU,” what many to be the Achilles' heel of the “New 52” relaunch that took place in 2011. Many fans were vocal about the “story over continuity” aspect of the “DCYOU” line that the company began to favor. Fans and Readers felt it was simply an excuse for the seemingly directionless aspect of the “New 52” universe in terms of a shared continuity fans have come to appreciate that many readers were seeing the seams come apart after five years of the initially successful “New 52” relaunch. DC tried remedy this by pushing for a more independent and diverse catalog of new titles with DCYOU. But it seemingly couldn't maintain reader interest especially after the critical failure of last year’s “Convergence” event.
So with the enlisted help of DC’s “golden boy”, Geoff Johns, DC took another risk and launched “Rebirth”, taking from the namesake of Johns’ own critically successful titles “Flash: Rebirth and Green Lantern: Rebirth,” which were considered to be critically acclaimed relaunches of those respective characters..
Rebirth launched in May of this year with DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1 written by Geoff Johns and art by Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis, Gary Frank, and others. As it seems, the new jumping off point has one the favor of event the greatest of detractors of the company’s efforts. (*cough* Marvel diehards). Explaining the impetus behind Rebirth, Johns explained in his own words in an interview with Hollywood Reporter stating, “I really wanted to deliver a tonal shift for the DC Universe so that it could give back that sense of hope and optimism.”
That new “hope and optimism” also brought with it an even more of a gamble. DC has made the decision cut their over all catalog of titles almost in half in favor of double shipping, a facet of the comic book publishing world that prior to this was more of Marvel’s signature.
So Its been about three months since the launch of the new line and most of the double shipped will be reaching their half way mark to completing their first story arcs. So we took the time to tell you the titles that should be on every comic book reader’s radar.
First up is:
Aquaman: Rebirth #1 & Aquaman #1
The first story arc titled “The Drowning” tells the story of Aquaman and his efforts to make Atlantis a respected member of the global community, mending the relationship that the under water nation has with the land-dwelling world. At the center of this is Aquaman’s decision as King to establish a land based embassy for his people to commune with nations of the world and build relationships whilst appearing as transparent as possible. That is until a threat from inside his own kingdom threatens to place the sovereign nation of Atlantis on the brink of war. Surrounded by acts of espionage and political subterfuge, Aquaman must discover who is responsible. As he investigates he also has to contend with the tasks of establish ing Atlantis’ diplomacy, contending with his arch rival, Black Manta and dealing with the his own engagement to Atlantis’ queen, Mera. It’s all in a day’s work for King of the Seven Seas.
If you like politically motivated stories or just a reason to take a chance on the Justice League’s fish guy then check out, Aquaman Rebirth #1!.
Up next! The caped crusader!
Batman: Rebirth #1 & Batman #1
The first issue of this series written by Tom King and drawn by David Finch starts of with a spectacular Rebirth #1 issue and first ongoing issue that has the DARK Knight questioning his own necessity in Gotham.
In an effort to save a commercial flight out of control, Batman has to act heroically to save the passengers knowing this might be his end. That is until two unmasked heroes save the day. But who are these heroes that call themselves Gotham and Gotham Girl?
This series has been going strong so far, introducing new characters and bringing back fan favorites including Duke, a character created by previous title writer, Scott Snyder. The REBIRTH issue acts a sort of passing of the baton from Scott Snyder to Tom King but after that, this is a title that cant be stopped and will not only have you asking who these two new unmasked super heroes are, but just as importantly “Who are the Monster Men?
Pick up BATMAN REBIRTH #1 to find out the answers.
Next up the Scarlet Speedster!
Flash: Rebirth #1 & Flash #1
Flash #1 begins with a lighting storm that comes to Central City, but this storm has consequences. Consequences that are giving a number of average citizens spread across central city speedster powers, including Barry’s new CSI partner. Barry takes it upon himself to not only help the affected people but train them to control their newly acquired abilities. The only problem is there is somebody killing them off one by one and that new villain is calling himself “Godspeed”.
Lets just say Barry has his hands full including a cast of the familiar characters including, Kid Flash and Iris West. So if you want to dive into the Speed Force, this is a great place to start.
Next on the list is our Boy Scout in Blue!
Superman: Rebirth #1 & Superman #1
This Superman is from the “Pre-New 52” universe trapped in this world with his wife, Lois and son, Johnathan. Yes, I said son. The family remained hidden until one thing called this Clark out from hiding and that’s the death of this world’s own Superman, the “New 52” one that is. If you are looking for classic Superman then look no further than Superman Rebirth #1 by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason.
Last but not least is the Amazonian warrior herself!
Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1 & Wonder Woman #1
Wonder Woman is a unique title compared to most of the other titles in “Rebirth.” It is telling a story with alternate story arcs per every other issue. One in the past and one in the present. The one in the past is called “Wonder Woman Year One” and is telling the story of Wonder Woman’s origin beginning with her life on Themyscira. The other story line is “The Lies” is telling a parallel story in the present where Diana must unravel her own past, separating fact from fiction. Both of which she no longer seems to have a grasp on.
This title is taking a unique twist on the double shipping method so instead of getting one story within half the time you are getting two stories concurrently within one title. If you are looking for a strong female lead comic book, then there is no better character than Wonder woman and no better place to start than Wonder Woman Rebirth #1.
Detective comics #934 & #935
Action Comics #957 & #956
Trust us these are some of the best of the best and if you are reading the new Superman series then you want to be reading Action and Detective Comics is the best team book on the shelves that money can buy. Plus Clayface being on a Batman team has to intrigue you a little, right? So do us a favor and pick those up as well. You wont regret it.
Well that’s all, folks. Be sure to check back for a future list of what is worth checking out with DC Rebirth.