A plea to forgive and forget the mistakes of the New 52 is the message behind DC’s Rebirth – a largely positive move, with one unfortunate design flaw.
Three months in and DC Comics‘ latest attempt to clean house and welcome new readers is a qualified success. Retailers and readers alike are excited about DC’s decision to put a sense of history and friendship back in Gotham, Metropolis, Central City, and the rest of the universe. How then, you might ask yourself, could they have screwed up what many consider the strongest possible launch? Easy. By sticking ‘Rebirth’ on everything.
Here’s a quick catch-me-up: The Rebirth line started with a single, one-shot issue confusingly labeled ‘DC Universe Rebirth #1.’ Forget that number one, there will never be a number two. Then most (but not all) of the newly relaunched titles began with their own Rebirth one-shot issue: Batman Rebirth #1, Superman Rebirth #1, Wonder Woman Rebirth #1, etc. Again, there is no #2. Then they released the actual first issue of each series, all labeled with a #1, and the word ‘Rebirth’ still hovering around the title. And that’s not even getting into the fact that each book has multiple covers!
But aside from the fact that I have to help readers navigate this mess multiple times a day, this new direction for DC is a definite breath of air. These are the ones that still have my attention 3 or 4 issues in:
- Green Arrow (W: Ben Percy A: Otto Schmidt) – The one no one wanted, but that everybody loves. As a character unaffected by the timey-wimey weirdness that made Rebirth possible, Green Arrow was able to launch straight into an adventure while everyone else wasted pages on ‘Remember this?’ Adding to that a long-overdue reunion with his beloved (and kickass) Black Canary, and this team has been knocking it out of the park.
- Detective Comics (W: James Tynion IV A: Eddy Barrows) – With new problems plaguing Gotham, Batman has assembled a team of misfit sidekicks to be trained into an elite force by the ex-military Batwoman. This is the book for any fans of the Convergence story arc that featured a team-up of Stephanie Brown, Tim Drake, and Cassandra Caine.
- Wonder Woman (W: Greg Rucka A: Liam Sharpe/Nicola Scott) – With this bi-monthly comic, I favor the storyline illustrated by Nicola Scott, a new take on Diana’s Year One, or how she came to be Wonder Woman after Steve Trevor washed up on the shores of her Amazonian island.
- Nightwing (W: Tim Seeley A: Javi Fernandez) – A rare male superhero drawn with the female gaze in mind. After a stint as a spy that divided the fanbase, Dick Grayson is back in costume, but still trying to go it alone to take down a cabal of baddies left over from the New 52.
- Flash (W: Joshua Williamson A: Carmine Di) – If, like me, you can never get enough Speedsters, you’re in luck! A strange storm in Central City has thrown dozens of regular folk into the Speed Force, and Barry has his work cut out for him training a fleet of Flashes while trying to hunt down one who’s killing others in his need for speed.
- Titans (W: Dan Abnett A: Brett Booth) – For years following the Flashpoint event that created the N52, Wally West (formerly Kid Flash) was erased from the universe. Now he’s back, and he and his friends want to figure out who’s been messing with their lives. This book picks up after the excellent Titan’s Hunt, and now that Aqualad, Nightwing, Wonder Girl, Arsenal, and Omen are back together, they’re done with reality warpers.