No matter how someone decides to judge DC Comics latest re-launch, they cannot deny that “Rebirth” has been both a critical and financial success. The publisher broke free from its perpetual second place spot in monthly sales and has taken the top spot over Marvel more than once in 2016. They have also dominated in digital sales. DC Rebirth was far from perfect but has been well received especially compared to the much-maligned New 52.
When DC Rebirth launched in May, I decided to give every title a try. I wasn’t really reviewing then so it was just for fun. I was pleasantly surprised with how many titles I actually enjoyed. I’ve dropped a few since then but I gave every series at least three issues.
So, with the new year here I’ve decided to list my favorite comic books from DC Rebirth. I tried not to spoil too much but if you just want the list then scroll to the bottom.
Writer: Christopher Priest
Artists: Carlo Pagulyan, Igor Vitorino, Felipe Watanabe
Writer Christopher Priest to bring the character back to its roots and stray far away from the anti-hero Slade Wilson had become in New 52. There is nothing heroic about Priest’s Deathrstoke, and to call him a jerk would be an understatement. Which has made this journey of Slade Wilson getting closer to his family all the more interesting. The plot is getting a little complex, with there being a lot of time jumps back and forth. That’s the only reason this series is so low in the top ten. With cameos by Superman, Batman and Robin, this has been a must read since the first issue.
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artists: Dexter Soy
Full-disclosure: I don’t like Scott Lobdell. There are things he has said or done that have rubbed me the wrong way. As a writer, his stories always had exciting starts, but eventually just started to drag. Which makes my love for the new incarnation of Red Hood and the Outlaws that much more surprising. I think I’ve finally figured out why I love it so much: It’s grown up Young Justice. Former Robin, Jason Todd, goes undercover in Black Mask’s organization much to the dismay of Batman. Along the way he meets an Amazon named Artemis who is after a sacred weapon she lost. She gets captured and they meet up with a Bizarro. It’s still very early but so far this has been a fun read every issue. It also features superstar artist Dexter Soy, and I’m starting to believe this series could be something special. If Dexter Soy isn’t elevated to a bigger book in 2017, then I’ll eat my hat. (I don’t own a hat, but he’s amazing)
Writer: Rob Venditti
Artists: Ethan Van Sciver, Rafa Sandoval
I have never been much of a Green Lantern fan, yet two lantern titles are in my top ten. This series just has a blockbuster feel too it. There are actual crossover events that don’t feel as epic as this book. The action is just crazy; I even compared Hal Jordon’s power up to Dragon Ball Z on Twitter. The series starts with Jordan tracking down the Green Lantern Corps, while a rejuvenated Sinestro spreads fear across the galaxy with the help of War World. There is just a lot to enjoy right now when it comes to the Green Lanterns.
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artists: Patrick Zircher, Tyler Kirkham, Stephen Segovia
With respect to the readers who enjoyed the New 52 Superman, I am happy to announce that the REAL Superman is back. When DC Comics announced that the Pre-52 Superman was returning I started to worry, because surely having two Supermen would get confusing. And it has been somewhat confusing even after New 52 Superman’s death. There is now old Superman that is married to Lois and has a kid, there is New 52 Superman that is dead, and there is a Clark Kent that has shown up. This Clark Kent appears during an epic battle between Superman and Doomsday and has no memories of ever being Superman. The good thing about this convoluted story is that they aren’t sweeping it under the rug, as a matter of fact, there being multiple Supermen is a main plot point. With the mysterious figure Mr. Oz teasing revelations to come, readers are left craving answers. It has been a blast to read, even for someone who stopped reading the character. The ‘Superman’ title just missed the list too; it focuses more on the family dynamic between Clark, Lois, and their son Jonathan. It’s nice knowing DC Comics has an actual plan for the Man of Steel.
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: John Romita Jr.
What happens when you take one of the best writers in the industry and team them up with a legendary artist, to do whatever they want with Batman? You get this Batman and Two-Face cross-country road trip bonanza written by Scott Snyder, and illustrated by the great John Romita Jr. All these ingredients give the title a modern day/golden age hybrid vibe that just feels fresh. This anything goes style Batman features many obscure villains along the way. At times you wish the trip would slow down, which is why even a big Batman fan like myself couldn’t rank it any higher. There is a lot being thrown at the reader, but I can’t deny how much I enjoy reading this comic book right now. The exciting thing about this series is that they will change artists with every new story arc, giving it an anthology feel to it. This is a must read for any Batman fan.
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artists: Otto Schmidt, Juan Ferreyra
Remember how I said I wasn’t much of a Green Lantern fan before Rebirth? I was even less a fan of Green Arrow. There were some stories that I enjoyed, especially when Oliver teams up with Hal, but for the most part I never got into the Green Arrow comics. The TV show Arrow, came around and I really started to like it, though that Oliver Queen wildly different from his comic book counterpart. Coming off the worst season of the show, which featured the death of fan favorite character Black Canary, I went into the Rebirth re-launch with low expectations. This series turned out to have everything I could have wanted, and has been an absolute joy to read. It has mystery, action, romance, and a healthy mix of comedy. I read every issue with a smile on my face, so I could only imagine what its like for old school Green Arrow fans. Even if you have never been a fan of the character, you should give this series a shot. Otto Schmidt’s art is magical.
Writer: Sam Humphries
Artists: Robson Rocha, Adrian Syaf
Not only did this comic need to sell me on a Green Lantern book, but also it had to also sell me on two new characters I knew nothing about. It has accomplished just that and has made Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz two of my favorite characters in comic books. I could not be more onboard to follow these two new Green Lanterns on their journey together. The back and forth between the two characters is hilarious and natural. It doesn’t feel like they’re setting each other up for heroic one-liners, it just feels like two real people trying to figure out what the hell they’re doing. I guess the credit goes to writer Sam Humphries, who has shot up my list for writers whose work I must read more of. I think this is as good a comic book that you can get right now, it’s just so good. The only reason I couldn’t raise it higher on my list is because the art has been a bit inconsistent. Though it doesn’t ruin your enjoyment of it, you can tell when several artists work on one issue. Still, this is one of the best Rebirth comics you can get.
Writer: Francis Manapul
Artists: Francis Manapul, Clay Mann
I don’t want to be negative when it comes to DC Rebirth with this list, but DC Comics was in desperate need of good Justice League title. The one-man show Francis Manapul has come through with this emotional and beautiful comic book that features the three biggest characters in Justice League: Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. The story focuses on the characters emotional state, each being forced to relive important moments in their past together. The artwork is just gorgeous, some of the best you’ll find in the industry. Trinity is the type of title you hope would come out of Rebirth, it helps you better understand the characters better than some of the solo series. There isn’t enough space on this list to properly praise this comic book. It has been phenomenal.
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artists: Eddy Barrows, Alvaro Martinez
James Tynion IV and Eddie Barrows finally bring us the Batfamily comic book we have always wanted. Batman and Batwoman lead a young team of Red Robin(Tim Drake), Spoiler(Steph Brown), Orphan(Cass Cain), and a reformed Clayface in this exciting new series. Clayface’s inclusion is well done, though id give anything to replace him with Damian Wayne aka Robin. Tynion appears to be planning to highlight each character with every story arc. I don’t want to give too much away but even the current villains seem to be leading toward something bigger. I’ll just say that this appears to be more connected to the DC Universe Rebirth one-off comic than other Batman titles out. Speaking of which, ‘Batman’ by Tom King may have started slow for me but has really turned a corner. Both books are releasing quality issue after quality issue right now. Tynion is not playing it safe either, and just when you think things will become formulaic, he throws you for a loop. Some recent developments have me feeling a little down, but I trust that everything plays a part of a bigger plan. As of right now, if you had to pick only one Batman title to read, I’d pick this one. So many Batfamily members finally getting their due.
Writer: Greg Ruck
Artists: Liam Sharp, Nicola Scott
Surprised? Yeah, didn’t think so. This is just as good as it gets when it comes to comic books. Whether it be DC Comics, Marvel, Image, or any other indie titles out right now, Wonder Woman is the cream of the crop. Alternating between origin story and a story about Diana trying to find her way, writer Greg Rucka cant seem to do any wrong. Both stories aim to bring Wonder Woman back on track as a character after being left in disarray by her New 52 creative teams. Rucka is building a character strong enough to last even after he leaves, and something everyone can enjoy. A callback to her roots, but with a modern take. The origin story, which has been illustrated by Nicola Scott, has been the stand out. As we await the characters first ever feature film, this is the perfect time to retell Wonder Woman’s story. Liam Sharp who pencils the modern story is just as impressive. The story focuses on Diana realizing she has false memories(New 52 origin) and her search to figure out her true past. There’s just so much to like, I could not recommend this comic book enough, no matter who you are or what you are into.
Full list plus honorable mentions:
- Wonder Woman
- Detective Comics
- Green Lanterns
- Green Arrow
- All-Star Batman
- Action Comics
- Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps
- Red Hood and the Outlaws
- Superman (It has been great!)
- New Super-Man (Superman of China!)
- Nightwing (Spy no more/tons of Damian Wayne!)
- Batgirl (This comic knows what it wants to be and I love it)
- Batman Beyond (Terry McGinnis is back, so is Joker?)