Comics Featured News Rant

Rage of the Fanboys – DC Rebirth New Titles

Right. Let’s bring any non-comicbook fan up to speed with DC Comics ReBirth news. DC Comics is doing a “soft” relaunch of all their superhero titles with new creative teams and new ideas. It’s been branded as ReBirth and DC Comics released all the news this weekend at WonderCon in LA with a live stream for all those that didn’t attend. All the DC Comics core titles will be shipping twice per month and ALL their comics will be just $2.99. They say. For now.

Check out what Ian & I think about the DC Rebirth New Titles…

Ian: Ok, just to start off with the general outlook of how Rebirth is shaping up. I honestly think double shipping a title is going to hurt DC in the long run more than it’ll help with sales. The whole model of floppies is such a broken concept that is really just held up by traditional business sense of it’s been like this since comics were created. The thing is, I get it from a shop owner stance as it keeps the place flowing but so does a lot of other merchandise which includes trades.

Ian: Singles have a niche feel to them – They’re ideal for a short run of a mini that goes for four issues. A lot of pressure is still put on to the importance of singles as Diamond (and the parent companies the likes of DC, Marvel and even Image) uses it to determine how well a series is projected to do well or tank by pre-orders alone. Funny thing is that when you have digital sales/services like comixology, getting a single makes sense as it feels more disposable as it’s intended to be – We get a piece of the larger story, the whole arc being as one in the trade later on. The other exponentiation to the rule is weekly series and even then, I’m having a hard time justifying the current ongoing for Batman & Robin Eternal as it feels too dragged out and at 3.99 per week? It weighs a bit heavy on my pull list.

Ian: My second observation is how much DC is placing their faith on writers/artists that have done plenty of work in the past with fan appeal (Rucka on WW) and the experimental phase isn’t as heavy as before. Notably, it’s been something that has eating away at Dido as despite how much people talk about Omega Men, the sales just don’t translate over so naturally, when Johns is talking about fandom and what the characters stand for – it translates out as “ok, we’re sorry – here’s the Batgirl that everyone got rabid about but slightly different.”

Ian: While we still get Pre-Flashpoint characters like Lois and Clark, there isn’t that much of a budge back to before Nu52 started so it’s mostly working with what they got. The thing is that for the most part, Nu52 stumbled with the idea of legacies as if DC actually went through with the process in a more natural way of storytelling – we wouldn’t be reading about Bruce Wayne/Clark Kent as Batman/Superman, it’d be about their sons or whomever is taking on the mantle.

Ian: The whole concept of how JSA is compared to the JLA is traditions being passed on to the new generation but it’s constantly stuck in this rut of only popular characters sell so we’ll always have Bruce Wayne as Batman despite other characters such as Jim Gordon taking on the role for awhile, the status quo will live on and that’s mostly what Rebirth is about.

Ian: I can’t really blame DC for this mentality as it’s shared among other cape titles even in other companies. As a whole, the company got burnt by trying out different titles and with a looming movie franchise on the horizon, I’d rather have DC play it safe with the core titles if it means that more original titles like Gotham Academy can still keep going as well.

Robert: Okay, some background. I’ve met both Dan Didio & Jim Lee. I met Dan Didio a few times at Seattle’s Emerald City Comic-Con and had a chance to speak with him. He’s VERY passionate about comic books, there’s NO doubt about it. I met Jim Lee before his first X-Men comic ever came out, he showed up his photo copied pencils (pre-Internet / pre-Digital) and there’s NO doubt that Jim Lee is also passionate about comic books. I’ve never met Geoff Johns but seen him numerous times at San Diego Comic-Con and from what I’ve seen, he’s come off like a jerk but he has a passion for comic books. SO I don’t doubt that the DC Mafia heads have a passion for DC Comics. Do they have the same passion for the DC Comic book characters like Batman, Superman & Wonder Woman, to name a few? To a point and you can say what you like about what worked & didn’t work in the New 52 (a previous soft relaunch of DC Comic characters in 2011) but both Dan Didio & Geoff Johns have done the same mistakes prior to New 52 (referenced herein as nu52) and those were repeated again so as much passion as they might have, they’re repeating the same issues again and again. I have no hope for ReBirth to avoid such issues.

Robert: Alright. My thoughts. I agree with Ian that losing legacies for the comic book characters is stupid and my biggest issue with nu52. As I mentioned, the DC Mafia (Didio, Lee & Johns) are doing it all over again sans the pre-Flashpoint Lois & Clark. That’s just stupid. As for the 2 issues a month for a number of DC Comic titles, I can’t see it working either. I buy almost ALL my comic books digitally at 1am when I want to read some before bed. With both Marvel and the DC app being TERRIBLE (if not out right fncking STUPID) at NEVER showing you what came out LAST week, HOW the bloody hell can I remember to buy the 2nd comic a month? No. It won’t work and I sadly believe this can push more “fans” to finding other digital alternatives for reading their favorite comic books. As for keeping the core books however they creatively wish for other books like Gotham Academy being published, if this keeps fandom then Yes but a sad trade off.

Ian: Now onto the announced titles from Wondercon  – straight from the Rebirth panel.

Robert: Gah, I awoke from my weekend morning slumber, cracked open my coffin to watch this LIVE stream. I smiled a few times only, mainly when the DC Mafia weren’t speaking. If you wish to watch, you can see it here:

DC Comics Rebirth Titles

“Action Comics,” which will return to its original series numbering, will be written by Dan Jurgens and drawn by Patrick Zircher, Tyler Kirkham, and Stephen Segovia. It ships twice monthly, starting in June.

Ian: The amount of faith being put on Jurgens is kinda strange. I mean, I’m enjoying Lois & Clark even with it’s low stakes so if this more about Pre-Flashpoint Superman, it could be good.

Robert: I like Jurgens and he’s done some solid writing pre-Flashpoint that I’ve both enjoyed & not. I’m interested but unsure. Agree, could be good.

“Superman” will be written by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, with art by Gleason and Doug Manke. It ships twice monthly, beginning in June.

Ian: Another big name with a long list of DC titles under their belt.

Robert: Tomasi is solid and I’m a huge Gleason and Doug Manke fan so might be checking Superman out.

“Wonder Woman” will be written, once again, by Greg Rucka, and drawn by Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott. It ships twice monthly beginning in May, and with Sharp illustrating contemporary adventures, and Scott providing “Year One” stories.

Robert: I have to wonder (heh) on HOW LONG this will last? Rucka has had editorial issues with DC in the past, will DC finally get Rucka have his run on Wonder Woman past & present? Will it work? Hope so.

Ian: Rucka should be good on this but I have my doubts as I feel he’s already done great work with Gotham Central and Batwoman, it’d just be doing a rehash of his previous run and the retreading year one stuff seems to be pretty clear intentions with a bit of movie marketing in mind.

“New Superman” will be written by Gene Yang and drawn by Viktor Bogdanovic. It stars a new character who becomes imbued with the powers of Superman, and becomes a hero.

Ian: Pretty pointless title – We already have Superman title shipping four times in a month so unless it’s related to Earth 2 of Val-Zod, I give it a big fat nope.

Robert: As for the diversity in the New Asian Superman, kinda cool & it’s peaked my interest. Will I buy it from the get go? Nope but if it survives for a trade, I’ll check it out.

“Supergirl” will be written by Steve Orlando with art by Brian Ching, and ships monthly beginning in September. The series will pit Supergirl against the Kryptonian Cyborg, who is revealed to be Kara’s father.

Ian: Orlando is a fan favourite for his run on Midnight which given how bad the sales were in general for DC during the DCYou phase, it’s interesting that they’re giving him Supergirl to work with.

Robert: This title needs to hit it OUT of the PARK for the biggest Home-run DC Comics has ever known. Given the TV show and various issues with the character in the past, this title needs to be SOLID and FUN to rake in the fandom!

“Trinity,” starring DC’s Big 3 of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman, will be written and drawn by Francis Manapul, with additional art by Clay Mann. It will ship monthly starting in September.

Ian: Francis Manapul’s art is really incredible, his work on Detective Comics is really ground breaking but a double shipping title with both writing and art? Good thing he’ll have Clay Mann for back up.

Robert: DO we need this title?

“Superwoman,” a new character, will star in a book written and drawn by Phil Jimenez, with additional art by Emanuela Lupacchino. It will be released monthly starting in August.

Ian: WHY WHY WHY – DC feels so ashamed of giving Powergirl a serious title after having sales hit a low before Amanda Conner’s recent usage of her in the Harley Quinn crossover. Hell, there’s the new Powergirl on Titans that could use the spotlight. If this was back during the Krypton Invasion arc, it’d work with that Superwoman but it just seems like another pointless new character – They rarely work out like remember DOOM? Yeah, exactly.

Robert: Yeah, this is one of those YEAHBUWHA?! moments that the DC Mafia bring out, thinking they’re all Hip & Cool then it doesn’t work out. Pass.

“Justice League” will be written by Bryan Hitch, with art by Tony Daniel and Fernando Pasarin. It will ship twice monthly beginning in June.

Ian: Considering that Bryan Hitch is already doing a run on JLA while Johns is wrapping up the main run, this is pretty natural fit.

Robert: I’d rather Hitch be writing and doing the art. Not the biggest Tony Daniel fan so I’ll give it a glimpse but unlikely to pickup & read until after a trade and even then.

“The Flash” will be written by Joshua Williamson, with art by Carmine Di Giandomencio and Neil Googe. It ships twice monthly beginning in June.

Ian: Getting Williamson while his indie cred is pretty hot is a smart move. Considering how lackluster The Flash is right now, this is a gold mine for DC.

Robert: The art looks strong and I’m keen on Williamson getting a top title. Fresh blood for DC Comics. I’ll check this out.

“Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps” will be written by Robert Venditti with art by Ethan Van Sciver and Rafa Sandoval. It ships twice a month beginning in July.

Ian: I enjoy his Valiant work with Unity and Godhead was decent enough, I feel like this title is just a coaster as WB would be reluctant to do a Hal GL movie again and Simon/Jessica are getting the bigger push in Green Lanterns.

Robert: Kinda wanted a GOOD Hal Jordan & Sinestro buddy lantern comic that nu52 tried to be until they lost focus & went all over the place. I’m unsure about this title and were it can go. I’ll see.

“Green Lanterns” will be written by Sam Humphries with art by Robson Rocha and Ardian Syaf, and ships twice monthly beginning in June.

Ian: Ugh, Humphries was part of that pointless GotG/X-Men event, Avengers AI (cancelled and dull) but Planet Hulk SW and Starlord & Pryde SW was pretty decent. I feel kinda conflicted as I feel like given that it’s Simon/Jessica as the mainliners, the same character pairing of Starlord/Kitty character dynamic isn’t that great of an idea.

Robert: Could this be the Lanterns book that I want to read? Maybe.

“Cyborg” will be written by John Semper and drawn by Will Conrad and Paul Pelletier. It ships twice monthly beginning in August.

Ian: The solo Cyborg ongoing is kinda dull so having someone cutting their teeth on this title seems ok. Interesting that Semper’s background is working on the Spiderman AS, the one that actually had a lot of comic book ties to the 90’s and that sick guitar theme song (you know the one)

Robert: I’m DOWN for and IN on this title. John Semper wrote some of my favorite Spider-Man cartoons and Static Shock. Hope it works in DC Comics for him & his stories.

Aquaman” will be written by Dan Abnett and Brad Walker, with art by Walker, Jesus Merino, and Phil Briones.

Ian: At the start of Nu52, I was really digging Aquaman. I never read anything involving him prior to Flashpoint so this was more or less the introduction to the character outside of other media like his more whacky verison from Batman Brave and the Bold. Current ongoing for Aquaman? Pretty damn dull and it doesn’t feel like there’s any weight to it specially with this new team taking over. I have faith in Abnett though, merely based on previous work with Marvel and his ongoing Titan Hunt series is pretty good.

Robert: I’m a fan of Abnett and Walker’s art. I haven’t read Titan Hunt as I can’t stand the Titans in nu52. I’ll see.

“Titans” will be written by Dan Abnett and drawn by Brett Booth. It ships monthly beginning in July.

Ian: This is most likely a carry over from Titans Hunt series and considering how terrible the Teen Titans has been since Nu52 started, this is really a blessing for Titan fans.

Robert: Again, I haven’t read Titan Hunt as I can’t stand the Titans in nu52. I’ll see. This title needs to be GREAT for me to pick it up. Titans are my fav DC team.

“Green Arrow” will be written by Ben Percy with art by Otto Schmidt and Juan Ferreyra. It ships twice monthly beginning in June.

Ian: Nu52 Green Arrow has been boring aside from Lemire’s run which was cool for Outsiders but in the thick of the Seattle business? Meh. The current run has been pretty damn lackluster and considering how terrible the current season of Arrow is, it’s a shame we can’t just ditch this Amell like Arrow for the more older Pre-Flashpoint Oliver Queen.

Robert: Agree. Go back to Pre-Flashpoint Oliver Queen for the comics but it won’t happen. Unlikely to pick it up.

“Harley Quinn” will be written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, with art by Chad Hardin and John Timms. It ships in August, twice monthly.

Ian: More of the same as before, if you like what HQ has been doing so far, you’ll most likely keep on enjoy it. I’d hope that since it’s a double ship, one remains as solo title while the other has team ups like PG crossover or Black Book mini series.

Robert: Could there be Harley Quinn burn out coming soon? Yeah, I think so. Too bad as this title is VERY strong for nu52, perhaps it’s best title.

“Suicide Squad” will be written by Rob Williams, with art by Jim Lee and Philip Tan. It ships in August, twice monthly. The team will be made up of Killer Croc, Harley Quinn, Katana, Deadshot, Flagg, with more members to be announced.

Ian: Considering Suicide Squad was one of the first titles to launch with Nu52, it’s had some good runs but also pretty boring ones as well. Usually, it depends on the characters and this line up is pretty movie focused. Considering that this team debuts in August, the movie bank on this is pretty obvious but with a writer that has lots of work but nothing that really stands out? Interesting choice.

Robert: Very unsure about this title. Jim Lee covers (hahaha… he won’t do interiors for more than an issue, come’on) won’t be enough for sales. This title needs to have a BIG edge for ReBirth to keep fandom.

“Red Hood & The Outlaws,” shipping in August, will be written by Scott Lobdell with art by Dexter Soy. Bizarro and Artemis, of the Amazons, will join Red Hood for what Geoff Johns called a “dark trinity.”

Ian: Sheez, why Lobdell? Not only did DC get in shit from bloggers about Starfire, the second result in googling his name links to a Mary Sue article about him being creepy at a con with sexual harrassment self admitting guilt. As for the comic itself? Red Hood has been in the dumpster since Nu52 started, how could it get any worse? Get the Bizzaro from the DCYou sunday funnies run that nobody liked? Solid HELLUVA NO.

Robert: WHY. IS. THIS. TITLE. BEING. PUBLISHED? WHAT DOES LOBDELL HAVE ON THE DC MAFIA?! GAH. No fncking way am I reading this title.

“Deathstroke” will be written by Christopher Priest, with art by Carlo Pagulayan, Igor Vitorino, and Felipe Watanabe. It ships twice monthly, beginning in August.

Ian: Giving Priest back in the game is pretty damn huge but the double monthly shipping might cause Priest to step back sooner than anticipated. This is akin to getting Warren Ellis on a book and thinking he’ll stick around for more than six issues.

Robert: We shall see how long Priest lasts. I doubt he lasts more than 6 issues.

“Batman Beyond” will be written by Dan Jurgens with art by Bernard Chang. It ships monthly beginning in October, and sees the return of Terry McGinnis.

Ian: Out of all the titles to get an extended push from Futures End, Batman Beyond wasn’t one of them. This book is pretty much Batman Beyond: We’re Sorry – MEH.

Robert: Agreed. Meh.

“Blue Beetle” will be written by Keith Giffen with art by Scott Kolins. It ships in September, and unites Jaime Reyes with, according to Johns, “His mentor, Ted Kord.”

Ian: This could be pretty damn great. When JL3k wasn’t in the cancellation waters, it was pretty damn good and bringing Ted Kord back into the mix is probably one of the best things to happen for old school fans.

Robert: Yes it could be a great book but Scott Kolins doesn’t sell me. Hope I’m wrong as I’m a HUGE fan of anything Keith Giffen does and Blue Beetles – Jaime Reyes & Ted Kord.

“Hellblazer” will be written by Simon Oliver with art by Moritat. It ships monthly beginning in August.

Ian: I like the idea of a Swamp Thing and Constantine team up and given that Simon Oliver has done some Vertigo stuff (Exterminators for one), if they keep it feeling more like that dark horror vibe, this could be as memorable as when Swamp Thing made his debut in Nu52.

Robert: Gah. Just end this title and put Constantine back into a Vertigo ADULT world please. Stop this junk.

In “Teen Titans,” written by Ben Percy and drawn by Jon boy Meyers, ships in October, and sees Damian Wayne trying to lead the Titans, and instead sparring with them.

Ian: If his GA run is boring as hell, why bother with Titans specially with Dan doing his own run? Unless you really like Damian Wayne, this is rather pointless.

Robert: Agreed. This is all based on the hook of Damian Wayne which is a sad plot device.

In the Bat-family of books, a new “All Star Batman” title was announced, to be written by longtime series scribe Scott Snyder, with art by John Romita Jr., Jock, Sean Murphy, and more artists to be named. It ships twice monthly starting in August, and will feature many of the classic Bat-villains.

Ian: DC will never part with Synder. It’s amazing that there will be six Batman titles per month and each of them will be fighting it for the top spot, just utter madness. Honestly, this should be a rotating title for writers – do an arc, step out and let someone repeat the process since you have three artists already lined up with more to be announced – This is DC milking it, hardcore.

Robert: TOO MUCH BATMAN! Nuff ‘Said. Wait. No. I should be down for this as I like the artwork of John Romita Jr., Jock & Sean Murphy. Guess it’s just the Batman & Clayface as a dynamic duo that I’m not keen on. CLayface?! Really?

“Batman” will be written by Tom King, with art by David Finch and Mikel Janin. It will ship twice monthly, beginning in June.

Ian: Hot damn, we’ve got the brand new hotness that is Tom King, the better half of the Finch(es) and twice monthly? This is too good to be true, it’ll probably be only six issues long with King.

Robert: I’ll check this out but Finch’s work is hit & miss for me.

“Detective Comics,” which, like “Action Comics,” will be returned to its original numbering, will be written by James Tynion IV, with art by Eddie Barrows and Alvaro Martinez. It, too, will ship twice monthly starting in June.

Ian: Tynion getting a Bat title has been obvious for awhile now considering how much time he’s spent on doing spin off titles. Interesting to note that the original numbering is being done.

Robert: Another I’ll check this out.

“Nightwing,” will be written by Tim Seely, with art by Javi Fernandez and Marcus To. It ships twice monthly beginning in July, and the first arc will be titled “Better Than Batman.”

Ian: Welp, it’s only been about a year or so since Grayson started up and despite Eternal being all about that kind of Dick, it was only a matter of time before he went back to being Nightwing. It makes you wonder if they’d even attempt to do a Nightwing movie or even a cameo in Affleck movie considering Nightwing has been in nearly every other Batman related material.

Robert: I’m NOT buying into this title as I’m sure Didio will eventually kill Nightwing, especially if this title takes off.

“Batgirl” will be written by Hope Larson, with art by Rafael Albuquerque. It ships monthly beginning in July, and marks Larson’s first superhero work in comics.

Ian: Ah, Batgirl is finally gonna put on her big girl shoes and actually do something other than take selfies and beat up mean hipsters in that hipster part of Gotham. Honestly, this is the serious push for the character that should have taken place way back when Simone was on the title.

Robert: I don’t think the serious push will work for this title. Current Batgirl fans will drop after 5 issues. Not interested.

“Batgirl & The Birds of Prey” will be written by Julie Benson and Shawna Benson, with art by Claire Roe. It ships monthly beginning in July.

Ian: While Larson has some comic writing experience to bring to the table with her take on Batgirl, this pair are better known for The CW’s The 100. It mostly makes sense as the the diehard fandom that takes the show a bit too serious after a character death occurred, it seems like a natural transition to get way too emotionally worked up about comic book characters.

Ian: They tried doing Birds of Prey before at the start of Nu52, running for 18 issues long. The team was pretty large with Black Canary being the only carry over from previous teams as it just rotated around Poison Ivy, Katana, Starling and Condor. Since DC is realizing that nobody took it serious without the original cast, it seems that getting the band back together will be the main arc for this and it’s a pretty good starting point to get a fresh start with the characters.

Robert: I’m kinda interested in what the writers will do here. I’ll be trade waiting.

Super Sons is another title coming out but there’s no details on the creative team right now.

Robert: Another head-scratchier book, like Whaa? Why??

Ian: In theory, this is the legacy build up that should have happened years ago. The sons of the heroes take on their mantles, namely in this case Damian Wayne and Chris Kent but the art seems kinda cartoonish so I imagine it’ll be more goofy than a Young Justice episode so kinda of a swing and a miss for me.


Robert: So I have to say that of all the DC Rebirth, only a handful of titles give me any real interest and is that enough for a new soft relaunch? NO. I really think this is the LAST chance for this DC MAFIA but then again, I said the same with nu52. IF Warner Bros top brass (Diane Nelson & Co.) ain’t willing to look outside their DC Mafia box then the same type of issues (problems, bad titles, bad decisions) will repeat themselves. And NO I am NOT saying to hand the keys over to Grant Morrison as I don’t think the majority of the fandom really “GET” what he wants to do with comic books. That said, perhaps if they handed the keys to someone like Mark Waid might just break the Internet in ways Bendis could never do. Can DC Comics bring back sales? That’s REALLY the point of all these news & rebranding. With the movies doing as well as they are in the box office, comic books aren’t on their last legs (not yet) but DC Comics doesn’t want to be 2nd to Marvel as they are now.

Ian: Yeah, my top picks are pretty much Constantine and King on Batman for Rebirth. It’s mostly the double shipping that will stop my curiosity with picking up anything else but at the very least, it shows more interest towards what the fanbase has been pushing for since Nu52 started. I think if this goes over well, DC can start to feel more comfortable with having different tone books like Gotham Academy or taking a chance on something that should be a solid title but sales get rough – Could anyone have predicted Omega Men getting saved by fan support but since have poor shipping numbers? That’s been the status of DC outside of the Trinity as something like Batman will always stay at the top so I don’t really blame DC for being creatively shy this late in the game as they’ve been burned in just the past few years.

Ian: I really don’t think any big names can push the titles any further than they already have done as well. Synder might carry lots of weight but he’s already done so much on Batman as it is (some ideas invoking Morrison methods like the miracle machine that brought back Batman persona)  and it’ll be up to the singles sales with Rucka to prove that him coming back to the title will matter but honestly, he’s taking over from one of the least favourite teams to have worked on Wonder Woman so far. I think at the most, it’ll stabilize sales but the real pay off should come from their new talent like having Williamson on The Flash and most definitely with Tom King despite being titles that have low sales (even Vision struggles to remain above cut off for Marvel rates), the future is kinda murky but hopefully Rebirth is a step towards the guiding light, so to speak.

You can see all the a ton of DC Comic Rebirth solicits here on CBR:

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