When DC Comics launches their re-christened line of DC Universe titles in June, they’ll begin their most diverse era in years. Taking a cue from Marvel’s recent artistic renaissance, DC will finally shed its “house style” and try on all sorts of different hats. From the wacky to the wondrous, it seems like the publisher will have a title to fit any readers’ taste. And while most of the offerings are worthy of a look, we understand that most readers can’t buy every book. To help you sort out the best, ComicBook.com has chosen the five new titles that readers can’t miss this June.
On Sale June 3
If you ever complained that DC wasn’t having “fun” with its books in the past several years, Bat-Mite will hopefully shut you up. Like Batman: The Brave and The Bold’s hilarious execution of the extra-dimmensional imp, the title sees the Bat-Mite “helping” the DC Universe’s characters become better heroes—whether they like it or not.
Embracing sillier concepts like Bat-Mite and reinventing them in fun, self-acknowledging ways is a big step for DC, and its one we’re glad to see taken. Bat-Mite as the ultimate party-crasher is a perfect fit for the character and gives him workable role in the new DC Universe. And with cartoonist Corin Howell on board, Bat-Mite’s Pixar-like illustrations will make for one of DC You’s most visually unique books. Plus, if there's anyone who can tell Batman he's doing a so-so job and get away with it, it's Bat-Mite.
Of all the new titles hitting DC You, Prez is by far the most intriguing. Consider the premise: In an alternate universe, The President of the United States is a teenaged girl…who is elected through Twitter. This biting commentary on American politics and media is actually a revival of a cult DC title, but with a "dark satirical twist," as writer Mark Russell told ComicBook.com.
Prez offers something different from all the superheroes and spandex occupying DC’s shelf-space, but still rides on a high-concept that you can only find in comics. We’ve searched far and wide for the next great political comic book since Brian K. Vaughn’s brilliant Ex Machina, and Prez might just be that title. Case in point: In the first issue alone, the Prez deploys a military of of teenaged gamers who control deadly drones. Yikes.
Justice League of America
On Sale June 17
The world’s biggest heroes. The industry’s biggest talent. Bryan Hitch is bringing his signature wide-screen style back to the Justice League for the first time in over a decade, and he’s writing the series to boot. While artists-turned-writers have always brought mixed results, Hitch proved on his America’s Got Powers series that he’s just as talented on a typewriter as he is on a drawing desk.
Stripped of any serious continuity and placed in a real-world setting, the series has hues of Hitch’s famed run on The Ultimates with Mark Millar. That’s certainly not a bad title to be compared to. As the Big Seven enter a mythic adventure unshackled from the main DC Universe, we’re expecting several iconic and jaw-dropping moments. Consider this your four-color appetizer to Zack Snyder’s upcoming Justice League film.
On Sale June 17
While many DC characters lost their mythic standing in the New 52, Martian Manhunter’s demotion hit the hardest. The Justice League’s Oreo-eating soul was recast as a cold, untrusting alien who only saw action in the pages of Justice League of America and its successor, Justice League United.
Thankfully, DC is finally giving the Green Guy another shot at the big leagues with his own ongoing series. The opening arc, featuring rogue Martians invading Earth, feels a little boilerplate, but here’s hoping that DC uses this as an opportunity to explore J’onn J’onzz’s rich backstory and origins. And while the selection of writer Rob Williams (Punisher MAX, Judge Dredd) suggests that J’onn will crush more heads than cookies, we’re still excited to see Martian Manhunter truly live up to his namesake.
Much like Martian Manhunter (and Cyborg, which we’ll chalk up as an honorable mention), Starfire is another character long overdue for a solo romp. Fortunately, DC is doing her debut right with the impeccable writing team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner. The duo make monthly magic with their Harley Quinn solo series, elevating the character from a sidekick to independent and fiercely entertaining protagonist.
And it seems that lightning will strike twice for Conner and Palmiotti, who promise to bring the same irreverent antics and cartoon humor to Starfire. After the character’s dour tour of duty in Red Hood & The Outlaws, Starfire needs a breather in the comedic hands of Palmiotti and Conner. And we'd be lying if we said Emanuela Lupachinno's art didn't look like glossy day-dream we'd have over and over again. Looking at the broader picture, Starfire also earns marks as a female-led book created an all-star creative team. If you're looking to diversify your pull list’s representation this June, Starfire is a great place to start.
What new DC Comics titles are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments!