It has been almost two complete years since DC Comics left the era of the New 52 behind and relaunched in the pages of DC Rebirth #1. The issue was a smash success, as was the mix of bi-weekly and monthly comics to follow. New and old fans responded to lower prices, new #1 issues, and a back-to-basics storytelling approach. Since then the line has grown with an impressive array of self-contained events and the launch of several imprints, including Young Animal for DC’s odder heroes and a reimagined Wildstorm universe.
Time has taken its toll, even in just two years, and many popular series are approaching their 50th issues now. The growing numbers and mounting levels of continuity are the nature of the beast in superhero comics. While that might make some lapsed or new readers feel as though they missed an opportunity, it shouldn’t be the case.
There has really never been a better time to start (or restart) reading DC Comics then right now. The publisher has done an incredible job of continuing to craft jumping on points and finding new ways to invigorate their line. This week the 25-cent issue DC Nation #0 offers readers a great look at three of the best possible starting points to discover within DC Comics. Fans shouldn’t limit themselves to just these stories though, as there’s a whole buffet of great beginnings or restarts to invite readers of any stripe.
If you are considering picking up some new superhero stories at their local comic book store, now is the time to give DC Comics a chance. Here’s why...
Justice League is the flagship team title at DC Comics for very good reason. It features the absolute cream of the crop in all superhero comics doing what they do best. After years of the same 6 or 7 superheroes leading the title, DC Comics is really mixing things up as it fractures the comic into 3 teams. The all-stars readers have come to expect are still present, but combined with lesser known heroes like Detective Chimp and even Darkseid. The groups are divided by their focus with Superman’s team focused on space, Batman’s team focused on street smarts and toughness, and Wonder Woman’s team focused on magic. There’s now a flavor of Justice League for every reader.
The Brian Michael Bendis era of Superman has officially begun now that his first story premiered in Action Comics #1000. In addition to offering great new starting points in Action Comics #1001 and Superman #1, Bendis will also be penning a mini-series revisiting Superman’s origins titled Man of Steel. It’s a spiritual sequel to John Byrne’s series of the same name and purpose that was launched in the wake of Crisis On Infinite Earths. There’s simply no better time to visit Superman’s new adventures or rediscover his origin.
It appears that nothing could slow down the current Batman run headed by Tom King, even after 2 years and almost 50 issues. However, Batman #50 will offer a big moment that should serve as a great starting point for new readers as well. Batman will be marrying Catwoman in this anniversary issue and DC Comics has promised fans that the nuptials will offer a new status quo and an issue any fan of the Dark Knight ought to be able to enjoy.
The biggest surprise hit of the Rebirth relaunch was definitely Deathstroke. Christopher Priest’s long-awaited return to comics paid dividends as the writer had only improved during his hiatus. The series was continuity-heavy though and referenced events across 30 issues regularly. That just changed after a big climax to Priest’s first collection of arcs. Now Deathstroke is facing down Batman with none of the baggage of what came before. If you have been wondering what all of the fuss has been about Deathstroke, then now is the time to start reading before things get complicated again.
The Flash played a central role in DC Rebirth with promises regarding the return of Wally West and a new golden era for the Flash family to come. Those promises are finally starting to pay off in a big way with the upcoming event “Flash War”. With two Wally’s running around the DC Universe and Barry still holding the mantle, it’s time to figure out who the one, true Flash really is. This is a love letter to the many different heroes to call themselves Flash in the past, while offering a relatively continuity-light story for newcomers. It’s an event that’s also an invitation.
Wonder Woman is currently in the process of wrapping up its first two years of stories. James Robinson is departing the title after #50 and rising star Steve Orlando will be the series’ guest writer for a handful of issues before a new creative team and direction are announced. Orlando has a fan following for good reason and his stint ought to prove a great palette cleanser for lapsed and new readers before Wonder Woman enters yet another bold, new era.
The Young Animal line has prided itself on offering the strangest characters and stories in DC Comics. While that’s true, it shouldn’t be intimidating. Following “Milk Wars” the imprint relaunched all of its core series along with a new one, Eternity Girl. This batch of relaunches offered #1 issues that really were accessible and none have gone more than 2 or 3 issues into their new tales. If you’re looking for something truly different, then it’s the perfect time to check out Young Animal, even if you missed the initial launch.
Perhaps the single most exciting upcoming event from DC Comics is the launch of their Ink and Zoom lines. These imprints will focus on different sets of younger readers while offering a quality of comic book that appeals to all ages. Out of continuity and stacked with top talent, these stories are designed to be evergreen in nature, providing superhero stories that can be read by old fans with their kids. Both of these lines should be a hit in schools and comics stores, offering comics that will continue to attract new readers to the great work at DC Comics for years to come.