Less than five years after relaunching its entire superhero comic-book line, DC Comics is preparing for a Rebirth.
But the undertaking beginning this May is actually more ambitious in its own way, according to DC co-publisher Dan DiDio. While “The New 52” created a clean slate for Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and other iconic characters in the fall of 2011, Rebirth is more of a greatest-hits situation that pulls from all eras of DC lore to build a cohesive storytelling universe. What exactly does that mean? That’s something Dan Didio and DC comics have been very dodgy about.
What we do know we are getting treated to a similar situation as the launch of the New 52, big flashy creative teams and vague descriptions like “going back to basics”. How will Rebirth play out? Well no one will truly know until the books drop this May starting with the 80 page DC: REBIRTH written by Geoff Johns. Johns, some of you comic fans may or may not know is famous for this “Rebirth” storylines, where he tends to bring the core essence of characters to the fore front of the stories, especially characters which have been bogged down by crazy storytelling and reboots over the years.
Will Geoff Johns be able to take that approach to an entire company line? Guess we’ll have to wait to find out. Until then, I will put together a little “road map” of sorts so new and older readers can find a way to get on board without having to read everything from the current DC line.
Where to start:
While nothing has been officially said, everything points towards the current Darkseid War by Geoff Johns as the initial lead in to Rebirth and farewell to the standard New 52 universe. There will be plenty of “fill in” one shot issues after the 80 page special as well, but to get started here’s a quick rundown on some good stories to catch up on.
Justice League #1 – #6 (Can be read in Justice League Vol 1: Origin)
Reason to read this: This is the beginning of it all. This is the first introduction of the Justice League and how it forms, along with its first confrontation with Darkseid. This is also a good way to introduce readers to Geoff Johns and his style of storytelling and handle of the characters. It also sets the very early foundations for the Darkseid War.
Forever Evil #1 – #7 (Can be read in Forever Evil trade paperback)
Reason to read this: We can an intro to the Injustice League, and a very early hint at a “bigger power” that plans to come to the New 52 Universe. This is also where Luthor kind of becomes a hero.
Justice League #30 – #39 (Can be read in Justice League Vol 6: Injustice League)
Reason to read this: Luthor, now considered a hero by the public for his action in Forever Evil joins the Justice League as does Jessica Cruz the new Power Ring (the evil Green Lantern Ring from Forever Evil/Injustice League world). This also leads right into…
Justice League #40-#52 (Not yet collected)
Reason to read this: The Darkseid War! The Anti-Monitor is here, and he wants to kill Darkseid. The end of this war will have dire ramifications for the heroes of the New 52 universe and nothing will be the same. The core Justice League issues here are major, while the off shoot one shot Darkseid War spotlights really help flesh out the main story but aren’t essential. The biggest news is that at the end of this series, the true identity of The Joker will finally be revealed! How much of this and the rest of the New 52 will make it into the Rebirth world, is still unknown.
If you want to get a better idea of the heroes and major storylines of the New 52, I’d recommend checking out the core characters series (all collected in trades):
- Batman: Court of the Owls, Night of the Owls, Death of the Family, Zero Year, and Endgame
- Aquaman: The Trench, Throne of Atlantis, Death of a King, Sea of Storms, and The Maelstrom
- Green Arrow: The Kill Machine and Outsiders War
- The Flash: Move Forward, Rogues Revolution, Gorilla Warfare, Reverse, History Lessons
- Justice League: Origin, The Villains Journey, Throne of Atlantis, The Grid, Trinity War, Forever Heroes, Injustice League, Amazo Virus
- Grayson: Agents of Spyral
- Wonder Woman: Blood, Guts, Iron, War Torn
There you have it, all of this will be a good lead into the big 80 page DC: Rebirth Special. Stay tuned to LR for a full review of EVERY new book that comes from DC Rebirth! Let us know what new series you’re looking forward to the most!