Ever since the end of February, all eyes have been watching DC Comics as they were set to make official creative team announcements for their upcoming “Rebirth” promotional push scheduled for June. Yesterday (March 26) at Los Angeles’ WonderCon, DC All Access host Tiffany Smith led a panel alongside co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio and chief creative officer (and head writer) Geoff Johns to make over a dozen creative team announcements for the line wide relaunch! Fans will see a lot of old favorites returning to many iconic franchises as well as a few new ideas here and there! Comics Alliance and ComicBookMovie were among many websites covering the event.
Kicking off the line wide relaunch will be an eighty page one shot titled “DC Rebirth” which will be priced at $2.99 and written by Geoff Johns which will serve as a primer. It will feature art by Gary Frank, Ivan Reis, Phil Jimenez, and Ethan Van Sciver. After that the entire line of DC Comics will see a mixture of comics shipping twice a month with a $2.99 price tag mixed with monthly comics priced at $3.99. One can imagine DC Comics’ top brass have determined that the success of DC’s weekly (and bi-weekly) series over the past few years led to this diversification of their printing schedule. Books which ship twice a month tend to have two regular artists attached for obvious reasons. As these announcements got underway, it appears as if each one seemed to cherry pick which continuity it sought to utilize.
New DC Comics exclusive writer Tom King will take over on “Batman” alongside David Finch and Mikel Janin “splitting the art duties on the twice monthly book”, with King promising to make the series as “personal” as Scott Synder did. Heading up “Detective Comics” will be James Tynion IV (“Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”) alongside artists Eddy Barrows and Alvaro Martinez; their cast for the book will include Batman, Batwoman, Spoiler, Tim Drake (in a costume which looks a lot like his 90’s Robin suit), Cassandra Cain and Clayface. Tim Seely and artists Javi Fernandez and Marcus To will headline “Nightwing”, putting Dick Grayson back in the tights and giving him a new mentor. Newcomer Hope Larson will take over the writing chores on “Batgirl” with Rafael Albuquerque on art, “taking Barbara Gordon on a backpacking adventure through Asia”. Yet being in Asia won’t stop Batgirl from teaming up with Huntress and Black Canary to uncover an Oracle impostor in “Batgirl & the Birds of Prey”, written by Julie and Shawna Benson (“The 100”) and drawn by Claire Roe. Last but not least for the Bat-books, writer Scott Synder announced that he was not only a DC exclusive writer, but he’d be taking on “All-Star Batman” alongside artists such as John Romita Jr., Sean Murphy, Jock and Tula Lotay in a series featuring Batman’s biggest rogues. The first arc will involve Batman and Two-Face having to join forces to survive attacks by assassins.
Dan Jurgens would be leading a “pre-Flashpoint” Superman in “Action Comics” with Patrick Zircher, Tyler Kirkham and Stephen Segovia on art and Lex Luthor pretending to be the “Superman of Metropolis” in yet another suit of armor which lacks a helmet. “Pre-Flashpoint” is likely code for “still married to Lois Lane”, as Jurgens was used to handling on his own series lately. Gene Luen Yang moves to a new series called “New Super-Man” alongside artist Viktor Bogdanovic which seems to offer a new take on Superboy by starring a 16 year old kid from Shanghai who suddenly gains all of Superman’s powers. “Superman” will be written by Peter J. Tomasi and drawn by Patrick Gleason, while “Supergirl” will be relaunched by Steve Orlando and Brian Ching who will offer a premise of Jor-El (in the form of Cyborg Superman) offering Kara a chance to return to Argo City. There will also be “Trinity” featuring stories involving Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman written and drawn by Francis Manapal and Clay Mann. Greg Rucka also announced his return to DC Comics by taking over “Wonder Woman” alongside artists Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott. He wrote her ongoing series from 2003-2006 and is usually considered the last “good” writer her series has had aside for Gail Simone for many of her fans. Rucka’s twice monthly series will see two arcs take place; one featuring modern day adventures and another featuring “Year One” style adventures.
Current “JLA” writer Bryan Hitch will take over writing “Justice League” alongside artists Tony Daniel and Fernando Pasarin; it seems Hitch writes faster than he draws. Their roster features the “trinity” alongside Aquaman, Flash, Cyborg, and two Green Lanterns (Baz and Jessica Cruz from Earth-3). Joshua Williamson and artists Carmine Di Giandomenico and Neil Googe will take over “The Flash” with an opening arc featuring a “Speed Force storm” empowered a variety of individuals (such as Wally West), including a villain called “Godspeed”. Robert Vendetti will write “Hal Jordan & the Green Lantern Corps” with art done by Ethan Van Sciver and Rafa Sandoval, while Sam Humphries writes “Green Lanterns” alongside artists Robson Rocha and Ardian Syaf that will focus on Baz and Jessica Cruz. John Semper, best known for “Spider-Man: the Animated Series” from the 1990’s, will take over writing for “Cyborg” with Will Conrad and Paul Pelletier on art as Victor Stone continues to balance his humanity with his technology. Dan Abnett will be writing two titles for the Rebirth; “Aquaman” with artists Brad Walker (who will also co-write) and Jesus Merino and Phil Briones, and “Titans” alongside artist Brett Booth. “Harley Quinn” will continue with her creative team of writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti with Chad Hardin and John Timms on art, with Rob Williams writing “Suicide Squad” with Jim Lee and Philip Tan on art. The roster will feature Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Katana, Killer Croc, Boomerang, and Rick Flagg.
Scott Lobdell will remain on “Red Hood & the Outlaws” with Dextor Soy on art, while “Green Arrow” is still set in the “New 52” continuity under writer Ben Percy and artists Otto Schmidt and Juan Ferreyra. Ben Percy will also write “Teen Titans” which will be drawn by Jonboy Myers. “The Hellblazer” will be handled by Simon Oliver and Moritat, while writer Christopher Priest makes his return to comic books with “Deathstroke”, which will be drawn by Carlo Pagulayan, Igor Vitorino, and Felipe Watanabe. Dan Jurgens will remain on “Batman Beyond” with Bernard Chang on art, which will feature the return of Terry McGinnis in the title role. Keith Giffen returns to “Blue Beetle” alongside artist Scott Kolins, with Jaime Reyes getting to work alongside his mentor Ted Kord. “Superwoman” will be written and drawn by Phil Jimenez with Emanuela Lupacchino and appears to feature Lois Lane as the title heroine (presumably in a different universe or continuity than “Action Comics”).
Two other books were mentioned but didn’t have creative teams announced. One was a second Justice League book, “JLA”, while another was “The Super-Sons” which is a team-up book featuring Damian Wayne (son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul) and Jon Kent, son of pre-New 52 Clark Kent and Lois Lane. “Gotham Academy: Second Semester” was also omitted, but it is presumed it will feature the same creative team as the first semester; they’re crossover over with BOOM! Studios’ “Lumberjanes” in June as well. With a mix of old and new talent and many bi-monthly books, it will remain to be seen if this “Rebirth” will work out any better than DC Comics’ last few relaunches. Their competitors at Marvel are seeing many of their new launched struggle and will be in the midst of “Civil War II” by June.