5 years ago, DC Comics rebooted their universe in one of the largest reboots/relaunches in comics history.
It was....a mixed bag. A very mixed bag. Though there were notable high points (Azzarello's Wonder Woman, Snyder's Batman, etc.) it was by and large mediocre storylines that often contradicted the supposedly brand new continuity and reminded readers of the dark ages of 90s comics in several ways.
This June, they are taking another shot at it. DC Rebirth is, according to DC, an attempt to take the best parts of the New 52 and combine them with the aspects of the pre-reboot universe that the comics have been missing. Over the course of 4 months they will be launching 31 new ongoings, 16 of which will ship 2 issues per month. Another selling point being the line-wide price reduction of all titles to 2.99 across the board.
To be honest, some of them look pretty terrible. But there are enough exciting sounding creative teams and premises that the relaunch could shape up pretty well. I'm going to skip the titles that look...less than ideal, so here's a selection of the best looking series:
DC: Rebirth One-Shot
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Gary Frank, Ivan Reis, Ethan Van Sciver, Phil Jiminez, et al.
The big special that starts the whole thing, it's 80 pages for 2.99 and will reveal what causes this change in the DCU.
Writer: Tom King
Artists: David Finch and Mikel Janin
Coming off of Grayson and The Vision, two of the biggest critical darlings of the past few years, Tom King takes over the flagship Batman title with the intent of bringing his trademark shades of grey storytelling to work. Twice-monthly.
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artists: Doug Manhke, Pat Gleason
Starring the pre-New 52 version of Superman, who has since had a son, Jonathan Kent, with his wife Lois Lane. Juggling being a superhero in a world that isn't quite the same as the one he knew while being the father of a developing superkid himself, Clark is facing his greatest challenge yet. Twice Monthly.
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artists: Liam Sharp, Nicola Scott
Greg Rucka returns to Wonder Woman after having one of the greatest runs on the title ever back in the early 00s, this time trying to establish a clear vision for a character that has been muddled in the past. For the first year of the title, every other issue will be set in the past and tell a Wonder Woman: Year One style story, while the present day issues re-emphasize her mythic roots. Twice monthly.
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artists: Jesus Merino, Brad Walker
Dan Abnett continues his run on Aquaman, this time with a clean start, by focusing on Arthur's role as king of Atlantis. Seeking to unite Atlantis and the surface world, he and Mera attempt to join the United Nations while also maintaining Arthur's important role (and public image) as a superhero and active Justice League member. Twice monthly.
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artists: Carmine DiGIandomenico, Neil Googe
When a freak storm re-creates the incident that gave Barry Allen his powers across Central City, Barry is forced to deal with the arrival of dozens of new speedsters overnight. He attempts to mentor the newcomers as best as he can, but with a new, sinister, speedster named Godspeed on the scene he discovers that not all of these new superhumans are as heroic as he is. Twice monthly.
Writer: Hope Larson
Artist: Rafael Albequerque
Barbara Gordon has had an interesting year. After becoming the Batgirl of Burnside and discovering a whole new supporting cast and revelations that shook her identity to her core, she has decided it is time to go abroad and find herself. Back-packing her way across Europe and Asia, she wants to improve as both a superhero and a person, Kung-Fu style.
Writer: Simon Oliver
John Constantine has come back to London. After years abroad due to a partially self-imposed exile, he's come back home to face his, very literal, demons. Simon Oliver, a longtime Vertigo talent, takes over the book while turning it into more of a general Vertigo/Spooky DC title as Swamp Thing and Mercury will also be co-starring.
Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Artist: Victor Bogdanovic
The results of a top-secret Chinese experiment to re-create Superman, Kong Kenan is the first in a new breed of Chinese superhumans. Not much is known about the series outside of the basic premise, but it is a decided passion project for Gene Luen Yang.
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: John Romita Jr.
Scott Snyder's follow-up to his landmark Batman run, All-Star Batman is a "greatest hits" series of Batman's rogues gallery. Each villain will feature a new artist, Sean Murphy, Declan Shavley and others have already been announced. The first is a Two-Face story with art by JRJR.
Writer: Keith Giffen
Artist: Scott Kollins
In a seeming attempt to undo the DISASTROUS New 52 Blue Beetle series, Keith Giffen returns to the character he co-created and has Jaime Reyes (possibly his pre-reboot incarnation) wake up in the desert outside of El Paso with no memory of the past few years. Making his way back home, he discovers that the town has been taken over by Kord Industries on orders of the government. Ted Kord knows where Jaime's family is, the question is whether or not he is going to help him find them. (He probably will since Giffen has said Ted is Jaime's new mentor)
Writer: Christopher Priest
Artists: Carlos Pagulayan and Jason Paz
Probably the biggest surprise in Rebirth, Christopher Priest (writer of several fantastic titles, most notably the greatest Black Panther run) returns to comics for the first time in over a decade to Deathstroke
of all books. Stepping away from the more super-villainous version of the character from the past few years, Priest is bringing Slade back to his mercenary roots and throwing him into the middle of a bloody civil war in Central Africa. Twice monthly.
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Bernard Ching
In probably the biggest tonal shift of the relaunch, Steve Orlando jumps from the fantastic, but bloody and violent, Midnighter to Supergirl. Citing both the current Supergirl TV show and Superman: The Animated Series as influences, Orlando wants to tell a bright, hopeful superhero tale full of heroics and compassion.
Writer: Francis Manapul
Artist: Also Francis Manapul
No real hard details given other than it being an "iconic" take on the three heroes working together, Manapul's involvement guarantees that it will be, at least, absolutely gorgeous and probably pretty fun.
Writers: Dennis Culver and Chris Burns
Artist: Jorge Jiminez
Starring Damian Wayne and Jonathan Kent, the sons of the world's greatest heroes. With Jonathan just developing his powers and Damian being...Damian, these two will have to learn to work together or they'll end up beating each other up before any villains get the chance.