DC Rebirth: All The Teams and Announcements From WonderCon
DC Comics hosted a special livestream event at WonderCon in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon to unveil the creative teams behind its DC Rebirth event, which relaunches the entire DC Universe line with new issue #1s and multiple double-shipping titles. The relaunch will set the future course of DC Comics at a time when fans are wondering whether the company will embrace a new and diversifying audience or double down on serving a shrinking core audience.
The event was introduced by DC All Access host Tiffany Smith, with DC co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio and chief creative officer and Rebirth chief architect Geoff Johns introducing and interviewing the creative teams as they joined them on stage at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The Batman creative team were up first, headed by newly exclusive DC writer Tom King, with David Finch and Mikel Janin splitting the art duties on the twice monthly book. King says he’s seeking to make his take as personal as Scott Snyder’s. King will be using his experience in counter-terrorism to bring new threats to Gotham.
Detective Comics by James Tynion IV, Eddy Barrows and Alvaro Martinez will be a team book featuring Batman, Batwoman, Spoiler, Tim Drake, Cassandra Cain and Clayface. Tim Seeley, Javi Fernandez and Marcus To will tackle Nightwing, returning Dick to the classic black-and-blue and introducing a new mentor for Dick Grayson called Raptor in an arc titled “Better Than Batman.”
Hope Larson makes her superhero comics debut on Batgirl with Rafael Albuquerque on art, taking Barbara Gordon on a backpacking adventure through Asia. Writers Julie and Shawna Benson from The 100 will reassemble the Birds of Prey for Batgirl and The Birds of Prey, starring Batgirl, Black Canary and Huntress on the trail of someone pretending to be Oracle.
Lastly for the bat-books, Scott Snyder and John Romita Jr. were brought onstage to announce All-Star Batman, which will feature in-continuity stories featuring some of Batman’s biggest villains. All-Star Batman will also feature art from the likes of Sean Murphy, Jock and Tula Lotay, and the first story features Batman and Two-Face on a road trip, being hunted by the world’s best assassins. Synder confirmed that he has also signed an exclusive contract with DC.
The Superman/Wonder Woman family of titles were next on the stage, with Dan Jurgens announced as returning to Action Comics with Patrick Zircher, Tyler Kirkham and Stephen Segovia on art. Jugens’ story features Pre-Flashpoint Superman in the lead role, and Lex Luthor as a supporting character/antagonist who is also claiming to be the Superman of Metropolis.
Gene Luen Yang will write New Super-Man (formerly announced as The Super-Man), with Viktor Bogdanovic on art, featuring a sixteen-year-old from Shanghai getting the powers of Superman and learning to be a hero. Steve Orlando and Brian Ching will be on Supergirl, featuring her father Zor-El (now the Cyborg Superman) offering her a chance to leave Earth to return to Argo City.
Also announced, though not represented on the stage, was Superman, written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, with art by Gleason and Doug Mahnke; and the new Superwoman book written by Phil Jimenez, with art by Jimenez and Emanuela Lupacchino. There will also be a Trinity book starring Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, written and drawn by Francis Manapul, with additional art by Clay Mann.
Liam Sharp was announced as the artist on the new Wonder Woman, but the writer was saved for an extra surprise as Greg Rucka came on stage to announce his return to DC Comics, and to Diana. The new Wonder Woman book will feature two arcs trading issues, one current day story by Rucka and Sharp, and a "Wonder Woman: Year One" arc by Rucka and Nicola Scott.
The Justice League creators were brought up next, with the main Justice League title written by current JLA writer Bryan Hitch, with art by Tony Daniel and Fernando Pasarin. Joshua Williamson was announced as the writer on The Flash, with Carmine Di Giandomenico and Neil Googe on art, in a story that features a Speed Force storm granting multiple people speed powers, including a villain named Godspeed.
Robert Vendetti remains on a Green Lantern title with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, with art by Ethan Van Sciver and Rafa Sandoval. Sam Humphries joins DC Comics for Green Lanterns, with Robson Rocha and Ardian Syaf, which will feature new Green Lanterns Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz, defending the Earth from Atrocitus and the Red Lanterns.
John Semper, a veteran of animation, makes his comics debut on Cyborg with Will Conrad and Paul Pelletier on art, in a story that focuses on Victor Stone grappling with how much humanity he has remaining. Dan Abnett remains on Aquaman, co-writing with Brad Walker, with Walker sharing art duties with Jesus Merino and Phil Briones as Aquaman seeks to establish Atlantis’ place in the global community. Aquaman has sadlhy not been re-imagined as a Jason Momoa-style hunk. Abnett will also write Titans, which spins out of the current Titans Hunt series, with Brett Booth on art. This book was noted as having special connection to the eighty-page Rebirth #1 special.
Jason Fabok joined the panel to announce that in Justice League #50, by himself and Geoff Johns, we will finally discover The Joker’s real identity, recently revealed to Batman after he asked Metron’s Mobius Chair.
Harley Quinn will continue to be written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, with Chad Hardin and John Timms on art. Conner promises many guest stars in the book, including Poison Ivy, Power Girl, and characters from the Bat-Family. Rob Williams is writing Suicide Squad, with Philip Tan and Jim Lee alternating on art. The cast will include Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Rick Flagg, Katana, and Boomerang.
Finally, the remaining books were announced in a lightning round. Green Arrow by Ben Percy, Otto Schmidt and Juan Ferreyra featuring the first meeting of Oliver Queen and Dinah Drake in The New 52. Scott Lobdell remains on Red Hood and The Outlaws, joined by Dexter Soy on art; this incarnation sees two new Outlaws in the form of Bizarro and Artemis. The Hellblazer, by Simon Oliver and Moritat, will be a team-up story, with John Constantine and Swamp Thing joining forces to rescue Abby Arcane.
Christopher Priest returns to comics on Deathstroke, with art by Carlo Pagulayan, Igor Vitorino, and Felipe Watanabe, and is described by Johns as a “nuanced” take on the character. Dan Jurgens and Bernard Chang remain on a relaunched Batman Beyond, with Terry McGinnis back in the lead role.
Keith Giffen returns to Blue Beetle for a new volume with Scott Kolins, but this time it features both Jaime Reyes and Ted Kord, who is being described as Jaime’s mentor, despite not being a superhero as far as we’ve seen in The New 52. Ben Percy will also be writing Teen Titans, with art by Jonboy Myers, as Damian Wayne decides to take over and lead the team, whether they like it or not. (Spoiler: They don't.) From the art shown for The Flash and Teen Titans, it looks like Wally West will become Kid Flash in the very near future.
The last announcement was of The Super-Sons and JLA, although no creative teams were revealed. As expected, Super-Sons features Damian Wayne, son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, and Jon Kent, son of the pre-New 52 versions of Clark Kent and Lois Lane. Notably missing from the announcements were previously announced titles Earth 2 and Gotham Academy: Second Semester, but Gotham Academy co-writer Brenden Fletcher tweeted that the title will return.
The panel closed with Geoff Johns taking us through black and white pages for DC Rebirth #1, and a video reel showed Zack Snyder and the cast of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice holding the issue and talking about how much they loved it.
Those hoping for a more diverse roster of talent behind the scenes, or a more diverse roster of characters on the page, will come away from the DC Rebirth announcements disappointed. Only four women writers were announced on a total of three books between them; Batgirl, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, and Harley Quinn. Two of DC's biggest female heroes, Supergirl and Wonder Woman, are in the hands of male writers, as is the new Superwoman title, while no women writers have been named to titles led by male characters.
The number of writers of color is down, with Yang and Manapul joined by Christopher Priest and John Semper, but David F. Walker, Amy Chu and Ming Doyle all absent. The lack of titles for Midnighter and Catwoman leaves Harley Quinn and John Constantine as the only LGBTQ solo leads.