New Dawn, New Jus­tice

For­get the New 52... DC Re­birth is all about legacy. Stephen Jewell ex­plains what to ex­pect from next month’s ma­jor comic book re­launch

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In With the Old and the New

Yes, the DC Uni­verse is un­der­go­ing one of its reg­u­lar re­boots with DC Re­birth. De­signed to ap­peal equally to new­com­ers and long- term fans alike, “the whole point of DC Re­birth,” in the words of DC’s Chief Cre­ative Of­fi­cer Ge­off Johns, is “to get back to the essence of the char­ac­ters.”

New Bat

Joined by artist David Finch, Tom King suc­ceeds Scott Snyder on Bat­man. A for­mer es­pi­onage of­fi­cer- turned comics writer, the for­mer Grayson scribe will draw on his ex­pe­ri­ences work­ing for the CIA as he ex­plores what makes the non- su­per­pow­ered Bat­man such a for­mi­da­ble su­per­hero – and his del­i­cate bal­anc­ing act of get­ting “as close to the hor­ror with­out be­com­ing the hor­ror”. And while he won’t be pen­ning any of the now twice- monthly main Bat- books, Scott Snyder hasn’t for­saken the Caped Cru­sader, as he launches All- Star Bat­man, which will see him joined by a re­volv­ing team of top artists in­clud­ing Jock, Tula Lo­tay and, ini­tially, John Romita Jr.

Su­per Fam­i­lies

With both Pete To­masi and Pa­trick Glea­son’s Su­per­man and Dan Jur­gens and Pa­trick Zircher’s Ac­tion Comics fo­cus­ing on the pre- New 52 Su­per­man, the Man of Steel dis­cov­ers the joys and down­sides of mar­ried life as he and wife Lois Lane’s at­tempts to raise their su­per- son Jon Kent are in­ter­rupted by the likes of Dooms­day and Lex Luthor. Mean­while Gene Luen Yang and Vic­tor Bog­danovic’s New Su­per- Man – yes, that hy­phen is meant to be there – is the most in­trigu­ing of DC’s new Su­per- books. Set­ting out to “take what Su­per­man rep­re­sents and ex­plore it in Chi­nese cul­ture,” it in­tro­duces Kenji Kong, a 17- year- old from Shang­hai, who is mys­te­ri­ously im­bued with some of Su­per­man’s ac­tual pow­ers.

Won­der Years

She up­staged both the Big Blue and the Dark Knight in their own film this year, so DC are hop­ing that DC Re­birth will fi­nally el­e­vate Won­der Woman to the ex­ulted po­si­tion that she de­serves ahead of her own solo film next sum­mer. And while there is dis­ap­point­ment that a fe­male writer like DC Bomb­shells’ Mar­guerite Ben­nett didn’t land the gig, the re­turn of old hand Greg Rucka has been greeted pos­i­tively. Charged with re­build­ing her sa­cred mis­sion af­ter “an unimag­in­able loss”, Rucka is paired with Liam Sharp on Diana Prince’s present- day ex­ploits; while Ni­cola Scott il­lus­trates an al­ter­nat­ing, Year One- es­que story set 10 years ago dur­ing her early days as the Earth’s pro­tec­tor.

Dirty Dozen

DC’s artis­tic tal­ents don’t come more stel­lar than Jim Lee, so it’s “quite a big deal” – to quote se­ries writer Rob Wil­liams – that he, along with Philip Tan, is draw­ing Sui­cide Squad. With a line- up re­port­edly sim­i­lar to the up­com­ing movie, it will be pub­lished in Au­gust to co­in­cide with the David Ayer- di­rected cin­e­matic ex­trav­a­ganza.

No Flash in the Pan

DC is also plan­ning to re­store the for­tunes of Aqua­man and the Flash ( hardly peren­nial best­sellers) with their own movie out­ings wait­ing in the wings. Helmed by Dan Ab­nett and Brad Walker, Aqua­man sees At­lantis try­ing to play a more prom­i­nent role in global af­fairs, while Joshua

Williamson, Carmine Di Gian­domenico and Neil Googe deal with a mass out­break of su­per- speed­sters in The Flash.

Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence

Best known for an­i­mated se­ries like Static Shock, John Sem­ple will make his comics de­but on Cy­borg along­side vet­eran artists Will Con­rad and Paul Pel­letier, as Vic Stone is con­fronted by a new cy­ber­netic ad­ver­sary in the shape of the Sin­gu­lar­ity.

Go­ing Green

While the Green Lan­tern Corps movie isn’t due un­til 2020, the Emer­ald Knights flag­ship ti­tle is set for a shake- up thanks to Sam Humphries. Hav­ing re­cently scripted Star- Lord for Mar­vel, he will pre­sum­ably bring a Guardians Of The Galaxy- style vibe to DC’s in­ter­ga­lac­tic po­lice force. Pitched as “Lethal Weapon with alien tech­nol­ogy”, it sees Hal Jor­dan miss­ing in space, leav­ing rook­ies Jes­sica Cruz and Si­mon Baz to de­fend the Earth.

With a Hitch

Hav­ing writ­ten and drawn the re­cent JLA, Bryan Hitch will be script­ing July’s lat­est it­er­a­tion of DC’s premiere su­per- group, for artists Tony Daniel and Fer­nando Pasarin. It’s set to unite the usual heavy- hit­ters against a cat­a­clysmic event dubbed “The Awak­en­ing”.

Con Job is Back

While John Con­stan­tine’s 2013 move from Ver­tigo’s ma­ture im­print to the main DC line wasn’t met with uni­ver­sal ac­claim, the news that South Lon­don’s Si­mon Oliver is pen­ning Au­gust’s The Hell­blazer should re­store the oc­cult de­tec­tive’s iras­ci­ble, chain- smok­ing charm.

Green Lanterns is pitched as ‘ Lethal Weapon with alien tech­nol­ogy’

Fe­males get plenty of ac­tion in DC Re­birth.

Su­per­girl will be get­ting a fresh look too. Tom King will be tak­ing Bat­man in an es­pi­onageesque di­rec­tion.

Cy­borg faces a brand new ad­ver­sary. Some old favourites are chang­ing more than oth­ers. The un­usual sus­pects…

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