Yes, I have come out of hibernation. No, I don’t want to talk about it.
DC Rebirth! I’m excited for it, I think it has a lot of potential to right some of the many wrongs done to the DC Universe over the past four and a half years. Don’t get me wrong, there have been a lot of things that have worked and been done right since the New 52 reboot, but many things have gone wrong and the glaring lack of history in the current universe has been a prevalent issue for me. So, just for fun, here’s a fantasy draft for all 32 titles DC will be releasing under Rebirth, creator wise. I’ll also give a brief overview of what I’d like to see done differently with certain characters, things I think currently work and what team dynamics I’d like to see. So, alphabetical order, it’s just easier. Also, this is not a prediction by any means, this is just my ideal line up. Finally, I’ll be doing ten titles today, ten on Saturday and the remaining twelve on Monday.
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artists: RB Silva (Pencils)
Norm Rapmund (Inks)
Make Action Comics big, fun and explosive. This should be the platform where Supers are brought together, maybe giving some of the Super characters that don’t have their own book the spotlight for one shots or a even mini arcs. Utilising Action Comics in such a way would allow more open stories involving other characters to be told, preventing the need for these frequent crossovers that result in people having to buy books they wouldn’t normally to get a complete story. That does not drive sales, it drives people away. Having a writer with the experience of Dan Jurgens running this title would allow order to be kept in place while providing stories that are enjoyable. RB Silva worked Action Comics before the reboot, I’d love to see him back on the book and he’s easily got the chops to pull off a major DC book. Norm Rapmund has a proven track record, having inked many great comic books with skill and style. Blond has a lovely, warm palette on many books and I think warm colour use is a great way of keeping the book from going to grim.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Dustin Nguyen
I think Aquaman needs two things to make it work: a writer who can write a badass with genuine character, one who understands the history and importance to fans, and an artist who can capture unfamiliarity in an almost alien manner, whilst being able to capture human emotion in facial expression. Tom Taylor has proven time and time again that he not only understands the characters he’s worked on but writes them with love and care. He also knows dialogue better than most other writers out there, and scripts some incredible fight scenes. As for the art, let Dustin Nguyen cut loose and paint the whole thing, deep underwater might as well be an alien planet for everything weird that’s down there, I think he’d make it perfect.
Writer: Marjorie Liu
Artists: David Lopez (Pencils)
Alvaro Lopez (Inks)
Jason Wright (Colours)
Coming out of the left field a little here, but bare with me. Let’s have two Batgirls. Why not? We’ve got two Batgirl books, one solo and one with the Birds of Prey, let’s have two characters using the name. We’ll come to the team up book next, but for the solo title let’s bring back Cassandra Cain under the mask. Marjorie Liu has tackled a character raised and trained to kill struggling to do the right thing before, successfully I think, with X-23. She has a fantastic knack with characters and motivation, and while there would be crime fighting and mystery solving, I believe this would need to be a title driven heavily by character progression and motivation. David Lopez is one of my favourite artists, I’d love to see him take on a Gotham based book and I think a Cass Cain Batgirl book would be a perfect fit, Alvaro has inked David’s work before and I think they make for a wonderful team. David can ink himself extremely well but I think having an inker he’s worked with before would alleviate some of the deadline pressure. Jason Wright has a very diverse palette colour wise, I think he would be a great fit for a Gotham book while also being able to brighten things up any time Cassandra’s story allows her some joy.
Batgirl & The Birds of Prey
Writer: Gail Simone
Artists: Annie Wu
Lee Loughridge (Colours)
Yep, a completely obvious choice on the writer I think, but Gail Simone is fantastic at writing teams, injects a wonderful sense of humour into her stories and dialogue and can tell big, action packed stories with meaning and fun. Gail is one of those writers that I can read anything from, but she also has experience with the Birds of Prey and with Batgirl. Annie Wu has an art style I think would jam really well with Gail’s writing, and again not only has she proven her ability to draw Black Canary in a way that is both respectful to women and respectful to the character and her history, she’s also proven her ability to handle a cast of regular characters about the size of the Birds of Prey on a regular basis. Lee Loughridge has worked on Annie’s art on Black Canary before and has a good understanding of how to give her work the final pop it needs, I think this would be a solid team. As for the characters, that’s easy; Batgirl (Barbara Gordon), Black Canary, The Huntress, Spoiler and Bluebird.
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Marc Silvestri (Pencils)
Danny Miki (Inks)
FCO Plascencia (Colours)
I know, I know, the chances of this particular line up are extremely unlikely, but I’m admittedly a huge Geoff Johns fan, he is the reason I have faith in DC Rebirth since it seems like he’s leading the charge on this one. I also appreciate the fact that even ignoring the fact that Silvestri has a company to run he probably couldn’t keep to a twice monthly schedule, but this particular team would rock it. I’d envision the Batman title to be the big, action packed title with the epic story arcs and with Bat family members popping up to provide support to Bruce, whether he wants it or not. Sure, you always need some character growth going on, and I think Johns could provide that quite easily, but similar to Action Comics for Superman, you could use this book to bring in characters from other books to save having to cross over all the time for events. This practice, as I said above, would keep all the books as reader friendly as possible while also brining occasional big events when it’s warranted.
Writer: Matt Hawkins
Artist: Linda Šejić
Yup, keeping in with the Top Cow talent theft for this next “fan casting” of sorts, Matt Hawkins has a mind made for science based fiction, he does proper sci-fi, by which I mean his futuristic (near or far) writing is always grounded in science that’s either readily available today or being heavily researched right now. It makes the worlds he creates and writes feel more believable, I can immerse myself in his work much easier than many other science fiction stories because everything just makes sense. Linda Šejić has already shown her ability to draw fantastic sci-fi with the Top Cow comic based on the series of novels from David Weber, Tales of Honor. Linda has such a visually pleasing art style and over the years has developed a wonderful talent for not only drawing the weird and crazy, but capturing raw human emotion in both facial expressions and body language. Much of her work could quite easily exist without words and you’d still have a firm grasp on what’s happening, and her use of colour is always very well suited to the situation on page and the mood. I think this pairing would absolutely kill it on a Batman Beyond title.
Writer: Keith Giffen & J. M. DeMatteis
Artists: Yildiray Cinar (Pencils)
Matt Banning (Inks)
Blue Beetle needs to have Ted Kord in it. I have absolutely no problem with Jaime Reyes, in fact from what I’m hearing it’s going to be both of them in this new title with a mentor/pupil relationship, which sounds pretty cool. But for me, first and foremost it needs Kord. Secondly, while having plenty of superhero action, it needs to be funny. Thirdly, and by no means the least important point, if it has Kord it needs Booster Gold even if only sporadically. To make all of these things work, it can only be Giffen and DeMatteis on the book. In my opinion. I’d use Cinar for the pencils because I think he has a wonderful style that would fit this kind of book well, I’d use Banning for his very clean, neat inking approach which I think would compliment Cinar’s pencil work nicely, and I’d have Hi-Fi because the colours would need to be fairly bright and sharp and, well, just go look at any Hi-Fi coloured superhero book. They’re perfect.
Sorry, I know I said I was doing all 32 of DC’s books but there isn’t a creative team I can put on a Cyborg book that would make me give a shit. Not that I don’t like Cyborg, I think he’s a great supporting character with the odd leading story, but carrying his own book? No thanks. They should have jettisoned this title from the DC You line up, left it to die, moved Cyborg on to the Teen Titans (I’ll explain later) and used this publishing slot to give us a Legion of Super-Heroes monthly instead.
Writer: Brian Buccelatto
Artists: Clay Mann (Pencils)
Seth Mann (Inks)
Christina Strain (Colours)
A Deathstroke title needs to be bold, both in terms of it’s story and it’s art, which I think this team up could easily achieve. Buccelatto has had an immense amount of success on DC’s digital first title Injustice, now in it’s fifth year, taking over the writing reigns from Tom Taylor and frankly, he has managed to fill those rather large shoes. Clay Mann and his brother Seth would be great on the pencils and inks, they make for a great team and are often paired up on books already, and I think they could capture the fast paced, violent nature of Deathstroke with ease. Christina Strain has had a fantastic career as a colourist already, and that experience along with her smart and stylish colour selections could be just what a Deathstroke comic needs to make it pop off the shelf and in to peoples hands.
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artists: Greg Capullo (Pencils)
Jonathan Glapion (Inks)
Alex Sinclair (Colours)
Scott Snyder works better on smaller stories. I don’t particularly rate him on the big, epic story arcs that span six months to a year, and I don’t particularly like him constantly telling us that his next arc will be even bigger. No, I think Scott Snyder is at his best when he’s working on smaller, personal stories with a mix of mystery and general weirdness. Detective Comics, for me, should be smaller personal stories, this should be where a lot of the character growth for Batman happens. It should be shorter story arcs, taking on cases in and around Gotham. It should be working closely with the GCPD to track down escaped Arkham inmates, solving murders and taking down smaller, street level villains. This is where Scott Snyder would be in his prime for me. And you can’t have Snyder on a Bat book without Capullo. Throw in Glapion on inks, who inked the Court of Owls story line and Alex Sinclair on colours, who most famously worked on Hush with Jim Lee and I think you have the perfect team for a quieter, darker and moodier Batman title.
That’s a wrap on part one, agree? Disagree? Let me know! Be sure to check back Saturday for Earth 2 through to Justice League America.