Top 10 DC Rebirth Series of 2016

As stated before, DC’s Rebirth has been a fantastic success for the company. The initiative has rocketed DC to the top of the sales charts. Both old and new fans have praised the new comics for their familiar storytelling, and a return to form for DC’s properties. But, which comics are the best? Which comics should you buy no matter what? Which comics are the pinnacle of great sequential storytelling and superhero suspense? These are the top ten best comics from DC’s Rebirth.

10. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps.

Hal Jordan has been the face of Green Lantern comics since Geoff Johns brought him back in Green Lantern: Rebirth. While Johns absolutely brought a new complexity to the character and the concept, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. goes even deeper with a sense of hopelessness. The Sinestro Corps. have taken over the galaxy, the Green Lantern Corps. is low on members and unsure of their future, and Hal Jordan is alone against an enemy that has already won. The artwork is as beautiful as ever, and Robert Venditti’s writing is funny but never loses its stakes or sense of dread. It’s definitely one of the best comics to kick off this list.

9. Batgirl and the Birds of Prey

The Birds of Prey are an all female team of vigilantes that take on crime in Gotham. Their comics have always been known for being action packed, but what makes this team so unique is the bond they have. Barbara Gordon, Black Canary, and Huntress are always friends; friends that have unique dynamics, and a sense of camaraderie that overcomes the toughest challenges. Writers Julie and Shawna Benson understand this, and implement it in their narrative. The two focus on the team’s ability to create bonds with each other. It’s great to see the three heroes work together to establish their team, and overcome all of their obstacles.

8. New Super-Man

New Super-Man is one of the best studies on what heroism means in Rebirth. Gene Luen Yang’s creation, Kenan Kong, is China’s Superman. The problem is that Kenan is a jerk, but he’s such a likeable jerk. He can do everything Superman can do, but his powers don’t always work unless he’s being altruistic and brave. While the art and writing are on point what really sells this series is the emotional connection we feel for Kenan. He gets more depth and intrigue in his character arc than most new superheroes, and its more than just a tragic origin story. There’s real complex emotion in his actions, and situation that makes you feel for him in one panel, but then hate him the next. It’s brilliant writing, and this book should not be overlooked.

7. Green Arrow

All the other Rebirth books on this list were selected for their writing and characterizations. This entry is an exception, which is not to say that Benjamin Percy is a bad writer. Far from it, he’s an excellent writer, and he understands Oliver Queen. It’s just that Otto Schmidt’s art is amazing. It’s colorful, dynamic, and has the best action scenes on the stands right now. Each image feels epic, they’re a feast for the eyes in every possible way. Schmidt’s art gives off this wonderful sense of movement that becomes the perfect blend of “eye-candy.” And Percy’s storytelling is nothing to scoff at, as he has created some disturbing new villains and emotional complexity for Green Arrow. But just on a pure aesthetic level, this books knocks it out of the park.

6. The Flash

Barry Allen is the superhero a lot of people can relate to; he works himself to the bone, he tries to set good examples, and he overall wants to help everyone. Writer Joshua Williamson took this concept and allowed Barry Allen to realize that he needs help. So more speedsters were created, and Barry taught them all how to be the best they could be. Until one of them goes insane and basically becomes the Punisher with super speed. Not only is this comic surprisingly dark, but it puts Barry Allen through the ringer in a way never done before. It also gives the new Kid Flash a home for him to develop his own identity. It absolutely is the comic that fans of the show can get in to, but it’s also building on the continuity of the character. It’s absolutely a fantastic read.

5. Titans

One of the smartest things to come out of Rebirth was the return of the Titans team. Technically they came back in the Titans Hunt miniseries, but they got a full ongoing series thanks to the return of Pre-Flashpoint Wally West. Yes there are two different Wally Wests. Yes it gets confusing. But, like Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, Titans has a very specific concept behind it. The Titans are a family through their bonds as former sidekicks. Writer Dan Abnett really understands this and it shows through what they are willing to do for each other. They are always by each other’s side, and always stick up for one another. It’s funny, exciting, and even emotional. It’s the Titans book fans have deserved for a while now.

4. Green Lanterns

Yes, there are two Green Lantern books, and yes they are both really good. But, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. is more about the epic space battles, and the rebuilding of the corps. Green Lanterns takes a different approach and focuses on two new Green Lanterns: Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz. Both of whom are learning what it means to be a Green Lantern, and both have their own baggage they have to deal with. What makes the book work really well is that both of these characters need each other to combat the enemy and their problems. Jessica Cruz may be a Green Lantern, but she also has anxiety, so every day is a challenge for her. Simon Baz is also a Green Lantern, but he is constantly getting in over his head to try and prove himself. They work together to make themselves stronger.

3. Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman had some amazing stories told in the New 52, but many fans felt that her origin and characterization changed too much. Rebirth, under the guidance of Greg Rucka, looks to set the record straight with her origin and address some of the inconsistencies with her character. Rucka does this in two ways. One is creating a concrete origin story through Wonder Woman’s “Year One.” The second is by examining all the inconsistencies of her life through “The Lies.” That’s right, Rucka is giving us two stories at the same time, and both are very well written. “Year One” explores the classic origin story (just in time for the movie) in an accessible a way possible. “The Lies” focuses on the intrigue of Diana Prince’s life. Both stories are wonderfully crafted and have fantastic art; they are the pinnacle stories for the greatest superheroine ever.

2. Batman

After amazing success with The Vision, and The Omega Men, Tom King is writing the Caped Crusader. Now what’s interesting about this title is that it’s fairly divisive amongst fans. Some say it’s too dark, some say it has wonky characterization, and some say it just doesn’t feel like Batman. But King does something a little different; he explores just how broken Bruce Wayne is, and how mentally disturbed this hero is. And as the story goes along, the audience goes deeper into Bruce’s psyche, deeper into his instabilities, and his anguish. It’s heartbreaking, because Batman is supposed to fix any problem in his path. But, as fans learn through King’s writing, Batman can’t do everything. No matter how hard he fights, or how tough he is, Batman is still human. Tom King is exploring his humanity even further than before.

Honorable Mentions

Yes there are so many good Rebirth books that we added in an honorable mention category in no particular order. These books are also fantastic reads and should be picked up ASAP.

  • Aquaman
  • Deathstroke
  • Batgirl
  • Supergirl
  • Superwoman
  • Nightwing
  • Teen Titans
  • Red Hood and the Outlaws
  • Trinity
  • Detective Comics
  • Suicide Squad

1. Superman

Superman gets a bum rap. He’s constantly considered to be too powerful or unrelatable. However, when someone tries to take a different approach, it’s usually met with harsh criticism. Because apparently nobody gets Superman the right way. Well writers Patrick Gleason and Peter Tomasi have really crafted the ideal superman story. Where the focus is not on big epic battles, or impossible superhero logic, but rather on watching Superman grow as a man. The key aspect about Superman is that deep down, he is a normal guy with fantastic powers. And now he is a father, and a husband. This comic has a lot of action, but it also has a fair share of quite moments that are brilliant character moments. We’re seeing Clark Kent grow as he teaches his son how to handle his powers, and be the Superman we all wish we could be.

Nick Enquist
Nick Enquist
Nick Enquist writes opinion pieces and reviews of comic books, movies, and TV shows for Monkeys Fighting Robots.