So today DC Comics revealed the entire lineup for their “Rebirth” relaunch. And while some books look sufficiently intriguing (like Batgirl & the Birds of Prey and Superwoman), on the whole, the lineup looks pretty, well, vanilla. There is nothing unusual or unexpected, not like the DC You launch or even the New 52 (which, while overall it didn’t work, did result in several fantastically weird books, like Dial H). So just like I did with the All-New, All-Different Marvel, I’m going to list books that I wish were part of DC’s Rebirth.
Here, then, are my suggestions:
Doom Patrol by China Miéville and Doug Mahnke
You know I had to include this. What DC really needs is a giant heaping helping of the superweird and there is nothing weirder than the Doom Patrol.
China Miéville is the perfect person to bring them back, too, because his Dial H series for the New 52 was filled to the brim with wonderful weirdness, as are his books. But more than that, he manages to mix that weirdness with honest-to-goodness characters and good characterization.
The Forgotten Heroes by Ivan Brandon and Emma Rios
To capitalize on the Legends of Tomorrow TV show, DC Comics is going to publish a “Legends of Tomorrow” anthology series...which has almost nothing at all to do with anything on the show, aside from Firestorm.
Instead, what they should do is bring back the Forgotten Heroes, a team of obscure heroes brought together to stop Vandal Savage from destroying the world. Sound familiar? Their team even includes Rip Hunter — although it also had Animal Man, Cave Carson, and Congo Bill, so they might want to change that to fit it with the TV lineup.
Ivan Brandon does obscure heroes well (see: Men at War and Final Crisis: Escape), while Emma Rios can do exactly the kind of fluid and dark artwork the book needs.
The Question by Alex de Campi and Annie Wu
Of all the superheroes that the New 52 messed up, the Question undeniably got it the worst. No longer the former detective of Greg Rucka’s run or the martial artist zen-like hero of Denny O’Neil’s run or even the Objectivist hero of Steve Ditko’s run, the Question was now a cosmic being, like the Phantom Stranger, whose face had literally been taken from him for unknown reasons. So how do you fix a character that is nothing like they were before?
Bring in Alex de Campi, now well known for her bizarre Grindhouse comics and bleak thriller No Mercy, to revamp the Question and then bring in Annie Wu, who knocked it out of the park in Hawkeye and Black Canary. And then perhaps it’s time for a new Question...
Huntress by Greg Rucka and Mikel Janin
If there is a clear winner in the “awesome unexpected characters” department in the New 52, it’s Helena Bertinelli. After the previous Huntress was revealed as Helena Wayne from Earth-2 and that she had stolen Bertinelli’s identity after her death, nobody really expected the real Helena to show up...but she did and her adventures as an agent of Spyral with Dick Grayson have been amazing. So amazing, that she pretty much deserves her own book.
Greg Rucka knows how to do international espionage — if you haven’t read it, you really, really should read Queen & Country. (He also wrote a previous Huntress mini-series, Huntress: Cry for Blood.) And Mikel Janin is the current Grayson artist and is knocking it out of the park each issue.
Sandman Mystery Theatre by Ray Fawkes and Ming Doyle
In Gotham by Midnight, Ray Fawkes showed us how well he could write a dark, noir comic tinged with horror and mysticism. Police detective Jim Corrigan, barely able to keep the Spectre at bay, investigating strange crimes in Gotham.
Now imagine that, but set in the ‘30s and ‘40s. And instead of Jim Corrigan, it’s rich wastrel Wesley Dodds, whose strange dreams won’t let him rest until he goes out and puts criminals to sleep, with the help of his girl Friday, Dian Belmont.
Now imagine all of that, but illustrated by Ming Doyle. I know, right? It would be so flipping awesome.
Vixen by Kathryn Immonen and Frazier Irving
Vixen has now had her own online cartoon and next week, she is primed to appear in live action for the very first time. It’s about time she get her own book again. (The last one, written by G. Willow Wilson, was back in 2008.)
Kathryn Immonen has shown a great ability to write tough female warriors, like Lady Sif in Journey Into Mystery, or spies, like Peggy Carter in Operation S.I.N. Writing for Vixen would be right up her alley.