Now that Convergence is just a bad, simplistic dream, DC has seen a host of new series that have flooded our shelves and pre-orders. Some of these take on major titles that we have seen before, some simply reboot previous titles we had, and some are spin-offs on old and new characters. There is a general trend towards keeping things modern, having contemporary characterization, but also being loose with the continuity and having multiple time periods. The new DC comics series are a real mix bag, some of which are incredibly disappointing(Starfire, anyone?), while others are incredible gems. Understanding that this is an entirely objective, we have put together a concrete list of the absolute best new series from the DC comics relaunch!
5. We Are Robin
This is an interesting concept right from the start. Inspired by the “idea” of Robin as a youth street vigilante, a group of street kids are joining together to clean up the streets as a team. The story begins in the first issue by following the difficult life of Duke Thomas as he is forced into foster care. This begins are darker story that really does see crime as a serious issue in urban alienation. It also promises a possible set of hundreds of Robins, which really does draw us into the revolutionary potential of the character seen in classics like The Dark Knight Returns.
This twelve-issue maxi series takes the Prez character from the 1970s and brings the kind of meta-commentary into contemporary times. There was a previous Prez one-shot on Vertigo in the 1990s from Ed Brubaker, yet the character has gone silent since. Instead, Prez becomes a teenage women who is presented to the culture as a possible presidential candidate. Filled with actually pretty astute commentary and satire about contemporary politics, especially the influence of deregulated capitalism and unregulated corporate entities, and characters that are interesting enough to stick with.
This is again a miniseries, but under the All-Star moniker(still not entirely sure what this means). This well written book from Garth Ennis uses these d-list heroes to lampoon the DC universe with a clever sort of lunacy. It starts by targeting Gotham and Batman, but we see that any heroes could be the on the list. This is not, however, a cheap comedy book, but a fun romp with some unexpected heroes that press the limits of the DC self-censorship. We need more books like this from the Big Two.
A lot of attention has been given this book since it is really the first gay male character as the lead of an action book, which is something that is unique. Not only is he an open gay man, but he does not fall into the comic cliches of turning him into a more effeminate stereotype. Instead, him and his relationships are taken seriously as he also creates a more violent and confrontational street hero. This is a book that keeps superheroics to the minimum and violence is taken seriously, yet it is a lot more fun that the description eludes.
Yes, Justice League America is the easy winner. It is the most high profile and the least surprising, but it really is a great addition. The stories here are intended to take creativity as the driving force rather than continuity, so we could see this as the vanguard of changing the priorities of the DCU. For example, as the Truth storyline plays out across all Superman titles, in JLA he still has his powers and it is in a completely different time period. Similar to the Grant Morrison run that made the series such a winner, it again sees them as modern gods and goddesses and promises to play mythology, morality tales, and parables at the core of its plotting.
Omega Men – This is an amazing book, but entirely confusing and separated from the rest of the DCU. Until we get a better sense of the who and what, it will have to stay on the honorable list instead of the top five.
Earth 2: Society – This is again one that needs to be fleshed out before it can get the full recommendation, but for multiverse fans this is a must-read.