Ask any avid comic book reader – not a fan of comic book TV or movies – and they’ll tell you that there really is no other medium like comic books. While TV shows or films can build up to ‘events,’ cliffhangers, or stunning plot twists, such bold moves usually come with some time off to plan the follow-up. But in comics, the writers, artists, and publishers usually have a matter of weeks. And as Fox, Marvel Studios and DC Entertainment have started pulling the spotlight from the comics themselves with their shared movie universes, DC Comics is looking to remind fans of where these characters were born to begin with; and it’s coming in the form of the DC Comics “Rebirth”.

Readers and fans are no stranger to ‘reboot fatigue,’ since both Marvel and DC have turned the success of crossover event series and company-wide reboots into, arguably, a gimmick; when writers boldly start at Issue #0 every few years, investment and excitement can only dwindle. But with DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns standing as the spokesperson for the new initiative, he’s promising some BIG changes. Changes that may make this initiative the one for lapsed fans – or those looking to get into comics to begin with – their best chance.

No company-wide event or initiative is a simple one, though. So to make sure fans or newcomers can make sense of the issue numbering, rollout schedules, and new creative teams, we’re breaking down all the details in The DC Comics “Rebirth”: A Complete Guide For New Readers.

First Things First: It’s Not a Reboot

DC Rebirth Reading Guide DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


As much as the title (and aforementioned reboot craze) might imply that the stories of DC’s “New 52” relaunch or the recent “Convergence” will be thrown out completely to start from scratch, “Rebirth” is actually meant to communicate the same structure as “The Flash: Rebirth” and “Green Lantern: Rebirth” before it. It was the latter which propelled Geoff Johns to the forefront of the DC Comics conversation, and aided in his meteoric rise to the top of DC’s leadership – and for good reason.

In an industry built on pursuing modern tastes and sensibilities, “Green Lantern: Rebirth” didn’t restart anything, just returned Hal Jordan, the beloved hero of DC’s Silver Age, to the existing continuity with all the emotional turmoil and baggage it required. A top-tier hero, writing, and art team reminded fans why they loved Hal “Hi-Ball” Jordan in the first place, and used his return to enrich the title and brand across the company. That is what “Rebirth” means in DC terms, and that is what the DC Comics “Rebirth” will (hopefully) seek to create on a company-wide level.

Geoff Johns DC Movie Universe DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


It would be foolish to think that EVERY comic book series will achieve, or even attempt a similar change in the status quo, but the company has assembled arguably more veteran, acclaimed and fan-favorite creators to tackle than ever before, each tasked with drawing on the “legacy” of the characters and DC Universe as a whole to not just reminisce, but break new ground.

Johns explains in an interview with CBR:

“If you look at the new Star Wars [The Force Awakens] — it’s kind of a rebirth, right? It goes back to the classic tropes of Star Wars, but it introduces new characters. New threats. It has the spirit of Star Wars, it feels like a Star Wars movie. Probably the first Star Wars movie that’s felt like a Star Wars movie in a long, long time. That’s a perfect example of what I think “Rebirth” is — a celebration, but it doesn’t mean we’re just going backwards. It’s an echo of the past, but looking to the future. That’s what I want to do with this.”

Considering his shift to leading the DC Films division of Warner Bros. after a recent restructuring, Johns’ work in “Rebirth” may be some of his last for some time. And knowing this is his mission, and the talent being called on to – if all goes according to plan – bring the biggest rise in overall quality to the DC library in years, now is the time for lapsed or new fans to start making trips to their local comic shop. Especially thanks to these new changes:

  • Major DC titles will now be releasing TWO issues per month, instead of one
  • Major Titles will be releasing a special “Rebirth” issue before their own #1’s
  • All comics are now priced $2.99 USD, across the board

So, without further ado – and without SPOILING any of the major plot points – let’s get started: what’s coming, when it’s releasing, and what each new series has in store…

DC Universe: Rebirth #1

DC Universe Rebirth 1 DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: May 25th, 2016

Writer: Geoff Johns

Artist: Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis, Gary Frank and Phil Jimenez

Cover By: Gary Frank

Issues Per Month: One-Shot

The entire “Rebirth” starts here. This 80-page issue is essential reading before the other “Rebirth” issues releasing in June, containing a character’s death, returning faces that haven’t been seen for some time, and the first big chapter in the forces at work in the DC Universe mythology. Considering the amount of changes that have come to the DCU under Geoff Johns’ watch – the Rebirths, Trinity/Darkseid War, Flashpoint, New 52, etc. – this is the issue which will set the bar for the event, and – for those who have yet to read it (get our full breakdown here) – reveal the mystery that will likely become the biggest in years.

Aside from Johns’ writing, the artists bringing the story to life are some of DC’s most accomplished and acclaimed in the modern age. Ivan Reis has been a regular go-to for Johns’ event series, from “Blackest Night” to “Brightest Day”, Johns’ New 52 run on “Aquaman”; he even took over duties from Jim Lee in “Justice League”. If you read comics, you’ve likely also seen Phil Jimenez’s work in titles ranging from “Wonder Woman” to “Astonishing X-Men” and “Fables”. Gary Frank’s nostalgic take on “Superman” in Christopher Reeve’s image has been dubbed by Johns as the “best of his generation,” and at this point, Ethan Van Sciver’s presence in a major DC event goes without saying.

Note: “Rebirth” should be fine to jump in on for those with casual knowledge of the heroes – and aware that they may need to fill in some of the holes as they go – but for some extra homework, picking up “Justice League” #41-50 and “Superman” #52 should help set the stage, as well.

Batman: Rebirth #1

Batman Rebirth Issue 1 DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: June 1st, 2016

Writer: Scott Snyder & Tom King

Artist: Mikel Janin

Cover By: Mikel Janin

Issues Per Month: One-Shot

The comic world got one of its most promising shots in the arm when Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo took over the core “Batman” series, with an introduction of the “Court of Owls” that spawned a renaissance for the Dark Knight in “Batman: Zero Year”, “Death of The Family” and more. And with “Rebirth” #1 – spinning out of the events of Johns’ issue – Snyder and new caretaker Tom King collaborated to begin a story that’s more than a little ‘meta,’ featuring the Dark Knight “trying something new.”

The villain of the issue is a new, darkly supernatural Calendar Man, but the issue is a launching pad, as much as anything else. Snyder has collaborated with King on other Bat-Family titles, in preparation for the handing-off (before the “Rebirth” issue was even planned). King has cut his teeth on plenty of titles already, including “Grayson” with artist Mikel Janin, but coming off of a memorable run on “Justice League Dark” Janin is more than capable of delivering some stunning scenes.

Need one last reason to get excited for this hand-off? According to Snyder, King is not only a close friend and mentor (a claim they both make), but sees him as one of the most accomplished, bravest writers working today. In other words: if you missed out on a front row seat to Scott Snyder’s ascent into “Batman” history – don’t make the same mistake twice, when King takes over just two weeks later…

Batman #1

Batman Issue 1 Gotham Rebirth DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: June 15th, 2016

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Matt Banning, David Finch

Cover By: Matt Banning, David Finch

Issues Per Month: Two

Just two weeks after Snyder and King deliver their hand-off, the latter takes the reins in, once again, challenging the status quo for the Dark Knight. Where Snyder’s Batman saw Bruce Wayne “out of sorts” for a number of reasons – realizing Gotham City holds secrets even from him – King’s run, beginning with the story “I Am Gotham” will meet Bruce as most fans know him. King has claimed that he has the first year of the comic mapped out in his head, divided into three chapters, all telling one story when it’s said and done. And yes, he will definitely be calling on the real experience and emotions gained from serving as a very real CIA agent in the 2000s.

Pencils and Inking duo David Finch and Matt Banning will be bringing their award-winning skills to the introduction of a brand new vigilante: Gotham, a young, bright-eyed do-gooder who believes that a positive outlook and give-em-hell attitude will help fight back the city’s darkness. Obviously, things don’t go so smoothly. DC is never cavalier with who they entrust their caped crusader to, so for fans of the Bat, mark your calendars for every other Wednesday.

Superman: Rebirth #1

Superman Rebirth Issue 1 DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: June 1st, 2016

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi

Artist: Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza

Cover By: Doug Mahnke

Issues Per Month: One-Shot

Here’s where things get a little bit tricky with the whole New 52/Convergence/Rebirth dynamic. Casual comic fans will recall the New 52 version of Superman – either in blue jeans and an ‘S’-emblazoned t-shirt, or a collared suit of Kryptonian armor – pushing the older, classic version of the hero (married to Lois Lane) out of continuity. Recently, it was actually revealed that the older, bearded Superman was alive and well in the New 52 universe. How? Again, the comic helps answer that question – because it’s the classic version of Clark Kent who will be re-taking the spotlight in all “Superman” series – along with his wife, Lois, and their son, Jonathan.

The fact is, there’s no way to talk about the current state of Superman in simple terms: as complex or convoluted as the DCU gets as a whole, Supes tends to embody it. We’ll just say this: Peter Tomasi is as reliable a DC creator as you’ll find, so seeing him entrusted with the DC mascot going forward is no shock (and the quality of Mahnke’s artwork usually scales with the spectacle and narrative punch). This issue confirms that the mantle has been passed (back) to the new Man of Steel for good… even though he’ll have some help (we’ll get to that later).

Superman #1

Superman Issue 1 Rebirth DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: June 15th, 2016

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi

Artist: Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray

Cover By: Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray

Issues Per Month: Two

The safest introduction to the new “Superman” will probably be found in his titular title, even if Superman cast as the father of a ten-year-old son may be a bit of an unexpected characterization for some. Having spent a good amount of time below the radar (as mentioned above), it won’t just be supervillains that Superman leaps back up to fight. When Jonathan starts to show the superpowers one would expect from the Last Son of Krypton’s… son, Clark and Lois have to decide: how do they teach him to control those gifts – and whether he should actually use them, or conceal his powers from the entire world?

It’s a theme that has potential to play on the themes highlighted by Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, even if the forces pressing the issue look to be a bit more cosmic in nature (judging by the cover art). Whatever the case, Tomasi, Gleason and Gray have hit their stride together on the previous “Batman and Robin” series, meaning the twice-monthly schedule shouldn’t bog them down, and will hopefully put their experience on a father/son-esque act to good use.

Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1

Green Lanterns Rebirth Issue 1 DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: June 1st, 2016

Writer: Geoff Johns & Sam Humphries

Artist: Ethan Van Sciver, Ed Benes

Cover By: Ethan Van Sciver

Issues Per Month: One-Shot

It just wouldn’t be a “Rebirth” without Geoff Johns returning to Green Lantern. But this time around, it’s part of a larger collaboration between Johns, Van Sciver (two names synonymous with the best of GL), Benes (yet another top-tier DC artist) and Sam Humphries, set to take over the “Green Lanterns” series proper. And the main goal of “Green Lanterns: Rebirth” #1? To establish (or for newcomers, introduce) the characters of Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz – Earth’s two new Lanterns.

Jessica Cruz, to the unfamiliar, entered DC continuity during Geoff Johns’ “Forever Evil”, when the famous weapon of Power Ring – the ‘anti-Green Lantern’ of an alternate world in which the Justice League heroes are evil – forced itself upon her. Having previously seen her friends killed for witnessing a crime in progress, and spent four years without leaving her apartment as a result, this was only the latest trauma. For Simon Baz, a Lebanese-American from Michigan (like Johns himself), his selection as a suitable Lantern recruit came in the midst of a mix-up with the Federal government, due to his Muslim heritage.

Both will be appearing in DC’s new “Justice League”, but this issue sees them thrust together by Hal Jordan himself – possible even fusing their Lanterns into a single power source (but you didn’t hear it from us).

Green Lanterns #1

Green Lanterns New Rebirth DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: June 15th, 2016

Writer: Sam Humphries

Artist: Robson Rocha

Cover By: Robson Rocha, Joe Prado

Issues Per Month: Two

In the duo’s first solo title, expect the ‘team-up’ vibe to take full effect. Referring to the dynamic as “Lethal Weapon with alien technology,” Sam Humphries has been given serious freedom with Simon and Jessica – two heroes who are canon heroes, but without much backstory defining them as characters. And with the two of them coming from completely different walks of life, and suffering some serious emotional scars, it’s no surprise that tension and friction between the two is promised almost immediately.

Being left to patrol Earth as the planet’s two new Lanterns – let’s make that clear: these are the Lanterns of space Sector 2814 – the first story arc, titled “Red Planet” sees the duo forced to defend the planet from what remains of the Red Lanterns. The rage-fueled ringbearers should pose a serious challenge, but judging by the issue’s cover art, Robson Rocha’s knack for gruesome/gnarly detail will make it as entertaining as possible. For those looking to see some new blood injected into the world Geoff Johns helped create, then “Green Lanterns” could be just what’s needed.

Green Arrow: Rebirth #1

Green Arrow DC Rebirth Issue 1 DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: June 1st, 2016

Writer: Benjamin Percy

Artist: Otto Schmidt

Cover By: Juan Ferreyra

Issues Per Month: One-Shot

The CW’s Arrow series may have found success by (and more recently, taken criticism for) essentially dressing Batman in a green hood, but while the two heroes are similar, Oliver Queen began as a political opposite to the Dark Knight. Where Batman searched for the criminals of Gotham, the Green Arrow searched for those responsible for the poverty which bred Star City’s crime to begin with. And under writer Benjamin Percy, that’s the version of Oliver that has re-taken the spotlight.

Since taking over the “Green Arrow” series in 2015, Percy has focused mainly on Oliver out of the hood, struggling with his finances, romance, and what it means to be a hero. In “Rebirth”, Percy has teased, Oliver will step into the identity of Green Arrow, and all it will come to mean. Since Percy will be remaining onboard as the writer of the series, he’s described the “Rebirth” issue as a “prelude” to his next story, including the introduction of – finally – Black Canary. And trust us: Otto Schmidt’s one-of-a-kind artwork, often resembling something closer to still animation than traditional comic art, will be worth checking out alone.

Green Arrow #1

Green Arrow Rebirth Issue 1 DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: June 15th, 2016

Writer: Benjamin Percy

Artist: Otto Schmidt

Cover By: Juan Ferreyra

Issues Per Month: Two

Once Percy and Schmidt get back into their regular swing of things, “Green Arrow” will be going headlong into the social issues that defined Oliver Queen to begin with. Percy has proudly stated that Oliver Queen is a “social justice warrior” in the truest sense of the word, making it his mission to bring justice to every person under his watch. We wouldn’t expect the storylines to get overtly political (at least not at expense of the characters), but for plenty of readers, it will be the arrival of Black Canary that’s the real reason to pick up an issue.

Percy has said that it would actually be accurate to title the series “Green Arrow & Black Canary” for this next arc, so fans of Dinah Lance have even more reason to check out the “Rebirth” issue, at the very least. Although Percy’s writing will be less of a shake-up than on other titles, his claim that working with Geoff Johns on the “Rebirth” initiative centered on “how to tell the best Green Arrow story ever” is hard to ignore. Especially since he’s also teased that this run will show Oliver accepting the true philosophy of Robin Hood, possibly giving up his entire fortune willingly…

The Flash: Rebirth #1

The Flash DC Rebirth Issue DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: June 8th, 2016

Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico

Cover By: Karl Kerschl

Issues Per Month: One-Shot

Having risen up in the indie comic scene with titles like “Nailbiter” and “Birthright”, DC Comics snagged Joshua Williamson to an exclusive deal producing content for both DC and Vertigo – the first of which will be “The Flash”. If that isn’t enough to convince you that the Scarlet Speedster is in capable hands, Williamson has confirmed that, as a “continuity junkie,” the stories Barry has starred in leading to “Rebirth” will be kept intact as much as possible – although this issue should NOT BE READ BEFORE “DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH” since it spins directly out of the one-shot.

This issue will also plant some seeds for the future, including the start of one case that will have ramifications on Barry, and the book in the long run. Like all comic lines, Williamson hashed his story ideas out with Geoff Johns – one of, if not the biggest “Flash” fan there is – so it’s no surprise the writer calls the experience preparing to launch as one of the best of his career. And with Di Giandomenico covering the artwork – known for his energetic designs and, quite possibly, the best Flash-lightning ever seen on the page – those interested in reading “The Flash” don’t need any persuading.

The Flash #1

The Flash Rebirth Issue 1 DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: June 22nd, 2016

Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico

Cover By: Karl Kerschl

Issues Per Month: Two

Things get incredibly complicated for Barry right out of the gate, when a Speed Force storm comes to town, imbuing none other than Wally West with his superspeed powers – setting him on the path to becoming the new Kid Flash. It’s one long-awaited moment that DC hasn’t even tried to keep quiet, featuring Wally in his classic Kif flash uniform throughout marketing (including the new “Teen Titans”). But just as Barry starts thinking that a sidekick might be what’s needed to save more people than ever, the storm keeps rolling on: gifting citizen after citizen with superspeed. Some join his cause and seek training, but one has a… different goal in mind.

That figure becomes known as Godspeed, the central antagonist for the first 8-part story arc. With the Rogues seeing the rise of speedsters as their cue to leave town, it falls to Godspeed to challenge Barry – but not in the way that those familiar with the Reverse-Flash or Zoom might expect. Williamson has made an effort to create a true reflection of Barry Allen in Godspeed: a man motivated by the ‘revenge’ side of justice, but who will raise questions and arguments that the reader may have considered already. And in the process, reveal new sides of Barry that even he wasn’t aware he possessed.

The introduction of a new ‘big bad’ is reason enough to keep your eyes peeled, and with art duties being handed off between Di Giandomenico’s energetic style and Neil Googe’s just-off-center designs, seeing fans debate which one captures the new Barry best is something we’re already looking forward to.

Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1

Wonder Woman Rebirth Issue 1 DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: June 8th, 2016

Writer: Greg Rucka

Artist: Liam Sharp, Matthew Clark, Paulo Siqueira

Cover By: Liam Sharp

Issues Per Month: One-Shot

If the “Rebirth” event is putting a new spin on the fiction or message of other heroes, it’s “Wonder Woman” who goes even farther outside the box – changing the very structure of the series. But before we get to that with issue #1, we can only say that in the first chapter of Diana’s new story, an “unimaginable loss” (or several) send her character on a new course. But more than any specifics, writer Greg Rucka – who delivered one of the best Wonder Woman stories in years with “The Hiketeia” in 2002 – is determined to start making sense of the complex, often contradictory mythology surrounding the character.

Pairing Rucka with Sharp – who claims he’s doing the best work of his career on the new series – seems a good fit, since the artist’s classic style will be bringing a familiar look to the more mythical aspects of Diana’s story (draw Wonder Woman battling a minotaur in risky pencils, and you may lose a good chunk of the readers). But in the case of “Rebirth”, it will be Matthew Clark supplying the artwork, handing off duties to Sharp in the last few pages – setting him up to launch his own modern story (not to mention her new costume, modeled directly after the one seen in Batman V Superman).

But again: as the spotlight on Wonder Woman is bigger than ever, thanks to that movie role alongside Batman and Superman, DC is trying something unique with this title’s twice-monthly schedule, once the story sparked by “Rebirth” continues two weeks later…

Wonder Woman #1

Wonder Woman DC Rebirth Issue 1 DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: June 22nd, 2016

Writer: Greg Rucka

Artist: Liam Sharp, Matthew Clark, Nicola Scott

Cover By: Liam Sharp

Issues Per Month: Two

Follow closely: with two stories to tell – one, an origin story of Diana’s meeting of Steve Trevor, and her first venture into man’s world, and the other a tale of her in her tenth year of superheroics – it was Rucka’s decision to give both Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott enough time to deliver their best work. As a result, the odd-numbered issues beginning with #1 will be drawn by Sharp, depicting a seasoned, mature Diana in a modern story called “The Lies”. Scott will handle the even-numbered issues, following Diana in a “Year One” story when she tackles the world as a bright-eyed, optimistic, naive young woman.

The artists are promising to make the most of the flip back and forth; one story from the past informing or coloring the one of the present, and vice versa. For one example, Diana’s shiny, freshly-forged armor in “Year One” being turned to the tarnished, dented and repaired armor in “The Lies” is intended to show how much the decade has worn on the centuries-old warrior. The narrative structure is enticing enough, especially considering the upcoming Wonder Woman film – but with Rucka promising jaw-dropping moments from each artist, the experiment is being given its best chance at succeeding.

Aquaman: Rebirth #1

Aquaman Rebirth DC Issue 1 DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: June 1st, 2016

Writer: Dan Abnett & Bradley Walker

Artist: Bradley Walker, Jesus Merino, Phil Briones

Cover By: Andrew Hennessy, Bradley Walker

Issues Per Month: One-Shot (regular series twice monthly)

We would love to speak at length about what to expect from “Aquaman”, since the hero proved to be of particular interest to Geoff Johns the last time he took regular writing duties to prove a previously-laughed-at-hero was actually a badass in disguise. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been nearly as much press or detailing of “Aquaman: Rebirth” as some of the better known heroes. What we do know is that Dan Abnett will continue writing the series, with artist Bradley Walker taking up co-writing duties as Arthur Curry decides that advancing Atlantis’ place in the world means… well, joining it.

Predictably, the idea doesn’t go over well with either Atlantis or Earth’s nations – opening the door for Arthur to be challenged on a global level and a personal one – when regular villain Black Manta returns “worse than ever.” The storylines could prove to be worth special attention, but for now, they can’t really compare to the biggest news surrounding the aquatic hero: that Geoff Johns and Abnett are working together to bring the “Rise of the Seven Seas” event revealed in the final issue of Johns’ run, and recently teased (prior to Johns’ DC Films promotion). The story would involve the seven secret seas of the Earth being united under seven kings to rule the world, so keep an ear open for that.

Detective Comics #934

Detective Comics Rebirth 934 DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: June 8th, 2016

Writer: James T Tynion IV

Artist: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira

Cover By: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira

Issues Per Month: Two

The terms being thrown around in discussion of “Rebirth” – legacy, tradition, nostalgia, etc. – are being turned to for inspiration, but in the case of “Detective Comics” it’s a bit more literal. After starting the series over with a new #1 as part of the New 52 relaunch, the title will return to its original numbering with Issue #934, dating all the way back to its beginnings in the 1930s. The story itself can’t be AS monumental, but is definitely one that longtime fans of The Bat will want to read.

When a new threat emerges in Gotham (stop us if you’ve heard this one), Bruce Wayne has to do some recruiting, beginning with Kate Kane a.k.a. Batwoman. Seeing Kane take a larger role in mainline “Batman” titles is always welcome, but she won’t be alone. Tim Drake adopts a new(?) costume by returning to his Robin roots with the updated ‘Red Robin’ insignia, marking his goal to decide what his future has in store: a new mission, a new name, or possibly even hanging up the cape for good. Then there’s the one-time-Batgirl Cassandra Cain, now going by ‘Orphan’ whose tragic origin and lack of purpose will be major themes, and ‘Spoiler’ a.k.a. Stephanie Brown (the only character to serve as both Robin and Batgirl).

Those faces in the Batman Family not intriguing enough? The issue also sees Bruce give the villain Clayface a chance to reform and fight in his team. That’s reason enough to be curious, no matter who was writing the issue. But with James T Tynion IV taking over after running the show in “Batman & Robin Eternal” – which returned Cassandra and Azrael to current continuity – it’s safe to assume this story has been waiting to be told.

Action Comics #957

Action Comics DC Rebirth 957 DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: June 8th, 2016

Writer: Dan Jurgens

Artist: Mikel Janin

Cover By: Mikel Janin

Issues Per Month: Two

The same return to the original numbering will be seen in “Action Comics”, and one massive story will be coming as part of the “Rebirth” event. Not only will Dan Jurgens return to a main “Superman” series, after previously delivering the famous “Death of Superman” story, but he’ll once again be bringing Doomsday to the page. The villain will emerge before the new Superman (as explained earlier in our guide, the older, father Superman from the pre-New 52 universe) can even gain his footing, knowing that his experiences with Lex Luthor make the billionaire’s run at becoming ‘Metropolis’ New Superman’ grounds for suspicion.

“Path To Doom” won’t be a story focused solely on the creature, though, but on further clarifying the new status quo for Superman in the DC Universe. Jurgens has promised that, as complicated as it may sound, “Action Comics” #957 will be written as a first issue for newcomers. So it’s probably less confusing to give fewer details. Only this: with this Superman apparently replacing the New 52 version, the sudden arrival of Clark Kent ratchets up the mystery – and permanently stumping those who had suspected he and Superman were one and the same (now if that’s not a tease for Supes fans, what is?).

Jokes aside, if the story teases (or artwork) surrounding this new Superman tale has you interested to see just what DC has come up with, then both “Action Comics” and “Superman” should cover your bases.

Titans: Rebirth #1

Titans DC Rebirth Issue 1 DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: June 15th, 2016

Writer: Dan Abnett

Artist: Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund

Cover By: Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund

Issues Per Month: One

SPOILER ALERT. For reasons that shouldn’t be explored by those who haven’t already read “DC Universe: Rebirth” #1, the return of one former Teen Titan member to the DC Universe sends the new “Titans” series – starring the former teen heroes, now full grown – off with a bang. The old favorites are mostly here – Donna Troy (Wonder Girl), Dick Grayson (Robin), Roy Harper (Speedy/Arsenal), Garth (Aqualad) and Lilith – joining forces to take on the Fearsome Five. Dan Abnett continues his writing run from “Titans Hunt”, but the new series will hopefully succeed in balancing nostalgia with actual compelling, standalone stories. Artists Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund should help, having distinguished themselves for an energetic style that seems to be a perfect fit for the Titans, based on what’s been shown.

It may be impossible for fans of the Flash Family NOT to pick up “Titans: Rebirth” considering the story at hand, but even for those with affection for the Titans, in comic, cartoon, or any other format, keeping an eye on reviews is highly recommended.

Justice League: Rebirth #1

Justice League Rebirth Issue 1 DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: July 6th, 2016

Writer: Bryan Hitch

Artist: Bryan Hitch

Cover By: Tony S. Daniel

Issues Per Month: One-Shot

When a major relaunch or company-wide story comes along, it’s almost always the “Justice League” who do much of the heavy lifting. It’s the same with “Rebirth” when the arrival of a new Superman changes up the team’s status quo – not to mention the addition of not one, but TWO new Green Lanterns in Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz. Tony S. Daniel (responsible for the cover art above) will be taking over art duties when the regular series launches two weeks after “Rebirth”, but in the meantime, the story written and drawn by Bryan Hitch (famous to both Marvel and DC readers for “The Ultimates” and “JLA”) promises to plant some serious seeds for the future.

Since there are still some secrets being kept close to the writers’ vest, as this series will be spinning directly out of the events of not just “DC Universe: Rebirth” but solo “Superman” and “Green Lanterns” series – and “Justice League: Rebirth” won’t release until July – the exact nature of the threat isn’t known. But make no mistake: it is a big one, and according to Hitch and Daniel, it’s going to be one impacting the entire roster of DC titles. We don’t need to point out that this one is required reading (for the best possible reason).

Justice League #1

DC Rebirth New Justice League DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: July 20th, 2016

Writer: Bryan Hitch

Artist: Tony S. Daniel, Sandu Florea

Cover By: Tony S. Daniel

Issues Per Month: Two

Now this is where things get interesting. Not only because of the gigantic threat emerging from within the Earth itself: dubbed ‘The Awakening’ and starring in the first arc of the series, ‘The Extinction Machine’. Not only because of the earthquakes sending cities crumbling in on themselves, and not only because the mysterious ‘Awakened’ puts the people of Earth under its thrall, attacking the heroes who should protect them.

No, that’s pretty standard stuff for Justice League-level threats. Here, it’s the pairing of Bryan Hitch and Tony S. Daniel – two comic figures who have both written, but made their names as artists – working with the former writing, and the latter supplying the art. The result is a story written and executed through the lens of two successful (but dissimilar) artists in tandem – a result worth seeing, one would assume. It also offers Daniel an opportunity to deliver his best work in the brightest spotlight yet – a challenge that he says has paid dividends.

Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth #1

DC Rebirth Hal Jordan Green Lantern Corps DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: July 13th, 2016

Writer: Robert Venditti

Artist: Ethan Van Sciver

Cover By: Ethan Van Sciver

Issues Per Month: One-Shot

Out of all the Dc Comics mythologies, that of “Green Lantern” might be the most intimidating to new readers. With “Blackest Night”, “Brightest Day”, “War of the Lanterns”, “Third Army”, etc., etc., jumping in can be daunting. Luckily, seasoned “Lantern” scribe Robert Venditti assures readers that if they pick up this issue, you’ll have all the information necessary to keep following the story. And as stories, go, it sounds like an interesting one for fans of Hal Jordan’s arch-nemesis, Sinestro.

When the story begins, the absent Green Lantern Corps (for explanation, read this issue) has allowed Sinestro, the former Lantern, to replace them as the enforcers of the galaxy. Wielding fear instead of willpower as his weapon, Hal Jordan and his friends are going to have to restore the balance. And with artist Ethan Van Sciver handling “Rebirth”, the issue is a no-brainer, even for those who just enjoy the pictures without reading a single speech bubble.

Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #1

DC Rebirth Hal Jordan Green Lantern DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: July 27th, 2016

Writer: Robert Venditti

Artist: Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarrogona

Cover By: Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarrogona

Issues Per Month: Two

Ethan Van Sciver hands off art duties to Rafa Sandoval, who is right at home in cosmic battles and action. With Sinestro (described by Venditti in this arc as not an antihero, but an antivillain) acquiring the weaponized satellite planet Warworld and placing it where Oa, the home of the Lanterns should be, Hal and the regular ringslingers join up. That means Hal, John Stewart, Guy Gardner, and a variety of other characters both new and old starting a mainly spacebound adventure.

The word around the series is that it aims to bring a bit more sci-fi, and perhaps a bit less mysticism to the title (since the latter can be a bit disorienting for new readers). If you’re still on the fence, the issue looks to be a trip back to basics: Hal vs. Sinestro. Green vs. Yellow. Corps vs….. Corps.

New Super-Man #1

DC Rebirth New Superman Chinese DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: July 13th, 2016

Writer: Gene Luen Yang

Artist: Viktor Bogdanovic

Cover By: Viktor Bogdanovic

Issues Per Month: One

Kenan Kong may be referred to as “the Chinese Superman” in media coverage of the new series – the first Chinese superhero given such a spotlight – but the goal of the new series and character should appeal to fans of the Man of Steel – especially the oldest, most old-fashioned parts of his philosophy. Writer Gene Luen Yang hasn’t shied away from the assumptions and pressures that come from writing “New Super-Man” – being seen as the only one capable of writing a Chinese superhero given his ancestry, yet admits he’s more American than anything. But when Geoff Johns asks you to write the first Chinese superhero – in the Superman family – based on an idea from legendary artist Jim Lee… you take the job.

As readers might have deduced by now, Kenan also gains his powers in the fallout surrounding the New 52 Superman’s… disappearance. How isn’t yet clear, but what is is that before he gains the powers of a god, Kenan is an arrogant bully. So what happens when the traits of Superman are injected into a completely different culture? The results should be compelling to anyone who’s a fan of Superman to begin with – and the artwork of rapid up-and-comer Viktor Bogdanovic is just icing on the cake (his designs range from slick, like the above cover, to the downright incredible).

If just one hero from the other side of the world isn’t interesting enough, then keep in mind that Super-Man is expected to be just the first of an entire Chinese Justice League introduced in the book.

Nightwing: Rebirth #1

DC Rebirth Nightwing Issue 1 DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: July 13th, 2016

Writer: Tim Seeley

Artist: Yanick Paquette

Cover By: Javier Fernandez

Issues Per Month: One

That’s right, the famous Dick ‘don’t-call-me-Robin’ Grayson is taking back his former title, uniform and stomping grounds. Having shown he’s a powerful figure even completely divorced from Batman or Gotham in his solo series “Grayson”, it’s actually writer Tim Seeley who will be transitioning him out of his covert spy games and back into the blue and black battle wear to take down the Parliament of Owls. Yanick Paquette is an artist to watch wherever he works (you can’t call his art “realistic,” but it’s worth Googling), and with the first arc in Dick’s solo series titled “Better Than Batman”, it seems the publishers are downright daring readers to pick up a copy just to see how Dick does on his own.

The Hellblazer: Rebirth #1

Constantine Hellblazer DC Rebirth DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: July 20th, 2016

Writer: Simon Oliver

Artist: Moritat

Cover By: Moritat

Issues Per Month: One

There may still be some comic fans who aren’t so hot on John Constantine being a member of the mainline DC continuity as opposed to Vertigo, but the new series should do some work in assuaging those concerns. Not many details have been given about the new book – aside from the fact that Constantine will be sharing the page with Swamp Thing (what else do you need to know?). With Simon Oliver, a Vertigo veteran leading the way, and the draws-just-as-you’d-expect-from-the-name Moritat on the artwork, the new “Hellblazer” is worth a look to existing fans of the character, those fond of the occult, or simply those eager to see some out of the ordinary comic artwork.

Batgirl and The Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1

Batgirl Birds of Prey DC Rebirth DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: July 20th, 2016

Writer: Julie Benson, Shawna Benson

Artist: Claire Roe

Cover By: Yanick Paquette

Issues Per Month: One

It’s a good time to be a Batgirl fan, since “Rebirth” brings not one, but TWO starring roles for Barbara Gordon. In “Batgirl and the Birds of Prey” Barbara and Black Canary join forces when a new criminal mastermind begins selling information under the name Oracle – Barbara’s former moniker. It’s more than personal, and Huntress’ arrival back onto the streets (also leaving behind her spy work alongside Dick Grayson) unites the three together.

Claire Roe’s artwork is the bonus here, since her youthful style and dynamic page layouts seem a perfect match for the energy and tone being targeted by sibling writers Julie and Shawna Benson. The book looks promising for any fan of attitude, humor and strong superheroines, but if potential readers out there have a younger sibling or daughter interested in comics (or finally agreeing to give it a shot), this is one of the top contenders.

Batgirl #1

Batgirl Issue 1 Rebirth DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: July 27th, 2016

Writer: Hope Larson

Artist: Rafael Albuquerque

Cover By: Rafael Albuquerque

Issues Per Month: One

If you’re not getting how much DC is investing in Batgirl already, this should do it. The solo “Batgirl” series will be sending Babs across the globe as a twenty-something trying to figure out her place in the world – and encountering colorful new characters (and villains) along the way. Guiding her on the journey will be Hope Larson providing the writing, and Rafael Albuquerque providing the visuals – both Eisner Award-winning comic talents. Considering the talent involved, taking a look at “Batgirl” goes without saying – and again, if you have a few younger readers in the household, pay even closer attention.

Red Hood and The Outlaws: Rebirth #1

Red Hood Outlaws DC Rebirth DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: July 27th, 2016

Writer: Scott Lobdell

Artist: Dexter Soy

Cover By: Cam Smith, Giuseppe Camuncoli

Issues Per Month: One

When Jason Todd winds up coming face to face with Batman, it’s clear he’s still more at home on the ‘dark’ side of things than the ‘lawful’ – sending him deeper into the Gotham underworld to try to weed out new threats from within their ranks. What makes this one worth watching (aside from Lobdell’s long run on the ‘edgier’ “X-Men” storylines of the 1990s, and Soy’s slick pencils) is the help Red Hood finds on his mission. Pairing up with Artemis, a “disgraced Amazon warrior” and Bizarro himself, DC is already touting this title as the home to their “Dark Trinity.” Which should be good for some laughs.

Harley Quinn #1

Harley Quinn Rebirth Issue 1 DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: August 3rd, 2016

Writer: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti

Artist: Chad Hardin

Cover By: Amadna Conner

Issues Per Month: Two

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! That’s the philosophy DC is putting into “Harley Quinn” with writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti continuing their gargantuan run on the book, complete with Chad Hardin’s artwork. If her growing role in the “Suicide Squad” and Suicide Squad film (and possibly her very own movie) don’t make it obvious that DC and Warner Bros. are positioning her as a mascot, well… she won’t really care. She’s too busy fighting the zombie apocalypse on Coney Island when the new comics catches up with her. You read that correctly.

Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1

Suicide Squad DC Rebirth DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: August 3rd, 2016

Writer: Rob Williams

Artist: Philip Tan, Jonathan Glapion

Cover By: Philip Tan, Jonathan Glapion

Issues Per Month: One-Shot

Nobody is keeping a secret just how much energy DC is putting into its new “Suicide Squad” series – Harley Quinn on the cover basically demands it – but it really is a spoil of riches when the first issue launches in August. With Rob Williams bringing his offbeat humor from “Martian Manhunter” to the Squad, it’s almost too good to be true that the artwork will be covered by Philip Tan and Jim Lee himself, dropping into the two-issues-per-month grind that so many DC artists now find themselves in.

The first “Rebirth” issue is going to focus on Rick Flag’s recruitment to Task Force X, likely allowing readers to familiarize themselves with the roster (unsurprisingly resembling that of the feature film). That being said, the artists have actually steered clear of inside looks at the movie version in an effort to keep their own vision intact. There’s really no reason why this one shouldn’t be at the top of anyone’s pull list – especially once the regular issues kick in.

Suicide Squad #1

Suicide Squad Rebirth Comic Issue 1 DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: August 17th, 2016

Writer: Rob Williams

Artist: Jim Lee, Scott Williams

Cover By: Jim Lee, Scott Williams

Issues Per Month: Two

The regular series begins with “The Black Vault”, a story that thrusts the team into the field to acquire “a mysterious and definitely super-important cosmic item.” That’s a small dose of the kind of fun readers can expect from Williams’ writing, with both his artists praising the time spent differentiating the members of the team, ensuring each reader has their own favorite.

But again, it’s the trade-off between Lee and Tan that sounds like the most compelling part of the venture. It isn’t a case of the writers each taking one month to draw their own issues, but what is sounding more and more like a promising collaboration. The two artists have committed to transitioning readers from one style to the next, meshing their own work together and, potentially, helping to share the load of the 24 annual issues by combining artwork in single issues, if need be.

Take another look at the cover art for each of the two issues, and you shouldn’t have to wonder why this one is going to be one of the most talked-about (or drooled-over) “Rebirth” titles, no question.

Superwoman #1

Superwoman Comic DC Rebirth Lois Lane DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: August 10th, 2016

Writer: Phil Jimenez

Artist: Phil Jimenez, Matt Santorelli

Cover By: Phil Jimenez

Issues Per Month: One

It isn’t just a new Super-Man or new Superman getting in on the explosion of the Super-Family, with Lois Lane herself (the New 52 version) being blessed with Superman’s abilities, and taking to the skies as Superwoman. Fan-favorite writer and artist Phil Jimenez’s DNA is all through the series (with Matt Santorelli also on art), and their are enough compelling teases to get our curiosity piqued. For starters, the new powers turning Lois into a superhero are also killing her. And she won’t be spending here time rescuing cats from trees, but doing battle with Ultra Woman. Reserve your seat now.

Deathstroke: Rebirth #1

Deathstroke DC Rebirth Issue 1 DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: August 10th, 2016

Writer: Christopher Priest

Artist: Jason Paz, Carlo Pagulayan

Cover By: Aco

Issues Per Month: Twice

The fact that Deathstroke has gotten a starring role alongside some of the more groundbreaking or regular stars might alarm some, but the deadliest assassin in the DCU is no stranger to the limelight. This time around, it will be Christopher Priest telling the story that Geoff Johns has referred to as “smart” and “different” than what fans might expect. With art from a variety of sources, we’re eager to see what’s in store.

Supergirl: Rebirth #1

Supergirl DC Rebirth Issue 1 DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: August 17th, 2016

Writer: Ray McCarthy, Steve Orlando

Artist: Emanuela Lupacchino

Cover By: Emanuela Lupacchino

Issues Per Month: One

The new comic book version will, unsurprisingly be modeling itself more closely after the TV series, formerly on CBS but now headed to The CW for it second season. That means a new beginning for Kara as she loses her superpowers, and has to go looking for a solution from the D.E.O. – but it’s the “lost Kryptonian werewolf” teased that we’re most interested in. More details and interviews will likely be coming as the comic approaches, so stay tuned.

Cyborg: Rebirth #1

Cyborg Rebirth Issue 1 DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: August 2016

Writer: John Semper

Artist: Will Conrad, Paul Pelletier

Issues Per Month: Twice

Science geeks rejoice! Although he’s best known to New 52 readers as the half-robotic member of the Justice League with some incredible weaponry, the new spin on “Cyborg” will be dealing with something a bit more academic, but still directly tied to his own origin story: the “Singularity.” In other words, where does the line sit between Vic Stone the human, and Cyborg the artificial construct? While it may not seem that exciting for Cyborg to “find himself” in his solo series, Semper has confirmed that the usual action and heroics will be present, too.

Adding even more drama and substance to “Cyborg: Rebirth” is Semper’s claim that the comic is, and should be as much about fighting space aliens or examining the A.I. within him as it is about life as “a black man in Detroit.” The city has been used in the comics before, Semper states, but it’s his goal to embrace the culture and music of Detroit to make it as important to Cyborg’s story as Metropolis or Gotham is to Superman and Batman, respectively.

Trinity: Rebirth #1

DC Rebirth Trinity Issue 1 DC Comics Rebirth: A Complete Guide For New Readers


Release Date: September 2016

Writer: Francis Manapul

Artist: Francis Manapul

Cover By: Francis Manapul

Issues Per Month: One

It wouldn’t be a relaunch of DC’s biggest properties without some time carved out for the Big Three, and it’s Francis Manapul who is taking the reins on the entire project. Since the series won’t be launching until September, we only have Manapul’s descriptions of each hero to judge where he’s thinking of taking them. Batman: makes sure he appears as a lone wolf, but recognizes strength in friends (friends with contingency plans). Wonder Woman: her natural heart and emotional well-being allows her to be what links the three together, empowered, not weakened by their differences in opinion. And finally, Superman: the alien of the group, who just so happens to be the Everyman.

 Conclusion

That does it for all the issues, relaunches and re-imaginings launching as part of “Rebirth” – or at least, those with any actual details to speak of. We’ll be updating the guide as more information arrives or is updated, but if you have any input to add, or insider tips for new or returning readers, we welcome them in the comments!

DC Universe: Rebirth #1 is available in comic shops and online now.