As anyone with more than a passing interest in comics knows, DC has announced their plans to relaunch their entire line of titles in September with new #1 issues, redesigned characters, and tweaked origins. They’ve been rolling out teasers of the new books all week and, I’m not going to lie, some of them seem pretty cool. Of course, as with many things, I would not have made some of the choices they did and that got me thinking: okay, scooter, how would you approach this?
Let’s start with my favorite kinds of comics: Team books. I love me some stories about people coming together and doing shit.
The Justice League of America
I’m not that flexible when it comes to who I think should be on the JLA. After Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man, I have no problem seeing any hero on the Avengers. But the JLA? To me, the JLA should always be the Big Seven: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter. I’d also add Green Arrow and Black Canary. Just because.
The Justice Society of America
One of my favorite parts of the DC Universe is the concept of Legacy. Sidekicks become heroes who train new sidekicks who will one day replace them. The JSA embodies that concept more than anything else I can think of: the older generation of heroes training and mentoring the younger generations. My JSA would include the original Flash and Green Lantern—Jay Garrick and Alan Scott—and Wildcat. Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Power Girl, Mister Terrific and Doctor Mid-Nite would be the “senior class” of heroes with Static, Stargirl, and Jesse Quick as the newbies.
Sort of a back-up JLA. The Outsiders are former JLAers who handle the jobs that the Big Guns might not be able to get to because they’re off stopping an invasion from Apokolips. As you do. Former Blue Beetle Ted Kord bankrolls the team that’s made up of current Beetle Jaime Reyes, Booster Gold, Fire, Ice, Metamorpho, Vixen, Elongated Man, The Atom, and Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond/Jason Rusch).
What happens if you’re no longer a sidekick, but not quite sure you’re ready to follow in your mentor’s footsteps? If you’re Nightwing, Red Arrow, The Flash, Troia, and Tempest you form Young Justice. With old friends—and former teen heroes—Cyborg, Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy (who also serve as the mentors of the younger Teen Titans), Young Justice is ready to step out from the shadow of their famous partners and do things their own way.
Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Superboy, Miss Martian, Aqualad, and Speedy. Teenagers with more things to worry about than just chores and homework. When these young heroes need to blow off some steam, the Teen Titans swing into action.
Birds of Prey
Oracle, Black Canary, and Huntress form the backbone of this team of heroes. If anyone has a problem. If no one else can help. The Birds will be there. Frequent operatives include Batwoman, the Question, and Catwoman.
Some heroes are specially trained to deal with the darker corners of the world: Demons, dark mages, monsters that defy description. When these things go bump in the night, Doctor Fate, Constantine, Detective Chimp, Etrigan, Zatanna, Black Alice, Deadman, Ragman, and Nightshade kick their asses.
Now for the bulk of my rebooted DC titles. Let’s start with Big Blue…
Superman and Superman: The Man of Steel
Strange visitor from another planet, Superman will continue to fight for truth, justice, and the American way. Superman will showcase Supes facing alien menaces and giant robots. Huge foes who threaten to plunge the entire planet into chaos. Man of Steel will be more grounded, focusing on Superman’s terrestrial enemies like Luthor, Metallo, and Intergang. And, of course, Lois Lane, Perry White, Jimmy Olsen, and the Kents will all be on hand.
Action Comics will be the showcase for the supporting members of the Superman Family. Superboy, Supergirl, Steel, Power Girl, and Krypto will all feature prominently.
Like the recent series, my Superboy will focus on Conner Kent adjusting to life in Smallville and learning how to balance who he is with what he can do.
Like Superboy, the current series is pretty much what I’d want to see continue. Kara in Metropolis, living with Lana Lang, and making life miserable for Cat Grant.
The Adventures of Lois Lane
Follow the adventures of Lois Lane, the Daily Planet’s ace reporter as she travels the globe in search of truth, justice, and the perfect headline. Expect Jimmy Olsen to get roped into more than one of Lois’ globetrotting shenanigans.
Batman and Detective Comics
Batman’s solo titles will feature Bruce Wayne as the one and only Batman. While Batman will focus on the Dark Knight’s war on the insane criminals who prey upon the citizens of Gotham City, Detective Comics will see Batman facing more mundane criminals.
The perfect showcase for the other members of the Bat Family. Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, and Batwoman enjoy working together a lot more than the broodier Bat. There’s a lot of crime in the dark alleys of Gotham City and, sometimes, two fists just aren’t enough.
Robin, Nightwing, and Batgirl
For someone who prefers to work alone, Batman has some of the best partners in the world. Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, and Stephanie Brown all take center stage in their own titles.
Kate Kane is ex-military. When she sees a problem, she’s trained to face it head on and, when that problem is the crime-ridden streets of Gotham, the best way to face it is from beneath the mantle of the Bat.
It’s not easy being a cop. It’s even harder being a cop in a city that seems to be a magnet for some of the most dangerous maniacs in the country. Follow the brave men and women of the GCPD as they try to protect and serve the citizens of Gotham City.
On her first day as the Themysciran ambassador to the United Nations, Diana learns that the world of politics can be a labyrinth as confusing as any designed by Daedalus, even for someone blessed with the wisdom of Athena. Wonder Woman must balance her role as an ambassador with that of a superhero, which becomes more and more difficult as creatures that haven’t been seen in thousands of years begin appearing across the globe. (Honestly, anyone who doesn’t try to draw on Greek mythology for a Wonder Woman book is kinda missing the point.)
A showcase for Wonder Woman’s supporting cast, namely Donna Troy and Wonder Girl, not to mention Hippolyta and Diana’s fellow Amazons.
Barry Allen patrols the streets of Central City at the speed of thought as the scarlet speedster. Kid Flash will make the occasional appearance as Barry’s partner.
The Speed Force
A showcase for the other men and women who ride the lightning. Focus will be on Wally West and his daughter Iris, aka Impulse, but Jay Garrick, Max Mercury, and Jesse Quick will also feature.
Hal Jordan has been put on “desk duty” by the Guardians of Oa for…well, for being Hal. Forbidden to leave the Solar System without express consent from the Guardians, Hal will have to spend his time fighting earthly menaces. And making life miserable for Carol. (NOTE: There is no Rainbow Corps. Sinestro is a Green Lantern who is slowly abusing his power. The more he crosses the line, the more his ring becomes corrupt, changing from green to yellow.)
The Green Lantern Corps
Cops. Space cops. Alien space cops. Alien space cops with power rings. The focus will be on John Stewart, Guy Gardner, and Kyle Rayner…but this is, at its heart, a book about the Corps as a whole.
Arthur Curry: superhero, member of the JLA, king of Atlantis. Most heroes focus on one city, but Aquaman is responsible for protecting 75% of the planet’s surface. That’s hard core and this title should showcase that.
Swords of Atlantis
For generations, the King of Atlantis has named his greatest warriors the “Swords of Atlantis.” They are to act in the defense of the realm, even in the absence of the king. Aquaman’s queen, Mera, leads the Swords, which include Aquaman’s former and current sidekicks Tempest and Aqualad, as well as Dolphin and Aquagirl.
When Billy Batson, his sister Mary, and their friend Freddie Freeman call upon the power of the wizard Shazam, they are transformed into the mystical and mighty Marvel Family. With Tawky Tawny in tow, the Marvels face mad scientists, megalomaniacal worms, and the insidious Black Marvel Family.
Checkmate would be my answer to SHIELD. Headed by Sasha Bordeaux and Amanda Waller, Checkmate would deal with standard espionage scenarios. However, when things get out of hand, there are several metahuman operatives on the payroll: Captain Atom, Black Lightning, Manhunter, Red Tornado, Jade, Obsidian, and Atom (Ryan Choi).
There would also be a number of anthology titles. Namely:
The Brave and the Bold: DC’s classic team-up book. I’d stick with one-and-done stories, with the occasional two-parter. Issue #1? Batgirl and Supergirl. Why? Why not.
World’s Finest: Batman and Superman team up. A lot. So do their partners and sidekicks. This series would offer up stories that pair various members of the Superman and Batman Families.
All-Star Western: It’s a good idea. A damn good idea.
Adventure Comics: Old heroes. New heroes. Pirates. Treasure hunters. Spacemen. Vampire slayers. Doesn’t matter. The key word is ADVENTURE.
Elseworlds: I love Marvel’s What If…? I’d love to see DC do a similar title. Maybe a double-sized issue every other month instead of a monthly. Yeah, that could work.