So last week I ran down some of the best books that Marvel is currently putting out so I thought it would only be fair to do the same for DC this week. So let’s jump in because honestly, there’s a LOT to like at DC right now.
Aquaman started it’s run strong but kind of fell into a rut until artist Stjepan Sejic hopped on, making this one of DC’s prettiest books. Writer Dan Abnett upped his game as well with the story seeing Arthur deposed as king by a hard-liner and operating in the deepest part of the Atlantis with the dregs of their society. It’s exciting and fresh, which are two words you don’t hear very often when discussing Aquaman comics.
DC’s current crown jewel is the Batman franchise and as far as the comics go, they’re doing right by the Caped Crusader and his extended family. Tom King’s Batman is one of the best books on the stands, obviously, and it’s current War of Jokes and Riddles arc takes a refreshingly different angle on a story that in anyone else’s hands would probably have looked like something you’ve seen a million times before. James Tynion IV’s Detective Comics is without a doubt the best super-team book anywhere in comics. While Batman is the team leader, the book focuses most of its attention on Batwoman, Clayface, Batwing, Azrael, and Spoiler and by golly is it good.
I’ve talked quite a bit here about how big a fan I am of the current Green Arrow run from writer Ben Percy (who’s also writing the also-stellar Teen Titans) and probably the best rotating art team in the Big Two including Otto Schmidt, Juan Ferreyra, Stephen Byrne, and Eleonora Carlini. The series has stuck mainly with one story so far in its run- Oliver Queen’s battle against the Ninth Circle, an organization that has stolen Queen industries and framed Ollie for murder while consolidating power and taking over cities across the country. It’s never felt like its been spinning its wheels, instead taking time whenever possible to do some wonderful character work with the extended cast featuring Black Canary, Roy Harper, Diggle (!), and Emiko Queen.
Speaking of green, the soft-reboot that writer Robert Venditti gave to the Green Lantern Corps has been one of the most exciting things to come of Rebirth. Along with artists Ethan Van Sciver and Rafael Sandoval, Venditti is going huge with a story that saw the corps forging a troubled alliance with the Yellow Lanterns and the most recent arc which finds the New Gods being hunted by seemingly unstoppable celestial golems.
The Superman family of books has also been presenting a well-rounded and fun look at all aspects of the Man of Steel with Dan Jurgens’ Action Comics doing the big superhero stuff while Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s Superman title has focused on the adventures of Clark, Lois, and Jon. Superman, along with Super Sons probably encapsulate the ethos behind Rebirth more than anything else in the line. The word always comes to mind whenever I think about these books is ‘pure’. They’re exciting and well-written with big moments anchored by some genuinely impressive character work, but most importantly they’re FUN.
Writer Rob Williams kind of had his work cut out for him on Suicide Squad. With a team picked for synergy with a movie that could charitably be described as ‘watchable, I guess?’, Williams proved himself a more competent storyteller than the Hollywood screenwriters. Williams’ Squad is appropriately dark, but at least once and issue there’s a genuine LOL moment that shows he’s got the tonal balance down perfectly for this team.