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DC Comics’ July Highlights: “Batgirl,” “Nightwing” and a “New Super-Man”

by  in Comic News Comment
DC Comics’ July Highlights: “Batgirl,” “Nightwing” and a “New Super-Man”

July brings a bevy of new books to comic shops as DC Comics continues its line-wide, soft reboot, dubbed DC Universe: Rebirth. There’s also a major shakeup in terms of the talent that will be delivering the latest adventures for the publisher’s brave and the bold.

RELATED: DC Comics Expands Rebirth, “Flintstones” Debuts & More in July 2016 Solicitations

It’s never easy narrowing down which comics you want to bring home, so CBR has put together this handy guide of the must-gets from DC’s July releases. While we certainly encourage you to check out even more new releases, these are the books you absolutely need to read this summer as DC Universe: Rebirth enters its second month.


“Justice League” #1

Writer: Bryan Hitch

Artists: Tony S. Daniel and Sandu Florea

For most of his career, Bryan Hitch — one of the founding fathers of widescreen comic book storytelling — has been considered first and foremost as an all-star artist. Now set to handle solely writing duties on DC Comics’ flagship team title, the award-winning Brit is set to chart a brave new world in the coming months not unlike DC Comics heading into Rebirth. The mega-talented Tony Daniel is on board as well, meaning the art will still be smashing when the series starts in July. First order of business for Hitch and Daniel, as is oft the case when relaunching a series featuring the world’s greatest heroes — welcome three new members to the roll call. The solicitation for “Justice League” #1 teases that one of the ‘new’ members is Superman. Here’s hoping that means that Kong Kenan is suiting up for the Justice League. Who is that you ask? Read on.

“New Super-Man” #1

Writer: Gene Luen Yang

Artist: Victor Bogdanovic

Eisner-award winning creator Gene Luen Yang is one of the most important voices in comics today having been named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2016 by the Children’s Book Council, Every Child a Reader and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. (Yang is the first-ever comic book writer to be named to the post.) And as we know from Uncle Ben (and Voltaire), with great power comes great responsibility so maybe that’s why Yang has hyphenated his new character’s name à la Spider-Man. “New Super-Man” #1 is set to introduce Kong Kenan as an “arrogant young man” from Shanghai thrust into the spotlight when China forms its own Justice League. This line from the solicitation copy is pitch perfect: “When the world needed a new hero, China made him!”

“Batgirl” #1

Writer: Hope Larson

Artist: Rafael Albuquerque

“Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Rebirth” #1

Writers: Julie Benson and Shawna Benson

Artist: Claire Roe

Arguably one of the biggest stars coming out of the New 52 is the newly reimagined Batgirl as conceived by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr. Need evidence of her popularity? Barbara Gordon is headlining not one but two series in DC Universe: Rebirth. New York Times best-selling writer Hope Larson and “American Vampire” co-creator Rafael Albuquerque have been tasked with driving her solo series while the all-female creative dream team of Julie Benson, Shawna Benson and Claire Roe are protecting the streets of Gotham in “Batgirl and the Birds of Prey.” The latter series digs into Barbara’s past as Oracle — yes, that’s right, Oracle — and Black Canary and Huntress are also along for the ride as the former follows Babs’ adventures in Japan as she looks to train with a combat legend. Who might that be? There’s a good chance it’s Katana, but fingers are crossed for the return of Richard Dragon, the original Kung Fu Fighter.

“Nightwing: Rebirth” #1

Writer: Tim Seeley

Artist: Yanick Paquette

“Nightwing” #1

Writer: Tim Seeley

Artist: Javier Fernandez

Perhaps no character endured a more life-changing transformation (or transformations) in the New 52 than Dick Grayson. Dick was Nightwing, nearly recruited as a Talon for the Court of Owls, rejected as a sidekick by Batman, outed as a superhero by the Crime Syndicate during the Trinity War mega-event, enlisted as an agent for Spyral and eventually served the Court of Owls albeit under false pretenses. Rebirth hits the reset button for Dick and returns the original Robin back to Nightwing, the mantle he carried during his glory days with the Teen Titans. Tim Seeley, who co-wrote Dick’s solo series “Grayson” with new “Batman” writer Tom King, is staying with the character but “Nightwing” will feature a new mentor in Bruce Wayne’s place. Really digging the new retro Nightwing suit too that readers will see first in the special illustrated by the ever-awesome Yanick Paquette and moving forward in the series as drawn by rising star Javier Fernandez.

“Titans” #1

Writer: Dan Abnett

Artists: Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund

While the band’s not quite back together with Dick Grayson (Nightwing), Donna Troy (Wonder Girl), Roy Harper (Arsenal), Aqualad (Garth) and Lilith (Omen) appearing in “Titans,” it’s pretty darn close. Of course, the one missing piece from the original core membership will drive readers crazy as it is none other than Wally West, who many believe always ends up getting a raw deal. But that’s not the case here as Kid Flash is featured in Rebirth — just not in “Titans.” Wally is joining Damian Wayne’s team in “Teen Titans,” which launches in October by Ben Percy and Jonboy Meyers. But enough about who’s not in “Titans.” The cast is rock solid and Dan Abnett is a master of epic storytelling, so expect big things from this series, including the hulking menace featured in the background of the cover for the first issue drawn by Brett Booth, the veteran artist who has lots of experience illustrating the Teen Titans, specifically Dick and Wally.

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