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DC Comics’ June Highlights: Rebirth Arrives, “Action” & “Detective” Renumbering & More

by  in Comic News Comment
DC Comics’ June Highlights: Rebirth Arrives, “Action” & “Detective” Renumbering & More

Not only did fans have to choose a side in the greatest gladiator match in the history of the world, “Batman v. Superman,” it becomes apparent when looking through DC Comics’ June 2016 solicitations, readers are going to have a lot more tough choices in the coming months. And that’s exactly what the publisher is looking for with its line-wide, soft reboot, dubbed DC Universe: Rebirth.

RELATED: DC’s DiDio & Lee Explain Exactly How Rebirth Differs From The New 52

Considering how difficult it can be to decide which comics to buy, CBR presents our handy guide of the must-gets from DC’s June releases. While we certainly encourage you to check out even more titles, these are the books we think you absolutely need to read when the DC Universe: Rebirth begins!

“The Flash” #1

Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico

“Green Lanterns” #1

Writer: Sam Humphries

Artist: Robson Rocha

DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns (more on him later) says that Rebirth is all about focusing on “the core of the character” and “their respective universe.” In many instances, DC Comics has tapped writers and artists with long histories with their most iconic heroes to tell these tales. Dan Jurgens is back writing Superman, as is veteran writer and editor Peter Tomasi, and Scott Snyder will still be penning Batman stories. But this is an opportunity to bring some new blood into the publisher’s books, and Johns and Co. have done just that by naming Joshua Williamson (“Illuminati,” “Nailbiter”) as the new writer of “The Flash” and recruiting Sam Humphries (“Ultimate Comics Ultimates,” “Citizen Jack”) to write “Green Lanterns.” Both Williamson and Humphries have enjoyed success writing for Marvel and Image, and handing these two rising stars arguably the two most important superheroes (that aren’t part of the Trinity) in the DCU shows how high expectations are for them and their titles.

“Wonder Woman” #1

Writer: Greg Rucka

Artist: Liam Sharp

“Wonder Woman,” Volume 1 TP

Writer: Greg Rucka

Artist(s): Drew Johnson, J.G. Jones, Ray Snyder, Shane Davis, Sean Phillips and James Raiz

Greg Rucka left DC Comics — and Marvel for that matter — several years ago due to what he called the “Hollywoodisation” of the Big Two. In addition to his creator-owned work, the Eisner Award-winning writer has delivered top notch storytelling on best-selling titles like “Action Comics” and “Detective Comics,” and nailed it on the critically acclaimed “Gotham Central.” Rucka also wrote an immensely popular 31-issue run on “Wonder Woman” from 2003 to 2006 that no doubt led to the DCU braintrust reaching out to him about returning to the Amazonian Princess for Rebirth. Rucka is joined by artist Liam Sharp, who admits that after 30 years in the industry — drawing Judge Dredd, the Incredible Hulk and Spawn — this is, without a doubt, his “most important drawing gig” ever. As an added bonus, DC Comics is also re-releasing Rucka’s original “Wonder Woman” run in trade paperback.

“Action Comics” #957

Writer: Dan Jurgens

Artist: Patrick Zircher

“Detective Comics” #934

Writer: James Tynion IV

Artist(s): Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira

Perhaps the biggest loss of The New 52 was not Superman’s trademark red trunks, but the numbering on his flagship title, “Action Comics.” Right before the line-wide relaunch, “Action Comics” #904 was released as the final issue of the publisher’s (and one of the world’s) longest running comic book series of all-time. Having fallen off in terms of sales over the years, “Action Comics” #1 came roaring back in all of its glory — thanks to the world-building, event-style storytelling of Grant Morrison and Rags Morales — in September 2011 with 182,748 copies sold. Feeling nostalgic (and no doubt considering the sales boost and media interest a run at 1,000 issues will generate), DC Comics has returned the series, as well as “Detective Comics,” to its original numbering. We’ll leave it to comic book historians to decide if “Action Comics” #1,000, which should arrive by 2018 thanks to twice monthly shipping, is a true millennial anniversary issue, though we think it will be.

“DC Universe: Rebirth” #1

Writer: Geoff Johns

Artist(s): Gary Frank, Ivan Reis, Ethan Van Sciver, Phil Jimenez and others

“It all begins here. Do not skip to the last page. Do not let a friend or message board ruin this comic for you. The future (and past) of the DC Universe starts here. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!” Even if there was no hype, this would be the comic book to buy this June because of the writer, Geoff Johns! The superstar scribe has been pulling double duty since 2010 as DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer, shaping the DC Universe while writing two or three big ticket titles a month. When The New 52 launched, Johns was tasked with writing “Justice League,” “Green Lantern” and “Aquaman.” But here we are at the dawn of Rebirth, and Johns is noticeably absent from the solicitations except for the previously mentioned “DC Universe: Rebirth” #1 and a co-writing credit on “Green Lanterns: Rebirth” alongside the aforementioned Sam Humphries. There’s no way DC Comics is going to leave its Michael Jordan on the bench, so we expect news sooner than later about Johns’ next project.

“Wacky Raceland” #1

Writer: Ken Pontac

Artist: Leonardo Manco

Let’s play connect the dots: Odds are, George Miller would have killed it on “Justice League: Mortal” — but that never happened. Instead, he made “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which blew everyone out of the water, including the brass at DC Entertainment who quickly snapped up the rights to produce tie-in comics, complete with Miller’s blessing and participation. Now, DC Comics and Hanna-Barbera are teaming up for genre-bending new takes on Scooby Doo, Fred Flintstone, Johnny Quest and Space Ghost. And while they haven’t recruited Miller for the line, Mark Sexton, the lead storyboard artist on “Fury Road,” has been tapped to redesign Penelope Pitstop, Dick Dastardly and the rest of the Wacky Racers for the post-apocalyptic series “Wacky Raceland.” That’s not Muttley wheezing and snickering — we’re hyperventilating in anticipation of this suped-up road race that’s being written by Ken Pontac of “Happy Tree Friends” fame and drawn monthly by artist Leonardo Manco, who previously illustrated 40-plus issues of “Hellblazer” for Vertigo writers Mike Carey, Denise Mina and Andy Diggle.

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