The 2010s have been a time of a bit of upheaval for DC Comics. In 2011, the publisher implemented the New 52 initiative, rebooting the continuity of their entire line. It paid dividends at first, but the cracks began to show quickly, as creator shuffles and unanswered questions about the continuity began to sour fans on it.
In 2016, they started the Rebirth initiative, aiming to bring back long time readers by reincorporating old continuity into their books. They scored a coup in 2018, as longtime Marvel mainstay Brain Michael Bendis came over to them and began to work on multiple titles. This list is going to run down the most important stories of the 2010s for the publisher.
There are very few fans that would argue that Convergence is a good story. It involves Brainiac stealing cities from around the multiverse and putting them onto one world, where the inhabitants are forced to fight. It reeked of something similar to Marvel's Secret Wars.
What makes it so important is that it brought back the post-Crisis Superman and Lois Lane into the continuity of the New 52 and made a very important addition- their son, Jon Kent. The family would go on to star in the Rebirth-era Superman books, and would begin the process of restoring fan goodwill.
9 Action Comics #1 (2011)
When the New 52 began, superstar writer Grant Morrison would be given the reins of Action Comics. It was a no brainer of a move, since Morrison had written one of the most beloved Superman stories of all time, All-Star Superman. Morrison would bring his trademark mix of gonzo storytelling and deft characterization to the book, but the first issue of the book is easily the most important of the entire run.
Morrison reintroduced the origin of Superman, making him more like the crusader of the people that he was under Shuster and Siegel. This would mark an important change for the Man Of Tomorrow and Morrison's young Superman would be much more relatable to a world of people who were still reeling from the corporate crashes of the late '00s.
8 Heroes In Crisis
Tom King and Clay Mann's (with additional art by King collaborator Mitch Gerads) is a very controversial story. King introduced the idea of Sanctuary, a place where superheroes could go to get help with their issues stemming from a job that was much more extreme than most people could ever put up with.
The murder mystery at the center of the whole thing turned a lot of fans off, especially once the culprit was revealed. The book starred Harley Quinn and Booster Gold as they struggled to clear their names of the crime and had some questionable moments from the two. What makes it so important, though, is that it revealed that superheroes weren't these perfect paragons that could deal with the insanity of their lives without batting an eye. However, it's still a lot of wasted potential and could have been so much more.
7 Man Of Steel
Brian Michael Bendis's first DC book, Man Of Steel had a lot riding on it. Bendis had spent years at Marvel, writing some of their biggest books and was immediately handed the keys to the kingdom of DC's flagship hero.
He did some rather radical things, revealing a new reason why Krypton was destroyed, introducing a big new villain, and setting up his run on Superman and Action Comics. He separated the Kent family, a move which angered a lot of fans. However, the story was still an entertaining one and heralded a new era for the Man Of Steel.
6 Court Of Owls
Court Of Owls was the first story arc in Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Batman run. It was the opening salvo for one of comics' best-selling characters in the New 52 and set the tenor for Snyder's run. Introducing a shadowy group that had been controlling Gotham for decades, it would lead to more stories involving the titular Court Of Owls.
Its success would cement Snyder and Capullo as darlings of DC and allow them to keep telling amazing Batman stories and eventually another big story on this list that would set the tone for the DC Universe as readers know it today.
Grant Morrison had been promising Multiversity since the end of Final Crisis. It didn't come out 'til 2014, but when it did, it was a definite hit. Working with a variety of artists, Morrison set each issue in one of the worlds of the Multiverse.
The reason the story is so important is that it finally gave a shape to the DC Multiverse. Fans had been wondering about what worlds would be a part of the Multiverse and Morrison not only laid it out, but even included a map of the Multiverse. This map would become important to the next story on this list.
4 Dark Knights: Metal
After their stellar run on Batman, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo teamed up for the big event of 2017, Dark Knights: Metal. The story would play on a lot of the concepts introduced in their run, pitting the Justice League against Batmen from the Dark Multiverse, a twisted version of the DC Multiverse.
The book's conclusion would set up the next few years of Justice League books, as the heroes had to go some pretty extreme methods to stop the dark Batmen and their leader Barbatos. It would also introduce one of the biggest new villains of the DC Universe, the Batman Who Laughs, a twisted amalgamation of Batman and the Joker.
3 Doomsday Clock
Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's Doomsday Clock was supposed to tie up the loose ends of DC Rebirth #1. A sequel to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons's seminal comic, Watchmen, it would cross the book's character over with those of DC. Controversial from the outset, the book would suffer multiple delays, turning off many fans.
That doesn't change who important the book is. Combining the biggest comic of all time with the DC Universe was and remains a huge deal. Seeing Ozymandias, Doctor Manhattan, and others interact with characters like Batman, Superman, and the heroes of the DC Universe is something fans never thought they would see.
Flashpoint was a risky venture from the start. Teased back in 2009's Flash: Rebirth, the story would take Barry Allen into a parallel DC Universe, one where Thomas Wayne was Batman, the Amazons and Atlanteans are war, and Superman is nowhere to be found.
The risk came from the story's end, as DC continuity would go through a hard reboot and lead to a completely new DC, the New 52. This move would set the tone for the publisher until 2016, leading to successes and failures. It was a bold move and easily one of the most important DC stories of the decade.
1 DC Rebirth #1
By 2016, the New 52 had mostly run out of steam. Longtime DC fans weren't happy with it and a change was needed. Geoff Johns was ready to make that change. Reincorporating elements of the old post-Crisis continuity into the line, DC Rebirth #1 would become an instant sell out, pleasing fans and critics alike.
Johns brought back fan-favorite Wally West, using him as a symbol of hope for a universe that was short on it. He would also bring the characters of the Watchmen universe into the fold, using Doctor Manhattan to explain why DC continuity was so malleable. The book would spearhead the Rebirth initiative, leading to a creative renaissance for the publisher.