Books Chapter & Verse

DC Universe Rebirth breathes new life and fun into classic comic storylines

New Graphic Novels collect the relaunched Superman, Green Arrow, Aquaman, and Batman comics.

Last year DC Universe Rebirth rebooted their entire line of comics, taking the continuity of their previous "New 52" initiative and restoring elements earlier versions of the characters. Comic fans were unanimous in their support for this new relaunch, seeing the return of many aspects of their favorite superheroes that they've missed. This new line of comics could also be called "DC Universe Reinvigorated" as the fun and enthusiasm the creators are having bringing these new stories to life is evident on every page.

Here's a taste of what you can find in this first set of graphic novels:

Superman Vol. 1: Son of Superman (Rebirth), by writers Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason with art by Gleason, Doug Mahnke, and Jorge Jimenez brings us the story of Superman, his wife Lois, and their son Jonathan. Yes, Superman has a son and how he does that requires a bit of explaining so hold on. When DC launched their "New 52" they rebooted all the characters making them all younger and new to the hero business including Superman. Now this "New 52: Superman died saving the world, and it had been revealed that the Superman from the previous continuity along with his wife and son had been secretly living in the "New 52" universe. Now this Superman has stepped out of the shadows to be the Superman of this new "Rebirth" universe. Still with me? So this new Superman title focuses on the restored Superman family, including Krypto the Superdog. This is a new, exciting take on the Man of Steel as we follow him navigating through this familiar but different world of superheroes. His family dynamic is wonderful, breathing new life into this 79-year-old character. As his son starts to develop superpowers, Clark has to teach Jon how to use his new abilities and the responsibilities of being a hero. And the young hero is quickly thrown into the fire as he helps his dad against the Kryptonian Eradicator. The father/son and hero/hero-in-training dynamics are fresh and fun as we watch young Jon follow in his father's footsteps as Superboy. This is my favorite of the new releases.

Green Arrow Vol. 1: The Death & Life of Oliver Queen (Rebirth) written by Benjamin Percy and illustrated by Otto Schmidt and Juan Ferreyra restores Oliver Queen back to his Van Dyke-wearing, anti-establishment self. But most importantly and to the delight of fans, the Green Arrow's romance with the superheroine Black Canary, sadly removed in the '"New 52," is restored. In this first volume, Oliver has his fortune stolen and as he tries to solve the mystery he discovers The Nine Circles, a bank that finances criminal activities. Luckily Oliver has help from the Black Canary, his half-sister Emiko, and mercenary John Diggle to help him take down this evil institution. Percy, Schmidt, and Ferreyra create an exciting adventure not only weaving in many elements from the Emerald Archer's comic history but elements from the "Arrow" TV show. They hit the bullseye.

Aquaman Vol. 1: The Drowning (Rebirth), by writer Dan Abnett with art by Scot Eaton, Brad Walker, and Philippe Briones tell the adventures of Arthur Curry, ruler of the undersea kingdom of Atlantis, as he tries to establish an embassy along the coast of the US. The villain Black Manta, along with Atlantean terrorists, and a secret organization called N.E.M.O. sabotage the strained Atlantis/US relationship leading to Arthur's run in with both the US military and Superman. Aquaman is a man of two worlds, his father was a lighthouse keeper and his mother was an outcast from Atlantis, so trying to bring the surface and water civilizations together is his dream. Along with his beloved Mera, Aquaman is forced to swim many troubled waters as he tries to keep his dream afloat.

Batman Vol. 1: I Am Gotham (Rebirth) is writer Tom King and artist David Finch's telling of the story of the Dark Knight's encounter with two new heroes who want to help him protect his beloved city, the aptly named siblings Gotham and Gotham Girl. These new heroes have amazing Superman-like powers but they idolize Batman and want his tutelage. But when a supervillain corrupts these young heroes Batman must now to bring them to justice. King and Finch manage a fresh take on Batman as he questions his own motives and influence and experiences remorse as he's forced to take down two innocents who showed so much promise but who now commit a heinous crime from which there's no return.

All these books offer exciting, familiar-yet-new takes on these legendary characters. We all have a favorite and if you haven't checked in on your favorite lately now's a great time to join the fray! 

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