Ranking things in numerical order has never been a strong suit of mine. So for this list, we’re going to have some fun with tiers. It will essentially be a good, better, best list with three tiers. The top tier will be the best and you can guess the rest from there.
It may be a little confusing at first if you haven’t kept up with the character prior to this series, but that quickly fades away as the story focuses more on Superman as a family man. Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason team up to bring us this story and there have been a handful of artists who contributed, including Patrick Gleason. Doug Mahnke, Jorge Jimenez, Jaime Mendoza and Mick Gray round out the art team. Despite this many people on the book, they’ve done a fantastic job to bring us a great, consistent comic. It’s nice to see more of the family side of Superman/Clark Kent. There’s plenty to love about this comic right now.
With Batman: Rebirth, Scott Snyder handed off the Batman title to Tom King, who is having a fantastic year all around. David Finch has been the main man on art for the first story arc with Mikel Janin tackling the second arc. Both have been great reads for different reasons. “I Am Gotham” and “I Am Suicide” easily show off King’s writing chops, with the latter having some fantastic prose. It’s hard to follow the outstanding run from Snyder and Capullo, but this team is doing just fine. We see some new characters introduced and see some new struggles for the Dark Knight.
Greg Rucka tackled two story arcs intertwining with each other. He teams up with Nicola Scott for the “Year One” arc and with Liam Sharp for “The Lies.” This might just be my favorite title out of everything DC has released so far. Balancing the two stories at once would be a challenge for any writer, and Greg Rucka does it so well. Nicola Scott is always a pleasure to have on art for any story and the two have teamed up before with Black Magick. You would think the “Year One” story has been done enough, but this team still makes it enjoyable. And with “The Lies,” we get a great story involving Barbara Ann Minerva. Both are fun, well done, and well worth your time.
Detective Comics largely focuses on the team building aspect. Batman enlists Batwoman to train new members of the team. Red Robin, aka Tim Drake, gets a nice little story of his own to follow throughout, but let’s not give too much away now. Some of the new team members were characters I’m unfamiliar with, but that is what makes it such an interesting read (for me, at least). James Tynion IV proves he can write as Scott Snyder’s protege. He contributed here and there during the Snyder/Capullo run and saw just how great a Batman story can be. The first story covers “Rise of the Batmen” and the second is “The Victim Syndicate.” Both bring destruction and will throw some twists and turns at you. Even with quite the collection of artists, the book is consistently great.
Yes, all three Batman titles have made the top tier. Is it because I really love Batman? Maybe. But each of these titles have different things to focus on that make them great. Scott Snyder might not be on this title with Greg Capullo, but John Romita Jr. isn’t half bad as an artist. He bring a specific style that fits this first arc so perfectly. The grit and grime of this stands out and it may take a couple issues to get into at first, it really pays off in the 5th and final issue of the first story arc. I completely trust Snyder with any Batman story, and you probably should, too. If you haven’t given this one a shot because you’ve been content with Batman and Detective Comics, I highly implore you to pick this up, even if you prefer to trade wait.
The new run of Titansbrings us a team of Dan Abnett, Brett Booth, and Norm Rapmund. The art on this is phenomenal, which is the main reason it’s in the second tier. The story wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either. The title is only six issues in, which means there’s still a second story arc to come. If anything, check this out for the amazing art. I even had the chance to do a podcast with Brett Booth that was all about this series. You can catch some more information on what story arcs they have coming up.
This series has the fewest issues of any on this list with only having four out so far. I was hesitant to put titles on this list that haven’t concluded their first story arc, but this one is worth checking out. Steve Orlando has really brought Supergirl to life in this series without making it something that is just following what the show is doing on The CW. It’s nice to have the two separate stories, especially with Orlando focusing on a younger Kara Danvers. The art by Brian Ching might not be my favorite, but to me, the story is more important, so the art is definitely good enough to not detract from that.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps
Geoff Johns is the main reason I got into any Green Lantern comics at all. When I saw this was one of the Rebirth titles, I decided to give it a show even though Robert Venditti is the writer and I know virtually nothing about him or his work. It’s a chance I took that paid off because this book has been enjoyable and the ongoing battle between Hal and Sinestro was one that needed to be followed through to the end. Now, there’s a whole new set of problems for the Green Lantern Corps in “Bottled Light” and we won’t get to see the end of that arc until 2017. Rafael Sandoval and Jordi Tarrogona team up for some great art and the fill in artists they’ve had once in a while have made it a seamless transition. I wasn’t even aware these two weren’t on art for each issue.
This one was initially going to be in the third tier, but I decided to bump it up at the last minute. While the villains haven’t been too thrilling, the story between Barry and Iris and The Flash and Kid Flash are what bumped this one up. Joshua Williamson is an excellent writer and Carmine Di Giandomenico joins him as the artist on the first story arc. He does an excellent job portraying the speed force and it would have been great to have him stay on. But after the first story arc, there are a few various artists who take over. I do think the art was stronger in the first arc, but the story was a bit more enjoyable and less predictable in the second story arc, so it balances itself out a bit.
We get two new Green Lanterns in this series and it’s fun to see them going through the motions in their own ways. Jessica Cruz and Simon Bay have to hold off the Red Lanterns in “Red Planet” and while they hit a lot of speed bumps, they gain their footing and prevail. In the second arc, they have what might be an even bigger challenge ahead of them. Both arcs have brought out the best in these two new Green Lanterns and Sam Humphries does an excellent job with the dialogue for each character. One downside to this title is the fact that they haven’t consistently had someone on art. It seems to change every few issues, but the story itself has stayed solid throughout.
Deathstroke might not be a favorite character for many people, but Christopher Priest makes sure that he gives us a reason to pay attention to him. The first arc, “The Professional,” spans the first eight issues and shows what lengths Deathstroke will go to for his work and for himself. With appearances from Damian, Batman, and Superman, it’s always a wild ride. Carlos Pagulayan and Jason Paz cover art for most of the first story arc. The second story just began this week with Deathstroke #9. It’s been interesting enough to keep me reading and I highly suggest checking it out if it’s one you weren’t too sure of.
While Nightwing is part of the bat family, this title truly has him out on his own. However, Batman makes an appearance, but needs saving instead of being the one doing the saving. Tim Seeley already has experience with writing about Dick Grayson, who has appeared in many different capacities. Here, he’s clearly Nightwing and Nightwing only. He’s doing crazy things like teaming up with Raptor and leaving Gotham for Blüdhaven. There are a handful of artists who contribute to this series and they’ve all done a good job of keeping the art pretty consistent so not to distract from the stories. Superman and Batgirl make appearances in the first arc, but this is still a truly solo adventure for Nightwing and Dick Grayson.
That rounds out my list, but I’m sure there are a few others that could have made this list. It’s always tough to rank things you enjoy, and there’s inevitably something left off of the list. DC has done a great job with these Rebirth titles, especially with getting many twice a month. I look forward to seeing what they bring to us in 2017.