My top 10 most surprising DC rebirth and ANAD Marvel titles

by Batmanaruto on November 29, 2016

We have been getting some really great titles this past year, so I wanted to talk about the most surprising, that is the most improved titles or the ones I didn't expect to be as good as it was. This is partially my thoughts with some assisstance, from the marvel and dc reddit.

Geoff John’s Aquaman was a run that has gone down in the character’s history. Although the issues after were not bad, but they never were really able to re-create that feeling I had when Geoff John’s wrote. Dan Abnett’s issues on Aquaman the New 52 were alright but was really more set up for this next series. I personally was expecting this to not be this good. The first arc between Aquaman and Black Manta was great because we have seen these guys fight plenty of times, it becomes tiring. Instead Abnett quickly resolves that by saying that Manta wouldn’t be fulfilled, by the death of Aquaman. Abnett writing this series as a political thriller, is a bold choice and it works really well. It’s easy to forget, if you only read Justice League, that Aquaman is actually a king and this series reminds you as Aquaman tries to accommodate both the land and the sea communities. It is written in a really interesting way, that actually allows the plot to intertwine. I personally find myself really excited to read Aquaman each week, and am looking forward to the subsequent issues.

Green Lanterns
I never read Geoff John’s Green Lantern, as the task did seems really daunting, and one day I do hope to get to it, however I did read his Justice League, which I enjoyed heavily. In Justice League, especially Forever Evil, we met Jessica Cruz and although many people fell in love with the character in Forever Evil, for me it was Darkseid War. However seeing this new series, I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew Simon Baz’s origin, but the combination of these characters, seemed like just a side book in the Green Lantern mythos. So, I read the first few issues and they were really good. For me personally the first story arc was not great because of the story (which I thought was only alright), it was great because of the dynamic between Simon and Jessica. This was written really well as Jessica was underconfident and Simon Baz was overconfident, so they rubbed and played off each other well. Although I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first arc, the subsequent issues, about Baz’s family and the Halloween issue, really proved what I liked about this series. It just gives you two characters that are relatable to people as Jessica underestimated herself, and Baz was overconfident to overcome his insecurities and as people we can understand both sides. The newest arc with the Phantom Lantern, adds more to the Green Lantern mythos and combines both the dynamic and great storytelling to a story I can’t wait to see how it plays out, and how Green Lanterns both character and storywise will grow.

After Robin, Cyborg was probably my favourite character in the Teen Titans tv show, he was just a fun and cool character. It was also interesting to see how his personality at times was serious and at other times was silly. So, when I began to read Geoff Johns’ Justice League, I personally never really got the silly part for the character, he was always serious and seemed to be like the Justice League’s computer. I think the most fun I ever saw the character wasn’t actually in a comic book, but instead in the movie Justice League vs Teen Titans. I will say that I never did get around to reading the New 52 book for Cyborg but did hear that, it was alright. So, when I went into this book, I was excited to see fun Cyborg, and to be honest with you, although there are times that he is fun Cyborg, what actually makes him more fun is the community and the people he is surrounded by. Semper Junior takes time with the character,to examine the Detroit community around him. As a black guy, I do really get, what he is talking about when he is trying to show things like how a tight net community, can actually act as a support system for people and how music can really speak to your soul. Cyborg is best when it is high octane, with lots of action even though both the action and story are good, it is best when it appreciates the quieter moments, allowing him to become more like the Cyborg I remember.

Old Man Logan
When Mark Millar, best known for the original Civil War, wrote the book Old Man Logan, it revolutionized the character. The storyline made Wolverine, seem less attack hungry and more sympathetic. It was and probably still is the best storyline, ever written for the character. So, when the character was folded into the current Marvel universe many people, understandably were concerned, whether that work would be butchered. However, I’m happy to say that Jeff Lemire, has only added to the work, whilst keeping the same feel. It’s interesting to see Logan interact with the larger Marvel landscape, as he goes through trying to prevent his timeline from taking place. It’s actually really interesting as Lemire adds to the backstory of Old man Logan, but still does it just as well, it’s easy to mistake it for Millar’s work. Old man Logan’s relationships especially with X-23 in her own book were interesting to see, and I am wondering what is happening with Gabby. The reminiscent Japanese style of the book, is so appealing to me as I love anime, so it’s great to see this book pay homage to Japanese culture. Unfortunately, he is not getting a book in Marvel Now 2.0, however that may be for the best as it doesn’t disrupt this seminal piece.

My top 10 DC Rebirth books. (not in order)
  • Superman
  • Deathstroke
  • Teen Titans
  • Flash
  • Detective Comics
  • Aquaman
  • Nighwing
  • Batman
  • Green Arrow
  • Trinity
New Super-Man
No one knew what to expect from this book, but what we got is terrific. I think one of the positives of this book, right off the bat is the personality of Kenan. Kenan is a selfish jerk, which is so different to how the Superman most people know. Also, his interactions with the Justice League of China are really amusing to see, but not too dissimilar to Marvel’s champions we get to see these characters grow as a team. This far in, and I have somewhat enjoyed all the issues, but Gene Yang takes the opportunity to both celebrate and criticize Chinese culture, as although Kenan is meant to be the good guy, he is fighting on the side against democracy, which for people in the western world, who are only used to democracy, wondering if Kenan is on the right side, and this is something really interesting to see.

The Unbelievable Gwenpool
This book started out as being a variant Gwen Stacy variant cover for Deadpool and to be honest, has grown to be so much more. Most people, like me thought that this was just a book trying to capitalize off the popularity of Deadpool in current media. To be honest that couldn’t be futher from the truth. Although Gwenpool does come off a bit gimmicky at times, you see how she represents us, as comic book readers. The first arc basically gave us a re-introduction into the Marvel Universe, but basically in the eyes of a civilian. As comic book readers, when we see Modok pop, up we laugh as to us he is a joke, but it is interesting to see him as a threat to Gwenpool. One similarity I can think off the top of my head between Gwenpool and Deadpool, is the reference to pop culture. In this book, I think they use it sparingly enough, that when used is actually really funny. For me personally this book is just a celebration of comic books. The fact that the reader, goes through the marvel universe vicariously through Gwenpool, although we may not all act like Gwenpool, it’s a celebration of how comic books are like a whole other world for readers, which makes it interesting to explore the marvel landscape.

Red Hood And The Outlaws
I know this is a very unpopular opinion, but I actually quite liked Red Hood And The Outlaws in the New 52, however I can also understand people’s points about the flaws, same thing with Batman vs Superman. Anyway, I personally think that in the New 52, Lobdell built up probably one of the best relationships between Roy and Jason, and I was kinda disappointed to see Roy leave. However now, I personally think the book is great because Lobdell knows how to write Red Hood great. I personally think this is the best that the character has ever been written, as although I didn’t mind Grant Morrison’s Red Hood, he never felt like a legitimate threat and just seemed to be a villain, because he hated Dick Grayson. Having Jason be act as the more covert side of the bat family, is probably the best way to write him, as he is free to do more, which is outlined in the first issue. So far writing Bizzarro as a child, which is reminiscent of Forever Evil, is working really well as we do see how Jason could potentially be a team leader, for this team. I also personally enjoy how Artemis has been written, as I don’t know anything about the character, but the character seems interesting enough, that I would like to know more. This book is so far, so good and I hope it keeps up the quality. 

My top 10 ANAD Marvel books (not in order)
  • Unbelievable Gwenpool
  • Old Man Logan
  • The Mighty Thor
  • Dr Strange
  • Captain America: Steve Rogers
  • Vision
  • All-new Wolverine
  • Power man and iron fist
  • Venom
  • Ultimates
Captain America: Steve Rogers

When Cap was put back to being young, I didn’t know what to expect from this book. I already knew that the creative team, were said to be good, but I was still distrustful. However, for me personally I feel that Hydra Cap is probably the most interesting way, in which I have seen this character ever written. The way Nick Spencer re-writes Cap’s history makes it way more convoluted and interesting. It’s also great to see characters either dead or gone, sprinkled in to his new history. Although that is really interesting, inarguably the most interesting part is the present-day story in which we see that Cap is the villain behind Civil War 2, and how he is trying to defeat the red skull so he can take over Hydra. The thought process behind Cap, to try and avoid detection is awesome to see, as we see how calculated of a character Cap truly is.

For me growing up, I was always into Batman, and always thought Superman was boring and a boy scout. I had read and watched Justice League, and have enjoyed a lot of their stories, but not really because of Superman, more because of Batman, Hal Jordan Green Lantern and Flash. I wanted to give Superman rebirth a try as my first time reading a Solo Superman story, and I just have to say THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. The book is really interesting firstly, and the interaction between Superman and his family, is really great and enjoyable to read. The first arc was about Jon being half human, half Kryptonian, and I like the way in which Tomasi and Gleeson is also leading us on a journey, to see how Jon’s powers are developing and his parent’s reaction to that. It is also good to see that Tomasi didn’t forget Lois in that first arc as we saw her don the batsuit, that Batman used to go and revive Damian. Although we do get to see Superman as the perfect father we expected, you also get to see that Superman does have the flaw of being overprotective of his son. The latest arc between Damian, Jon, Superman and Batman, was written so perfectly, with how their personalities conflicted. It just truly is an awesome father and son story, but also a great family story and I am planning to give the first 12 issues (including the rebirth issue) to my own Dad for Christmas. I would personally recommend this book, for anyone just looking to get into Superman, or who thinks he is boring. 

Now I’m gonna try and keep this short as I don’t want to add any spoilers for this title. This was probably the most surprising to everyone as, when most people think of the Vision, they don’t think of the compelling character that Tom King wrote. Instead when the Vision is mentioned most people think of either the MCU version, or mistake him for Red Tornado, or Martian Manhunter. Whilst the only thing most people know about Vision is he was created by Ultron and he had children with Scarlet Witch. Tom King does reference those, but mainly what Tom King does is put Vision and his family in a suburban context and ask the question are human beings corrupted from within or by their surroundings, and tells this through the Vision family. I highly recommend you to go and get Vision. The second and final Volume came out today.


These are not necessarily titles I’ve read but titles I’ve heard are good, liked or have been recommended to me:
Black Panther, Black Widow, Captain America: Sam Wilson, Daredevil, Deadpool, Extrodinary X-men, Backstagers, The Woods, Saga, Cyborg, Scooby-doo Apocalypse, IF Anthology,Wacky Racers, Flinstones, Green Lanterns, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern corps, Moon girl and Devil Dinosaur, Moonknight, Ms Marvel, Patsy Walker A.K.A Hellcat, Punisher, Scarlet Witch, Silk, Spider-gwen, Spider-woman, Uncanny Inhumans, Uncanny Avengers, All-New All Different Avengers, Angela: Queen of Hel, Black Knight, Captain Marvel, Carnage, Red Wolf, Silver Surfer, Invincible Iron man, International Iron man, Mockingbird, Karnak, Batgirl, All-Star Batman, Wonder Woman, Superwoman, Titans, Suicide Squad, The Hellblazer, Red hood and the outlaws, East of west, Monstress, The Walking Dead, After Death, Birthright, Bitch planet, Glitterbomb, Doom Patrol, Mother Panic, Shade: the changing girl, Cave carson has a cybernetic eye, Invincible, Lazarus, Motor Crush, Paper Girls, Sex Criminals, Stray bullets, Southern Bastards, Tank girl, The Wicked + The Divine, Wytches, Batman Beyond, Faith, Bloodshot USA, Motor Crush, Champions, Ninjak, Motro


Final Thoughts

That is just some that I know and can actually remember, however there are probably many more really good series, I’ve either missed or not come across.  I just wanted to point out that isn’t it great that we can have so many great titles in the past two years, and although we do at times take creative teams for granted, we truly are blessed.

Merry Christmas everybody.