Welcome to the first instalment of Why You Should Be Reading, or WYSBR for short. In this new segment every Tuesday we will be looking at a different publisher or series and give reasons as to why fans should take a look at them. And today we start out with the Granddaddy of the superhero, DC Comics!
It is true over the years DC Comics, like any publisher has had its ups & downs, having extreme highs and lows in the 90’s and 00’s by the time the 2010’s rolled around DC Comics thought it was time for a change and in 2011 launched “The New 52” which rebooted the entire DC universe and while gave them strong sales initially was met with mixed reception and arguably did more harm than good to the publishers reputation in the long run. In 2016 however DC Comics came back with a vengeance and here are the three reasons why!
- DC Universe Rebirth
What it is: After the mixed results of The New 52 DC did something no one ever thought a larger publisher like them would do, they admitted to their mistake, and using elements set up in previous event series like Multiversity and Convergence they launched the Superman: Lois & Clark and Titans Hunt mini-series which lead into DC Universe Rebirth. A one-shot that changed everything by finally finishing the connect the dots so to speak of the Pre-Flashpoint and New52 DC Universes. This lead into a big line wide relaunch and revitalization of the DC Comics books.
Why You Should Care: DC Universe Rebirth is an initiative that is all about reclaiming the legacy of the DC Universe that was lost after the Flashpoint while still moving the DC Universe forward with both well beloved classic characters and new fan favorites, it is about embracing everything from the golden age to modern age of comics and reconciling it into one epic two year long narrative spanning the entirety of the DC Universe!
Recommended Reads: So far the various Superman family titles and the Titans book seem to be the most actively connected, though the Batman books and Flash have a big role to play as well. And on a personal note Aquaman, Blue Beetle, Wonder Woman and the Green Lantern books are pretty enjoyable as well!
2. Young Animal
What it is: A new imprint started by Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance fame, this line is advertised as “Comics For Dangerous Humans” and focuses on the weirder fringe of the DCU.
Why You Should Care: So far young animal has revived fan favorite underdogs The Doom Patrol, as well as launching new series for Cave Carson, Shade: The Changing Girl and introduced a new character in Mother Panic. It also has a New Gods mini-series starring Bug: The Forager planned for this summer!
Recommended reads: Honestly you can’t go wrong with anything from this line, though Doom Patrol and Shade: The Changing Girl stick out the most due to their unique and psychedelic natures.
3. Hanna-Barbera Universe (a.k.a. Hanna-Barbera Beyond)
What it is: HBU or HBB as it is also called is a new line that finally sees DC Comics take advantage of the large library of classic cartoon characters it has access to and reworks and reimagines them in new and interesting ways. From a Mad Max Style Wacky Races, to a Ghost Buster-esque Scooby Doo and beyond, HBU takes these classic characters and uses them in intriguing new ways!
Why You Should Care: Hanna-Barbera Beyond is not only revitalizing these characters but also helping make a new generation of readers aware of characters like The Impossibles, Frankenstein Jr. Johnny Quest, Space Ghost, Snagglepuss, Dastardly & Muttly, etc. On top of preserving these classic and arguably for the most part underappreciated cartoon characters it also gives us fun new stories to read with them weather it is the team-up of all of HB’s action stars in Future Quest, a revitalized commentary heavy Flintstones, or a even crazier version of Scooby-Doo! The HBB line has something for everyone. Oh and they are also doing crossovers between the HB and main DC lines later this month. Space Ghost/Green Lantern Team-up anyone!?
Recommended Reads: For the most part the HBU books are meant to be 6- 12 issue limited series though Scooby Apocalypse is lasting beyond that mark. None the less though I cannot recommend Future Quest enough as it has been a genuinely amazing book, and Flintstones has been spot-on as well! As for the upcoming second wave of titles, Snagglepuss looks promising.
And there you have it, three solid reasons to check out what DC Comics is up too! Between these three lines/imprints there truly is a book for everyone!