I have known the joy of reading con-bought comics while eating a food truck burger, and I can never go back.
A lot of ink’s been spilled lately on what Marvel’s comics division is doing wrong. But meanwhile, DC’s been absolutely crushing it since launching DC Rebirth, and nary a columnist has made a peep.
I’m here to fix that. DC Rebirth drew me back to the DC Universe in a big way, and I think it’s time someone made some noise about what Rebirth got right and why, over a year in, DC’s comics are still firing on all cylinders. For all the talk of comics’ usual reboot smoke and mirrors, Rebirth actually delivered a huge change in both design and direction for the DCU, one that’s created better comics, better heroes, and a better universe.
Let’s get this out of the way up front.
Okay. Now we’re going to talk about what it takes to be Batman.
An interesting thing happened to me at Barnes and Noble the other day. I was perusing the Graphic Novels section, deciding what to buy for my monthly comics purchase, when a polite young man who’d been browsing the shelves beside me walked up and asked:
“Do you have any recommendations?”
I thought about this question for a couple seconds. The young man looked to be around 11 or 12 years old, which narrowed down the options some. But Barnes and Noble has dramatically improved their stock of comics, leaving lots of appropriate choices left on the table.
So I did what every comics reader should do when someone asks them for recommendations. I asked the kid what he liked.
Geoff Johns’s late 2000’s Legion of Super-Heroes stories were, unfortunately, ahead of their time.
Set on a xenophobic future Earth where lies about where Superman was born transformed our entire world into the worst parts of the American South, Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes presupposed an era when widely disseminated misinformation and entitled rage would be all it took to drive the universe to war.
But if the book’s initial premise seems prescient, then we have to hope its ending is as well. Because standing against this wave of ignorance and vitriol is the Legion of Super-Heroes. This group of diverse young adults, gathered from among the cosmos, is not having any of this xenophobic nonsense.
And neither is their friend, Superman.
Comics made me an optimist.