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12 Essential DC Titles That Must Be Part Of Every Line-Up/Reboot/Etc.

Y’know, in comics, when you’re setting up line-ups of different titles to try and sell to your customers, say as part of a reboot or relaunch or whatever, it’s a good idea to keep it varied. After all, you never know when something different might stick with someone. But, at the same time, there are certain books that have a certain name value to them that need to be kept in, no matter what you’re doing. DC Comics, in particular, seems to have several of these high name value books. But which ones are the ones that I feel are the ones that MUST be kept in, regardless of what they’re doing? What books, no matter what kind of universal reboot or retooling or new direction, do I feel are the titles that should be kept around? Well, strap yourselves in, because I’m about to go over them now. These are the 12 essential DC titles I feel should be a part of every line-up. So, let’s start with an obvious one…

#1 – Action Comics

If for no other reason, Action Comics needs to be kept around for DC’s entire life-span because it’s the book that started this whole incredible ride. And because it’s been around for so long, it can provide for great anniversary moments. Hell, at this moment in time, we are coming up super close to a legitimate Action Comics #1000, and it’s frigging awesome. I would keep Action Comics running from now until the end of time if I could, and I would NEVER attempt to renumber it ever again.

#2 – Detective Comics

Same deal as Action Comics. Detective Comics has been a major staple of DC (right down to the frigging name), and is likewise creeping up on 1000 issues. This needs to keep running for as long as DC Comics does. Maybe even longer, if say someone like Marvel or whoever bought out DC and kept their characters and stories going.

#3 – Batman, #4 – Superman, and #5 – Wonder Woman

They are the three pillars of DC Comics. Let’s just be clear about that. No matter how big anyone else gets, and there are plenty of big freaking names, these are the ones that best define DC: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. You do not have DC Comics if you don’t have these three characters, and they MUST have their own solo titles. Admittedly, though, Action Comics and Detective Comics of the modern day are pretty much just Superman and Batman books respectively, but at least said books also feature plenty of their supporting casts. Hell, for a time, Detective Comics primarily starred Batwoman. But yeah, these three HAVE to be around.

#6 – The Flash

Okay, I know what I just said about the Trinity, but if there was anyone else in DC that I can’t imagine the books existing without, it’s The Flash. This is probably because of the fact that he’s been central to so many major events that revolve around the Multiverse and the central continuity of the stories. Think about that: Any time there has ever been a major shake up, Barry or another Flash was in the middle of it. As such, Flash is very much a central part of DC’s legacy, and needs to continue to be as much moving forward.

#7 – Justice League

It’s the A-List group of superheroes within this universe. There is no shared universe of any sort without the Justice League. And I don’t care what you call them, be it the Justice League, Justice League of America, JLA, Justice League International, or Justice League United, there MUST be a Justice League of some sort no matter what is going on. That said, there are maybe two other teams that need just as much focus…

#8 – Birds of Prey

With so many great superheroines in the DC Universe, it’s hard to imagine there ever being a time when the Birds of Prey didn’t exist. I mean, I know there was, but I can’t imagine how or why. It’s bizarre. That said, one thing that the Birds of Prey books need to stop doing is introducing whole new male characters that no one cares about. Specifically, Condor from the New 52 version and the new Oracle in the Rebirth version. It’s infuriating. lol I would also probably use this book as a means of getting the Gotham City Sirens (Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy) involved in major storylines if they didn’t have their own books. I mean, I would probably make sure they did have their own book, but again, I’m going specifically for the bare essentials here.

#9 – Teen Titans

Again, with so many younger heroes, there simply MUST be a Teen Titans (or just Titans) book at all times. Even if you rebooted back to square one, to where Dick Grayson is Robin and so on, there are still plenty of options to go with. You still have Kid Flash, Aqualad, Raven, Cyborg, Beast Boy, Starfire, so many younger heroes that would be welcome in a Titans book.

#10 – Green Lantern

Granted, this hasn’t always been the case, but Green Lantern, more than any other hero, helps to unite the events on Earth with the events throughout the universe in DC. So many cosmic heroes and villains that are brought into what goes on with Earth via connections to the Green Lantern Corps. I don’t even care which one you use (I personally prefer John Stewart, but whatever), but there MUST be a Green Lantern with their own book at some point. Hell, there are so many, each with their own unique stories, you could give the vast majority their own books.

#11 – Aquaman

Of all of the characters who have rotated in and out of the Justice League, Aquaman is one of the few that has stuck around the longest. For all the jokes people STILL sling at this guy, none of which are warranted, he remains one of DC Comics’ signature characters. And dammit, he needs to remain as such forever. He’s earned it.

So, that leaves us with #12. And, I’ll admit, this is the hardest one to decide, because whoever gets in, that means everyone else is left out as being one of the essentials, which I feel is a slight against all of them. No matter how I spin it, I’m purposely leaving out each one of the above characters who aren’t chosen as #12 as being one of the most important characters with the most important stories. And it doesn’t help that my own personal bias affects this, too. And yes, my personal bias makes me want to say Gotham City Sirens or a Stephanie Brown book. But, in the end, I have to choose what I feel would be the most important to DC’s line-up and its legacy. So, with that in mind, and I KNOW I’m gonna piss someone off with this, here is my pick for #12…

#12 – Earth 2/Justice Society

I think that one thing that’s been universally agreed upon in terms of what was lost with the New 52 was the DC Universe’s legacy. Not just where it’s headed, but where it came from as well. Both the legacy heroes who came before and are yet to come. No matter what kind of reboot or reset that happens, it’s important, for the sake of those that continue to keep up with DC, to have something that speaks to its legacy. And no team better represents DC’s legacy, where it’s been, and where it’s going, than the Justice Society. And it can be either a book set on an alternate Earth, or a book about a team that existed back in the days of the Golden Age of comics, but there MUST be a Justice Society. Ironically, at this time, Earth 2: Society has finished its run, and a Justice Society book is still in the works. Hopefully, though, DC doesn’t leave us waiting for too much longer with the latter.

And, just to be clear, if I was running DC Comics, I would of COURSE have books like Poison Ivy, Batgirl, Martian Manhunter, Gotham City Sirens, Green Arrow, Supergirl, and Secret Six going at the same time as the other twelve I’ve mentioned. They’re all important characters and stories to me. But this isn’t just about me. And besides, with the choices I gave, there’s still plenty of room to involve all of those characters and more. And, like I said at the beginning, it’s good to throw other, varied options around for the reader to pick up and see if they like it. Give different heroes and stories a chance to shine. But, at the end of the day, these are the twelve that I think NEED to survive above all others from now until whenever this crazy age of comic books comes to an end.

… … …BUT, I’m sure you all have your own picks and selections, so feel free to leave them in the comments below. Ja né!

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Things I Want From #DCRebirth

… … …

…Please dear God, don’t be another universal reboot. It feels like we’ve just cleaned up a lot of the most damning and damaging parts of the last one by re-establishing the Multiverse, leaving the doors open for writers to do any story involving the characters of those past worlds that they want, and reintroducing characters like Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain. On top of that, we’ve actually got a fairly decent writer on Earth 2: Society, and we’ve had neat stuff like the Court of Owls and the new Power Ring around that I’d hate to see tossed aside…Although, with all of that said, there’s still a LOT of crap in the current universe that needs to be cleaned up, like the overall attitude of the Amazons, the fauxmance between Diana and Clark, and certain books being a little less fun than they could be. Thus, I’m hoping that, instead of being a complete reboot, DC Rebirth is instead a SOFT reboot, in that it doesn’t necessarily say that everything we’ve read for the past four years didn’t matter, but that we’re moving on to a place where we can improve upon everything and fix what went wrong. With that said, here’s a list of things I’d like to have kept around, as well as some stuff I’d like changed up/fixed/improved. First off, let’s talk about something I want to see stick around…

#1 - Keep Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok on Justice League

#1 – Keep Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok on Justice League

OMG, I love this team… … …erm, the creative team, that is. lol Geoff Johns has finally figured out how Wonder Woman should work as a character, and between his stories as of late and Jason Fabok’s glorious artwork, Justice League has been AMAZING. Also, Fabok, for the love of God, keep making the covers for the book look like movie posters. They’ve been so freaking awesome, I almost wanna have them blown up to cover each of the walls of my room.

#2 - Wally West as Kid Flash

#2 – Wally West as Kid Flash

Seriously, it’s time to pull the trigger on this. I mean, assuming it hasn’t happened already. I’ve heard that Wally MIGHT have gotten speed powers recently, but nothing solid yet. With that said, though, whether he becomes Kid Flash or not, one thing that DOES need to happen? Let Wally be WALLY. Let him be FUN. I don’t care what colour his skin is or anything else, I just want Wally to be fun again. That never needed to change.

#3 - Lois and Clark Reunited

#3 – Lois and Clark Reunited

Okay, DC, you had your fun with Superman and Wonder Woman being a couple, but I think it’s time to move on to what fans really want: Lois and Clark together. And hey, you can still do the Superman/Wonder Woman book and just have it be about the two teaming up to kick 31 flavours of ass, just let us have DC’s OTP back. They don’t even HAVE to be married, either, just have them be in a relationship again.

#4 - Poison Ivy Ongoing

#4 – Poison Ivy Ongoing

Words cannot express how much Amy Chu’s Poison Ivy book NEEDS to be an ongoing. However, one thing that might be a good idea is for Ivy to look at some of her past decisions and make re-evaluations. Perhaps she could feel grief over some of her more unethical activities in the past and wanting to go forward in a more positive attitude, possibly even moving beyond the antagonistic relationship she has with many heroes and instead joining them. Really look at Ivy as a character and her history and have her decide what the best course of action for the future is.

#5 - Vixen

#5 – Vixen

I’ve heard part of this rebranding will take greater strides to advertise the characters with their own shows. In that case, there is no excuse for not having a Vixen solo book. Or, if nothing else, having her be part of a high-profile team, like the Justice League or perhaps a team-up book for her, Flash, and Green Arrow, would be a great idea.

#6 - Adjustments To The Joker

#6 – Adjustments To The Joker

So, word is that Scott Snyder is leaving the main Batman book and instead going over to Detective Comics… … …Well, that should improve things over on THAT book, at least. lol However, if I can make a suggestion to whoever takes over for Batman? MAKE JOKER FUN AGAIN. I’m not saying you can’t do big, epic, horrifying stories with him, but you also gotta remember that this is the same guy who once tried to show the world he could pull off the greatest boner… …erm, not what it sounds like. lol Just saying, with someone as off-the-walls crazy as Joker, you can do both and still have it make sense.

#7 - More Earth 2 Books

#7 – More Earth 2 Books

I’ve been hearing that Dan Abnett, the new writer for Earth 2: Society, is actually doing a fairly decent job of cleaning up the mess Daniel H. Wilson left of that world, but that it still seems like a lot to cram into a single book. My personal recommendation? More or less make Earth 2 its own pseudo-imprint, with its own line of books. Have one dedicated to a new Justice Society forming, one dedicated to Huntress and Batman cleaning up the streets of Gotham, one dedicated to Fury and the new Amazons, and so on. Just make sure that the people writing have been briefed on Earth 2 history, both old and new, and know who the heck they’re writing about. In fact, while we’re on the subject…

#8 – Better Choices For Writers

Y’know what my favourite part of Convergence was? The fact that a lot of the stories felt like they were written by people who legitimately got the characters and understood how they’d respond to the situation presented. I am sick of stories written by people who don’t get the characters. Why would you ever assign someone a book in that case? That needs to stop, PRONTO.

#9 - Dick Grayson As A Superhero Again

#9 – Dick Grayson As A Superhero Again

Okay, I’m not gonna say that Dick Grayson as a secret agent doesn’t have potential, because we’ve seen that it does. However, I think it’s time he went back to what he did best, and that’s being a hero. Seriously, be it as Robin, Nightwing, Batman, whatever you wanna call him, Dick Grayson is clearly meant to be a superhero, one who bridges trust and friendship among various members of the superhero community.

#10 - John Stewart On The Justice League

#10 – John Stewart On The Justice League

Admittedly, this is one I’m actually a little on the fence about, and here’s why: While I prefer John Stewart overall as a character to Hal Jordan, Hal DOES have great lines and chemistry with Batman. So…I dunno, maybe you could have them both serving on the Justice League and rotating in and out for different stories? Or, I suppose another answer is to have a new secondary team for the JLA created and put him on that. Speaking of, I’ve heard that Justice League of America will be sticking around even after the storyline involving Rao finally wraps up. Perhaps there’s a place for him over there? Speaking of heroes that need to return to the League, though…

#11 - Martian Manhunter Rejoins The JLA

#11 – Martian Manhunter Rejoins The JLA

Honest to God, I have no idea what is even going on with Martian Manhunter anymore, but I think it’s time he came back to the Justice League…Not much else to say, really. It just doesn’t feel the same without him.

#12 - Batwoman Returns

#12 – Batwoman Returns

She’s been on the sidelines long enough, guys. It’s time to bring Batwoman back into the fold. I don’t really care how it’s done, be it in her own book or as a supporting character for another book, but it’s time Kate started getting her hands dirty. Oh, and for God’s sake, can we PLEASE have her be married finally? I think the point’s been made clearly enough that stopping the marriage was a terrible idea. Besides, with Maggie as the current GCPD Commissioner, that would put her in a VERY interesting situation that can be played around with.

#13 - Scott Snyder's Wonder Woman

#13 – Scott Snyder’s Wonder Woman

I’m not saying it has to be a permanent change, just something quick and fun. Mainly because, as I’ve brought up before, we’ve seen that Scott Snyder can write stories for both Superman and Batman really well, so it’d be neat to see if he can go three for three with DC’s Trinity.

#14 - All-New, All-Different Birds Of Prey

#14 – All-New, All-Different Birds Of Prey

It recently hit me that the group Babs has been putting together in her book of herself, Frankie, Spoiler, Bluebird, and Black Canary could work great as a new Birds of Prey team. With that said, I might also wanna include Cassandra Cain as Black Bat since…well, I’m not really sure what else to do with her once Batman and Robin Eternal is over. Also, BRING BACK STARLING. Her heel turn and disappearance left a LOT of fans upset and confused, and there’s been zero follow up on that.

#15 - Supergirl

#15 – Supergirl

Apparently, there’s a storyline coming up where Superman FINALLY notices that Supergirl’s been kinda MIA as of late. As such, I hope that means we can finally get a new solo book for her, especially since she DOES, in fact, have a pretty successful TV series running right now. I know, some people aren’t as big of fans of it as others, but there is no denying success.

#16 - Keep Secret Six Around

#16 – Keep Secret Six Around

I get that, because of the upcoming Suicide Squad movie, that DC might feel the need to continue pushing the crap outta the comic. However, I hope they remember that there’s another team of villains and anti-heroes that a lot of fans love and don’t toss it aside like they did at the start of the New 52.

#17 - Red Robin

#17 – Red Robin

…Nope, I’m not gonna stop saying it until it happens. For an entire generation of fans, Tim Drake was Robin. He had his own solo book. He made Robin cool for the 90’s without doing too many of the stereotypical 90’s comics things. And he’s always been the detective of the Robins. As such, I would love to see him get a book. If nothing else, I kinda hope that Scott Snyder makes him a supporting character in Detective Comics. But, speaking of Tim and books he’s a part of…

#18 - A More FUN Teen Titans Book

#18 – A More FUN Teen Titans Book

Yeah, I’m sorry, but as much fun as I was having with the new Teen Titans books for the first few issues, the fun kinda dried up pretty quick. Is it too much to ask to have a FUN Titans team? One that, while knowing when to be serious, can also be an enjoyable and even funny read at times? Something a little closer to the tone of the animated series?…The good one, that is, not that piece of shit Teen Titans GO!. You don’t even need to change the cast (although, if Wally DOES become Kid Flash again, maybe adding him would be a good idea).

And that’s all I got for now. Have an idea I didn’t post? Leave it in the comments, and we’ll see what happens in June. Ja né!

UPDATED! Gail Simone’s Secret Six Returns! #WhatIsTheSecret

Yep, it’s official! The New York Times Best Seller, Secret Six, is returning in The New 52, under the writing of Gail Simone. Admittedly, not what I was REALLY hoping would be her new project (I was hoping it’d be a new Birds of Prey book), but I’ll take it. Plus, I know of several people that LOVED this book and were highly upset when it got cancelled with the beginning of the New 52, and I know how that can feel, so to those people, I say this: Remember, this may not be exactly as you remember it, but keep your mind open and be patient, for The Simone is an evil genius and mastermind, and she knows what she’s doing. XD

So far, all that’s known about the book, besides what I’ve stated so far, is that Catman and Black Alice are going to be in it. Who are these other characters on the cover? Beats me, though one looks like a Talon from the Court of Owls, and one kinda looks like a female, African-American Riddler, so she could be a new version of Enigma. Also, the book will apparently kick off with the group locked in a room and not knowing how the hell they got there, that the book will be even edgier and filthier than it was before, and that it delves into a mystery that “all DC readers will want to know”, whatever the hell that means. Will we be seeing others from the group like Scandal Savage appear? Will they be as we remember them? Hard to say, but I wouldn’t rule it out completely. After all, heroes might not be allowed to have happy lives nowadays, but there’s nothing that says that Scandal’s polygamous marriage to Knockout and Liana can’t still be canon.

Just in case anyone who didn’t read it thought I was kidding, nope, this was a thing that happened. lol

Anyway, the book comes out in December, just in time for Christmas. Will I be picking it up? Hard to say, but I will say that I am at least intrigued by this move, and I would suggest that people that loved Gail’s last take on the team will probably enjoy this one. Ja né!

UPDATE – In addition to the new book, Gail’s pre-Flashpoint run with Secret Six is also getting reprinted, so anyone that didn’t read it the first time around will get a chance to do so. Again, it’s a New York Times Best Seller, so it’s probably worth your time. ^_^

What I’d Do With The New 52 Part 05: My First 52 Titles (14 – 26)

I’m back again, and here to talk about the next 13 issues of what I would have planned for the New 52 if I were in charge of it. And for people wondering why the first 13 issues were so similar to what was actually done, basically I wanted to get them out of the way first. Also, just as a note, for The Flash, probably what I’d do if Barry and Wally were both in it is have Barry wear a modified version of his Blue Lantern Flash outfit, just to keep them unique in style and also to make the red on the Justice League a little lessened with Barry on there. So with that said, let’s kick this off with…

Sorry to fans of Suicide Squad, but I just feel that keeping the Secret Six around under the penning of Gail Simone would make a much better villain’s book, so I’d replace Suicide Squad with this. Would probably involve most of the previous team getting out of jail, though I’d likely sub out Bane for Harley Quinn or Giganta or somebody like that and make Scandal the leader. Maybe not right away, but pretty soon to give way for what happens later on in Talon. But speaking of Gail Simone, let’s talk about a couple other books she’s helmed…

Pretty much the same as Batgirl was originally (dammit, still need to review The Darkest Reflection), save for a few things. Yeah, what a shocker, I’d want Stephanie Brown in once or twice as a recurring character. Sorry, I just love Steph as a character so much, and her team with Barbara was amazing, and seeing the two working together would be incredible. Maybe even get Black Bat in on the fun. The other thing (again, what a shock), I WOULDN’T FIRE HER. lol

Okay, clearly I can’t have her writing 4 books at once, but I would definitely want whoever was writing Birds of Prey to have her input and whatnot. With Birds of Prey, there’s a couple of things I’d want changed. First off, put Huntress back on. There is no reason she can’t at least be a loosely affiliated member of the team. Second, PUSH THE F’ING BUTTON ON THE KURT LANCE SIDEPLOT! We are now 19 issues in, and they’re still doing this! Third, I’d probably want Goldrush on there at some point so we at least know something about her before she appears in Justice League.

Okay, once again, I need to stress that I’m not saying that the Justice League Dark we got sucked. I would never say that, This is just what I would do with the team, and what I would do can be summed up in one word: Raven. Basically, Madame Xanadu senses that Trigon is back and causing all kinds of paranormal havoc while trying to reach through dimensions, so she calls Raven, Constantine, Zatanna, Deadman, and a few others, possibly even Elongated Man since he’s a ghost detective. And speaking of Justice Leagues…

Really, the only thing I’d change with Justice League International is that I probably wouldn’t have as much of a rotating door roster on the group. That really bugged me how at the halfway point, half the team either died, got de-powered, or otherwise left the group.

Frak no, I ain’t changing anything with Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.! And if you need to know why, look no further than Issue 3, where Frankenstein jumps into a giant spider monster’s mouth and does THIS!

‘Nuff said, moving on…

Again, wouldn’t change much about Animal Man, except I wouldn’t kill the kid and thus possibly separating the family, I would’ve likely wanted to involve Beast Boy at some point, and I would’ve wasted a lot less time getting to the crossover with Swamp Thing.

…Leave me alone, that was the best logo for Spoiler I could find. lol Anyway, I’d naturally want Bryan Q. Miller on this book, and basically have it continue from where his Batgirl run left off, with Steph becoming Spoiler again and continuing her operations along with Proxy. I imagine her attire would be similar to the Nightwing attire we saw in the last issue, except with her usual hair instead of the buzzcut. As for what I’d replace, probably Batman: The Dark Knight.

Well, this is where fans of David Zavimbe and the original arc of Batwing are gonna kill me, but I think I’d want to start off with the Luke Fox arc. Sorry guys, I just like what they’re doing here more, and I’ll hopefully be able to explain why tomorrow after Free Comic Book Day.

Not really anything I’d change plot wise with Supergirl, but…Well, I guess I’d just wanna change the costume. Maybe something akin to this…

…except that the pants would have to blend in better with the costume.

…Yes, believe it or not, I WOULD have Red Hood and the Outlaws be around. I would do a few changes, though: I’d have Lian be brought back, I’d have Chesire on the team, I would have Starfire NOT be a skank and instead just be an amnesiac, and I think I’d add Scarlet (because I otherwise have no idea what happened to her with the reboot) and a couple of anti-heroes and/or d-list villains to balance the team out.

Again, like with Batwing, I’d want to start Green Arrow off with the current arc by Jeff Lemire. While I don’t buy it since I’m not a big Green Arrow fan, I have read it in the stands, and trust me, it’s a LOT better.

Believe it or not, I would want Worlds’ Finest writer Paul Levitz to write Catwoman, pretty much as she acted in Worlds’ Finest #0. Why? Because she actually ACTED like Catwoman! I am so SICK of how Catwoman’s been in her book. I know I said that since they changed writers that it got better, but since then, it got WORSE. Want a good example of it? Check out Catwoman #18. That ONE issue is the best example I can give on what’s wrong with the book.

And that’s half the books down already. Next time, I’ll talk books 27 – 39, but tomorrow, I attend Free Comic Book Day at GameZilla! See y’all there!