DC’s Rebirth Offers Exciting Updates But Fails At Diversity

3 steps forward and 2 steps back.

During a live-streamed event at WonderCon, DC Comics finally unveiled the titles and creative teams for their new initiative, Rebirth. Most of the new books centralize the DC Trinity (Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman), which makes sense considering these are their most iconic characters who’ll be explored more expansively, cinematically. Rebirth will begin with an 80-page DC Universe: Rebirth special written by Geoff Johns. The relaunch will introduce new #1s that’ll ship bi-weekly for $2.99.

Geoff Johns says that Rebirth is unlike DC’s previous relaunches:

“It’s beyond the back-to-basics approach. It’s not just going back to square one. It’s much, much more than something that simplistic.”

Johns’ optimism is refreshing, and speaks to some of the exciting aspects of Rebirth. But I’m disappointed—though not surprised— that DC’s new vision scarcely includes diverse talent. While there are a few women and people of color on DC’s new slate of creative teams, it’s still an overwhelming amount of white men. Perhaps DC’s new writers and artist program will address this issue more directly, but the exclusion of diverse talent from Rebirth is upsetting. Admittedly, I’d hoped Milestone would’ve had a place in DC’s new vision; considering DC announced the return of the Milestone universe. After their resurgence in 2014, Milestone (now Milestone 2.0) has announced tons of new projects, such as the return of Static.

Studies show that the comics industry remains a predominantly white male domain. And it’s tiring to keep having to reiterate this point to editors and fans who refuse to acknowledge this issue. But alas, fans who are eager for varied voices in the DCU remain left in the dark. Comics Alliance sums up the problem perfectly:

Only four women writers were announced on a total of three books between them; Batgirl, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, and Harley Quinn. Two of DC’s biggest female heroes, Supergirl and Wonder Woman, are in the hands of male writers, as is the new Superwoman title, while no women writers have been named to titles led by male characters.

Although I’m extremely excited for Jimenez’s Superwoman, Rucka’s Wonder Woman, Yang’s Chinese Superman in The Super-Man, the return of the Pre-New 52 Superman, and applaud the other diverse talent that is on the Rebirth slate, it’s still not enough. Yes, there are more diverse characters in DC’s new Justice League roster, and a multi-racial Wally West. However, tokenism is not diversity; having a wide range of perspectives which extends beyond the white, male, cisgender, heteronormative lens is key to embracing the human experience in its entirety.

It’s highly unlikely, but maybe DC editorial has some surprises in store. Maybe there’s something better just around the corner and Rebirth is a plea to fans to hang in there just a while longer—because it’s certainly tempting. But this begs the question: how much longer do we have to wait? I, for one, have waited long enough.

Here’s the complete list of titles and creative teams with an image gallery below:

  • Batman – Written by Tom King with art by by David Finch and Mikel Janin
  • Detective Comics – Written by James Tynion IV is set to pen with art by Eddie Barrows and Alvaro Martinez,
    • The series sill feature Batman and Batwoman running a “Bat-Bootcamp” with Spoiler, Tim Drake, Cassandra Cain and Clayface
  • Nightwing – Written by Tim Seeley with art by Javi Fernandez and Marcus To
  • Batgirl – Written by Hope Larson with art by Rafael Albuquerque
  • Batgirl and the Birds of Prey – Written by Julie Benson and Shawna Benson with art by Claire Roe
    • Featuring Batgirl, Black Canary, and Huntress
  • All-Star Batman – Written by Scott Snyder with art by John Romita Jr., Sean Gordon Murphy, Jock, WTula Lotay and Afua Richardson
  • Action Comics – Written by Dan Jurgens with art by Patrick Zircher, Tyler Kirkham and Stephen Segovia
  • Superman – Written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason with art by Gleason and Doug Mahnke
  • New Superman – Written by Gene Luen Yang with art by Viktor Bogdanovic
    • The series focuses on a new character, Kenji Kong, from Shanghai who is given Superman’s Powers
  • Supergirl – Written by Steve Orlando with art by Brian Ching
  • Trinity – Written by Frances Manapul with art by Manapul and Clay Mann
  • Superwoman – Written by Phil Jimenez with art by Jimenez and Emanuela Lupacchino
    • This series will also feature a new character
  • Wonder Woman – Written by Greg Rucka with art by Nicola Scott
  • Justice League – Written by Bryan Hitch with art by Tony Daniel and Fernando Pasarin
  • Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps – Written by Robert Venditti with art by Ethan Van Sciver And Rafa Sandoval
  • Green Lanterns – Written by Sam Humphries with art by Robson Rocha And Ardian Syaf
  • The Flash – Written by Joshua Williamson with art by Carmine Di Giandomenico and Neil Googe
  • Cyborg – Written by John Semper with art by Will Conad And Paul Pelletier
  • Aquaman – Written by Dan Abnett and Brad Walker wit hart by Walker, Jesus Merino And Phil Briones
  • Titans – Written by Dan Abnett with art by Brett Booth
  • Suicide Squad – Written by Rob Williams,with art by Jim Lee and Philip Tan
  • Harley Quinn – Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner with art by Chad Hardin and John Timms
  • Green Arrow – Written by Ben Percy with art by Otto Schmidt and Juan Ferreyra
  • Redhood and The Outlaws – Written by Scott Lobdell with art by Dexter Soy
    • Featuring Redhood, Artemis and Bizarro
  • The Hellblazer – Written by Simon Oliver with art by Moritat
  • Deathstroke – Written by Christopher Priest with art by Carlo Pagulayan, Igor Vitorina And Felie Watanebe
  • Batman Beyond – Written by Dan Jurgens with art by Bernard Chang
  • Blue Bettle – Written by Keith Giffen with art by Scott Kolins
    • The title will feature bothe Jaime Reyes AND Ted Kord as the title hero
  • Teen Titans – Written by Ben Percy with art by Jonboy Meyers
  • Super-Sons and JLA currently have no assign creative teams.*

 

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Sources: SuperheroHype , Comics Alliance 

Author: Jermaine Dickerson

Jermaine is the co-creator of BLKBOARD, an entrepreneur and a superhero enthusiast with a passion for art, design and social activism. He hopes to change the world with the power of superheroics.