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The AIPT staff breaks down the first 10 titles from Dawn of DC

Comic Books

The AIPT staff breaks down the first 10 titles from Dawn of DC

The DCU enters the light in early 2023 with some heavy-hitting teams and titles.

Say what you will about DC Comics, but they clearly love two things: big, dramatic narrative arcs and over-sized events.

So, following the extra dark, occasionally bleak (not to mention extra lengthy) events of Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths, the publisher’s following up with the year-long Dawn of DC. That bit of light-based interplay is completely on purpose — the event will see the whole of the DCU “heading toward the light,” and coming off the “biggest, most devastating battles of their lives and reinvigorated in their fights against evil.” But that’s about the only thing light about this dawn, as the whole thing will including a whopping 20 new titles across 2023. (That includes other, previously announced titles for next year, include Superman #1).

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So, what’s this all mean in the long run? What can we expect from this “rebirth” of sorts (not to be confused with that 2016 relaunch)? And is a giant wave of new titles a good thing, or could this be a case of too much for too long? We’re generally optimistic — if only because the first 10 titles announced offer some important clarity into the event. As our staff below explains, these titles, and their star-studded creative teams, could mean that Dawn of DC is a great pivot into the compelling and uplifting tales that DC’s always done best. That, and there’s plenty of great story potential to springboard from as Dark Crisis wraps up at last.

When the rest of the the titles drop, we’ll gladly re-evaluate where we stand. In the meantime, follow us into a bright new day.

– Chris Coplan, Comics Editor

Batman: The Brave and the Bold

From Tom King, Mitch Gerads, Guillem March, Gabriel Hardman, Dan Mora, Rob William

Dawn of DC

Variant cover by Simone Di Meo. Courtesy of DC Comics.

Tom King can’t seem to get away from Batman — even after writing 85 issues of his flagship title. During his time on that comic, as well as his subsequent Bat-titles, King has been telling different kinds of stories that didn’t just have to showcase the dark, brooding nature of Batman, such as the character’s ongoing relationship with Catwoman, which brought moments of levity and romance. Even when King doesn’t nail the landing, most likely he’ll redeem himself with the next Batman book. And this is why I’m excited about Batman: The Brave and The Bold, which was originally was an ongoing comic book series that began in the 1950s, though a modern audience will remember the animated series where the Caped Crusader teamed up with characters from across the DC Universe in adventures that evoked the Silver Age. Whilst King will once again be collaborating with his Mister Miracle artist Mitch Gerads, he is also working with the likes of Guillem March, Gabriel Hardman, Dan Mora, etc., And thus King will hopefully give us a wave of freshly exciting Batman stories.

– Rory Wilding

Green Lantern: Hal Jordan

From Mariko Tamaki and TBA

Writer Mariko Tamaki has built up quite the resume in the last few years. Most notably, she wrote Detective Comics after her stint on Fear State: Dark Detective. And that’s just two of her many accomplishments in the industry. Through those titles, she reminded readers of her skill set as writer more than worthy of tackling another of the foundational characters of the DCU. It’s exciting to see her go from writing Batman to Green Lantern: Hal Jordan.

By the time the series releases, it will have been two years since the last time Hal carried his own series. And what better way to kick off Dawn of DC than with the Lantern who forged his own ring out of his own willpower? Tamaki isn’t unfamiliar with the Green Lantern mythos, either: in the Green Lantern 80th Anniversary 100-page Super Spectacular #1 (try to say that five times fast), she wrote a story focusing on Jessica Cruz overcoming her anxiety. Clearly, she has a knack for understanding the core of a character, and ensuring that they are properly written. It’s exciting to know someone with this kind of skill will be writing for Hal. With Hal back on Earth as its protector, who knows what challenges await. But fans can rest assured that Tamaki (and the yet to be determined artist) will bring their A-game.

– Michael Guerrero 

Steelworks

From TBA and TBA

While it remains to be seen what the book will look and read like due to the absence of an assigned creative team, the fact that the Irons family will be getting some time in the spotlight in time for Steel’s 30th anniversary is a welcome prospect. Especially considering that Natasha will be fully embracing the mantle of Steel in the pages of Steelworks, and presumably in Action Comics as well. I’m excited to see her further interact with the larger Superman family in the wake of Morrison’s Superman and the Authority and Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s Warworld Saga. My only concerns are that we won’t be seeing any of John Henry’s Steel in action given that he will be busy figuring out how to “bring Metropolis into the future”, and that DC will assign a “lesser” creative team to this book in the hopes that it will fail so as to prop up their more “traditional” superhero offerings. Time will tell as to whether or not Steelworks turns out to be a well-oiled machine, or if it’ll be left out to rust.

– Ellis Owens

Shazam!

From Mark Waid and Dan Mora

Dawn of DC

Cover to issue #1 from Dan Mora. Courtesy of DC Comics.

Mark Waid and Dan Mora have been treating us to some fantastic Silver/Bronze Age vibes in World’s Finest. Now, they’re taking that same creative magic to Shazam and his fantasy. Given the excellent work Waid and Mora did with a Robin/Dick Grayson story, I can bet they will do something equally excellent for Billy Batson by taking his innocence and heroics for a deep dive into the DC Universe. Along with Waid and Mora, we get Tamra Bonvillain, who can help to create the perfect energy with her vivid colors. Mora draws characters in such a way that the art becomes iconic and timeless, which is ideal for the good Captain and his family. This title looks like an action comedy that will play nicely to Waid’s usual approach; plus, I can’t wait to see where he will take Billy on those adventures. Fun fact: Waid has written Captain Marvel before, back in Kingdom Come, so there could be some fun play with Billy’s present and potential future. Ultimately, I think this creative team will be quite the contender at the Eisner Awards. Shazam, indeed!

– Christopher Franey

Green Arrow

From Joshua Williamson and Sean Izaakse

A Green Arrow series from Joshua Williamson has felt like a long time coming. Williamson is not shy about his love for the “Arrowfam.” Williamson has spent the last few years planting seeds across the DC Universe. We’ve seen Arsenal in Infinite Frontier, Connor Hawke in Robin, Black Canary in Deathstroke Inc., and, of course, Green Arrow himself in Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths.

During the Infinite Frontier-era, we’ve also seen Team Arrow make numerous cameo appearances in the pages of Catwoman, Nightwing, and Teen Titans Academy. Plus, Green Arrow and Black Canary were on the roster in Bendis’ Justice League run. No matter where you look, the Arrows are everywhere. And it’s finally time for them to take center stage.

According to DC, it sounds like this iteration of Green Arrow will be one without Oliver Queen, and will instead focus on his family. It’ll be great to see Team Arrow come together after too many years apart, and with Williamson scripting and art from Sean Izaakse, we can be sure the family drama will be at an all-time high and rendered beautifully.

DC also touts that this series will be a springboard for “major stories in 2023.” Does this mean an Arrow-centric event is on its way? We will have to wait and see, but in the meantime it’ll surely be a joy to see what Team Arrow gets themselves into across Dawn of DC.

– Dan Berlin

The Penguin

From Tom King and Stefano Gaudiano

Even with the stacked list of new books and creators for Dawn of DC, I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t excited about a crime story centered on the Penguin, especially written by Tom King. One thing you can say about King is that he’ll always do something new with a character. These changes don’t always land for every reader, but they bring something new to the a character. It’s why The Penguin interests me. The unknown aspect of where King will take the Penguin excites me. Plus, having Stefano Gaudiano on art is terrific; he created some beautiful, dark, atmospheric work during his time on Batman Family #1-6 (2002-2003), and so I’m interested to see what he’ll bring to the new age of Gotham. This series might not be at the top of everyone’s list as Dawn of DC rolls out, but I think it’ll be a surprise treat for readers.

– Connor Boyd

Unstoppable Doom Patrol

From Dennis Culver and Chris Burnham

The AIPT staff breaks down the first 10 titles from Dawn of DC

Cover to issue #1 from Chris Burnham. Courtesy of DC Comics.

Fresh off the heels of a story in Lazarus Planet: Dark Fate #1 in February of next year, Dennis Culver and Chris Burnham will also be bringing us Unstoppable Doom Patrol, an ongoing series in March. As a big fan of the HBO Max series and their appearance in Batman Superman World’s Finest, I’m excited to see the team back in action. It’s been a couple of years since the Doom Patrol had their own series — Gerard Way and James Harvey’s “Weight of the Worlds” lasted just seven issues — and even longer since they had their own mainline series (over ten years!) I’m interested to see who the new characters are and how they will interact with the core group. I love the tagline “saving the world by saving its monsters!,” and can’t wait to see what shenanigans the Doom Patrol gets into.

– Andrew Isidoro

Green Lantern: John Stewart

From Phillip Kennedy Johnson and TBA

John Stewart has been the name that many fans associate with Green Lantern, especially due to Phil LaMarr’s excellent performance in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. And in recent years, he’s emerged in the spotlight thanks to Scott Snyder’s run on the main Justice League title as well as Geoffrey Thorne’s time on the Green Lantern series. Now Stewart’s adventures fall to Phillip Kennedy Johnson in the upcoming Green Lantern: John Stewart title. Johnson’s slowly made a name for himself due to his horrifyingly captivating work on Marvel’s Alien title as well as the Warworld Saga within the pages of Action Comics. That storyline saw Superman battling to liberate Warworld from the tyrannical clutches of Mongul, mixing a superheroic story with elements of a space opera. With Johnson continuing to work wonders with the Man of Steel, it’s safe to say that Stewart is in good hands regarding Dawn of DC. Even though an artist for the title has yet to be announced, there’s no doubt that Johnson will infuse the Green Lantern mythos with a new sense of life.

– Collier Jennings

Cyborg

From TBA and TBA

Victor Stone (aka Cyborg) is a character that’s always interested me. A man separated from much of his body, saved by a father who had oft been a stranger. A man leading a life that could have been a tragedy became that of a hero well loved by his friends and teammates. There’s a lot of layers to explore with that premise. However, I’ve best connected with the character when there was an actor playing the role. Whether the live action portrayals of Joivan Wade on Doom Patrol or Ray Fisher in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, or the voice acting done by Khary Payton in Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go!, Cyborg has clicked best with me in when there’s a real flesh and blood human embodying the role. While I’ve enjoyed the past series Cyborg and appearances the character has had, I’m still eagerly awaiting Vic’s adventures in the books to grab me the same way the actors have. We don’t know much about the upcoming series, but with a potential highlight role in the upcoming Lazarus Planet, it will be the perfect time for DC to take another shot. And I look forward to reading it.

Superboy, Man of Tomorrow

From Kenny Porter and Jahnoy Lindsay

The AIPT staff breaks down the first 10 titles from Dawn of DC

Cover to issue #1 from Jahnoy Lindsay. Courtesy of DC Comics.

Conner Kent finally seems to be getting some love. Whether you’ve followed him from his origins post-Death of Superman, or are a more recent fan coming from his appearances in the beloved Young Justice animated series, it’s not hard to recognize that even with appearances in Brian Michael Bendis’ Young Justice and Action Comics, as well as Robbie Thompson’s Suicide Squad, Superboy fans have been more than a little starved for content. I’ll admit that I haven’t read much of Kenny Porter’s work, and his contribution to Batman: Urban Legends didn’t wow me; however, I can only hope that the energy Porter exhibited in the aforementioned story can be transferred over to Conner in a way that gives fans, new and old, a story they can appreciate. Of course, if it doesn’t work out that way, I’m sure PKJ will give Conner something to do in Action Comics. I remain cautiously optimistic, especially since the Robins mini from last year’s Round Robin didn’t exactly blow me away either.

– Ellis Owens

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