Another year, another comic book relaunch. Honestly, is there any reason to feign surprise?
Though comic book fans have become accustomed to the inevitable annualised frequency of universal reboots – much like the event comics that dominated before – Marvel and DC have been attempting something entirely different these past few years; the former with relaunches of Marvel Now!, and the latter with a nostalgia-driven return to the company’s pre-New 52 days.
While we’re yet to see how Marvel’s latest approach to genre reboots pays off, it would be fair to say that, for the moment, DC Rebirth is currently knocking it out of the park, both critically and commercially.
It’s that blend of familiarity and innovation that resonated with DC’s fans that the New York company are aiming to replicate in their latest relaunch, with the brand retaining its biggest hits of the last year whilst also experimenting with lesser and even unknown characters. You’ve still got your Tony Starks and your T’Challas, but they’re now accompanied by newer legacy characters, like Riri Williams and Miles Morales. Yay!
But what exactly should you check out? Well, fret-not Marvellites, because there’s plenty new in this relaunch you won’t want to miss.
10. The Invincible Iron Man: Brian Bendis & Stefano Caselli
You’d have had to have been living under a rock to have missed this particular announcement.
Brian Bendis’ reveal that the young Riri Williams – a black teenager currently enrolled at MIT – would take over Tony Stark’s role as the Invincible Iron Man managed to shake the Twittersphere and then some; as is expected in a culture rampantly defined by its toxicity as it is celebrated for its progressive clout.
That’s not to ignore genuine grievances with Marvel either (its creative staff is, predominantly, comprised of white dudes), but the regressive, venomous and blatantly racist backlash against the character is something best left confined to the dustbin of comic book politics.
But I digress, as there’s plenty to admire when it comes to Brian Michael Bendis. The writer has countless critically-acclaimed runs to his name, including stints on Daredevil, Jessica Jones and, more recently, Iron Man. Here’s hoping he can leap off of Civil War II as easily as well hope.