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'Rebirth' rolls into book format

Detail from "Superman Vol. 1: Son of Superman" from DC's Rebirth initiative  [DC Comics]

Detail from "Superman Vol. 1: Son of Superman" from DC's Rebirth initiative  [DC Comics]

DC Comics' successful "Rebirth" initiative, first released in comic-book form in 2016, is making its way to bookstores, libraries and comic shops in collected form in the opening months of 2017.

The initiative was intended to take the characters back to their core, and embrace the best of DC Comics' past.

In the "Rebirth" one-shot, writer Geoff Johns teams up with several of the top artists in the industry — Gary Frank, Ivan Reis, Phil Jimenez and Ethan Van Sciver — to tell the tale of a time-lost hero trying to reconnect with his friends and family. The "DC Universe Rebirth Deluxe Edition" remains available after a December initial release.

In general, "Rebirth" refocused the DC Comics universe on hope and heroism.

Some of the creators who kicked off the "Rebirth" line included Tom King ("Batman"), Greg Rucka ("Wonder Woman") and Josh Williamson ("Flash"). Nine of the "Rebirth" collections hitting stores in January and February make a good primer for fans of the DC properties new and old as DC Entertainment prepares for the release of its "Justice League" film.

“We didn't want to hide from the elephant in the room of ‘Why is DC restarting again … all comics don't go anywhere, there's no ending,' ” King said in an interview with The Oklahoman.

“All those complaints are the same complaints I have about comics, and we wanted to talk about that and say, that's actually not a complaint about what comics is, that's the strength of the medium. The fact that it never ends and this is a story that connects thousands of creators for 75 years. And that's what makes it powerful and makes it magical."

DC Comics rebirth collected editions

The following titles are on sale now:

Green Arrow Vol. 1: The Death and Life of Oliver Queen — "With 'Rebirth,' Green Arrow will take over. He'll finally live up to that heroic mantle," writer Ben Percy told The Oklahoman. "Whereas before he was wandering the streets in civilian clothes, or in the office in business attire, or out on a date holding the hand of his latest squeeze, now, he's reaching for that quiver ready to live up to the title of social justice warrior."

Superman Vol. 1: Son of Superman — The world is without a Superman as "Superman: Rebirth" begins, but a Kal-El from an alternate Earth — the ones fans read about before DC's "New 52" reboot — has returned, married to Lois Lane and with a super-son of his own.

Aquaman Vol. 1: The Drowning (1/11/2017) — Black Manta returns as Aquaman attempts to make peace between Atlantis and the surface world.

Batman Vol. 1: I Am Gotham — The Caped Crusader must re-evaluate his methods when two superpowered characters — Gotham and Gotham Girl — make their way to his city.

"The main question I want to look at, and what most interests me about Batman ... the fact that he's human, the fact that he can die," King said in an interview with The Oklahoman. "That seems to separate him from all other superheroes. He's not Spider-Man, he's not Superman, he's not Wonder Woman. All he has is what all of us have — he just has that will."

The Flash Vol. 1: Lightning Strikes Twice — A brand-new speedster appears in Central City, and Barry Allen's former sidekick Wally West returns.

Justice League Vol. 1: The Extinction Machine — The Justice League as they welcomes new membership, but it's unclear if these new recruits can be trusted.

The following title goes on sale Wednesday:

Green Lantern Vol. 1: Rage Planet — Rookie Green Lanterns Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz are given what's known as the toughest beat in the universe: Earth.

The following titles will go on sale in February:

Detective Comics Vol. 1: Rise of the Batmen (on sale Feb. 1) — Batman and Batwoman bring together a team of allies: Red Robin, Spoiler and ex-villain Clayface.

Wonder Woman Vol. 1: The Lies (on sale Feb. 28) — New York Times best-selling writer Greg Rucka returns to again write Wonder Woman in the lead-up to next year's big-budget film. He's joined by artists Liam Sharp and Matt Clark to reveal secrets about Wonder Woman's past.

Matthew Price

Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s... Read more ›