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DC Rebirth Reading Order: A Guide to the Best Comics of the Era

Following our New 52 Reading Order, I thought about doing something similar for Rebirth, but have to admit not being quite content with my work. I found it way too massive and, in consequence, not easy to tackle. So, for the Rebirth era, I decided to not go full order and opt to highlight some of the best this era has to offer (what follows does not include out-of-continuity).

But first, what is Rebirth? We are in 2016 when DC relaunched its entire line of ongoing monthly superhero comic book titles. Using the end of The New 52 initiative in May 2016 as its launching point, DC Rebirth restored the DC Universe to a form much like that prior to the 2011 “Flashpoint” storyline while still incorporating numerous elements of The New 52, including its continuity. Like New 52, it was also a new entry point. Nearly all characters had their designs revised, some (like Wally West) reappeared, and others were revised.

It all begins with DC Universe: Rebirth (2016) #1. DC also issued one-shot Rebirth specials for the major characters, which are all collected in the DC Rebirth Omnibus Vol. 1, for those who want a taste and maybe choose the series you want to read. You don’t have to read them, and most of them are also collected in the first trade paperback of each character.

And now… Let’s explore a little bit of the DC Rebirth era!

DC Rebirth Reading Order: The Best Runs

Superman by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason

This Superman title focuses on the pre-Flashpoint Superman’s family, and follows the story through his son Jon Kent’s eyes. This is not an action-packed Superman, but more down-to-earth Supes, full of heartfelt moments. The run suffers from some interruptions in the narrative in his second part, but still one of the best titles from the DC era. And if you are interested to read it with Action Comics, we have a Superman Reading Order for that period!

You can also find this run in Omnibus form:

Super Sons by Peter J. Tomasi

We stay in the Superman family with the best team-up ever with Jon Kent and Damian Wayne. The boys of Superman and Batman go to live their own dangerous adventures in this fun title, though it must be noticed that Adventures of the Super Sons is quite optional, and not as good as the rest of this run. For more information, see our Super Sons Reading Order!

You can also find this run in Omnibus form:

  • Super Sons Omnibus Expanded Edition
    Collects Superman #10-11, Superman #37-38, Teen Titans #15, Super Sons #1-16, DC Rebirth Holiday Special #1, Super Sons Annual #1, Super Sons/Dynomutt Special #3, and Adventures of the Super Sons #1-12

Aquaman by Dan Abnett

Dan Abnett took over the Aquaman title for the last three issues of the New 52 and stay on for Rebirth, which began with a focus on Aquaman’s role as king and diplomat with Arthur attempting to strengthen Atlantis-surface relationships by opening an Atlantean embassy in Amnesty Bay, with Mera appointed as ambassador. The run helps develop Arthur as a man in service of peace and balance, a revolutionary hero of the people. This run is part of our selection of the Best Aquaman Comics to Read.

Deathstroke by Christopher Priest

Christopher Priest gives us his vision of Deathstroke, exploring his exploits as a mercenary and his tumultuous relationship with his ex-wife and children. What follows are some rich and complex storylines full of impracticability and very much in the morally gray area suited for Slade Wilson. To know more about Slade Wilson, check out our Deathstroke reading order.

You can also find this run in Omnibus form:

  • Deathstroke by Christopher Priest Omnibus (october 2021)
    Collects Deathstroke: Rebirth #1; Titans #11; Teen Titans #8-29; Deathstroke #1-50; Titans: The Lazarus Contract Special #1; DC Holiday Special 2017 #1; Deathstroke Annual (Rebirth) #1

Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka

Greg Rucka made his comeback on Wonder Woman (see the Wonder Woman Reading Order) at the beginning of the Rebirth era with an ambitious story told with two timelines, jumping from one to the other with each issue, confronting who is really Wonder Woman.

Also collected in Deluxe Editions

Hawkman by Robert Venditti

The real Carter Hall returns as Hawkman to the DC Universe in Dark Days: The Forge. Don’t worry, you don’t have to read Dark Nights: Metal to appreciate Venditti’s run on the character, where he tried to make some sense of Hawkman’s messy origins and also explored his relationship with Hawkgirl. One of those underrated titles of the Rebirth era, worth checking out.

Nightwing by Tim Seeley

No doubt Tim Seeley loves Nightwing and became one of the most emblematic writers for the character. So nothing surprising that most part of his run during this era is also worth reading. Seeley mostly shines in the characterization of Dick Grayson and his dynamics with members of his family and close friends.

New Super-Man by Gene Luen Yang 

The first two years of DC Rebirth were really good for the Superman family and clearly the best of this era. It also introduced us to New Super-Man, a Chinese teenager named Kong Kenan who gains a portion of Superman’s power. Unfortunately, he hasn’t appeared much since the end of this title.

4 other DC Rebirth Runs may be worth checking out (and the Dark Nights event) …

To go further in DC Rebirth, what follows is a selection of a few runs where you could find something you like.

Detective Comics Rebirth by James Tynion IV

If you love your solitary Batman, Detective Comics by James Tynion IV is not for you, as this is a Bat-team title. Batman and Batwoman are the leaders of a group featuring Spoiler, Orphan, Clayface, and Red Robin. To know more about this run in the Batman Rebirth era, we invite you to consult our Batman Rebirth reading order (where you will find the very divisive Tom King’s run).

Also collected in Deluxe Hardcover

Justice League Dark by James Tynion IV

The magic side of DC is not always well-treated and DC showed it some love with this title. Creatures from beyond reality have arrived to reclaim magic, and Wonder Woman knows she will need help from the experts to stop it. She led a team consisting of Zatanna, Swamp Thing, Man-Bat, and Detective Chimp, with Constantine acting in a consulting capacity. For a more detailed reading order of all the Justice Leagues of the Rebirth era, go to our dedicated reading order.

Like Abnett, Benjamin Percy was already writing Green Arrow during New 52, and remained the principal writer for Rebirth. Percy will be more inspired during this era, in which he restored Green Arrow as a politically conscious figure and revisited Green Arrow and Black Canary relationship.

Green Arrow by Benjamin Percy

The Flash by Joshua Williamson

Joshua Williamson had a long tenure on The Flash, maybe the longest for any writer during this era. During his time, he created a lot of characters, brought back old ones, and stuck to continuity.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lanterns by Robert Venditti

Since Geoff Johns massive run on Green Lantern, let’s say it has been hard for writers to leave their marks. Venditti was already written on Green Lantern during New 52 and, like a number of authors, seems to have given better stories with Rebirth. But, you could prefer Green Lanterns.

Dark Nights: Metal and Death Metal, the two most important DC events of the era

Let me begin by telling you that I haven’t finished Dark Knights: Metal and haven’t read Death Metal, as I found what I read to be convoluted and not really making sense. But I can’t ignore it has been a success for DC and the only real major event of this era. For more information go see our Dark Nights: Metal Reading Order and Dark Nights: Death Metal Reading Order, its sequel.

  • Dark Nights: Metal Omnibus
     Collects Dark Nights: Metal #1-6, Dark Days: The Forge #1, Dark Days: The Casting #1, Batman: The Red Death #1, Batman: The Devastator #1, Batman: The Merciless #1, Batman: The Murder Machine #1, Batman: The Drowned #1, Batman: The Dawnbreaker #1, Dark Nights: The Batman Who Laughs #1, Batman: Lost #1, Hawkman: Found #1, Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1, Nightwing (2016) #29, The Flash #33, Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps (2016) #32, Green Arrow (2016) #32, Suicide Squad (2016) #26, Teen Titans (2016) #12, And Justice League (2016) #32-33.

After DC Rebirth

DC Rebirth was followed by a short era called Infinite Frontier, and we have a complete reading order for this period!

Last Updated on June 18, 2023.