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DC Entertainment’s comic book Rebirth — details of which were unveiled this weekend — places a new emphasis on the company’s core concepts and characters at a time when the movie Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice has raised the profile of those same characters. But are newcomers who enjoyed the movie ready for multiple Supermen and teams of teenage crimefighters being taught by Batman?
While Wonder Woman may have been the breakout character of Batman v. Superman, she remains stalled on only one comic book series for the time being. The same is true of her fellow cinematic Justice League newcomers, with Cyborg, Flash and Aquaman all holding down one title apiece. Expect that to change as the Wonder Woman solo movie grows closer, especially if the buzz surrounding Gal Gadot’s performance continues to build.
It’s a different story when it comes to Batman and Superman, however. In addition to relaunches of both Batman and Detective Comics — the latter of the two will become an ensemble piece, with Batman and the returning Batwoman teaching the next generation of Gotham City crime fighters — the Caped Crusader will get a third series with All-Star Batman, a new monthly comic book focused on re-examining the big name villains of the Bat-mythology.
It’s the Superman franchise that sees the greatest expansion, however — and not just in terms of comic books. Come Rebirth, there will be no less than four different characters calling themselves Superman (or, in one case, Super-Man), alongside a brand-new Superwoman, Superboy and the returning Supergirl. The core Superman series will be Superman, featuring the “regular” Man of Steel and Action Comics, featuring both Lex Luthor’s ersatz Superman and an older Superman from an alternate world, with new spinoff series including New Super-Man, starring a Chinese teen with the powers of Superman; Superwoman, details of which remain under wraps; and a relaunched Supergirl series.
Additionally, Superman and Batman will share two more series. The first, Super-Sons, revives an old “alternate world” concept from the 1970s — that the heroes have teen sons who follow in their footsteps as superheroes — and sets it in the core mythology by pushing Damian Wayne, Batman’s son and current Robin, together with Jonathan, the son of Action Comics‘ alternate-world Superman.
The second is a series that is likely to appeal to fans who came out of Batman v. Superman having enjoyed the climactic battle sequence: Trinity, a series that will team Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman on an ongoing basis without, it should be hoped, anyone dying as a result.
Rebirth makes a significant push for the Bat- and Super-brands that mimics Marvel’s comic book attempts to turn individual superheroes into multiple-character franchises, and a gamble that likely became a little easier fresh off a massively successful opening weekend for Batman v. Superman.
Of course, with the comic book Rebirth not arriving in stores until June, it remains to be seen how many non-comic book readers will even remember Batman v. Superman, or whether Captain America: Civil War or X-Men: Apocalypse, both of which are set for release in May, will have taken precedence.
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