When 2020 ends DC Comics will find itself at a restart point. As we saw with their December 2020 solicitations, DC Comics is making sure that they end all their big storylines, such as Dark Nights: Death Metal and Justice League: Endless Winter, as they enter 2021. On top of that over the last few months DC Comics has been slowly canceling several ongoing series per month in the second half of the year. Then there is the fact that Joshua Williamson wrapping up his run on Flash later this month and Brian Bendis just announced he is also ending his work on the Superman Family titles in December.
When you add all of that up DC Comics has set themselves up to begin 2021 with a fresh start across their publishing line. That fresh start should include a tight focus on what the actual publishing line should be. To do so I’ve created a Fantasy Draft of sorts for what 20 comic books should make up the core of the DC Comics publishing line and which writers I would tap to work on them.
Note this does not include any mini-series or digital only titles, like the announced Milestone Comics relaunch that has been announced to all be digital exclusive titles. This is purely a focus on the comic books DC Comics will publish for both comic book stores and digital platforms with same-day releases.
Writer: James Tynion
Batman is one of the comic books that does not need or should have a change in writer. James Tynion is just wrapping up his first year on Batman with his first big storyline in “Joker War” creating a new status quo for Gotham City as a whole. Under Tynion Batman has maintained a top selling spot and majority of his issues have been reordered for second and third printing. That is thanks to Tynion injecting new life into the Batman franchise by introducing characters like The Designer, Punchline, and Clown Hunter who have all immediately caught fans attention. In the post-“Joker War” status quo Tynion can continue to develop the idea that Gotham City is being rebuilt and heading into the Neo Gotham direction that we see in the Batman Beyond future.
Writer: Peter Tomasi
The two main Batman books are best when they compliment each other by taking different directions. That’s what made Tom King’s Batman and James Tynion’s Detective Comics so fun to follow simultaneously during the Rebirth Era. Now DC Comics can continue that by keeping Peter Tomasi on Detective Comics. As he showed before “Joker War,” Tynion enjoys telling Batman stories by using classic Batman villains. That should continue as Tynion develops more new villains while Tomasi uses classic villains like Two-Face and Penguin for his run. It’ll be the best of both worlds for Batman fans.
Writer: Kelly Sue Deconnick
Nightwing is one of the character that is in most need of a fresh start. The character has been through so much with the most recent change to the character becoming Ric Grayson falling flat on its face. That’s where Kelly Sue DeConnick can step in. She has shown through her past work with Captain Marvel that she knows how to write quippy characters who are well connected to their universe. She can bring that same energy to Nightwing as Dick Grayson can reclaim his life while also building what Bludhaven is in the Neo Gotham direction the franchise is going.
Writer: G. Willow Wilson
We saw with the latest events in “Joker War” that Barbara Gordon is reassessing her current path. DC Comics should take that further by having Barbara merge her Batgirl and Oracle life. In the process Barbara can form her own Birds of Prey while becoming a mentor to two former Batgirls in Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain. This way Barbara can serve a role both on the front lines and behind the scenes depending on the story. Bringing in G. Willow Wilson would help in that as she has shown she knows how to write young, up-and-coming heroes from her Ms. Marvel run.
Writer: David F. Walker
After a brief stint under the superhero name of Drake, Tim Drake came back to his senses and went back to his Robin identity and iconic costume. Now with so much confusion with Tim’s character as of late DC Comics should show why he was successful as Robin with a long running solo series pre-Flashpoint. There is already a set-up for the character in place to have Tim actually go to college after what happened over in Detective Comics during Tynion’s run. And David F. Walker would be a great choice for that as he has been working on writing the character alongside Brian Bendis over in Young Justice. A Robin title would be a great chance for Walker to show what he can do solo after his good work on Young Justice and Naomi.
Writer: Ram V
Sort of like Batman and Detective Comics, Ram V should have the chance to continue his work on Catwoman. He just started his run on the series. Through his work on Catwoman and Justice League Dark, Ram V has shown he knows how to write fun and dark adventures. Seeing what he can do as Catwoman continues to break out on her own once again should be something we see continue in 2021.
Writer: Che Grayson
Harley Quinn’s profile continues to grow with every appearance she has with comics, movies and TV shows. There is no point in stopping that. “Joker War” has firmly positioned her as fully breaking away from Joker. It also has presented Harley Quinn with a #1 adversary in Punchline, if DC Comics decides to keep her as a villain. Che Grayson has already shown in the story she wrote for the DC Cybernetic Summer Anthology comic that she knows how to write a fun Harley Quinn. Seeing what Grayson can do in an extend run with Harley Quinn in this new status quo for the character would then raise her profile as a rising talent in the industry, something DC Comics needs to do more of.
Writer: Robert Venditti
Unless Dark Nights: Death Metal reboots the DC Universe the company finds themselves in an odd spot with Superman. Brian Bendis new status quo for the franchise of the world knowing that Superman and Clark Kent are the same person isn’t something DC can run away from. If they are going to maximize this direction Bendis is leaving the franchise in there is no better person than Robert Venditti to take over. Venditti already proved he can take on the franchise with his run on the Superman: Man of Tomorrow digital series. Channeling that for the main Superman book to explore Clark and Lois marriage and how that factors into the new world order for the Man of Steel could be a strong hook.
Writer: Mark Waid
Like with Batman and Detective Comics having top writers on Superman’s two main comics should always happen. And with the rumors of Mark Waid returning to DC Comics there is no better title for Waid to write than Superman. Waid understands the iconic status that Superman has and could bring that with the new direction the character is on. And like he’s done in the past decade over at Marvel, DC could pair Waid up with one of their newer writers that he can mentor to possibly take over Action Comics in a year or two.
Writer: Magdalene Visaggio
One of the things that DC Comics needs to do a better job of is bringing newer talent into their ranks. For far to long they’ve relied on known names but in the current comic book landscape that isn’t good enough anymore. Magdalene Visaggio is one of the rising talents in the industry, having being nominated for several awards and her Vagrant Queen series being turned into a TV show. Bringing her in to work on a series like Supergirl will help give new energy to the character. Which is definitely needed after Supergirl’s experience as one of Batman Who Laugh’s Infected during the Year of the Villain direction.
Writer: Mariko Tamaki
2021 must be the year that DC Comics dedicates to expanding how big the Wonder Woman franchise should be. Mariko Tamaki and Steve Orlando have already planted the seeds to do just that with the Amazons creating a embassy to work with the rest of the world. Having only started her run on Wonder Woman, Tamaki should get the chance to continue her work on this front. Expanding how Donna Troy, Cassandra Sandsmark, and the Amazons work in this status quo can open things up for more Wonder Woman related titles in the future like the Batman and Superman Family have.
Writer: Brian Bendis
With Brian Bendis ending his run on Superman while still being under contract with DC Comics the question is what would be the best fit for him? Many would say Batman but he is already getting his fill of that with the Batman Universe Walmart books. What would really fit Bendis’ talents would be working on The Flash series. Joshua Williamson is already leaving The Flash franchise in a strong place. Bendis can take that and expand on how the Flash work while working on a franchise that more closely fits his writing style.
Writer: Brian Bendis
Since Bendis is someone that we see working on multiple titles launching a new Impulse title would be fitting. Williamson has already expanded the concept of the Speed Force and Forces in the DCU in general. Plus Bendis has experience writing Bart Allen through his Young Justice work. So having him on Impulse can further compliment his work on The Flash and further re-establish Bart’s position in the DCU since returning not that long ago.
GREEN LANTERN CORPS
Writer: David F. Walker
David F. Walker is a writer more DC fans should know about as he had an overlooked run on Cyborg and has been working with Bendis on Young Justice and Naomi. DC Comics should give Walker a bigger chance to break out as a big name talent by giving him a high profile series. And it is also about time DC Comics tells Grant Morrison to loosen his grip on the Green Lantern as there is a lot of untapped potential with the franchise. Giving Walker a Green Lantern Corps title can show that potential and use a lot of characters that have been sidelined because of Morrison’s The Green Lantern work. Plus, DC Comics should capitalize on the success of Far Sector’s Jo Mullein and Green Lantern: Legacy’s Tai Pham and have them act as rookies who get further training from veterans like John Stewart, Kyle Rayner, and Guy Gardner.
GREEN ARROW & BLACK CANARY
Writer: Jody Houser
After being MIA for a while now it is time for Green Arrow and Black Canary go get another shot at a new series. Having both Justice Leaguers on the same title will help further their relationship while giving the comic a different hook from the Batman comics that the Green Arrow franchise is always compared to. Jody Houser has already shown through her work on comics like Supergirl and Black Widow that she knows how to write both grounded and traditional heroes. Having a mix of that with the skill set both Green Arrow and Black Canary bring to the table can work really well.
Writer: Bryan Hill
Bryan Hill quietly had a very good run going in Batman & The Outsiders as he has focused on telling a long-term Ra’s Al Ghul story. One of the lead characters in that run has been Black Lightning. With this experience writing Black Lightning in a team setting Hill has shown how to write a compelling version of the character. With the success of the CW Black Lightning show this would be a good chance to give the character another shot at having a solo series. Having someone with experience writing the modern day version of Black Lightning will give the series built-in momentum.
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Honestly Aquaman is the one character and franchise I’m least familiar with. But given how Aquaman is a big part of the Justice League and the direction of the DCEU there is no reason for the character not to keep his solo series going. Dan Jurgens is someone that has an affinity for writing classic superhero tales and could fit well with working within Aquaman’s mythology from what I know of it.
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Joshua Williamson showed through his work on The Flash that he is a big name talent. Taking over Justice League would solidify that spot for Williamson. He is already showing he knows how to write the Justice League with his work on the tie-in comics to Dark Nights: Death Metal. Giving him the full shot to be the person to take on DC Comics premier team would fully establish Williamson’s spot and give him a chance to build the foundation for what is next for the DCU.
Writer: Robert Venditti
Venditti has not hidden the fact that he is a Justice Society of America fan. He’s shown that through the course of his Hawkman run. Morphing his Hawkman work into a new Justice Society series would work extremely well. Plus it is about time DC Comics stopped teasing us about getting the Justice Society back into continuity. Scott Snyder and other writers have been working the team back into the DCU. Now in the post-Death Metal DCU it is time for the trigger to be pulled to what Justice Society series would look like in 2021.
Writer: Jordie Bellaire
Jordie Bellaire is a name most DC Comics fans likely know from her work coloring various comic books. Through her work on BOOM! Studios’ Buffy: The Vampire Slayer Bellaire has shown to have immense talents as writer. DC Comics should recognize that and give her the chance to start working on more of their books as a writer. The Titans franchise as a whole needs to have a fresh voice to show why it should be considered a prime DC Comics title. Bellaire can do just that as she has shown a great handle of writing a team dynamic with the Scooby Gang in the Buffy series.
Writer: Tom Taylor
With a movie by James Gunn and video game by Rocksteady there is no way a new DC Comics line-up can be missing a Suicide Squad comic book. The Suicide Squad is only going to be getting bigger in 2021. DC Comics needs to ride that momentum with a new comic book. And there is no one better than Tom Taylor to have Suicide Squad set as a big deal. He already has a firm grasp of the franchise with his work with the team in 2020. And after his work on DCeased and Injustice further elevating his profile with DC Comics fans, there really is no one better to continue to write Suicide Squad than Taylor.
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