Judge a (DC Comics) Book by its Cover

How the covers of DC Rebirth are telling the story of the publisher’s new initiative

The “Rebirth” initiative over at DC Comics is still in its early stages, but I’ve been curious enough (or at least enough of a sucker) to check out a few of the titles and have walked away largely impressed with what I’ve read. While looking through my stack, I noticed something that’s indicative of the thought and effort that DC has taken into consideration while executing on the the entire rollout of Rebirth.

Do you see it?

Each of the Rebirth one-shot covers is composed in a manner that literally brings the reader face to face with these heroes as they’re allowed to reintroduce themselves. Furthermore, these covers are actually reflective of the stories inside: We’re treated to brief recaps of where these heroes have been, coupled with glimpses and teases into the future of what’s coming next — all while being reminded just what it was about these heroes that have defined DC Comics for decades.

Now look at these covers for the actual first issue of each title and you’ll see it’s the same idea as the one-shots: The relationship between the cover and the content is married. We move from one character on the cover, to what’s presumably the rest of the cast moving forward. And each one of the covers is composed similarly to each of the other titles, just like the ‘Rebirth’ one-shots.

There’s a definitive design philosophy that’s occurring in each of these Rebirth titles that’s a larger sign of the publisher’s commitment to “getting back to the basics of the character again.” The New 52 often felt like a ploy to chase after some of the glory that Marvel was attaining at the time — and make no mistake, there’s still an element of that present in DC Rebirth — but the difference here is that there’s an overarching effort to make Rebirth feel cohesive in a way that’s echoing throughout the titles themselves.

This isn’t a particularly revelatory discovery — I seriously doubt I’m the first to acknowledge it — but since a cover is the first impression, it’s important to define intentions upfront. It’s refreshing and encouraging for the rest of Rebirth to see that DC recognizes that.

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