A History of Jim Lee Comic Book Reboots

Launching a new #1 issue isn’t foreign to Jim Lee. As news comes dripping out over the latest titles to be included in DC Comics’ latest relaunches, this time affecting the complete line and totaling over 50 issues, many are taking the time to reflect on previous Jim Lee Comic Reboot efforts, as well a DC comics relaunches in general.  I’ve reread many of these issues in the past year, and they all hold up very well, putting me on the less crowded side of the optimists regarding this latest reboot.

Jim Lee Comic Book Reboots: A Brief History

The “First” of the Jim Lee Comic Book Reboots

Jim Lee, as part of the rising stars comic book artists who were chosen by Marvel to introduce new adjectiveless titles of their main titles, took on the art duties for the new X-Men #1.  As was the case with Todd McFarlane’s launch of Spider-Man #1, both issues broke sales records.  This marks the beginning of now a long line of new #1 issues of  Jim Lee comic book reboots.

Jim Lee Comic Book Reboots : X-Men #1
One of the many variant covers by Jim Lee for X-Men #1

A Storm of New Jim Lee #1 issues

Again, not necessarily a reboot, but Jim Lee did launch more than a handful of #1 issues through Homage Studios/WildStorm, created after a bunch of young, promising artists decided to leave the major publishers to form Image comics to allow more creator control and credit. Among the most popular of these is of course WildCATs #1 and Stormwatch #1. This all comes full circle in the world of Jim Lee comic book reboots, as the current DC reboot includes the amalgamation of WildStorm characters into the new DC Universe, with a reboot of Stormwatch #1 as well as reboots of past WildCATs members with Grifter #1 and Voodoo #1.

Jim Lee Comic Book Reboots: WildCATs #1
WildCATs #1 launches the WildStorm Universe.

Jim Lee Comic Book Reboots of an Entire Universe

Jim Lee eventually return to help Marvel relaunch some of its most iconic characters through the “Heroes Reborn” storyline, taking on the penciling duties for the Fantastic Four Volume 2. I personally enjoyed Jim Lee’s run on the short lived Fantastic Four Volume 2, which features over a dozen issues that reintroduce the characters in a manner that stays true while at the same time feeling steeped within the year they were published, which was perfect to a reader new to these characters.  They still hold up well today, despite the timeline no being in effect.

Jim Lee Comic Book Reboot: Fantastic Four Volume 2
Fantastic Four volume 2 #1 is the first Jim Lee comic book reboot, and another of his series launches.

Jim Lee’s First DC Comics Reboot

Before his company-wide overall, Jim Lee launched a reboot of the Batman series under DC’s new All Star line. Titled All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, these issues were primed to be hit with such starpower included with the addition of Frank Miller.

Jim Lee Comic Book Reboots: All Star Batman
All-Star Batman teams Jim Lee with Frank Miller in this reboot of the popular franchise.

Jim Lee’s Great DC Comics Reboot

Now Jim Lee is in charge of DC Comics company wide reboot, bringing in his WildStorm universe into the fold, while personally penciling the flagship title of the Justice League, as well as having a hand in many of the costume redesigns that accompany this reboot. This is the apex in the history of Jim Lee Comic Book Reboots.

Previous DC Reboots

Still, this is not the first time DC Comics had rebooted its line. After Crisis on Infinite Earth, DC relaunched the history of their main characters, though they did not restart the title numbering, which makes the current reboot a much more complete relaunch. The Man of Steel mini-series by John Byrne retold Superman’s origin, taking in much of the mythology we know today and crunching it six issues. It introduced the Lex Luthor archetype we know today, making him the successful, resourceful businessman which, at the time, was only really ever featured in the movies, not the comic. This miniseries is still today a benchmark for origin stories, not to mention one of the most essential and timeless Superman stories.

Jim Lee Comic Book Reboots : Man of Steel
Man of Steel #1, a previous major DC Comics reboot.

What is your most anticipated Jim Lee comic book reboots?

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