Review: Flash Vol. 8: Zoom hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

There's double the pressure on a comic book with its own ongoing TV series, especially when The Flash is the best of the CW's DC Comics shows. I don't necessarily believe a comic needs to contort itself to match its onscreen translation, but television's Flash is so good that one wouldn't think the comics' creative teams would have so much difficulty with the same character.

But Flash Vol. 8: Zoom is another troubled outing from Robert Venditti and Van Jensen, whose individual work I've enjoyed on Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps respectively. The story is over-long and overwrought, something that's plagued these writers on their Flash volumes previous. They also have the double-trouble of trying to follow not one but two writers' wildly popular stories about the titular "Zoom," and also of telling a story recently told very similarly -- and better -- on the show. Such handy comparisons only serve to spotlight this book's problems.
Collected Editions 2017 Comic Book Gift Guide

Review: Justice League 3001 Vol 2: Things Fall Apart trade paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, December 26, 2016

There are moments that made me think Justice League 3001 Vol. 2: Things Fall Apart was the best of this futuristic four-volume series, but true to the title, in the end things fall apart. Writers Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis leave no punch pulled, reserving the book's final issue for its most serious moments and its most absurd. Loyal readers come this far only to find the joke's on them, but if you're going to appreciate Giffen and DeMatteis (especially Giffen), then it's going to mean laughing at yourself and the vagaries of comic books as well. This collected edition, however, includes an impressive extra that mitigates somewhat how this book concludes.

Sunday Talkback for 12-25-16

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Happy holidays and happy new year! If you've enjoyed your cheer and now you're browsing the interwebs, we've got a Collected Editions open thread for your enjoyment.

So tell us: What comics have you been gifted lately? What were your notable comics moments of the year? Or hey, how's it going?

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Review: Justice League 3001 Vol. 1: Deja Vu All Over Again trade paperback (DC Comics)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis ramp up wild and wacky to its highest degree in Justice League 3001 Vol. 1: Deja Vu All Over Again, the fourth volume in their 3000/3001 saga. The writers manage to populate their 31st century with an almost absurd (probably purposefully) number of current DC Comics characters, from A-list and B-list Justice Leaguers all the way through more esoteric characters from deep in the DC mythos. Thus far, the 3000 books have struggled somewhat to balance Justice League action with the writers' trademark bicker-talk, not always successfully; with Deja Vu, the book gives itself over talking, often eschewing the action entirely, and it improves the tone overall. By this point 3001's got a pretty large cast, and it begins to feel like familiar, comfortable territory for Giffen especially, who juggled large casts in his well-regarded Legion of Super-Heroes runs with aplomb.

DC Trade Solicitations for March 2017 - Batman: Legacy, Superman Triangle Titles, Flash by Mark Waid Book Two, Young Justice Book One

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

In our last DC Comics hardcover and trade paperback solicitations for 2016 (from the DC March 2017 solicitations), we see not only a variety of Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 Rebirth trades, but also a whole bunch of really cool reprints -- the first of a multi-volume Batman: Legacy series, Flash by Mark Waid Book Two, Justice League: Breakdowns, the post-Zero Hour Legionnaries, the first just-pre-"Triangle Titles" Superman: Man of Tomorrow collection, Young Justice Book One, and more.

Plus, more news on how DC will collect the Batman crossover "Night of the Monster Men," and a pre-Rebirth Batman/Superman collection with trade-exclusive content!

Let it snow and let's take a look.

All Star Batman Vol. 1: My Own Worst Enemy HC

As many of you noticed in DC's earlier solicitations, the Rebirth "paperback first" rule does not seem to extend to crossover collections nor to "special" series, likely ones DC discerns readers would be willing to pay hardcover prices for. One such, not surprisingly, is Scott Snyder's All Star Batman, which sees its first collection of issues #1-5 in hardcover.

Aquaman Vol. 2: Black Manta Rising TP

The second collection of Dan Abnett's Rebirth Aquaman series collects issues #7-15.

Batman Vol. 2: I Am Suicide TP

The contents solicited for Batman Vol. 2: I Am Suicide are issues #9-15, whereas Vol. 1 collected issues #1-6. Yes, that means if these solicitations hold, the only place you can read the Batman issues of the "Night of the Monster Men" crossover is in the Night of the Monster Men hardcover itself. It looks, however, like the same is true for the second Detective Comics collection, and the first Nightwing collection simply skips those issues altogether within itself.

That Nightwing approach is controversial; what I'd really like is for each individual book to collect its own issues, since I'm buying the individual books anyway, and then I can just read across the trades as I like. But, my foremost concern is not feeling like I have to double-dip, so if all the "Monster Men" issues will be collected in their own trade and none of them will be collected in their individual series, that's better, at least. I simply don't want a situation, like Green Lantern: Godhead or Superman: Doomed, where one or two issues are isolated in a crossover trade and all the other issues are in individual books.

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey Vol. 1: Who is Oracle? TP

Collects issues #1-6 and the Rebirth special.

Green Arrow Vol. 2: Island of Scars TP

Collects issues #6-11.

Green Lanterns Vol. 2: The Phantom Lantern TP

Collects issues #7-14.

Justice League Vol. 2: Outbreak TP

Collects issues #6-11.

Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 1: Dark Trinity TP

Collects issues #1-6 and the Rebirth special

Superman -- Action Comics Vol. 2: Welcome to the Planet TP

Collects Action Comics #963-966.

Superman Vol. 2: Trial of the Super Sons TP

Collects issues #7-13

Batman: Legacy Vol. 1 TP

A new collection of the Batman: Legacy crossover has been on and off the schedule for a while, so it's good to see it finally, officially solicited. This is notably called "Volume 1," and the issues listed are a curious set of pre-"Legacy" stories -- Robin #31 (collected in the previous Legacy trade but I think about one page leads in to "Legacy"); Catwoman #33-35 (of which only #35-36 were collected in the previous Legacy trade, and #33-34 are lead-ins); Shadow of the Bat #53 and Batman #533 (both labeled "Legacy preludes"); and Detective Comics #697-700, of which the former two were generally unconnected issues between "Contagion" and "Legacy" (whereas this trade collects Detective "long" and Shadow and Batman "short," the recent new Contagion trade collected Shadow and Batman leading up to this point).

I would like to see the Bane of the Demon miniseries included, but otherwise DC is doing a bang-up job of collecting this era of Batman with few holes.

Batman/Two-Face: Face the Face Deluxe Edition HC

Circa 2006, just after Infinite Crisis, when the "One Year Later" Batman story "Face the Face" came out, I'd have absolutely devoured a hardcover instead of the paperback. Now I'm pretty well beyond it, but a new deluxe edition is a curious artifact. Leaving aside that new publication of James Robinson's DC work is a good thing, artists here were JSA's Leonard Kirk and Don Kramer, two great artists who for whatever reason don't have the celebrity status of some others, and for their work to be reprinted in deluxe format is surely deserved.

My original review of Face the Face notes not so much the Two-Face story as Robinson's presentation of a "kinder, gentler" Batman in the wake of some of his War Games and Infinite Crisis antagonism; remember Face the Face in many respects bridged what came before to Grant Morrison's "hairy-chested love-god" era of Batman, which directly lead into Scott Snyder's New 52 version and the present day.

Batman/Superman Vol. 6: Universe’s Finest HC

If you consider that the other Super-titles that this volume crosses over with saw/will see their collections by the end of December 2016, and this collection doesn't come out until March 2017, it's fairly late, and especially to be set prior to the events of DC Rebirth. That said, this collects issues #28-32 plus the never-published issues #33-34 and Annual #3 -- so, in-continuity trade-first stories -- and I am chomping at the bit to read these (and in Superman/Wonder Woman Vol. 5: A Savage End) and see what they are.

Earth 2: Society Vol. 3: A Whole New World TP

The Earth 2: Society series ends with issue #22 (also solicited this month), so we can assume that this collection of issues #13-16 and the first Annual will be the second-to-last collection.

Flash by Mark Waid Book Two TP

Collects issues #69-79, the Annual #6, Green Lantern #30-31 and #40, and a story from Justice League Quarterly #10. That is the "Gorilla Warfare" crossover with Green Lantern (issues #69-70 and the first two Lantern issues), a Dr. Alchemy story (timely), and then into "Return of Barry Allen." Issues #74-79 are previously collected (and one page each from issue #72-73), and the rest is new to collection, including Green Lantern #40. Annual #6 is a "Bloodlines" crossover that introduces the Argus character who'll show up again later;

Justice League: Breakdowns TP

At some point this collection showed up online as Breakdowns Vol. 1, but the contents here show the full "Breakdowns" story from Justice League America and Justice League Europe, detailing the end of Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis's "Bwa-ha-ha" era. The end of this book leads right into the recently-published Superman and the Justice League collections; hopefully good pre-orders of this book might trigger more of the Justice League International collections of the beginning of this series (collections currently go up to America #35 and Europe #11, vs. this book's #52 and #29 respectively).

Legionnaires Book One TP

Collects the beginning of the popular post-Zero Hour Legion reboot by Tom McCraw, Tom Peyer, and Mark Waid. Issues #0 and #62-65 of Legion of Super-Heroes and #0 and #19-22 of Legionnaires have already been collected, but #66-68 and #23-24 respectively are new to trade. Next volume could collect a crossover with Karl Kesel's Superboy and Underworld Unleashed tie-ins.

Suicide Squad Most Wanted: El Diablo TP
Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Killer Croc/Boomerang/Amanda Waller TP

Apparently after the Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot/Katana miniseries, this second mini moves to even more of an anthology series with a leading El Diablo story and then a backup story, first with Captain Boomerang, then Killer Croc, then Amanda Waller. So all told these two collections together collect all of the second Most Wanted series. (The latter collection is titled Suicide Squad: Secret File online.)

Superman: The Man of Tomorrow Book One HC

It's here! The long-awaited first book to collect the Superman "Triangle Titles" era of the 1980s and 1990s, arguably the greatest modern era of Superman that saw Lois and Clark engaged and included the best-selling "Death of Superman" storyline. The first book has Adventures of Superman #445-450 and Superman #23-27, so picking up right where the John Byrne Superman: The Man of Steel Vol. 9 left off. These are previously uncollected stories leading into the (collected) Superman: Exile storyline, which see Superman dealing with a proto-Brainiac in the aftermath of his controversial actions in the "Supergirl Saga," plus an increasingly violent Gangbuster and an Invasion! crossover.

Wonder Woman: Who is Wonder Woman? TP New Edition

Going along with the new printing of James Robinson's "One Year Later" Batman story is this new edition of Allan Heinberg and Terry Dodson's "One Year Later" Wonder Woman story. I called this at the time "Hush for Wonder Woman" since it involves a large swath of Diana's villains, as was en vogue at the time. Though this is the title that would ultimately lead to the much derided Amazons Attack, it came out the other side with Gail Simone's Wonder Woman run. The ways in which this story hearkened back to the Lynda Carter television series makes reprinting it now pretty sensible.

Young Justice Book One TP

The second-best news after the Young Justice cartoon getting a third season is a new, hopefully complete and definitive, series of collections of Peter David's Young Justice comic. This first volume collects nothing that wasn't already in the JLA: World Without Grown-Ups and Young Justice: A League of Their Own collections, but the series is mostly uncollected from there so the next volume should get into new stuff.

One last time for 2016, what's on your buying list? What comics are you hoping to get as gifts this year?

Review: Justice League 3000 Vol. 2: The Camelot War trade paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, December 19, 2016

Sometimes the best ideas can come from desperation, and that seems no more apparent than in Justice League 3000 Vol. 2: The Camelot War. I find it hard to believe the twist in this story was planned from the start, but be that as it may, it's what got me reading Justice League 3000 in the first place.

As in the first volume, this book is well-plotted, though the repetitive bickering between writers Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis's stock Leaguers Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman grates after a while. The book is invigorated considerably, however, by the addition of two of the writers' best-known characters, whose voices are so synonymous with Giffen's brand of unfunny funniness that it seems less gimmicky and more natural. Also helpful are a couple of new-old characters (new characters in old bodies and old characters in new bodies), whose voices as well freshen the patter that threatens to grow stale.

Review: Justice League 3000 Vol. 1: Yesterday Lives trade paperback (DC Comics)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Justice League 3000 Vol. 1: Yesterday Lives is the most Keith Giffen-est and J. M. DeMatteis-est comic since the two paired on Justice League International, and depending how you feel about that will largely determine how you feel about this series. Giffen writing a future-set series is in and of itself notable, though Legion of Super-Heroes references are few; admittedly, I probably wouldn't continue with this series based on the first volume if I wasn't specifically here for the appearances of other characters later in this book and the Justice League 3001 that follows. Certainly JLA's Howard Porter's work is strong here, and he does well in depicting the series' both action-packed and sillier sequences.

Review: New Talent Showcase #1 (DC Comics)

Monday, December 12, 2016

That DC Comics is holding Talent Development workshops for writers, artists, and apparently editors seems a very good thing. On one hand, this is the exactly right measure of giving back by comics creators whose "breaks" are still in recent memory like Geoff Johns and Scott Snyder; as "breaking in" loses a modicum of its mystique, it's spot on that DC should be fostering the process. On the other hand, as composing for the cohesive DC Universe becomes more like a television show's collaborative writers' room -- and the pressure is often on writers to forego their individual stories for the good of the whole -- it behooves DC to have a cadre of writers trained in house who take as their marching orders to support that whole. So as a DC fan I feel the New Talent Showcase #1 sampling of their work is worth encouraging.

Review: Batman Vol. 9: Bloom hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

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Thursday, December 08, 2016

After over seventy-five years of Batman stories, it's not unreasonable to ask why we still need yet another, and another. The answer is that in the retellings, in the interpretations, as we learn more about Batman and see him from a myriad angles, in the process learn more about ourselves.

There's a wonderful push-and-pull in Scott Snyder's Batman Vol. 9: Bloom, as in one powerful chapter Snyder makes an impassioned argument for the importance of Batman's return, and then just a chapter or so later equally demonstrates why Batman does not matter nearly as much as the people who read about him. As if bringing to close a play, Snyder's got his key players on the stage, and there are issue-long soliloquies that may go on to define for decades some of Batman's most notable allies and foes.

Review: Batman Vol. 8: Superheavy hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

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Monday, December 05, 2016

Batman Vol. 8: Superheavy continues the wild, twisting saga of Scott Snyder's Batman. This all began routinely enough with the exceptional but arguably traditional Night of the Owls books, followed also by the relatively traditional Death of the Family. But somewhere toward the end of Death of the Family, as perhaps the iconography of Snyder's Joker even more so than the story reached ubiquity and the notoriety of this run became something else, so did Snyder's run itself.

With Zero Year, Snyder reached escape velocity from the grim and gritty of Frank Miller's Batman that pervaded for decades, even into Grant Morrison's run. In the fourth volume Snyder's Batman achieved a new level of fluorescence and flamboyance, a Batman who operates in the sun. Snyder's Batman fights, in some respects, scarier and more real-world terrors than the Batman who fought macabre terrors in the shadows. And with Superheavy, Snyder's Batman has in some respects reached the apex and beyond of what this Batman can be -- a Batman who fought the Joker in public view, a Batman whom Gotham City believes gave his life for them, and further, a Batman they've now tried to replace with a gaudy robotic suit. In part one of Snyder's denouement, he's no doubt purposefully stretched these concepts as far as they will go.

DC Rebirth Deluxe Hardcovers, Batgirl Stephanie Brown, Batman Year Two, Zero Year, Batwoman by Rucka, Wonder Woman by Byrne, Aquaman by Johns, Justice League of America: Road to Rebirth, more in DC Comics Summer 2017 solicitations

Friday, December 02, 2016

The weather outside is frightful, but inside it's DC Comics's Summer 2017 trade paperback and hardcover collection solicitations!

As we just learned the other day, DC will be collecting the first two volumes of their Rebirth paperbacks in hardcover on the same day as the third volumes are released -- Superman, Batman, Justice League, Hal Jordan and the Green Lanterns, Flash, and Action Comics are all listed below.

There's not a lot on this list that I found very surprising, but we do see the next reprint collections of Dennis O'Neil's Azrael, Marv Wolfman's Deathstroke, the Terminator, Chuck Dixon's Nightwing and Robin, and the post-Crisis Green Lantern series, as well as Supergirl books both from the Peter David run and the later Kara Zor-El stories, and the next volume of Greg Rucka's pre-Flashpoint Wonder Woman.

There's also a new collection of John Byrne's Wonder Woman, a Batman: Zero Hour collection, new collections of Stephanie Brown as Batgirl and Greg Rucka's complete Batwoman stories, more post-Crisis Batman, the end of the "Sub Diego"-era Aquaman stories, Jack Kirby's Super Powers, and a Legion Lost collection that also includes the "Legion of the Damned" issues.

So not a bad take altogether. Let's take a look!

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Note that all of this information is subject to change before publication. Not all links may yet be functional.

Adam Strange: Planet Heist (New Edition)
Adam Strange: The Silver Age Omnibus

I liked this Adam Strange miniseries when it came out, a prelude to Infinite Crisis's Rann-Thanagar War, by Andy Diggle and Pasqual Ferry, though the miniseries both other creative teams that followed fizzled after a while. This plus the Silver Age Omnibus and Death of Hawkman suggests to me some new emphasis on Adam Strange coming up in Rebirth, maybe a dedicated cosmic DC title besides the Green Lantern franchise.

Aquaman by Geoff Johns Omnibus

Solicitations still have this book collecting issues #0-16 plus Justice League #14-16, through "Throne of Atlantis." That's surely the most notable part of this run, but to call this an "Aquaman by Geoff Johns Omnibus," it would seem most logical to also include issues #17-25, Johns's "Death of a King" storyline.

Aquaman Vol. 1 & 2 Deluxe Edition (Rebirth)

As discussed, this is a hardcover collection of the first two paperback volumes of the Rebirth series. Solicitations say issues #1-12 and the Rebirth special, which probably isn't right because that doesn't match the contents of the original collections themselves. This does arrive in stories at the same time as the third paperback volume, and includes "variant covers, concept sketches and other bonus material."

Aquaman Vol. 3 (Rebirth)

Said to collect issues #11-16. Please tell me the villainous organization here isn't really called NEMO.

Aquaman: Kingdom Lost

The "Sub Diego" era of Aquaman was most notable, I think, for the initial Will Pfiefer/Patrick Gleason story and not for what came after, though for completeness I'm glad that DC is continuing through the John Arcudi run that ends this series where it collided with Infinite Crisis, with issues #32-39. It only troubles me a bit that there's now just ten issues of this series never collected, issues #5-14 by Rick Veitch (the last two by John Ostrander); not wholly well-remembered, but it leaves a hole where completeness is concerned.

Azrael Vol. 3

We're still not sure on the contents of these, but if Azrael Vol. 2: Requiem went to issue #12, then this could collect issues #13-20, a slightly large trade but it would collect the "Demon Time" story (with Nightwing), the Contagion crossovers, and the four part "Angel in Flames." Barry Kitson continues on art with Dennis O'Neil until issue #28, which is when this eccentric series was at its best; upcoming stories will tie in to Cataclysm, No Man's Land, Day of Judgment, Joker: Last Laugh, and Bruce Wayne: Murderer/Fugitive.

Batgirl: Stephanie Brown Vol. 1

Finally, a collection of Bryan Q. Miller's superlative run on Batgirl starring former-Spoiler Stephanie Brown, among the most entertaining and tonally perfect series I've read about a teen vigilante superhero. This is said to collect issues #1-13, so the Batgirl Rising and Flood collections, with the next volume presumably reprinting the Lesson collection (which ended with the Flashpoint/New 52 changeover).

Batman Arkham: Clayface

Batman Beyond Vol. 1: The Return (Rebirth)

The first six-issues of the Rebirth series by Dan Jurgens, plus the Rebirth special.

Batman by Azzarello & Risso Deluxe Edition

Collects "Broken City," plus their Flashpoint miniseries, Wednesday Comics, and a black-and-white story from Gotham Knights #8.

Batman by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo Box Set 2

The second box set collects Vols. 4-6, Zero Year: Secret City and Dark City plus Graveyard Shift. Obviously Snyder and Capullo's Batman doesn't divide evenly by three, but Vol. 10 is short so I suspect the next box set will have the final four volumes. Other runs you all think deserve this box set treatment?

Batman in The Court of Owls: An Adult Coloring Book

Batman Noir: Dark Victory

Batman The Caped Crusader Vol. 1

Collects Mike W. Barr's Batman: Year Two and the sequel Full Circle graphic novel. Being "Vol. 1," my hope is that this continues to collect the immediate-post-Crisis Batman issues, which are only collected spottily and especially on the Detective Comics side. Year Two isn't everyone's cup of tea but I liked it, and it directly inspired one of the best Batman movies ever, the animated Mask of the Phantasm.

Batman Vol. 1 & 2 Deluxe Edition (Rebirth)

Batman Vol. 3: I Am Bane (Rebirth)

Batman -- Detective Comics Vol. 9: Gordon at War

Batman: Haunted Knight (New Edition)

Batman: The Golden Age Vol. 3

Batman: Year One (New Edition)

Batman: Zero Hour

As we had suspected, this is a collection both all the Zero Hour tie-ins across the Batman line and then also the "Zero Month" issues from the same. Sort of a random collection, but a nice slice of history at the same time. The Zero Hour issues feature a time-lost Batgirl Barbara Gordon at the time she was still Oracle, the Golden Age Alfred, and Robin Tim Drake meeting Robin Dick Grayson. The "Zero Month" issues will serve as a cute, short primer on Batman, though of course not a few continuities removed at this point.

Batman/Superman Vol. 6

Batman/TMNT Vol. 1

Batwoman by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III

Most notable about this collection of Greg Rucka and JH WIlliams's Detective Comics Batwoman stories is, with no offense to Williams, the three previously uncollected issues drawn by Jock and Scott Kolins, "Cutter." This completes the pre-Flashpoint collection of Batwoman stories in her "own" title.

Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye Vol. 1: Going Underground

Cave Carson: The Silver Age

This appears to be listed as already cancelled.

Checkmate by Greg Rucka Vol. 2

The first volume was supposed to collect issues #1-12, but seems actually to have the lead-in OMAC Project material. If this has #1-12, then again it would be the original Vols. 1 and 2, A King's Game and Pawn Breaks, with issues #16-22 left to essentially reprint the original Vol. 3, Fall of the Wall.

Cyborg Vol. 2 (Rebirth)

Daring Adventures of Supergirl Vol. 2

The second volume of Daring Adventures of Supergirl collects issues #14-23, which is actually when this title became just Supergirl around the Helen Slater movie. This collection includes an Ambush Bug appearance; also shortly after the end of this series is when this Supergirl would die in Crisis on Infinite Earths.

DC Comics/Dark Horse: Batman vs. Predator

Collects the first, second, and third Batman vs. Predator miniseries.

DC Covergirls: An Adult Coloring Book

DC Horror: House of Secrets Vol. 1

Collects House of Secrets #92-97, including the first appearance of Swamp Thing.

DC Spotlight: Wonder Girl

The cover art shows Cassie Sandsmark, but this "Spotlight" collection seems to equally favor some classic and current Donna Troy adventures. A curious collection -- I wonder if we'll see some other DC Spotlight collections soon or if this also suggests some major happening for one Wonder Girl or another.

DC Super Hero Girls: A Kids Coloring Book

DC Super Hero Girls: Summer Olympus

Deadman by Kelley Jones: The Complete Collection

By Mike Baron with art by Kelley Jones, this is Deadman: Love After Death and Deadman: Exorcism. I wish they had also included Deadman's Batman appearances from about this time by Doug Moench and Jones.

Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love

Death of Hawkman

Deathstroke The Terminator Vol. 4

Collects issues #27-34, the "World Tour" storyline, by Marv Wolfman and penciller Steve Erwin, plus the "Bloodlines" tie-in annual that introduced Gunfire, a New Blood heroes who actually got his own thirteen-issue series.

Deathstroke Vol. 2 (Rebirth)

Doom Patrol Vol. 1: Brick by Brick

Doom Patrol: The Silver Age Omnibus

Earth 2: Society Vol. 4

This will be the final collection of the New 52 Earth 2: Society series.

Elseworlds: Justice League Vol. 2

Collects Conjurors #1-3, Flashpoint #1-3 (a Flash Elseworlds, not the reality-changing event), JLA: Act of God #1-3, Superman’s Metropolis, Batman: Nosferatu, and Wonder Woman: Blue Amazon.

Elseworlds: Superman Vol. 2

The solicitation has the contents of Vol. 1, so it remains to be seen what will be here.

Flash by Francis Manapul Unwrapped

Flash Vol. 1 & 2 Deluxe Edition (Rebirth)

Flash Vol. 3: Rogues Reloaded (Rebirth)

Flash Vol. 9

Flash: The Silver Age Vol. 2

Gotham Academy: Second Semester Vol. 1

Issues #1-6 and the Annual #1.

Graphic Ink: Eduardo Risso

Also already listed as cancelled.

Green Arrow Vol. 3 (Rebirth)

Green Lantern: Hal Jordan Vol. 2

These books fill a nice previously-uncollected hole. The first volume was the two Emerald Dawn miniseries and this is issues #1-12 of the immediately post-Crisis series. These issues follow Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, John Stewart, and G'nort, following the events of Cosmic Odyssey. At this point, the Green Lantern Corps title had been cancelled; Green Lantern: Mosaic, for which I still hope for a collection, began concurrent to issue #25 of this series. The next collection of this series would reflect the events of Justice League International: Breakdowns.

Green Lantern: The Silver Age Vol. 2

Green Lanterns Vol. 3 (Rebirth)

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Vol. 1 & 2 (Rebirth) Deluxe Edition

Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps Vol. 2 (Rebirth)

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Vol. 3 (Rebirth)

Harley and Her Gang of Harleys Vol. 2

... How does this have a second volume?

Harley Quinn Vol. 2: Joker Loves Harley (Rebirth)

Harley Quinn Vol. 6: Black, White and Red All Over

Hawkman by Geoff Johns Book One

The flip side of the Adam Strange collections here is that this maybe suggests we're going to get a more recognizable Johns-era Hawkman Carter Hall back.

He-Man/Thundercats

House of Mystery: The Bronze Age Vol. 1

Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Five Vol. 2

Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Five Vol. 3

Injustice: Ground Zero Vol. 1

It's a Bird...(New Edition)

Jack Kirby's Kamandi Omnibus

Collects Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth in what seems to be an omnibus format similar to the Jack Kirby's Fourth World omnibuses.

Justice League of America Vol. 1 (Rebirth)

The first six issues of the Steve Orlando series spinning out of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad.

Justice League of America: The Road to Rebirth (Rebirth)

Collects the Justice League of America: Rebirth, Ray: Rebirth, Vixen: Rebirth, Atom: Rebirth, and Killer Frost: Rebirth specials.

Justice League Vol. 1 & 2 Deluxe Edition (Rebirth)

Justice League Vol. 3 (Rebirth)

This collection of Bryan Hitch's Rebirth Justice League issues #12-17 includes issues #12-13 that tie into Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, and also apparently a story that continues from Hitch's New 52 Justice League series.

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad

As someone here pointed out, the fact of this in hardcover further suggests that DC's event collections will be hardcover-first. This collects the six-issue miniseries plus Suicide Squad #8-10 and Justice League #12-13. The individual Justice League and Suicide Squad collections each include their own issues but not the event miniseries, suggesting that one would most likely have to double-dip to read the miniseries event proper.

Justice League/Power Rangers

Legends of the Dark Knight: Jim Aparo Vol. 3

Legion Lost: The Complete Saga

Collects the superlative Legion Lost miniseries by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, plus for the first time the "Legion of the Damned" lead-in issues. This is a great read, no doubt, but a miniseries called Legion Worlds followed Legion Lost's somewhat uncertain ending, and I wouldn't have minded if those were included too (DC pre-solicited a Legion Worlds collection in 2013 but later cancelled it).

Legion of Super Heroes: The Silver Age Omnibus

Looney Tunes: Greatest Hits Vol. 3

Midnighter and Apollo

Apparently I mistakenly thought this miniseries was drawn by Midnighter's Aco, when it's actually Fernando Blanco. I believe Blanco's style will probably work here but it's still a disappointment not to get more Aco.

Midnighter: The Complete Wildstorm Series

For whatever reason this one has come through before, but here it is again, and this time the listing really does look more "complete," with issues #1-20 of the Wildstorm series plus Midnighter: Armageddon from the Wildstorm crossover series. The solicitation just mentions Garth Ennis but there's plenty other writers here, including Brian K. Vaughn, Christos Gage, Keith Giffen, Justin Gray, and Jimmy Palmiotti. All of this has been collected before, though not together.

Mother Panic Vol. 1: Work in Progress

I recognize that as a mature imprint, the Young Animal books are separate, but it seems too good an opportunity to have Mother Panic in Gothan and not have Batman show up.

New Super-Man Vol. 1: Made In China (Rebirth)

New Teen Titans Vol. 1 Omnibus (New Edition)

A new printing of the omnibus but the contents seem the same (this listing omits the New Teen Titans Annual #1, but I'd bet it's in there). The real question is whether they'll reprint the next volumes and if Vol. 3 will remain as is or collect sequential issues instead.

New Teen Titans Vol. 7

Collecting "Judas Contract," these paperbacks are still within material that's been collected before.

Newsboy Legion Vol. 2

Nightwing Vol. 2: Bludhaven (Rebirth)

Nightwing Vol. 6

Issues #47-60, so parts of the Big Guns and On the Razor's Edge collections. This does mark the end of the previously-collected Chuck Dixon material; issues #61-99 by Dixon and then Devin Grayson are uncollected, so anything beyond this point will be new to trade.

Planetary Book One

Issues #1-12, including material from the Absolute edition.

Robin Vol. 4

Said to be Robin #0, #7-13, and the Annual #1. Not sure how that'll read in trade; it's the Robin parts of "Knightsquest" and "Knightsend," a Zero Hour tie-in and "Zero Month" story, and then the Robin parts of "Prodigal." The Annual is an Eclipso: The Darkness Within tie-in.

Shade the Changing Girl Vol. 1: Earth Girl Made Easy

Sixpack & Dogwelder: Hard Travelin' Heroz

Suicide Squad Vol. 2 (Rebirth)

The Justice League vs. Suicide Squad tie-in issues are here, though not the miniseries itself.

Suicide Squad: A Celebration of 30 Years

Glad to see this. Well deserved. And absolutely no disrespect meant to John Ostrander. But this does weirdly mark the Squad's beginning at 1987 rather than 1959 with Brave and the Bold #25 by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru, even if that iteration is somewhat removed from the present one.

Super Powers (Backlist)

Collecting all three of the Super Powers miniseries that Jack Kirby took part in. As the solicitation said, this is Kirby's only work with the Justice League; I'm surprised frankly this isn't listed for hardcover.

Super Powers Vol. 1

The new Art Baltazar and Franco series, which looks awesome and happily follows the Superman Family Adventures continuity.

Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 1

Supergirl Book Three

Happily, more of the Peter David/Leonard Kirk Supergirl series. Issues #21-32 delve into the mystery of Comet (former super-horse) and include appearances by the Matrix Supergirl and the Female Furies.

Supergirl Vol. 3

Additionally, a collection of Kara Zor-El's modern adventures in Action Comics #850 and Supergirl #23-33 by Kelley Puckett (of Batgirl Cassandra Cain fame). This reprints the Beyond Good and Evil and Way of the World collections just before Sterling Gates's run.

Supergirl: The Silver Age Vol. 1

Superman For All Seasons (New Edition)

Superman Reborn

As we now know, the first post-Rebirth Superman crossover, with Superman #18-19 and Action Comics #975-976. A short crossover at that, one month and weekly I think, which is kind of nice, though being collected in a $25 hardcover.

Superman Vol. 1 & 2 Deluxe Edition (Rebirth)

Superman Vol. 3: Multiplicity (Rebirth)

Superman -- Action Comics Vol. 1 & 2 Deluxe Edition

Superman -- Action Comics Vol. 3

Superman-Action Comics Vol. 9

Superman: Savage Dawn

Superman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 4

Superman: The Golden Age Vol. 3

Tales of the Batman: Gerry Conway

Teen Titans Vol. 1: Damian Knows Best (Rebirth)

Teen Titans: Rebirth and issues #1-6.

Teen Titans: Earth One Vol. 2

Teen Titans: The Bronze Age Omnibus

Sandman: The Golden Age Vol. 1

Also apparently already cancelled.

Trinity (New Edition)

This is a new paperback edition of the Matt Wagner out-of-continuity miniseries.

Trinity Vol. 1: Better Together (Rebirth)

Wasteland Vol. 1

Watchmen: The Annotated Edition

Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka Vol. 2

Collects issues #206-217, the Eyes of the Gorgon and Land of the Dead collections. Strange how this keeps happening, but the final volume should basically just reprint the Misson's End trade in full, maybe with the addition of Rucka's Blackest Night: Wonder Woman miniseries.

Wonder Woman by John Byrne Book One

Here's something unexpected, a collection of John Byrne's Wonder Woman, written and drawn, issues #101-113. This run is notable not just for the Wonder Woman work but also for introducing Wonder Girl Cassie Sandsmark, for revising Donna Troy's origin, for teaming Hippolyta with the Justice Society, appearances by Darkseid, and for leading into the Genesis event. Issues #101 to #112 are previously collected, but #113 is not; Byrne's run went to issue #136.

Wonder Woman Vol. 3: The Truth (Rebirth)

Wonder Woman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 2

Absolute Y: The Last Man Vol. 3

American Vampire Vol. 9

American Way 10th Anniversary Edition

Clean Room Vol. 3

Dark Night: A True Batman Story

Frostbite

House of Secrets Book One (Vertigo)

Lost Boys Vol. 1

Lucifer Vol. 3

Sandman Mystery Theatre Book 3

DC calls this a "re-cut collection," which is maybe what these new Nightwing, Robin, etc. books are. This is issues #25-36 and the Sandman Midnight Theatre special, which spans the original Vol. 5 and Vol. 6 collections with "Night of the Butcher," "The Hourman," and "The Python."

Scalped Book One

Unfollow Vol. 3: Stop Following Me

Trade Perspectives: DC Rebirth Deluxe Series Hardcovers

Thursday, December 01, 2016

You've probably seen that a lot of new solicitations for DC Comics's Summer 2017 collections have started to pop up online, which means the new catalog is right around the corner.

I'm going to set those aside right now until the big list comes out, but I did want to dig in to one piece of news, that at least some of the Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 of the DC Rebirth paperbacks will be re-released as deluxe hardcovers.

Arriving in July and August are:

July 4, 2017
Superman -- Action Comics Vol. 1 & 2 Deluxe Edition - $34.99

July 18, 2017
Justice League Vol. 1 & 2 Deluxe Edition (Rebirth) - $34.99

August 1, 2017
Batman Vol. 1 & 2 Deluxe Edition (Rebirth) - $34.99

August 22, 2017
Aquaman Vol. 1 & 2 Deluxe Edition (Rebirth) - $29.99

Superman Vol. 1 & 2 Deluxe Edition (Rebirth) - $29.99

All of this information is, of course, subject to change. Given that DC is releasing eight Rebirth Vol. 1 trades in January and a majority of them by the end of the first quarter of 2017, I doubt we're only going to see five hardcover releases in July and August, but rather there's more to come.

Each of these are said to include the first twelve issues of each series and their Rebirth special, except for Action Comics, which collects issues #957-968. This gives us further indication that some of these details will probably change, since for instance Aquaman Vols. 1 and 2 together are said to collect through issue #15, and Action Comics Vol. 2 is currently solicited at just issues #963-966 plus Justice League #51 (Titans: Rebirth tie-in issue, so probably that's not right either and they really mean issue #52).

Rebirth trades seem to be averaging about $16.99 per volume, so the $34.99 price (about the cost of two of the paperbacks) doesn't seem to be adding a premium per se, and of course discounts abound.

I glanced at a DC Universe: Rebirth deluxe hardcover the other day, and I'm pretty sure it didn't have a jacket, but rather a shiny printed exterior like the old Superman/Batman hardcovers. I personally liked those better because there wasn't a jacket to keep track of or to get damaged or warped, and I wonder if DC will have these combination deluxe editions follow suite.

The good news is that these should be spiffy collections befitting the hardcover form (though I hope they're not "deluxe" height, just "deluxe" in that they collect two books, because the deluxe size is hard to shelve). The bad news of course is that wait-for-hardcover-traders will have to wait all the way until the summer before they get their books.

What do you think? Approve or disapprove? Any way you think DC could be collecting Rebirth better?

(Thanks to all the Collected Editions readers who emailed to make sure I saw this news. I appreciate it!)

Review: Midnighter Vol. 2: Hard trade paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, November 28, 2016

That Steve Orlando's Midnighter Vol. 2: Hard includes both issues #8-12 of the series plus two issues from the Wildstorm series and a story from Young Romance: The New 52 Valentine's Day Special was initially concerning. Five issues on their own isn't unheard of for a trade, and the addition of the supplementary material suggests, as it has in other books, something lacking in the main content. Happily however that's not the case here, as Orlando's "Hard" stands on its own as a fine coda to the first volume, Out, and the additional material serves as a "just because" bonus. Even as this volume marks the cancellation of (this iteration of) the Midnighter series, there's a sense of celebration here, including the extra material not out of necessity but just because Orlando's take on the Midnighter character deserves it.

DC Trade Solicitations for February 2017 - Wonder Woman by Perez Vol. 2, Wonder Woman and JLA, Rebirth Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Titans

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Wonder Woman wins the day in DC Comics's February 2017 hardcover and trade paperback solicitations, with much anticipated collections of both her early post-Crisis on Infinite Earths and circa-Zero Hour Justice League days. There's also new reprints of Supergirl and Deathstroke, the Terminator (again!), and a slew of first volume Rebirth collections.

Whether you're reading this with turkey on the mind or not, let's take a look at what's coming soon.

Wonder Woman by George Perez Omnibus Vol. 2 HC

Rumored for a while, the best news this month is that for the first time, DC will continue collecting George Perez's run on the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths Wonder Woman with issues #25-45 and Annual #2. This isn't it, mind you, as there would still need to be one more volume to complete Perez's issues, including parts of the recently-collected War of the Gods.

Wonder Woman and the Justice League of America Vol. 1 TP

I find equally very exciting this collection of Dan Vado's Justice League America, titled Wonder Woman and the Justice League of America, which not only has Wonder Woman leading the Justice League and a Bloodlines crossover annual, but also a lot of material with Captain Atom, the Ray, Maxima, Blue Beetle, and Booster Gold, leading into the instant classic Extreme Justice. This collection of issues #78-85 stops just short of the "Judgment Day" crossover, but goes so far as to include a Guy Gardner issue(!) for the "Trouble with Guys" crossover, so I'm hopefully the next volume would collect "Judgment Day" in full. If DC really wants to keep going with this, there's plenty of good Gerard Jones material to collect after Zero Hour.

Supergirl by Peter David Book Two TP

Whereas previous collections of Peter David's Supergirl series have focused mainly on the issues drawn by Gary Frank, this second new collection finally gets into the never-collected issues by Leonard Kirk, who would go on to draw most of the series' 80 issues. Included here are issues #10-20, including "Genesis" and "Millenium Giants" cross-over issues, as well as the "Pulp Heroes" Annual #2.

Deathstroke, the Terminator Vol. 3: Nuclear Winter TP

Off and on and on and off the schedule, here again is the Deathstroke: Nuclear Winter collection, reprinting both the great "Nuclear Winter" arc that saw Deathstroke and Arsenal Roy Harper pitted against Cheshire, but also the Deathstroke chapters of the (loose) "Total Chaos" crossover with New Titans.

Batgirl Vol. 1: Beyond Burnside TP
Cyborg Vol. 1: The Imitation of Life TP
Deathstroke Vol. 1: The Professional TP
Harley Quinn Vol. 1: Die Laughing TP
Hellblazer Vol. 1: The Poison Truth TP
Suicide Squad Vol. 1: The Black Vault Part One TP
Titans Vol. 1: The Return of Wally West TP

Of these Rebirth collections, Batgirl collects issues #1-6, Cyborg collects the Rebirth special and issues #1-5, Deathstroke collects the Rebirth special and issues #1-5, Harley Quinn collects issues #1-7, Hellblazer collects the Rebirth special and issues #1-6, and Titans collects the Rebirth special and issues #1-6.

The Suicide Squad collection includes the Rebirth special and just issues #1-4, which I assume includes the back-up stories, and touts a new Jim Lee cover.

Justice League of America: Power and Glory HC

Collects issues #1-4 and #6-10 of the Bryan Hitch series, skipping the issue #5 Martian Manhunter one-shot by that series's team. You'd have to tell me whether issue #10 ends on a cliffhanger and how this'll read necessarily if issues #11-12 aren't published.

Batman by Brian K. Vaughan TP

This collection of Batman #588-590, Detective Comics #787, Wonder Woman #160-161, and a story from the Batman: Gotham City Secret Files is the same contents as Batman: False Faces, just re-branded. For those playing at home, the Batman stories come in the midst of Ed Brubaker's run (filling a hole in the Batman by Ed Brubaker Vol. 1 collection), just after "Officer Down"; the Detective issue also falls in a Brubaker run, a little bit before Paul Dini's run parallel to Grant Morrison's Batman; and Wonder Woman #160-161 is between Eric Luke's and Phil Jimenez's runs. The Gotham City Secret Files introduces a villain called the Skeleton, but Vaughan never had a chance to follow up on that story.

Batman: Ego and Other Tails Deluxe Edition HC

A deluxe-size reprint of the Darwyn Cooke collection, which includes Cooke's graphic novel Batman: Ego, Catwoman: Selina's Big Score, backup stories from Gotham Knights #23 and #33, plus a Batman/Catwoman story from Solo #1 written by Cooke and drawn by Tim Sale, and Cooke's Solo #5.

Flintstones Vol. 1 TP
Wacky Raceland TP

Hey, I liked Mark Russell's Prez. You say Flintstones is brilliant social commentary, I believe you, though you had to admit it's about the craziest thing anyone's said this year (well, maybe not this year, but you know what I mean).

JSA: The Golden Age Deluxe Edition HC

There's been some talk of whether this one was cancelled or not, so I wanted to point out the deluxe edition of the four-issue miniseries is back on the schedule.

Zatanna by Paul Dini TP

Some time ago this was touted as "all" of Paul Dini's Zatanna stories. Here, it is indeed Zatanna #1-16, the Zatanna series just prior to the New 52, the Everyday Magic graphic novel, a story from the DC Infinite Halloween Special, and a story from the DC Universe Rebirth Holiday Special, which makes this awfully timely (though I thought Dini's story from that book is supposed to be a Harley Quinn story). Missing however is Black Canary/Zatanna: Bloodspell, and you can decide how you feel about that.

I am thankful for you being a loyal reader of Collected Editions. What's your comics-related gratitude for the year? What looks good to you on this list?