Review: Superman: Savage Dawn hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The recent Batman: Night of the Monster Men is a crossover done right, compact and focused, and based on that limited sample suggests good things for crossovers in the Rebirth era. That's auspicious because crossovers struggled in the New 52 era, especially among the Superman titles toward the end, with a tendency to bloat and meander. This was true of the Doomed crossover, and while the "Truth" event started auspiciously with connected-but-separate titles, with Superman: Savage Dawn we're back to a crossover so large it loses sight of itself.

Savage Dawn has moments here and there -- moments of impressive art, moments of inspiring story, moments of fine inter-character drama. But they're punctuated by a ten-chapter story that includes almost two-issues-worth of alternate-realty sequences, almost two-issues-worth of action sequences (with plenty of one- and two-page splash pages), and a bevy of mistakes. Moreover, though it begins to seem like Savage Dawn has interesting things to say in the beginning, whatever themes are set up in the beginning are lost or unremarked upon by the end, and the conclusion skips blithely over some of Savage Dawn and "Truth"'s biggest issues.

DC Trade Solicitations for September 2017 - Flash by Mark Waid Vol. 3, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, Wonder Woman and the Justice League: Judgment Day, Justice League Detroit, Super Sons, Batman: Hush 15th Anniversary

Thursday, June 22, 2017

DC Comics continues their recent spate of great 1990s reprints in their September 2017 trade paperback and collected hardcover solicitations; we see the third Flash by Mark Said volume, the start of Green Lantern: Kyle Rayner collections, and the next Wonder Woman and the Justice League volume, collecting the “Judgment Day” crossover! Also not to be missed is the Justice League of America: The Detroit Era Omnibus, a Batman: Hush 15th anniversary deluxe edition, and a handful of Rebirth deluxe hardcovers as well as the regular paperbacks.

Let’s see what else is on the list as we look forward already to the start of fall …

Flash by Mark Waid Book Three TP

It's great to see the third Flash by Mark Waid book already on the schedule and arriving in October, making that two volumes of this series we'll have seen this year (and with the first having come out as recently as last December). I'm glad to see DC striking while the iron is hot (and also with the Green Arrow Grell books, the Suicide Squad Ostrander books, etc.). This is an exciting one, collecting issues #80-94, because it includes the issues between "Return of Barry Allen" and "Reckless Youth/Terminal Velocity" that were good -- Waid ramping up for what was to come -- but haven't been collected before. Of course, this book does also include "Reckless Youth," the first appearance of Impulse Bart Allen, as well as an appeared by the "Bloodlines" New Blood Argus and the well-regarded Flash #91 where Wally West uses Johnny Quick's speed formula.

The next book I imagine will go up to but stop just before the "Dead Heat" crossover with Impulse, so something like issues #95 to #107.

Green Lantern: Kyle Rayner Vol. 1 TP

As previously solicited, a seemingly chronological collection of Kyle Rayner's appearances, which'll end up covering some good material by Ron Marz (and hopefully Judd Winick) from the 1990s and 2000s. There's potentially a hundred issues to collect between the two writers, so this could be a collection series that goes on for a while (ten books, at this rate). On the assumption there's no clipping involved, DC starts this collection of issues #48-57 off right with the entirety of "Emerald Twilight," even though Kyle only cameos, and we've got the REBELS '94 #1 and New Teen Titans #116 issues where Kyle appears. A little more of New Teen Titans would probably fit here or in the next volume, and also probably this book should have Green Lantern#0 in it, too.

Justice League of America: The Detroit Era Omnibus HC

I'm pleased to see this "Detroit Era" Justice League collection coming to fruition, collecting issues #233-261, the Annual #2, Infinity Inc. #19 (a Crisis on Infinite Earths tie-in), JLA Classified #22-25 and JSA Classified #14-16 (the solicitation attributes both to JLA Classified, but JSA Classified was a continuation of the JLA Classified story), and the DC Retroactive: Justice League of America: The '80s special.

I'm especially glad to see the Classified and Retrospective issues included. The Classified story is admittedly somewhat troubled, but these issues do represent a kind of "new nostalgia" for Detroit. While not considered much at the time, the Detroit era's underdog fame spawned these "retrospective"-type stories that look at the Detroit era with rose-colored glasses of sorts. It'll be interesting to read both the source material and then also see how the "future," so to speak, looked back on the past.

Supergirl Vol. 3: Peter David TP

I'm pretty sure this won't actually be called Supergirl Vol. 3: Peter David, though it's funny to think so. This collects David's Supergirl #21-31 and the DC One Million issue, and includes appearances by Steel, Matrix, and the Female Furies, and a crossover with Resurrection Man. The next volume ought include a crossover with David's Young Justice.

Wonder Woman and the Justice League of America Book Two TP

This (fantastic) collection of Justice League America #86-91, Justice League International #65-66, and Justice League Task Force #13-14 collects the entire "Judgment Day" crossover plus a Justice League America lead-in story. This finishes Dan Vado's run on Justice League America just before Zero Hour. Wonder Woman would continue as team leader for about another twenty issues until Justice League America ended before JLA, but as those issues are all written by Gerard Jones, it remains to be seen if DC will continue this collections series or just stop here.

Nightwing: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book One HC

Collects the Rebirth special and issues #1-15, so the entirety of the first and second paperback volumes including the Night of the Monster Men crossover issues.

Suicide Squad: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book One HC

Collects the contents of the first two Rebirth paperback volumes: the Rebirth special, issues #1-8, and the Harley Quinn and the Suicide Squad April Fool's Special.

Wonder Woman: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book One HC

Collects the first two paperback Wonder Woman Rebirth volumes. I'm curious here to see whether DC collects the issues interspersed -- which I think they should, different from the staggered-issue paperbacks -- or if they paste together the present- and past-set stories respectively.

Batgirl Vol. 2: Son of Penguin TP

Collects issues #7-11 and part, I expect, of the Annual #1, with the other part of that annual appearing in the Supergirl collection solicited below.

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 3: League of Shadows TP

The next volume of the Rebirth series I can't wait to read, collecting issues #950-956.

Deathstroke Vol. 3: Twilight TP

Collects Christopher Priest's Deathstroke #12-18.

New Super-Man Vol. 2: Coming to America TP

The second volume of Gene Luen Yang's New Super-Man series, collecting issues #7-12, also includes a "Superman Reborn Aftermath" tie-in issue.

Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 2: Who Is Artemis? TP

Collects issues #7-11.

Super Sons Vol. 1: When I Grow Up TP

The first volume of the hit series collects issues #1-5. I'm rather shocked DC didn't go for hardcover with this one given how popular the series is.

Supergirl Vol. 2: Escape from the Phantom Zone TP

Collects Supergirl #7-11 as well as the relevant story from the Batgirl Annual #1.

The Hellblazer Vol. 2: The Smokeless Fire TP

Collects issues #7-12 of the John Constantine series.

The Wild Storm Vol. 1 TP

Anyone reading Warren Ellis's Wild Storm? It is good? I feel I haven't heard as much fanfare for it as the "Young Animal" titles, for instance. This first volume collects issues #1-6.

Absolute Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang Vol. 2 HC

This second Absolute volume finishes the Brian Azzarello/Cliff Chiang run, collecting issues #19-35 and #23.2, the Vol. 4: War, Vol. 5: Flesh, and Vol. 6: Bones collections.

Batman: Hush 15th Anniversary Deluxe Edition HC

Honestly it seems longer than 15 years since Hush, not shorter, but thinking back, that seems about right. I'm surprised this hasn't been collected in DC's deluxe-format size before and it should make a nice collection, a little bigger than normal without being overwhelming.

Demon by Jack Kirby TP

A paperback reprinting of the sixteen-issue hardcover collection. In looking at this, I was interested to see that Jack Kirby not only created Etrigan, but also Klarion the Witch Boy, Teekl, and Harry Matthews, which I hadn't realized.

House of Secrets: The Bronze Age Omnibus HC

Collects House of Secrets #81-111, including the first appearance of Swamp Thing. Notable is that this book has either been combined with or replaced the previously-solicited DC Horror: House of Secrets collection.

Justice League of America: A Midsummer’s Nightmare Deluxe Edition HC

A deluxe collection of the Mark Waid miniseries that bridged the end of Justice League America and the beginning of Grant Morrison's JLA.

What looks good to you this month?

Review: Mother Panic Vol. 1: A Work in Progress trade paperback (DC Comics/Young Animal)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

That Jody Houser's Young Animal book Mother Panic seemed to be a mature readers title set in the Batman universe held much appeal for me, being more connected and less esoteric than what I understand of the Cave Carson title, for instance. But while Mother Panic Vol. 1: A Work in Progress starts well enough, especially with art by Tommy Lee Edwards, for me the story failed to distinguish itself as anything new and different, and with a mid-book change in artist, what had started strong became mundane, if not silly. That DC Comics has enough courage to let one of its characters say, "F--- the Bat," is admirable, a sign of not being so buttoned-up as in the past, but even choice words don't ultimately make this more than just another Bat-analogue title.

Review: Cyborg Vol. 2: Enemy of the State trade paperback (DC Comics)

0 comments | Tags:

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Unfortunately Cyborg Vol. 2: Enemy of the State loses a step in the run up to Rebirth. Halfway through, DC You-series writer David Walker, who wrote an exceptional first volume, bows out, and Marv Wolfman finishes the book. Wolfman is of course no stranger to the Cyborg Vic Stone character, but his swift completion to Walker's story doesn't quite satisfy, nor do his two one-off stories that follow before this iteration of the series ended. The book concludes with a Rebirth special by new writer John Semper that's a tad formulaic (though presents a fair primer on Cyborg so far). All in all, Cyborg loses a bit of its "wow factor" here, and we can only hope Semper can bring it back in Rebirth.

Review: Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 9: Gordon at War hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

3 comments | Tags:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

As I've said before, some of my favorite DC Comics of the Dan DiDio/Geoff Johns era have been written by Peter Tomasi. Aside from being a great writer, pairing thrills with emotion, and also routinely using gore with care and adeptness, Tomasi has demonstrated himself exceptionally versatile. It's no small thing that a writer who first made his splash for me on the cosmic Green Lantern Corps then went on to write street-level Batman and essentially define the Damian Wayne character after Grant Morrison, nor that Tomasi could then go on to equally succeed writing the superheroic Superman.

Tomasi demonstrates that versatility again in Batman: Detective Comics Vol 9: Gordon at War, two more stories starring Jim Gordon as an unlikely Batman, following Tomasi's Batman Jim Gordon/Justice League team-up in Detective Comics Vol. 8: Blood of Heroes. As I wrote in that review, these Detective stories that offshoot from Scott Snyder's Batman: Superheavy are totally unnecessary, completely ignored by the main story, and for that reason that Tomasi can make them stories as good and worthwhile as they are is all the more impressive.

Review: Superman/Wonder Woman Vol. 4: Dark Truth hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, June 11, 2017

I wrote the other day that I like my comics political, and I was much happier at the beginning of Greg Pak's Superman: Action Comics Vol. 8: Truth when Superman took part in a sit-in than I was at the end when he was fighting formless shadow monsters. Pak's Batman/Superman Vol. 5: Truth Hurts -- part of the same storyline -- failed to thrill because its fixation with subterranean monsters, a hard sell for a Batman story anyway, lacked at least the partial real-world grounding that Truth contained.

Of this mega-event, then, Peter Tomasi's Superman/Wonder Woman Vol. 4: Dark Truth emerges as the best of the bunch so far. It doesn't get more political than an entire issue spent on Clark Kent explaining his newly-revealed secret identity at the White House. Things get even "darker" from there as Superman and Wonder Woman engage in some particularly rough and nefarious dealings to reach the villain of the piece. Tomasi's ability to mix action and emotion is long-since proven, and he shines of course paired with frequent collaborator Doug Mahnke; there are scenes in this volume that I think rank amongst Tomasi's best work.

Review: Batman/Superman Vol. 5: Truth Hurts hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

I praised Peter Tomasi's Detective Comics story, in which new Batman Jim Gordon meets the Justice League, for its surprising lack of angst; the League knows Gordon, trusts him, and as long as he's wearing the Bat-costume du jour, they accept him as one of their own. This is in significant contrast to Greg Pak's Batman/Superman Vol. 5: Truth Hurts, which takes place sequentially beforehand, in which Gordon and the newly-depowered Superman spend almost the entire 200 pages sniping at and mistrusting one another.

This is wearying. I get it, and maybe Pak takes the right road by creating tension between the new Batman and altered Superman instead of their being fast friends right away. But it's a book where everyone's pretty unhappy, the art tends dark and somewhat one-note, and Aquaman guest-stars, for instance, as an out-of-control bruiser. As the start of Pak's final issues for this series, he has some nice moments when he calls back to the beginning of his run, but even the presence of some key Bat-family members can't brighten this book.

Review: Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 2: The Victim Syndicate (Rebirth) trade paperback (DC Comics)

2 comments | Tags:

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Once again James Tynion proves his Detective Comics to be among the best of the DC Comics Rebirth relaunch; once again as well Tynion all but assassinates the status quo of a favored character before he finishes. That Tynion is able to wrench the characters so severely and still make it clear how much affection he has for them is a testament to the roll Tynion is on with this title. The new Detective is the perfect meshing of characters and creator (not to mention appealing art) and I hope Tynion's intending to stick with it for a while.

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 2: The Victim Syndicate is the epitome of a non-team team book, a concept others have tried in the Bat-verse previously but never with the success of Tynion. The loosely-defined team changes here from the first volume and looks to change again with the next; though at some point Tynion has to stop benching teammates, it makes for organic transitions. Tynion also deftly introduces a new villain to the Batman mythos, perhaps the first great new lasting villain of Rebirth. In all, even despite a bevy of maddening character work, Victim Syndicate is a strong follow-up to the first volume.

Review: Doom Patrol Vol. 1: Brick by Brick trade paperback (DC Comics/Young Animal)

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Gerard Way's Doom Patrol Vol. 1: Brick by Brick represents a "rebirth," to be sure -- the rebirth of a mainstream, superheroic mature readers line at DC Comics. And what's immediately gratifying about Doom Patrol is that it's "mature" without mistaking maturity for grittiness; rather there's a vein of optimism that pervades these pages, perhaps even more surprising as it surrounds the oft-put-upon Doom Patrol. But even as the whole band doesn't get back together in this volume on its own, enough of them happily reconnect with one another as to create something of a party atmosphere. Things never get so dire in Brick by Brick, but even when they do, there's a levity to the proceedings, buffeted in no small part by Nick Derington's art. With Tamra Bonvillain and company's bright peppy colors throughout, Brick by Brick is a breath of fresh air romp of the kind it seems DC Comics's Rebirth is meant to evoke, even if it isn't a Rebirth title itself.

DC Trade Solicitations for August 2017 - Batman/Flash: The Button Deluxe, Superman Reborn, Batman and Robin by Tomasi, Catwoman by Balent, DC Meets Hanna-Barbera, Legion by Abnett, Night Force by Wolfman

Monday, May 29, 2017

DC Comics's trade paperback and collected hardcover solicitations for August 2017 contain two big Rebirth books, a seemingly-rush-solicited Batman/Flash: The Button deluxe hardcover, and also a hardcover of the Superman Reborn crossover. Those books alone are an indication of Rebirth ramping up, and that’s even before some of Geoff Johns’s recent big announcements.

Also this month we see another chance for Marv Wolfman’s Deathstroke, the Terminator Vol. 3: Nuclear Winter, the start of a collection series of Jim Balent’s Catwoman, a newly-expanded Batman and Robin Omnibus by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, a couple collections celebrating Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday, and the Superman and Harley Quinn deluxe Rebirth hardcovers.

Keep reading to see what else is coming this summer …

All Star Batman Vol. 2: Ends of the Earth HC

This feels like a slightly shorter All-Star trade, collecting just issue #6-9, but of course that includes backups and also teams Scott Snyder with Jock again, so who's complaining? The paperback of the first volume will be out at the same time.

Batman and Robin by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason Omnibus HC

When this was first solicited, it appeared to be just a first volume that collected only issues #1-20 of Tomasi and Gleason's New 52 series. Now it’s nicely more comprehensive, with Batman and Robin #20-22 from the pre-Flashpoint series, the New 52 Batman and Robin #0-40, three annuals, Robin Rises: Omega and Alpha, and the Damian Wayne Secret Origins story (by Tomasi but drawn by Ian Bertram). A fantastic read; Tony Laplume, this one's still for you.

Batman/The Flash: The Button Deluxe Edition HC

As makes sense, DC is quickly soliciting a collection of the Batman/Flash: The Button crossover, and in deluxe format no less, and with a lenticular cover in the US. This is coming out in October, which pleases the continuity wonk in me because the Superman Reborn hardcover will still be out ahead of it. Also out ahead of it will be Batman Vol. 3: I Am Bane and Flash Vol. 3: Rogues Reloaded, so those playing at home will be caught up before this book.

Catwoman by Jim Balent Book One TP

I'm a fan of underdogs (or cats), these so-representative-of-their-time-it-hurts books; it thrills me to no end to see the Jim Balent-penned Catwoman getting collections (Extreme Justice next, please). Issues #1-14 and the "Zero Month" #0 issue span the entirety of the Knightfall saga plus Zero Hour, which is great if you're reading the new Knightfall books but want more context from Catwoman's perspective. Another collection of fourteen issues would see the already-collected "Catfile" storyline by Chuck Dixon plus an Underworld Unleashed tie-in, ahead of Contagion and Legacy.

DC Meets Hanna-Barbera TP

Collects Suicide Squad/Banana Splits, Green Lantern/Space Ghost, Adam Strange/Future Quest, and Booster Gold/The Flintstones, plus the Top Cat, Jetsons, Ruff and Reddy, and Snagglepuss backups.

Deathstroke the Terminator Vol. 3: Nuclear Winter TP

Again, we've seen this Deathstroke, the Terminator collection solicited and cancelled before, but I'm glad DC keeps trying; among the stories collected here is a well-regarded covert mission with Deathstroke and a pre-Arsenal Roy Harper (with significant implications for the DC Universe). This book, collecting issues #14-23 of the Marv Wolfman series, also includes Ravager Rose Wilson's earliest appearance.

Green Lanterns Vol. 3: Polarity TP

Collects issues #15-21, which is a nice long trade. I'm not totally up to date on what's happening in this title, but it's nice to see Dr. Polaris here, suggesting some of the classic Earth-bound Green Lantern rogues are back in play.

Harley Quinn Vol. 3: Red Meat TP

Collects issues #14-16 and the lead stories from #17-21, which is another nice long trade even with some half-sized issues. It's interesting that DC is holding back the Paul Dini backups, either to collect them all at once or in an entirely separate volume from the Rebirth series.

Harley Quinn: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book One HC

Hardcover collection of the first two Rebirth paperbacks; some of these, we know, have since been cancelled, but not the Harley volume.

Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus HC

There's a mis-fit here and there in the solicitation, but I'm pretty sure this single volume -- listed at 1,536 pages and on sale for only $100 -- collects all four of the previous Jack Kirby's Fourth World omnibuses. Those themselves sold for $50 each (minus discounts, of course), making this a startling good deal if you don't mind how heavy it's going to be.

Jack Kirby’s Mister Miracle TP

Going along with DC's celebration of Jack Kirby's 100th birthday, I believe this is the first time outside of the Fourth World Omnibuses that Kirby's Mister Miracle issues have been collected all together and all in color (correct me if I'm wrong).

Night Force by Marv Wolfman: The Complete Series HC

DC has definitely solicited and cancelled this before, roundabouts when there was actually a new Night Force series on the stands. What makes this the right time I'm not sure, but good for Marv Wolfman if this'll finally hit the stands.

Nightwing Vol. 3: Nightwing Must Die TP

Collects issues #16-21, with appearances by Damian Wayne.

Suicide Squad Vol. 3: Burning Down the House TP

Issues #11-15, but happily also the War Crimes one-shot by John Ostrander published shortly after the movie (which I recently saw, and liked).

Superman Reborn HC

I've been catching up on my Superman reading lately; I know this is the biggie and I'm excited to get my hands on it.

Superman: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book One HC

Hardcover collection of the first two Superman Rebirth paperbacks, issues #1-13.

The Legion by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning Vol. 1 TP

Also as we previously discussed, DC has published but also cancelled collections of Abnett and Lanning's superlative Legion Lost (multiple times, I think), and now we have a collection of their just pre-Legion Lost "Legion of the Damned" story with a couple extras. The next volume of this would have to re-collect Legion Lost, unless DC leapfrogs that for the yet-mostly-uncollected material that followed.

Titans Vol. 2: Made in Manhattan TP

Issues #7-10, the first Rebirth annual, and "stories" from the DC Rebirth Holiday Special, which is definitely James Asmus's Titans story and maybe the Flash story?

So which are you more excited about, Superman Reborn or Batman/Flash: The Button?

Review: Superman: Lois and Clark trade paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I'm an avowed fan of Dan Jurgens's Superman from way back. I'll also acknowledge that some of Jurgens's newer material, in the New 52 specifically, didn't pack the same punch for me, so I approached Superman: Lois and Clark warily. If Dan Jurgens was going to write the pre-Flashpoint Clark Kent and Lois Lane, he was really going to have to write them, and lines as in the beginning where Clark calls Lois "Lo" -- which I don't think this Clark ever did -- threaten that. For this trick to work, DC bringing back these pre-Flashpoint characters, it has to be flawless; otherwise these aren't the pre-Flashpoint characters, just more new versions of these characters now using old names and costumes.

Review: Superman: Action Comics Vol. 8: Truth hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Superman: Action Comics Vol. 8: Truth is an astounding example of just how quickly the fares of a work of serial storytelling can change. On one hand, we have perhaps the epitome of what the DC You tried to be, a story that combines superheroics and social relevance as movingly as in recent memory, but on the other hand, from those high lofts the book ultimately ends up in very basic superhero fisticuffs. Two full chapter in, I was ready to laud Truth as among some must-read Superman work, but seven chapters in, not so much.

I already knew writer Greg Pak wrote a strong Superman, and I don't think he and Aaron Kuder's work has received the recognition it's deserved among runs by Geoff Johns and Gene Luen Yang, Doomed and Rebirth and so on. The best work in this book just reinforces my esteem despite the missteps, and I'd still say this book's early issues are worth looking at even if Truth doesn't hold out throughout.

Review: Flash Vol. 2: Speed of Darkness (Rebirth) trade paperback (DC Comics)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

DC Comics's Flash Vol. 2: Speed of Darkness remains distinctly connected to the ongoing Rebirth storyline, with plenty of touchstone moments that call back to DC's most popular characters and continuities. But the second volume in, when titles in the Batman and Superman franchises have begun to soar, the Flash title continues to struggle. Writer Joshua Williamson focuses mostly on Kid Flash Wally West here, and unfortunately he conflates the juvenile character with the tone of the story. There's a wistfulness to the book, as well as a marked deification of Flash Barry Allen, that comes off too light for me; I'm eager for the promised villains in coming volumes mainly for a story one might finally sink their teeth in to.

Review: Superman Vol. 1: Before Truth hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Gene Luen Yang was dealt no easy hand with the story collected in Superman Vol. 1: Before Truth. The writer's first arc connects immediately to the mega-event "Truth," the story involves both Superman and Lois Lane necessarily acting out of character, and we're left with more questions than answers about the villain of the piece. As such, it's hard to fully know what to make of Yang's issues, because it's tough to find what Yang himself is trying to say among the needs of the larger story.

Artist John Romita Jr. does nice work here but really starts to shine at the very end with the grittier Superman who emerges, and we intuit that Yang is more comfortable, too; this is where the DC You aesthetic begins to emerge as well. In some respects Before Truth seems a prelude to where this team really wants to go, though at this point they only have six issues left to do so (and only three before the next crossover). Now that Rebirth has taken off and Peter Tomasi and Dan Jurgens have cemented their partnership as the new Superman team, this Superman run becomes, like many DC You series, just something of a footnote as Rebirth steals the spotlight.

Review: Batman: Night of the Monster Men (Rebirth) hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

There's comparisons to be made between Batman: Night of the Monster Men and Batman: Night of the Owls, given that each "night" marked both the first crossover and first Bat-event of their respective eras, Rebirth and the New 52.

A fairer comparison might be with Night of the Monster Men and Trinity War or Robin War, given that Monster Men is an inter-title crossover like those others and Owls was a main story in the Batman series plus a string of other-title tie-ins. But whereas it might seem a benefit that Owls allowed the reader to pick up as many or as few tie-ins as they liked, versus Monster Men requiring the reading of all six parts, the Owls tie-ins felt in some respects shoehorned into the crossover and the total result was lesser, not greater. Owls essentially had the Bat-family tackling one threat simultaneously, but separately; Monster Men sees the already-disparate casts of Batman, Detective Comics, and Nightwing truly joining forces against a common threat.

Review: Grayson Vol. 5: Spiral's End trade paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, May 08, 2017

It's unfortunate that Tom King and Tim Seeley couldn't write the final issues of Grayson collected in Grayson Vol. 5: Spiral's End. At the same time, I'm skeptical that either writer was really that far away, even if perhaps busy with Rebirth considerations. Without benefit of Seeley and King's actual finale, it's impossible to say that Hacktivist and Joyride's Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly's closing issues really would have been that much different. If Grayson's end came too swiftly, that's more a fault of Rebirth proper than anything two backup writers in an unenviable position did.

For me, the final Grayson volume hit most of the important points I wanted it to. I thought it adroitly positioned Dick Grayson and his supporting cast for their Rebirth roles in such a way as to acknowledge rather than forget this preceding series, preserving Grayson as part of the once-and-future Nightwing's continuum.

Review: Wonder Woman Vol. 2: Year One (Rebirth) trade paperback (DC Comics)

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Greg Rucka's Wonder Woman Vol. 2: Year One makes me a little mad. It is a lovely Wonder Woman origin that in many ways reflects these characters best selves, with all the more pure and tragic motivations now for Diana, her mother Hippolyta, and the other gathered Amazons especially. At the same time, both happily and not, the broad strokes of Rucka's origin hew fairly close to George Perez's post-Crisis on Infinite Earths original, and I did have to wonder at the necessity of a new Wonder Woman origin when the last most recent still seems to work fairly well.

Still yet, however, this origin does fit fairly well into the post-Flashpoint New 52 continuity. I've no idea and probably won't for at least a few more months what timeline these Rebirth books are supposed to be adhering to, but as it seems pretty certain DC is doubling down on Justice League: Origin as being the definitive first meeting of the Justice League, and Wonder Woman: Year One dovetails with that. We have lacked a clear Wonder Woman origin for almost a decade now, not just for the New 52 but since Infinite Crisis, so the fact that we actually have one at all is something of a miracle.

Review: Batgirl Vol. 3: Mindfields trade paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, May 01, 2017

Batgirl Vol. 3: Mindfields marks a long good-bye for the "Batgirl of Burnside" title. The book collects seven issues and a special, and in some respects ends twice; there's a five-part story that essentially brings the title to its most proper and loftiest conclusion (with art for the book's last time by Babs Tarr), and then a two-part story that breaks things down to an extent as a lead-in to the Rebirth series. Whereas titles like Batman and Flash offered no overt connection between the end of the New 52 series and the beginning of Rebirth, writers Cameron Stewart and Brendan Fletcher do a surprising amount of heavy lifting here to position this title for Hope Larson's upcoming run.

Mindfields improves on the previous volume, a positive trend especially since this is the end. In the main story, the basic facts of who the villain is and what's happening to Batgirl Barbara Gordon are apparent from the start, allowing for more emphasis on the characters themselves and their interactions, as befits the Batgirl title. There's a good amount of psychological horror at play that's surprisingly effective, like a Twilight Zone episode, and then that's balanced in the end by Batgirl's campy villains and quip-laden superheroics. Mindfields held my attention and I'm curious to see what Larson does with the book's new status quo going forward.

Review: Nightwing Vol. 1: Better than Batman (Rebirth) trade paperback (DC Comics)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Grayson fans will be pleased with a Rebirth Nightwing series that, if not quite as powerful, remains faithful to what came before. That cuts both ways, however, because in many respects Nightwing Vol. 1: Better than Batman is about once-reluctant super-spy Dick Grayson finding himself now hesitant to give up the "shoot first and ask questions later" and "consequences be damned" aesthetic of his days with Spyral.

That's a good way to bridge what was and what is, and I hope former Grayson writer Tim Seeley hasn't said all he's going to say on the matter even as Dick seems to put those ghosts to bed by this book's end. In some respects -- like the first Rebirth Batman volume and the first Rebirth Flash volume -- Seeley's story is too easy, and the speed with which Dick is corrupted and then looses that corruption comes too fast, though Seeley handles the "dubious partner" trope better than those others. Again, in a twice-monthly shipping world, maybe this is a matter of adjusting my own expectations for a story; better, I guess, that a story seems too swift than one that drags on.

Review: Batman Vol. 10: Epilogue hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

6 comments | Tags:

Monday, April 24, 2017

Batman Vol. 10: Epilogue is a controversial volume, the story contents within notwithstanding, because of DC's decision to shunt just two issues of the Batman regular series to their own volume. I do actually applaud DC's commitment to collecting every single issue of the New 52 Batman series, whether written by series author Scott Snyder or not. If I have a criticism, it's not in the decision to collect the stories -- and so if the decision was to collect or not, then DC made the right one -- but rather that it clearly seems there were other places along the way these stories could have been included other than their own volume. The greatest difficulty is how this volume narratively casts the end of Snyder's Batman run for the uninitiated reader who might not know this "end" wasn't precisely how the end played out order-wise.

Review: All-Star Batman Vol. 1: My Own Worst Enemy hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

One thing that struck me about All-Star Batman Vol. 1: My Own Worst Enemy was its unexpected level of violence. Clearly All-Star marks a Scott Snyder unrestrained, between the amount of pseudo-cursing, his merciless Batman reminiscent even of Frank Miller's All-Star Batman, and getting his Batman back in the cornfields a la Snyder's Batman: Zero Year. But the sheer volume of stabbings, torture, and other misdeeds surprised me, until I recalled that this all started once upon a time with Snyder's Batman: Black Mirror, which came with its own share of blood and dismemberment.

What this most recent All-Star is, in a certain respect, is a return to Scott Snyder, horror writer, which was not wholly absent in Snyder's mainstream Batman title but was surely toned down a little. And Snyder's All-Star is far from toned down; this is not a Batman cruel by any means, but mouthier than we're used to and with little patience for his enemies. And despite all of this, My Own Worst Enemy's themes are hopeful ones; those who follow Snyder to All-Star after his pantheon of "Gotham Is" Batman stories will certainly find those themes continued.

DC Trade Solicitations for July 2017 - Batman: Knightfall Omnibus Vol. 2: Knightquest, Clayface, Batgirl Stephanie Brown Vol. 1, Grayson Omnibus, Justice League: Darkseid War Omnibus, Harley Quinn by Kesel and Dodson

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Time again for DC Comics's trade paperback and collected hardcover solicitations! July 2017 brings us a couple of Rebirth Vol. 2 and 3 collections; in the past week or so I've been reading a lot of the Rebirth material and I've been enjoying it more and more the farther in I go.

It's also a good month for Batman collections, with the "now more complete than ever" Batman: Knightfall Omnibus Vol. 2: Knightquest, Batman: Shadow of the Bat Vol. 2 (which collects some of the same material, I know), and the first new collection of Bryan Q. Miller's Stephanie Brown Batgirl series. There's also Grayson and Justice League: Darkseid War omnibuses, the Swamp Thing: Bronze Age collection, the 25th anniversary Wildstorm collection with all-new material, and more.

And can you believe the Vigilante Vol. 1 collection by Marv Wolfman finally came out?! Got to pick that up if you want it to continue!

Let's see what July 2017 has to offer ...

Absolute Justice League: Origin HC

Joins Absolute Batman: Court of Owls and Absolute Wonder Woman by Azzarello and Chiang as Absolute editions coming out of the New 52 era.

Aquaman Vol. 3: Crown of Atlantis TP

Collects issues #16-24, which is an impressive nine issues (previous volumes were eight issues each, which is also good). We saw the Rebirth Vol. 1 in January and Vol. 2 in April, and then Vol. 3 will be out in September, so a couple extra months between the second and third volumes, though this is still better pacing than we saw before the issues double-shipped.

Batgirl: Stephanie Brown Vol. 1 TP

Definitely deserving of a new collection series, this is the first twelve issues of Bryan Q. Miller's Batgirl series starring former Spoiler Stephanie Brown, which was funny and exciting and well-written and had a lot of heart. This gets all the way through the previous Batgirl Rising trade and into The Flood, and presumably the next collection will finish out the Flood issues and The Lesson.

Batman Vol. 3: I Am Bane TP

Like Aquaman, Batman sees a January-April-September release schedule. Can't argue with 25 issues in the first year; in comparison, it was roughly three-or-so years before DC collected the same amount of New 52 Batman material.

This collection includes issues #16-20 and #23-24, so jumping over the "Button" material (though the solicitation for issue #24 does mention the aftermath of "Button," so it remains to be seen how this will read).

Batman: Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book One HC

Collects the Rebirth special and issues #1-15, so the first two trades and the "Night of the Monster Men" issues, though I would note that it seems the Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, Aquaman, and Green Arrow deluxe Rebirth hardcovers have all been cancelled.

Batman: Arkham — Clayface TP

Another in the Batman: Arkham series, which have turned out to be interesting spotlights on Batman's foes, occasionally collecting some uncollected gems. Interesting in this one seems to be an emphasis on all the different Clayfaces over the years; the classic Detective Comics stories are #40 (movie star Basil Karlo), #298 (treasure hunter Matt Hagen), and #478 (scientist Preston Payne), plus Outsiders #21 ("Lady Clay" Sondra Fuller), Batman #550 (Cassius "Clay" Payne), Catwoman #4 (Todd Russell), and Batman: Gotham Knights #69-71 (Johnny Williams). Being one of the rare collections of Gotham Knights issues, I'd like to hope this is issues #68-71, all four parts of the "Shape of Things to Come" story, and not just parts two through four. Secret Origins #44 is the origin of the "Mudpack" and Batman Villains Secret Files includes a "Who's Who" of the various Clayfaces. The only issue I can't place here is the apparent inclusion of Batman: Gotham Knights #23.

Batman: Knightfall Omnibus Vol. 2: Knightquest HC

These omnibuses are on their way to being the most complete collection of the "Knightfall" storyline ever, with this one including the yet-still-uncollected Justice League Task Force #5-6 and Batman: Shadow of the Bat #21-23 (the latter of which, when it rains it pours, is also collected in its own volume this month; see below). If the third omnibus collects Legends of the Dark Knight #59-61, we'll finally have all the parts of "Knightfall" in collected print.

Batman: Shadow of the Bat Vol. 2 TP

We discussed in my look at the Fall 2017 DC Comics collections that this was something of a funny trade, collecting as it does parts of "Knightfall," "Knightquest: The Crusade," and "Knightquest: The Search," much of which is also collected elsewhere. Still personally I'm curious to read Alan Grant's work linearly to see what themes or recurring images emerge without the static of the other Bat-title parts; also we've got here Batman: Shadow of the Bat Annual #1, adding to the growing pantheon of collected "Bloodlines" annuals.

Cyborg Vol. 2: Danger in Detroit TP

Collects issues #6-13. I liked the first volume and I'm eager for the second, and eight issues is a nice size, too. This finishes the "Imitation of Life" storyline and into "Danger in Detroit."

Deadman by Kelley Jones: The Complete Collection TP

This includes Jones and Mike Baron's Deadman: Love After Death and Exorcism. and some stories from Action Comics Weekly. As the title suggests, the draw is Jones's art, though for completeness I might have liked to see some of Baron's Deadman stories from Action Comics that weren't drawn by Jones.

Earth 2: Society Vol. 4: Life After Death TP

The final collection of Dan Abnett's Earth 2: Society, issues #17-22.

Grayson: The Superspy Omnibus HC

Among the best things to come out of the New 52/DC You, if you never read Tom King and Tim Seeley's Grayson, this the book for you. This definitive collection includes all the material from all the previous trades, including the Annuals, the two Robin War issues, the Futures End tie-in, and Nightwing: Rebirth.

Green Arrow Vol. 3: Emerald Outlaw TP

Issues #12-17, the entire "Emerald Outlaw" storyline, ending just before "The Return of Roy Harper."

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Vol. 3: The Quest for Hope TP

Issues #14-21, so another eight-issue collection, with the "Quest for Hope" and "Prism of Time" storylines. At this point Robert Venditti is approaching something over 50 issues of Green Lantern in one form or another, which is pretty notable in this day and age.

Harley Quinn by Karl Kesel and Terry Dodson Deluxe Edition Book One HC

The 2000s Harley Quinn series lasted thirty-eight issues, but just twenty-five (and the Our Worlds at War issue) were written by Kesel, and just nineteen were drawn by Dodson. This collects issues #1-8; the entire series (including issues by AJ Lieberman) have been collected in paperback.

Harley's Little Black Book HC

The six issue miniseries with Zatanna, DC Bombshells, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Lobo.

Justice League of America Vol. 1: The Extremists TP

The first six issues of the new Steve Orlando Justice League of America series; the Rebirth issue is in its own trade with the individual character Rebirth issues.

Justice League: The Darkseid War Saga Omnibus HC

Collects Justice League #40-50, the Darkseid War specials, and the Divergence story.

Legends of the Dark Knight: Jim Aparo Vol. 3 HC

Said to collect Brave and the Bold #152, 154-178, and #180-182, Detective Comics #444-446, #448, #468-470, #480, #492, #493, #495-499, #501, #502, #508, and #509, Batman Family #17, and Untold Legend of the Batman #1-3. Some of this near as I can tell is just cover work, so you'll have to tell me if there's anything super-notable here.

New Teen Titans Vol. 7 TP

This is the "Judas Contract" story and aftermath, though still within the contents of the New Teen Titans Omnibus Vol. 3.

Sixpack and Dogwelder: Hard-Travelin’ Heroz TP

Noonan's Bar cameos in the Batman and Robin Eternal Vol. 1. That is all.

Superman Vol. 3: Multiplicity TP

Collects issues #14-17 and the Annual #1, which is fewer issues than I'd like as compared to some of the others on this list. It ends just before the "Superman Reborn" crossover with Action Comics.

Swamp Thing: The Bronze Age Omnibus HC

This is said to include House of Secrets #92, Swamp Thing #1-24, Saga of the Swamp Thing #1-19, and Saga of the Swamp Thing Annual #1, which brings us right about up to the start of the Alan Moore run.

Wildstorm: A Celebration of 25 Years HC

Surprisingly, not only does this collect classic issues, pinups, and etc., but also new stories, including WildCATS by Brandon Choi and Jim Lee and by Christos Gage and Dustin Nguyen, Authority by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch (the same as in the new Absolute edition?), Gen13 by J. Scott Campbell, and Backlash by Brett Booth.

Wonder Girl: Adventures of a Teen Titan TP

What had been previously solicited as DC Spotlight: Wonder Girl is now Wonder Girl: Adventures of a Teen Titan. I'd wondered what this collection was supposed to be tying in to specifically, maybe something comics-related; I'm revising that guess now but I don't want to say more for spoiler reasons.

Contents-wise, again this is Wonder Woman #105 (Wonder Woman as "Wonder Girl"), The Brave and the Bold #60 (first appearance of Donna Troy), Teen Titans #22 (origin of Donna Troy), Adventure Comics #461 (Wonder Woman and Donna Troy team-up), Wonder Woman #105 and #113 (Cassandra Sandsmark stories by John Byrne), Wonder Woman: Donna Troy #1 ("GirlFrenzy" one-shot), and Wonder Girl #1 (Cassie special in the midst of J.T. Krul's pre-Flashpoint Teen Titans run.

Wonder Woman Vol. 3: The Truth TP

Collects issues #13, #15, #17, #19, #21, #23, and #25, which we now know to be Rucka's last issue of the series, though there should be one more Rucka trade collecting the "Godwatch" issues set between these.

How're you enjoying Rebirth? Any of these books going on your want list? Did you pick up Vigilante?

Review: Batman Vol. 2: I Am Suicide (Rebirth) trade paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Tom King wrote the complicated, wrenching classic that is DC Comics's most recent Omega Men, in addition to being one half of the team that wrote the ever-surprising Grayson and the acclaimed Vision for Marvel. So it was rather a surprise that King's first Rebirth Batman book wasn't stronger, something more than standard superheroics wrapped in fairly common comics tropes.

But, wow. King's Batman Vol. 2: I Am Suicide is good. Astonishingly good. The kind of thing one has come to expect from a Tom King comic, and even then, what a book. I Am Suicide marks the true opening salvo of Tom King's run, the point in which King's run begins to distinguish itself, the point in which King's Batman begins to define the Rebirth era instead of the Rebirth era defining it, the point in which we begin to wonder whether we have another Scott Snyder-level hit on our hands here. It's one of these books that when you begin to suspect everything that could ever be said about Batman has already been said, here comes a volume that decimates that idea completely.

Review: Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 1: Rise of the Batmen (Rebirth) trade paperback (DC Comics)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

James Tynion's Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 1: Rise of the Batmen is startlingly good, in many ways a faithful bridging of DC Comics's pre-Flashpoint and Rebirth continuities, but one that's not beholden to the past. Any number of times Tynion zags where precedent would have told him to zig, creating something that's not simply reminiscent of the past but rather an improvement on it. Artist Eddy Barrows is doing the work of his career, adeptly illustrating all of his pages and offering some fantastically complex two-page spreads, upheld later in the book by Alvaro Martinez. Detective Comics has been in the Batman title's shadow at least the five years of the New 52 if not decades before that, but this is one of the first times in a while where Detective comes off the better and even the more relevant of the two series.

Review: Green Arrow Vol. 2: Island of Scars (Rebirth) trade paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, April 10, 2017

It's perhaps a bit of understatement to call a book involving a high-speed undersea train heist a "down" trade, but it feels like Green Arrow Vol. 2: Island of Scars rests on its laurels after the first volume Rebirth premiere. Perhaps I need to adjust my expectations; after all, when this title's already done a year's worth of stories in six months due to weekly shipping, maybe there's more time for "just because" stories.

If anything, writer Benjamin Percy emphasizes here the Green Arrow/Black Canary relationship, which I find fascinating and problematic all in one. Percy also explicates John Diggle's role in the Rebirth "Team Arrow" and also introduces a blast from Green Arrow's (previous continuity) past. But it's hard to see how the Green Arrow story so far would be much different without these issues, nor does this book definitively suggest where the Green Arrow title is going from here, and the result is a trade that doesn't quite feel complete.

Review: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey Vol. 1: Who is Oracle? (Rebirth) trade paperback (DC Comics)

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Julie and Shawna Benson's Rebirth Batgirl and the Birds of Prey Vol. 1: Who is Oracle? is satisfactorily in the style of Birds of Prey past, with especially funny interplay between Batgirl Barbara Gordon and Black Canary Dinah Lance. It's an enjoyable but not necessarily ground-breaking Birds of Prey tale, at least until the fifth part, when the whole thing cracks wide open and becomes a maniacal meta-commentary on Oracle's role or lack thereof in the New 52. Hints of this wackiness crop up before that point, suggesting this is really the tone the Bensons are going for; a lot of Oracle is devoted to setting up the "new" Birds of Prey team, and I'm eager to see what the writers do "unleashed" now that introductions are out of the way.

Review: Batgirl Vol. 2: Family Business trade paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, April 03, 2017

From the first pages of Batgirl Vol. 2: Family Business, one can clearly see a comic coming into its own. The very origins of DC Comics' DC You era begin and end with Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr's Batgirl series, and it's only right that this title's first DC You volume should up the ante in "Batgirl-ness." This is most apparent in Tarr's use of the super deformed style and other manga tropes to express the characters' emotions, not nearly so pronounced in the previous volume, as well as letterer Steve Wands's word balloons sans black borders. Batgirl Vol. 1: Batgirl of Burnside looked like nothing else in DC Comics's line the first time around, and that's even more true now.

Stewart and Fletcher's stories range from the thrilling to the mundane to the silly, and at times this title finds itself more in the realm of the Harley Quinn-esque situational comedy than the straight superheroics of the rest of the Bat-titles, not that there's anything wrong with that. On the other hand, Family Business is rife, almost overflowing, with Bat-guest stars, an uneasy mix that works when it works and is sure to be controversial when it doesn't.

Review: Batman and Robin Eternal Vol. 2 trade paperback (DC Comics)

7 comments | Tags:

Thursday, March 30, 2017

There's a secret at the center of Batman and Robin Eternal Vol. 2 that reaches back to affect Scott Snyder's entire Batman run from the beginning all the way to the very end. Whether this was always Snyder's intention isn't clear: either Snyder showed so much foresight as to sow the seeds of a character's secret origin nearly five years back and then sat on it until now, or else Snyder was willing to entirely alter one of his signature characters solely for the purpose of this story. It's astounding either way, and insofar as Batman and Robin Eternal is somewhat removed from Bat-continuity proper (at least until Rebirth), equally it proves itself in the end to be just as integral to Snyder's Bat-saga as the main books themselves.

Review: Batman and Robin Eternal Vol. 1 trade paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Batman and Robin Eternal Vol. 1 clearly takes place before the events of Robin War, though I'm glad I read Robin War first. The two books involve many of the same characters and there's similarity at least in the character pairings, but Eternal's scope is much larger and its mystery deeper, and it feels in grandeur like Robin War's follow-up even though it's really the predecessor. Moreover Eternal is clearly the forerunner to James Tynion's Rebirth Detective Comics, given the large role of Red Robin Tim Drake and Spoiler Stephanie Brown, among a variety of the other young members of the Bat-family.

In much the same way Rebirth and the new Detective Comics seem to be mining the 1990s and 2000s Bat-universe, so too does Eternal cover some wonderfully nostalgic territory; there's a particular hero/villain match-up here I never thought I'd see again. At the same time Eternal offers a touch of the modern pop irreverence of Batgirl of Burnside (this being squarely in the DC You, of course) and also the Grayson-inspired penchant for not taking itself too seriously; a character joking about "three beefy Robin boys" isn't something we would've seen back in Contagion.

Review: Cyborg Vol. 1: The Imitation of Life (Rebirth) trade paperback (DC Comics)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Rebirth Cyborg Vol. 1: The Imitation of Life spends five of its early pages in a jazz club, and the book is rife with enough little moments like these to mark John Semper Jr.'s Cyborg as worth watching. David Walker's Cyborg series from just a year prior started with an epic, self-contained, planet-in-peril story, and Semper's tale is smaller by comparison, often pulling in many different directions and far from wrapped up by the end. In many respects I like this; Semper's book truly feels like the start of a comics series on a meandering journey rather than a graphic novel written for trade and split into issues, and there's something refreshing about that.

The storytelling is far from perfect, but Semper imbues Cyborg and his supporting characters with a lot of heart. Semper also addresses race and the book's location, Detroit, more directly than Walker had a chance to, aspects that look like they'll grow in importance with the next volume.

DC Trade Solicitations for June 2017 - Justice League by Giffen and DeMatteis, Batman: Caped Crusader Post-Crisis, Dixon Nightwing Vol. 6 and Robin Vol. 4, DC Rebirth Omnibus Extended Edition

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Just last week we saw a sneak peek of DC Comics's Fall 2017 collections (links are operational now!), and now here we are with some of those books already showing up in their June 2017 hardcovers and trade paperbacks solicitations. Most notably we see the Justice League International Omnibus now re-named as the Justice League by Giffen and DeMatteis Omnibus; there's also the Harley Quinn by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti Omnibus and the DC Universe: Rebirth Omnibus Expanded Edition, among other big books.

We also see the next volumes in the reprint series of Chuck Dixon's Nightwing and Robin, and also a collection of some immediately-post-Crisis on Infinite Earths Batman stories that I'm pretty excited about. All of this and further indication of how nicely crossovers are being collected in Rebirth, as we see the contents of the next Justice League Rebirth collections.

Let's dip in and take a look.

Justice League by Giffen and DeMatteis Omnibus Vol. 1 HC

What DC's Fall 2017 solicitations had listed as the Justice League International Omnibus is already solicited this month, for September, as Justice League by Giffen and DeMatteis Omnibus Vol. 1. The contents now outpace the six hardcover/paperback Justice League International collections by about a dozen issues or so; the end of Giffen and DeMatteis's run is now within about twenty issues from the end of this, times two series, America and Europe.

Contents are said to be Justice League #1-6, Justice League International #7-25, Justice League America #26-46, Justice League Europe #1-21, Suicide Squad #13, Justice League International Annual #1-3, Justice League America Annual #4, Justice League Europe Annual #1, and possibly more. (A number of people have pointed out that these are too many issues for a 1,000-page omnibus, so we'll see how the contents shake out.)

Given that DC is now doubling-down on their Justice League International collections, we can perhaps surmise that interest in the Justice League: Breakdowns book was so great as to warrant this bigger collection, and not as it seemed that there was too little interest for that book to make it.

At this point I think it's generally accepted that Keith Giffen and JM DeMatteis's "bwa-ha-ha" era of Justice League is just as intrinsic to the fabric of the DC Universe as the Silver Age incarnation or Grant Morrison's JLA, and a comprehensive volume is welcome if not overdue.

Absolute Authority Vol. 1 HC

This is new, and maybe a little controversial, re-releasing an Absolute edition with material not included in the original Absolute edition. Adding to the original issues #1-12 now is the Planetary/Authority graphic novel, and also apparently a "new story by Warren Ellis, Bryan Hitch and Paul Neary." Honestly this would enthuse me more if DC had kept up the Authority franchise; I'm still surprised they went with Stormwatch instead of Authority in the New 52, and unfortunately that title didn't work out so well anyway. All of which leads me to feel that Authority's time has somehow passed (though if the story related to current political events, that'd be interesting) and I'm more likely to browse the new material when it's invariably released in a cheaper edition.

Planetary Book One TP

This is a "new cut" of the Planetary collection ("cut" and "recut" being the word of the day in DC's Fall 2017 solicitations), including about half of the original series (#1-14), a "sneak peak" story, and the same Planetary/Authority graphic novel that's also in the new Absolute Authority collection.

Aquaman: Kingdom Lost TP

This collection by John Arcudi and Patrick Gleason finishes out the Aquaman series that ran parallel to the end of JLA, finishing with a tie-in to Infinite Crisis. The contents are said to be issues #32-39 and the last collection ended with Arcudi's issue #29, which I guess keeps the latter half of this collection series all Arcudi, but in the interest of completeness I wish they'd throw in issues #30-31 by Marc Guggenheim and Andy Clarke, too.

Batman: The Caped Crusader Vol. 1 HC

I'm pleased to see this Batman: The Caped Crusader collection, which appears to collect issues of Batman and Detective Comics that followed Crisis on Infinite Earths and Batman: Year One -- that is, issues that aren't super-duper special, but simply reflect a Batman era that's otherwise mostly uncollected, which for a completist like me is really kind of great.

The contents are Detective Comics #575-584 and Batman #413-420. This does include Batman: Year Two, stories from the recent Jason Todd-centric collection Batman: Second Chances, and Batman: Ten Nights of the Beast, so of about 18 issues, about 12 of them are previously collected, but I'd venture a collection of Ten Nights is pretty hard to find these days, and in all these are some classic, often gritty Batman stories. Stories are by Mike Barr, Jo Duffy, Alan Grant, John Wagner, and Jim Starlin, including two Millennium crossover issues. For those following along at home, the issues around Death in the Family would be coming up in the next volume.

Daring New Adventures of Supergirl Vol. 2 TP

The second volume of Paul Kupperberg's early 1980s Supergirl series saw the release of the Helen Slater movie, causing the title change from "Daring New Adventures" to just "Supergirl." Indeed the volume includes an Ambush Bug guest-appearance. This is the Supergirl who dies in Crisis on Infinite Earths; indeed she has few appearances after this volume before Crisis.

Elseworlds: Justice League Vol. 2 TP

The big draw in this volume are three graphic novels by Jean-Mac Lofficier and Randy Lofficier, Superman: Metropolis, Batman: Nosferatu, and Wonder Woman: Blue Amazon, connected and based on classic German movies. Also included is Doug Moench's three-part JLA: Act of God, about the heroes losing their powers, and the famously pulped Elseworlds 80-Page Giant.

Midnighter: The Complete Wildstorm Series TP

This Midnighter collection has been bopping around DC's solicitations for about a year now, so it's good to see it finally solicited. This is Midnighter #1-20 and the Midnighter: Armageddon special. All of these are collected in other trades, but I imagine fans will like to have them in one place; possibly the only thing this lacks is the Grifter & Midnighter miniseries, also collected on its own.

Nightwing Vol. 6: To Serve and Protect TP

This new collection of Chuck Dixon's Nightwing series collects the contents of the Big Guns and On the Razor's Edge collections, issues #47-60 plus the Nightwing 80-Page Giant special (the Secret Files and Origins, originally in Big Guns, was moved to the new fourth volume). Issues #51 (a profile of the Tad character) and #53 ("Officer Down," part 5) were previously omitted but have been brought back here.

This marks the end of where this Nightwing series has been collected until issue #101. Dixon would write until issue #70 and then Devin Grayson would take over until issue #117, with a variety of writers after that. Which is to say, hopefully there's more reprint Nightwing volumes to follow, and those should begin to collect Nightwing material that's never been collected before.

Robin Vol. 4: Turning Point TP

The fourth new collection of Chuck Dixon's Robin collects the Robin/Huntress stories from Showcase '94 #5-6 and Robin #0 and #6-13 (issue #6 crossed over with Showcase '94). This is, admittedly, an issue of "Knightquest," two parts of "Knightsend," two Zero Hour tie-in issues, and three parts of Prodigal. That's wonky, to be sure (it smoothes out a little after that but there's plenty other events on the horizon), but Dixon has subplots that move laterally through his issues, so I maintain there's some value in reading the issues this way.

• Wonder Woman 100 Project TP

Via Jason Waters on Facebook: "The 'Wonder Woman 100' project is brought to you by the Hero Initiative, a non-profit that raises money for the veterans of the comic book industry who fall on hard times. I've been a fundraiser for them for over a decade. Visit for more info. This is the second DC Comics book we've done."

A covers collection wouldn't usually be for me, but I thought it was interesting this solicitation included "NOTE: There will be ONLY ONE PRINTING OF THIS BOOK EVER! Order yours today!" They're upfront about it, at least.

DC Universe: Rebirth Omnibus Expanded Edition HC

As we discussed the other day, this is the DC Universe: Rebirth Omnibus all over again, just now with Batwoman: Rebirth, Justice League America: Rebirth and its associated specials, the DC Rebirth Holiday Special, and variably I've heard Super Sons #1 is in there, though the solicitation doesn't say it.

This is fine enough; the manner in which some of these are the first part of stories and some of these are self-contained makes for an uncertain reading experience, and had I bought this omnibus just a year ago only for it to be re-released a year later with just seven more issues in it, I might be annoyed, but good that DC's making it complete-er. But I do wonder why not just a Vol. 2, maybe with Justice League vs. Suicide Squad or some other integral part of the Rebirth story; if DC decides to release more Rebirth specials, how much more can they add to this book before it's time to start a new one?

Deathstroke Vol. 2: The Gospel of Slade TP

Collects issues #6-11 of the Christopher Priest series. The next collection was just solicited as issues #12-17, but given that "Lazarus Contract" starts with issue #19, we might expect that'll be #12-18 instead.

Flash Vol. 3: Rogues Reloaded TP

Collects issues #14-20, ending just before the Batman crossover "The Button."

Flash: The Rebirth Collection Deluxe Edition Book One HC

The solicitation says this collects the Rebirth special and issues #1-12, but the second paperback collection goes to issue #13, so most likely this will, too.

Gotham Academy: Second Semester Vol. 1 TP

Collects issues #1-3 and #5-8 of the second series. Issue #4, with guest artist Jon Lam, is scheduled to be in the next collection.

Harley Quinn by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti Omnibus Vol. 1 HC

The solicitation for the first Harley Quinn omnibus basically match what DC released the other day -- Harley Quinn #0-16, , Harley Quinn: Futures End #1, Harley Quinn Invades San Diego Comic Con #1, Harley Quinn Annual #1, Harley Quinn Holiday Special #1, Harley Quinn Valentines Day Special #1, and Harley Quinn & Power Girl #1-6 -- except for the Harley Quinn Director's Cut #0 and the story from Secret Origins #4. Complete as this is, I'd be surprised if those weren't in here.

Injustice Ground Zero Vol. 1 HC

Collects issues #1-6 of the new series. I thought I understood that this was a re-telling of the previous Injustice series from Harley's perspective, but if it's a new story bridging Injustice and Injustice 2, that makes me more interested.

Justice League by Geoff Johns Box Set Vol. 1

I find these box sets -- previously for Snyder and Capullo's Batman -- pretty attractive, with uniform trade dress for the books. This has the first three Justice League volumes -- Origin, Villain's Journey, and Throne of Atlantis -- collecting Justice League #1-17 and Aquaman #15-16.

Justice League Vol. 3: Timeless TP

The previous volume collected Justice League #6-11 and this one picks up with issues #14-19, so indeed it skips the Justice League vs. Suicide Squad issues collected elsewhere.

Justice League: The Rebirth Collection Deluxe Edition Book One HC

Collects the Rebirth special and issues #1-11, which matches what we already know.

Midnighter & Apollo TP

The six issue miniseries by Steve Orlando and Fernando Blanco.

Mother Panic Vol. 1: A Work in Progress TP
Shade, The Changing Girl Vol. 1: Earth Girl Made Easy TP

Each collect the first six issues of the Young Animal series.

• Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka Vol. 2 TP

The second of what must now be three Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka volumes collects issues #206-217, which are the former Eyes of the Gorgon and Land of the Dead collections (missing is Flash #219, which should hopefully be included). Plenty of room in the next volume to completely collect the "Sacrifice" crossover with the Superman titles.

A whole bunch of books solicited lately! Pick one -- ONE -- book that you could purchase; what would it be?