DC Trade Solicitations for July 2018 - Crisis on Infinite Earths Companion, Batman: Caped Crusader Vol. 1, Aquaman by David Book Two, New Teen Titans Vol. 9, Flash: Rogues: Captain Cold

Monday, April 23, 2018

It's been a busy comics month with both Action Comics #1000 and Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman, but of course the comics train waits for no one and DC Comics' July 2018 trade paperback and hardcover solicitations are here, looking ahead to August and beyond.

On one hand this seems not the most ground-breaking month (I mean, once you've got Superman Blue Vol. 1, everything else is just kind of blah, no?), but on the other hand maybe I'm just getting spoiled by all the great collections we've seen lately. I mean, we've got more uncollected issues of Marv Wolfman and George Perez's New Teen Titans in New Teen Titans Vol. 9, Benjamin Percy's final Green Arrow volume, Batman: The Caped Crusader Vol. 1, and the Crisis on Infinite Earths Companion (now no longer Vol. 1 again, supposedly), not to mention another Aquaman by Peter David book. So not, like, Titans: The Wildebeest Saga, but no slouch either this month.

Read on for more details ...

Aquaman by Peter David Book Two TP

The second collection of Peter David's Aquaman is nicely following quick on the heels of the first -- February and then August. Issues #9-20 include an Underworld Unleashed tie-in and guest appearances by Dolphin, Tempest, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, and that era's Wonder Woman-led Justice League. Also included is the "Year One" Aquaman Annual #1. A handy DC collection would be all the Justice League-related titles of these "Year One" annuals, which if I recall correctly had the throughway of Superman meeting the other heroes for the first time.

Batman and the Signal TP

To balance out the three-issue miniseries by Scott Snyder and Tony Patrick, this has the All-Star Batman backups and a story from New Talent Showcase 2017. I do like DC getting all the Signal material together in one package; I've already got those backups via the All-Star trades but I'm not sure there's much else DC could have padded this book with. A three-issue mini is always going to be tough to collect but I appreciate that the creative team didn't bite off more issues than they needed.

Batman Beyond Vol. 3: The Long Payback TP

Issues #13-19 of the Dan Jurgens/Bernard Chang series.

Batman by Doug Moench and Kelley Jones Vol. 2 TP

Picks up from the first volume and continues to collect their run with Batman issues #536-552 and #555. Among other things that's Final Night and Genesis tie-in issues, plus the Spectre and Ragman.

Batman: Arkham: Penguin TP

It's rather astounding this one didn't come out earlier; I think I hadn't been looking for it because I thought it had (blame Super Friends but I always think of Penguin as Batman's second arch-nemesis right after the Joker). Collects Detective Comics #58 (first appearance), #610-611 ("Snow and Ice" by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle) and #824 ("Night of the Penguin" by Paul Dini and Don Kramer); Batman #155, #374, and 548-549 ("Penguin Returns" by Doug Moench and Kelley Jones); Batman: Penguin Triumphant #1; and Joker’s Asylum: Penguin #1.

Batman: The Caped Crusader Vol. 1 TP

Well, we got Batman: The Dark Knight Detective the other day and it included an image of Caped Crusader; here comes Caped Crusader for August, and DC's mentioning Dark Knight Detective in the solicitations. It's not often we see "partner" trades like that, and this is interesting and I'm eager to see these continue for a while -- through "Knightfall," I guess.

This latest solicitation has the book at Batman #417-425, #430-431, and Annual #12. That's "Ten Nights of the Beast," but specifically skips over "Death in the Family." That's controversial to say the least, if it's correct; I would admire the gumption of the person in the DC office who said, "Y'know, we've collected 'Death in the Family' a bunch of times, let's not include it here," but as long as they're collecting these stories in sequential order, might as well go for all of them, no?

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II HC

By James Tynion and Freddie Williams, the latter of whom will also be drawing the Injustice/Masters of the Universe crossover series.

Crisis on Infinite Earths Companion Deluxe Edition HC

Last month when we saw DC Comics's Fall 2018 catalog solicitations, this was back on the schedule -- having been solicited and cancelled before -- but as the first of multiple volumes. This solicitation doesn't mention "Vol. 1" and suggests this is "all the tales that tied in to Crisis on Infinite Earths." Well, I can tell you that what's listed for the volume, at least, isn't everything, but rather only collects tie-ins going up to about Crisis #9, and specifically omits issues that followed that were branded as Crisis tie-ins. Either there's many more contents than what's listed or this is indeed volume one of two.

Here's what the solicitation says is in it so far: Justice League of America #244, Justice League of America Annual #3, Green Lantern #194, Wonder Woman #327-328, Losers Special #1, Infinity Inc. #18-20, DC Comics Presents #87-88, Omega Men #31, Blue Devil #17-18, New Teen Titans #13-14, All-Star Squadron #50-51, Fury of Firestorm #41-42.

DC Comics Bombshells: The Deluxe Edition Book One HC

Deluxe-size collection of issues #1-12

Deadman TP

Issues #1-6 of the new Neal Adams miniseries.

Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles TP

Matt Santori has written a great couple of articles about Mark Russell's Snagglepuss series, making me more and more interested to check it out every time. Arrives in stores in late August, the six-issue mini plus the backup from Suicide Squad/Banana Splits.

Flash: Rogues: Captain Cold TP

This is a neat idea a la the Batman: Arkham books, and could lead to a fine Gorilla Grodd or Reverse Flash book. Contents are Showcase #8 (first appearance by John Broome); Flash #150 (Gardner Fox) and #297 (Cary Bates); Flash #28 (William Messner-Loebs) and #182 (Geoff Johns); Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #1 (Scott Kolins); Flash #6 (Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul) and Flash #17 (Joshua Williamson).

Flash: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book Three HC

Collects the Rebirth Flash Vol. 5 Negative and Vol. 6 Cold Day in Hell, making up issues #28-38.

Green Arrow Vol. 6: Trial of Two Cities TP

Collects issues #33-38, the last issues by inaugural Rebirth writer Benjamin Percy. A warning, do not read the solicitation for this trade, which spoils a pretty big twist in the series.

Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica HC

Due out in late August, just a couple months after the start of the Batman '66/Archie comic.

Harley Quinn Vol. 6: Angry Bird TP

The first Harley collection by Frank Tieri, issues #35-42.

• Infinite Crisis Unwrapped HC

I'm not much for these un-inked collections, but original pencils by Phil Jimenez and George Perez is tempting indeed.

Injustice 2 Vol. 2 TP
Injustice 2 Vol. 3 HC

With Tom Taylor continuing as writer. Collects issues #7-12 and #14, and #13, #15-17, and Annual #1, respectively.

Also, Tim Seeley of Grayson and Nightwing mastery is going to be writing the ultra-twenty-first century Injustice meeting the ultra-1980s He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Say what? Harley Quinn and Orko in one adventure together? Stand back, Action Comics #1000. The future really is a wonderful place.

JSA by Geoff Johns Book Two TP

JSA #16-25 (the JSA Vol. 3: Return of Hawkman trade) and Secret Origin of Super-Villains, JSA: Our Worlds at War, JLA/JSA: Secret Files, and JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice.

New Gods by Jack Kirby TP

Another of DC's new Jack Kirby collections; includes New Gods #1-11, "Even Gods Must Die," and Hunger Dogs.

New Teen Titans Vol. 9 TP

This is New Teen Titans (second series) #1-9, of which issues only issues #1-6 have been collected before. DC's making great progress here finally getting Marv Wolfman and company's Titans collected.

Superman Vol. 6: Imperius Lex TP

Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason's second-to-last Superman trade, collecting issues #33-36 and #39-41 (missing ones are Super Sons of Tomorrow. With James Robinson.

Superman: Action Comics Vol. 5: Booster Shot TP

The last collection of Dan Jurgens' Rebirth run on Action Comics, this is issues #993-999 plus Jurgens' forthcoming Action Comics special.

Wonder Woman, Diana Prince: The 50th Anniversary Omnibus HC

The 1970s adventures of the white-suited "new look" Wonder Woman, previously collected in four paperbacks. This is Wonder Woman #178-204 (some just covers because the books were reprints), Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #93, Brave and the Bold #87 and #105, and World's Finest Comics #204.

So what is in the Crisis Companion anyway, and will it be volume one of two? Should Tom Seeley and Freddie Williams write Injustice/Masters of the Universe/Thundercats next? Lemme hear from you in the comments.
Collected Editions 2017 Comic Book Gift Guide

Review: Superman Vol. 5: Hopes and Fears (Rebirth) trade paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, April 22, 2018

I had a dim view of the Rebirth Superman Vol. 5: Hopes and Fears ahead of reading this volume, as I knew it only contained one story by series creative team Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason. The rest would be fill-ins, seemingly to let the Superman title step out of the spotlight roundabouts the time that Action Comics would be entering into "The Oz Effect." Indeed Hopes and Fears is no great shakes, but what redeems it for me are two Superman team-up stories with some continuity notes, which I always get a little joy out of even if the stories themselves aren't stellar. Also, Tomasi and Gleason's "road trip" story is an impressive feat itself, a charming two-part civics lesson that hopefully DC is intending to collect on its own for schools and the like.

Review: Action Comics #1000 (DC Comics)

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Action Comics #1000 has arrived. It's a comic that at some points seemed very far off, at other points I wasn't sure we'd ever see. When the New 52 restarted Action's numbering, it seemed the idea that high numbers put off new readers might be extending even so far as DC's longest running titles -- but around the time DC recognized Detective Comics #900 amidst the New 52, we got an inkling the renumbering was not so cynical as we thought. And now, of course, here we are, and with the Superman title about to be renumbered to #1 too, we get an Action and Superman in sync with at least their right-most digit, which leaves neither title looking so old after all. If we didn't know better we'd think they planned it this way.

Review: Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman: The Deluxe Edition hardcover (DC Comics)

Sunday, April 15, 2018

In celebration of Action Comics #1000, DC Comics has released Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman, a deluxe commemorative hardcover collecting key issues of Action along with essays. It is an interesting and affecting book, worth reading before Action #1000 to contextualize and put one in the right mindset for that volume. A number of the essays, including by former DC executive Paul Levitz and writer Larry Tye, try to convey the enormity of a Superman comic having been published continuously every month for the past eighty years; the logistics are almost too much to fully comprehend, but reading multiple perspectives on the feat brings it home ahead of the issue itself.

Review: Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 5: A Lonely Place of Living (Rebirth) trade paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

What a weird, wacky story is the Rebirth Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 5: A Lonely Place of Living. A Red Robin Tim Drake spotlight book that serves to re-establish much of Tim's pre-Flashpoint origins, I had thought based on solicitations that this would also involve Robin-mythos stalwarts Spoiler and Anarky (who actually appear in the second story included). Instead, this Rebirth tie-in (pit stop?), with a secondary revelation of Mr. Oz's identity, is considerably more of a superhero sci-fi story than we normally see in a Batman book, and with tendrils that reach forward to Batwoman, Superman, and Super Sons, among other DC titles.

As a sequel to the story Lonely Place of Dying, writer James Tynion's ties are largely more thematic than plot-based, which perhaps is the right way to go. Controversially, Tynion holds over one of this book's most pressing questions for the next volume, though in the non-answer perhaps we get our answer. Between the last book and this one we learned Tynion is leaving this title, and to that point this volume foreshadows its own end; there is triumph here in the apparent return of Tim Drake, though it's bittersweet in our sense that there isn't much time left to enjoy it.

Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Vol. 3: Quest for Hope (Rebirth) trade paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, April 08, 2018

The Rebirth Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Vol. 3: Quest for Hope is a fine return to form for the Robert Venditti-lead Green Lantern franchise. This particular series started strong with an epic first volume, but then faltered with a second book that didn't add much to the story. With this third book, Venditti's ideas seem to be bubbling over; the four-part "Quest for Hope" itself swings far and wide from what the premise of the story seems to be, giving the tale a wonderful crazed, unpredictable quality. Venditti follows that with another four-parter that reminds of some of the wild multi-front wars of Venditti's New 52 run. In short Quest for Hope demonstrates Venditti back on the right track, with only a couple minor hiccups along the way.

Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Vol. 2: Bottled Light (Rebirth) trade paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

What was good in Robert Venditti's first volume of the relaunched Rebirth Green Lantern series becomes a detriment in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Vol. 2: Bottled Light. I praised the first Corps for its unencumbered, straightforward story, appropriate for this new beginning in an epic TV movie/TV pilot kind of way. But Bottled Light is in the same vein in relatively light fashion, with a low threat by Green Lantern standards and character work that unfolds along predictable lines. I didn't mind that the first seven issues just essentially re-established the status quo for this book, but when we've only moved by inches after the next six, this starts to feel sluggish -- especially given how much Venditti packed into his New 52 stories.

Review: Flash Vol. 5: Negative (Rebirth) trade paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, April 01, 2018

There's an interesting mystery at the beginning of Joshua Williamson's Rebirth Flash Vol. 5: Negative, but that momentum is squandered in a generic fight with a forgettable villain and inconsistent character work. Once again, Williamson's Flash defies explanation; the writer of the superlative Justice League vs. Suicide Squad populates this book with unlikable characters and overlays a general sense of malaise. My fervent hope was that Negative would mark the end of this book's "negative" bent, but it hasn't happened yet; if all of this is meant to be part of some "Flash is possessed" story thread, hopefully it resolves itself soon.

DC Trade Solicitations for June 2018 - Superman Blue Vol. 1, Wonder Woman by Byrne Vol. 2, Red Hood New 52 Omnibus, Wildstorm: Michael Cray Vol. 1, Final Rebirth Birds of Prey and Blue Beetle

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Not to give you too much "solicitation fatigue" when we just saw the full list of DC Comics Fall 2018 collections earlier this week, but there is also this month the regular listing of upcoming DC Comics hardcover and trade paperback solicitations for June 2018.

Some of what's here, like the Red Hood and the Outlaws: The New 52 Omnibus, we just saw in the Fall 2018 catalog. Other notable books include the end of the Rebirth Batgirl and the Birds of Prey and also a second Wonder Woman by John Byrne collection. The book that sticks out for me this month, however, is what was once called Superman Red/Superman Blue, now called Superman Blue Vol. 1, a smaller chunk of the late 1990s saga that essentially marked the exit of what remained of the "Death of Superman" team. This is a long story, which I clock at about four volumes, and I'll be curious to see how this collection series unfolds.

Let's take a look at the list.

Absolute Flashpoint HC

Flashpoint, I'm reminded when the book rears its head now and then, marked the erosion not just of the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths DC Universe, but also of Flashpoint itself -- of whatever it was that Geoff Johns was doing with Barry Allen at the time and whatever plans he had that were co-opted and changed by the coming of the New 52. It's hard in some cases to view the dark, brutal Flashpoint un-ironically, but it was on its own merits an interesting story, with a big role for Cyborg, at least, plus a curious take on Captain Marvel that unfortunately hasn't fully manifested yet. All of that is to say that I can see why DC wants an Absolute of this book on the stands, up to and including the ties to the upcoming Flash movie, though it seems an odd package when so much work was just done to separate the story universe from what this began.

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey Vol. 3: Full Circle TP

Collects issues #14-22, the end of the first Rebirth Birds of Prey series.

Batman Vol. 6: Bride or Burglar? TP

Collects Tom King's Batman #38-44, including the much-discussed Wonder Woman issue and an appearance by Poison Ivy, in the run-up to issue #50.

Batman: Death of the Maidens New Edition TP

This would seem to be a paperback based on the recent Deluxe edition.

Batman and Robin Adventures Vol. 3 TP

Collects Batman and Robin Adventures #19-25 and Annual #2.

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Deluxe Edition HC

Already collected in both hardcover and paperback, this is a deluxe-sized edition of the first miniseries.

Batman: Thrillkiller New Edition TP

Collects both the 1960s-set Elseworlds Thrillkiller miniseries by Howard Chaykin and Dan Brereton, as Detective Bruce Wayne tries to catch Batgirl and Robin.

Blue Beetle Vol. 3: Road to Nowhere TP

Collects #13-18, the final issues of Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis's Rebirth Blue Beetle.

DC Universe by Mike Mignola TP

Paperback of the hardcover, including Superman: The World of Krypton, Action Comics Annual #1, Superman #18 and 23, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #54, Batman: Gotham Knights #36, Swamp Thing Annual #5, Phantom Stranger #1-4, and more.

Doom Patrol: The Silver Age Vol. 1 TP

Collects My Greatest Adventure #80-85 and Doom Patrol #86-95.

Flash by Geoff Johns Book Five TP

Issues #214-225, from the Flash Vol. 7: The Secret of Barry Allen and Flash Vol. 8: Rogue War collections.

Harley Quinn: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book Two HC

Collects issues #14-27 and the Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special, which are the contents of the paperbacks Harley Quinn Vol. 3: Red Meat and Harley Quinn Vol. 4: Surprise, Surprise.

Jetsons TP

Issues #1-6 of the Jimmy Palmiotti series.

Justice League of America Vol. 4: Surgical Strike TP

Collects issues #18-21 and Annual #1. I'm especially interested to see a villain from Steve Orlando's Midnighter series return.

Justice League of America: The Silver Age Vol. 4 TP

Collects Justice League of America #31-41.

Ragman TP

Issues #1-6 of the Ragman reboot by Raw Fawkes and Inaki Miranda. I'd say it seems a bit of a shame to have a new Ragman when the original one's perfectly functional, but I guess that was a continuity ago so this would indeed be Ragman's "first appearance." Fawkes did well for a while writing DC's dark magic side, so he seems a fine choice for this.

Orion by Walter Simonson Book One TP

In 2015 DC released an omnibus of this material, which was both the (JLA-tied) 25-issue Orion series by Walter Simonson and also various stories from Showcase '94, various 80-page giants, and the like. This cut-down paperback has Orion #1-11 and some of the outside material, and presumably Book Two will have #12-25.

Red Hood and the Outlaws: The New 52 Omnibus Vol. 1 HC

Given the New 52's spotted reputation, a New 52 omnibus is an unexpected thing, and no title probably invited more controversy in the New 52 than Red Hood and the Outlaws. Still I enjoyed this title more often than not, and the Rebirth iteration is getting rave reviews, so I'm glad to see DC standing up for it with this. And furthermore, where DC could have just gone with the Scott Lobdell material, this is Red Hood complete (even with "Death of the Family" tie in issues), so especially if you're coming at this new, it's a nice package. And this is only Vol. 1, so I'm guessing DC will include the Red Hood/Arsenal series with the rest of the issues in the next book.

Suicide Squad Vol. 6: The Secret History of Task Force X TP

Collects issues #27-32 by Rob Williams, just after the Dark Nights: Metal crossover.

Supergirl by Peter David Book Four TP

Collects issues #32-43 of the Peter David series. The solicitation doesn't mention it, but within this is a Young Justice crossover, and we'll have to see if those issues are included (the recent Young Justice Vol. 2 collection included the Supergirl issues. There's also a tie-in to the Day of Judgment event.

Superman for All Seasons New Edition TP

Paperback following the recent Deluxe edition.

Superman Blue Vol. 1 TP

What had been billed as a Superman Red/Superman Blue collection (without listing enough issues for such) now becomes Superman Blue Vol. 1, which makes more sense. This book collects about 13 issues, and I estimate the whole saga at over 50 issues, so we're looking at something like four paperbacks to bring this to completion. I am hopeful, but will be very interested to see if that happens; these were not good Superman stories, melodramatic and often focused on secondary characters, and while I love them for the nostalgia, I wonder if the market will support four volumes.

Collects Superman #122-125, Adventures of Superman #545-547, Action Comics #732-734, Superman: The Man of Steel #67-69, and Superman Annual #9.

Titans: The Lazarus Contract TP

Paperback of the Rebirth crossover.

Trinity Vol. 3: Dark Destiny TP

Trinity apparently switches from hardcover-first to straight to paperback with this collection of issues #12-16 and Annual #1. This volume is by Rob Williams; the next should collect the end of the series.

Wildstorm: Michael Cray Vol. 1 TP

Collects issues #1-6 of new Detective Comics writer Bryan Hill's series.

Wonder Woman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 3 HC

Collects Sensation Comics #49-67, Wonder Woman #16-25, and Comics Cavalcade #14-22.

Wonder Woman by John Byrne Book Two HC

Continuing John Byrne's Wonder Woman run, which saw the introduction of Wonder Girl Cassie Sandsmark, involved the Justice Society, and lead-in to Byrne's Genesis line-wide event. This book ends just before Genesis, as a matter of fact, and I do hope DC includes Genesis in the next volume. Byrne's run goes to issue #136, so the next volume could be the last. Also here is Byrne's "Legends of a Dead Earth" Annual #5 and "Pulp Heroes" Annual #6.

Wonder Woman: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book Two HC

Collects issues #15-25, the Wonder Woman Vol. 3: The Truth and Wonder Woman Vol. 4: Godwatch trades, though presumably presenting the issues in publication order. There's a story from the Rebirth Wonder Woman Annual #1, same as in the fourth trade, but also apparently a story from the DC Rebirth Holiday Special 2017, which was not in the other trades. Maybe that's the Wonder Woman/John Constantine story by Mariko Tamaki and Matias Bergara; it's unusual for these deluxe editions to have newly collected material but good for those readers, I guess.

Have you been buying the Rebirth Deluxe editions? Do you want to see those continue into the "No Justice" era or end with the current runs?

Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Vol. 1: Sinestro's Law (Rebirth) trade paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

I've started reading Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps just as it seems writer Robert Venditti is bringing his Green Lantern franchise run to a close. Eighty-five issues is certainly respectable, but it's bittersweet because Venditti's Green Lantern work has been continually of high quality and continually improved on itself.

With the Rebirth Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Vol. 1: Sinestro's Law, Venditti crafts well a tale that finds its origins in the previous DC You Green Lantern era, but also offers a perfectly accessible jumping-on point. Whereas Venditti's inaugural story in the franchise was heavy on the multi-hued Corps mythology set up by previous writer Geoff Johns, Sinestro's Law is a more straightforward superhero sci-fi epic -- perhaps the most basic and least encumbered Green Lantern story I've read in a while, though surely not without nuance and strong characterization. Additionally, here at the beginning of the Rebirth era, Venditti brings Hal Jordan's own arc full circle in a way that I thought most appropriate for the character.