DC Trade Solicitations for December 2019 - Birds of Prey Movie Tie-Ins, Batman: Arkham: Black Mask and Zsasz, Gotham Knights, Green Arrow by Grell Omnibus, Bat and Cat: 80 Years, Harleen by Sejic, Injustice Vs. Masters of the Universe

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Solicitations toward the end of the year do tend to slow down a little, so it's not a big surprise not to see a whole lot of note in the DC Comics December 2019 trade paperback and hardcover solicitations. It's not that there's nothing here, but consider we've got something like five-six books of entirely re-collected material to tie into the new Birds of Prey movie, and then books like Omega Men by Tom King Deluxe, Nightwing by Peter Tomasi, and Aquaman: Death of a Prince Deluxe — all good books, all worthy of being collected, but all stuff I got when it was collected the first time around.

Two books, related, that I am happy about are Batman: Gotham Knights: Transference and Batman: Arkham: Zsasz. Gotham Knights collects 12 issues of the Devin Grayson-lead, post-"No Man's Land" title, that era's "Batman Family" title long before James Tynion's Detective Comics was a glimmer in anyone's eye, and representative of a very specific Batman era — Nightwing, Oracle, Robin Tim Drake, and Batgirl Cassandra Cain. Then the Zsasz book, along with collecting stories of one of my favorite Bat-villains, has a story by Grayson originally scheduled for Gotham Knights but cut for being too gory; I'm excited to see this finally make print.

Weirdly, we also get another new reprinting of the first issues of the 1980s Justice League International. This is worrisome because it's probably based off the recent omnibus, and the omnibus didn't collect the whole series, so I'm concerned another paperback run of this series might end prematurely again. It's surprising even to see this being collected again; I can't imagine we'll get another shot if this doesn't make it.

Then of course there's new Flash and Green Arrow and other stuff on my regular buying list. Let's take a look at the whole slate:

Adventures of Superman: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez Vol. 2 HC

Includes DC Comics Presents #41 (Superman and the Joker, with Martin Pasko), Realworlds: Superman #1 and Superman, Inc. #1 (both with Steve Vance), Superman: Kal #1 (with Dave Gibbons), and Superman #347, World’s Finest Comics #244, #255 and #258, and Action Comics #1000, along with cover art and more.

Aquaman: Death of a Prince Deluxe Edition HC

Reprinting the 2011 paperback, now in hardcover, of the 1970s stories by David Michelinie, Jim Aparo, Mike Grell, and Don Newton, in which Aquaman's infant son is murdered by Black Manta. Collects Adventure Comics #435-437, #441-445 and Aquaman #57-63 (the end of his solo series at the time).

The Bat and the Cat: 80 Years of Romance HC

Hardcover collection of Batman/Catwoman team-ups; still no contents to speak of.

Batman and the Outsiders Vol. 1: Lesser Gods TP

Collects the new Batman and the Outsiders #1-7, by Bryan Hill and Dexter Soy. Some of these issues bore the "Year of the Villain: The Offer" branding.

Batman Beyond Vol. 6: Divide, Conquer and Kill TP

Issues #30-36 by Dan Jurgens, including apparently a guest appearance by the future Flash.

Batman by Neal Adams Book Three TP

This cutdown of the omnibus includes the stories from two book and record sets with art by Adams, plus Batman #232, #234, #237, #243-245, #251, and #255, including "Daughter of the Demon" and "Night of the Reaper."

Batman: Arkham: Black Mask TP

In connection with the upcoming Birds of Prey/Harley Quinn movie, this collects Batman #386-387 and Detective Comics #553 (crossover, Black Mask's first appearances, by Doug Moench and Tom Mandrake on Batman and Moench and Klaus Janson on Detective), #484-485 (by Moench and Tom Grindberg, not so far off from "Knightfall"), #648 (an issue from Judd WInick's Red Hood-focused run, with Doug Mahnke), and Catwoman #16 (Selina's definitive confrontation with Black Mask, by Ed Brubaker and Cameron Stewart) and #83 (later Blackest Night tie-in by Tony Bedard) — as well as, new to this solicitation, the equally just-in-time-for-the-movie Black Mask: Year of the Villain special, credited to Tom Taylor, Cully Hamner, and Mitch Gerads.

Batman: Arkham: Victor Zsasz TP

Pretty notably, this now contains a previously-unpublished story by Devin Grayson and Roger Robinson, which was originally pulled from Gotham Knights for being too gory.

We also get Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1-4, the debut story by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle; Batman: Streets of Gotham #10-11 by Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen; a story from Batman Chronicles #3, again by Grant with Jennifer Graves; Batman: Batgirl #1, a "Girlfrenzy" issue by Kelley Puckett and Jim Balent; Detective Comics #815-816, by Shane McCarthy and Cliff Chiang, as Zsasz goes after Alfred; a story from the New 52 Detective Comics #18 by John Layman and Jason Fabok; and a pin-up by Matt Wagner from Rogues Gallery #1.

One of my favorite Zsasz stories is Batman #493, from "Knightfall," a spooky, slasher flick-inspired tale, and I rather wish it was in there.

Batman: Gotham Knights: Transference TP

The first twelve issues of Devin Grayson's Bat-family book Gotham Knights, ending (for context) just before "Officer Down." With appearances by Nightwing, Oracle, Batgirl Cassandra Cain, Robin Tim Drake, Huntress, and Hugo Strange. Grayson's run goes to #32 and I hope very much this gets another volume. Issue #12 was by Jen Van Meter; the story that was originally supposed to appear there, but was pulled, will be in the Batman: Arkham: Zsasz collection.

Batman: The Golden Age Vol. 6 TP

Batman #21-25, Detective Comics #82-92, and World's Finest #12-14, where among other things Batman and Robin stop cattle rustlers. In paperback for the first time.

Batwoman by JH Williams III Omnibus HC

I'm glad to see this omnibus, well-deserved for the character, and it makes me excited for what the new CW show could bring for Kate Kane. Granted, I'm not sure the other CW shows have done anything for their respective characters' comics profiles, but to have Batwoman in the public consciousness now like Oliver Queen, Barry Allen, and Kara Zor-El are would be a great thing indeed.

Interesting that this is called "by JH Williams" when there's at least a couple issues in there not by Williams, but certainly it's better that this is a complete omnibus of Batwoman's first couple years than not. I don't disagree with stopping this at #24, but I wouldn't have minded Marguerite Bennett's Rebirth series being in there too.

Birds of Prey: Black Canary TP

Tying in to the new Birds of Prey movie, a collection of Brendan Fletcher and Annie Wu's entire DC You Black Canary series (previously collected in two trades), in which Dinah goes on the road as a rock star.

Birds of Prey: Harley Quinn TP

Appears to reprint the first issues of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti's New 52 series, issues #1-7, the Harley Quinn: Futures' End tie-in, and the Harley story from Secret Origins #4. In comparison, Harley Quinn Vol. 1: Hot in the City was issues #0-8 and the two ancillary issues were collected in Harley Quinn Vol. 2: Power Outage.

Birds of Prey: Murder &Amp; Mystery TP

Collects issues #56-67 of the original Gail Simone run, being the Of Like Minds and Sensei & Student collections, minus the one-off issue #68.

Birds of Prey: The Huntress TP

Greg Rucka's six-issue Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood miniseries with Rick Burchett, in the wake of "No Man's Land."

Books of Magic Vol. 2: Second Quarto TP

Collects issues issues #7-13 (previously listed as #7-12) of the Sandman Universe series by Kat Howard and Tom Fowler; this is the end of "year one" and the next volume should start "year two," with John Constantine joining Sandman Universe.

Damage Vol. 3: Monstrous TP

Issues #13-16 and Annual #1, the final issues of Robert Venditti's "New Age of Heroes" series, guest-starring the Justice League.

The Dreaming Vol. 2: Empty Shells TP

Issues #7-12 of the Sandman Universe series by Simon Spurrier and Bilquis Evely.

The Flash Vol. 11: The Greatest Trick of All HC

The collection immediately following the Heroes in Crisis-related "Price" crossover with Batman and preceding Joshua Williamson's new Flash: Year One, collecting issues #66-69 and Annual #2.

This has switched to hardcover now, and it's volume 11. DC has historically been shy about having trades numbered up this high, fearing customers will be intimidated to start, so it'll be interesting to see if changes are afoot anytime soon.

Green Arrow by Mike Grell Omnibus Vol. 1 HC

What'll probably be a two-volume omnibus set, this collects Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters #1-3, Green Arrow #1-50, and a story from Secret Origins #38, with introduction by Mike Grell and afterword by Mike Gold. Grell's run went to #80, so 30 more issues for the next book plus Grell's Green Arrow: The Wonder Years miniseries.

Green Arrow Vol. 8: The End of the Road TP

Issues #39-42 and #48-50 by Mairghread Scott, Jackson Lanzing, and Collin Kelly, tying in to Justice League: No Justice and Heroes in Crisis and bringing the series to a close. Issues #43-47 by Julie and Shawna Benson were in Green Arrow Vol. 7; issues #45 and #48-50 will be in the Heroes in Crisis: The Price and Other Tales collection.

Harleen HC

Collects the three-issue DC Black Label miniseries by Stjepan Sejic.

Hellblazer Vol. 22: Regeneration TP

Collects Hellblazer #250-260 and Hellblazer Special: ChasThe Knowledge #1-5, by Peter Milligan and Simon Oliver, respectively, and others.

High Level TP

Collects the six-issue miniseries by Rob Sheridan and Barnaby Bagenda. Previously published under the relaunched Vertigo, the trade will be branded with DC Black Label.

The Huntress: Origins TP

A direct reprinting of the Huntress: Darknight Daughter trade from a few years back, collecting Paul Levitz's original 1970s stories about the Earth-2 Helena Wayne. With DC Super Stars #17, Batman Family #18-20, and Wonder Woman #271-287, #289, #290, #294, and #295.

Infinite Crisis Omnibus New Edition HC

A fine and well-deserved omnibus, though it doesn't appear that this "new edition" contains anything different than the previous printings. Being Action Comics #826 and #829, Adventures of Superman #639 and #642, Countdown To Infinite Crisis #1, Day of Vengeance #1-6, Day of Vengeance Infinite Crisis Special #1, JLA #115-119, Infinite Crisis #1-6, Infinite Crisis Secret Files 2006 #1, The OMAC Project #1-6, The OMAC Project Infinite Crisis Special #1, Rann-Thanagar War #1-6, Rann-Thanagar Infinite Crisis Special #1, Superman #216 and #219, Villains United #1-6, Villains United Infinite Crisis Special #1, and Wonder Woman #219.

Injustice vs. Masters of the Universe TP

Tim Seeley and Freddie Williams' six-issue miniseries.

Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Five: The Complete Collection TP

Issues #1-20 and the Annual #1 by Brian Buccellato.

Justice League International Book One: Born Again TP

A cutdown, it would seem, of the recent Justice League International Omnibus. Notably, there's yet to be a second omnibus volume, so that's not complete; hopefully DC will actually one day collect the entirety of the involved series.

Collects Justice League #1-6, Justice League International #7-17, Justice League Annual #1, Justice League International Annual #2 and Suicide Squad #13. The last set of paperbacks went up to Justice League International/America #35 and Justice League Europe #11 before cutting off; the omnibus only collected through League #30 and Europe #6. This new trade collects through about the middle of the third smaller trade.

Justice League: Origin Deluxe Edition HC

Issues #1-12 of the New 52 series, being the Origin and Villain's Journey collections, following the 2017 Absolute edition.

Legends of the Dark Knight: Steve Englehart HC

Detective Comics #439 and #469-476, Batman: Dark Detective #1-6, Legends of the Dark Knight #109-111, Legends of the DC Universe #26-27 (Joker and Aquaman, playing on Englehart's "Joker Fish" story), and a story from Batman Chronicles #19.

The Legion of Super-Heroes: The Silver Age Omnibus Vol. 3 HC

Adventure Comics #361-380, Action Comics #378-392, Superboy #147, and Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #106.

Lucifer Vol. 2: The Divine Tragedy TP

Issues #7-13 (not #7-12 as previously solicited) of the Sandman Universe series.

Nightwing by Peter J. Tomasi TP

Nightwing #140-153, shortly before Nightwing took the mantle of the Bat in the Grant Morrison era, by new Detective Comics writer Peter Tomasi. Being the Freefall and Great Leap trades, I enjoyed these very much at the time.

Omega Men by Tom King Deluxe Edition HC

Well deserved to be finally in hardcover; if you didn't buy this before, go and buy it now. An instant classic by Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda.

Scooby Apocalypse Vol. 6 TP

Issues #31-36 by Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis, the final issues of the series. Solicitation suggests it also includes the Atom Ant backups.

Scooby-Doo Team-Up: It's Scooby Time! TP

Collects the final issues of Sholly Fisch's Scooby-Doo Team-Up series, issues #44-50, with Mister Miracle and Big Barda, Black Lightning, and the Flash.

Wonder Woman: Spirit of Truth HC

Hardcover of the painted prose story by Paul Dini and Alex Ross.

World's Finest: Guardians of the Earth HC

Collects World's Finest Comics #195-214, 1970s team-ups between Superman and Green Lantern, Aquaman, Batman, Hawkman, Green Arrow, the Atom, and the Diana Prince-era Wonder Woman.

Review: The Batman Who Laughs hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Despite the supposed end to Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Batman collaboration with Batman: Last Knight on Earth, on stands now, in many respects it feels like Snyder's second act with Batman is just getting started. Sure, Snyder's writing the whole Justice League now, but with books first like Dark Nights: Metal and then leading in to The Batman Who Laughs, it's clear Snyder's League has a lot of basis in his Batman work and in his Batman mythos.

Indeed, too, it's not just the presence of artist Jock that hearkens back to Snyder's earliest Batman work, Batman: The Black Mirror, it's the story as well; Snyder has written a sequel. It's subtle — one need not have read Black Mirror (now shockingly almost a decade old) to enjoy this book, but the connections are there (plus shades, too, of The Killing Joke). Also there are connections to the themes of Snyder's New 52 Batman run, placing Batman Who Laughs firmly in the Snyder canon — more so, even, than Dark Nights: Metal, since Laughs is set firmly in the Gotham that looms so large in Snyder's books.

Review: Review: Justice League Vol. 2: Graveyard of Gods trade paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

DC Comics collections gets in this kind of quandary once in a while, where a title like Scott Snyder and company's Justice League Vol. 2: Graveyard of Gods and Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth share five issues in common and only differ by two in one book, three in the other.

Independent to Graveyard are Justice League #8-9 and independent to Drowned are Aquaman #41-42 and Titans #28; both books share Justice League #10-12 and the Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth #1 and Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1 specials. Optimally DC might've stuck the two books together, adding just two more issues to the Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth collection; collecting it all together, essentially, so no one has to double-dip. Justice League issues #8-9 are far from unrelated, with sub-plots that specifically set up Drowned Earth.

Review: Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 1: Mythology hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

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Sunday, September 08, 2019

Peter Tomasi and Doug Mahnke's Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 1: Mythology debut is problematic. I finished the book surprised and disappointed — in part because I mistakenly believed the story tied in to Tomasi's post-Detective Comics #1000 Arkham Knight story — and it was only my realization five minutes later that Mythology is a run-up-to-Detective-#1000 story (the event, not any particular plot point) that redeemed it for me.

It is not badly written, and indeed Tomasi brings the drama and Mahnke the pizazz that will surely serve them well in their Detective run. It's simply that, wow, to tell a story like Mythology in this day and age and without working some aspect of "1000" into it to tip off readers (trade readers, at least) as to how to interpret this story is gutsy in the extreme. As well, though it's somewhat hard to discern, what one might take here as hints to the direction of Tomasi's Detective run also gives me pause. Time will tell for Tomasi's tenure, but I'm curious to what extent others found Mythology controversial, too.

Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

With the Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth crossover, we find ourselves firmly in the post-Dark Nights: Metal era; "outrageous as the norm" has become not the exception but the rule. That's not bad necessarily; the best of Metal's cosmic loftiness on top of cosmic loftiness is here too, undercut with admirable "we're all in it together" humanism. But if Metal was too much for you, with Justice League: No Justice right after it, consider jumping ship now, as Drowned Earth suggests such tone wasn't an accident and there's probably more to come.

Drowned Earth is a pretty grand Aquaman story, certainly beautifully illustrated. Inasmuch as one is occasionally reminded of Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, it's nice to see an Aquaman event where the conflict isn't Atlantis versus the land or vice versa — that Arthur Curry can star in stories other than where his loyalties are called into question. It is not perhaps the best end to Dan Abnett's Aquaman series run, in that Abnett doesn't get much room to do his own thing, but there are ways we can read between the lines that speak to some of Abnett's themes.

Review: Suicide Squad Vol. 8: Constriction trade paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Rob Williams' Rebirth-era Suicide Squad ends with Suicide Squad Vol. 8: Constriction; with a second movie in the works, it's almost assured that this iteration is being cancelled to make way for a relaunch.

Williams' take has been quite good — probably among the best Suicide Squad interpretations in a while, at least given the length of time that Williams' wrote the series and not counting other writers' good single volumes here or there. It's unfortunate that Constriction lacks almost all of the series' signature punch, perhaps due — I can only guess — to the book's cancellation. Suicide Squad Vol. 7: Drain the Swamp was among the high points, and it's a shame the title couldn't have been allowed to quit while it was ahead. Constriction delivers a middling end.

Review: Aquaman/Suicide Squad: Sink Atlantis trade paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Aquaman/Suicide Squad: Sink Atlantis is a workable crossover as it goes, hearkening back to the good old days (somewhat back in favor now) when titles used to cross-over without the need for additional event bookends. This is an unusual mash-up, though enjoyable in its strangeness, an effort to bring two of DC's prominent movie-property franchises together, though right at the point where the Suicide Squad comic is about to be cancelled and the Aquaman comic is about to get a new creative team.

That makes this a somewhat inopportune time for an event, though the dual presence and hard work of writers Dan Abnett and Rob Williams is extremely evident; rarely does it seem like one book's cast steals the spotlight over the other's regardless of which title we're in. If anything, the Aquaman title takes a minor hit in that I think an important event gets elided for purposes of rushing to the crossover. In all, however, this is a good example of how a crossover can be done simply and straightforwardly.

Review: Hellblazer Vol. 4: The Good Old Days (Rebirth) trade paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, August 25, 2019

As yet another attempt at reintegrating John Constantine into the DC Universe comes to an end, Tim Seeley finally gets it right with the Rebirth Hellblazer Vol. 4: The Good Old Days. It is, of course, too late, and most of this series would best be forgotten, but at least we got one good Constantine story out of it. Hopefully, now that DC's deciding to give it another go, Seeley's last story of this series might serve as a model. Devils and demons abound here, but Seeley finds the right mix of supernatural and human evil to spin a Constantine tale that doesn't feel watered down for the DC Universe.

[Review contains spoilers]

The high concept of Good Old Days is that Seeley teams Constantine with the New 52/Rebirth version of "Matron" Huntress Helena Bertinelli, created by Seeley and Tom King for Grayson. A street-level hero feels more apt for Hellblazer, grounding the action, than when Constantine had a punch-out off-panel with Superman in Hellblazer Vol. 2: The Smokeless Fire, for instance. Helena hunts an old flame of Constantine's who's possessed by the ghosts of mobster brothers; again, there are demons and hellscapes aplenty, but Seeley's basing the story in terrestrial (or pseudo-terrestrial) villains goes a long way toward upping the realism, danger, and suspense.

DC Trade Solicitations for November 2019 - Wonder Woman: War of the Gods Omnibus, Mister Miracle by Englehart and Gerber, Justice League by Snyder Deluxe, Morrison's The Green Lantern Vol. 2, Batman Vol. 11

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Following on the heels of DC Comics' Spring 2020 catalog, some of those books have now arrived in their November 2019 trade paperback and hardcover solicitations. In terms of fan favorites, I wholly support the big chunk of 1990s comics that is the Wonder Woman: War of the Gods Omnibus, including a slew of never-before-collected issues and also continuing DC's slow creep toward collecting their event crossovers all in full.

Another one, just in terms of surprise, is the Mister Miracle by Steve Englehart and Steve Gerber collection. Due probably in no small part to the upcoming New Gods movie, it's cool to see DC releasing further Fourth World adventures — not just the classic stuff, but the ways in which other authors continued the saga and integrated the New Gods into the DC Universe proper.

Other than that, most of my picks are just for regular series; over the summer, it's seemed like DC's release of regular-series trades has shrunk to a trickle, so I'm excited to see a selection of "read right away" books on this list. For me, those include Peter Tomasi's Detective Comics Vol. 2 and Tom King's Batman Vol. 11; Marc Andreyko's Supergirl Vol. 2; Grant Morrison's The Green Lantern Vol. 2; the hardcover collection of Teen Titans/Deathstroke: The Terminus Agenda; Robert Venditti's Hawkman Vol. 2, and the first Dial H for HERO collection. Those of you who were collecting the Rebirth Deluxe Editions will probably be happy with Justice League by Scott Snyder Deluxe Edition Book One, too (though no guarantees on matching spine designs!).

Check out all of this month's offerings below.

Absolute Swamp Thing by Alan Moore Vol. 2 HC

Collects Swamp Thing (nee Saga of the Swamp Thing) issues #35-50, being the Saga of the Swamp Thing Vol. 3 and Saga of the Swamp Thing Vol. 4 collections. Includes the first appearance of John Constantine, a Crisis on Infinite Earths tie-in, and a significant event in the life of Zatara.

Note the solicitation names this Absolute Edition as coming out of DC Black Label.

Aquaman Vol. 1: Unspoken Water TP

Paperback of the start of Kelly Sue DeConnick's run, issues #43-47, with art by Robson Rocha.

Aquaman Vol. 2: Amnesty HC

Issues #48-52 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Robson Rocha, in hardcover.

Batgirl Vol. 6: Old Enemies TP

Issues #30-36 by new team of Mairghread Scott and Paul Pelletier.The previous volume came out in May and this one's scheduled for December; feels like a long time.

Batman Vol. 11: The Fall and the Fallen TP

Issues #70-74 and Batman Secret Files #2 by Tom King, due now in December (previously listed as January).

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 2: Arkham Knight HC

Detective Comics #1001-1005, the annual #2, and a story from Detective Comics #1000 by Peter Tomasi and Doug Mahnke. Tomasi's first Detective Comics volume was not what I expected; I'm eager for the "real start" here.

Black Orchid New Edition TP

Apparently a Black Label release, according to the solicitation, of of Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean's four-issue pre-Sandman miniseries.

Blackhawk: Blood & Iron HC

Collecting the three-issue 1988 miniseries by Howard Chaykin that reimagined the team in World War II, following the end of their originally numbered series in 1984, alsong with stories from Action Comics Weekly #601-608, #615-622, and #628-635 (by Mike Grell among others), and Secret Origins #45, all of which followed the miniseries continuity.

DC Poster Portfolio by Joshua Middleton TP

Well-deserved; I am not usually one for variant covers, but Middleton's work always catches my eye, especially what he's done on Aquaman and Batgirl.

Dial H for Hero Vol. 1: Enter the Heroverse TP

Issues #1-6 from Brian Michael Bendis' Wonder Comics imprint, by Sam Humphries.

Famous First Edition: New Fun #1 HC

Hardcover of DC's first comic, black and white and tabloid size (10.5 x 15.125), with essays by Roy Thomas and Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson, grand-daughter of Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, founder of National Allied Publications (precursor to DC).

Female Furies TP

Cecil Castellucci's six-issue modern take on the Female Furies, with Adriana Melo, plus Jack Kirby's Mister Miracle #9, inspiration for the story.

The Green Lantern Vol. 2: The Day the Stars Fell HC

Issues #7-12 in hardcover by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp. This is the end of the first volume of Morrison's Green Lantern saga, before the three-issue Green Lantern: Blackstars miniseries by Morrison and Xermanico.

The Green Lantern Vol. 1: Intergalactic Lawman TP

Paperback of issues #1-6 by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp.

Green Lantern: Rebirth Deluxe Edition HC

Deluxe-size edition of the six-issue Geoff Johns miniseries plus material from Green Lantern Secret Files and Origins #1.

Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey TP

Ahead of the movie, collects Detective Comics #831 (Harley Quinn story by Paul Dini), Nightwing/Huntress #2, Gotham Central #6 ("Half a Life," part one), Batman #567 (first appearance of Cassandra Cain, during "No Man's Land"), Catwoman #16 (from the 2002 series by Ed Brubaker, the end of "Relentless" and a significant Catwoman/Black Mask story) and a story from Showcase ’96 #3 (Birds of Prey story with Black Canary, Oracle, and Lois Lane).

Hawkman Vol. 2: Deathbringer TP

Second collection by Robert Venditti and Bryan Hitch, issues #7-12.

Injustice 2 Vol. 6 TP

Issues #31-36 and Annual #2, the final collection of the series. Bring on Injustice vs. DCeased!

Justice League by Scott Snyder Deluxe Edition Book One HC

Demonstrating that the "Rebirth Deluxe" hardcovers are not gone, just changed, this is issues #1-12 of the "New Justice" series, the "Totality" and "Graveyard of the Gods" trades plus the two "Drowned Earth" one-shots.

Mister Miracle by Steve Englehart and Steve Gerber HC

Issues #19-25, The Brave and the Bold #112, #128, and #138, and DC Comics Presents #12. This title picked up the numbering from the Kirby run but started after a three-year hiatus. Brave and the Bold are Batman team-ups; DC Comics Presents has Superman.

Pearl Vol. 2 TP

Issues #7-12 by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos.

Promethea Deluxe Edition Book Two HC

Issues #13-24 by Alan Moore and J. H. Williams, in deluxe size with sketches, variant covers, and other bonus material.

Super Friends: Saturday Morning Comics Vol. 1 HC

The original Super Friends cartoon tie-in comics, Super Friends #1-26, plus the promo Aquateers Meet the Super Friends #1, and stories from Limited Collectors’ Edition #C41 and #C-46, y E. Nelson Bridwell and others.

Supergirl Vol. 2: Sins of the Circle TP

Issues #27-33 (previous solicitation said to #32) by Marc Andreyko, spinning off from Brian Michael Bendis' Superman series, with an appearance by the Omega Men.

Superman: For Tomorrow: 15th Anniversary Deluxe Edition HC

Deluxe edition of the Brian Azzarello/Jim Lee arc from the early 2000s. I believe this is the first time all 12 issues have been collected together in one volume in hardcover outside of the Absolute edition (and a paperback compendium).

Superman: Secret Origin Deluxe Edition HC

Deluxe hardcover edition of the post-Infinite Crisis series by Doomsday Clock's Geoff Johns and Gary Frank.

Superman/Batman Omnibus Vol. 1 HC

Issues #1-43, which goes way past the Jeph Loeb run to stories by Mark Verheiden, Alan Burnett and Dustin Nguyen, and Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, plus Superman/Batman Annual #1-2, and stories from Superman/Batman: Secret Files #1. Includes the fall of Luthor as president and the return of Supergirl Kara Zor-El.

Swamp Thing: The Bronze Age Vol. 2 TP

Following Len Wein's initial run, this collects David Michelinie's Swamp Thing #14-24, the end of the first series, plus appearances in Brave and the Bold #122 and #176 (both with Batman), DC Comics Presents #8 (with Superman and Solomon Grundy), and Challengers of the Unknown #81-87 (or is it #82-87?). Also includes art from the unpublished Swamp Thing #25, victim of the DC Implosion, in which Swamp Thing was meant to have teamed up with Hawkman.

Teen Titans/Deathstroke: The Terminus Agenda HC

The new-new Teen Titans/Deathstroke crossover by Christopher Priest and Adam Glass, collecting Deathstroke #41-43 and Teen Titans #28-30.

Watchmen Companion HC

DC previously solicited and cancelled a Road to Watchmen: The Question & Blue Beetle collection; none of what was going to be in there will be in here, but this seems in a somewhat similar spirit. Includes Watchmen: Watching the Watchmen and Watchmen: Taking out the Trash game modules, along with the Watchmen Sourcebook, part of the 1990s DC Heroes role-playing game, as well as pages from Who’s Who in the DC Universe featuring the Watchmen and Minutemen characters, The Question #17 with Rorschach coming to Vic Sage in a dream, and the first appearance of the Watchmen cast in print in a promotional page from DC Spotlight #1 from 1985.

Wonder Woman: The War of the Gods Omnibus HC

The scope of the War of the Gods story is really astounding; if at one point inter-title crossovers seemed an annoyance given the number of titles they interrupted, almost 30 years later the amount of characters this touched makes for a glorious historical document.

Collected here we have George Perez's War of the Gods#1-4 and Wonder Woman #58-62, Louise Simonson and Jon Bogdanove's Superman: Man of Steel #3 (the solicitation says #58 but that's not right; this predates "Death of Superman"), John Ostrander's Hawkworld #15 and #16, Starman #38 (Will Payton), L.E.G.I.O.N. ’91 #31 (with Captain Marvel vs. Lobo), Hawk and Dove #28 (final issue before Armageddon 2001, Captain Atom #56 and #57 (also by Ostrander, also final issues before Armageddon 2001), Doctor Fate #32 and #33 (Inza Nelson, and by William Messner-Loebs), Flash #55 (also by William Messner-Loebs), Justice League Europe #31, Batman #470 (Maxie Zeus, Alan Grant, and Norm Breyfogle), Suicide Squad #58 (Black Adam, Ostrander, Kim Yale, and a guy who looks like Grant Morrison), Demon #17 (Grant), and New Teen Titans #81 (Marv Wolfman, toward the end of "Titans Hunt").

At one point DC solicited a Legends book like this, but it never came out. We have however seen the similar Crisis on Infinite Earths Companion volumes. Again, what a great way to look at DC's history by seeing all the tie-ins to event crossovers. Hopefully this book is successful; I'd like to see Legends, Armageddon 2001, Eclipso: The Darkness Within, and Bloodlines get similar treatments.

Will War of the Gods win the war for your shelf? Leave a comment and let me know what's on your buy list.

Review: Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 4: Good Night, Gotham trade paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, August 18, 2019

It's been apparent from the beginning that things were going to go terribly wrong; what I didn't expect was the revelation of the long game that's been played from the beginning.

Scott Lobdell's Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 4: Good Night, Gotham brings this chapter of the series to a close before it relaunches as Red Hood: Outlaw. Admirably, Lobdell ties up or at least addresses all of the series' hanging threads before the end, with more than a few surprises. Obviously the story's not over (though I would hope, going through the trouble of re-titling and renumbering the trades, the book doesn't revert too soon), but Lobdell sends us out with a few good cliffhangers to be re-addressed down the road.