DC Comics August 2005 Solicitations

Monday, May 16, 2005

UPDATED: OK, so August has turned out to be an interesting month for DC trade paperbacks. Let's take these one at a time, shall we?

Adam Strange: Planet Heist - well, one can't help but see what Brian Hibbs was saying last week, when the Adam Strange trade paperback is solicited just a week after the final issue comes out. I still maintain that the trade and monthly audiences are two separate animals, but I can see how this would be troubling. Then again, if someone's got issues one through seven already, are they really not going to buy issue eight just because the trade's coming out? Either way, I'm looking forward to it; when this trade comes out, it'll be the farthest reaching (the closest to "real time") that was have right now.

JSA: Lost - This is cool, ranking another Identity Crisis tie-in trade paperback. But I can't believe we've got three JSA trade paperbacks in one year, and we've yet to see even one Outsiders trade. Again, cool, but three in a year? DC better look out or we're going to get spoiled.

Catwoman: Wild Ride - Well, after Relentless (and No Easy Way Down), I'm certainly looking forward to this trade (not in the least for the Opal City cameo), but is it really just issues twenty through twenty-four? Five issues? For $14.99? That comes out to $2.99 per issue - more than the cost of Catwoman monthly! Here's hoping that the paper's good, or there's an extra-sized issue, or something -- I know this'll be sold at a discount, but still, that's ridiculous.

Justice League Elite Volume 1 - And speaking of ridiculous. Justice League Elite volume one? Volume one? We can't even get a twelve-issue miniseries in one volume. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled as punch to see this coming out, but it does bug me a little to see Action Comics #775 collected in yet another trade paperback. Even so, we've also got JLA #100 and the JLA Secret Files lead story, so maybe all's well that ends well. Here's hoping Volume 2 comes out before the end of the year.

Identity Crisis - And speaking of bugs up my rear end -- two editions of Identity Crisis? Two editions? (For some reason, I feel the need to repeat myself tonight.) As if four printings of almost every issue wasn't enough, we now need two different covers for the collection? Not to mention, it's nearly impossible to tell which is which in all the pictures we've seen. I hope one of the comics news sites explains to us the difference between the book market and direct market versions? Because judging from the pictures, I don't get it, and the whole thing is kind of annoying.

(At the same time, dude! Can you believe how September is going to rock? Absolute Batman: Hush and Identity Crisis! And do note, both of these have been advanced solicited, meaning that there might yet be something else of note in September. Can we say the Green Lantern: Rebirth hardcover, and really go for the trifecta? Could be, could be.)

Last but not least, Absolute Watchmen clocks in at $75. Better start saving your pennies, kids.

To summarize, then: A trade too early (if there is such a thing), a trade too small and too expensive, a trade split into unnecessary volumes, three trades of one title, and a hardcover with a variant cover. There's a lot of good here, but the presentation, I think, is kind of bad. So it's a glass half empty kind of night, but I'm looking forward to August nonetheless.

What do you think?

OLD POST: Not much time to write right now, so let me just throw it all out there at once, and I'll be back here later tonight for commentary:

Adam Strange TPB
Catwoman: Wild Ride TPB
Batman: Journey into Knight TPB (?)
JSA: Lost (another new JSA TPB? That's three this year!)
Justice League Elite TPB (yay!)
Absolute Watchmen

and ... the Identity Crisis hardcover! Advance solicited! Woo-hoo!
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  1. Nice cover design. Looks like something that might appeal to the bookstore audience - I didn't like the old cheesy IC logo design. No sign of Michael Turner too. They'll need to change the DC logo though if they're serious about the change.

  2. I get annoyed about trades being solicited so soon after a mini-series but I'm willing to cut DC some slack on the Adam Strange book since I'm guessing a lot of people passed on the early issues of the series and the story has wide-ranging implications on the overall Infinite Crisis storylines.

    Alternate covers on the IC hardcover seems a bit annoying as well(personally, sight unseen, I'd rather have the Morales/Bair Book Market version rather than the Turner Direct Market edition)though, to be fair, there have alternative (one for the direct market, another for the bookstore edition) covers on high-profile trades going back at least to Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen so I guess this is a logical next step in marketing.

    Speaking of Watchmen, I love the series but I'm not sure I'm going to buy it again (even though I do really like the Absolute format when the story and art warrant.) I already bought the singles and the trade and then the gorgeous slipcovered hardcover edition (granted I sold the singles and gave the trade to someone who was, at that time, not a comic reader...but still...)

  3. Jeffrey - Ditto on the new IC logo. It does look like something that would appeal to a bookstore audience--I wonder what kind of marketing they'll be doing to try to advertise the bookstore edition to "the rest of the world." That said, I'm with Michael--I'm still not sold on this whole two editions thing. Ultimately, I think it's going to depend on how well DC uses it.

    And is it true that we've only seen the Michael Turner cover so far, and not the Morales/Bair cover? Can anyone find it?

  4. The cover art (the framed photo of the League with the broken glass and drops of blood) was done by Rags Morales. As far as I know, the Michael Turner version has not yet been released, unless they plan to recycle one of the old IC covers.

    I can actually see why they'd want two covers released. Michael Turner's covers were as much a part of the success of the miniseries as Morales's art and Brad Meltzer's script. Say what you will of his grasp on anatomy, but he drew some really striking and memorable covers. The bookstore audience might be scared off from his superhero-y art though, hence the new, "respectable" look. And maybe DC didn't think its core demographic would like the bookstore design. Maybe they didn't want to leave Turner out of the whole thing.