DC Comics May 2008 Solicitations and Odds and Ends

Friday, February 29, 2008

It's been terribly busy here in Collected Editions-land, and I've been meaning for a while to blog on all sorts of things. Let's get right to it:

DC Comics May 2008 Solicitations:
Couple of highlights of the DC Comics May 2008 solicitations; no big surprises, though we do see fewer hardcovers than in previous months. Maybe DC is finally getting the message? Countdown brings us Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer, while Metamorpho: Year One appears in paperback (whereas Green Arrow: Year One was in hardcover).

Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes appears in hardcover; I was sorry to see that this volume didn't include any classic Superman/Legion tales, though probably that gets in to the whole Superboy legal battle. That The Flash: Wild Wests is being released in hardcover is a bad sign, because it means we'll be stuck with Flash hardcovers for the foreseeable future.

We also get the next Justice League International hardcover. Now granted these JLI hardcovers are cool, but so far they're only reprinting already-reprinted materials (Justice League: A New Beginning, and Justice League International: The Gospel of Maxwell Lord). If we get a third JLI volume, that'll be the real coup.

More on hardcover prices:
If you bought comics this month, you might've seen no less than five mainstream DC hardcovers this month: Superman: Last Son, Justice League of America: The Injustice League, Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War Volume 2, Green Lantern: Tales of the Sinestro Corps, and The Question: Five Books of Blood.

Even with the lowest prices I can find, that's still over $60 for the five of them -- and that doesn't include Checkmate, the Atom, 52 Aftermath: Black Adam and The Four Horsemen, Infinity Inc., and the first Countdown trade.

For me, I ended up having to pass on The Question hardcover, even though I love both the Renee Montoya character and Greg Rucka's writing -- I'm already invested in Superman and Justice League, as well as Green Lantern and the Sinestro Corps War. On the paperback front, I passed on all the 52 Aftermath titles and Infinity Inc., even though I'm a Steel fan from way back -- again, I just can't afford to start reading new titles when the old titles have become so expensive.

These reports, by the way, are by no means a "woe is me," but rather I wonder if other fans are having the same experience I am -- are you passing on new titles because of the price of old ones? Certainly, this pertains bad things for DC Comics, if hardcovers are squeezing out new series. Anyone else making these either/or decisions?

Collected Linkblogging:
I don't often get to listen to comics podcasts, but I heard the Collected Comics Library's Podcast #156 the other day about the Countdown 80-Page Giant specials. Chris does a great job explaining them, and made me very eager for DC to release a trade paperback of all the issues in all of these specials -- is it too much to hope?

Chris also talks about a comics exhibit that was presented near him in Detroit; apologies that I don't have all the details here, but Chris gives a cogent criticism of the show that demonstrates Chris's wide knowledge about many different aspects of comics, and I really enjoyed listening to the podcast. Collected Comics Library is a big supporter of Collected Editions, and we hope you visit them as well.

(And is that frequent Collected Editions commentor Michael K. Willis blogging over at Discount Comic Book Service? I think it is ...)

Thank you!
Thanks to everyone who writes comments or sends notes in support of Collected Editions -- we appreciate it! For those asking how you can help, the best thing to do is mention Collected Editions at your favorite forum. If you see a review you like and can plug it on a message board you frequent, that goes a long way toward getting the word out about the blog.

Coming up we're reviewing Catwoman, Supergirl, Blue Beetle, the Atom, Ion, Green Arrow, and 52. Stay tuned!
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  1. I just refuse to buy in hardcover. Like you, I prefer bound comics over floppies, but (a) as a freelance writer, I can't afford hardcovers; & (b) I just refuse to devote that much money to comics (& that much space on the bookshelves of my tiny NYC apartment!). I despise the rise of hardcovers, it feels like Marvel & DC just want to bilk me out of more money. And it's prevented me from buying many collections in the last year -- I'm *still* waiting for "All-Star Superman" & "The Death of Captain America." Boycott hardcovers! Demand TBPs!

  2. I buy the hardcovers because I don't want to wait for the paperbacks but I don't like the way that they've started to release the ongoing series in hardcover. I think it should be used for the more one off stuff like the Tim Sale batman collection.

  3. It's true that another problem with the hardcovers is that it makes the truly deserving hardcovers, like the Tim Sale collection, seem not as special as they should.

    Aaron -- I feel your pain. I was considering that the paperback of Superman: Camelot Falls Vol. 1 is only just now coming out -- that's just wrong, since it'll probably be another year until volume 2. I really hope this trend by DC doesn't continue; it's making keeping up even harder for trade readers.

  4. I am sadly at the point where I can no longer start new titles...i.e. I am already buying Supes so keep rolling with it. I am not cureently persueing Justice League so hands off of that one.

    Even doing that I am running out of room. I am buying must have hardcovers like certain Marvel Omnibuses and the upcoming Starman omnibus. Otherwise, I leave it alone. Hopefully if people stop buying the not so special hardcovers we'll see less of them.

  5. Also in may, we finally get a trade paperback for Fear Machine, Jamie Delano's second long-form John Constantine story.

    (I've never understood DC's reprint policies for the early Vertigo stuff. I'm certain, for instance, that the Sandman Mystery Theater volumes aren't selling as much as a Children's Crusade book would, considering that that book would contain about a hundred pages of never-before-reprinted Gaiman...but it's usually good to see whatever they do come out with.)

  6. I've got to thank you for this blog! I don't comment much because I'm not really sure what to write, though I do read the blog everytime it's updated in my RSS reader.

  7. I understand Jeff R.'s frustration; I've heard much the same about Vertigo's collection policy. Is the Fear Machine (Hellblazer) trade you mentioned a collection of recent issues, or old?

    Wendy -- Thanks for your comment. All the Collected Editions commentors are truly valued. And I love your blog's layout; wish I could figure how to do the same with Blogger.

  8. As always, thanks for mentioning my site/podcast. I like to have you on my show sometime.
    As for DC, nothing really strikes me as a "must have", but I will be pre-ordering the Sinestro books.


  9. If you want the ability to use themes like that, you'll have to get your own URL and pay for a server, and then use Wordpress as your blogging platform.

    That's quite a bit to do, but if you want versatility in blogging and tweaking it the way you want, Wordpress is the way to go.

  10. Sorry about the late followup. Fear Machine is early Delano, issues 14-22, so starting right after the main story in "The Devil You Know" and leading up to the Delano and other, rotating authors period (the choicest bits of which are reprinted in "Rare Cuts" and "Neil Gaiman's Midnight Days")

    If I recall (and briefly google) correctly, reprinting this will leave only two Delano arcs uncollected: The Family Man story and The Magus, a shorter (3-issue?) story that he closed off his run with. Plus a lot of 1 or 2 part stories interspersed with one-shots by other writers.