DC Comics One Year Later trade reviews wrap-up

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I've been asked for a One Year Later wrap-up post, similar to our Infinite Crisis crossover trade reviews wrap up post.

I was pleased to be reminded of the Infinite Crisis wrap-up, as to be honest I've been struggling to find a way to really summarize One Year Later, DC Comics's post-Infinite Crisis line-wide jump-ahead. One Year Later isn't a cross-over per se, nor in the plurality of voices did it really contain overall connected thematic elements.

What did impress me in One Year Later was the greater sense of a shared DC Universe post-Infinite Crisis. Note from early on the presence of Checkmate, which itself contains members of the Justice Society, in both Green Lantern and Green Arrow, and how those two titles reflect each others' events. Similarly there's a greater connection between Nightwing in his own title and Nightwing in Outsiders, and Robin reflects the One Year Later events of Birds of Prey.

Two of the biggest One Year Later events, and the ones that take us through to Countdown to Infinite Crisis, are the re-establishment of the Justice League and the Justice Society. DC's Big Three form both the cornerstone of the Justice League and encourage the Justice Society to re-form; the Big Three's individual One Year Later trades--especially Superman: Up, Up, and Away and Wonder Woman: Who is Wonder Woman?--each reflect the more communal DC Universe with a bevy of guest stars; Batman: Face the Face presents a friendlier Batman that shows a marked change from the pre-Infinite Crisis DCU.

The build-up to Countdown to Infinite Crisis really starts amidst 52, but we also see the presence of the Monitors in Ion: The Torchbearer. The Monitors also make their presence known in Nightwing and Supergirl trades; we find the beginings of Montiors' enemies in Crisis Aftermath: The Battle for Bludhaven, which guest stars the newest Teen Titans. Other big events include a marriage proposal in Green Arrow: The Road to Jericho which comes to fruition during Countdown.

This list ends perhaps a little suddenly with Birds of Prey: Dead of Winter, though that collection does end longtime writer Gail Simone's run on the series. What comes next is the lead-in to Amazons Attack, arguably the first major crossover of the post-Infinite Crisis era. And a crossover, then, breaks the spell of One Year Later, a roughly one-year span where DC Comics interrelated not in the service of some event, but just in the sense that these are superheroes who know one another, and sometimes team up or help each other out.

Below is a list of our Collected Editions One Year Later reviews, presented in roughly chronological order as per our DC Comics Trade Paperback Timeline. Please send any comments or corrections; we hope you enjoy.

Superman: Up, Up, and Away
Batman: Face the Face

JSA: Ghost Stories
Checkmate: A King's Game

Green Arrow
Green Lantern

Nightwing: Brothers in Blood
Outsiders: The Good Fight

Birds of Prey: Perfect Pitch
Robin: Wanted

Wonder Woman: Who is Wonder Woman?

Teen Titans: Titans Around the World
Crisis Aftermath: The Battle for Bludhaven

Flash: The Fastest Man Alive: Lightning in a Bottle

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis: Once and Future
Firestorm, the Nuclear Man: Reborn
Superman: Back in Action

Superman: Camelot Falls

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes: Strange Visitor from Another Century
Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes: Adult Education
Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes: The Dominator War
Supergirl: Candor

Catwoman: The Replacements
Catwoman: It's Only a Movie

Crisis Aftermath: The Spectre

Nightwing: Love and War
Supergirl: Identity
Outsiders: Pay as You Go

Ion: The Torchbearer
Ion: The Dying Flame

Blue Beetle: Shellshocked
Birds of Prey: Blood and Circuits

Hawkgirl: The Maw

Justice Leage of America: The Tornado's Path
Martian Manhunter: The Others Among Us
Superman/Batman: Enemies Among Us

All-New Atom: My Life in Miniature
All-New Atom: Future/Past

Blue Beetle: Road Trip
The Brave and the Bold: The Lords of Luck

Hawkgirl: Hawkman Returns
Superman: Redemption

Justice Society of America: The Next Age

Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters

Batman: Death and the City
Green Arrow: The Road to Jericho
Secret Six: Six Degrees of Devestation
Birds of Prey: Dead of Winter
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  1. Thank you so much for responding to my e-mail with this post, this is amazing.

    After finishing up with all of the Infinite Crisis trades I decided to go into 52, but then I was at a loss about what would come next because there really aren't any other good resources for the trade reader about One Year Later.

    This list will definitely keep me busy for awhile...and my wallet, ouch!

    Once again, thanks for taking the time to put this list together. These wrap-ups are the best. Can't wait till I get to the Countdown to Final Crisis Reading Order.

  2. Glad this is helpful; you can also check out our DC Comics Trade Paperback Timeline for more reading order goodness.

    And be sure to chime in again and let me know what your favorite One Year Later trade was.