Details for Batman: Black Casebook, Final Crisis Companion

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The latest DC Comics Direct Channel has a breakdown of the contents for the Final Crisis Companion, Batman: The Black Casebook, Robin: The Teen Wonder, and more. Here's all the details, with explanations of relevant issues. (Spoilers may follow for Batman RIP and others; don't know, haven't read 'em, so proceed at your own risk. Please no additional spoilers in comments.) Thanks to Kelson for the heads up.

GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY: A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN TP
Writer: Judd Winick
Artists: Mike Norton, Diego Barreto, Wayne Faucher and Robin Riggs
Collects: GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY #11-14 and GREEN ARROW SECRET FILES #1
$17.99 US, 128 pages

- The Green Arrow Secret Files contribution is an origin of Green Arrow story written by Judd Winick.

THE FLASH PRESENTS: MERCURY FALLING TP
Writer: Todd Dezago
Artists: Ethan Van Sciver, Eric Battle, John Stokes, Prentis Rollins and others
Collects: IMPULSE #62-67
$14.99 US, 144 pages

- The Flash Presents makes far clearer the intentions of this trade.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA: THE SECOND COMING HC
Writer: Dwayne McDuffie
Artist: Ed Benes
Collects: JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #22-26
$19.99 US, 144 pages

THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES: ENEMY MANIFEST HC
Writer: Jim Shooter
Artists: Francis Manapul and Livesay
Collects: THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #45-50
$24.99 US, 144 pages

- This indeed completes the Jim Shooter run on Legion.

RANN/THANAGAR: HOLY WAR VOL. 1 TP
Writer: Jim Starlin
Artists: Ron Lim, Jim Starlin, Rob Hunter and Al Milgrom
Collects: RANN/THANAGAR: HOLY WAR #1-4 and HAWKMAN SPECIAL #1
$19.99 US, 168 pages

- The Hawkman special here suggests that volume two will have the Adam Strange special. Is anyone else just loving how DC's letting Jim Starlin run wild with the DC cosmic characters in a series of miniseries (instead of an ill-considered ongoing)? I wish they'd do the same thing with the supernatural characters.

ROBIN: THE TEEN WONDER TP
Writers: Dennis O'Neil, James Robinson, Chuck Dixon, Jim Starlin, Marv Wolfman, Bill Willingham and Geoff Johns
Artists: Dave Taylor, Lee Weeks, Scott McDaniel, Andy Owens, Jim Aparo, Mike DeCarlo, Damion Scott, Tony Daniel and Marlo Alquiza
Collects: BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #100, NIGHTWING #101, BATMAN #428 and 442, ROBIN #126 and 132 and TEEN TITANS #29
$17.99 US, 160 pages

- Legends Of the Dark Knight #100 is a story of Dick Grayson's training as Robin; Nightwing #101 has Dick setting out on his own; Batman #428 is the death of Jason Todd; Batman #442 is the first appearance of Tim Drake; Robin #126 has Spoiler Stephanie Brown becoming Robin; Robin #132 has Tim Drake moving to Bludhaven; and Teen Titans #29 has Tim Drake versus Red Hood. Now, you know I say any collection is good collection, but this strikes me as fairly ridiculous. The third part of "Death in the Family," the first part of "Lonely Place of Dying," and the first part of "Fresh Blood"? This seems a largely disorganized trade, when a collection of Silver Age or Earth-2 Dick Grayson adventures might've filled a far better gap.

STATIC SHOCK: REBIRTH OF THE COOL TP
Writers: Dwayne McDuffie and Robert L. Washington III
Artists: John Paul Leon and Steve Mitchell
Collects: STATIC #1-4 and STATIC SHOCK: REBIRTH OF THE COOL #1-4
$19.99 US, 192 pages

- This is solicited as Static, not Static Shock, and they really should rename it, otherwise they're never going to duck that misnomer.

SUPERMAN: ENDING BATTLE TP
Writers: Geoff Johns, Joe Casey, Mark Schultz and Joe Kelly
Artist: Pascual Ferry, Cam Smith, Derec Aucoin, Brandon Badeaux, Mark Morales, Duncan Rouleau, Marlo Alquiza and Mark Farmer
Collects: SUPERMAN #185-186, ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #608-609, SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL #130-131 and ACTION COMICS #795-796
$14.99 US, 192 pages

- The list above must be missing Superman #187, which is part five of Ending Battle. Superman #185 is indeed a Geoff Johns issue, a one-shot with Major Disaster that ties thematically into Ending Battle, so it would be appropriate to include it. It makes me wonder if they might ever reprint the Geoff Johns/Joe Kelly four-parter that followed a bit later, "Lost Hearts," which included later-Blue Beetle cast member Traci 13.

SUPERMAN: NEW KRYPTON VOL. 1 HC
Writers: Gary Frank, James Robinson and Sterling Gates
Artists: Pete Woods, Gary Frank, Renato Guedes, Jon Sibal, Wilson Magalhaes and Pere Perez
Collects: SUPERMAN: NEW KRYPTON SPECIAL, SUPERMAN'S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN SPECIAL SUPERMAN #681, ACTION COMICS #871 and ADVENTURE COMICS SPECIAL FEATURING THE GUARDIAN
$24.99 US, 176 pages

- Ah, $25 for a hardcover with remarkably few actual Superman issues in it. Some days it sucks to be such a sucker.

BATMAN: THE BLACK CASEBOOK TP
Writers: France Herron, Edmond Hamilton, Bill Finger
Artists: Dick Sprang, Charles Paris, Sheldon Moldoff, Stan Kaye
Collects: Stories from BATMAN #113, 134, 156 and 162, DETECTIVE COMICS #215, 235 and 267 and WORLD'S FINEST COMICS #89
$17.99 US, 144 pages

- Batman #113 is the story "Batman: The Superman of Planet X," which features the alien Zur En Arrh; Batman #134 is either the story "The Rainbow Creature," "Batman's Secret Enemy," or "The Deadly Dummy"; Batman #156 is "Robin Dies at Dawn"; Batman #162 has Batman turning into the King Kong-like "Batman Creature"; Detective Comics #215 features "The Batmen of All Nations" also seen in Batman: The Black Casebook; Detective Comics #235 tells of "The First Batman," Thomas Wayne; Detective Comics #267 is the first appearance of Bat-Mite; and World's Finest Comics #89 also features the Batmen of All Nations. I can't tell you how excited I am about this trade; the best thing about writer's reinterpreting old stories are these collections where we can cite the original source material.

FINAL CRISIS HC
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: J.G. Jones, Carlos Pacheco, Jesus Merino, Marco Rudy, Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy
Collects: FINAL CRISIS #1-7
$24.99 US, 240 pages

FINAL CRISIS COMPANION TP
Writers: Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Eric Trautmann and Peter J. Tomasi
Artists: Ryan Sook, Matthew Clark, Norm Rapmund, Doug Manhke and Christian Alamy
Collects: FINAL CRISIS: REQUIEM, FINAL CRISIS: RESIST, FINAL CRISIS: SUBMIT, FINAL CRISIS: SUPERMAN BEYOND #1-2 and FINAL CRISIS SECRET FILES
$19.99 US, 200 pages

- We see now that Superman Beyond indeed ends up in the Final Crisis Companion, along with the Final Crisis Secret Files. With Rage of the Red Lanterns coming out on its own in hardcover, we now know how the entirety of Final Crisis will be collected, with two big exceptions: DC Universe #0 and DC Universe: Last Will and Testament. Better start combing the back issue bins!

THE FLASH: THE HUMAN RACE TP
Writers: Grant Morrison and Mark Miller
Artists: Paul Ryan, Ron Wagner, Pop Mhan, Mike Parobeck, Joshua Hood and others
Collects: THE FLASH #136-141 and a story from SECRET ORIGINS #50
$14.99 US, 160 pages

- According to Kelson, Secret Origins #50 is a Grant Morrison retelling of the "Flash of Two Worlds" story.

HITMAN VOL. 1 TP
Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: John McCrea
Collects: HITMAN #1-3, THE DEMON ANNUAL #2, HITMAN #1,000,000 and a story from BATMAN CHRONICLES #4
$14.99 US, 144 pages

JLA: THE DELUXE EDITION VOL. 2 HC
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Howard Porter, Gary Frank, Greg Land, Val Semeiks, Arnie Jorgenson, John Dell, David Meikis, Mark Pennington and others
Collects: JLA #10-17, PROMETHEUS #1 and JLA/WILDCATS
$29.99 US, 304 pages

THE STARMAN OMNIBUS VOL. 3 HC
Writer: James Robinson
Artists: Tony Harris, Wade von Grawbadger, Mark Buckingham, Steve Yeowell, Wayne Faucher, Richard Pace, Mitch Byrd, Stefano Guadiano, Gene Ha, Dusty Abell, Dexter Vines, Phil Jimenez, J.H. Williams III, Bret Blevins and Michael Zulli
Collects: STARMAN #30-38, STARMAN ANNUAL #2, STARMAN SECRET FILES #1 and THE SHADE #1-4
$49.99 US, 432 pages

- The Shade miniseries, too? I'm so all over this.

SUPERMAN/BATMAN: FINEST WORLDS HC
Writers: Michael Green and Mike Johnson
Artists: Ed Benes, Rafael Albuquerque, Rags Morales and John Dell
Collects: SUPERMAN/BATMAN #50-56
$19.99 US, 192 pages

- Nice to see Superman/Batman #50 here. I'd like to see a collection with the recent Superman/Batman annuals, and also Superman/Batman #25.

TRINITY VOL. 1 TP
Writers: Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza
Artists: Mark Bagley, Scott McDaniel, Mike Norton, Tom Derenick, Art Thibert, Andy Owens, Jerry Ordway and Wayne Faucher
Collects: TRINITY #1-17
$29.99 US, 416 pages

- Interesting that this has issues #1-17, whereas the 52 and Countdown to Final Crisis collections had thirteen issues each. Might DC be reducing this to three volumes, instead of four?

***

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16 comments:

  1. Glad I could help!

    To add a little more detail on the "Flash: The Human Race" trade, Secret Origins #50 was a giant-sized final issue that had 5 or 6 different stories in it. One of them was "Flash of Two Worlds" retold so that it would work in a setting where Keystone and Central City existed in the same world across a river from each other, instead of in parallel universes.

    Grant Morrison wrote it, and while I can't remember who drew it, Mike Parobeck seems like a good match for what I remember of the artwork.

    I'm not 100% certain, but I think this ends up collecting all of the Flash solo stories that Grant Morrison has done in these two volumes.

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  2. One thing that will be different with this "Companion" book as compared to previous ones (Infinite Crisis, 52) is that these issues go really hand in hand with the main miniseries and add a bunch of narrative where Morrison has left gaps...

    I think Marvel should take a page from DCs book and make their big events more lean and less reliant on tie-ins...

    Can't wait to get all of Crisis together to read in one sequence...

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  3. One thing I've always wished they'd come out with would be a 'Companion'-style book for the original Crisis. (Actually, ideally, there would be three volumes of that: one with that year's worth of Green Lantern issues, one with most or all of Roy Thomas' 'dancing as fast as he can' All-Star Squadron and Infinity Inc during the time, and the last one collecting the most essential crossovers (Obviously the Alan Moore Swamp Thing and the DC Comics Presents that introduced Superboy Prime, and the Losers special Probably at least one each of the Legion and Titans that crossed over; round out with any non 'red skies' crossovers that will fit)

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  4. Might DC be reducing this to three volumes, instead of four?

    I bet this is so they can use one of the triptych covers from the series.

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  5. As I think Starlin's DC stuff is just terrible, I don't really care what format it's in.

    I know a lot of people who'll be stoked that they're finally collecting Hitman (what took so long?!?).

    Me? Black Casebook all the way.

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  6. I may get the Robin trade eventually, but you're right it certainly is a cluster%*#%.

    Static Shock looks fun, is it the original Milestone series or some subsequent relaunch? If the TPB titles keep punning off jazz albums , then they have a fan for life.

    I'm skipping Green Arrow/Black Cannary till Winick leaves.

    Batman: The Black Casebook and Hitman are both musts, though the Casebook looks a mite thin. There have to be more crazy Batman stories. I do have to wonder about these trades, what took so long? Ennis has been a popular writer for years and the Casebook would have been nice to have near the beginning of Morrison's run instead of at the end.

    Cheers,
    Bob

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  7. The credits make far clearer to me why "Mercury Falling" is suddenly getting a trade. Ethan Van Sciver drawing Flash: Rebirth = anything Flash-related he's drawn being looked at as a possible trade.

    Robin: The Teen Wonder isn't nearly as chaotic as it seems. It spans all four Robins telling how the costume changed hands from one person to the next. LotDK #100 is a re-telling of Dick's origin and Nightwing #101 is a re-telling of how he quit being Robin; LotDK #100 also had a Jason Todd-as-Robin story, written by James Robinson, that I assume is a similar re-telling of his origin and Batman #428 is his death; Batman #442 is the last part of "A Lonely Place of Dying" and the first time Tim Drake wore the Robin costume; Stephanie Brown became Robin in Robin #126 and Robin #132 was her funeral with Tim having just recently resumed the identity.

    It's a cool idea hampered by some of the issues being pulled from multi-part stories. Robin #132 in particular is going to be wonky. The majority of the issue is about Tim making the move to Bludhaven; only a few pages are spent at Stephanie's funeral. DC obviously wanted something that showed the transition from Stephanie back to Tim, but no issue immediately comes to mind that would've better fit that criteria. And Teen Titans #29 has been the only time that Jason's worn the Robin costume since he's come back, which fits the theme if you squint a little.

    Superman: Ending Battle has to only include Superman #186 - 187. Superman #185 is a good story about Superman crash landing in the middle of a pee wee baseball game while fighting Major Force, but I don't remember it having any ties, thematic or otherwise, to "Ending Battle." And unless they cut story pages out, nine issues would be over the listed page count.

    I'd also like to see "Lost Hearts" collected, but four issues is a little thin. DC currently likes to trade anything with Geoff Johns' name in the credits (I don't doubt that's a big reason why "Ending Battle" is getting collected), so if they included some of his other, scattered Superman issues from around the same time, like Superman #185 and Man of Steel #121, that would make for a normal-sized trade.

    Static #1 - 4 are from the original Milestone series that ran for 45 issues from '93 to '97; Static Shock: Rebirth of the Cool was a mini-series that was published in 2001 shortly after the Static Shock cartoon debuted. So assuming the 2001 mini takes place after the 90's series, isn't this kinda like collecting the first four and last four issues of Hitman in the same trade?

    Batman: The Black Casebook is an absolute Must Buy. The only thing that could make it more awesome is if they got Grant Morrison or someone to write excerpts from the actual (uh, you know what I mean) Black Casebook showing Bruce's notes and reactions to the events from the stories.

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  8. One thing to keep in mind with that "New Krypton" hardcover is that some of those issues were oversized... so really, you're getting just as much content as most other $24.99 DC Hardcovers.

    Also, I can't wait for the next two "Starman Omnibus" volumes. Probably the best stuff James Robinson has ever done.

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  11. Crisis on Infinite Earths Companion and Grant Morrison annotating Batman: The Black Casebook? I hope DC's listening, because those are great ideas.

    Interesting that DC might reduce the Trinity trades to three volumes to go with the whole Trinity/three/tryptich cover theme. My cynical view is that companies will always do what they can to make more money, and four Trinity trades would make more money than three ... unless they're finding that four trades aren't selling so well? I'll be glad when the day of "multiple volumes" ends; seems to me the worst way to drag out a collected story.

    @ Siskoid: What don't you like about Starlin's DC stuff? I'm curious to hear another perspective.

    @ absentminded: Sorry -- I didn't think it was such a big spoiler, but since it bugged someone else, I pulled it. Thanks for your comment!

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  12. Three of Geoff Johns' & Scott Kolins' Flash trades are out of print (Rouges, Ignition, & Blitz). Strange, as it's the team from Final Crisis: Rougue's Revenge.

    Like Morgan mentioned, with the spotlight falling on Rebirth, maybe they will come back into print.

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  13. I'm kind of surprised that Batman 682 & 683 aren't being included in the Final Crisis Companion, since they are the Batman counterpart to Superman: Beyond, depicting what happens to Batman off-panel in Final Crisis, just as Beyond does with Superman.

    Now I'm glad I picked up just those two issues since, as the last two issues of Morrison's run on Batman, I'm not sure how they will be collected. They are so tied to Final Crisis itself that they might sit awkwardly with either the Denny O'Neil story or the Battle for the Cowl.

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  14. Those two Batman: Last Rites issues appear in the Batman: RIP collection, I'm pretty sure.

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  15. Sorry this answer comes so very late. I lost track of the post.

    Starlin's DC work? He's one of those writers who seems bent on recapturing former glory by doing the same work he used to do, for starters. Stories he's writing for DC seem to rehash his Marvel and Epic work. Classic stories aren't so classic the second or third time around.

    But mostly, he doesn't seem to have a handle on DC continuity. And I admit it has as much to do with DC editorial, but if we're talking about why I don't like the WORK, then it has to count. Death of the New Gods deflated the Final Crisis to come. The Rann Thanagar stuff screwed around with Hawkman at a time when he finally seemed unscrewed.

    All of it elicits a big "meh" from me.

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  16. One minor point in Death of the New Gods that really got me was Batman having the yellow circle behind the bat on his chest -- that's an art mistake, pure and simple, and it did suggest to me not enough attention on the part of the writer/artist.

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