This past Monday, DC Comics' Source blog released solicitations for two hardcover collections coming out in Spring 2011 (that is, first half of the year) -- Superman: War of the Supermen and Flash: The Dastardly Death of the Rogues, collecting the event and first issues of the series respectively.
Here's the actual solicitations, and then my comments:
SUPERMAN: WAR OF THE SUPERMEN HC
Writers: Sterling Gates and James Robinson
Artists: Eddy Barrows, Aaron Lopresti, Jamal Igle, Eduardo Pansica, CAFU, Bernard Chang and others
In stores: January
Collects: SUPERMAN: WAR OF THE SUPERMEN #0-4 and SUPERMAN #700
$24.99 US, 144 pages
THE FLASH: THE DASTARDLY DEATH OF THE ROGUES HC
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Francis Manapul and Francis Manapul
In stores: February
Collects THE FLASH #1-7 and material from THE FLASH SECRET FILES AND ORIGINS 2010
$19.99 US, 208 pages
I'm always happy for collected edition news, but I find this announcement a little curious. First, did anyone doubt these two storylines would be collected? The Source's announcement of the remaining 2010 collections in February had some surprises in it, but there's no real headline here.
Second, this announcement comes between the first and second issues of Flash, and just after the Free Comic Book Day issue of War of the Supermen but before issue #1 of that series comes out. At this point, I think (and hope DC realizes) there's no connection between trade solicitations and buying habits -- someone who was going to buy the issues will buy the issues, and someone who was going to wait for the trade will wait -- and this announcement didn't make a difference. If someone's buying choice was specifically influenced by this, I'd be curious to hear about it.
So why announce these two books which are not really a surprise, at a time that seems less than ideal (these books don't arrive until next year; War of the Supermen will be over in a month)? My guess is that it has to do with when DC has to put information on their books into their Random House catalog, etc.; War of the Supermen, at least, has already begun showing up on retailer sites, and as long as that was about to happen, why not have DC make their own announcement? That's my guess.
What's disappointing is that it looks like we'll see Supermen no earlier than January 2011, a good eight months after the series itself debuts. The Superman trades these days are paced pretty well, about one a month, but trade releases still remain frustratingly long behind the single issues. And woe be it to anyone waiting for the paperback, as New Krypton will have only just started up for them by 2011.
Some good and some bad here, but certainly something is better than nothing.