It may feel like summer in many places, but here at the Collected Editions blog we're already starting to think about our reading orders for New Year's! Information's starting to come out for trade paperbacks and graphic novel hardcovers for 2011, and here's what we know and what we think, including DC Comics' latest stab at the deluxe format and the third Suicide Squad solicitation -- maybe this time will be the charm!
Omnibus and deluxe:
* Batman: Hush - Deluxe
From the "Milking It For All Its Worth" department comes another Hush hardcover, this time in DC Comics' oversized deluxe format. Now, I'm not denying new DC Co-Publisher Jim Lee's artwork won't look great in the deluxe format, but DC's movements as they try to decide on a saleable format (see Suicide Squad) -- Absolute, Showcase Presents, deluxe, hardcover, paperback -- are starting to make me seasick. I guess if you didn't get Absolute Hush (Out of print? Really?) but still want a complete Hush in hardcover, here's your chance.
* Justice League International Vol 5
I am on one hand glad to see another Justice League International volume, as I'd hear rumors that volume four was the last; on the other hand, this initial solicitation, at least, lists the book as paperback, whereas the ones before have been hardcover first, and I've been saving my pennies to get the full set of these books at holiday time. With this next volume, following Justice League America into the 30-numbered issues, I wonder if this series will collect all the way through the end of Keith Giffen's run with the "Breakdowns" storyline.
* Gotham Central Book 4: Corrigan (Hardcover)
* Gotham Central Book 1: In the Line of Duty (Paperback)
The hardcover volume closes out the series with Gotham Central #32-41, which is about what you find in the Gotham Central: Dead Robin paperback collection, only sandwiched between two lovely hardcovers. At the same time, it looks like DC is going to release these complete Gotham Central volumes in paperback, too, starting again from the beginning.
* Seven Soldiers of Victory Vol 2
Following the new hardcover that combines the first two Seven Soldiers trade paperbacks, this'll finish out the series.
* Teen Titans: The Hunt for Raven
"The Hunt for Raven," Felicia Henderson's first major Teen Titans storyline, doesn't start in earnest until about issue #84, whereas the last trade ended with #78. If this trade could go nine issues, #79-87, it's possible that might be almost all of Henderson's run before J. T. Krul takes over.
* Flash Vol 1: The Dastardly Death of the Rogues!
As mentioned in our discussion in early May about the timing of DC's collection announcements.
* Justice League: Rise and Fall
At about the same time we had Sinestro Corps War in the run-up to Final Crisis, we also had Amazons Attack. That is, in the wake of Blackest Night, I'm hearing the same kind of unhappy buzz about this Justice League/Arsenal/Green Arrow event, which also has ties to Titans and Brightest Day. I'm following Justice League, so I'm in for at least some of this, but hopefully there's a Sinestro Corps-type success around the corner to balance out some of the unhappiness.
* The Question: Pipeline
Collecting (hooray!) the Greg Rucka/Cully Hamner co-feature. I had thought there was a part of the co-feature that crossed over with the Detective Comics Batwoman story, but I don't see it now, so maybe this will be one volume with everything (like the Blue Beetle, Manhunter and Ravager co-feature collections). Remains to be seen whether the Blackest Night: Question #37 will be recollected here after already appearing in the Blackest Night material.
* Doom Patrol: Brotherhood
The first volume of the new Keith Giffen/Matthew Clark series collected issues #1-6, so we're likely in for #7-12 or so here.
* Batman vs. The Undead
Following the Superman and Batman Vs. Vampires and Werewolves miniseries, this collects Batman Confidential starting with issue #44 by Kevin VanHook and Tom Mandrake. I'm mildly surprised, with Superman's appearance in the story, that DC didn't label this a Batman and Superman story.
* Secret Six: Cats in the Cradle
Collected Editions blog contributor and Secret Six fan Derek Roper ought be happy about this one, which picks up with Secret Six #19.
* Azrael: The Killer of Saints
Collects the first storyline by new series writer David Hine. I must say, I was a big fan of the old Dennis O'Neil/Barry Kitson series, but without seemingly true strong ties to the other Bat-books, I'm surprised this series is holding an audience; I keep expecting to see a cancellation notice despite this trade solicitation. Anyone enjoying it and want to pitch its strong points?
* Suicide Squad: Trial by Fire
After DC canceled John Ostrander's Showcase Presents: Suicide Squad not once but twice, it looks like they're really going to publish it this time (we hope!) in a color paperback. The Showcase Presents volume was to be Suicide Squad #1-18, Doom Patrol and Suicide Squad Special #1, Secret Origins #14, and Justice League International #13, but I think it's unlikely all of that will appear in the first color paperback.
* Showcase Presents Justice League of America Vol. 5
Despite being solicited as "Showcase: JLA Vol 5," which might suggest a new deluxe JLA omnibus volume, I think price point and such make it more likely this is the next classic Justice League volume, picking up with issue #84.
* Superman: The Last Stand of New Krypton Vol. 2
* Superman: War of the Supermen
* Superman: Mon-El Vol 1
* Superman: Nightwing & Flamebird Vol. 1
I mentioned in my review of Codename: Patriot that I'm a bit weary of the five-issue, twenty-five dollar Superman collections, so I'm not thrilled to see confirmation that Last Stand of New Krypton (a three-issue miniseries, with crossovers) is indeed split into two volumes. I'm a long-time Super-fan, but this is enough to make me rethink hardcovers of J. Michael Straczynski's upcoming run. For paperback readers, here's the Superman and Action Comics "New Krypton" collections after the series branch off.
* Superman/Batman: Torment
I also know a number of the Collected Editions paperback readers will be glad to see this paperback edition of Superman/Batman: Torment, which had been obviously missing from the schedule for a while. I'd say this was an entertaining but not terribly crucial New Gods story with only minor ties to Death of the New Gods; admittedly, if I hadn't read it yet, I'd be waiting eagerly, too, but ultimately I think you'll find you haven't missed much.
What'll be on your to-buy list for early 2011? What do you have to have in hardcover, and for which titles will you be waiting for the paperback? Has anyone out there still not read Batman: Hush? What are you still waiting to be collected?