DC Early 2011 TPB Solicitations - Hush Deluxe, Justice League International, Suicide Squad (again!)

Thursday, June 03, 2010

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.

Monthly titles:
* 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?

Reprint collections:
* 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:
* 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.

So ...
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?
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26 comments:

  1. A rather underwhelming group of trades imho. If the Suicide Squad trade ends up being the first in a line of reprints (like The Question or JLI) I'll be interested. Otherwise I'll be passing on everything here unless Flashpoint (a Flash-based crossover for 2011 if you hadn't heard) looks to be brilliant, in which case I'll probably start reading The Flash, as well.

    I will recommend the Question trade based on the monthlies, though. Rucka and Hamner knocked it out of the park

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  2. One thing I maybe don't like about that Suicide Squad trade, despite being glad it's in color, is that if it's like Question or JLI as you mentioned, it might be seemingly *forever* between volumes. Omnibus editions have a high price, granted, but at least one gets more comics at a time.

    Noted on Flashpoint ... the one thing that gets me to buy the Magog trades is the Flashpoint tie-in at the end (intentional on DC's part, I'm guessing).

    Saw you plug the DC TPB Timeline on a message board somewhere recently -- thanks!

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  3. Excellent. Suicide Squad. Now I can see what all the fuss is about. Looking forward to it.

    Teen Titans: Hunt for Raven wouldn't surprise me if it clocked in at nine issues. Either way, I can't wait until Krul takes over. It can't exactly get worse. Shame too; I thought Hendersons opening issues showed promise, but it just degraded from there. She just does not understand any of her characters, from Beast Boy to Blue Beetle. I only even keep up for Gar and Raven.

    Hopefully things will be better moving forward.

    Anyways, I don't know why, but I'm so on board for Batman vs the Undead. Something about Batman versus undead creatures just hits some kind of button in me. As far as Supermans involvement goes, it's probably not labeled that because it's a Batman Confidential story and because, from what I know, Superman isn't showing up until halfway through the story.

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  4. Somewhere along the lines in those Suicide Squad collections will be Oracle's first appearance -- for me, that's a must-have.

    Is Batman vs. the Undead code for "zombies"? Because after Superman and Batman vs Vampires and Werewolves and now the Undead, zombies seems like the next place to go (Blackest Night aside). Reminds me of Scooby Doo and Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein ...

    We should note Tom Mandrake's art in there. He and John Ostrander's Spectre series deserve some more collections, too, maybe with additional glow-in-the-dark covers.

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  5. Only Suicide Squad, The Question, and Flash.

    I'm going HC only route for Flash like I do with Johns Green Lantern and the question will be nice to have sans ads since the character is one of my favorites.

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  6. I really ought to jump to paperback for the new Flash series -- the goal is to buy fewer hardcovers, not more -- and it's the inevitable ties to Flashpoint that keeps me from doing so; it's bad enough knowing most of the ending of Blackest Night without waiting for the paperback on major crossovers, you know?

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  7. The whole Hardcover, Deluxe, Absolute, DC Comics Classic Library, etc, etc, thing is driving me nuts too. It makes my life on my site a lot harder, haha. For now I'm just including one version of each book, but I hate that some of them collect things a little differently too.

    It's like alternate foiled jeweled covers but now for trades. Terrible.

    In general, personally, I just buy the paperback. At least almost every volume still gets a paperback - just waiting on that Joker trade.

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  8. I really wish we could just see more "mega" softcover editions like the most recent Hush trade collecting the whole thing, or many of Marvel's collections like Nextwave (collecting both volumes), Alias, etc. It's by far my favourite format. In fact, there are a number of books that I had in hardcover that I've switched to softcover. The Annhilation books, for example.

    As for what I'm looking forward to? When does Cooke's second Parker book come out? Is it this year or next?

    I'm STILL waiting for DC to put out a proper Kamandi Omnibus. Although I'm fully aware that it's collected in an Archive format, I want it to be reprinting in the same format as all the other great Kirby omnibi.

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  9. I'm actually not a big fan of the mega softcovers because, even though I can get one for less money usually, it makes it harder to place on the shelf (for modern stuff, which usually has crossovers and whatnot at some point between.)

    For pre-crisis, it's awesome. I love those showcase books.

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  10. One thing I've learned in publishing is that there's an audience for nearly every format. Hardcover, trade paperback, mass marker paperback... publishers can keep churning out different editions of the same book and different people will buy them. DC seems to be giving this treatment only to HUSH and no other book, so I'm guessing it's still an incredible seller for them.

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  11. Very excited to finally see JLI vol. 5. I'm disappointed they're not HC, but I guess they didn't make enough $$. I'll also be picking up the final Gotham central volume...recently ordered the brand new 3rd HC. I'm debating whether or not to replace my Seven soldiers trades with the 2 HCs.

    Luckily I picked up the entire Suicide Squad run for around 50 bucks on eBay, and I'm very glad to have already read the series a couple years ago (highest recommendation BTW). I'm sure DC will take forever between the TPBs, and I doubt they'll properly collect the big "Janus Directive" crossover with Checkmate.

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  12. BTW to anyone who reads floppies, I highly recommend picking up John Ostrander's, Firestorm, Suicide Squad, and Manhunter runs from the late 80s, as well as the "Checkmate" issues that tie into Suicide Suad, and also the Deadshot miniseries(all can be gotten for cheap) and reading them interlocking as they were published. They all tie together and they were one of the greatest comics reading experiences I've ever had.

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  13. I was going to order the first Seven Soldiers Deluxe HC this month, but seeing as I'd have to wait eight whole months between volumes 1 and 2, I guess I'll order both in February. Hopefully, vol. 1 won't be out of print by then.

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  14. That Firestorm/Suicide Squad/Manhunter combo sounds like heaven, Jeff -- everyone knows I've dug DC's recent spate of spy stories. Now makes me even more eager for DC to release these Suicide Squad trades -- get to pre-ordering, everyone!

    Agreed on the "mega" collections, Nick -- this volume 1, volume 2 business has been my least favorite invention of the trade paperback era.

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  15. absentmindedprofessor6/04/2010 12:38:00 PM

    Re Azrael. I see a lot of hate for it out there, but I've been enjoying the stories. Note that I said stories. The art has been atrocious. But the stories have been (so far) done-in-ones that seem a little deeper than your typical comic tale. And you are right, not much real connection to the wider Bat-verse.

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  16. Is there a way to communicate with them that we want the JLI stuff to continue in hardcover???? It really sucks when they change formats like this, especially since htis is a finite series!!

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  17. I second the question above - Really, it would suck tremendously to have supported the hardcover format for the JLI collections only to have it suddenly changed to direct-to-TPs.

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  18. I'm really hoping that the post-RIP, pre-Final Crisis issues that Morrison is doing (#701-702), will mean that we'll get a collection that includes the 'Last Days of Gotham' (DC #851, BM #684), the last of the recent uncollected issues.

    701 description -- http://dccomics.com/dcu/comics/?cm=15157

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  19. @Ian

    Actually, when I said "mega" softcovers, I didn't mean the Showcases or Essentials. I mean where they collect, say 12 or more full colour issues together. Like the Age of Apocalypse or Clone Saga. Or each season of Sleeper. Heck, even 52 could be counted among that.

    I'm honestly not a fan of Showcases or Essentials because of the lack of colour.

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  20. @Nick - I got into showcase volumes recently simply because of the cost. I stayed away from them for a really really long time, but wanted to catch up on pre-crisis DC. I was able to get almost every volume at about 6.00 each from one supplier, brand new, as long as I bought them all at once. Haven't regretted that purchase at all. Thinking about how much it would cost me in archives is really scary...

    though honestly I'll probably get the archives eventually as I slowly see deals on them, haha. I feel like it's worth it to phase out my showcase books for archives just because of the introductions.. But the black and white linework stuff is actually growing on me!

    It is what it is.

    I understood what you meant about the mega ones. I like it if the whole book takes place at once or can be read at once. I dislike it if there is stuff that takes place in between, because I don't enjoy putting one trade down to find another and then going back to the first one. Just my quirks.

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  21. @Ian

    Oh, totally agreed. I think that's what I like the mega trades, though. Look at Sleeper, for example. Each mega trade collects a season. Season 1 was meant to be the end of the series, essentially, and wraps up well.

    But I would much prefer the mega format over, say, the way that Batman: Hush was first collected. Or the ongoing problem with Superman: New Krypton. Or Justice. All of them could have easily fit into a single, mega volume instead of smaller ones.

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  22. I would also like to see the collections get larger; for example, I've been buying The Question books that collects the 36-issue series. There are 6 issues per book, at $22.99Cdn = $137.94Cdn (about $130US)! Couldn't they have done 12 issues per book at a cheaper price? Books like 52 and Countdown to Final Crisis are what, 13 books for around the same price?

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  23. Hush Unwrapped... maybe a title screw-up on Amazon meant for Dini's upcoming Heart of Hush sequel on Streets of Gotham?

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  24. Yes!! Cats in the Cradle. I did manage to read this arc and this is going to be one hell of a Catman story.

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  25. Anonymous - It looks like "Hush Unwrapped" is just Jim Lee's pencils for the series. Now look, I love "Hush" just as much as the next guy, but DC is really starting to go into overkill for this storyline. There are plenty of uncollected stories and series that deserve it more than the umpteenth variant reprint of "Hush."

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  26. Good point on the New Krypton saga.

    I also find this tiny book way overpriced. DC is dropping the ball again.

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