Following DC Comic's trade solicitation of Aquaman: Death of the Prince (collecting the 1977 Aquaman Adventure Comics run) comes news of a Firestorm: The Nuclear Man paperback collection including Ronnie Raymond's first appearances by Gerry Conway, and a Showcase Presents Trial of the Flash black-and-white TPB collecting the noted 1980s Barry Allen story.
That DC is finally collecting Trial of the Flash, but in their Showcase Presents black-and-white format, will undoubtedly be a disappointment to most. Given that this story spans Flash #340-350 at minimum for the trial itself, and possibly at least ten issues in addition to that ten for Iris Allen's murder at the hands of Professor Zoom and Barry Allen's subsequent killing of Zoom that lead to the trial, it's understandable why DC would choose this cheaper omnibus format for the collection. As well, with historical value aside, the arc isn't widely regarded as well-written in terms of the story.
That said, I for one do wish DC would have chosen maybe one or two color volumes rather than the black-and-white format; for a story of this importance, I'd rather a volume that suggested more lasting value. And I'm holding out hope for a Suicide Squad-type last minute reprieve (where what was solicited as a Showcase Presents.
Hope in Historical Releases
Still, that we're seeing any book at all with "Trial of the Flash" within is good news, as I know fans have been clamoring for that for a long time. "Trial," plus the Gerry Conway Firestorm and Aquaman collections, all represent DC stories, deep in their history, which are not as well-known or shiny as New Teen Titans: The Judas Contract or Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga, but that are still relevant to current DC continuity and deserve to be available for current readers.
The same can most definitely be said for DC's forthcoming release of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning's Legion Lost, another long-awaited collection now scheduled to see print. If DC keeps this up, there won't be much left on my wish list still to hope to see reprinted.
("Titans Hunt." Also the death of Katma Tui. Guess there's still a lot on the list.)
Blackest Night for the Rest of You
I have held off of late posting about the collections (to no one's disappointment, hopefully) that I think we all can reasonably expect are coming out anyway -- I think we all know we'll see new volumes of Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Red Robin, Outsiders, even Batman: Knight and Squire, and I'd sooner make a fuss for something big and unexpected like Showcase Presents Trial of the Flash.
However, I know there's many out there who've been waiting patiently for Blackest Night to arrive in paperback to finally read this story (I don't know how you all do it, really). It looks like these are now a sure thing coming up in July and August 2011:
* Blackest Night
* Blackest Night: Green Lantern
* Blackest Night: Green Lantern Corps
* Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps Vol. 1
* Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps Vol. 2
* Blackest Night: Rise of the Black Lanterns
* Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps
So, despite the fact that I myself have a hard time getting in to once-color, now black-and-white collections, in total I think this Showcase Presents release and DC's general trend right now is a good thing. Maybe if there's enough hubub about Trial of the Flash between now and when it's released, we might even find it with some color added. I can hope.
More great guest reviews coming next week. Thanks for stopping by!