Yeah, yeah, DC Comics relaunch, new #1s, nothing will ever be the same ... but what about the trades?!
The post-Flashpoint reboot, like the "One Year Later" break after Infinite Crisis, is a simultaneous event affecting all DC titles; as just about all DC titles will reach a story conclusion just before the new #1s, this must necessarily affect how they're collected. And I'd be pretty surprised if DC wants to collect pre-Flashpoint stories with post-Flashpoint stories (though they did collect pre- and post-"One Year Later" stories together).
So we're in for a tidy bunch of trades that end the ongoing DC Comics plotlines before the new books emerge, right?
Before I started researching, my guess was that things were probably pretty clean. All the ongoing DC stories are wrapping up in August, so chances are August is a precise stopping point for DC's trades, too, right?
Unfortunately, no. Not to spread panic, but things on the collections front look very messy, worrisomely so. I have significant concerns about certain books and issues never seeing collections to wrap up their storylines.
Let's jump in to it. The list below reflects the book's title, the most recently solicited collection, and the book's collection status, Dancing With the Stars-style -- safe, or still in jeopardy. I'll say right now, of the thirty-eight books I'm profiling, only a handful of them seem safe to me, including Action Comics, Superman, Green Lantern, and Flash. That's a lot of collections unaccounted for.
Action Comics (Superman: Reign of Doomsday)
The "Reign of Doomsday" storyline concludes in Action Comics #904, and indications are that all the Action Comics issues of this will be collected together (if not Superboy, Outsiders, Justice League, and others).
Adventure Comics ends its "Legion Academy" storyline with issue #529. The Legion of Super-Heroes: Consequences trade collects up to Adventure Comics #522; no collection is yet solicited for Adventure Comics #523-529.
Batgirl (Batgirl: The Lesson)
Batgirl: The Flood collected through issue #14 of that series. Batgirl ends with issue #24, leaving ten issues (from #15-24) still to be collected; that's just on the high end of what DC tends to collect, and I'd be surprised if two more Batgirl Stephanie Brown trades are in the offing since this series gets a Barbara Gordon reboot post-Flashpoint. One to watch, with the concern being that DC might not finish collecting this Batgirl series at all.
Batman (Batman: Eye of the Beholder)
Issue #703 appears in the Batman: Time and the Batman collection; afterward, Tony Daniel writes and draws this series from issue #704 to 712, and then Fabian Nicieza finishes it off with issue #713 in August. There is a Batman: Eye of the Beholder collection solicited that will collect some of these issues, but again, ten issues in a collection is a lot. Do we risk DC might not collected issue #713, or more? I'm skeptical that DC would include these issues in a collection of Tony Daniel's new Detective Comics, so this one's got me worried.
Batman and Robin (Batman and Robin: Batman Must Die)
The last-solicited Batman and Robin collection was Grant Morrison's Batman Must Die (collecting up to issue #16); the book concludes in August after stories by Peter Tomasi, Judd Winick, and David Hine. It's unlikely DC will collect all eleven remaining issues into one book -- might they skip them all entirely, and just start collecting the series with the new #1?
Batman Beyond (Batman Beyond: Hush Beyond)
I have not seen a collection of the regular issues of the Adam Beechen series solicited since the Hush Beyond miniseries. DC's publication of a Superman Beyond #0 special suggested that the Batman Beyond universe was here to stay, but we don't have confirmation yet that Batman Beyond survives the DC relaunch. Until we see such, I think there's a danger that the eight issues of Batman Beyond leading up to August might not be collected.
Batman Inc. (Batman Inc. Vol. 1 Deluxe)
There's a deluxe Batman Inc. collection solicited, but no word yet on whether it collects all ten issues of Batman Inc.'s first "season," as Grant Morrison recently called it. Of all the series, I think this is the safest bet that we'll see all the issues collected, especially with Batman Inc. returning in 2012.
Batman: The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight will only reach five issues before it's relaunched with a new issue #1 in September. I think there's a good chance this will all be collected, but I'm less certain about it than, say, Batman Inc.
Birds of Prey (Birds of Prey: The Death of Oracle)
Solicitations suggest Birds of Prey: The Death of Oracle collects through issue #13 of this series, which marks writer Gail Simone's last issue before Marc Andreyko writes a two-part fill-in in issues #14-15, and then the title's rebooted in September. I think chances are high we won't see issues #14-15 collected at all.
Booster Gold (Booster Gold: Past Imperfect)
Past Imperfect collects the Keith Giffen/JM DeMattis run on Booster Gold to issue #38, though their stories continue until issue #43. Dan Jurgens writes the Booster Gold Flashpoint tie-in from #44 to August's #47. Though not yet solicited, I'm fairly sure we'll see a collection of the Dan Jurgens stories; whether the other issues will be collected or not is up in the air.
Detective Comics (Batman: The Black Mirror)
Of all the Bat-titles since Final Crisis, Detective Comics has had the most uneven collection route. Batwoman: Elegy collects Detective up to issue #860; then the three-part "Cutter" story by Greg Rucka from #861-#863 remains uncollected. Detective #864-865 appear in David Hine's Arkham Reborn collection; #866, an anniversary story coinciding with Batman #700, is uncollected; #867-880 is Hine's Batman: Imposters; and then #871-873, at least, is Scott Snyder's "Black Mirror" story. How much of #874 to August's Detective Comics #881 will be collected in the Black Mirror hardcover, I'm not sure, but all eleven issues is unlikely. Whether that means some stories will be uncollected, or whether some will appear with the collection of Snyder's new Batman stories remains to be seen.
Doom Patrol (Doom Patrol: Fire Away)
I'm about ninety-nine percent positive that Fire Away will include the final issues of the most recent Doom Patrol series (in the same general category as REBELS and Outsiders), else it's unlikely we'll see those collected.
Flash (Flash: The Road to Flashpoint)
One of our sure things, Flash: Road to Flashpoint collects Flash #8-12, ending just before the reboot.
With no Freedom Fighters collections currently solicited for the newest iteration of the Jimmy Palmiotti/Justin Gray series, my guess is this will remain uncollected altogether.
Gotham City Sirens (Gotham City Sirens: Strange Fruit)
Strange Fruit collects Gotham City Sirens #14-20; August's last issue of Sirens is #26. Right now there's no final six-issue collection of Gotham City Sirens solicited, but for completion's sake, here's hoping.
Green Arrow (Green Arrow: Into the Woods)
So far DC has only solicited Green Arrow: Into the Woods, collecting the first six issues of JT Krul's new Green Arrow series. Which leaves #7-13 by Krul and #14-15 by James Patrick. With Green Arrow seemingly starting from scratch in the DC relaunch, is there any chance of those latter comics being collected? They're Brightest Day tie-ins, and guest star Swamp Thing, rumored to have his own DC relaunch series coming up; DC couldn't very well skip these, could they?!
Green Lantern (Green Lantern: War of the Green Lanterns)
War of the Green Lanterns stretches to August's issue #67 of the Green Lantern proper series, and I can't very well see DC not collecting all the issues of Green Lantern, so I think this one is safe.
Green Lantern Corps (Green Lantern Corps: The Weaponer)
The Weaponer predates War of the Green Lanterns, and that latter hardcover will no doubt include the Green Lantern Corps issues. Corps has three issues after War of the Green Lanterns leading up to the September relaunch however; maybe we'll see a War of the Green Lanterns Aftermath trade with the Aftermath miniseries and issues of Green Lantern Corps and Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors.
Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors (Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors Vol. 1)
The first Emerald Warriors trade is said to collect issues #1-6. If it were to collect #7 as well, that would lead right in to War of the Green Lanterns, and then #11-13 would remain to be collected, maybe with the War of the Green Lanterns Aftermath miniseries.
JSA All-Stars (JSA All-Stars: The Puzzle Men)
JSA All-Stars: Glory Days ends with issue #13; chances are Puzzle Men collects issues #14-18, finishing out this series.
Justice League of America (Justice League of America: Omega)
The Justice League: Dark Things hardcover collected this series through #48, leaving issues #48 through August's #60 currently uncollected; that's twelve issues, too much for one trade. Justice League: Omega likely collects at least the five part "Omega" storyline from #49-53; surely DC wouldn't leave issue #54-60's "Rise of Eclipso" storyline uncollected in favor of the new Justice League ... would they?
Justice Society of America (Justice Society of America: Supertown)
James Robinson wrote an epilogue to the JLA/JSA crossover in Justice Society #43; after that, Marc Guggenheim wrote issues #44 through to August's #54. We don't yet know how many issues Justice Society of America: Supertown collects, but chances are it's not all eleven of Guggenheim's issues -- will some of these go uncollected?
Legion of Super-Heroes (Legion of Super-Heroes: Consequences)
Legion of Super-Heroes concludes in August with issue #16. The Consequences trade collects through issue 10; there's no solicitation so far of a collection of issues #11-16.
Outsiders (Outsiders: The Great Divide)
Outsiders: The Great Divide is said to collect issues #32-37, the last of which is a "Reign of Doomsday" crossover issue. Outsiders ends at #40, however; will we find more issues in the trade, or will #38-40 remain uncollected?
Power Girl (Power Girl: Bomb Squad)
Power Girl: Bomb Squad collects writer Judd Winick's stories to issue #18, but Winick remains on the book until issue #25, and Matt Sturges finishes off the series with #26 and August's #27. Here's another where it remains to be seen whether there's another Power Girl trade in the offing, or if DC will just let it go with this one ahead of the relaunch.
REBELS (REBELS: Starstruck)
REBELS: Sons of Brainiac collects to issue #20. The great hope is that Starstruck collects #21-28, giving every issue of this series a collection.
Red Robin (Red Robin: Hit List)
Red Robin: Hit List ends with issue #17, taking place before Batman: Time and the Batman/The Return of Bruce Wayne. There's nine issues between this and August's #26; no guarantees if DC will collect those (despite that they include fan favorite Cassandra Cain) or just let this series drift away.
Secret Six (Secret Six: The Reptile Brain)
Secret Six: The Reptile Brain collects to issue #29; August's final issue before the reboot is #36. There's no trade of the last seven issues solicited so far.
Superboy (Superboy: Smallville Attacks)
There's a Superboy: Smallville Attacks collection solicited right now, though no word on the issues involved. If we omit #10, the "Reign of Doomsday" crossover, that leaves #1-5 and #7-11, ten issues ... the listings have this as 256 pages, so it's possible, though that's more issues than we usually find in a DC trade.
Supergirl (Supergirl: Good Looking Corpse)
The Supergirl: Bizarrogirl trade ends at issue #59; August's final issue before the reboot is #67. James Peaty's "Good Looking Corpse" storyline ends with issue #64; it remains to be seen whether we'll see Kelly Sue Deconnick's issues #65-67 collected, or whether they'll be skipped.
Superman (Superman: Grounded Vol. 2)
August's Superman #714 finishes the "Grounded" storyline; no doubt the second Grounded hardcover will take care of this.
Superman/Batman (Superman/Batman: Sorcerer Kings)
The solicited Superman/Batman: Sorcerer Kings will of course collect issues #81-84 by Cullen Bunn, though it remains to be seen whether this will also include Joshua Hale's "The Secret" from #85 to August's #87, or Chris Roberson's DC One Million story "World's Finest" from issues #79-80.
Teen Titans (Teen Titans: Team Building)
Teen Titans: The Hunt for Raven collects Teen Titans to issue #87; that leaves thirteen issues, of JT Krul's run, to August's #100. Chances are Team Building doesn't collect all thirteen issues, so either we'll see more than one trade or some issues will remain uncollected.
THUNDER Agents (THUNDER Agents Vol. 1)
There's ten issues of Nick Spencer's THUNDER Agents between the launch and August's reboot, more than are usually included in most DC collections.
Titans (Titans: Family Reunion)
Family Reunion collects Titans #28-32; the "Methuselah Imperative" storyline that follows goes to issue #38. Though not yet solicited, a Methuselah Imperative would collect those six issues plus the Titans Annual.
Weird Worlds (Weird Worlds)
Most likely collects the six issue miniseries.
Wonder Woman (Wonder Woman: Odyssey Vol. 2)
The Wonder Woman: Odyssey storyline is fifteen issues long; only one volume has been collected so far, but it's doubtful it'll contain the whole thing. A second Odyssey volume must be on the way, despite the character's relaunch.
With no collections solicited so far, and the series ending in August with issue #6, my guess is this one will remain uncollected.
Zatanna (Zatanna: Shades of the Past)
Zatanna: Mistress of Magic collects issues #1-6, and the series ends before the relaunch with issue #16. There's a Zatanna: Shades of the Past series solicited, but it's unlikely it will collect the remaining ten issues; another risk these might remain uncollected.
So that's the outlook -- from my perspective, there's a lot more material from DC's current titles left to collect, or for collections thereof to be solicited, than I had thought was the case. With all signs pointing toward at least some of DC's continuity remaining in tact post-Flashpoint, I hope that means a good portion of these books will be collected. There were collection holes just before "One Year Later," so I'm guessing there will be some here, too.
Our friend Chris Marshall at the Collected Comics Library has a good overview of the state of DC's collections department pre-Flashpoint, too.
So, what do you think DC will collect? How's the DC Relaunch going for you? Chime in and let's discuss.