DC Trade Solicitations for April 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

DC Comics has released their trade solicitations for April 2012, and it's no surprise that we're knee-deep in DC New 52 trades. Just past those, however, are a surprising number of archives, reprints, and Really Big Collections. This is the trend I'm personally watching in DC's collection announcements over the next few months; when we set aside the New 52 books, what is DC selling or emphasizing in addition?

* Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 1: Faces of Death HC
* Batwoman Vol. 1: Hydrology HC
* Catwoman Vol. 1: The Game TP
* Animal Man Vol. 1: The Hunt TP
* Green Arrow Vol. 1: The Midas Touch TP
* Justice League International Vol. 1: The Signal Masters TP
* Stormwatch Vol. 1: The Dark Side TP

The New 52 Justice League, Batman, and Green Lantern collections all shared the spotlight last month, but the Bat-books really seem to take the lead here with Detective, Batwoman, and Catwoman. We also see our first Edge and Dark collections with Stormwatch and Animal Man respectively. Can't wait to see DC's unified trade dress for these books (or if DC has chosen to go with a unified trade dress).

* Absolute Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War HC
* The Infinite Crisis Omnibus HC
* Batman: The Black Glove Deluxe Edition HC

These are three high-profile, expensive books in one month. Though the only other one that I know is coming down the pike is the Absolute Batman and Robin volume, I wonder if these are successful, if we'll start to see more, even monthly, "coffee table"-type books from DC. Of course, the above are already seeing controversy -- Absolute Sinestro appears to be "just" a larger-size reprint of the original story, which I think makes most early adopters unlikely to double-dip. The Infinite Crisis Omnibus solicitations omitted the inclusion of Villains United, but both for completeness and for that series's integral role in Infinite Crisis, I just can't see DC leaving it out.

* Batman: Prey TP
* Challengers of the Unknown Omnibus By Jack Kirby HC
* DC Universe: Legacies TP
* Legion Lost TP
* Showcase Presents: Sea Devils Vol. 1 TP
* Sgt. Rock Archives Vol. 4 HC
* Starman Omnibus Vol. 1 TP

There's a lot of rich material here, suggesting DC's past continuity is not gone, just, well, past. There's a Challengers Omnibus, a Sgt. Rock Archives, and a Sea Devils Showcase Presents (tying into current goings-on in the Aquaman series, perhaps?) -- on one hand, all these different reprints of old material are good, but on the other hand it furthers DC's schizophrenic publishing routine -- what makes Challengers an omnibus and Sgt. Rock an Archives? Why does Sea Devils only make the level of Showcase Presents and not an Omnibus? Confusing times for readers.

Meanwhile, I dig DC's chutzpah in releasing Legion Lost in paperback. This book has little-to-no connection to the current ongoing Legion Lost series and I'd imagine the pent-up demand for the collection expired with the hardcover -- but hey, we have another book out right now called Legion Lost, so let's throw this at the wall and see what sticks! (Letting alone that Legion Lost, the Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning miniseries, is really quite good.)

* Batman: Knightfall Vol. 2: Knightquest TP New Edition

For those playing at home, the second Knightfall volume includes the entirety of the previously-uncollected "Knightquest: The Crusade" storyline, in which Batman (former Azrael) Jean Paul Valley descends into madness. This book only collects some of the issues from "Knightquest: The Search," however -- which separately followed the crippled Bruce Wayne -- and not all of them, omitting for instance the quite-integral Legends of the Dark Knight issues. I can't believe DC would come this far only to not completely collect "Knightquest" again, so I'm betting those will be in this book or the next.


(By the way, blink and you'll miss it, but DC has this titled Batgirl: Knightfall on their site at the moment.

* Brightest Day Vol. 2 TP
* Batman: Bruce Wayne: The Road Home TP
* Batman and Robin: Batman And Robin Must Die TP
* Green Lantern: Brightest Day TP
* Superman: Grounded Vol. 1 TP

And just to show that the old continuity may be down but not out, DC comes through with paperback releases of Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern stories on various levels of "happened" and "didn't happen." What will be interesting in a few months is when DC has exhausted all the paperback reprints of their regular title hardcovers, and then we're just down to DC New 52 books and collections -- will we see more new "reprint" collections (like Sea Devils, Chase etc.) or just less collections output from DC?

What's on your "to buy" list this month?
Get the Collected Editions scoop before anyone else -- on Facebook!

21 comments:

  1. CE, I don't know if this is a rude request, you do this all so generously anyway, but if you please would it be possible to give links to DC's The Source page for each solicit? The Amazon link doesn't tell me anything I don't know (and being a UK resident I can't pre-order them anyway) whereas I find the Source a nightmare to navigate and yet for Knightfall vol 2 (as above) there's all the information I need on issues, price etc.
    Thanks, and forgive my cheek.

    ReplyDelete
  2. With regards to the Knightfall v2 solicitation, I have a sneaking suspicion that the solicitation erroneously includes any of Knightquest: The Search. The Search issues included in this one are Shadow of the Bat 21-23. My guess is that since 19, 20 and 24-28 are part of The Crusade, the person writing the copy just assumed it was 19-28. I haven't looked at the page count yet, though, to see if that matches.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Personally I'm happy with just The Crusade issues being collected, I can live without The Search. Either way I don't think I'll replace my old trades as this one is slotting in just fine. Sure I'm missing Vengeance of Bane (not to mention the uncollected prologue issues that ran in Batman and Detective, but everyone is SOL on those). I have Sword of Azrael so I'm good on that front. Also I'm sure I'll miss (at least some of) The Quest, and I assume some of the aftermath issues from KnightsEnd and whatever else they tack onto the end. Given the size of the final original trade it wouldn't surprise me if they went for Prodigal, Troika, Vengeance of Bane 2, but that may be over doing it.

    Then again I may just replace the others in the future. What's bugging me the most are the No Man's Land trades. Over the years I've gotten a few different writers and artists to sign those trades. Don't think I'll be able to give those up for the new ones. First World Problems :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I hadn't considered it might be no Knightquest: Search whatsoever. I guess Knightsend is short enough that they could put Search in that third volume, too, and then people who already have the collection would still have a reason to buy volume three. Just as long as they're not excluding Search altogether -- then you'd see an open letter to Dan DiDio on this site, and how!

    Not-so-secretly, I'm hoping DC goes whole-hog and includes the Justice League Task Force issues, too. Now there's a title that needs to be relaunched (before it became a poor man's Teen Titans, that is).

    ReplyDelete
  5. The IC Omnibus on amazon lists Villains United 1-6 and the Special, I hope it's correct.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Man! The hype I had for Knightfall was the fact that finally I could have the complete Knightquest.

    Hope this is just another mistake and to be clarified asap.

    On the other hand, I agree with Absolute Sinestro Corps. It all seems to be the same as Absolute Identity Crisis. Just another large copy of a book I already have.

    I thought DC was making better things, but now I see I might be wrong.

    Regarding Infinite Crisis Omnibus, I call it "mistake" on the fact Villains United is not included. Would be a moronic move not to put that.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't recall The Search being all that great; that was also where they decided to push some stupid continuity changed best left forgotten (like it being the first time Bruce Wayne met Selina Kyle).

    The Crusade is the important part, as it shows part of the point of the whole endeavor; the 90's extreme makeovers don't work, especially for Batman.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Maybe not "great" (was any part of Knightquest really "great?"), but certainly integral to the story -- if DC's going to collect the middle part, they might as well include the part where Bruce's back gets healed; otherwise he's hurt one page, better the next.

    Though, while Search may lack at times, and Bruce's back magically healing be something of a cop-out, I recall that last Legends of the Dark Knight scene in the storm being pretty moving, actually.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I always thought they should have redone "The Search". Bruces back being healed should have been done in the way Morrison actually showed us a scene or two of (I think during Last Rights). With sheer determination and therapy; Batman is, after all, portrayed as one of the most determined and strong willed men, so him fighting back from an injury like that isn't something people were likely to dismiss. So, to tell the truth, I guess you could say part of the reason I wouldn't care if The Search was dropped is due to the fact that I hate where they went with that.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Maybe a spoiler, maybe not, because I haven't actually read the new Batgirl series, but isn't that exactly what they've done with Barbara Gordon and people hate it (aside from the fact that Oracle was really cool, etc.)? Anyway, I think you and I agree that if they're going to reprint Knightquest completely, they might as well reprint it *completely.*

    ReplyDelete
  11. The weird thing is, if they're going to put Knightquest: The Search in the Knightsend trade, why is Robin #7 in Knightfall vol 2? It will be kind of odd to read the Knightquest conclusion issue, then go back in time to Bruce being in a wheelchair and then skip over the JPV/BW confrontation and go straight to Knightsend.

    I realize it's probably a little insane to question the logic in a scenario I thought up myself (and not one DC has officially announced), but I think I'm going to miss out on reading the Knightfall trades straight through w/o having to pick up a few issues or jump back and forth between trades. Seeing as how I own Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night, this isn't a foreign concept to me . . .

    ReplyDelete
  12. I don't know about the Batgirl series. If it is, people don't hate it because of the method. People went ballistic over it to start with. As far as I know, though, it's the usual hot air; I'm pretty sure Nu52 Batgirl is selling well.

    For the record, I'm not one of the guys against it; by the end, I was thoroughly bored by the Oracle character and thought that stage of her life had gone as far as it could.

    I do agree that if they're going to print Knightquest, they may as well go for the whole hog.

    @Bob: Ugh. Moving back and forth between trades. I hate that manner of collection so much. I literally stopped collecting Green Lantern trades at Sinestro Corps when I realized Blackest Night was doing it and haven't bothered with GL again since.

    Probably sounds like an over-reaction, but whatta ya gonna do? I guess I was hoping they were going to eventually do a "collected the relevant parts in one volume in chronological order" ultimate collections or something. They never did.

    ReplyDelete
  13. OK maybe I’m crazy but why was it not announced originally that the Starman Omnibus would published in tpb format?? I’ve received the first two volumes as gifts so it has not been money out of my pocket but if I buy any future volumes on my own the complete-ist in me has a hard time with the idea of switching hardcover to tpb to save money for myself or potential gift givers. I enjoy the feel of the hardcover so i will stick with getting the rest in hardcover but BOO on DC for this one. People are struggling economically and has the saying goes every dollar matters. Marvel, DC, and all comic companies for that matter should be more upfront about the release schedules of all formats for us to be able to make our own decision.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Knightquest should be completely collected this time around. That was the only reason why pre-order this.

    What Bob says about Robin #7 been collected before The Search scares me. Makes me think they actually will skip The Search. I don't care if the story is silly. Just collect it!

    ReplyDelete
  15. @Xavico: Whether the story was silly or it isn't isn't the point here. I'm of the opinion that every good crossover will have a mediocre or weak moment, which doesn't mean it should be excluded. For years, people took it as a given that Knightsquest is never going to be collected. All of a sudden (due to the appearance of Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, no doubt) it's announced that it will be collected, and then nixing part of it makes no sense whatsoever. In fact, I felt that the LOTDK issues were the most compelling part of Knightsquest and The Search was far better than the Crusade. The copy for this reads to 30 issues, the page count tallies somewhat.

    Knightsend gives us 11 issues (3 of which are double sized making it 14 issues worth); with the Search included it becomes 22 issues worth. Troika put in here makes it 26 issues and Shadow of the Bat 21-23 and Robin 7 subtracted from there makes Vol 2: Knightsquest 26 issues as well. Problem solved. Of course, I'd like to see Batman/Punisher: Lake of Fire, or the stories from SHOWCASE 93/94/95 which feature AzBats (my memory gets hazy here: were there any?) in some edition of the Knights stories as well but I'll settle if all the issues from The Search are reprinted.

    ReplyDelete
  16. @Aalok: Dude, I'm all for Knightquest!

    Can't find any of my comments saying that Knightquest was silly and shouldn't be collected.

    My possition is this: Collect the COMPLETE Knightfall saga (Knightquest: The Search and The Choice included).

    Otherwise it will keep being an incomplete, unsatisfactory colleciton.

    ReplyDelete
  17. It sort of is missing things though. The prelude issues in Batman and Tec and Sword of Azrael which introduce JPV and his training under Bats should have been a part of this. Either way, we finally get Knightquest so that's gotta be worth something.

    ReplyDelete
  18. The reason that the Challs collection is Omnibus is probably because it fits in with the numerous Jack Kirby Omnibi they've already done. I think it's even being solicited as "Challengers of the Unknown by Jack Kirby".

    ReplyDelete
  19. According to a new DC Source post (http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2012/01/30/dc-comics-fall-2012/):

    BATMAN: KNIGHTFALL VOL. 3 – KNIGHTSEND TP NEW EDITION
    Collects: BATMAN #509, 510, 512-514, BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT #29, 30, 32-34, DETECTIVE COMICS #676, 677, 679-681, BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #62 and 63, ROBIN #8, 9, 11-13, CATWOMAN #12, 13 and SHOWCASE 94 #10

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'll run down that list here tomorrow. Solicitations to the contrary, I guess I just don't believe DC will publish the Shadow of the Bat chapters of "The Search" in Knightfall v2 and not the Legends of the Dark Knight chapters anywhere -- I think we'll see the LODK issues added in (if not, *sniff*, the JL Task Force issues).

    ReplyDelete
  21. "Just as long as they're not excluding Search altogether -- then you'd see an open letter to Dan DiDio on this site, and how!"

    I have no idea which are the issues for The Search, but I do expect the letter to Didio if that is not collected.

    Please?

    ReplyDelete