DC Trade Solicitations for June 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

So how about that new DC Comics website?

DC released their trade solicitations for June 2012 yesterday, and as has become pretty much the norm lately, there's a whole lot of DC New 52 material and not much else. I am excited to read the New 52 books, but I hope that after the first round is collected, we begin to see more balanced collection offerings from DC -- not just new stuff and second printings of old collections, but newer and richer collections as well.

* Absolute Batman and Robin: Batman Reborn

DC's big offering for the month is the Absolute-sized collection of Grant Morrison's run on Batman and Robin. This'll be a beauty, no doubt, though I'm hesitant to trade in my deluxe volumes for it (would I feel differently if DC had released just regular hardcovers and not deluxe?). Either way, looks like the only extras this includes are the same as were in the hardcovers -- this was been a topic of some debate on the Collected Editions Facebook page, whether by virtue of being Absolute these volumes should always carry some extras not found elsewhere.

* The Flash Omnibus by Geoff Johns Vol. 3

I'm surprised, but it looks like this is the last Flash Omnibus. For some reason I thought the Flash Omnibus series was definitely four volumes, but this book collects through issue #225 (at least according to solicitations), and that's the end of Geoff Johns's run writing Flash Wally West, at least. Again, according to solicitations at least, this volume collects Flash: Ignition (one of my personal favorites), Flash: The Secret of Barry Allen (with ties to Identity Crisis) and Flash: Rogue War.

(I'm perhaps even more curious to see how much New Teen Titans will be collected in those omnibuses. To "Siege of the Zi Charam?" ... Probably not.)

* The Invisibles Omnibus

If you missed Zach King's series for Collected Editions on the Invisibles, take a moment to catch up. I didn't know much about Invisibles beforehand, but Zach's enthusiasm had me eager to check it out, and it sounds like it's required reading before picking up Grant Morrison's Supergods. Only, hopefully DC has their binding issue worked out by then, because this is a super-thick book (over 1,500 pages) and it don't want it to be more difficult to read than it has to be.

* Superman - Action Comics Vol. 1: Superman and the Men of Steel
* Batwing Vol. 1: The Lost Kingdom
* Demon Knights Vol. 1: Seven Against the Dark
* Grifter Vol. 1: Most Wanted
* Men of War Vol. 1: Uneasy Company
* Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth

The next round of DC New 52 books. Action Comics is the star there, of course, the one I'm most highly anticipating, though Demon Knights is also high on my list. Men of War is a "done in one," essentially, now being cancelled; I'll be giving Suicide Squad one book to see if it impresses. I'm eager for Grifter mainly because I like the general idea of the Wildstorm universe merging with the DCU. And of course, I keep on rooting for former Outsiders writer Judd Winick, so we'll see how Batwing goes.

* DC Comics Presents: Superman/Supergirl #1

After we didn't see any DC Comics Presents volumes for a couple months, I thought these were more or less dead, but here's another (timed, perhaps, to coincide with Super Best Friends Forever on Cartoon Network, though I fear we'd have another "character in the comics is weirder and more sexualized than character on TV" on our hands). Superman/Batman #19 and Supergirl #1 are essentially Supergirl #0-1, the start of the character's new series. Superman #176 is a curious inclusion, a story in the wake of "Our Worlds at War" that doesn't include Supergirl at all (she wasn't around then; it's Superman talking to a counselor), but is written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Ian Churchill, the team on the Supergirl issues.

* Wonder Woman: The Twelve Labors

As I mentioned before, this 1970s storyline returned Wonder Woman to her classic look after the Diana Prince era. Had I the choice, I'd as soon see DC's collection release list filled with items like this -- notable but maybe relatively unknown stories from DC's history that illuminate current events, rather than new collections of material that's already been collected a dozen times over. To wit ...

* JLA Vol. 2

I'm sure Justice League books sell pretty well, what with the Doom movie and all, and especially Justice League books with Grant Morrison's name on them, but we've already seen this material collected in paperback and hardcover and now here it is in paperback again. Surely this will sell, but it seems like an also ran on this list of mostly "run of the mill" collections.

The sole bright spot in this one, to correct myself, is the inclusion of the JLA/WILDCats crossover. Irrespective of Grant Morrison's writing, I always thought Val Semeiks art was too stilted for this, and it's struck me as more wooden of a DC/Wildstorm crossover than I would have expected from Morrison. However, with characters like Grifter now appearing in the DC Universe proper, surely the "first meeting" of these teams must hold some interest.

* Showcase Presents Rip Hunter, Time Master Vol. 1

1960s stories from Showcase and the Rip Hunter, Time Master series, including Rip's first appearance.

* Green Arrow Vol. 1: Into the Woods
* Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors Vol. 1
* Wonder Woman: Odyssey Vol. 1

Your paperback re-releases for the month. Some ambitious reader should look at what books from this DC did and didn't release in paperback after the hardcover publication -- that we lost the paperback of Justice League: Generation Lost Vol. 1, for instance, speaks to DC letting go of that Justice League International in favor of the new one. On the other hand, JT Krul's now out-of-continuity Green Arrow stories seem to warrant paperbacks -- we can't say that's entirely because of the Brightest Day crossover since, again, Generation Lost didn't make it to paperback. Another thing to watch is exactly how many of these make it to publication.

So, another month, another slew of DC New 52 collections and not much else (not, entirely, that there's anything wrong with that). What're you buying this month?
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  1. Totally with you on the Twelve Labours front, I want more of stuff like this!
    I've also heard tell of an impossible-to-hold 1,500 page Invisibles omnibus...

  2. Can't believe I forgot Invisibles; I've added that in. Hopefully DC will solve their binding issues in time that Invisibles might be impossible to hold, but easy to lay down flat.

  3. The solicitation info for the third Flash Omnibus is interesting. It collects the "Truth or Date" crossover with Wonder Woman...but there's no mention of The Flash # 1/2, which served as the prologue to Rogue War (and was collected in said tpb). Hopefully it's just a typo, since 1/2 was important in putting the final pieces of the War in place.

    Odds are also good we'll see one more Flash omnibus, collecting Johns' Barry Allen stories from Rebirth through Flashpoint.

  4. I really thought the back of the first Flash Omnibus said something like "Geoff Johns's Wally West stories" or something, but maybe not. Either way, that'd be a mostly satisfactory final collection -- Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge, Flash: Rebirth, and Blackest Night: Flash are all good, well-drawn stories, and even the first couple issues of the Barry Allen Flash series with art by Francis Manapul will look good in deluxe format.

    We know it all goes wonky at the end of that Flash series, though; for the casual reader it doesn't end well (and I'm guessing DC would not re-collect Flashpoint here). Also, the gap between volumes three and four would skip over Bart Allen's death and Barry's return, which again might make some confusing reading for casual fans. Still, the more I think about it, the more attractive this volume could be.

  5. I don't think DC ever stated how many volumes the Flash/Geoff Johns Omnibus was going to run. I remember there was some discussion when the first one came out that it would probably run four, based on the page length, but then volume 2 was so much longer that it seemed likely that they could finish his run on the series in three.

    I've been predicting for a while that they'll do a fourth volume later on that collects Flash: Rebirth through Flashpoint, though I imagine DC will want to wait a while for the current crop of trades to sell.

  6. Is there more Flash stories after #225? Obviously is not from Johns, but why not collect that?

    Also, I would love to see the Bart Allen Flash (short) era. You know, for completion's sake.

    Anyway, I think next year we'll hear about The Flashpoint Omnibus, and of course it will be presided by The Flash Rebirth Omnibus (collecting everything before Flashpoint)... You'll see.

  7. @Xavico: Flash 225 was before Infinite Crisis. After that, there was a collection of issues (mostly 1 year later issues) by Mark Waid, titled The Wild Wests.....I'm not sure it hit paperback though.

    Collecting Flash as Bart Allen (The Flash, the Fastest Man Alive, 13 issues, plus the All Flash special) complete in one volume makes sense, as does a collection of Ron Marz's Ion (12 issues) as the second trades of both series are out of print.

  8. Xavico, there were only 5 more issues of the series after Johns left. The first was a fill-in that had been written and drawn years earlier. The next 4 were a wrap-up story by Joey Cavalieri called "Finish Line." Neither story was well-received by fans, and neither has ever been reprinted.

    Basically, DC made the decision to cancel the book and relaunch with a new Flash instead of finding someone to follow Geoff Johns on the existing book, and asked Cavalieri to write a finale.

    If we're talking more Flash Omnibuses (Omnibi?), I'd rather see a Flash by Mark Waid series first. But given the bad blood between him and DC these days (they didn't even invite him to the premiere of a movie based on one of his Justice League stories), I don't see that happening anytime soon.

  9. First time that I can ever remember since I started following online solicitations that not a single collection holds any interest for me, either due to contents or format/price.

    I'll wait for New 52 Action TPB (if I still care by then), little interest in the other New 52 books, I already have the Morrison JLA in trade, and everything else is too big and/or expensive.

    I applaud releases like the Showcase Rip Hunter and the Wonder Woman Trials books, but not big enough fans of the characters, though these books make me hopeful that the past isn't dead.

    Otherwise my trade buying days may go the way of my monthly buying .

  10. Things may not be great with Waid, but they're even worse with Chuck Dixon and Mark Millar, and Dixon is getitng all kinds of reprint love these days, even if its likely due to the upcoming Dark Knight sequel with Bane (which he'll see some nice cash for) and possible Cataclysm/No Man's Land connections, and collectededitions also neglected to mention the pleasant surprise of "DC Comics Presents Superman Adventures" collection, which features 96 pages of Millar stories based on the 90s animated series (apparently I forgot about it too in my post above because I WILL be buying this).


  11. I'm relieved with the confirmation that the Invisibles omnibus will include the "King Mob in Hexy" story from Absolute Vertigo. That wasn't mentioned when they first announced the omnibus, and I was afraid they'd omit it again.

    About JLA Vol. 2, the hardcover version collected the JLA/Wildcats crossover, too. It seems people expecting the new TPBs to collect stories omitted from the HCs will be disappointed.

  12. I'll get: The Action HC (can't wait!), Batwing TP (love Winick's stories), Suicide Squad TP (will try the first volume) and the Flash Omnibus Vol. 3 (*drool*).

    I will probably skip Absolute B&R since I got the deluxe editions. And I originalley planned to get Krul's Green Arrow, but the reviews weren't that great and I kinda lost interest by now. Same goes for JMS's Wonder Woman.

  13. I think a Flash by Mark Waid Omnibus would be great...but I wouldn't buy it, as I've already got the issues/trades. Wild Wests never made it to TPB; I ended up buying the single issues instead of the HC, but I really didn't care for it like I did he earlier Flash run. Basically, the Flash comics weren't very good between the end of Johns' first run and when he started again with Rebirth.

    While we're at it, why not collect the William Messner-Loebs run as well? I haven't read it since I was a kid, but I have fond fond memories of it, and I will dig out those issues sometime in the future and go over them again.

    Flash seems to have a pretty linear line (vs the multiple Batman, Superman, even Green Lantern series), so the collections should be pretty straightforward and not too overwhelming.

    I read Batwing #1, not expecting much, and it hooked me into buying at least the first story arc. I've read lots of criticisms of Judd Winick, but I've definitely enjoyed lots of his stuff (like JL: Gen Lost). I didn't care for his Catwoman #1 though.

  14. MrMGU, these are definitely slim trade offerings; my hope is that things pick up again after DC finishes publishing the first round of DC New 52 collections.

    I continue to favor a Mark Waid Flash Omnibus, collecting everything from Born to Run to Return of Barry Allen, to Terminal Velocity, Dead Heat and beyond. There would be some really high, high points in that collection. And I'd love to see the Messner-Loebs era get some love, too -- the new Green Lantern: Sector 2814 collection is not quite the same era, but seeing that just-before-Crisis collection gave me some hope that maybe we'd start seeing more Legends-era collections also.

    Aalok, not to be a downer, but I severely doubt you'll ever see a single collection of the Bart Allen Flash issues nor of Ron Marz's Ion series. Both of these are well past brushed under the rug -- Bart's time as Flash has been entirely retconned, and in part they didn't keep him as Flash because it wasn't popular, so a collection of those unpopular issues is unlikely. The Ion series faired better (this was kind of related to Sinestro Corps War) but hardly made a big splash; I'm doubtful DC would reprint it in an extended hardcover. I'd be happy for you if these came out, but I'm not optimistic.

  15. I'm really glad they're releasing the JLA Vol. 2 in trade. I missed these when they came out in paperback, and I avoid hardcovers whenever possible, so I love 'deluxe' paperbacks. With any luck, they'll keep releasing these past the Morrison era, and be able to collect a larger chunk of JLA in large-format paperbacks.