Before Watchmen, Absolute Blackest Night changes, classic Catwoman and Nightwing, more in DC Spring 2013 trade solicitations
Monday, December 10, 2012
Gail Simone is a creator whose work I've liked, especially on Secret Six; I can't judge necessarily why DC would choose to hire or fire someone, but firing someone by email -- especially Simone who has been a dedicated ambassador for comics and one of DC's more popular creators -- seems unjust and unwise. And moreover, let's be clear -- Simone is a popular creator, and when DC treats a popular creator this way, what they're doing is treating their fans this way. We all got fired by email yesterday.
I can't write DC off entirely for this behavior. Scott Snyder, among many others, is still producing great work, and Snyder was a big supporter of Simone's -- it doesn't make sense to walk away when there's still some good to be found. And it is not as though DC isn't listening to the fans -- see the Absolute Blackest Night collection below. But hopefully someone at DC will offer an explanation about the Simone situation, because it seems to me a much larger slight than against just one person.
That said, I've got a whole bunch of collections news and there's a whole bunch of interesting books on the horizon -- let's try to have some fun, eh?
* Absolute Blackest Night
Vying for the biggest headlines here are the Before Watchmen collections and this -- a resolicited Absolute Blackest Night that now includes Green Lantern #43-48 and #50-52.
Now that's an Absolute edition.
To recap, DC originally solicited Absolute Blackest Night back in October, collecting just the Blackest Night miniseries and a couple of extras, leading us to ask whether DC's Absolute program was dead. After all, had fans really been waiting for an Absolute Blackest Night that only collected as much as the Blackest Night hardcover, and wasn't even really a complete story?
Well, DC heard us, or you, or someone, because Absolute Blackest Night will now be more complete than any other Blackest Night collection, and really provide a complete reading experience. Today's a hard day to tell DC "good job," but this is good news.
* Absolute Superman/Batman Vol. 1
This is an OK Absolute, too. Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuiness's Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and Loeb and the late Michael Turner's Superman/Batman: Supergirl are both completely out of continuity, but they did have movies made out of them, and they were major stories in their time and I have a soft spot for Loeb and McGuiness's Superman work. If you don't have the books and you're interested in them -- those two categories, I imagine, have a very small intersection -- I guess this is a nice way to read them.
Before Watchmen is Collected
* Before Watchmen Vol. 1
* Before Watchmen Vol. 2
* Before Watchmen Vol. 3
* Before Watchmen Vol. 4
* Watchmen: The Deluxe Edition
As has been reported on numerous sites, DC will be releasing four Before Watchmen hardcovers, one a week, next July. I'm still holding out for the Absolute edition(s).
Volume 1 is Minutemen and Silk Spectre; volume 2 is Comedian and Rorschach; volume 3 is Nite Owl and Dr. Manhattan; and volume 4 is Ozymandias, "Curse of the Crimson Corsair," and presumably the extra one-shots. DC is also releasing a deluxe-size Watchmen the month before the Before Watchmen collections come out -- I guess if you're new to comics and have never even read Watchmen, you might could have yourself an interesting summer.
Hardcovers and Their Paperbacks
One very positive trend in the DC New 52 collections is to release the paperback of a book originally released in hardcover at the same time as the hardcover of the second volume comes out. We are about to see this with Justice League and Green Lantern, among others, and here's some more hardcover/paperback combinations.
* Aquaman Vol. 2: The Others HC
* Aquaman Vol. 1: The Trench TPB
* Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2: Cycle of Violence HC
* Batman - The Dark Knight Vol. 1: Knight Terrors TPB
* Batman and Robin Vol. 2: Pearl HC
* Batman and Robin Vol. 1: Born to Kill TPB
* Flash Vol. 2: Rogues Revolution HC
* Flash Vol. 1: Move Forward TPB
* Green Lantern Corps Vol. 2: Alpha War HC
* Green Lantern Corps Vol. 1: Fearsome TPB
* Green Lantern: New Guardians Vol. 2: Beyond Hope HC
* Green Lantern: New Guardians Vol. 1: The Ring Bearer TPB
* Superman - Action Comics Vol. 2: Bulletproof HC
* Superman - Action Comics Vol. 1: Superman and the Men of Steel TPB
* Superman Vol. 2: Secrets and Lies HC
* Superman Vol. 1: What Price Tomorrow? TPB
More from the DC New 52
The new round of solicitations brings with it, of course, a new round of DC New 52 collections. Many of these will include the Zero Month issues from this past summer.
* Batman Incorporated Vol. 1: Demon Star
Solitications on the DC site say this includes #0-6 of Batman, Inc. Vol. 2, but other sources have it at #0-12, finishing out Grant Morrison's run on this title.
* Teen Titans Vol. 2: The Culling
* Legion Lost Vol. 2: The Culling
* Superboy Vol. 2: Extraction
That DC names collections that tie into collections with the same name as the crossover itself isn't unusual -- see Superman: Infinite Crisis and this month's Nightwing Vol. 2: Night of the Owls, for instance.
The solicitation for Legion Lost, however, says "this crossover tale includes appearances by Superboy and the Teen Titans." Hopefully there's not too much overlap between these volumes and the Culling collection itself. The Batman: Night of the Owls collection included all the tie-in issues, which then appeared in their own collections, but that was more than half-a-dozen books -- the collections should not repeat as much for the three-series Culling crossover.
* DC Universe Presents Vol. 2: Vandal Savage
In addition to James Robinson's Vandal Savage/serial killer story, this volume also collects the one-shot Kid Flash story by Fabian Nicieza, and the zero issue with Hawk and Dove, Resurrection Man, OMAC, Mr. Terrific and others.
* Captain Atom Vol. 2: Genesis
* Deathstroke Vol. 2: Lobo Hunt
* Demon Knights Vol. 2: The Avalon Trap
* Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men Vol. 2: The Firestorm Protocols
* Grifter Vol. 2: New Found Power
* Justice League Dark Vol. 2: The Books of Magic
* Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 2: The Dominators
* Nightwing Vol. 2: Night of the Owls
* Phantom Stranger Vol. 1: A Stranger Among Us
* Ravagers Vol. 1: The Kids From N.O.W.H.E.R.E.
* Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 2: The Starfire
* Resurrection Man Vol. 2: A Matter of Death and Life
* Savage Hawkman Vol. 2: Wanted
* Supergirl Vol. 2: Girl in the World
* Sword and Sorcery Vol. 1: Amethyst
* Talon Vol. 1: Scourge of the Owls
* Team 7 Vol. 1: Fight Fire With Fire
New Reprint Collections
* New Teen Titans Omnibus Vol. 3
This is resolicited, though the erroneous contents don't seem different than when we picked them over earlier.
* Nightwing: Old Friends, New Enemies
The title says "Nightwing," but the solicitation is all about Roy Harper -- Speedy, Arsenal, and Red Arrow. Marv Wolfman is listed as the writer, but the first story in this collection -- "[Roy] needs Dick's help to track down Cheshire... the mother of Roy's child" -- sounds a lot like Devin Grayson's Batman Plus story (which, while it does include Nightwing, is largely a Batman story, and has a fantastic moment in it that I won't spoil here). I'm having more trouble placing the second story -- "Nightwing and Speedy get caught up in a war between two rival gangs" -- anyone?
A strange collection, though anything with Nightwing's name on it is a plus. Meant to appeal to Arrow fans, maybe?
* Catwoman Vol. 2: No Easy Way Down
The comments section was just buzzing about whether DC would continue these collections of Ed Brubaker's Catwoman. The first of these new collections, Trail of the Catwoman, included most of the Dark End of the Street and Crooked Little Town collections; based on solicitations, this one definitely has Relentless and probably Wild Ride. Wild Ride was the last Brubaker/Catwoman collection published though Brubaker wrote more issues, so the real question is whether a Catwoman Vol. 3 is coming. Pre-order this one, folks!
* Batgirl/Robin Year One
Also in the Bat-realm, and maybe reflecting a certain thaw in the DC Comics/Chuck Dixon relationship, here's a collection that brings together Dixon's Robin and Batgirl Year One stories. These are good, the Robin book especially, though I don't completely follow the logic of reprinting these now-completely-out-of-continuity stories.
* Animal Man Omnibus
DC collected Grant Morrison's Animal Man in three volumes a while ago, and when they just announced a fourth collection of the Peter Milligan stories that followed Morrison, I mentioned I thought it was time for an omnibus. This is worthwhile, collecting all of Morrison's Animal Man in one volume, but I wish Milligan's work was in there too, instead of this hybrid hardcover/paperback collecting scheme we have now.
* Stormwatch Vol. 2
* Stormwatch Vol. 1
* Authority Vol. 1
A week or two ago the second classic Stormwatch collection disappeared from the solicitations lists, and I was worried that those who bought the first volume would never see the conclusion. But apparently this did well enough that DC's bringing the first Warren Ellis hardcover Stormwatch collection out in paperback, and the second collection is back on the list. They're following that with hardcover Authority collections (shades of what's to come for the DCU), all of which will make a nice set.
* Green Lantern: Sector 2814 Vol. 2
Glad to see volume one of this series did well enough to warrant another. These Green Lantern stories by Len Wein and Dave Gibbons come from a largely-uncollected period about a year before Crisis on Infinite Earths, and mostly star Green Lantern John Stewart.
* Superman: Phantom Zone
When DC the Man of Steel movie-connected collection Superman vs. Zod, a lot of readers mentioned they'd like to have seen Steve Gerber (Howard the Duck)'s Phantom Zone miniseries included. Well, seems it's getting its own book -- collects the 1986 four-issue mini.
* Harley Quinn: Night and Day
The first collection of Karl Kesel's old Harley Quinn series, Preludes and Knock-Knock Jokes, has been out there for a while; now it seems with Harley's perennial popularity (and maybe for the fans craving the "old" Harley), here's a second, Night and Day. Art by the Dodsons and Pete Woods, and also includes a Our Worlds at War tie-in, for gosh-sakes.
* Smallville Season 11 Vol. 2: Detective
The infamous Smallville/Batman crossover with Nightwing Barbara Gordon, not Stephanie Brown ...
* Solo: The Deluxe Edition
* Batman Noir: Eduardo Risso: The Deluxe Edition
Two art books here that'll make some readers happy. Solo was a well-received if short-lived artist spotlight series that included Tim Sale, Paul Pope, Howard Chaykin, and Darwyn Cooke, among others. The Eduardo Risso collection brings together Batman: Broken City and Flashpoint: Batman: Knight of Vengeance among others, both great stories. This could have easily have been dubbed a Brian Azzarello/Risso book than Risso's alone, really.
* Superman: Earth One
Now in paperback; I'm surprised DC didn't release this a little closer to the Volume 2 hardcover release, but maybe it's timed for the movie instead.
What are you most excited to see released? Or after a number of creator blow-ups, do you have DC exhaustion?