Review: Alien: The Illustrated Story hardcover/paperback (Titan Books)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

[Review by Doug Glassman.]

Movie adaptations are a tricky business. You have to stay as close as you can to the original material while adapting it from one medium to another. Often, the script is an earlier version, containing scenes or characters cut from the final film. That’s without factoring in the artwork and maintaining likenesses. One of the best film-to-comic adaptations is of Ridley Scott's original Alien. It was published in Heavy Metal back in 1979, and Titan Books put out a gorgeous rendition, Alien: The Illustrated Story just in time for the release of Prometheus.

The book’s cover tells you exactly what you’re in for. Walt Simonson’s rendition of the xenomorph is utterly terrifying. You can’t tell from the image above, but this is an oversized paperback; Heavy Metal is a full-sized magazine, giving the artists more room to work. As a result, the xenomorph on the cover is gigantic, taking up 2/3 of it while lunging diagonally at the viewer. The xenomorph’s most inhuman feature is its head, and Simonson takes advantage of the angle to show off the elongated, eyeless cranium. The reverse has the image of when the crew finds the Engineer’s ship, which makes up a massive two-page spread on the inside. It’s as breath-taking in the comic as it is in the film.

Review: Superboy Vol. 1: Incubation trade paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Scott Lobdell has been one of the DC Comics New 52's most controversial writers, whether for minor infractions (continuity revisions within the New 52's own Teen Titans) or major (Red Hood and the Outlaws's Starfire kerfuffle). Less has been said about about Lobdell's Superboy (collected in Superboy: Incubation), perhaps because it's just plain good -- a story, as Superboy ought be, of misguided teenagers flailing about, trying to do the right thing, not always succeeding but giving it their best effort. Fans of the Young Justice cartoon, especially, ought be satisfied with this one.

[Review contains spoilers]

The reader might feel an amount of fully-justified whiplash following Superboy around the events of Incubation. He is a prisoner of the mad-science organization NOWHERE, he's their weapon, he's abandoned them, he's rejoined them, he's attacking them. Such is the struggle for identity that Lobdell presents through Superboy -- cloned and born fully-grown, Superboy rebels against the only parents he's ever known, even as he continues to return to them for direction and validation. Along the way, Superboy also struggles with the heroic ideal -- he does not save every endangered person he encounters, refusing to blindly accept the "Super" in his makeup.

Review: Resurrection Man Vol.1: Dead Again trade paperback (DC Comics)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

There are plenty of DC Comics New 52 series based on old titles long since ended, of which Hawk and Dove and Deathstroke are just two examples. But the most successful of these so far is Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning's new take on their old classic, in Resurrection Man: Dead Again. Here's a sequel that's an exceptional improvement on the original, taking the classic Resurrection Man's core character (and even his foes, the Body Doubles) and re-imagining them in a manner that creates a more cohesive world than the original. Resurrection Man is already cancelled after its second volume, but readers have an enjoyable book here irrespective.

[Review contains spoilers]

From the first pages, Resurrection Man improves on the original by presenting protagonist Mitch Shelley as more realistic and at the same time more supernatural. On just the second page, Abnett and Lanning reveal that Shelley's resurrections actually hurt, whereas in the original series Shelley's rebirth seemed so effortless he once died over and over just to be gifted with the best power. This new Resurrection Man is a story where dying is nothing to be taken lightly, closer to what the audience imagines they might experience if they had Shelley's abilities.

Review: Invincible Iron Man: War Machine trade paperback (Marvel Comics)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

[Review by Doug Glassman.]

If you read enough Iron Man, you’ll start to notice that the same stories keep happening every couple of years. Tony has become an alcoholic three times, there have been three Armor Wars, and Jim Rhodes has replaced Tony three times.

I give all the writers involved credit for coming up with new variations on these scenarios. Denny O’Neil drove Tony to the breaking point while Stane stole his business and life. John Byrne piled on the enemies and took control of Tony's body during Armor Wars 2. Matt Fraction modernized all three of these stories in his epic run on Invincible Iron Man. When it comes to Rhodes, though, I can’t help but love his best return to the armor in Iron Man: War Machine by Len Kaminski.

Review: Resurrection Man Vol. 1 (classic) trade paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, October 22, 2012

DC Comics's collection of the first fourteen issues of the 1990s series Resurrection Man is many things. Foremost, however, it may be a message in a bottle sent from an era that could be one day known as a golden age of DC's titles. Existing or coming in short order around the same time as Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning's Resurrection Man began were Chase, Hitman, John Ostrander's Spectre and Martian Manhunter, Mark Waid's Impulse, and Grant Morrison's JLA, and Starman was just completing its second year.

These are comics that seem dated, but represented a certain amount of creator-driven, and yet continuity-based, creativity that lacks now in DC's line. This was a time of DC taking chances, with fan appreciation if not commercial success.

DC released this Resurrection Man volume in conjunction with the New 52 Resurrection Man series by Abnett and Lanning; with the latter cancelled, it's unlikely we'll see a classic Resurrection Man volume two. The fourteen issues collected here, however, run the gamut of what an offbeat series Resurrection Man was, somewhere between The Fugitive and Dial H for HERO -- suspenseful, often droll, just a little scary, and with a good helping of 1990s melodrama mixed in.

DC Trade Solicitations for January 2013 - Absolute Blackest Night, Batman: Night of the Owls, Animal Man Vol. 4, and more

Friday, October 19, 2012

Earlier this week DC Comics released their January 2013 solicitations, including trade releases.

* Absolute Blackest Night HC

The big headline we've already talked about (see "Is the DC Absolute Program Dead?") -- in a nutshell, Absolute Blackest Night is a book that I can't see how it adds to the Blackest Night canon or really fills a need in the marketplace. If you've been waiting to read Blackest Night and you dig the over-sized format, please enjoy, but this cements for me that Omnibuses, not Absolutes, is where the real progress is being made.

(Anyone think this is a digital thing? The Blackest Night issues are ubiquitous enough online that DC doesn't think anyone really wants an omnibus, but what readers can't get from their computer screens is Absolute size?)

* Batman Vol. 2: City of Owls HC

The solicitations (which, unfortunately, sometimes change) say this volume will collect Batman #8-12 and Annual #1. This means, unless it changes, that there's nothing in the previously-solicited Batman: Night of the Owls collection that can't be found in the individual Batman-family collections. I guess this makes the Night of the Owls collection for those who don't specifically follow all of the Bat-titles, and City of Owls for those who do.

* Catwoman Vol. 2: Dollhouse TP
* Earth 2 Vol. 1: The Gathering HC
* Stormwatch Vol. 2: Enemies of The Earth TP
* Suicide Squad Vol. 2: Basilisk Rising TP
* Voodoo Vol. 2: The Killer in Me TP
* Batgirl Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection TP

On the "Zero issue count," the Suicide Squad and Voodoo collections both include #0 issues -- Suicide Squad, probably to wrap things up before the next, "Death of the Family"-centric collection, and Voodoo because it marks the end of the series.

The first Batgirl collection gets its paperback here, solicited for release in February at the same time as the hardcover Batgirl Vol. 2: Knightfall Descends. Different solicitations -- from DC -- have Batgirl Vol. 2 ending at issues #12 or #0, or at #13. My guess is that Knightfall Descends will not collect Batgirl #13, making Knightfall Descends a "Night of the Owls"-centric collection and leaving the "Death in the Family" material for Vol. 3.

I'm pretty excited about that first Earth 2 collection, myself. Y'know, Earth 2 got a nod in DC's Free Comic Book Day book this past year; I wonder if that's going to be collected in the first Phantom Stranger book, maybe, or with Justice League: Villain's Journey?

* Animan Man Vol. 4: Born to be Wild TP

If, like me, you've owned the first three Grant Morrison Animal Man trades, this new fourth collection of the Peter Milligan stories that followed is a testament that everything ends up in trade if you just wait long enough. I'm sure I don't even have to say that I would have preferred an omnibus that collected the Morrison, Milligan, and additional materials, but even the hint of more classic Animal Man books to come is good enough.

* Superman: The Death and Return of Superman Omnibus HC
* Superman: For Tomorrow TP
* Superman Vs. Shazam! TP

All the Superman material DC can reprint, it seems, in preparation for the movie.

The solicitation copy for the new Death of Superman omnibus claims the book now contains "chapters of 'World Without a Superman'" that had been missing from previous editions. In the list of the comics included, however, the only difference is Justice League #69, the League's battle with Doomsday prior to Superman's arrival (where Booster Gold's uniform is shredded and Blue Beetle is comatose) and Legacy of Superman #1 (which included a story about Sinbad, the character in the Chris Roberson story that DC wouldn't publish). This isn't much from "World without a Superman" -- hopefully when DC says the contents are "including," that means "not limited to" and there's still more to come.

* Impulse Vol. 1: Runs in The Family TP

Also hard to say what warrants a new Impulse collection right now, except perhaps the character's current appearance in the Young Justice cartoon, though that's seemingly tanked for a while. Still, for those lamenting the lack of all-ages or humor comics in DC's current line, this was a bit of both, and one of my favorites. Hopefully we'll see a second volume following.

* Green Arrow: Salvation TP
* Wonder Woman: Odyssey Vol. 2 TP

I theorized on Every Day is Like Wednesday that Green Arrow: Salvation might be one of these "throw it at the wall and see if it sticks" trades -- maybe they're gauging pre-orders and if there aren't enough, it'll be cancelled before publication. Then again, despite that this book isn't coming out until January, if it's marketed right -- "Teaming Green Arrow, inspiration for TV's Arrow, with fan-favorite Swamp Thing!" -- maybe it will sell. Otherwise I don't see much market for the pre-New 52 adventures of Oliver Queen.

* The Shade TP

Glad this got a trade, but I'm darn sorry it's not a hardcover to match the Starman omnibuses.

That's what I'm thinking -- what's on your buying list for January?

Review: Superman: Action Comics Vol. 1: Superman and the Men of Steel hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

It's reasonable to say the Man of Steel has been the Man of Angst of late. Even if Geoff Johns's Superman: Brainiac was superior (and the rumored animated adaptation would be most welcome), it kicked off a particularly dour time for Superman, culminating in war between Earth and New Krypton and Superman's controversial walk across America. It's been a long time since Superman, simply, represented the joy of a man who could fly.

Grant Morrison's DC New 52 Superman: Action Comics - Superman and the Men of Steel is most remarkable for what it is not. It is not hard to understand. It is not a drastic re-imagining of the Superman mythos. It is instead a cogent Superman "pilot," not terribly different from J. Michael Straczynski's Superman: Earth One, except bouncier. The characters take themselves less seriously, there is more adventure than angst. Morrison's Superman says "I got it," and it sounds a little young and flip -- but it's a lot better than a Superman who says "I don't know if I can handle it."

[Review contains spoilers]

Morrison starts Action Comics in the middle of things -- Superman is already established in Metropolis and rattling both criminals and the police -- leaving open such events as Superman's first meeting with Lois Lane (and not negating, necessarily, John Byrne's famous "saving the shuttle" scene). The story takes itself with a certain amount of stride -- the first issue finds the people of Metropolis relatively accepting of Superman; Clark Kent and Jimmy Olsen are friends, and Lois isn't terribly dismissive of either one; and Lex Luthor is a genius working for the military. Artist Rags Morales doesn't have dramatic reveals for any of the principle characters -- Lex is "just there," as is Lois -- nor is his Lois necessarily a "stunner," a la Shane Davis's modeling Lois on Jennifer Carpenter in Earth One.

Review: Amazing Spider-Man: Sins Past trade paperback (Marvel Comics)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

[Review by Doug Glassman.]

With my search for X-Men: The Draco still underway (see note at bottom), I decided to move down my list of “infamously bad comics.” I chose to tackle Amazing Spider-Man: Sins Past because the problems lay in the writing, not the art. If the book is visually unreadable, I just give up, which is why it took me forever to get past the Liefeld-drawn part of Heroes Reborn: Avengers. Mike Deodato Jr.’s art is easily the best part of Sins Past, and his Norman Osborn seems almost familiar given his later work on Thunderbolts. It’s just a shame that the context for Osborn’s presence is so bizarre.

The cover is the first indication that something isn’t right: Gwen Stacy is back! No, actually, that’s her identical daughter, Sarah. I’m convinced that the hair band is part of Gwen’s DNA, as it appears both on her clones and her daughter. Within the book, Sarah is joined by her brother, Gabriel, who looks like Peter Parker. If you’ve already guessed the ending, well, you’ve figured out what J. Michael Straczynski intended: Gabriel and Sarah Stacy were supposed to be the illegitimate children of Peter and Gwen. Both of the kids have enhanced strength and speed due to chemically-enhanced blood.

Is the DC Comics Absolute Edition Program Dead?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Alternate title: "Has DC's Absolute Program Jumped the Shark?"

With yesterday's January 2013 solicitations, DC Comics announced Absolute Blackest Night, a 360-page, $99.99 hardcover in DC's Absolute size, collecting DC Universe #0, Blackest Night #0, Blackest Night #1-8, and Untold Tales of the Blackest Night #1.

DC Universe contains a few Blackest Night pages never collected, and Untold is a special published after Blackest Night; otherwise, Blackest Night #0-8 all appeared in the Blackest Night hardcover and trade paperback.

If you're excited about Absolute Blackest Night, good on you and go get it -- everyone should be able to find whatever comics they want in whatever form they want. However, criticism is already rising that Absolute Blackest Night essentially collects just the same as the original collections.

Many fans had been hoping for some sort of larger collection that interweaved the Blackest Night, Green Lantern, and Green Lantern Corps series. The three can be read on their own, but Blackest Night and Green Lantern specifically make for a more complete reading experience than just Blackest Night by itself. Of course, an 800-plus-page full Blackest Night collection would be too unwieldy for the Absolute format.

It is not too large for DC's Omnibus format, however, which has recently produced such volumes as the Infinite Crisis Omnibus, the 52 Omnibus, and the Invisibles Omnibus, all more than a thousand pages long.

At one point, the Absolute brand was the gold standard of DC Comics collections. The Absolute Batman: Hush, for instance, was the first whole collection of the Hush series, released after the two-volume hardcover and paperback sets. Absolute DC: The New Frontier is the only combined version of the Darwyn Cooke story. The Absolute Crisis on Infinite Earths and JLA/Avengers collections each included a second book with copious extra materials.

Compare this to the recent Absolute releases. Absolute Green Lantern: Rebirth included no previously-uncollected stories, and extras reported to be somewhat slim. Absolute Sinestro Corps War included just the main story and not the extra tie-ins, to the chagrin of many fans. Absolute Identity Crisis contained almost the same material as the hardcover.

It would seem that what fans want from an "Absolute Blackest Night" is really a "Blackest Night Omnibus," doing more than just re-collecting the same thing in an oversized format. We theorized before that the Omnibus format might have killed DC's Archives format; is Omnibus also replacing the Absolutes?

Our questions:

* Is there a market for an Absolute Blackest Night edition, three years and one continuity after the original series ended?

* Has readership interest shifted from Absolute editions (oversized, artful reproductions of stories themselves) to Omnibus editions (thick volumes collecting all parts of a story plus tie-ins)?

* Has the era of the Absolute edition ended, or what stories would you reasonably still want published as an Absolute? As an Omnibus?

UPDATE: Two months after this post, DC Comics cancelled and resolicited the Absolute Blackest Night collection to include most of the related Green Lantern issues. Whether DC's Absolute program is dead or not -- whether anyone actually wants an Absolute Blackest Night at all -- is still debatable, but this change to the book at least succeeds in producing something that the reader can't get from the original books, a pseudo-combined edition of Blackest Night. A victory, to be sure, and congratulations to everyone who spoke up about this.  More discussion at the post about the resolicitation.

Review: Absolute All-Star Superman deluxe hardcover (DC Comics)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Superman is dying, and so begins man's heroic age, as chronicled in Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman. A particular scientist, Leo Quintum, tries to take fire from the sun (veritably the Prometheus of the story taking flame from Olympus), setting in motion the fall of the old god, Superman, and the rise of the new. Morrison presents all of this within the tropes of Silver Age wackiness, and the collection that emerges is a feat of storytelling if not necessarily a model for Superman stories to come.

[Review contains spoilers]

For a book that serves as a love letter to the Superman mythos, All-Star Superman is largely a story about how mankind must inevitably outgrow Superman. At the outset of the book, Grant Morrison has Lois Lane and Lex Luthor each considering how they're growing older, while the always-youthful (and somewhat oblivious) Superman still plans corny gags for Lois's birthday. Humanity itself has caught up with Superman -- Professor Quintum's experiments are now so advanced that one of them results in Superman himself being mortally wounded.

Review: Wonder Woman: The Twelve Labors trade paperback (DC Comics)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

[Guest reviewer Greg Elias writes for Speed Force]

Collecting for the first time issues #212-222 of the first volume of the series, Wonder Woman: The Twelve Labors presents the mid-1970s tale of Wonder Woman's reinstatement into the Justice League.

Having previously been de-powered (see Diana Prince: Wonder Woman Vols. 1-4), the Amazon Princess has regained her abilities. Suffering from memory loss, she struggles with reintegrating herself into what had been the super-heroic status quo. She mistakenly visits an abandoned Justice League headquarters, has an incomplete recall of her adventures leading up to the issues in this collection, and doubts her qualifications to re-join the League. In response to their insistence that she enlist, Wonder Woman recruits her former teammates as judges. Each must invisibly observe her on an adventure, report their findings back to the League, and vote for or against her re-admission.

Review: Aliens vs. Predator: Eternal trade paperback (Dark Horse)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

[Guest review by Doug Glassman]

In my review of AVP Omnibus Volume One, Aliens vs. Predator: Eternal barely got a paragraph, and most of it was spoiler-warned. Now that I own the single trade, I felt it was time to return to this fantastic story.

Like all good AVP stories, it’s the future, although it’s not so far in the future that it seems removed from where we are now. Wars are still being fought, and covering an African war is Becca Shaw, a gorgeous English reporter. Becca isn’t exactly Ellen Ripley or Machiko Noguchi, but she holds her own as a character and doesn’t grate on the reader’s nerves. She also keeps up with the rapidly changing situations of the comics, occasionally getting one step ahead of the reader and the other characters. The ending hints at a sequel with her character, and it’s something I’d like to see.

Review: Marvel Comics: The Untold Story by Sean Howe (Harper)

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Sean Howe's Marvel Comics: The Untold Story goes on sale today. From someone who is primarily a DC Comics reader, I can commend the book to both Marvel and DC fans. Reading the book, I learned a considerable amount of history about Marvel, DC, and the comics industry in general (from when Marvel was Timely and DC was National, through to the founding of Image and Dark Horse and up to this past summer's Avengers movie). I also gained some context for the works of creators who, as someone who's mostly been on the DC side of things, were "new to me" -- Ann Nocenti, Fabian Nicieza, Scott Lobdell, Tom DeFalco, Bob Harras, and others.

Howe's Marvel Comics is an informative read for any comics fan, but not a comfortable one. Era after era and decade after decade, Marvel Comics is a page-by-page chronicle of unrelenting in-fighting. Jack Kirby feuds with the company against a backdrop of Mad Men-esque martini lunches in the early chapters, Steve Gerber feuds with the company in the disco seventies, Chris Claremont feuds with the company in the eighties, Rob Liefeld feuds with the company in the nineties, and on and on.

Someone is always angry. An overeager editor wrests control of a book from the writer. An oversensitive writer balks at the slightest change. The ever-changing management doesn't read comics. The business side incessantly pushes the editorial side to tell ridiculous, profit-driven stories. The mistakes of the past remain the mistakes of the present, through nearly seven decades of Marvel Comics.

Review: Batgirl: The Greatest Stories Ever Told trade paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, October 08, 2012

[Guest reviewer Zach King blogs about movies as The Cinema King]

After looking at some of the heavy-hitters of the DC Universe, we return to my comics hometown of Gotham City, the place where I feel most comfortable, the place where I was "born" into comics at age 3. This time, though, we're looking at a different member of the Bat-family -- Batgirl: The Greatest Stories Ever Told.

As with the Green Lantern trade, though, the title is something of a misnomer; what this volume really collects are the "greatest" Barbara Gordon Batgirl stories. A "best of" Batgirl trade ought to acknowledge that Babs isn't the only woman to don the cowl, so the omission of Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown is a glaring one.

Review: Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 1: Knight Terrors hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Thursday, October 04, 2012

The Batman and Detective Comics titles are stalwarts of the DC Comics line, and Batman and Robin fills the void left by the old Robin solo title. The Batman: The Dark Knight series, however, continues to struggle to find its identity and to justify itself among the Batman line.

Cynically, one notes that the Dark Knight title emerged pre-Flashpoint just as excitement ramped up for the Dark Knight Rises movie. To some extent, Dark Knight has seemed a title in search of content, meant perhaps to survive solely on its own name recognition. Still, it had a promising first outing with the collection Golden Dawn, which spotlighted writer/artist David Finch and suggested Dark Knight's focus might be on Batman's more supernatural adventures.

With the DC Comics New 52 Batman: The Dark Knight: Knight Terrors, however, writer Paul Jenkins comes on, and while Finch remains as artist, the book's focus changes again. Knight Terrors echoes very subtly Devin Grayson's old Gotham Knights series, a team book for people who don't like team books, one that portrays Batman in the context of his teammates and allies. It also has aspects of what Gotham Knights later became, a villain spotlight book.

Review: The Authority: Relentless trade paperback (Wildstorm/DC Comics)

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

[Guest review by Doug Glassman.]

There’s a trope called “Seinfeld Is Unfunny," in which a groundbreaking work seems less groundbreaking due to what’s come afterwards. In my review of X-Men: Phoenix Rising, I mentioned that it seemed a little old-hat due to the many major retcons that have happened since then. This book, The Authority: Relentless, does the same for rampant violence in comics. Back in 1999, the actions of the book’s “heroes” were shocking. Today, something similar might happen in the pages of a particularly grim issue of Secret Avengers.

However, as we all know from TV Tropes, tropes are not bad, and Relentless shouldn’t be judged by what came after it. This is Warren Ellis at his crazy finest. When Ellis is at the top of his game, he comes up with memorable characters and, more importantly, complex villainous schemes. Of the two stories in here, one is a world-conquering plan ramped up to an incredible degree, while the other is an invasion from a parallel world. Each is led by a dynamic plotter -- the former by pre-existing Wildstorm villain Kaizen Gamorra, the latter by Yngvi, ruler of a blue-skinned alien race.

Best DC Comics New 52 Guides and Reading Orders

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Best DC Comics New 52 Guides and Reading Orders

When DC Comics announced their New 52 initiative, there were a lot of reading guides online for the various New 52 series, which were coming and going, the best and the worst and so on.

Now that the DC New 52 is in full swing, however, you might be looking for something more detailed, a reading order guide to how to read the DC New 52 or who DC Comics's new or relaunched characters are.

Presented here are some guides to the DC Comics New 52 universe I've used or that have impressed me (plus our homegrown edition). If you've got more, please leave them in the comments section and I will continue to update this post. What we're looking for are guides on how to read and understand the DC New 52, not just recaps or reviews of the first issues.

Return to this page at

* Comicosity - Read Between The Lines: History of the DC Universe 3.0

A lot of hard work went into Keith Callbeck and company's timeline of the DC Comics New 52, which puts the major events of the New 52 in chronological order. They sorted through over 700 comics; this list is especially good for understanding how some of the New 52's more far-flung titles like Demon Knights, Shade, and All-Star Western fit into the grand scheme.

* The Unofficial Guide to the New DC Universe

This wiki is an offshoot of the equally amazing Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe, which catalogs and includes details almost every post-Crisis on Infinite Earths DC comic, along with character chronology information. The new site, editable for registered users, is building the same kind of database for the New 52, also with chronology information. For detailed, issue-by-issue questions of who's who and what happened when, this is your source.

* DC Comics Database

Also good, with maybe a smidgen more artwork but slightly less chronological information, the DC Comics Database also includes issue lists, notes, and synopsis, as well as creator credits. They've also got a great mobile site for your superhero questions on the go.

* Tor: Reader's Guide to the New DC Universe

Though Tim Callahan's reader's guide started out as snapshots of the initial DC New 52 series, he's added to it with addendum updates for the Second and Third Wave series. This set of posts may not be as technically detailed as some of the others, but it stands as a good guide to how the New 52 has unfolded over time with short write-ups of all the books.

* DC New 52 Trade Paperback Timeline

Last but not least, if I can be permitted a plug, some readers still haven't noticed that the DC Comics Trade Paperback Timeline now includes DC New 52 books! The timeline contains all the New 52 Vol. 1s, as well as a majority of the Vol. 2s and 3s. As always, the DC TPB Timeline offers a clear reading order for how to read the New 52 collections, as well as explanations for why the books are listed the way they are. Our New 52 TPB timeline follows the "old" DC Universe timeline, and makes reference to events of the past where they're still in continuity.

And even though you can go to the DC Universe Trade Paperback Timeline for all your reading order information, here's a snapshot of the guide to the DC New 52 trades -- you can find more information and future volumes on the timeline.

Justice League Vol. 1: Origin (review)
Superman: Action Comics Vol. 1: Superman and the Men of Steel (review)

Both of these titles take place around five years prior to the present. The story in Action Comics takes place before Justice League, but DC published Justice League first and meant it to be the starting place for the DC New 52.

Green Arrow Vol. 1: The Midas Touch (review)

A number of DC New 52 titles reference Green Arrow Oliver Queen's company Q-Core, introduced in Green Arrow: The Midas Touch.

Flash Vol. 1: Move Forward (review)
Captain Atom Vol. 1: Evolution (review)
Static Shock Vol. 1: Supercharged (review)
Savage Hawkman Vol. 1: Darkness Rising (review)

The Static Shock book mentions Hawkman, Captain Atom, and the Teen Titans; Flash appears in the Captain Atom book.

Supergirl Vol. 1: Last Daughter of Krypton (review)
Superboy Vol. 1: Incubation (review)
Teen Titans Vol. 1: It's Our Right to Fight (review)

Supergirl appears first in her own collection, then in Superboy and then in Superman: What Price Tomorrow? Superboy: Incubation takes place concurrent with the Teen Titans collection.

Batman Vol. 1: Court of Owls (review)
Batman and Robin Vol. 1: Born to Kill (review)
Batgirl Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection (review)
Nightwing Vol. 1: Traps and Trapezes (review)
Birds of Prey Vol. 1: Trouble in Mind (review)
Batwoman Vol. 1: Hydrology (review)
Batwing Vol. 1: The Lost Kingdom (review)
Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 1: Redemption (review)

The Batman, Batgirl, and Nightwing books all interconnect.

Animal Man Vol. 1: The Hunt (review)
Swamp Thing Vol. 1: Raise Them Bones (review)

The Animal Man and Swamp Thing collections take place concurrent to one another.

Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE Vol. 1: War of the Monsters (review)
Men of War Vol. 1: Uneasy Company (review)
OMAC Vol. 1: Omactivate (review)

The Frankenstein and OMAC volumes cross-over with one another. Frankenstein appears in Men of War. The OMAC book alludes to the Challengers of the Unknown story in DC Universe Presents.

Hawk and Dove Vol. 1: First Strikes (review)
Blue Beetle Vol. 1: Metamorphosis (review)
Justice League International Vol. 1: The Signal Masters (review)

Green Arrow, Frankenstein, Hawk and Dove, Captain Atom, Hawkman, Blue Beetle, and Batman appear or cameo in the first Justice League International book.

Blackhawks Vol. 1: Great Leap Forward (review)
Mister Terrific Vol. 1: Mind Games (review)
Huntress: Crossbow at the Crossroads (review)

The Blackhawks appear in the Mr. Terrific book, and also in Deathstroke and Voodoo.

Deathstroke Vol. 1: Legacy (review)
Resurrection Man Vol. 1: Dead Again (review)

Deathstroke appears in flashback in Resurrection Man.

I, Vampire Vol. 1: Tainted Love (review)
Justice League Dark Vol. 1: In the Dark (review)

I, Vampire and Justice League Dark take place concurrently.

Superman Vol. 1: What Price Tomorrow? (review)
DC Universe Presents Vol. 1: Deadman and Challengers of the Unknown (review)
Stormwatch Vol. 1: The Dark Side (review)
Grifter Vol. 1: Most Wanted (review)
Demon Knights Vol. 1: Seven Against the Dark (review)

Stormwatch takes place after the formation of Justice League International; a member of Stormwatch guest-stars in Grifter. Superman, Stormwatch, Grifter, Voodoo, and Demon Knights each refer to a certain alien threat.

Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 1: Hostile World (review)
Legion Lost Vol. 1: Run from Tomorrow (review)

The Black Razers Blackhawk group appears in Legion Lost and Voodoo.

Green Lantern: New Guardians Vol. 1: The Ring Bearer (review)
Voodoo Vol. 1: What Lies Beneath (review)
Green Lantern Vol. 1: Sinestro (review)
Red Lanterns Vol. 1: Blood and Rage (review)
Green Lantern Corps Vol. 1: Fearsome (review)

The Green Lantern book is most closely connected with the "old" DC Universe, taking place right after War of the Green Lanterns: Aftermath. Green Lantern: Sinestro, Green Lantern: New Guardians, and the Red Lanterns book all interconnect.

Catwoman Vol. 1: The Game (review)
Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 1: Faces of Death (review)
Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth (review)

The events of Detective Comics: Faces of Death take place specifically after Catwoman: The Game and I, Vampire: Tainted Love, but before the Suicide Squad book. Suicide Squad makes a minor reference to the events of the Stormwatch book.

All-Star Western Vol. 1: Guns and Gotham
Aquaman Vol. 1: The Trench (review)
Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men Vol. 1: God Particle (review)
Wonder Woman Vol. 1: Blood (review)

The All-Star Western, Aquaman, Firestorm, and Wonder Woman books are mostly independent from the rest of the DC Universe in their first volumes.

Superman: Action Comics Vol. 2: Bulletproof

Takes place five years before the current DC Universe.

Batwoman Vol. 2: To Drown the World (review)
Batman, Incorporated Vol. 1: Demon Star

The Batwoman and Batman, Inc. collections are generally unrelated to the other Batman collections at this time. Batwoman Batgirl: Knightfall Descends.

Batman Vol. 2: City of Owls (review)
Batman: Night of the Owls (review)
All-Star Western Vol. 2: The War of Lords and Owls
Batgirl Vol. 2: Knightfall Descends (review)
Nightwing Vol. 2: Night of the Owls
Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 2: Scare Tactics
Birds of Prey Vol. 2: Your Kiss Might Kill
Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 1: Knight Terrors (review)
Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2: Cycle of Violence
Catwoman Vol. 2: Dollhouse (review)

All of these trades tie in to Night of the Owls except Batman: Dark Knight: Cycle of Violence.

Superman Vol. 2: Secrets and Lies
Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 2: The Starfire

The last chapter of Superman: Secrets and Lies relates to the last chapter of Red Hood and the Outlaws: The Starfire.

Captain Atom Vol. 2: Genesis
Justice League Vol. 2: The Villain's Journey (review)

Captain Atom: Genesis is unrelated but takes place before the end of Justice League: Villain's Journey.

Blue Beetle Vol. 2: Blue Diamond
Justice League International Vol. 2: Breakdown (review)
Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men Vol. 2: The Firestorm Protocols
Batwing Vol. 2: In the Shadow of Ancients (review)

The Justice League International trade reflects the events of Justice League: Villain's Journey. Justice League International, Firestorm, Blue Beetle, and Batwing tie into one another or contain guest appearances by the JLI.

Green Lantern Vol. 2: The Revenge of Black Hand (review)
Green Lantern Corps Vol. 2: Alpha War
Green Lantern: New Guardians Vol. 2: Beyond Hope
Red Lanterns Vol. 2: Death of the Red Lanterns (review)
Stormwatch Vol. 2: Enemies of Earth (review)

Green Lantern: New Guardians: Beyond Hope intersects with Blue Beetle: Blue Diamond. Stormwatch: Enemies of the Earth crosses over with Red Lanterns.

Culling: Rise of the Ravagers
Superboy Vol. 2: Extraction
Teen Titans Vol. 2: The Culling

The Culling collection includes the Teen Titans Annual #1; otherwise the "Culling" issues are also found in the Titans, Superboy, and Legion Lost trades.

Swamp Thing Vol. 2: Family Tree (review)
Animal Man Vol. 2: Animal Vs. Man (review)
Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE Vol. 2: Secrets of the Dead (review)

Swamp Thing and Animal Man interconnect; Frankenstein leads into the Animal Man/Swamp Thing crossover "Rotworld."

Sword of Sorcery Vol. 1: Amethyst
Justice League Dark Vol. 2: The Books of Magic
I, Vampire Vol. 2: Rise of the Vampires (review)

I, Vampire and Justice League Dark cross over. Amethyst appears in the Justice League Dark trade.

Earth 2 Vol. 1: The Gathering (review)
Worlds' Finest Vol. 1: Lost Daughters of Earth 2 (review)

Worlds' Finest will reflect events in the Batman titles with its second volume.

Legion: Secret Origin
Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 2: The Dominators

Legion: Secret Origin expands the Legion's origin for the New 52.

Aquaman Vol. 2: The Others
Dial H Vol. 1: Into You (review)
Green Arrow Vol. 2: Triple Threat (review)
Wonder Woman Vol. 2: Guts (review)

Aquaman, Dial H, Green Arrow, and Wonder Woman remain generally unrelated to the rest of the New 52.

Shazam Vol. 1 Vol. 1
Aquaman Vol. 3: Throne of Atlantis
Justice League Vol. 3: Throne of Atlantis
Flash Vol. 3: Gorilla Warfare

The Throne of Atlantis books cross over. Shazam takes place prior to Throne of Atlantis; Flash: Gorilla Warfare takes place at the same time.

Green Lantern: Rise of the Third Army
Green Lantern: Wrath of the First Lantern
Green Lantern Vol. 3: The End
Green Lantern Corps Vol. 3: Willpower
Green Lantern: New Guardians Vol. 3: Love and Death
Red Lanterns Vol. 3: The Second Prophecy

These books include the Green Lantern crossovers "Rise of the Third Army" and "Wrath of the First Lantern."

Batman Vol. 3: Death of the Family
Joker: Death of the Family
Batman and Robin Vol. 2: Pearl
Batman and Robin Vol. 3: Death of the Family

These titles tie in to Death of the Family but not Requiem.

Justice League Dark Vol. 3: The Death of Magic
Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger Vol. 1: A Stranger Among Us
Birds of Prey Vol. 3: A Clash of Daggers
Teen Titans Vol. 3: Death of the Family
Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 3: Death of the Family

The Phantom Stranger appears in Justice League Dark; Raven appears in Phantom Stranger and then in Teen Titans; Teen Titans crosses over with Red Hood; Birds of Prey and Teen Titans connect.

Batman, Incorporated Vol. 2: Gotham's Most Wanted
Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 3: Emperor Penguin
Nightwing Vol. 3: Death of the Family
Batgirl Vol. 3: Death of the Family

These trades deal with both Death of the Family and Requiem.

Demon Knights Vol. 3: The Gathering Storm
All-Star Western Vol. 3: The Black Diamond Probability
Team 7 Vol. 1: Fight Fire with Fire
Catwoman Vol. 3: Death of the Family

Demon Knights, All-Star Western, Catwoman, and Team 7 are all part of the "Black Diamond Probability" event. Catwoman connects to Death of the Family and Requiem.

Savage Hawkman Vol. 2: Wanted
Green Arrow Vol. 3: Harrow
Deathstroke Vol. 2: Lobo Hunt

Deathstroke, Hawkman, and Green Arrow participate in the "Hawkman: Wanted" crossover.

Superman: H'el on Earth
Superman Vol. 3: Fury at World's End
Superboy Vol. 3: Lost
Supergirl Vol. 3: Sanctuary

Superman, Superboy, and Supergirl participate in the "H'el on Earth" crossover.

Ravagers Vol. 1: The Kids from N.O.W.H.E.R.E.
Legion Lost Vol. 2: The Culling
Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Man Vol. 3: Takeover

Superboy and the Ravagers appear in Legion Lost; Legion Lost and Firestorm connect regarding a Captain Atom storyline.

Animal Man Vol. 3: Rotworld -- The Red Kingdom
Swamp Thing Vol. 3: Rotworld -- The Green Kingdom

Animal Man and Swamp Thing cross over with "Rotworld."

Hope this helps you sort things out. If I've missed a good site or you have any corrections, leave a comment and I'll check it out. Cheers!