DC Trade Solicitations for August 2013 - Joker: Death of the Family, DC One Million Omnibus, Necessary Evil, Legion cancelled

Friday, May 17, 2013

Joker: Death of the FamilyEarlier this week DC Comics released their August 2013 solicitations, including trade paperbacks, collections, and graphic novels. As you know, DC also cancelled four titles -- Legion of Super-Heroes, Threshhold, Demon Knights, and Dial H. Even as we're talking about August, I think most of us have our eyes tipped toward September, such to see what new books might replace the fallen. (What Wave will this be now? I can never keep track.)

Losing Legion certainly stings, as for me this has been one of the most enjoyable and accessible Legion runs in a while -- up there with the early issues of the recent Mark Waid/Barry Kitson run, but maybe a little better because I adored this return to the "new classic" Legion. But while Paul Levitz's Legion was superlative just before Flashpoint, in the New 52 the wind seemed to go out of its sails a little bit, and I can't necessarily say the cancellation was a surprise.

Nor can I gather up the ire that Waid has about this -- surely there's been an instance before where Legion has been cancelled one month and restarted the next (for instance, when Waid himself relaunched Legion after Zero Hour). And even if Legion does go on hiatus, I find it hard to believe Waid would expect DC to keep publishing Legion if it wasn't making money -- just because a title's been around for forty years (in three or four different iterations, which I'm not sure counts as "continuous") doesn't make it too big to fail if it's, well, failing.

Some collections:

Joker: Death of The Family HC

We already knew about this, but now we have a semi-confirmed release date of October 16, the week after the Batman: Death of the Family collection comes out (so they're the opposite of Night of the Owls, where the tie-in book came out first; this time the tie-in book comes out second).

Contents are reported as Batman #17, Catwoman #13-14, Batgirl #14-16, Batman and Robin #15-17, Nightwing #15-16, Detective Comics #16-17, Red Hood and the Outlaws #15-16 and Teen Titans #15, plus pages from Batman #13, Batgirl #13, Nightwing #14, Red Hood and the Outlaws #13-14, Suicide Squad #14-15 and Teen Titans #14 and 16. This will mark the first time in the New 52 that a DC collection has included "pages from" instead of a full issue, and I'll be curious to see how seamlessly (or not) the pages fit in. I recently re-read Batman: Murderer/Fugitive, whose collections also tried to patch together just the relevant parts of the tie-ins, and it's a valiant effort but my thinking is overall these collections read better with the full issue.

Batgirl Vol. 3: Death of The Family HC

This collects Batgirl #14-19, Batman #17, Batgirl Annual #1, and the Batgirl story from Young Romance #1, which is a nicely large enough selection of issues that it doesn't feel like Joker: Death of the Family duplicates it too much. I'm especially glad to see these Young Romance stories collected with their respective titles, too; here and also in the Stormwatch book, to name two off the top of my head (or does Stormwatch? See below).

DC One Million Omnibus HC

If it's go big or go home, DC went big with this one. You've got to admire a book that not only collects the original crossover and tie-ins (in and of itself a feat, and it makes me still hopeful for that Crisis on Infinite Earths Omnibus with all the tie-in issues, one day), but also ancillary stories that came out years (and in one respect, even a decade) later like the 80-Page Giant, Superman/Batman, and Booster Gold. Plus this is about the only place you can find collected issues of Chronos and Creeper, among others.

Necessary Evil: The Villains of the DC Universe TP

Collects parts of Action Comics Annual #10, Batman #244 and 614, Batman Villains Secret Files #1, Black Adam #6, Green Lantern Corps #14, Solo #1, Superman: Lex 2000, Wonder Woman #214, Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1, and profile pages from Countdown #2, 6-11, 14-16, 19, 27, 29, 33-34 and 36-37. I don't think I spot anything in there that hasn't been collected already except maybe the Batman Villains story, whatever it turns out to be, and the Countdown profiles.

Ame-Comi Girls Vol. 1 TP
Arrow Vol. 1 TP
Batman: Legends of The Dark Knight Vol. 1 TP

Chris Arrant at Robot 6 asked the other day whether DC's digital comics were their best-kept secret. It certainly seems like they're rolling out collections of the same pretty regularly. That a collection is coming out doesn't necessarily speak to the quality of the product, but from what I hear Smallville and Injustice and the rest are all doing well; how long until an in-continuity title goes digital first, do you think? (And how long until DC goes ahead and adopts the Thrillbent/Marvel Infinite Comics method of digital comics "animation"?)

Animal Man Vol. 3: Rotworld—The Red Kingdom TP
Earth 2 Vol. 2: The Tower of Fate HC

At some point I was thinking the next Earth 2 collection wouldn't be out until 2014. Quite thankfully it's October, and it's got almost seven-to-eight issues of content in it.

Green Lantern Vol. 3: The End HC

Does ... does this mean I just have one more Geoff Johns Green Lantern collection to read, and that's it? Oh. Oh my.

Green Arrow Vol. 3: Harrow TP

I mentioned elsewhere I'm kind of disappointed not to see any of Jeff Lemire's new run on the series collected here, just because it means we have to wait that much longer before Lemire's first Green Arrow collection. At the same time, while I expect from reading authors Ann Nocenti and Rob Liefeld's other works that I may find this collection a little rough, between the Savage Hawkman and Justice League issue this collection is obviously meant to milk the Justice League of America connection for all its worth, and that's an enjoyable prospect.

Stormwatch Vol. 3: Betrayal TP

Some of the online retailers list a Young Romance story as being included here, but DC themselves don't, so your guess is as good as mine.

What are you buying for August? And more importantly, is it time for September solicits yet?
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22 comments:

  1. Albeit a bit over the top, Waid's ire is based on two things, I think: 1) That he has been, like myself, a huge fan of the Legion all his life, and by now is just profoundly frustrated with DC's now decades-long floundering around with the franchise; but more personally, 2) That DC gut-shot his own Threeboot revamp of the property early in his run (ca. 2006? - only a year or so in) with Johns' Retroboot. The fact that I wasn't that taken with the Threeboot and welcomed the Retroboot returning my old friends to me aside, DC pretty shamelessly threw it under the bus seemingly to service a whim on the part of their current star creator.
    (Edited and resubmitted to remove an inappropriately snide tone, as well as my apology for same.)

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    1. In that case, DC tried to have its cake and eat it too by keeping all versions of the Legion (minus the "five years later" era) in continuity, only in separate universes, but editorial started having trouble keeping them straight. The most telling sign of that was when they had Shooter write Karate Kid and Triplicate Girl out of the "Threeboot" series, even though the versions of the characters featured in Countdown to Final Crisis were the "Retroboot" ones.

      As much as I enjoy the current, soon-to-be-cancelled LSH series, I think DC made the wrong call by not rebooting the Legion just to keep Levitz and the hardcore fandom happy. By now, the team has gone through so many continuity upheavals that DC should just focus on keeping their essence intact and telling the best stories they can with the characters, and not on making sure certain stories still "happened" and "matter".

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    2. I get what you're saying shagmu, and I'd keep buying Legion myself as long as Levitz kept writing it. I'm not sure DC could keep Legion going just to make the hardcore fans happy, though; the bottom line remains that DC is a corporation that has to make money to stay in business, and I can't blame them at all for cancelling Legion if it wasn't making the grade.

      We could say, of course, that they ought have put X different team or Y marketing dollars behind it, but again if for whatever reason their own impetus to save it just wasn't there, I can't necessarily blame them for cancelling it.

      If the rumored "Justice Legion" comes to pass, I'll read that too, though hopefully it's becomes a franchise title more in name only than in actual story (though I'd look forward to a New 52 Justice League/Legion crossover, too).

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  2. One of the things it looks like has gotten pulled to be resolicited later is the Batman in World's Finest Vol 3 Archive. It no longer shows up on Amazon. But when they bumped Silver Age Teen Titans Vol 2 Archive with the same release date as the Batman book, I assumed they just decided to have it show up later in 2014.

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    1. ComicList is showing that Batman Archive now scheduled for October. Cheers!

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    2. ComicList hasn't updated from when they originally had that when the catalog press release went out. Click on the link and see what Amazon says. If it was still coming out, like the Titans Archives, they'd have a link with all the relevant info. DC hasn't updated Diamond or anything yet.

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  3. Even if they can't fit all of the CoIE tie-ins into one omnibus, they could put out a second "Crossovers" omnibus like Marvel did for "Acts of Vengeance" and "AvX", amongst others. Also, kudos to DC for commissioning Jess Nevins to do a "Fables" encyclopedia. Nevins' annotations for LoEG and other Moore books have essentially been a public service--they're still online for free, even though some have been published as unofficial guides--and I almost want to start reading "Fables" just to support him.

    Marvel Solicits: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=45520

    *Avengers: Endless Wartime HC--Branching off from the "Season One" concept, Marvel's doing OGNs. Ellis and McKone sound like a solid team, and Peter David's "Avengers: Season One" has warmed me up to this format.

    *Age of Ultron HC--Unless the final issues receive a ton of praise, I don't think I'll look into this until it gets broken down into trades like "AvX" was.

    *Hawkeye Vol. 1 HC--This premium hardcover, collecting what's in trades 1 and 2, comes out AFTER both of those trades. Now that's faith in a title's ability to sell.

    *Indestructible Hulk Vol. 2: Gods and Monster HC--Walt Simonson drawing Thor. That is all.

    *Young Avengers Vol. 1: Style > Substance TPB--One of my favorite books on the shelves right now. Gillen is a man who knows his audience to the tiniest detail, and McKelvie is just a brilliant artist.

    *Secret Avengers Vol. 1: Reverie TPB--This is another great book; honestly, the only books in the "Avengers" franchise I'm not a fan of are "Uncanny" and "Arena". Nick Spencer has redeemed himself after "Iron Man 2.0".

    *Infinity Gauntlet Aftermath TPB--Excellent! This is a good chunk of the "IG tie-ins", plus the bridging material between "Gauntlet" and "War". Otherwise known as the third part of what will probably be an "IG" omnibus.

    *X-Men: Magik--Storm and Illyana TPB--Here's some great 80s X-material which will eventually form the core of "New Mutants" and "Inferno".

    *Avengers/Iron Man: First Sign TPB--Seriously, did the Crossing omnibus sell really well, or is Marvel really that desperate to put every single "Avengers" book in trade format? There are few books I condemn outright as "utter shit", but the "Iron Man" issues collected here rank amongst them. On the other hand, there's at least some Waid "Captain America" for redemption.

    *Iron Man: The Enemy Within TPB--If you want some good "IM" material, let Denny O'Neill regale you with how Jim Rhodes became Iron Man and went nuts due to a poorly-calibrated armor. The penciller line-up alone is enticing.

    Dark Horse, Image and IDW will be in the next post.

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    1. I like ongoing series. It takes the wind out of my sails, especially when it comes to a non-mainstream title, to pick it up and know it's finite, that the end is somewhere down the road. I'm glad Fables is still going on and I wish it a long life. But wow, nineteen volumes and counting, plus a handful of spin-offs and an encyclopedia? It's daunting to consider getting back into this series.

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    2. Having grown up reading the Star Wars essential guides and knowing how every comic up through ~2009 ends, I could theoretically just buy the encyclopedia and read the entire series that way...

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  4. Dark Horse: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=45511

    *The Answer! TP--I've heard a lot of positive buzz on this, and twelve bucks for a four issue trade is something other publishers (coughcoughMarvelhasfiveissuetradesfortwentydollars) should think about.

    *Star Wars Omnibus: Wild Space TP--I was going to skip this, but then I saw "Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragones" and now I need to see exactly what's collected here.


    Image: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=45527

    *East of West Vol. 1: The Promise TP--Here's a heavily-praised book that's out just in time for a possible "Jonathan Hick-Month" in August.

    *Invincible Compendium Vol. 2 HC--I'm still surprised that they're doing these massive collections since the first volume had a number of binding issues. I guess that's been fixed... but these huge books are still unwieldy.


    IDW: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=45516

    *GI Joe Vol. 1: Homefront TP--Now here's a book with a lot of mixed reaction. IDW is trying to emulate the MTMTE/RID set-up with one funny book and one serious book ("Special Missions"), but it hasn't quite come together the way IDW has wanted.

    *Transformers: Prelude HC--This might be the only trade where I'll overpay for the individual issues by buying toys. It collects the six pack-in issues coming with Generations deluxe figures, which all look very cool.

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    1. From what people on the DH boards have surmised, its the Jabba one-shots, the Tag and Bink mini and one shot, the Star Wars: Visionaries GN, the Sergio Stomps Star Wars one shot by Evanier and Sergio, and an internet exclusive Podracing story with young Anakin.

      If all you really want is the Sergio story, you might want to Ebay it unless the rest interests you.

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  5. One Million Omnibus and Joker: Death of the Family for me.

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  6. Regarding your question about the end of John's GL, the answer is yes.

    THE END marks the finale of Johns' long tenure on the title -- though because it's only collecting portions of the last two crossovers (Rise of the Third Army and Wrath of the First Lantern), it's going to read like a mess.

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    1. >> Regarding your question about the end of John's GL, the answer is yes.

      I know, it's just ... only one more Johns Green Lantern book to pick up at the LCS and take home? The thought makes me sad, indeed.

      I'll be curious to see how the four Green Lantern-family books read on their own without the other pieces to help them. In my post on how DC collects New 52 crossovers, I thought some people said the books would read OK individually, but maybe not.

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  7. Utterly happy DC isn't sharing Jeff Lemire's GA with Nocenti's like originally expected. Sure people will have to wait longer for Lemire's version (and as someone reading singles, it is good) but that would of been a massive disservice to both writers sharing space. Trust me CE, it will be worth it.

    Legion had it coming, sadden to say. Sales weren't cutting it and DC gave it many chances, but nothing is too big to fail. I think Waid was just surprised that it got cancelled after so many years, thats all. I'm not sure he's angry, just surprised it happened.

    Very happy camper about Earth 2 volume 2 coming out in October as opposed to January now, so makes the wait even less worse. And on a side note, why in the blue hell is Green Lantern New Guardians volume 3 coming out in February? That is incredibly late don't cha think?

    Not going to get Joker:Death of the Family because I already have all of the singles, but I find it patchy when a description has "sections" of a comic instead of all the comic. Might have to look into this book when it arrives and see if it is worth it.

    And I can't wait for One Million Omnibus. More then 60% of the One Million tie-ins aren't collect in any trade form and are sort of hard to find in single form as well. So if there is a perfect example of a omnibus collecting a lot of hard to get singles, then this is the book!

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  8. News update: James Robinson just left DC comics and his last issue with Earth 2 will be issue #16. What a sad state of affairs that is going on at DC...

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    1. First heard about this right from your comment, Lion. Sad indeed. If you haven't read it, this is a great post by Matt Santori-Griffith on all the reasons why Robinson leaving Earth 2 is a terrible, terrible thing.

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  9. The haphazard collection of JOKER: DEATH OF THE FAMILY reminds me of why I hated the collection for NIGHT OF THE OWLS. What's the point of collecting the crossover if you're not going to include entire issues?

    It's a cheap double-dipping and I expected better of DC.

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    1. Now, Night of the Owls did have entire issues, but I do get your point about double-dipping. Indeed that's what DC did with Night of the Owls, and collecting only relevant parts of some titles in the Joker collection may be their attempt to mitigate what may or may not have worked before. I'll be curious to see if this is better, and if not, what solutions they consider next.

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  10. But the big question is this one: Will the DC One Million Omnibus collect the 1,000,000th issue of "Young Heroes in Love"? It hasn't been in any of the listings. Not sure if DC has forgotten that issue exists, or if they don't want the comic buyer to know that issue is actually in there!

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    1. It seems they can't include this issue because Young Heroes in Love was a creator-owned series, even though it was set in the DCU.

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  11. FYI the Countdown villain profiles were previously collected in the DC Universe: Origins TPB, along with the hero profiles from the 52 series.

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