DC Trade Solicitations for January 2014 - Batman by Moench and Jones, Trinity War, Ostrander's Martian Manhunter, Hawkworld

Friday, October 18, 2013

Break out your party hats -- you wouldn't know it from the calendar, but according to DC Comics's latest trade paperbacks and collections solicitations, it's already 2014! DC's ringing in the new year with an early solicitation for the Trinity War crossover trade, the eagerly-awaited Batman by Doug Moench and Kelley Jones collection and Martian Manhunter by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake, plus a bunch of wrap-up trades for cancelled titles: Deathstroke, Dial H, Ravagers, and Threshold.

Before we dig in, by the way, Bleeding Cool had an interesting article noting the potential cancellations of Katana and Sterling Gates's Vibe, later confirmed by DC; the site points out that each series' first collection seems to have been re-solicited, now to include the entirety of each series in one book respectively.

And now for January 2014:

Justice League: Trinity War HC

Solicited now to take advantage of all the hullabaloo, but this book doesn't actually come out until next March. All the issues collected here can also ostensibly be found in other collections: Justice League #22-23 (Justice League Vol. 4), Justice League of America #6-7 (Justice League of America Vol. 1: World's Most Dangerous, out in November), Justice League Dark #22-23 (Justice League Dark Vol. 4), Constantine #5 (Constantine Vol. 1: Spark and the Flame, solicited this month), Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1-3 (Trinity of Sin: Pandora Vol. 1) and Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger #11 (Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger Vol. 2 or 3). That's a longer wait -- the Justice League book won't be out until April -- but that's the situation if you don't want to buy the same material twice.

I have seen other solicitations that suggest the "Trinity War"-based DC Free Comic Book Day 2012 issue will be in here, though this is not mentioned in DC's official solicitation.

Constantine Vol. 1: The Spark and the Flame TP

Collects Constantine #1-6, #5 of which is a "Trinity War" tie in.

Dial H Vol. 2: Exchange TP

This second and final Dial H collection includes the final issues, #7-15, plus the Villains Month issue, Justice League #23.3: Dial E.

Deathstroke Vol. 2: Lobo Hunt TP

As I keep saying, I'm probably about the only one looking forward to this book, which collects Deathstroke #9-20 and the Zero Month issue (so thirteen issues, which is a lot for a trade). I am not expecting Shakespeare; rather I'm looking forward to the wild, outlandish, misshapen fun of a Rob Liefeld story that involves Deathstroke, Lobo, and some of the 1990s greatest Wildstorm creations, followed by Justin Jordan's Team 7-styled take on Deathstroke, the Teen Titans, and the Ravagers. This is going to be a blast, I'm sure of it.

This overfull trade, by the way, crosses over with the "Hawkman: Wanted" storyline, though (probably wisely) it doesn't collect any issues from the other series. Savage Hawkman Vol. 2: Wanted, an equally-large trade due out in December, will have the Hawkman issues; Green Arrow Vol. 3: Harrow has Green Arrow's contribution plus one of the Hawkman issue.

Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 3: The Fatal Five TP

Another sizable trade -- Paul Levitz's Legion works best in big chunks, and this collects issues #15-23, nine issues. This also marks the end of this Legion iteration, ahead of the new Justice League 3000.

Ravagers Vol. 2: Heavenly Destruction TP

The second and final Ravagers collection includes issues #8-12 plus the Zero Month issue.

Supergirl Vol. 3: Sanctuary TP

The third Supergirl collection includes issues #13-19. Issues #14-17 are part of the "H'el on Earth" crossover with Superman and Superboy; those issues can also be found in the H'el on Earth collection. For the whole story in individual trades, you'll want Superman Vol. 3: Fury at World's End and Superboy Vol. 3: Lost.

Threshold Vol. 1: The Hunted TP

All of Keith Giffen's nascent space series Threshold is collected here -- issues #1-8 and the Green Lantern: New Guardians Annual #1. The DC solicitation doesn't mention the Larfleeze back-ups, suggesting they might not be collected, though the Amazon solicitation does mention them.

Wonder Woman Vol. 4: War HC

Issues #19-23; completes Brian Azzarello's first Wonder Woman storyline. I felt a little let down by Vol. 3, but I'm excited for the twists and turns in Azzarello's conclusion.

Dc Universe Presents Vol. 3: Black Lightning and Blue Devil TP

Though labeled as a collection of the Black Lightning/Blue Devil story, issues #13-16, this trade actually collects through #19, the end of DC Universe Presents, including Arsenal and Starfire stories.

Batman by Doug Moench and Kelley Jones Vol. 1 HC

This is one we've been waiting for a while now. Check out our original breaking announcement for the full details, but this book collects Batman #515-525, 527-532, and 535-536, stretching from just after Knightsend to Underworld Unleashed and Legacy. A great set of supernatual, self-contained Batman stories.

Martian Manhunter: Son of Mars TP

If you were only going to order one trade this month, this is the one I'd recommend. We've been waiting forever for DC to start collecting John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake's Martian Manhunter, and now they're collecting both this and the team's Spectre. This trade collects issues #0-9; the book ran for 38 issues, so there's plenty more volumes for DC to publish if we support this one!

Hawkworld (New Edition) TP

No idea why DC's reprinting Hawkworld at this point, except that it remains the best Hawkman origin around (after which Hawkman continuity trends toward entropy, inevitably). I reviewed this one a few years ago.

Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga (New Edition) TP

Maybe we can take from this that Legion isn't "dead" dead at DC quite yet. This reprints the 2010 deluxe hardcover, which expanded the "Great Darkness Saga" collection beyond its shorter, original collection.

Power Girl: Power Trip TP

Collects JSA Classified #1-3 and Power Girl #1-12 by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray (with Geoff Johns on the JSA issues), and Amanda Conner. These are enjoyable stories that present Power Girl well, if a little breezy for my tastes. This seems to me a strange reprint choice given how far out of continuity these stories are from the main DC universe, though I know the creators remain popular on their own.

Jla Vol. 4 TP

The original hardcover collection of this book included JLA #34, #36-41, and JLA Classified #1-3. Unusually, the paperbacks have had slightly different contents. I'm surprised issue #34 isn't here (in fact I suspect that might be a typo); this book omits Grant Morrison's JLA Classified stories, but includes the beginning of Mark Waid's run, the "Tower of Babel" storyline (which is a good switch in my opinion).

Justice League of America Omnibus Vol. 1 HC

You'll recall DC had solicited a Justice League of America Chronicles Vol. 1 paperback, which would have collected just Brave and the Bold #28-30 and Justice League of America #1-3. This Omnibus volume (replacing the canceled Chronicles) includes Brave and the Bold, Justice League of America through issue #30, and Mystery in Space #75.

Superman: The Man of Tomorrow Archives Vol. 3 HC

This is not for me particularly, but there's someone who gets mad in the comments whenever I don't mention DC's Archives releases. Collects Superman #132-139 and parts of Action Comics #255-266. Enjoy!

That's a little taste of what I'll be picking up this January. What's on your pick list? Sound off in the comments!
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29 comments:

  1. I really don't like how the Trinity War titles are collected. I for one only buy the regular Justice League trades, not the JLA or JLD ones, and it seems that those books will only collect their respetice 2 issues from the 6-part event. This means that each of the three books will read very disjointed when reaching Trinity War.
    What this means is that I'll have to buy the expensive Trinity War trade for the remaining four issues of the event, which includes tie-in issues that I could live without. I'd much rather prefer they do like they did with the third volume of Justice League and Aquaman and added the remaining 4 issues for the three Justice League trades, so that they at least collected the basic event.
    The way it looks now is that I'll get chapters 1 and 6 of Trinity War in the JL Vol. 4, while missing out on 2-5. I really do hope DC fixes this...

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    1. Think I've got to disagree with you here, Nick. I am someone who reads both JL, JLA, and JLD, so for me, this works great; I can skip the full Trinity War collection, buy the individual collections I'd normally buy, and not spend a penny on a book that contains issues I already have elsewhere. To put the JLA and JLD issues into JL would mean I'd get each of those issues twice (once in JL and once in their individual books); heaven forbid DC were to include all six Trinity War issues in all three trades, which would mean buying the same issue three times.

      Maybe I'd agree with you if it weren't so easy to just go get those other Trinity War issues in digital, and probably for cheaper than the newsstand price, too. For me, I'd rather DC err on the side of not making people buy more than they absolutely have to, with digital around to supplement, than have DC collect the same issue multiple times in a way that just seems profit driven.

      Just my take on it. Thanks!

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    2. Well, for one, the Justice League vol. 4 trade will be a clusterf**k of separate storylines. If indeed it includes issues 18-23 only, then we'll start of good with 18-20, then we'll get issue 21 which is the last chapter of the Shazam-backup, and none of the back-ups have been collected in previous volumes, but in a separate Shazam-volume, making this issue stick out as a sore thumb. Then we get chapters 1 and 6, the first and last, of Trinity War which will probably just confuse a lot of readers who are not to keen on shelling out for even more books. If you ask me, trades should always be able to stand on their own and not be dependant on other series to work.

      I would have gotten the Trinity War trade instead, but that would mean I'd miss out on issues 18, 19 and 20, which would suck...

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    3. Yeah, I kind of see how maybe trades should stand on their own. But I think it's probably rarely the case -- with all the events and such, a trade might have for instance an Infinite Crisis tie-in issue in it, even if the book doesn't otherwise have to do with Infinite Crisis. There's a little push and pull there; we want these to be graphic novels but ultimately they're not, they're (sometimes ill-fitting) collections of pre-published single issues.

      I like how DC's collecting the books now because it does to an extent level the playing field between monthly readers and trade readers. If I were a monthly Justice League reader, I'd have read 18-20, and then I'd have read 21 that followed from the Shazam backups (which I can read in the Shazam collection), and then I'd be getting part 1 of Trinity War one month and part 6 the next. Then, it'd be incumbent upon me as a monthly reader to either go over to Justice League of America and Justice League Dark to get those issues or not as I choose. Same here -- I have the option of reading all three trades or just one, and then I can still go get the missing parts in digital if I'm really missing them.

      What I find a bit maddening is that the Trinity War-connected JLA trade is out next month, but then the JL and JLD ones aren't out until next year ...

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    4. For me the perfect way to collect crossovers were to have the crossover trade, and in the trade of the actual series there's just an insert that says "crossover goes here, read or skip".

      Yes, the ongoing series will get a bit disjointed but DC could just adjust to this by varying the included issues to 5 or 7 (or even 8).

      This would be significant better than everything they're doing right now.

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    5. I haven't been following crossovers for a while, but I remember in some TPBs from the nineties (the first Impuls TPB comes to mind), whenever there was a "crossover gap" in the TPB, they would add a text page explaining what happened. Probably not optimal, but a workable, non-alienating solution, IMO. They could do something like that nowadays, and probably even plug the digital editions in such text page.

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    6. It's a good suggestion. The New 52 trades have been doing this inconsistently -- the Teen Titans Vol. 2 trade had these pages to explain the gaps with the missing "Culling" issues, but the Superboy Vol. 2 trade that also crossed over with "Culling" did not have them.

      I think the strategy right now is generally to make crossovers so they follow within their own series as well as with the whole; the Justice League Dark Vol. 2 trade, for instance, collected only the JLD aspects of the JLD/I, Vampire crossover, but generally it made sense because that half of the story only focused on the JLD. This has been true in the Green Lantern books as well.

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  2. It seems every time a new JLA TPB gets solicited, DC gets the content listing wrong. JLA #34 is a prelude to World War III by Morrison and Porter, so it obviously won't be skipped. I'm sure this volume will collect issues #32-46 as originally announced, but I won't get rid of my JLA: Tower of Babel TPB just yet because it includes some material from JLA Secret Files #3 that apparently won't be a part of this new collection.

    I'm still undecided about the Trinity War HC. I'd rather own the entire crossover in a single volume, but then I'd still have to buy the fourth Justice League HC just because of issues #18-20. Including JLA #6-7 and JLD #22-23 in JL vol. 4 as Nick suggested would easily solve that problem for me.

    Finally, I'm glad to see that Green Lantern: New Guardians Annual #1 will be collected along with Threshold after all, but wasn't Wonder Woman vol. 4 going to include the Villains Month First Born one-shot too?

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  3. Marvel Solicits: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=48560

    *Infinity HC--We're only halfway through the crossover (there was a major turning point in last week's issue 4) and yet it'll be collected by January. Who knew that double-shipping would prevent a massive crossover from bogging down? It helps that a lot of the plot points get spread out to the collected issues of "Avengers" and "New Avengers".

    *Infinity Companion HC--If you don't want to get this gigantic hardcover, there will almost certainly be a combined "Captain Marvel/Avengers Assemble" trade (they cover the same story from different angles) to go with the separate "Infinity Heist/Hunt" trade. The two issues of "Secret Avengers" might go in that title's Volume 3 or in the first "Mighty Avengers" trade to get it out faster.

    *"Iron Man: Believe", "Captain America: Castaway in Dimension Z Book 1" and "Avengers: Avengers World" are all making their TPB debuts in January if you've been waiting to start on them. (So is "Nova: Origin", but I can't recommend it as it's Jeph Loeb's public therapy for his son's death, which can get kind of creepy to read.)

    *She-Hulk By Dan Slott Complete Collection Vol 1--One of the best takes on the character (edged out only by Byrne's "Sensational She-Hulk"), this includes the famous story where Spidey sues JJJ for defamation.

    *Journey Into Mystery Complete Collection Vol. 1--If you haven't started on the tale of Kid Loki yet, you... well, actually the trades might be a little cheaper. It does read better as a flowing story, though.

    *Castle: Richard Castle's Storm Season TPB--Finally this is coming out in softcover! I'm currently putting together a Castle costume consisting of his "WRITER" bulletproof vest stuffed with various real-world "Castle" books, and this'll join "Deadly Storm".

    *Warlock by Jim Starlin Complete Collection TPB--Okay, if you still haven't gotten the original Infinity Gems, this is at least the third collected opportunity to do so. I'm still waiting to see this, "Rebirth of Thanos", "IG" and "IG Aftermath" collected as an Omnibus.

    Coming up: Dark Horse, IDW and Image.

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    1. Is Castle your Halloween costume?

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    2. Halloween and possible convention cosplay.

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  4. The Larfleeze backup stories from Threshold will probably be put in the first actual Larfleeze trade. Certainly would make the most sense.

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  5. Dark "FOUR ALIENS TITLES IN 2014!!!" Horse Solicits: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=48573

    *Yeah, if you haven't heard from NYCC, we're getting "Aliens", "Predator", "AVP" AND "Prometheus", all as ongoings and all with solid writers, including Paul Tobin and "Captain Marvel" co-writer Chris Sebela. Here's hoping that the "Predator" title includes some of the crazy Kenner-inspired NECA designs.

    *Blood Brothers TP--I'm not big on the whole vampire genre (unless it's Kim Newman's "Anno Dracula" novels), but this actually sounds enjoyable and a bit silly.

    *Hellboy: The First 20 Years HC--This seems less like a collection and more like a coffee table book, but it's a notable milestone for a great character. I hope this can drum up a little support for a "Hellboy 3" from Guillermo Del Toro.

    *The Light Brigade HC--I remember when this was coming out a few years back and could never find the trade afterwards. For me the draw is Peter Snejbjerg, but for our esteemed editor, it might be Peter Tomasi.


    Image Solicits: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=48553

    *Heaven's War TP--I've never heard of this series, but it's CS Lewis and Tolkein versus Aleister Crowley, which is just enough of a crazy high concept to catch my interest. Plus Michael Gaydos drew it, so if nothing else, it'll look cool.

    *Satellite Sam Vol. 1 TP--One of Fraction's big hits this year (though, as I'll discuss in next week's review, possibly at the expense of "Hawkeye"), it also features some better inking for Howard Chaykin. Finally!


    IDW Solicits: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=48575

    *Nothing trade-wise intrigues me unless I finally start reading "Transformers: Regeneration One".

    *However, next year starts a crazy X-Files/Ghostbusters/TMNT/Transformers/God Knows What Else crossover called "Conspiracy" that I have to admit sounds very cool.

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    1. I'm interested in X-Files: Conspiracy, too. Too bad, from my perspective, that it seems to star the Lone Gunmen and not Mulder and Scully, which suggests to me the series will take the more cartoony tones especially of Ghostbusters and TMNT than the more "serious" tone of X-Files. I'd love to see this done 100% seriously -- Mulder and Scully investigate rumors of mechanized entities working with the government; Scully thinks they're just advanced weaponry but Mulder's convinced they're aliens; the agents run afoul of the Decepticons, but all the Transformers are kept mostly in the shadows, etc., etc. I'd much prefer that over the Lone Gunmen sitting down to pizza with the Turtles or shouting "Cowabunga!"

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    2. I'd prefer the X-Files: Season 10 to finally get us a conclusion to the alien conspiracy / invasion storyline that was never resolved. Not crossovers.

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  6. Thanks for the breakdown. These are always much appreciated.

    That said, I think I may have reached the end of my collected editions collecting. I just moved, and that gave me a chance to realize how many collections I actually have. I'm looking at something around 350 or so, and it was a huge pain to move. And that number is only going to grow, which is making me seriously questions this collection.

    In addition, I keep seeing people complaining that such and such #0, annual, or Villains Month issue isn't included in a collection. Older stuff that may never be collected (like Impulse, Waid's Flash, or Ostrander's Suicide Squad) is either all already available or slowly becoming available. It's making me lean more and more toward digital. Zero physical storage space and the freedom to pick and choose which individual issues I want without worrying about longboxes are pretty huge pluses for me.

    Either way i'll definitely keep coming here for reviews and such, not to mention the wonderful timeline.

    Anyone else

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    1. The biggest impediment for me to "going digital" is that DC has continued to be slow and irregular in releasing their collected editions in digital form. You can count on finding the single issues, but not necessarily the collections. One of the cornerstones of my "waiting for trade" is that I just don't like having to sit all the issues of a storyline next to me and flip one to another while I read; I like having just one book. Now, in digital of course, you never have to put down your device, but I think there's something about being able to flip page to page to the end versus having to finish an issue, back out of it, go to the next issue, start it, etc. If more collections were available, I'd make the switch on some titles, too.

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    2. With comixology you can sort by storyline and then you can just continue with the next issue after finishing the currect one without having to navigate in the app.

      Still the DRM is a big issue for me. I may test the new image comics service which is DRM free.

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    3. In fairness to DC, as of two weeks ago they started to put collections onto ComiXology for the first time. They started with 140 collections, last week added another 12, and another 14 went on today. The pricing is not particularly attractive (Kindle tends to be about 25% cheaper) but maybe they will take another look at that once the digital collection line is established.

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  7. Well, i know i'm the guy that always asks about the Archives, but i don't think i've ever been angry if you don't mention them. :/ Still, it's good to see this volume re-solicited, after it was cancelled previously. Makes me wonder if the Captain Comet book will see print.

    I'm picking up that Archive, the Martian Manhunter book, LSH, the FBP, Power Girl, Unknown Soldier, Constantine, Showcase Presents Men of War (all 26 issues!), and the re-solicited Flash Vol 2. I'll wait and get the Batman books when i don't have as heavy a month.

    cheers!

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    1. Just teasing, of course. :) Is this your first time reading those Power Girl stories or were you a fan enough that you want to get them again?

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    2. it will be my first time with the PG stuff, but i really like Palmiotti and Gray, and Conner is a great plus. i have a pretty wide range of tastes, so if they're a bit breezy, that's ok with me. i've been a PG fan since she first appeared back in the 70s, but i was out of comics for a while, and never got this series.

      i tend to get most of the DC collections, i just have to spread them out a bit. if i already have a series in trade, however, i won't get a newer version. for example, i have all the JSA trades, so won't be getting the omnibus, and same with the JLA one, since i have the archives.

      either way, there are a lot of goodies coming out in January, and can't wait to get them!

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  8. yay hawkworld finally...now bring on james robinsons golden age!

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  9. I'll be getting Wonder Woman, Vol. 4, the paperback version of Flash, Vol. 2, Constantine, Vol. 1 and 'lil Gotham, Vol. 1.
    Still unsure about Threshold, Vol. 1 and Dial H, Vol. 2... but I'll probably won't get them.

    The Moench/Jones collection looks good, but I will wait for the paperback to save a few bucks.

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  10. Why is Batman 526 being omitted from the Moench/Kelley collection? Is it only so that they can try to make us feel forced to buy the Batman by Williams III book? Because it may not be drawn by Kelly, but it was written by Moench, and it is part of the run.

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    1. I appreciate your concern, though I guess I think this is a different situation than the New Teen Titans Omnibus Vol. 3, for instance. There, the book wasn't billed as "New Teen Titans by Wolfman and Perez," so readers had a reasonable expectation for Titans work besides theirs; here, the focus of the book is in the title.

      DC has done this before with their various artist spotlight books—plot continuity isn't as important in these books as showcasing the artist's work (or in this case, the writer and artist's work).

      Note that the missing #526 was just a one-off issue by Moench and Williams and not something that added significantly to Moench's ongoing plot; for that reason it seems right to me to put it in the Williams book.

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    2. I'd rather they put it in both books, but I guess they followed the rationale you just explained. Personally, I prefer to get books with whole stories by a single writer, not really a fan of artist-only books. If they were only going to include it in one of the books, it is the right choice to put it in the Williams III book.

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  11. I'm a bit dissapointed that JLA vol.4 won't have the same content of the deluxe version. I'd trade the Waid issues (amazing in their own right) for Earth 2 and the Classified issues.

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  12. Does anyone have some information about some titles going from harcover straight to paperback? According to Amazon some titles that have seen hardcover collections so far, will be availlable directly in softcover: Batwoman, Green Lantern Corps and Batgirl are the ones I spotted.

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