Before we dive into it, however, one Cancelled Comics Cavalcade note: DC has apparently cancelled orders for the Katana collection by Ann Nocenti, promising to resolicit the trade. This isn't the first time DC has cancelled and resolicited a New 52 trade (the second volume of Deathstroke and Savage Hawkman are examples), but it is curious since there's nothing to add to the book; it was already supposed to collect the whole series, issues #1-10, plus the Villains Month Justice League Dark 23.1: Creeper issue. Might the resolicit contain less (like, not the Creeper issue) and not more?
And now the solicitations:
• Absolute All-Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder HC
I never read All-Star Batman and Robin the first time around and I don't have an interest in reading it now, so the fact that the solicitation for the Absolute edition offers issue #1-9 -- essentially promising that the book's final issue, #10, will never see light of day -- doesn't bother me all that much. But if you bought nine issues of this series, especially if it was ever offered to you as a ten-issue miniseries -- and especially given that half of the creative team is a high-ranking executive with DC Comics -- I can understand why you might be miffed.
It also seems a little callous to be releasing an Absolute edition of an unfinished series without some official statement as to whether yes, this series will one day be finished or no, we just have to cut our losses. If for some reason DC and the creators can't get this series done, I think we'd all understand that stuff happens; the problem in my opinion is that there's simply been no statement, and instead an Absolute solicitation that glosses over the inherit problems and therefore comes off looking blithe.
• JSA Omnibus Vol. 1 HC
On the other end of the spectrum, the long-awaited JSA Omnibus now has a release date, May 14, 2014. This also marks a triumph of you, the reader, who made your voices heard when this collection was going to start with issue #6, and now it'll start with issue #1 (and the Justice Society Returns prequel miniseries). If you spoke up again, could you make new All-Star Batman and Robin appear? ... Probably not, but I still always encourage voting with your wallet.
• Batman Vol. 4: Zero Year–Secret City HC
The fourth collection of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Batman run includes issues #21-24, skipping over issues #18-20. Many of you have asked, and yes, I do think DC will collect these issues eventually, probably after all the Zero Year collections.
• Aquaman Vol. 4: Death of a King HC
Aquaman Vol. 4 picks up from the controversial Vol. 3, which only collected issues #0 and #14-16,
• Batgirl Vol. 4: Wanted HC
Gail Simone's Batgirl Vol. 3: Death of the Family offered some really gripping storytelling, and I'm very excited for this fourth volume. Includes Batgirl #19-25 and the Villains Month issue Batman: The Dark Knight #23.1: Ventriloquist. An eight-issue Batgirl collection is a nice take in my opinion.
• The Green Team: Teen Trillionaires Vol. 1 – Money and Power TP
Collects the entirety of Art Baltazar and Franco's Green Team. Not sure the tie to the ongoing DC Universe was ever quite enough for me to pick this one up right away, unless someone knows otherwise.
• Suicide Squad Vol. 4: Discipline and Punish TP
I have been enjoying Matt Kindt's head-trip Mind MGMT very much, and so I'm eagerly anticipating his bringing that spy-thriller vibe to Suicide Squad. Kindt's contribution to this volume is only the Villains Month Justice League of America #7.1: Deadshot and Detective Comics #23.1: Harley Quinn (along with Ales Kot's issues #20-23); more of an appetizer, really, but one I'm looking forward to.
• Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell HC
The long-rumored Paul Dini/Joe Quinones graphic novel also now has a release date, May 21, 2014. You all should read and enjoy this, sure, but my shameful comics secret is that I've never been on the Paul Dini/Zatanna hyper-bandwagon, really; I thought Dini did a nice job with Zatanna and Batman in some recent issues (not so recent any more) issues of Detective Comics, but the graphic novel lovefest isn't for me. If anything, it'll be a trip to see the pre-Flashpoint Black Canary again.
• Deadman Book Five TP
I've mostly passed over these classic Deadman collections, but the fact that this one collects the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths 1986 Deadman miniseries piqued my interest -- could it be DC Timeline fodder?
From what I can tell, the contents of this one are a little strange; it collects Challengers of the Unknown #85-87, a time-traveling Deadman story from 1978, and then the Deadman miniseries and Secret Origins issue which are related, but follow from Brave and the Bold #86, collected back in Deadman Book Two. Chalk it up to Crisis, but maybe this would be a better read without the Challengers issue and with another more modern story alongside the 1980s bits, like the Spectre or Action Comics Weekly issues.
• Final Crisis (New Edition) TP
This newest "new edition" of Final Crisis now includes the new pages from Absolute Final Crisis, plus everything that was in the original book and the two Batman issues.
• Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Played with Fire HC
• Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo TP
I reviewed the two-volume set of Denise Mina's adaptation of Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and liked it, though I thought splitting it into two volumes hurt the story as a whole. Therefore I'm glad to see DC/Vertigo releasing The Girl Who Played with Fire as one single volume, and also the paperback edition of Tattoo will contain the first two volumes in one. Whether this better allowed Mina to not have to artificially split the story, or whether the script was done before the final format was decided, I don't know.
• DC Universe vs. the Masters of the Universe TP
This series has been critically panned, but I might just check it out in digital anyway; surely there must be some enjoyment to be found in He-Man and Superman on the same page. Collects the six issue miniseries, plus the classic DC Comics Presents issue that first teamed He-Man and Superman.
• Superman/Batman Vol. 1 TP
As they well should, DC's quest to reprint everything Superman/Batman ahead of the new movie continues with this paperback of issues #1-13, originally published as the "Public Enemies" and "Supergirl" storylines. This is essentially the contents of the recent Absolute edition, now in paperback.
Personally I'd love to see a Superman/Batman omnibus that collected the entire series, for better and for worse, including some of the self-contained stories by rotating teams toward the end.
• Tales of the Batman: Carmine Infantino HC
Alongside a number of classic Carmine Infantino Batman stories, I think it's cool that DC is including the story Geoff Johns wrote and Infantino drew in tribute to Julius Schwartz in 2004.
That's what jumped out at me. In our last solicitations run-down of 2013, what's on your buying list?