DC Trade Solicitations for April 2014 - Spectre, Joker's Daughter, Green Lantern: Lights Out, Super Friends
Friday, January 24, 2014
• Spectre Vol. 1: Crimes and Judgments TP
If you buy only one trade paperback this month, let this be it. Spectre: Crimes and Judgments marks the first collection of John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake's dynamic, spooky Spectre series since the 1993 Crimes and Punishments trade (which I reviewed in 2011) that collected just the first four issues of the series. This new volume, collecting issues #1-12, is not only a great read, but also a canary in the coal mine, I believe -- good sales of this volume must necessarily help DC determine whether there will be future volumes, how they might treat the Ostrander/Mandrake Martian Manhunter collections starting next month (and vice versa), and whether we might ever see more collections of Ostrander's other works, namely Suicide Squad. If you're on the fence, I recommend snapping this one up.
• Batman: Arkham Asylum – Living Hell Deluxe Edition HC
I passed over the Arkham Asylum: Living Hell miniseries when it first came out since one-off, unrelated tales of Batman villains aren't necessarily my thing, though the story was later brought into (the old) continuity in Batman: Face the Face. No question why DC would want to release a deluxe edition of this now, however, with art by Ryan Sook and story by Dan "Superior Spider-Man" Slott; probably a surprise a new edition of this didn't come out earlier.
• Batman/Deathblow: After The Fire TP
I recently read about the New 52 Deathblow in the pages of Rob Liefeld's Grifter Vol. 2 and it's hard not to think of the character as something of a too-1990s joke, but apparently he had the gumption once upon a time to deserve a three-issue miniseries written by Brian Azzarello, drawn by Lee Bermejo, and sharing the billing with Batman. If anyone knows why I might have misjudged Deathblow, please speak up.
• All-Star Western Vol. 4: Gold Standard TP
This collection of issues #17-21 begins -- SPOILERS ON -- the storyline in which Booster Gold brings Jonah Hex to the future. I have only been an occasional reader of this series, though seeing Hex in the modern era intrigued me (I'll probably pick this up for Booster's presence alone), but the fact that Hex seems to have returned to the past now and Booster's appearance didn't seem to have any far-reaching consequences all dampen my excitement.
• Batman and Robin Vol. 4: Requiem For Damian HC
Seems the answer to "how will the Batman and Robin collections handle this series's ever-changing title" is, at least for the moment, to remain Batman and Robin. If you want to draw your own conclusions what that says for the future of this title, feel free. I'm just glad Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason are still rocking and rolling on this title (perhaps my favorite writer/artist mash-up); looking forward to this one.
• Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 4 – The Wrath HC
My shameful secret of the day is that I still have not read a single issue of Chew by John Layman, but I'll get there one day, I promise. In the meantime, Detective Comics's relative unimportance among the Bat-titles has moved it toward the bottom of my reading list despite Layman's presence, though I'll probably pick up this and Vol. 3: Emperor Penguin sooner or later; I'm interested to read the "issue #900 celebration" story collected here, if nothing else.
• Catwoman Vol. 4: Gotham Underground TP
New readers may not remember Frank Tieri's Gotham Underground mini-series from a couple years back; not a bad story necessarily, but it was meant to tie into Salvation Run, which was itself meant to tie in to Countdown to Final Crisis, all of which essentially fell apart. So because of the bad connotations, I'd personally hesitate before I called a new title "Gotham Underground," but that's just me.
Catwoman is another one that's fallen toward the bottom of my reading list, again because it really doesn't forward the overall Bat-story and also because Ann Nocenti's writing style hasn't quite worked for me yet. At the same time, this is the trade that introduces the popular Joker's Daughter character (I'm not sure if this character is popular because of her intrinsic worth or due to having "Joker" in the name right after Death of the Family and some short printing of the Villains Month issue causing undue speculation), so I'll probably check it out at some point to be "in the know." Includes said Villains Month issue, naturally, but excludes issue #25, a Zero Year issue by Layman (hopefully to be collected in some sort of Zero Year tie-ins collection).
• Green Lantern: Lights Out HC
The latest multi-title crossover collection, the issues of which (depending on your source) can also be found in the individual Green Lantern, Corps, New Guardians, and Red Lanterns titles. Includes the Villains Month Relic issue, but then again so does Green Lantern Vol. 4: Dark Days.
• Movement Vol. 1: Class Warfare TP
I've not read an issue of Gail Simone's The Movement and I don't mean to pre-judge (obviously I like Simone's work in general), but from what I understand the series isn't selling well, and Green Team, launched at the same time, has already been canceled. All of which is to say that, though this volume collects issues #1-8, I wouldn't be surprised if the volume was re-solicited to include issues #1-12, let's say.
• Red Lanterns Vol. 4: Blood Brothers TP
Surprisingly, Red Lanterns Vol. 4 -- the "Lights Out" tie-in volume -- also includes Green Lantern Annual #2 (the "Lights Out" conclusion), the same as Green Lantern Vol. 4 and the Green Lantern: Lights Out collection. I guess this is good if you're not reading the other Green Lantern titles, as it gives you an end to the story whereas the individual tie-in volumes to Trinity War, H'el on Earth, Culling, etc. just included whichever of the series' issues tied-in, reading experience notwithstanding. At the same time, like the Death of the Family collections, at some point when you've had Batman #17 in four different collections, you start to get tired of encountering it (and further, I think said conclusion begins to lose some of its impact).
• Showcase Presents: Super Friends Vol. 1 TP
Last but not least, someone with a better memory than mine can say for sure, but I believe this Showcase Presents book was solicited and then canceled for resolicitation back in 2009, and now here it is five years later. To be resolicited, indeed!
That's what I'm reading. But hey, what are you reading?