DC Trade Solicitations for September 2014 - Green Arrow by Grell Vol. 2, Teen Titans: Earth One, JSA Omnibus Vol. 2, Gotham City Sirens, Batman/Superman

Friday, June 20, 2014

Last month DC solicited Martian Manhunter and Gordon of Gotham; this month in DC Comics's September 2014 hardcover and trade paperback collections solicitations, it's Green Arrow by Mike Grell and an almost-perfect JSA Omnibus Vol. 2. Every book won't please every fan, but I think the collections landscape -- especially as regards 1980s-2000s material -- is rosier than it's been for a while. Here's my picks for this month:

Green Arrow Vol. 2: Here There Be Dragons TP
Green Arrow Vol. 5: The Outsiders War TP

Among the collections I'm most excited about lately have been this new series of the 1980s Green Arrow by Mike Grell. I can't recommend enough pre-ordering this second one, which collects issue #7-12. Next volume (or so) would have Grell's take on Green Lantern Hal Jordan, but as with many series of this type, the publication of the next book is going to be contingent on how this one sells.

Also out this month, the next Green Arrow collection by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino, which is reported to collect issue #25 (the "Zero Year" issue) and the six-part "Outsiders War," issues #26-31.

JSA Omnibus Vol. 2 HC

DC says the second volume of the JSA Omnibus collects issues #26-81, JSA Annual #1, and JSA Secret Files #1. If the last one is a typo, and this actually contains JSA Secret Files #2 (Secret Files #1 is collected in the first omnibus), then I'll be satisfied.

I do acknowledge that so far (and this could change), the JSA Omnibus Vol. 2 doesn't include Hawkman #23-25, which was part of the "Black Reign" crossover; however, because DC has collected those issues in a Hawkman omnibus, I consider them "collected" (though that Hawkman Omnibus did also include the JSA issues).

It's different than the Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus, which seems to be lacking relevant Green Lantern Corps "Sinestro Corps War" issues -- those aren't available in any similar omnibus-type format, whereas the Hawkman issues are in their own omnibus that's arguably a companion volume to the JSA Omnibus anyway. I know this won't please everyone, but if the missing Hawkman issues turn out to be the JSA Omnibuses' biggest flaw, again, I'm satisfied.

UPDATE: In the comments, David Raid directs us to this Twitter exchange, where Jeff Boison, VP of DC collections, says the Hawkman issues will be included.

Gotham City Sirens Book One TP

This re-collection of the 2009 Paul Dini series caught my eye when DC announced it back in March because of its seeming randomness -- the resurrection from the dead of a book that essentially petered out shortly before Flashpoint. But there's lots of reasons for DC to trot this back out again (though I'm surprised it's not re-branded in some way, like "Harley Quinn: Gotham City Sirens"): Dini's presence, as well as artist Guillem March, and stories by a bunch of current DC writers -- Marc Andreyko, Tony Bedard, Scott Lobdell -- plus the aforementioned resurgent popularity of Harley Quinn. If DC wants to re-release Streets of Gotham or other books of that era, I'm all for it.

Teen Titans Earth One Vol. 1 HC
Teen Titans: A Celebration of 50 Years HC

I really like the concept of the Earth One books (even reviewed Superman: Earth One Vol. 1 live, way back when) and I expect good things from a graphic novel by Jeff Lemire, but I don't know that I'm as excited for this as I was for the Superman and Batman books. The Earth One Superman and Batman were still Superman and Batman, effectively; at the outset, Lemire's book looks more like an Elseworlds than a "hero just starting out" story. We'll see; no doubt I'll be picking it up at some point.

Also this month we have the hardcover Teen Titans: A Celebration of Fifty Years. At the outset this appears to include classic Bob Haney/Nick Cardy material, Marv Wolfman and George Perez, and then Geoff Johns and Mike McKone -- so, early Infinite Crisis-era Teen Titans material. I might be the only one, but I'm hoping there's a little space in this 400-page book for more esoteric material -- "Titans Hunt," Team Titans, the Deathstroke series, Arsenal's Titans, the Dan Jurgens "young Atom" Titans, and so on.

All-Star Western Vol. 5: Man Out of Time TP

I have tried and failed (and will try again) to really get in to Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray's All-Star Western. This volume, by design, will probably get a look from me eventually since it brings Jonah Hex into the present and also guest-stars Booster Gold. My sense is that Booster's appearance here is unrelated to any such in Futures End (I don't know, just guessing), which at the same time dampens my enthusiasm for it.

Aquaman Vol. 5: Sea of Storms HC

I haven't read a whit of Jeff Parker's Aquaman, but on the face of it I'm not sure how interested I am in Aquaman fighting characters of Greek mythology; seems to me that's taking Aquaman into Wonder Woman territory rather than charting his own path.

Batman/Superman Vol. 2: Endgame HC

Reason #244 it's best to be a trade-waiter: All the controversy over the out-of-order and late shipping of the different parts of the "First Contact" crossover don't matter since they're all together here. Collects Batman/Superman #5-9, Annual #1, and Worlds' Finest #20-21.

Batman and Robin Vol. 5: The Big Burn HC

Nothing I like more than a hardcover collection of Peter Tomasi/Patrick Gleason work. No doubt both writer and artist will do a stellar job with Two-Face, and I think I'll like this one better than the last volume since it's one long story instead of a collection of one-offs.

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 5 – Gothtopia HC

I do want to read the anniversary Detective Comics #27, but the "Gothtopia" crossover -- which hits Batgirl and Catwoman, too, and I'm surprised those issues aren't included here -- rubs me the wrong way. I mean, we all know whatever alternate reality is in the story is a hoax or a dream, right, and so that would seem to me the least interesting part of the story. Reminds me a bit of the "World Without Young Justice" crossover from the end of that series, that ran through the YJ, Impulse, Robin, and Superboy series; yeah, crossovers are fun, but if I want to read an Elseworlds, I'll read an Elseworlds.

Justice League 3000 Vol. 1: Yesterday Lives TP

Haven't heard much good coming out of the Justice League 3000 title since the original controversy over Kevin Maguire leaving the series. Seems to me "Justice League" in the title isn't enough, but rather this book is going to need to start tying in to the modern-day DC Universe sooner or later, or face the very troubles Legion of Super-Heroes had. And do I have it right that Justice League 3000 doesn't get a "Five Years Later" issue?

Trinity of Sin: Pandora Vol. 2 TP

The last trade of Trinity of Sin: Pandora, ending with issue #14. This book includes both Forever Evil and "Blight" tie-ins, plus I,Vampire's Andrew Bennett (at least it's going out with a bang).

Suicide Squad Vol. 5: Walled in TP

After the most recent collection of Mind MGMT, I'm even more eager to read Matt Kindt's run on Suicide Squad, even if it's limited to just this volume. Glad to see this collection should also include the Amanda Waller special by Jim Zub.

You know the drill ... Them's are my picks; what're yours?
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  1. Marvel: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=53490

    *Powers Vol. 1: Who Killed Retro Girl? TPB—I would get this… if I hadn’t just gotten the HC for eight bucks at Books-A-Million. (Your BAM’s clearance book section may vary.) I’m really intrigued to see if this holds up to its reputation; it should be on the review queue before the end of the year.

    *Miracleman Book 2: The Red King Syndrome HC—These hardcovers are still pretty expensive, but at least this one contains six issues for only $5 more than volume 1, which has four issues. Still waiting for Miracleman to actually appear in the Marvel Universe…

    *Young Avengers Vol. 2 Omnibus HC—One of the best books of 2013 all together in one hardcover. Knowing Gillen and McKelvie, this will likely be packed with some nice extras.

    *Deadpool and Cable Omnibus HC—Can you believe that ten years ago, the selling point of Cable and Deadpool was actually Cable? Now the reversal is so strong that Deadpool gets to be the first named. This was one of the first series I ever reviewed and it will go right next to the Joe Kelly Deadpool omnibus.

    *X-Men: Inferno Prologue HC—I’m kind of shocked that this wasn’t collected before. There’s a listing for a softcover version of this in December, splitting this omnibus like the others, so I’ll probably wait for that. It gives me hope for a new trade version of the Muir Island Saga.

    *Moon Knight Epic Collection: Bad Moon Rising TPB—Nicely timed to go with Ellis’ run, this looks like a pretty definitive collection of the early Moon Knight stories.

    *Moon Knight Vol. 1: From The Dead TPB—Speaking of Ellis’ run, this is one of the greatest books I’ve ever read. It’s a shame that Ellis and Shalvey are leaving after six issues, but that’s kind of what Ellis does these days, so I’m ready for it. Plus the incoming Wood/Smallwood team have said that they’re not changing the format.

    *Captain Marvel Vol. 1: Higher Further Faster More TPB—I really shouldn’t have read the solicit for this… not because it’s a bad book, but because it, like the Moon Knight solicit above, spoils some upcoming plot twists! This is what happens when you skip the solicits for the individual issues but still read the ones for the trades.

    *Deadly Hands of Kung Fu: Out of the Past TPB—While the main mini was panned, what’s notable here is that it’s reprinting some stories from the original 70s magazine. This likely means that some of the rights hurdles have been cleared; perhaps an Epic Collection is in order.

    *All-New Doop TPB—Goofy as all hell and featuring Kitty Pryde in an important role? I’m in.

    *All-New Ghost Rider: Engines of Hell TPB—This run has been receiving all sorts of accolades, so I’ll most likely check it out when it’s released. Tradd Moore’s art isn’t my favorite style, but I think it’ll look better on paper vs. Comixology’s guided reading setting.

    *Marvels Companion TPB—Forget all the other stuff mentioned in the solicit. This collects Ruins, the darkest timeline in Marvel history. Just reading the Wikipedia entry makes me get all depressed…

    *Deathlok the Demolisher TPB—The first season of “Agents of SHIELD” started in September of last year, so assuming that season 2 will premiere at the same time, this massive trade will be out at just the right time for readers to find out more about TV’s deadliest cyborg.

    *New Mutants/X-Force: Demon Bear TPB—On the one hand, if you buy a lot of Marvel trades, you’ve probably got something collected here. On the other hand, I like the idea of bringing together three stories of one of Marvel’s weirdest villainous entities.

  2. Dark Horse: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=53479

    *Aliens: Fire and Stone #1 and Prometheus Fire and Stone #1—Finally! Hopefully the new Predator and AVP titles will be launched soon.

    *Grendel Vs. The Shadow #1—SO HAPPY that this is three prestige-format books long. That’ll give Wagner more than enough room to do what he wants.

    *The Borgias HC—This could wind up being the most explicit book I review on CE. Manara is an artist I don’t think about a lot, but I’ve been wanting to review something from Jodorowski ever since seeing the excellent “Jodorowski’s Dune” documentary.

    *Serenity: Leaves on the Wind HC—I liked “Firefly” and thought “Serenity” was at least a decent film, and the price is right. I’m also happy to see the franchise actually moving forward instead of just doing all sorts of flashbacks.

    *Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle Volume 1 TP—JMS and Pete Woods are a great team to start with, and the concept—Skynet using a serial killer’s brain to program the Terminators—is actually something new. Plus it's likely the closest I'll ever get to Terminator crossing over with Virtuosity. Consider me intrigued.

    *Tomb Raider Vol. 1: Season of the Witch TP—After reinventing Red Sonja, can Gail Simone actually make Lara Croft a legitimately interesting character? I’m going to say yes. In fact I was so excited about this solicit that just this Wednesday, I scoured an LCS looking for it. Sorry for the confusion, long-haired employee at Past Present Future Comics in Lauderhill.

    *Vandroid TP—I’ve been looking forward to this since the concept was announced. It’s an 80s movie in comic book form, complete with rockin’ soundtrack.

    IDW: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=53506

    *Transformers: Phase One Omnibus—IDW’s Transformers have come a long way from their roots, but I actually don’t have these story arcs in trade format (I guess “Stormbringer” will go in the Phase 2 omnibus), so I might grab it.

    Image: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=53487

    *Egos, Vol. 1: Quintessence TPB—This sounds like fun, albeit a bit of a riff on “The Incredibles”.

  3. This second JSA omnibus is a case of cramming too much stuff in a single collection, to the point that there isn't even room for half of the "Black Reign" crossover.

    I think it would be more reasonable to end it with JSA #72 (the conclusion to the JSA/JSA arc, and the last issue before the books starts to heavily tie in to the build-up to Infinite Crisis), because then a third omnibus could collect JSA #73-87, Justice Society of America #1-26, Justice League of America #8-10 (parts 1, 3 and 5 of "The Lighning Saga") and the three Kingdom Come specials, wrapping up Johns' run.

    And if there were enough demand, they could even release a fourth omnibus collecting Justice Society of America #27-54, JSA All-Stars #1-18 and Justice League of America #46-48 (parts 1, 3 and 5 of "Dark Things"), ending the team's pre-reboot adventures.

    1. Plenty of complaints online about dialogue lost in the gutters in the first volume; paring down the contents might help with that.

      If we're going for pie-in-the-sky, I've always wanted to read the 1990s Len Strazewski/Mike Parobek Justice Society series.

  4. I wouldn't worry about the missing Hawkman issues in the second JSA Omnibus. Someone tweeted Jeff Boison, (Vice President, Publishing Planning & Collected Editions at DC Entertainment) about them and he replied that they would be in there.

    Brian O'Sullivan ‏@LifeOfBOS May 11
    @dandidio1 @jeff_boison I know the listing is provisional, but don't forget Hawkman #23-25 in the 2nd JSA Omni

    Jeff Boison ‏@jeff_boison
    @LifeOfBOS @dandidio1 they'll be in there. Fear not.

  5. For me, Hellblazer Vol 9, collecting previously uncollected stuff. I was wondering how long the recent reprint series would last, and I appreciate that it runs into Paul Jenkins'...run. I've heard lots of stuff about this. I basically know Paul Jenkins from his Peter Parker, Spider-Man and Spectacular Spider-Man, while most other people know him from Hellblazer. I guess this means that the reprinted trades are selling well, and I love 300+ page trades for the US$20 tag.

  6. I'm reading Aquaman right now and trust me Parker is making his own path. Hercules is only in two issues and his introduction also introduces some new villains for Aquaman. I think Parker has done a great job of picking up where Johns left off and weaving his own stories.

  7. If DC re-release the streets of Gotham It would be so awesome if they include the the manhunter co-feature that was supposed to be in the cancelled manhunter trade paperback 6.

    1. Skeptical this would ever happen, but I'd totally buy it.

  8. Actually, the Batman/Superman Endgame book is missing Worlds' Finest #19, which was billed as a prelude to First Contact for some reason, but is just as important as the rest of the numbered entries and is literally where the story starts. God *damn* DC just cannot get this thing right.