DC Trade Solicitations for October 2014 - Futures End: Five Years Later Omnibus, Simone's Batgirl ends, Superman Unchained, Identity Crisis Tenth Anniversary
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Not only does DC have six new series premiering in October, along with the launch of one more weekly series, but in trades we also see Gail Simone's last Batgirl trade, Jeff Lemire's last Animal Man trade, Ann Nocenti's last Catwoman trade, Scott Snyder and Jim Lee's first/last Superman Unchained trade, and Marc Andreyko's first Batwoman trade (which ties in to JH Williams and Hayden Blackman's last Batwoman trade). All this plus the Futures End: Five Years Later omnibus and "why do we need another Identity Crisis trade?" So belly up to the bar and I'll run down my picks:
• Futures End – Five Years Later Omnibus HC
I've soured a bit on these omnibus editions from DC; it's pretty cool to have, say, the entirety of DC One Million in one volume (still waiting on that Armageddon 2001 Omnibus, which I would buy immediately), but they are very heavy, and very unwieldy to sit and read. It remains to be seen, however, whether these "Five Years Later" issues will be collected with each series' individual trades or not. The "Villains Month" issues were not all collected except in the omnibus, but for most of those I figured that if it wasn't important enough to collect in a trade, it wasn't important enough for me to read.
Jury's still out on buying all the "Five Years Later" tie-in issues in one book, though; probably if DC would release a digital edition of these omnibuses, I might give it some additional thought.
• Batgirl Vol. 5: Deadline HC
Notable now that we know that this is indeed Gail Simone's last Batgirl collection. I'm hoping Gail's next "secret" project involves "six" characters ...
• Animal Man Vol. 5: Evolve Or Die! TP
Jeff Lemire's last Animal Man trade (going along with Gail Simone's last Batgirl trade), but I'm not taking it so hard given that Lemire is writing still writing Animal Man over in Justice League United.
• Catwoman Vol. 5: Race of Thieves TP
Collects issues #25 and #27-34, which might seem a little confusing, but issue #26 went with the "Gotham Underground" storyline, so it's in the previous volume. Here, issue #25 is the "Zero Year" tie-in, #27-28 are "Gothtopia" tie-ins, and then finally issues #29-33 or #34ish are the "Race of Outlaws" storyline. One of the perks of being a trade-waiter is that issue #25 now doesn't interrupt the previous storyline. Keeping with this month's theme, this is Ann Nocenti's final Catwoman trade.
• Superman – Action Comics Vol. 5: What Lies Beneath HC
What's most interesting in this collection of Action Comics #25-29 is that it also includes Secret Origins #1. I'm guessing this means the Superman origin story only, but I'll be curious to see if this keeps up and the Secret Origins stories end up in the individual characters' trades only, and not in dedicated Secret Origins collections.
• Batwoman Vol. 5: Webs TP
Webs collects Marc Andreyko's first issues on Batwoman (including a "Zero Year" tie-in) and also the Batwoman Annual #1, where Andreyko cleaned up some storylines left over from the previous team, JH Williams and Haden Blackman. I rather wish they'd included Batwoman Annual #1 with the old team's last trade, such to give a better sense of a completed story despite the goings-on behind the scenes, but maybe they wanted Vol. 4 to be the old team's alone.
• Superman Unchained Deluxe Edition HC
On various boards and such, I still see some confusion about this -- Superman Unchained Deluxe collects the entire 9-issue series, previously meant (perhaps) to be an ongoing around the Man of Steel movie, but "canceled" of sorts after nine issues when creators Scott Snyder and Jim Lee moved on to other projects. Still, I'm interested to read Snyder's take on Superman, and surely Jim Lee Superman art is nothing to sneeze at.
• Identity Crisis: Tenth Anniversary Edition HC
Brad Meltzer remains a big media name, but I'm befuddled by this one.
I have something of a love/hate relationship with Identity Crisis. I love the overall mystery, and I credit Identity Crisis with giving new life to a number of characters -- among them Deathstroke and Green Arrow -- in the lead-in to Green Lantern: Rebirth and the successful Infinite Crisis era of DC. Of course, at the same time Identity Crisis reflects some of the worse excesses of that era as well.
So, I acknowledge Identity Crisis as significant. But, I also acknowledge it as very much a product of its continuity moment, as opposed to something more timeless like Batman: Long Halloween or All-Star Superman.
Does Identity Crisis warrant a tenth-anniversary edition? Is this something anyone's marking, or is there a pent-up audience for this book waiting for a new edition? Obviously DC sees some money to be made here, but I'm surprised that there is.
• Batman Adventures Vol. 1 TP
It's not an anniversary for Batman: The Animated Series I don't think, but with Batman's 75th Anniversary, some new collectables, and this trade, it looks like the show is getting a renewed spotlight. Sure seems to me an animated-series digital comic, even with Paul Dini and Bruce Timm involved, would sell well.
• Tales of The Batman: Len Wein HC
Someone can let me know if there's notable issues in here, but I think it's auspicious to see a Batman volume spotlighting a writer rather than an artist. Again, I don't know the details of the stories exactly, but I imagine this trade jumps around less following a writer than some of the artist spotlight volumes that offer only parts of stories.
• Superman for All Seasons Deluxe Edition HC
One of my favorite Superman stories, and it's maybe a little astounding that it didn't have a deluxe edition before now. Surely DC could find some additional Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale material enough to make an Absolute for this one, no?
That's what I'm (maybe) getting, but what are you getting? Favorite trades for this month I might've left out or overlooked?