DC Trade Solicitations for December 2014 - Superman: Earth One, Showcase Presents: Blue Beetle, Futures' End tie-ins

Friday, September 19, 2014

December 2014 looks like a good month for Superman fans judging by DC Comics's hardcover and trade paperback collections solicitations, between Superman: Earth One Vol. 3 and the one I'm most excited about, the Superman: Power Within collection of "Triangle Title" stories.

Also, can we read something in the tea leaves of the books that include their Futures' End tie-in issues, one of my favorite JLA storylines, and some pesky double-collected issues. Let's take a look.

Superman: The Power Within TP

I've had my eye on this one for a while now, and I'm glad to find it's turned out exactly as I hoped. As an ardent fan of the "Triangle Title" era of Superman, one big hole in my collection is the Action Comics Weekly Superman stories, which were in continuity and referenced at least one later on in the Superman books; I've been wanting to read these for a while and I'm happy that now I can.

However, the big headline for me is not that Power Within collects the Action Comics Weekly stories, but that it collects the three-part "Sinbad Contract" story from Superman #48, Adventures of Superman #471, and Action Comics #658. Setting aside that this story showcases a normal, loving Middle Eastern family even at a time before diversity was a big thing in comics, it's also a fantastic, fantastic Superman vs. Lex Luthor story, of the very kind that made the Triangle Titles era so great -- Luthor scheming, innocents caught in the middle, the works. Even though this was essentially a fill-in story not by the regular Super-team, I still recall it fitting seamlessly.

Matter of fact, I can't think of a better way to spend an afternoon than with Dark Knight Over Metropolis, "Sinbad Contract," and then the Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite trade that collects the stories that immediately followed this one. That's some good reading.

Connective tissue in all of this is art by Curt Swan, but personally, I just love seeing some old favorites get collected. Highly recommended, everyone.

Superman Vol. 5: Under Fire HC
Superman: Krypton Returns HC

This is a pretty good month as far as Superman collections go. Superman Vol. 5 culminates Scott Lobdell's run on the title before Geoff Johns takes over. Between Superman Vol. 5 and the Superboy and Supergirl Vol. 4s, most of what's in the Superman: Krypton Returns collection is also collected in the individual volumes -- except for Action Comics Annual #2 and Superman #23.3: H'el. My hope is that these issues simply haven't been listed, not that they won't be collected (presumably in Superman Vol. 5); if Krypton Returns has six issues you can get elsewhere and just two issues you can't, that would obviously be the cause of some consternation.

Superman: Earth One Vol. 3 HC

Not to mention, Superman: Earth One Vol. 3. J. Michael Straczynski's Superman: Earth One books are sometimes controversial, always interesting, and I have a soft spot for this series that launched the Earth One line. I'll be picking this up for sure.

Birds of Prey Vol. 5: Soul Crisis TP
Sinestro Vol. 1: The Demon Within TP
Superboy Vol. 5: Paradox TP
Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger Vol. 3: The Crack in Creation TP

Submitted for your consideration: The Birds of Prey and Superboy Vol. 5s and Phantom Stranger Vol. 3 are each the final collection of each series. All three books include the Futures' End tie-in issue. Sinestro Vol. 1 also includes that book's Futures' End tie-in. Does this mean bad things for the Sinestro book?

I am glad to see a couple of Futures' End tie-ins popping up already. I hope this is a sign those issues will be collected more regularly than the Villains Month issues were.

The Phantom Stranger trade collects, near as I can tell, parts 3, 7, 11, and 15 of the "Forever Evil: Blight" crossover.

Green Lantern Corps Vol. 5: Uprising TP

It appears as though Green Lantern Vol. 5: Test of Wills includes Green Lantern #27-34 and Green Lantern Corps #31-33, and the Corps volume includes Corps #28-34, Annual #2, and Green Lantern #31-33. If that holds up, it's five issues of Green Lantern not in Corps, and four issues of Corps not in Green Lantern, which is better than some other crossover collections we've seen. Unfortunately I think I just spoiled for myself Green Lantern Vol. 4's shocking ending.

JLA Vol. 6 TP

My all-time favorite storyline from JLA is "Rock of Ages" (leaving aside some of Grant Morrison's great one-off and two-off JLA stories). Set "Rock of Ages" aside, and my second-favorite might very well be Joe Kelly's Aquaman epic "The Obsidian Age," collected here in it's entirety. Justice Leagues present and (very) past, time travel shenanigans, some twists worthy of the Morrison run on JLA, and Doug Mahnke sharing art duties. Even if you don't have the other expanded JLA volumes, I think this one is going to read just fine on its own.

Showcase Presents: Blue Beetle TP

Even as I'm not thrilled with the black and white format for these, collecting the entire 1980s Blue Beetle series in one book is right in my wheelhouse. I'll be eyeing that Blue Devil collection too, though I still want to see books like Infinity Inc. in color and with premium paper.

Aquaman and the Others Vol. 1: Legacy of Gold TP

Very, very glad to see DC including the Aquaman #20 issue by John Ostrander here that was skipped in the main Aquaman collections.

Flash Vol. 5: History Lessons TP

I was thinking this was the volume that reintroduces Wally West, and then I was thinking it was a bit strange not to see that more prominently in the solicitation copy, but it's Vol. 6, not Vol. 5. The book switches to paperback, which surprises me with the upcoming TV series, but maybe a paperback would be more accessible to non-comics TV fans than a hardcover.

Supergirl Vol. 5: Red Daughter of Krypton TP

I think Supergirl as a Red Lantern is a pretty interesting idea, actually, and I'll be curious to read this one. Also includes Green Lantern #28, which we find in the Green Lantern Vol. 5 collection, and Red Lanterns #28-29, naturally.

The last solicitation month of 2014. What are you buying? (Superman: The Power Within!)
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21 comments:

  1. Marvel: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=55554

    *Avengers by Busiek and Perez Vol. 1 HC—It’s about time! This should have come out to tie into Avengers, but they were still putting out the newer softcovers. That’s all in the past now. Collected in this tarantula-smasher are some of the best “Avengers” stories ever told including “Ultron Unlimited” and “Avengers Forever”. Since I have the softcovers I won’t be getting this, but I’ll likely review the arcs contained within.

    *The Avengers [Classic] Volume 2 Omnibus—Speaking of omnibuses and Ultron, this book covers a lot of early 70s Avengers, including the Vision joining the team. If you’re into prestige editions then this is probably worth looking into, but it will likely be collected in an Epic Collection (or two) next year for half the price.

    *Death of Wolverine HC—Marvel has been marketing this for so long and the jokes about how long Logan’s death will actually last are so numerous that I wrote this off. But Charles Soule has received a lot of acclaim for this story so I’ll likely check it out, albeit when the softcover drops next April (-ish).

    *Avengers: Time Runs Out Vol. 1 Premiere HC—Wow, they’re getting to Valiant levels of being able to get the trades solicited just as the issues come out. I really wish Marvel was going more in Hickman’s direction than Remender’s, but for now I’ll enjoy the unfolding story of incursions, Cabals and eight-month leaps.

    *Marvel Masterworks: Warlock Vol. 1 HC—The earlier stories of Adam Warlock are a bit different from his better-known turn as Thanos’ greatest opponent, but they’re still very interesting. And what do you know, this is coming out when “Guardians of the Galaxy” arrives on DVD, and Adam’s cocoon was a major Easter egg in the Collector’s home…

    *Iron Man Epic Collection: Stark Wars TPB—I like that Marvel is actually calling this arc by its real name, but “Stark Wars” has been called the “Armor Wars” so long that readers may not know what this is. It’s still probably the best Iron Man story ever told, and this time it has some extra context and armor debuts. If you don’t have the “Armor Wars” and “Armor Wars Prelude” trades, put this on your wish list.

    *Magneto Vol. 2: Reversals TPB—Magneto vs. the Red Skull, round 2! This is the one time when I really wished they would put a classic issue into a trade, in this case their classic brawl in “Captain America” during “Acts of Vengeance”. It’s the one “Axis” prelude trade I’ve been really interested in so far and I want to see the tone it sets.

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  2. Dark Horse: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=55484

    *The Complete Elf Quest Vol. 2 TPB—Wait, when was volume 1 solicited? I totally missed that… I’ve never really read “Elf Quest” due to a lack of existing trades, but I’ll at least flip through the first omnibus to see if it’s worth getting.

    *Seraphim: 266613336 Wings TPB—This is a manga from Mamoru Oshii and the late Satoshi Kon, so I can expect robotics, mind games, ruminations on the human condition, and since Oshii is involved, quite a bit of nudity (the protagonist of his “Ghost in the Shell” runs around essentially naked a lot).



    IDW: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=55567

    *John Romita [Senior]’s Amazing Spider-Man Artifact Edition HC—The first appearances of the Rhino, the Shocker and the Kingpin are all available in oversized process art form, along with perhaps the most famous non-violent panel in comics: “Face it, Tiger—you just hit the Jackpot”. This would be a great gift for any Spider-Man fan.

    *Transformers vs. GI Joe Vol. 1 TPB—While “More Than Meets The Eye” may be the best comic in the TF/GI Joe franchise, this is a very close second. It hit the fandom like an explosion, with some unable to get past Tom Scioli’s unusual Kirby-homage art style. This is also the most alien that I’ve ever seen the Transformers portrayed.

    *Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye Volume 6 TPB—I read the last issue collected here about two hours before I wrote up my solicits report, so the shock of its ending is still with me. Your eyes don’t deceive you: Megatron is an Autobot. (That’s not the shock ending; it was revealed before “Dark Cybertron” was even over.) How that happened and other aftershocks of “Dark Cybertron” unfold in this trade.



    Image: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=55551

    *Powers Scriptbook TPB—Hey, I can finally make the “This couldn’t be more than ten pages long” joke I always wanted to make about the “Ultimate Spider-Man” Scriptbook. But having read the first trade of “Powers” I can say that Bendis gets some flack unfairly. Now that the television series is set to debut soon, you can expect a lot more “Powers” material to come down the line.

    *White Like She TPB—I’ve never heard of this book but the solicit makes it sound interesting, with elements of Blaxploitation and mind-swapping amongst others. Are there any Bob Fingerman fans out there in the readership who could sway me?



    Valiant: http://www.comicvine.com/articles/valiant-december-2014-solicitations/1100-149866/

    *Archer and Armstrong Vol. 6 TPB—This is (as far as I can tell) the last arc of the title as we know it before “The Delinquents” and Fred Van Lente’s departure from the title. It’s an extremely hectic story that I think I need to re-read to make sure I understood it, but Van Lente and Pere Perez still delivered no matter the plotting.

    *Armor Hunters TPBs—I’m a bad Valiant fan… I haven’t been following the “Armor Hunters” arc, though mostly for financial reasons. Luckily the $14.99 price point is still in place so it won’t be hard to catch up.

    *Unity #13—This is just an aside, but the idea that “Unity” will keep moving members in and out is reinforced by bringing in Zephyr from “Harbinger”. It’s just about the last person you’d expect… which means that Matt Kindt has something cool planned. Even the cover points out how weird it is to have a happy overweight teenage girl who can fly a la the Blimp from “The Inferior Five” amongst the world’s deadliest and toughest superheroes.

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    1. I'm slightly annoyed with the Armor Hunters volumes of Harbinger and Bloodshot because they're 3 issues plus a reprint of an old issue (#0 for Bloodshot, and Harbinger Wars #1 for Harbinger), both of which I already own in other trades. Otherwise, my understanding is that not only is Armor Hunters great, but the tie-in comics are really strong as well.

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    2. I don't think I'm off base assuming that there will be an Armor Hunters omnibus and/or hardcovers like they did with Harbinger Wars. It might be worth waiting for those.

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  3. I was really flabbergasted (one of the appropriate times to use that word) to see the Blue Beetle Showcase among the solicits, because I had always assumed that the audience wasn't there for it.

    So either they've gotten enough feedback to warrant it or they're attempting to drum up excitement for Ted Kord (perhaps there are big plans for him?). Either way, the fact that we're getting this means we're all winners here.

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    1. Except for those of us who'd prefer to see this material in color; I'm glad for the book but I don't think it's ideal (and the series isn't available digital). My guess, though, is big plans for Ted Kord -- I won't spoil it for those not in the know, but he's appearing in at least two places.

      As I've said before, what concerns me about the Showcase Presents is that next we're going to get books like Infinity Inc. in that format as a compromise, when I'd as soon have seen that in color.

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  4. After collecting the Superman stories from Action Comics Weekly, it would be nice to see another trade with the Green Lantern stories by Jim Owsley and Peter David.

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    1. Any other Action Comics Weekly stories of note besides the Superman and Green Lantern ones? Also, I thought whatever collection that included the GL Action Comics stories collected them all?

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    2. In issues #611-614, I believe, is the story where Holly Robinson originally died. Ed Brubaker didn't even know this story existed, and he poked fun at Holly's resurrection in Catwoman Secret Files.

      Mindy Newell had a good grasp on Holly's character. They should do a trade with Action 611-614 and her 1989 Catwoman miniseries.

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  5. Deadman, Blackhawk, Wild Dog, Secret Six, Black Canary, Nightwing, Phantom Stranger... I haven´t read those other stories, but I'd prefer a collection just for the Green Lantern ones. I think there're no link between them, so why including them all together?

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    1. No, I wouldn't say collect them all together (or at least, leave the self-contained GL ones together). I just thought all the GL ones had already been collected.

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    2. Sorry, I didn´t got it. No, I think those stories hadn´t been collected yet. There are so many Green Lantern runs uncollected... And the last Showcase Presents Green Lantern volume (the fifth) was released in 2011...

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  6. And still no Superman: Man of Steel Vol. 9 by John Byrne. DC, seriously, get your act together. It's the last of the Byrne trades. What could possibly be the hold up on it?

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    1. I still think the answer is "Supergirl Saga." After all is said and done, I venture it's too controversial for trade. Love to be wrong about it, of course.

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    2. With the announcement of a "Supergirl" show over at CBS, might we be seeing this soon, though?

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    3. Being the introduction of the protoplasmic Supergirl, my guess is DC would instead lean toward the Jeph Loeb origin as a tie-in (with accompanying animated movie) or else new/old New 52 material.

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  7. Confused Batman9/22/2014 02:21:00 AM

    I apologize hijacking this comment thread, but could you help me out with this?:
    ===========

    Batman Vol. 6 (The New 52)
    Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo
    On Sale Date: May 5, 2015
    $24.99 USD
    192 pages
    Hardcover
    Comics & Graphic Novels / Superheroes
    9781401252304, 1401252303

    Summary: In the wake of the death of his son Damian, Batman is in danger of losing his humanity. However, the foes of this grief-ridden Dark Knight mean to strike him when he’s at his weakest. Has Batman’s worst foe become…Bruce Wayne?
    Plus, three pivotal chapters from the epic ZERO YEAR storyline! From the critically acclaimed, New York Times #1 best-selling creative team of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo comes the next genre-defining graphic novel in their monumental run.
    Collects BATMAN #0, #18-20, #28 and BATMAN ANNUAL #2.


    ===========

    What are these three pivotal chapters from Zero Year? All of Zero Year from Batman-proper has been collected in Vol 4 and 5.

    #0 is the origins issue all the titles were forced to do. Snyder says it is a "quiet" tie in to Zero Year since it was published before Death of the Family.
    #18 is part of the Requiem stuff, with backup featuring Harper.
    #19-20 is a small Clayface arc with backups featuring Superman relating to Requiem.
    #28 is the Batman Eternal preview
    Annual #2 is a Zero Year tie in, but only tenuously tied in and it was mostly written by Bennett, not Snyder. I guess since it features Batman, it's better to put it here than with the "DC Comics: Zero Year" tie in trade?

    #0 is 34 pages, Annual #2 is 38 pages... so are those two issues somehow supposed to subdivide into three chapters? Or am I missing what this third Zero Year Chapter is supposed to be? Batman #0 supposedly ties in to what Detective and Dark Knight did their #0 issues. Are those part of the Zero Year tie ins?

    If these issues/chapters mattered for Zero Year, why weren't they inserted into the other two Zero Year trades chronologically?

    I'm quite lost at what this collection attempting to do, other than just existing for completionists.

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    1. Yeah, they might have exaggerated when they said it collects three "pivotal" Zero Year chapters, but it's still a collection of material that's mostly written by Snyder and includes 3 issues drawn by Capullo, so I don't think completists will be the only ones interested in it.

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    2. Let's not knock things existing just for completionists. :-) But, my guess is your answer here is that the solicitation simply mis-represents the contents of the trade (that there will not be "three pivotal chapters" of Zero Year collected here). This is very often the case when we talk about early solicits; they get a little more realistic when DC actually, finally solicits the books for good just before pre-order time, but even then sometimes it's not until the book comes out that everything's straight. See for instance Superman: Power Within above, which was said to contain a couple different issues previously than what they say it collects now.

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    3. Issue #0 is kind of like a teaser trailer for Zero Year - it introduces the idea of the Red Hood Gang, of Bruce having different identities before becoming Batman, the Gang's targeting of Bruce Wayne, and Bruce's relationship with Gordon. It's not an issue that slots easily into the Zero Year story proper, but it's kind of like a test pilot for the storyline.

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  8. I'm slightly annoyed with Flash's shift from hardcover books to softcover. It's going to look a bit wonky on my bookshelf.

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