DC Trade Solicitations for April/May 2015 - Deathstroke by Wolfman, post-Crisis Superman vs. Darkseid, Batman: Earth One Vol. 2, Deluxe Dial H
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Notable how many new series like Klarion, Infinity Man, Secret Origins, and Arkham Manor are also going; DC's not releasing new title "waves" any more, but I'm curious what if any titles launched after the original New 52 launch still survive other than newer titles like Harley Quinn, Justice League United, and the like. By my count, not many, if at all, though I'm hopeful that the rumored diversity of writers and artists on the new line might help bolster things.
Anyway, let's look at the trades:
• Deathstroke, the Terminator Vol. 1: Assassins TP
Three years ago DC Comics solicited a Deathstroke, the Terminator: Assassins trade, ahead of the New 52 relaunch, only to then cancel it before publication. Well, surely meant as a companion to the new New 52 (All-New New52 NOW?) Deathstroke series, I'm thrilled to see this back on the schedule.
Assassins collects issues #1-9 of the Marv Wolfman Deathstroke series, plus the lead-in, New Titans #70. Issues #1-5 were previously collected as Deathstroke, the Terminator: Full Cycle. That book is long out of print -- I've never seen a copy. Deathstroke was a good spy/espionage title, often dealing with international missions, just violent and mature enough to be "Deathstroke," but under Wolfman's pen the book lacks the mindless carnage that has seeped into Deathstroke's later appearances. Titans fans, Suicide Squad fans, Deathstroke fans, I implore you to pre-order this one so DC collects more of the series (and I'm still waiting on that Titans Hunt collection).
• Deadshot: Bulletproof TP
Though I feel less passionately about this collection of the 2005 Deadshot miniseries by Christos Gage, though DC soliciting a Deathstroke and Deadshot trade in the same month amuses me -- Assassins Month! I don't mind Deadshot getting some trade love, though, and I know this miniseries introduces some elements that continued into Deadshot's pre-Flashpoint Secret Six appearances.
• Batgirl Vol. 1: Burnside HC
It drives me absolutely Bat-bonkers that DC is re-numbering this trade as volume one in the series when it isn't being re-numbered in the title itself. I pity the retailer with a customer who wants to start at the beginning -- "You mean the beginning-beginning or the most recent beginning?" I can understand it somewhat with Teen Titans and Suicide Squad (though I rather wish those books had continued their previous numbering ... as DC allowed Batgirl to do), but this ... Bat-bonkers, people.
The trade includes both the much-lauded issue #35 and at the same time the controversial issue #37.
• Batman – Detective Comics Vol. 6: Icarus HC
I've been enjoying lately John Layman's run on Detective Comics, but Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul are a powerhouse team and I'm curious to see their take on a DC hero other than Flash (Francis Manapul variant cover month, anyone?). The trade includes issues #30-34 plus the Annual #3.
• Batman Earth One Vol. 2 HC
Jeff Lemire recently knocked Teen Titans: Earth One out of the park, so my excitement about Earth One is high right now, especially with Superman: Earth One Vol. 3 coming up soon. Geoff Johns and Gary Frank did a fine job with Batman: Earth One Vol. 1, and the Vol. 2 solicitations mention Killer Croc, whom I don't remember from the first volume, so I'm curious to see where this goes.
• Batman/Superman Vol. 3: Second Chance HC
I've enjoyed Greg Pak's work on this title, but there's a whole lot of artists listed for it, some of whom I don't favor and none of whom are original series artist Jae Lee, so I'm a little concerned about this one. It does include the Futures End tie in issue.
• Dial H Deluxe Edition HC
Much gnashing of the teeth can be done about the fact that this deluxe edition of the New 52 Dial H series doesn't include the Villains' Month "Dial E for Evil" one-shot. I can say, having read the whole series including the one-shot, you're not missing all that much without "Dial E" and in fact, the book might even read better. Some stories in this one are better than others, but it contains one of the best single issues I've ever read.
I believe many of us would like to see deluxe editions of the New 52 titles like this, though I imagine this one earns the format largely because of writer China Mieville.
• Gotham City Sirens Book Two TP
A pleasant surprise that DC has finished their re-collection of Gotham City Sirens in just two volumes. This one ends the series shortly before the New 52 relaunch, and includes the "Judgment on Gotham" crossover tie-in issue that also involved the Azrael series of that time.
• Green Arrow Vol. 6: Broken TP
I am sorry to see Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino leaving the Green Arrow title (I sincerely hope DC keeps Sorrentino). Despite some confusing solicitations, this is their last volume, not the first volume of the new Arrow-centric team. This trade's a bit on the short side, as some previous Green Arrow collections have been around team-changes, with just three regular issues plus the Futures End tie in and a story from the (newly canceled) Secret Origins.
• Green Lantern Vol. 6: The Life Equation HC
Curiously, this is a bunch of parts of the "Green Lantern: Godhead" crossover, but supposedly without the New Gods: Godhead issue that kicked it off. DC does have a pattern lately of collecting individual series's parts of crossovers in their own books, but usually with the revelant lead-ins; I'd be surprised if New Gods: Godhead wasn't in here, and I can't quite figure where else it might be collected instead.
• Justice League 3000 Vol. 2: The Camelot War TP
I'm still not sure what to make of Justice League 3000; if the title's world turns out to be one of the Convergence bottle earths, that'll make more sense. This is the one with Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Fire, and Ice, but which continuity's version of those characters makes all the difference.
• Justice Society of America: A Celebration of 75 Years HC
Remains to be seen what's in here, though the fact that the Justice Society is also turning 75 made me realize that all these Batman, Superman, Robin, Flash, etc. anniversaries are all of their Golden Age iterations, even though largely what we're celebrating are their Silver Age incarnations. The Justice Society book is therefore a little different in that it's actually celebrating the team's inception, more or less, as opposed to what came after.
• Superman vs. Darkseid TP
I adore this collection probably for about the same reason a lot of people aren't going to like it. It appears, first of all, to be an almost entirely post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, pre-Flashpoint trade (aside from the Villains' Month story). The real meat of the trade is a three-part Legends tie-in, wonderful as it is to fans of that era but perhaps dated to everyone else.
Then we have the Superman vs. Darkseid: Apokolips Now from late in the Jeph Loeb/Mark Schultz/Doug Mahnke Superman era (the actual book has art by Mike McKone), which is equally weird and of its time, and includes the time-lost Silver Age Kara Zor-El side-by-side with Linda Danvers in a tie to the end of Peter David's Supergirl. And then we have just two issues from the six-part Superman/Batman: Supergirl, and then two issues from Countdown to Final Crisis (fer gosh sakes) and just one issue from Death of the New Gods, both panned in their own rights.
So I think we can conclude from all that that this collection won't be great necessarily (and the absence of original Jack Kirby material is somewhat startling), but at the same time it has a certain charm for those of us who sat through these stories the first time.
One last time for 2014, you know what I'm thinking of buying ... what's on your wishlist for this month?