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

Quite a bit of news in DC's March 2015 comics solicitations (which came out simultaneous with their April/May 2015 hardcover and trade paperback collections solicitations), most notably the cancellation of thirteen different titles. Some of these hurt -- Swamp Thing and Batwoman, specifically -- though in each case I can see how the titles have outlived their usefulness or lessened in impact under new creative teams. I'm curious to see just how many of DC's replacement titles in a couple months are "franchise" titles, given that the Aquaman spin-off Aquaman and the Others went under, plus almost all the Green Lantern titles.

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?
Get the Collected Editions scoop before anyone else -- on Facebook!

14 comments:

  1. "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."

    I have that! I found it at a comic con a few years ago.

    I want to get the new one but I'm a bit worried they are going to leave out the introduction from the out of print version. DC has a stupid habit of cutting out extra features and introductions when they do reprints. It makes no sense to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do agree that if there was an introduction in the original, that introduction should be preserved for the new version, too. I can only imagine that's a piece by Marv Wolfman talking about the creation of Deathstroke, which would be worthy reading indeed.

      Maybe snap a shot of your copy of Full Cycle and post it on the Facebook page?

      Delete
    2. Will do, if the introduction is left out, I will scan it and post it. I had planned to scan it and maybe sell the book anyway? Happy to preserve these things! I just don't understand why DC has gotten rid of them so many times (see: Doctor Mid-Nite by Matt Wagner, Green Lantern/Green Arrow by Dennis O'Neal, etc, etc)

      Delete
  2. I'm thinking of getting the Deadshot: Bulletproof TPB, as well as Deadshot: Beginnings. Is one better than the other?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't speak to better or worse since I haven't read all the issues involved, but Bulletproof is a 2005 Deadshot miniseries that predicated by just a bit his involvement in Secret Six; Beginnings is a couple late 1970s-early 1980s appearances, plus a 1980s miniseries by John Ostrander, spinning off of Ostrander's use of Deadshot in the classic Suicide Squad. In my experience Ostrander's stories are usually solid and he wrote Deadshot well in Suicide Squad. I think the two volumes are probably different, but if you have the budget for both, they might be interesting in comparison. Let me know what you decide.

      Delete
  3. Only other book that got my attention was the third volume of FBP from Vertigo.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jae Lee was supposed to draw the entire 3-parter that closes out the third volume of Batman/Superman, but he bailed out after pencilling just the first part. Still, he should have been listed as one the artists on vol. 3.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Marvel: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=57818

    • Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Empire Vol. 1 TPB—Well, we finally have an answer to the major question of whether or not Marvel will republish Dark Horse’s comics. Said answer is a resounding yes with this massive collection of stories set between Episodes III and IV. Some of this may even still be canon.

    • Secret Wars I: Battleworld Box Set Slipcase HCs—Holy. Crap. This is a whole lot of comics, from the obvious—like the entire “Secret Wars II” crossover and “Beyond!”—and the not so obvious—like a hardcover of “Secret War”, which had nothing to do with any of this. It even includes all the issues where heroes randomly wander into and out of portals that take them to Battleworld.

    • Deadpool by Posehn and Duggan Vol. 2 HC—This collects the third and fourth trade. As you can probably tell from my reviews, I love this series, and I’m happy they’re continuing to give it the hardcover treatment.

    • Annihilation: Conquest Omnibus HC—Yep, saw this one coming since the announcement of its predecessor. This collects the first appearance of the Guardians of the Galaxy line-up that influenced the movie so expect it to fly off the shelves despite its price.

    • Superior Iron Man Vol. 1: Infamous HC—I was very skeptical of this turn of events and thought it would be ignored and retconned away immediately. So imagine my surprise when Tony turns up in “Time Runs Out” still inverted. I’ll probably end up reading this in paperback or on Comixology.

    • Secret Wars Activity Book Facsimile Collection—I’m sure this is a massive dose of nostalgia for those slightly older than me. This compilation of coloring and sticker books is also fully functional, so you can color it and put your stickers wherever you want to. I can only hope this leads to more reproductions of classic activity books.

    ReplyDelete
  6. • Avengers: Ultron Unbound TPB—While not the best Ultron story, it does serve as a prequel to “Ultron Unlimited” (the actual best Ultron story) by introducing Alkhema. The “Vision” mini-series collected here is notorious for a version of Ultron who is, for lack of a better term, the Vision’s surly, drunken father.

    • Avengers: Scarlet Witch by Abnett and Lanning TPB—There are some good stories here, but I had to chuckle a little bit at the mention of Red Lucy. That’s an issue-long flashback showing Wanda’s lineage down through Magneto… who just last week was revealed to not be her father. Kind of a bad confluence in timing there.

    • Skrulls Must Die (Skrull Kill Krew) TPB—This is a fantastic collection. Both “Skrull Kill Krew” titles were great, with the first one pretty much setting up “Secret Invasion” ten years later. Morrison and Millar were a great team; I wish they’d work together again.

    • Damage Control: The Complete Collection TPB—Yes! Yes! Yes! This is a very long-awaited collection, featuring some very early work from Dwayne McDuffie and Kyle Baker. It’s a satirical look at the people stuck cleaning up after superhero battles, providing a new perspective for everything from “Acts of Vengeance” to “World War Hulk”.

    • Deadpool Classic Companion TPB—When they call these hard-to-find appearances, they mean it; many of these comics are obscure and completely uncollected. (C’mon, Marvel, where’s our “Secret Defenders” trades? On second thought, maybe that’s unnecessary). This is a close-up look of Deadpool’s evolution into the mouthy merc we all know.

    • Hulk: Future Imperfect TPB—The Maestro finally gets his own collection. I’ve seen it hinted that Doc Green, the current incarnation of the Hulk in “Time Runs Out”, may be the Maestro before the events that drove him mad. Plus, Hulk vs. Giant Cockroaches At The End Of Time! (“Incredible Hulk: The End” is weird…)



    Dark Horse: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=57719

    • Grendel vs. the Shadow HC—I’ll save any longer comments for my eventual review, but in short, this was a great mini-series for both newcomers and longtime fans of both franchises. This is hopefully leading up to a larger “Grendel” revival.

    • Tomb Raider Vol. 2: Secrets and Lies TPB—The biggest drawback to the first “Tomb Raider” trade was its nature as a sequel to the 2013 game. With this arc, Gail Simone seems to have the room to create more inventive challenges.


    IDW: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=57845

    • The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Artist’s Edition HC—They’re just deliberately targeting me now with these Artist’s Editions. I’d really love to own this, but I can’t shell out what will eventually be $300+ for them.

    Image: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=57812

    • Nixon’s Pals HC—A parole officer for super-villains? Now that’s a neat concept. Apparently this was originally published ages ago but it’s new and intriguing to me.

    Valiant: http://valiantuniverse.com/2014/12/17/valiant-solicitations-for-march-2015-ninjak-1-imperium-2-divinity-2-x-o-manowar-34-dead-hand-part-1-and-more/

    • Armor Hunters Deluxe Edition HC—Okay, the entire eighteen-issue storyline plus extra “X-O Manowar” issues for $50? That’s an amazing value, and even though I own the basic arc in its own trade, I might have to double-dip.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Just preordered Deathstroke Assassins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, that's one ... :-) Keep 'em coming!

      Delete
  8. New Marvel Hachette catalog for most of 2015. I've never looked at this before, is it supposed to be comprehensive? I only ask because I see plenty of HC MMW volumes but not softcovers, which is what I've been collecting. hmmm.

    http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/12/25/new-epic-complete-omnibus-volumes-marvel-2015/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, Marvel discontinued the softcover Masterworks, and Warlock vol. 1 will be the last one. Much like the Essentials, this line has been essentially replaced by the Epic Collections, although the HC Masterworks will continue.

      Delete
    2. As far as the Masterworks go, there's currently a big shift in how many readers get their comics thanks to Marvel Unlimited. Big collections are usually display pieces like omnibuses, Absolutes, Adamantiums and so forth. The softcover Masterworks were stuck between the cheap collections (like the Epics) and the display collections.

      As for that catalog, it's only for May-August... which means that either the Kaminski/Hopgood Iron Man collection isn't coming out until the fall, or I'm going to have to smack someone at Marvel upside the head for not releasing said trade to coincide with the Hulkbuster's appearance in Avengers: AoU.

      Delete