DC Trade Solicitations for May/June 2015 - Superdoom, Batman: Hunt for Robin, Arkham: Riddler, Earth 2: World's End, JLA Vol. 7

Friday, January 23, 2015

Obviously the big draw in DC Comics's April 2015 (May/June hardcover and trade paperback collections solicitations) is the start of the two-month Convergence event (if you missed my "What to read before Convergence" guides, you can find those at the link). I'm excited for Convergence, but I wonder if I'll be as excited once it actually comes around (and then, even later, when it's collected in trade). Right now, I think part of the intrigue, aside from seeing these lost characters again, is wondering how it will all end up and what happens next. Talking about solicitations, however, we're going to know "what's next" well before we crack the pages of Convergence; to that end, probably the time of most excitement for Convergence is right here and now. Probably this is a difficulty with the whole comics solicitations cycle in general; very often we already know the end of the story before we start reading.

Case in point is some of this month's trades -- if you're like me, you already know how Batman and Robin: The Hunt for Robin turns out, what event Superdoom teases, who appears in Flash: Out of Time, etc. This doesn't dampen my enthusiasm for reading any of these books, though I wonder if I'd have ended up enjoying them more if I didn't know what was what. Anyway, here's today's contestants:

Batman and Robin Vol. 6: The Hunt for Robin HC

For me, Damian Wayne's sensationalized death somewhat cheapened the character for me, but his potential resurrection would seem to cheapen his death, so I guess I'm just determined not to be happy. It seems like a long way around for the Batman and Robin title to take nearly a year to undo Batman, Inc. and then continue telling its own stories -- can't help but think of that as kind of wheel-spinning -- but I have consistently liked Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason's work, so I imagine when I get right down to it, I'll like what they do here, too. This collects issues #29-34 plus the Robin Rises: Omega one-shot.

Batman: Arkham – The Riddler TP

These stories do not particularly take place in Arkham Asylum, so one assumes here that "Arkham" in the title is meant to be a call out to the video game fans. That's an interesting (and perhaps unlikely) market for what's largely Golden and Silver Age stories, but I am intrigued by DC using collections strategies that usually go with movies (see the Superman vs. Zod collection) now for video games.

The older stories in this book do include the Riddler's first appearance. Notable are the exquisite Paul Dini stories from his short Detective Comics run. And the book also includes Scott Snyder's Villain's Month Riddler story, Batman #23.2, which has enough connection to Zero Year that I'm surprised this is the only place DC is collecting it.

Superman: Action Comics Vol. 6: Superdoom HC

I just read the Green Lantern: Lights Out crossover by reading each title's individual trade on its own, which ultimately didn't serve the latter parts in the latter series very well. My understanding about the Superman: Doomed crossover is that it was pretty structured, such that I'm skeptical about reading just the Action Comics parts on their own (Action Comics #30-35 being a prelude and then part one of a couple different sub-stories). Also the Superman: Doomed one-shots aren't collected here, making me a little worried where and if they'll turn up.

The Flash Vol. 6: Out of Time HC

If you need one more example of the Flash TV show's breakout strength, that the book remained in hardcover with the new team is it. I wasn't bowled over by Van Jensen and Robert Venditti's Green Lantern Corps, so I have some apprehension about what they'll do on Flash (I'm overdue to read their first collection), but of course I won't miss this one given who it introduces (it's a curious decision DC makes not to use the character's name in the marketing copy).

Earth 2: World’s End Vol. 1 TP

Surprisingly, the first Earth 2: World's End volume only collects issues #1-11 (so says the solicitations), when the first Futures End volume collects issues #0-17 and the first Batman Eternal volume has issues #1-21. I guess starting a little later, Earth 2 has less ground to cover to fill a couple volumes, and it is about $10 cheaper per volume than the others. But, given that we know per Batman Eternal that DC can squeeze about double the amount of issues into a trade, I'd have preferred they just collected all of Earth 2: World's End at once.

JLA Vol. 7 TP

Some of my favorite stories from JLA were collected in the previous volume, Joe Kelly's Obsidian Age storyline. In Vol. 7, though, notably, I think Kelly starts taking more chances, with the Batman/Wonder Woman romance, some politically-charged storylines, Martian Manhunter seemingly going rogue, and so on. If you liked the last one, I recommend this one too.

Issues #91-93 are by Dennis O'Neil, beginning the rotating creative teams era of JLA. Those three issues have never before been collected, but the next story, "Tenth Circle" by John Byrne and Chris Claremont, has been collected, as have most of the issues until the series end at #125. Given the lack of a consistent team, and that these remaining issues aren't as well regarded, I wonder if this might not be the last big JLA collection.

JSA Omnibus Vol. 3 HC

I do appreciate DC going all in with these JSA Omnibus collections, though these last issues, including the very long "Thy Kingdom Come" story, are some of my least favorite. If I bought Vols. 1 and 2, I might not buy Vol. 3.

Batman Adventures Vol. 2 TP

I'd have overlooked this one entirely, except that DC points out it includes Harley Quinn's first comics appearance. I'm not sure that's a "thing" necessarily -- it's a comic based on the cartoon, so of course the cartoon characters would appear; more notable to me is Harley's first in-continuity comics appearance, not the first time her ink met the paper. Still, given Harley's current popularity I'm sure this is a draw.

So that's what jumped out at me in this multiversal morass of a month -- what will you be picking up?
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17 comments:

  1. Marvel: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=58587

    *Spider-Verse HC—Collecting almost the whole event (with one notable exception) for $75, I might end up getting the digital version. Many of the best parts of “Spider-Verse” that I've seen are smaller pieces in the spin-offs; these include encounters with the Marvel vs. Capcom Spider-Man and the version seen in the 1967 cartoon.

    *Avengers: Time Runs Out Vol. 3—I would have far more complaints about the upcoming end of the mainstream Marvel universe were it not for how good Hickman's flash-forwards have been. This portion of the narrative pits pretty much every Avengers team against each other to resolve plot points that have been lingering since the book's launch.

    *Avengers: Behold... the Vision TPB; Avengers: Vision and the Scarlet Witch TPB; Avengers West Coast: Vision Quest TPB—For once, writing up these solicits helped with my school work. For one of my classes, I'm doing a podcast about what to read in preparation for Avengers 2, and these trades simplify a lot of my suggestions.

    *Thor: The Thunder Goddess HC—So who is the new Thor? I doubt we'll find out before the last issue in this trade is released, but my money is still on Freyja, Thor's stepmother. This might also explore one of the coolest plot twists in “Time Runs Out”, where Odinson (the original Thor) now has an alternate Mjolnir from a surprising source.

    *Amazing Spider-Man: Edge of Spider-Verse TPB—Here's that exception I mentioned earlier, and it wouldn't be that important except that issue two of this title is the Spider-Gwen origin. Would including this in the big hardcover really have increased the price all that much?

    *All-New Ghost Rider Vol. 2: Legend TPB—Holy crap, this is only the second trade and it's not until April? I'll just hit up Comixology instead, because All-New Ghost Rider is a really creative title and I don't want to wait that long.

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    1. I'm confused, is Edge of Spider-verse collecting the digital funny stuff like the Capcom Spider-Man? Or no?

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    2. No, this TPB will only collect the Edge of Spider-Verse mini, which introduced a different Spider-Man in each issue. Those funny short stories by Slott were from the 2-issue Spider-Verse anthology, which will be included in the main Spider-Verse HC.

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  2. Dark Horse: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=58472

    *BPRD: 1946-1948 HC—Otherwise known as “Untold Tales of Professor Bruttenholm”, this is part of an effort to explore more of the early days of the “Hellboy” timeline. Young Hellboy is always adorable and I'm keen to see what Mignola and his fellow writers and artists have come up with.

    *Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone TPB—Here's where the collection order of “Fire and Stone” really takes a hit. Even though this makes up the final segment of the crossover, its first issue was shipped third overall, creating a massive jump and using both flash-forwards and flashbacks to the other titles to fill in the gaps. It's still a cool story and might also bring in an extra bonus franchise.



    IDW: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=58636

    *Empire Vol. 1 TP—I never got around to reading the original DC trade that I had before I sold it to a used bookstore before a move, so this will be new to me. Waid and Kitson are always a great pairing and “Empire” presaged the later “Irredeemable”. I'm anxious to see its monthly return as well.

    *TMNT/Ghostbusters—The first issue of this was fun and I assume the rest followed suit. It's not as experimental as “Transformers vs. GI Joe”, but it doesn't need to be, and we certainly didn't need yet another new TMNT universe in the same year as the crappy film.

    *Transformers Vol. 7 TP—Formerly called “Robots in Disguise” (a name now used by the new cartoon series... the second cartoon series with that exact subtitle) and currently called “I Don't Care About The Humans, Get To The Point”. I can only hope that Barber is revisiting IDW's Spike Witwicky just to kill him off so we never have to hear from him again.




    Image: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=58606

    *Nothing interests me trade-wise for April. I am not hip.

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  3. @CE: The Superman: Doomed oneshots are collected in the Doomed hardcover, also collecting almost the entire Action Comics, Vol. 6! Only some pages of AC #30 will be missing, if the info on Amazon is correct. It also includes a lot more and will add up to over 500 pages, which is a lot for a "normal" New52 collection.

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    1. I'd strongly recommend skipping Action Comics vol. 6 in favor of the Doomed HC, except for hardcore completists who can't live without the non-Doomsday portion of issue #30. The same goes for the second Superman/Wonder Woman volume, except for people who really want the Futures End special of both that series and Wonder Woman, which form a nice two-parter by Soule.

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    2. I will skip Action Comics, Vol. 6 entirely and will probably get Superman/Wonder Woman, Vol. 2 in paperback for the FE issues.

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    3. That burns me that one can't read Doomed to completion going back and forth between the individual books. I'd also note that hasn't really been DC's habit of late, so I'm still hopeful maybe Action and Superman/Wonder Woman will be complete-er than it seems right now.

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  4. I figure there will be at least two more JLA volumes collecting the remaining 32 issues, but since I'm only interested in this series up to the end of Kelly's run, I'll just close out my JLA TPB collection with the two Justice League Elite volumes, which also include the stories he wrote for JLA #100 and JLA Secret Files 2004.

    However, if DC included Justice League Elite in the last JLA volumes, I'd be tempted to double-dip for a paper stock upgrade.

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    1. I'd stand up and applaud if DC included Justice League Elite in the JLA collections (the first part of that miniseries, at least, was phenomenal), but I'm pretty skeptical it'll happen.

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  5. I was just looking at the Amazon entry for JLA vol 7 and it has the issue count as being from 77-83 but the page count is 416 pages. What is the proper number of issues included in Vol 7?

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    1. That was just a typo. Volume 7 will actually collect issues #77-93, which should be enough to fill 416 pages.

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  6. I have just picked up The Spectre vol 2 Wrath of God and Martian Manhunter vol 2 Rings of Saturn both John Ostrander runs. Based on what you said about JLA vol 7 possibly being the last big Trade release how likely is it the Manhunter and Spectre will get additional volumes published that will complete their runs?

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    1. I don't know how likely, but I'm hopeful. These are cases when pre-ordering is very important -- they're going to make choices about continuing these series based on sales of the last ones, so the earlier these books earn big sales, the better. You know you're always going to see collections of the latest Superman books or Teen Titans books; these older series like Spectre, Martian Manhunter, Grell's Green Arrow, and Wolfman's Deathstroke, it's totally sale-to-sale from volume to volume.

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    2. I am already worried. I can't find any reference to vol 3 for Martian Manhunter or the Spectre. Not to mention I have not heard anything about a Vol 3 for Superman/Batman either. I am starting to lose hope.

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  7. I just received Superman/Batman vol 1 &2 as a gift and have enjoyed them both. Is there and ETA on vol 3? Will DC commit to printing the entire run in trade paperback?

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    1. No news on that. I wish DC would keep these thicker Superman/Batman collections going, this time without skipping any issues. I even mapped what the next ones could collect:

      Vol. 3 - issues #27-36 and Annuals #1-2
      Vol. 4 - issues #37-50
      Vol. 5 - issues #51-63 and Annual #3
      Vol. 6 - issues #64-75 and Annual #4
      Vol. 7 - issues #76-87 and Annual #5

      If you buy the older, thinner TPBs (except for the first four, which collect the Loeb run you already own), you can get most of what you're missing, but issues #27, #34-36, #43, #57-59, #76-77 and #85-87 remain uncollected.

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