DC Trade Solicitations for June/July 2015 - Pre-Convergence trades, Gotham Academy, Grayson, Green Lantern by Johns Omnibus Vol. 2, Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle

Thursday, February 19, 2015

By the time the books solicited in DC Comics's May 2015 (June/July hardcover and trade paperback collections solicitations) come out, Convergence will already be done with and the "Divergence" era of DC will have begun. Given everything else going on in this month's solicitation round (even if the collections come out somewhat later), it wouldn't have been surprising to find the solicitations light on trades, but in fact, just the opposite is true. Some high-profile collections come out this month, including Grayson and Gotham Academy, plus the latest from Geoff Johns's Justice League. Also a number of titles reach or are approaching their cancellations or pre-Convergence break-points, depending.

We also see in this solicitations round a book we talked about last month, the Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle collection, which I'm excited about as a reader even aside from the hope that the release of the book will help the artist in his recovery from a stroke. The collection is a little sparse isn't as complete as we might have imagined, but maybe there's a second volume on the way.

Let's take a look:

Aquaman Vol. 6: Maelstrom HC

This takes Aquaman right up to Convergence, and marks the last Jeff Parker trade before Cullen Bunn takes over post-Convergence.

Aquaman and the Others Vol. 2: Alignment Earth TP

This volume also collects Aquaman and the Others right up to Convergence, which is the end of the series. Includes both the Aquaman and Others "Futures End" issues. (The title of this trade sounds like a classic Star Trek episode.)

Deathstroke Vol. 1: Gods of War TP

Another collection that goes right up to Convergence, though Tony Daniel's Deathstroke continues afterward. I am quite hesitant about this series; there's plenty more ways to write a Deathstroke series wrong than right, and Tony Daniel has been impressive at times, inconsistent at others. I'm glad DC is giving Slade Wilson another chance at a series, but I'm concerned this could be the final nail in the coffin.

infinity Man and the Forever People Vol. 1: Planet of the Humans TP

I give Dan DiDio credit for putting his name on long-shot series and cancelling them when they don't sell. I'm eager for this in the spirit of DiDio and Keith Giffen's madcap OMAC; this includes a Green Lantern "Godhead" tie-in and the "Futures End" issue.

Gotham Academy Vol. 1 TP

Again, collects the book up to Convergence. I'm somewhat surprised not to see this in hardcover, given how it represents the "new DC Comics." A number of the Batman books are getting "Endgame" specials, tying into Scott Snyder's latest storyline and coinciding with the last issue collected in this trade, issue #6. Gotham Academy: Endgame isn't included here, however; I hope that doesn't mean the only place to find it will be in a dedicated "Endgame" crossover trade.

Grayson Vol. 1: Agents of Spyral HC

In contrast, the first Grayson trade only includes issues #1-4, the "Futures End" issue, and a Secret Origins story. Grayson pauses before Convergence at issue #8, which either means the next volume will also just collect four-ish issue, or the next Grayson trade will span the Convergence break. No reason that can't happen, we just haven't see it happen much so far.

Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 6: Lost and Found TP

Red Hood and the Outlaws becomes Red Hood/Arsenal after Convergence, with the original title's last issue being #40. This collection only includes issues #32-34 (rather skimpy, if you ask me), plus an annual and some Secret Origins stories, so there's likely one more volume of this to go before the change.

Justice League Vol. 6: Injustice League HC

Justice League Vol. 6 collects issues #30-39. A ten-issue trade is certainly nice, and the final pre-Convergence issue is no doubt being held for the next trade since it's a prologue to the "Darkseid War" storyline.

Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus Vol. 2 HC

This takes Geoff Johns's Green Lantern stories through Blackest Night. After this there's about 15 issues left in the pre-Flashpoint series, plus 20-or-so afterward. Some of these will require tie-in issues from other series, but I imagine DC can probably close this out in one more volume.

Swamp Thing Vol. 6: The Sureen TP

Like Red Hood, the latest Charles Soule Swamp Thing trade collects up to issue #34, so there's six issues for the next trade before the book's end and Convergence. Something I don't think we've seen much in New 52 collections -- this book includes just "pages" from the Aquaman #31 crossover issue, not apparently the entire issue.

Worlds’ Finest Vol. 5: Homeward Bound TP

Collects issues #22-26 and the "Futures End" issue, so this too suggests just one more trade before the series end.

Batman: Gothic Deluxe Edition HC

Collects the story from Legends of the Dark Knight #6-10. With Grant Morrison and Klaus Janson, no question why this is getting a deluxe edition; plus it probably doesn't hurt that "Gothic" sounds a lot like "Gotham" ...

Batman: Cataclysm TP [New Edition]

I couldn't be happier to see the 1990s-2000s Bat-family crossovers getting some love, with the expanded editions of Knightfall, No Man's Land, Murderer/Fugitive, and now Cataclysm. Among issues not previously collected, this has Azrael #40, Batman: Arkham Asylum: Tales of Madness, Catwoman #57, and Robin #52.

Green Arrow Vol. 3: The Trial of Oliver Queen TP

Keep on pre-ordering! We're up to issue #20 now of the Mike Grell Green Arrow series, with Trial of Oliver Queen. There's at least 60 issues to go before Grell's run ends.

Nightwing Vol. 2: Rough Justice TP

I had rather high hopes that these new collections of Chuck Dixon's Nightwing series might maybe move through the series a little more quickly, omnibus-light style. That doesn't seem to be the case, at least with this second volume, which collects about the same as the original Rough Justice, but with the addition of the previously-uncollected Nightwing Annual #1 (with later Nightwing contributors Devin Grayson and Greg Land). That's something, though not everything.

The Question: Falling in Place TP

There's no overt place for the Question Vic Sage post-Convergence, but the release of this trade gives me hope that DC has plans (for Vic or for Renee Montoya). It's otherwise exceptionally strange to see the Rick Veitch miniseries collected, what was supposed to be part of the "Super-storm" event in the Superman comics that ultimately ran aground shortly before Infinite Crisis.

Secret Six Vol. 2 TP

When I talked about hoping the new Nightwing trades would run through the series a little faster, case in point the second new collection of Gail Simone's Secret Six, which collects both the first and second (numbered) original trades.

Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle HC

Last but certainly not least, as we discussed before, is DC's Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle edition. At least as far as DC's solicitations for the book go, this collects about half of Breyfogle's Detective Comics work (including "Mudpack"), but not all of it, and none of his Batman work; I'm choosing to believe that means a second volume will follow.

Those are my picks for June/July 2015. What's on your pull list? How many trade-waiters will be picking up Convergence in single issues?
Get the Collected Editions scoop before anyone else -- on Facebook!


  1. Marvel: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=59364

    *Ultimate Marvel Omnibus HC—This collects the first six issues each of “Ultimate Spider-Man”, “Ultimates”, “Ultimate X-Men” and “Ultimate Fantastic Four”. As a result it's only a good value if you own none of these titles, and even then, it's likely more cost-effective to get the individual trades or the Ultimate Collection trades.

    *Marvel Firsts: The 1990s Omnibus HC—With the exception of some of the X-books, you could likely raid a comic book store's $1 bin and get this entire collection for about $50.

    *Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 HC—Instead of random 90s issues, spend your money on the first eleven issues of one of the best books on Marvel's roster. Even though DC and Marvel both have problems with making teenage heroes work on a team level, “Ms. Marvel” is proof that there's still hope at reinventing young superheroics.

    *Marvel Masterworks: Luke Cage, Hero For Hire Vol. 1 HC—Sweet Christmas! (I hardly ever get to type that.) I can't technically recommend a $75 hardcover solely for one issue, but midway through this is the famous story wherein Doctor Doom stiffs Luke Cage $200, so Cage borrows/steals a jet from the Fantastic Four to fly over to Latveria and slap Doom around.

    *Marvel's Agent Carter S1 Declassified—With the exception of the Iron Manual, I haven't been too interested in these behind-the-scenes books. This is different for two reasons: “Agent Carter” is a really great show, and they put so much work into the details of the setting that I really do want to find out more about the props and sets.

    *Captain America Epic Collection: Streets of Poison TP—“My patriotic superhero is a junkie!” Mark Gruenwald was a great writer who could be subtle when he wanted to. This wasn't one of those times. While the story does get silly, it's good to see that more and more of Gruenwald's run is reaching print.

    *Ant-Man: Second-Chance Man TP—Since “Avengers 2” premieres May 1, that gives Marvel the rest of the month to drum up interest in the other film this year with almost a half-dozen trades related to the tiny Avengers. This one collects the current ongoing which seems to be a good title.

    *Deadpool Volume 8: All Good Things... TP—A personal favorite goes out with a bang, and I'm relieved that the Duggan and Posehn era is ending only because of “Secret Wars” and not due to sales or a desire to change the tone back to stupidity. The “Infinity Gauntlet” story from the final issue is an idea I predicted months before it was announced and it'll be a fitting send-off for the inventory issues.

    *Amazing X-Men: Once and Future Juggernaut TP—I'm not too interested in the Axis tie-in portion, but I do love the Juggernaut and I hope this reinvents the concept.

    1. I can't wait to finally check out Ms. Marvel after all the (apparently 100% deserved) hype!

      and I have GOT to read that one particular issue of Luke Cage! o_O Do you know offhand which issue it is?


    2. @Doug -- Surely we can find you opportunities in your reviews to type "Sweet Christmas!"

    3. @Mike: It's a two-parter in Heroes for Hire 8-9. Brian Cronin has a great article on it in his "I Love Ya But You're Strange" column at Comic Book Resources/Comics Should Be Good.

  2. Dark Horse: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=59234

    *Conan/Red Sonja HC—Otherwise known as “the thing that should've happened when Arnold was in the 'Red Sonja' movie”, the wait was worth it for a crossover co-written by Gail Simone.

    IDW: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=59387

    *Godzilla: Half-Century War Oversized HC—James Stokoe's “Godzilla” epic was one of my favorite books last year, and the detail provided by a bigger collection makes this very worthwhile.

    *Transformers: MTMTE Volume 7—The final issue in this trade was supposed to come out today but has been delayed by the shipping strike. It had better get here soon since “Days of Deception” has surpassed “Shadowplay” as my favorite MTMTE storyline. (And if you've been reading the book, you'll know why that statement is kind of ironic.)

    *Classic GI Joe Volume 16—I love this idea... “GI Joe: A Real American Hero” picks up where the Marvel series left off, so they're collecting it in Classics trades to match. There are at least four or five more to come as well.

    *GI Joe America's Elite Disavowed TP Vol. 6—Even though it's not in continuity (i.e. not officially part of the Marvel/ARAH title), the “World War III” story which ended Devil's Due's Joe publication is an awesome epic that I'm happy to see republished.

    Image: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=59353

    *Five Ghosts Deluxe Edition HC—I enjoyed the first trade of this series about a man aided by the ghosts of Dracula, Sherlock Holmes and other literary characters (although they go unnamed for various legal reasons). It reminds me a bit of “Immortal Iron Fist”.

    *ODY-C Vol. 1 TP—This is a trade you need to get in paperback instead of online due to an innovative pull-out chart of the galaxy. It's Matt Fraction's gender-flipped version of “The Odyssey” in space, making it maybe the fifth-weirdest thing he's ever written.

    *Wytches Vol. 1 TP—Scott Snyder. Jock. Supernatural horror. I'll bet once you finish it you'll expect Batman to show up at any moment.

    *I was going to mention this in the review for “The Wicked and the Divine”, but since that's been pushed back, I'll bring it up here. One key success of Image's revival is what I call the ITBYCB Theory of Economics. It stands for “It's Ten Bucks, You Cheap Bastard”, which is the thought that goes through your head when you realize that they're offering the first five or six issues of this series for $10, and do you really not have $10 in your pocket when you go to a comic book store? Valiant is really good at this as well. Both companies realize that once they have you hooked, they can charge more for a second volume with fewer issues since people will rationalize the price difference. As an example: “Bedlam”, which I reviewed last year, has a six-issue $10 first trade and a $15 five-issue second trade. That's $25 for 12 issues, a great deal, just spread out weirdly.

    1. Boom use the ITBYCB Theory of Economics as well. They got me hooked on Irredeemable like this ;o)

  3. I'm not sure why you would consider a 24-issue, 500+ page collection to be sparse. I'm just finishing up the Gene Colan Batman collection, which is considerably smaller in scope. Personally, I'm quite pleased with this (hopefully first) volume of Breyfogle's work, as it has been solicited.

    1. OK, maybe "sparse" was the wrong word; I was just surprised that it wasn't larger or more complete. The best outcome is that there'll be a volume 2, too; it just concerns me that this collection isn't billed as "volume 1."

    2. I guess it fits right in with the way they've done these Batman collections so far. Volume 1 of Gene Colan with no sign of a Volume 2... Volume 1 of Alan Davis when there's really nothing more to collect. I wish there was a bit more attention to these details in DC's trade department.

      I appreciate that they're trying to honour these creators, but for my money, I'd prefer just a straight run through the '80s in order. Oh well, I'll keep dreaming!

  4. Have you read anything else about DC's plan to offer both HC and SC of the new Batgirl team the same month? I wish that would be standard procedure. I hate that we're getting a HC of Grayson, and hope we don't have to wait another six months for the SC. It's really aggravating.

    Looking forward to Secret Six, the Green Arrow book, RHATO, Question, Gotham Academy, and probably some of the other New 52 books.

    1. Yeah, I mean to put down some thoughts on that and on the end of the New 52, etc., at some point. Offering the hardcover and paperback at the same time is an interesting idea, though I doubt it would become standard since I imagine spacing out the hardcover and paperback leads to additional sales. And I don't think it would necessarily speed up the collections process; usually the softcover comes out at the same time as the next volume hardcover, so you'd be looking at the same amount of time just on the hardcover/simultaneous format schedule.

    2. That's what I mean. If the HC comes out six months after the last issue it collects, then the SC six months after, you're a year behind the monthly title. That would be fine if all titles had HCs, but when there are a lot of crossovers between, say Justice League, which gets the HC, and Justice League Dark, which doesn't, it makes it very difficult.

      I don't know if it would impact sales or not. I figure the ones who are going to but the HC will buy them anyway. Looking forward to your post on the subject.

    3. It's weird when the HCs for Batman, Detective Comics, and Batman and Robin are all coming May/June, 9-10 months after their respective last issues. And this is DC's poster boy we're talking about.

  5. I really don't want to wait for the Convergence trades but probably will just pick up a few singles digitally and then wait.

  6. Looking at Aquaman #31, I think it was a good idea to include only the pages featuring Swamp Thing fighting Aquaman in Swamp Thing vol. 6. The remaining pages feature Mera and the supporting cast dealing with matters that only pertain to Aquaman readers, and the entire issue has already been collected in that series' fifth volume.

  7. For Grayson Vol. 2, it looks like it will include #5-8 and the Annual, which gives it about 6 issues of material. I wonder if DC had originally intended to collected all 8 issues and the Annual into one volume, but then decided to split them up.

    1. Still a very bizarre choice, but expected from DC who usually seem allergic to publishing current-series trades any longer than 5-6 issues apiece (with rare exceptions, like the abovementioned Justice League, or Harley Quinn vol.1 which was 9 or 10 issues IIRC). I was hoping the buildup to Convergence would help buck that trend on a greater scale, but no such luck.
      That said, I still plan on picking up "Grayson" as I've heard fantastic things. Anyone else on here reading the series in floppies?

    2. I've been reading Grayson in floppies, and it has been really great. Not your standard superhero fare, but rather some cool spy stuff. And the writer writes Dick Grayson very well.

  8. I find it odd that RHatO Vol. 6 is including the second annual instead of the Futures End issue. Not only does it leave the question of where the Futures End will be collected, but the annual was published in the middle of and ties into the arc that will presumably be collected in Vol. 7.