Batman: Contagion and Legacy, Cassandra Cain: Batgirl, Azrael in new DC Comics solicitations

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Bunch of exciting solicitations just appeared online, mainly coming out of the now-classic 1990s-2000s Batman eras, that I wanted to share because I know you'll be as excited as I am. Batman: Legacy/Contagion -- the long out of print Bat-crossovers finally get a new printing. Cassandra Cain: Batgirl Vol. 1, showing the first new Batgirl some love. And a collection of Dennis O'Neil's Azrael, one of my personal favorites. That and more -- go ahead and take a look. (Hat tip @FuzzyCactusPie.)

Batman: Legacy/Contagion

What a collection! And not a small one, either. Judging by the title, this is the 12-ish-part Contagion and the 10-ish-part Legacy, making for a big trade. (Yes, I know that despite the title, Contagion came first.) Contagion and Legacy, as good trade readers known, are two mid-1990s Bat-crossovers at the time in which Bat-family crossovers were an almost constant event. Contagion was about the first big Batman crossover after Knightfall, and then Legacy was followed by Cataclysm, which took us into No Man's Land. The villain of Legacy is, let's say, relevant right now, and both of the original collections of these crossovers have been out of print for a long time. This will make many trade readers very happy.

Cassandra Cain: Batgirl Vol. 1

Second only, of course. to what appears to be a new line of Batgirl trades, similar to the new line of Birds of Prey, Nightwing, and Secret Six trades. The author of this collection is listed as Kelley Puckett; if I had to guess, I'd say this will be a new set of collections of the 2000s Batgirl series, collected but out of print; however, what would be really cool would be if this series also collected Cassandra Cain's No Man's Land appearances also written by Puckett (though maybe a double-dip for those who bought the No Man's Land collections).

Azrael Vol. 1

I expected we might see new Contagion and Legacy collections eventually. The Cassandra Cain: Batgirl collections are a surprise but not a shock. But I never expected a collection of Dennis O'Neil's Azrael series, ever. (My guess is I have Arkham Knight to thank for this.)

Most people know Azrael Jean Paul Valley as the eventual villain of Knightfall. Fewer, I think, picked up O'Neil's subsequent Azrael book, drawn at first by Barry Kitson. It was visually beautiful, but also O'Neil wrote an oddball series in which Valley traveled the world alongside a disgraced, alcoholic psychiatrist and a woman from Valley's Order of St. Dumas who had never been outside. It was weird, cleverly-written, and with well-choreographed action, and I still have a high opinion of it after all this time. The series faltered a bit when it became Azrael: Agent of the Bat, but I've even thought about revisiting those issues to see if I enjoy them any more now.

This is a really unexpected and worthwhile collection, and I hope you'll check it out.

Batman: Road to No Man's Land Vol. 2

We were just talking the other day about the first Road to No Man's Land collection, which will actually collect the post-Cataclysm "Aftershocks" stories. This should be Road to No Man's Land proper, where Bruce Wayne, not Batman, has to try to prevent No Man's Land via political routes (given that No Man's Land follows, you can take bets on his success). An equally exciting collection of some long-uncollected issues.

Deathstroke: The Terminator Vol. 2: Sympathy For The Devil

We actually knew about this second collection of the Marv Wolfman and talked about it before, but I can't believe I didn't realize that in addition to Deathstroke #10-13 (Superman crossover, brings the title close to a New Teen Titans crossover), this also has the first annual, which is an "Eclipso, the Darkness Within" tie-in. To my knowledge, that marks the only annual from the "Eclipso" event to be collected (I was thinking the Demon annual with Hitman qualified, but that's "Bloodlines," not "Eclipso").

Suicide Squad Vol. 2: The Nightshade Odssey

Also as I mentioned the other day, the long-cancelled second volume of John Ostrander's Suicide Squad does now seem to be back on the schedule.

Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus Vol. 3

I don't totally trust the contents for this book as listed because it seems to cut off the pre-Flashpoint Green Lantern series before its end, but includes the New 52 Green Lantern series. However, I bring this up because the contents also supposedly include the Larfleeze Christmas Special, which was not collected anywhere else and so would be exclusive to this omnibus if it makes it in.

Birds of Prey Vol. 2

This is listed as being written by Gail Simone, but unless something really funny happened, this should be the second new collection of the Chuck Dixon run. With no offense to Simone's superlative run, I'd be more excited about Dixon collections if only because Simone's were collected the first time around.

Catwoman Vol. 5

The next collection of the Will Pfeifer issues. The last collection included up to Catwoman #49; issues #50-52 haven't been collected before, and then issue #53 is where Catwoman trades picked up again after a long hiatus, since issue #24. If this trade basically follows what's already collected, it would be The Replacements, to issue #58, or It's Only a Movie, to issue #65.

The rest of these on the list were ones we either already knew about that happened to hit my radar again, or are pretty self-explanatory collections of new "DC You" series, but I list them here for your information. Find more details on some of these in our recent rundown of DC Trade Solicitations for October/November 2015 and also the massive list of DC Comics's Fall 2015 Trades.

Aquaman Vol. 7
Black Canary Vol. 1
Catwoman Vol. 7
Deathstroke Vol. 2
Earth 2: Society Vol. 1
Green Arrow Vol. 4: Blood of the Dragon
JLA: Gods and Monsters
Martian Manhunter Vol. 1
New Suicide Squad Vol. 2
Nightwing Vol. 3
Omega Men Vol. 1
Sinestro Vol. 3
Starfire Vol. 1
Superman: Secret Identity Deluxe Edition
Swamp Thing Vol. 7
Get the Collected Editions scoop before anyone else -- on Facebook!


  1. Really wondering how that Legacy/Contagion trade will fit all the necessary issues...and REALLY wondering what to do with my Contagion trade. But regardless, I am so excited. I really want as much post-crisis-to-flashpoint Batman collected as possible, and DC is kicking ass right now with that!

    1. Hmm ... depending on how complete or satisfactory the Legacy/Contagion trade is, you could sell your Contagion trade (or maybe *could* have, before the reprint was announced). I'm wondering about the size of this trade, too, though I seem to recall the recent new Knightfall trades were pretty hefty. I can't imagine this is Vol. 1 (unless they collect the stories between Contagion and Legacy, or like the Bane miniseries or something), because then I think they'd just separate them into two trades.

    2. On one hand, this trade is a great way to kill two birds with one stone when it comes to putting popular Bat-crossovers back in print, but on the other one, there's no way to fit both in a single collection without skipping all the stuff in-between, including the Bane of the Demon mini (which got collected three years ago in the Batman Versus Bane TPB, but that's out of print already).

      The only way to collect both events comprehensively (prologues and epilogues included) in a single volume would be making it a hardcover omnibus. As for me, I'll just buy this upcoming trade and then track down the Batman Versus Bane TPB.

    3. Yeah, I guess we can't have "not wanting to double-dip" both ways. Even if Batman vs. Bane is already out of print, if it just came out with Bane of the Demon, I can't fault them for not re-collecting that. And wasn't there a Bane Prestige Format book sparked by the Batman movie of the day that had some relevance here too?

    4. Aalok Madhusudan Joshi6/24/2015 03:16:00 PM

      Yes. That one shot was technically about what happens to Bane in the aftermath of Legacy. Good book. Would love seeing it here.

  2. So excited for that Azrael news! I used to collect those back issues almost religiously, until I was sucked into the "catch up" of modern comics coming out. And is Doomed only going to be 1 volume? I thought it was an ongoing?

    1. A cynic could give you a better answer as to whether Doomed, a new series with an unknown protagonist that's only mildly tied to one of DC's ongoing franchises, will be one volume or not. The straightforward answer, however, is that that volume number isn't always listed and this is solicited, for the moment, as an ongoing series.

      Curious to see how many Azrael fans come out of the woodwork. I'm frankly surprised more hasn't been done with Jean Paul Valley in all these years. The O'Neil/Kitson issues were golden.

    2. I read maybe the first 20 issues of the Azrael series and look back on them with some fondness/nostalgia due to it being my comics "golden age". But I also remember it being an aimless series without a real direction. The fact that it lasted so long is quite amazing. Nowadays I would compare it to a series like Talon or Batwing and it would be canceled pretty quickly.

    3. All of the newly launched series should get 12 issues, so Doomed will probably get more than one volume. It's also received poor reviews, seems to be selling poorly digitally, and is written by Scott Lobdell, so I doubt we'll see more than 2 volumes.

    4. I've always wondered if DC hasn't done more with Azrael because he was co-created by Joe Quesada. That's why this reprinting surprises me.

    5. Simply because Quesada has an association with Marvel, or because of royalties/rights issues or such?

    6. @Anon -- Has there been some promise that all the newly-launched series will get 12 issues? Some of the early cancelled New 52 series only got 8 issues -- Static Shock, Mr. Terrific, etc.

    7. Yeah, DC has said all the new series get at least 12 unless they're specifically a 6 issue mini.

    8. Evan -- Not doubting you, but got a link for that? Just curious to read it.

  3. What were we saying only the other day?! Great to see these. Even though I own all the previous versions, they are quite expensive now and Legacy in particular was highly sought after. It's good news that more people will be able to access these stories.
    The Batgirl trades are be key for me here. The contemporary collections were all over the place so hopefully that will be rectified now.

    1. I'd forgotten how out of order those Batgirl Cassandra Cain issues had been collected, and also that there were a significant amount of Kelley Puckett and Dylan Horrocks issues uncollected before the Andersen Gabrych issues. As with the new Birds of Prey and Nightwing collections, it remains to be seen if this new series of collections will last long enough to get to the issues that haven't been collected yet, or if this will just be repackaging of old material in new forms. Still a feather in the Cassandra Cain character's cap either way.

    2. Huge Cassandra Cain fan here, and I'm very excited about the new TPB, but I'm already worried that it might collect too few issues, judging by the price. I was initially hoping it would collect the series at least up to issue #12 (an uncollected "Officer Down" tie-in guest-written by Dixon), but at US$ 16.99, it looks like it might just be a re-issue of Batgirl: Silent Running, which collected the first six issues. Although I enjoyed the entire series, I'll be satisfied if these collections at least get to the end of Puckett's run (issue #37).

    3. Thinking, for instance, about the recent "new" Secret Six collections that started with the Villains United material, the Birds of Prey collection that started with the miniseries, and the Nightwing collections that also started with the miniseries, I thought including Cassandra's major No Man's Land appearances here (those by the main series creative team) would be a nice touch. But, in this conversation I've come around to the sooner they can get previously-uncollected material into these trades, the better.

    4. Well, there are only two NML issues by Kelley Puckett featuring Cassandra Cain (Batman #567, Mark of Cain Part 1 & Detective Comics #734, Mark of Cain Part 2, both drawn by Damion Scott). I guess those two would be a nice addition to the new trade and they wouldn't use up too much space.

  4. I really hope that Birds of Prey Vol 2 is the Chuck Dixon run. If BoP #8 continues to be uncollected, there will be riots.

    1. BOP Vol. 2 is the one soonest to collect uncollected issues, I think (vs. Nightwing, Cassandra Cain: Batgirl, etc.). I don't think it would be a stretch for that collection to include issues #1-11, maybe?

  5. Wow, they finally decided to start printing Legacy in trade again? I looked for that for over a year, and then just broke down and bought the individual issues. Oh well. At least other people can read it now.

  6. I know it's been a few months but I checked and it looks like they're just publishing Legacy now. No word on Contagion.

    1. That's right. And the contents were always listed as just the Legacy contents. I'd like to hope though, if this book does well -- and apparently the Cataclysm and No Man's Land trades did well because now they're going in for War Games -- that a new Contagion trade will be along at some point.