DC Trade Solicitations for October/November 2015 - Convergence, Batman: Road to No Man's Land, Birds of Prey, Secret Six

Friday, June 19, 2015

Obviously the big headline for DC Comics's October/November 2015 hardcover and trade paperback collection releases (posted June 2015) are the Convergence collections. And with eight out of nine of them in paperback, there's almost no waiting -- this is the format almost every trade-waiter is going to pick up. I'm really excited to get my hands on these come October.

Plenty of other good things in this month. That we see Batman: Road to No Man's Land, War Games, Birds of Prey, and Secret Six collections all in the same month should suggest to any ardent trade-waiter that the state of DC trades is pretty healthy right now, or at least healthier than it's been. Road to No Man's Land has some issues we've been waiting forever to see collected; the new Birds of Prey trade is on its way to collect never-collected Chuck Dixon issues; and Gail Simone's Secret Six gets its due respect in these reprints. Good news, all.

Let's dig in and see what else we've got:

Convergence HC

The centerpiece of the Convergence collections but the least notable in terms of contents, this book collects issues #0-8 as expected.

Convergence: Zero Hour Book One TP
Convergence: Zero Hour Book Two TP

Arriving the same week as the Convergence collection, on October 7, the first Zero Hour book collects Justice League International, Catwoman, Superboy, Green Arrow and Suicide Squad. I only just got this, but weirdly Suicide Squad is a Convergence title without a series antecedent because there wasn't a Suicide Squad title at that time; instead this just brings together relevant villains of that time period.

The second Zero Hour book collects Superman: Man of Steel, Batman: Shadow of the Bat, Supergirl: Matrix, Aquaman, and Green Lantern/Parallax. I don't dismiss the first volume but you can't beat Steel and the Matrix Supergirl in the second.

Convergence: Crisis Book One TP
Convergence: Crisis Book Two TP

I still find it weird that it seems the Convergence collections are being released in a different order than the original release weeks. Anyway, the first Crisis collection includes Batman and the Outsiders, Adventures of Superman, Green Lantern Corps, Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, and Hawkman. Second volume is Flash, Wonder Woman, Justice League of America, Swamp Thing and New Teen Titans. Book Two wins the week again for me.

Convergence: Flashpoint Book One TP
Convergence: Flashpoint Book Two TP

Probably the collections I'm most looking forward to are the Flashpoint collections. Sure there's some great characters to revisit in Zero Hour, but from "our" perspective we didn't lose them in Zero Hour but rather they continued on (you can even say that, after a fashion, about the Legion of Super-Heroes). But these characters were gone-gone after Flashpoint, and I'm excited to see them again.

Book One is Superman, Question, Batgirl, Nightwing/Oracle and Justice League. Book Two is Atom, Speed Force, Titans, Batman and Robin, and Harley Quinn. Plenty I want to read in Book Two, but I've got to give it to Book One there.

Convergence: Infinite Earths Book One TP
Convergence: Infinite Earths Book Two TP

Infinite Earths Book One collects Justice Society of America, Infinity Inc., Detective Comics, World’s Finest Comics and Action Comics; Book Two collects Shazam!, Blue Beetle, Crime Syndicate, Booster Gold and Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters. Interested in Justice Society and Infinity Inc., though the Justice Society isn't really my (pre-Flashpoint) Justice Society, and surely Book Two's Booster Gold book rules the week.

Batman: Road to No Man's Land Vol. 1 TP

As I've recounted elsewhere, I've wanted a Road to No Man's Land collection for a while, and the contents of this book are even better. This is actually a collection of the "Aftershock" stories that came before "Road to No Man's Land" (which preceded No Man's Land itself), so we're getting even more than I hoped, assuming it sells enough for the second volume. This is Batman #555-559 (with an appearance from the New Blood Ballistic, there's a throwback for you) by Doug Moench; Shadow of the Bat #75-79 by Alan Grant with art by Mark Buckingham; Detective Comics #722-726 by Chuck Dixon; Robin #54 also by Dixon; and Batman Chronicles #14.

Detective #723 collected here, by the way, is part of the "Brotherhood of the Fist" crossover with Green Arrow, Robin, and Nightwing, which we've reviewed here before as an "Uncollected Edition." Unfortunately the whole thing isn't collected and I'm not sure how just one piece of it will read in this trade, but I'd rather DC collects it than skips it.

Batman: War Games Vol. 1 TP

This volume collects the whole of the previous Batman: War Drums and Batman: War Games: Act 1: Outbreak collections. The Batman: Murderer/Fugitive trades were ground-breaking because they cut-and-pasted the various issues into a cohesive whole, for one, and for two, included the Fugitive Vol. 3 collection that served no other purpose than to be an epilogue to the first two books, when previously collections only collected the event itself and that was it. The "War Games" collections built on this trend with the War Drums collection that served as prologue to "War Games," the three War Games trades, and then the epilogue trade War Crimes. As this new volume collects the first two of five in this set, it remains to be seen whether the next volume will collect the last three trades, or if there's two additional new trades coming.

Birds of Prey Vol. 1 TP

According to DC's solicitations, at least, this collects all the Birds of Prey miniseries by Chuck Dixon that lead into the ongoing series, but no issues of the ongoing series itself. That means this book collects the issues in the first Birds of Prey collection and then also part but not all of Old Friends, New Enemies. Dixon's run on Birds of Prey was not collected past Old Friends (which collected up to issue #6), so it'll be a nice addition to DC's list if stories now start to see print with the next collection.

Secret Six Vol. 3 TP

Collects the two previous Secret Six trades Vol 3: Danse Macabre and Vol. 4: Cats in the Cradle. One more collection of two volumes to finish out these new collections of the Gail Simone series.

Blackest Night Unwrapped Deluxe Edition HC

Obviously these Unwrapped pencils-only collections must be selling well since DC keeps releasing them. If someone out there has bought one, I'd be curious to have you chime in to talk about what the value is to you. Are you an artist and this is a learning tool? Big fan of the artist in question's work? I don't dispute there's a difference between an artist's original pencils and the inked version; I guess I'm just surprised there's that big of an audience for these, but I could certainly be mistaken.

• Catwoman: A Celebration of 75 Years HC

Simply glad to see Ed Brubaker and Darwyn Cooke's names attached to this, such that this will include, for me at least, the best era of Catwoman that there's ever been.

Justice League: A League of One TP

Nice to have both of Christopher Moeller's painted Justice League stories in one volume. Rather surprised this isn't being presented deluxe.

Batman and Robin Vol. 7: Robin Rises HC

Collects the final issues of Batman and Robin before Convergence, #35-40, plus Robin Rises: Alpha, the Annual #3, the Futures End story, and a Secret Origins story.

Earth 2 Vol. 6: Collision HC

Earth 2 coincides with the World's End weekly series beginning with this volume.

Superman/Wonder Woman Vol. 3: Casualties of War HC

First collection of the Peter Tomasi/Doug Mahnke run. Some of my favorite creators; could not be more excited for this one.

Got a Convergence collection week you're most excited about? Another pick on this list? Give a shout out in the comments section and let me know.
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  1. Can't wait to read convergence!

  2. A quick thought: isn't it really difficult to read a multi-Lantern story in black and white? I guess it comes down to the artist's skill in shading and differentiating the kinds of energy effects (the Red Lantern blood, etc).

    Marvel: http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/captain-america-white-deadpool-vs-thanos-debut-in-marvels-september-2015-solicitations

    *Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol 1 TP--This is seemingly the most acclaimed of the SW series, not surprising considering Gillen and Larocca are the creative talent. Vader's history was pretty thoroughly explored by Dark Horse so I'm interested to see what they do with this clean slate.

    *Howard the Duck Vol 0: What The Duck? TP--Of the various Marvel books that feel like indie comics, this is one of the indie-est thanks to Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones. It's thoroughly hilarious and, more importantly, dense with its jokes per page ratio.

    *Loki Agent of Asgard Vol 3 TP: Last Days--It's Ragnarok once again, and it's playing out more like Simonson's version than any other. All I'm saying is that Odin wields a gatling gun a la Jesse Ventura in "Predator", which should be enough to sell you this book.

    *Last Days--Along with the above, various titles are receiving their "Last Days" titles collecting the ends of their run. "Secret Wars" provides a chance at semi-permanent finality so books like "Black Widow" and "Punisher" are likely to get violent. Speaking of which...

    *Punisher Vol 3: Last Days TP--The first issue of "Secret Wars" provides a look at what this trade might be about, and if that's the route it takes, I'll happily buy it. Between that development and the casting of living Mike Zeck drawing Jon Berenthal as Frank Castle in "Daredevil", I'm surprisingly thrilled about the Punisher.

    *Damage Control Complete Collection TP--One of Marvel's best meta titles also brought Dwayne McDuffie to a wider audience. Damage Control is likely to show up in the MCU, especially during Civil War, and this collection is long overdue.

    Dark Horse: http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/new-colder-mirrors-edge-feature-in-dark-horse-comics-september-2015-solicitations

    *Archie Vs. Predator HC--I've flipped through the first two issues and found, at best, about three panels with the Predator. Unless the rest of the series corrects this trend, I'll have to pass.

    *The Goon Library Vol 1 HC--I've been meaning to read this for ages. If "Hellboy 3" can't get funded, I'd imagine Ron Perlman could take a starring turn as the Goon on screen.

    *Archie Archives: Prom Pranks and Other Stories TP--I'm not too much of an Archie fan (see my comments about the AVP trade above) but this collects what sound like the very first Archie stories. It's a neat bit of history for a low price.

    IDW: http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/tmnt-50-super-angry-birds-in-idw-publishings-september-2015-solicitations

    *Nothing's really striking me this month.

    Image: http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/remender-murphy-lemire-more-debut-new-series-in-image-comics-september-2015-solicitations

    *Southern Bastards Book One Premiere HC--Jason Aaron's book is about to be adapted to television, so if you want to grab a huge chunk of it at once, here's your chance.

    Valiant: http://www.comiclist.com/index.php/news/valiant-entertainment-september-2015-solicitations#more27515

    *Nothing in particular this month either, although I could be swayed into picking up the reboot of Bloodshot.

    1. I'm curious to see how the IDW X-Files comics handle the new TV special. Not to be totally beholden to continuity to a fault, but the entire reason I started reading the X-Files comics was because it was Season 10-11 with approval from Chris Carter, not alt-timeline/what if X-Files Season 10-11.

  3. I'm excited to try everything from convergence, but maybe the main series more so than the fun two shots compendiums

  4. I'm very pleasantly surprised that Batman: Road to No Man's Land Vol. 1 will collect the "Aftershock" issues, but I'd be even more pleased if DC revised its contents to include the rest of the entertaining "Brotherhood of the Fist" crossover. Still, I'll buy it regardlessly.

    By the way, Amazon is still listing the TPB with its old price (when it was going to collect just the 12 issues of the actual "Road to No Man's Land"), so I'd recommend people to pre-order it before they raise it to reflect the increased page count.

    1. Yeah, I was excited for a good second about that "Brotherhood of the Fist" issue until I realized it was just one part of the story on the whole trade. In all fairness "Brotherhood" really isn't germane to what that book is going for, but again I'd rather they leave it in than take it out.

    2. Eh... Actually? I'd prefer they leave Detective Comics #723 out than include an incomplete story. But that's just me. Maybe it can go in a Chuck Dixon Green Arrow collection instead? (I mean, it's a long shot [HAR HAR] but with all the Green Arrow collections we've been getting because of the show, maybe it could happen.)

    3. I figure, getting Detective #723 collected is one step closer to a "Brotherhood of the Fist" collection, rather than leaving it out and having it, in the collections-verse, "not exist." I'm totally up for a Chuck Dixon/Green Arrow collection -- if you-know-who appears sometime in you-know-which TV show, maybe that'd happen.

    4. Since the recent Green Arrow TPBs collecting Grell's run aren't titled "Green Arrow by Mike Grell", I'm hopeful that they'll eventually get to Dixon's run, but that would take many years.

    5. Yeah -- I'm eager for the Nightwing trades to get to the uncollected issues of Dixon's run and then even into Devin Grayson's run, but if you figure one or two collections a year, that's about three to six years away. It's hard to be optimistic that a trade series will run that long without interest waning or the collections department moving on to other things. It's enough to make one go digital.

  5. i am not an artist and i loved the court of owls unwrapped. i am not sure it would be a good edition to own first, but as a second or third version, it is very cool. capullo is just amazing in pure pencils. i love all the shading and grayscale that is lost with inking. and batman plus gotham just works so well in b&w as a character and setting. btw did you know the special effects (sounds, word balloons) still keep their color? so its not truly b&w per se.

    i was looking forward to this gl one on the way but i hadnt thought about telling the different types of lanterns apart until the first poster mentioned it above. i guess ill have to rely on their symbols. the only other \ similar book ive read is the walking dead all out war artist proof edition. but that is a b&w comic normally so i didnt find it that different (especially since it is the same dimensions -- unlike all my idw artist editions).

    anyway, just wanted to answer the question you posed to the readers. i'm a long time reader first time caller =). thanks and keep up the good work! dan

    1. Always great to meet another "long timer." I note what you said about the Court of Owls book being a great second edition to own; I can probably count on one hand the number of books I've bought twice (or at least twice in trade), so maybe that's another reason why this isn't quite for me (but certainly can be for you). It suggests a double purchase in most situations, and I'm just not so inclined to double purchase. At the same time, the amount that you and others have praised Capullo's pure pencils has me curious now ...

      Yeah, you can rely on the Lantern symbols, but then again if you line up Hal Jordan, Saint Walker, Bleez, Larfleeze, and Munk, I think I'd kind of know them apart just by costume styles, even without colors. In the big ol' crowd scenes though, maybe that's a different story.

      Don't be a stranger!

    2. you dont double dip? what about when they absolute your favorite past stories!

      tell me these dont make you drool...



    3. Yes, OK, those are pretty cool, especially the first. (Why is Croc tearing his shirt? Anyone?)

      I actually got pretty good for a while in anticipating what stories would end up in Absolute; I held off reading All-Star Superman a pretty long time until the Absolute came out. I don't know, I've got a couple editions of Crisis hanging around, but like, when I've got my copies of Y: The Last Man, do I really need another Y for however many dollars when I can spend those same dollars on other books I haven't read before? I don't usually take that leap, but no shade on those who do. (Never Y: The Last Man action figures? Ever? Surprising.)

    4. fair enough! i love absolutes and idw artist editions. the only thing i dont care for are omnibuses. i find them too difficult to read, personally.
      if you want to check out my collected editions library, here are some pics from a few years back. (i need to get some updated ones because ive improved various things recently).


    5. Nice, extensive collection. What do you do when you run out of room? Do some books go in storage?

    6. that double door closet behind the huge cubby is also dedicated to just comics! but when everything runs out of space, i guess i will have to move =).

  6. For some reason I can't do repy's on this so this is directed at Dan's collection: Wow, I am uber jealous

    1. thanks cody. i let everyone borrow and read (no charge =) if you live in the dc\md\va area let me know

    2. Now that's tempting... (I live in Mt. Airy)

  7. One part of Brotherhood of the Fist is puzzling (assuming it's in it, page count don't seem to work on this one). I like they're going for the comprehensiveness of main Bat-titles (Murderer/Fugitive trades collect some issues that are tangentally related, but in effect you have nine months of Batman/Detective Comics/Gotham Knights in two books. And Complete Hush has next 12 Batman issues. It remains to see though if they're going to continue after they're done with the events: will Detective Comics issues between Fugitive and War Games be released as Detective Comics by Brubaker and Co.?), but sometimes they just don't think it through/research correctly.

    Also, Nightwing vol. 3 later this year will also colllect issues around Brotherhood of the Fist. Old trade omitted part of the crossover. I assume this one will too. And since Green Arrow by Dixon seems to be far away, I'd prefer all of Brotherhood of the Fist was in this Road to No Man's Land book. Or none of it. But only one part seems silly.

    There's one Birds of Prey one-shot (The Ravens) that wasn't part of the old trades. It's the last one before the ongoing, so I hope it will be in the vol. 2, but I see a potential screw-up here.

    And there're already very early listings of second volumes of Birds of Prey and Road to No Man's Land on Amazon. The former is credited to Simone, but it has to be the Dixon one, and the latter has very high price, which must be a mistake, as I don't see how that book could be the size of Knightfall trades.

    1. Ravens ... hmmm. I wonder if they're putting it in closer to the issues where the Ravens reappeared. Hate to think it's going to be skipped.