DC Trade Solicitations for January/February 2016 - Batgirl Cassandra Cain, Batman by Brubaker, Black Mirror Noir, Grayson Vol. 2

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The January/February 2016 list of DC Comics hardcover and trade paperback collection releases (posted September 2015) is out; as opposed to last month, when we saw a lot of new solicitations of 1980s/1990s comics collections, this month is a little more humdrum (they can't all be winners).

If you've never read Kelley Puckett and Scott Peterson's Cassanda Cain Batgirl, first of all shame on you, and second there's a collection for you this month; also Batman by Ed Brubaker, Batman Noir: Black Mirror, and the start of a Supergirl trade reprint series. But nothing to really, really get the blood pumping, I don't think. Let's take a look:

Batgirl Vol. 1: Silent Knight TP

We had previously believed this to be called Cassandra Cain: Batgirl Vol. 1, though now it's just "Batgirl." That's a little unfortunate -- I'd like to see this better differentiated from the Barbara Gordon volumes -- but the title is cute, "Silent Knight" being a mix of the original Batgirl Vol. 1: Silent Running and Batgirl Vol. 2: A Knight Alone.The book collects all of the previous volume 1 and most of volume 2, going right up to Officer Down. The Batgirl annual that's included has never been collected before, so that's nice; all in all a good start to this.

Batman by Ed Brubaker Vol. 1 TP

The contents remain consistent from the earlier solicitation of this. The inclusion of the "Our Worlds at War" issue will make fun placement on the DC Trade Paperback Timeline. The new solicitation text for this ("Ed Brubaker’s legendary run on Batman is collected, starting with ...) strongly suggests future volumes to come.

Batman Noir: The Black Mirror HC

Previous solicitations had just Detective Comics #871-877, but the new solicitations include #871-881, the entire original volume. There are not many books I'm interested in reading in black and white nor buying twice, but Black Mirror was such a good story and Jock and Francesco Francavilla's art would look so good in black and white, this is very, very tempting.

Batman: Shaman TP (New Edition)

Nice to see the collection of the very first Legends of the Dark Knight storyline getting a reprint.

• DC Comics Presents: Darkseid War 100-Page Super Spectacular #1

Collects the first Jack Kirby issues of Mister Miracle, New Gods, and Forever People, plus New Gods #7. I won't spoil it if you're not up to date, but New Gods #7 is a triumph of serial storytelling back in the day, with events from that title significantly affecting the other Fourth World titles even though the effects wouldn't be felt right away.

• DC Comics Presents: Robin War 100-Page Super Spectacular #1

Includes Teen Titans #29 (Tim Drake vs. Jason Todd), Batman #657 (Tim Drake vs. Damian Wayne), Nightwing #139 (Tim Drake vs. Dick Grayson), and Battle for the Cowl #3 (everyone vs. everyone), all of which rather suggests Tim Drake has some anger issues.

Grayson Vol. 2: We All Die at Dawn TP

Another Grayson collection that's not so long, just four issues and an annual, but darned if Tim Seeley and Tom King don't make it worth it. Sorry all who bought the first Grayson hardcover, but this one is paperback only. Midnighter appears, of course.

New Teen Titans Vol. 4 TP

Collects New Teen Titans #21-27 and the Annual #1, which is still in the midst of New Teen Titans Omnibus Vol. 2 (or New Teen Titans Archive Vol. 2, which included a Titans vs. Greek gods tale, and also details Changeling's past with the Doom Patrol. This is all plenty of issues ahead of Judas Contract, and still a ways to go until these paperbacks start reprinting previously-unreprinted material.

Red Hood and The Outlaws Vol. 7: Last Call TP

The final Red Hood collection before Convergence collects issues #35-40 and the Futures End tie-in.

• Supergirl Vol. 1: The Girl of Steel TP

Collects the previous Jeph Loeb Supergirl: Power and Joe Kelly Supergirl: Candor trades, featuring the mid-2000s "bad girl celebrity"-type Supergirl.

Not poor stories, though assuredly controversial. One certainly wonders, in the advent of the Supergirl TV series, why DC isn't reprinting the more-closely-related Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle issues. Possibly (unfortunately) there's a bit more obvious prurience to these issues that might help sell them off the shelf, though the Gates stories will again seem more familiar to TV-watchers.

Superman: Emperor Joker TP

Glad to see a reprint from one of my favorite Superman eras (behind the Triangle Titles) though why it's being reprinted necessarily is hard to say, short of the ubiquity of all things Joker these days. This is a straight reprint of the original volume, though at some point I wish this volume would include Action Comics #784, a "Joker's Last Laugh" tie-in, which was a rather poignant epilogue to Emperor Joker by Joe Kelly.

Swamp Thing Vol. 7: Season’s End TP

The final Swamp Thing collection before Convergence, including issues #35-40, the Annual #3, and the Futures End tie-in.

What are you buying? Anything I overlooked?
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25 comments:

  1. While the Gates/Igle run seems to be the biggest inspiration for the Supergirl TV show, it's a very tricky one to collect in an accessible way because most of it is heavily interconnected with the Superman titles thanks to the New Krypton storyline. I can see a second TPB going up to the end of Bedard and Guedes's short stint (which hasn't been collected before) and a third one collecting Puckett's run plus a couple of fill-ins, but I think a fourth one would read very disjointedly unless it included a bunch of text pages recapping the rest of the "New Krypton" and "Codename Patriot" crossovers.

    It's good to see Emperor Joker back in print, but it only brings more attention to the fact that there should be more collections of the Loeb/Kelly/Schultz era of the Superman books. The President Lex TPB desperately needs a new edition.

    Also, for completeness's sake, I think DC should look into including Soule and Vitti's short story from Secret Origins #9 in the final Swamp Thing volume.

    And even though I don't care for that "Planet DC" annual, I'm very happy that Batgirl Vol. 1 will be thicker than expected. That makes it possible to collect the entire series in just 5 or 6 volumes.

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    1. On collecting Gates/Igle, my advice would be just to go ahead and do it. Yeah, some of it won't make sense, but the Supergirl title only weaved through New Krypton for so long before it started telling its own stories, as I recall ("Who is Superwoman?" being related to New Krypton, but still "on its own," for instance). And I think the trend now with the "more complete" trades like Nightwing, the forthcoming Dixon/Robin, Batgirl Cassandra Cain, etc., etc. is just to collect all the issues regardless of "sense," which I understand is problematic but ultimately it's what I want collected these days -- everything, basically.

      Yes on President Lex reprint. Now more than ever.

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    2. Books should be readable on their own. I don't see a point of, say, having Nightwing #23 in a Nightwing collection, because it's a piece of another story and doesn't even feel like a Nightwing issue. But that's just 22 pages you can skip, so that's not that big of deal. Maybe.

      Worse is how they'll probably do Robin during Knigthsend/Prodigal/Troika when/if they get to it around vol. 4. Going by they usual MO, they'll just thrown in #8-14 and it's going to be a terrible reading experience. But you can actually remedy it by including pieces of issues before or after Robin ones, to solve cliffhangers and not have stories starting in the middle. I think about 30 extra pages for this batch of issues would do the trick.

      If that Supergirl series has similar problems, it should be looked into and see if it can be fixed by adding pages from other issues.

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    3. I understand why you'd want a book to be readable on its own. But at this point when we're talking about a re-collection of Nightwing stories that are at this point almost 20 years old, then I think the collector buying these books wants the complete series that they didn't buy at the time or that are sitting in longboxes somewhere, and not a piecemeal of issue #22 and #24 without issue #23, even if issue #23 is entirely removed from the ongoing series (and usually it's not; usually there's cut-scenes or something relevant). That's how I see it.

      I should mention that in regards to Supergirl, SG writer extraordinaire Sterling Gates got in touch on Twitter to say that they worked hard to make those Supergirl volumes read as independently on their own as possible.

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    4. The Supergirl TV show will probably make me want to re-read Gates's run, and I think I'll try reading the four TPBs by him while skipping the main New Krypton collections, just to see if that works. Or should I at least include the issues that were only collected in non-Supergirl volumes (#35-36 in New Krypton Vol. 2, #44 in Codename Patriot and #51-52 in Last Stand of New Krypton Vols 1 and 2) in my re-read?

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    5. That's going to be such a fun re-read. I'd include those big crossover volumes, personally -- New Krypton Vols. 1-2, Codename Patriot, Last Stand ... aw, heck, throw Superman: Brainiac in there for good measure. That way you've also got Supergirl weaving in and out of the main story. Let me know how it goes.

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    6. Nightwing #20 and #23 are Nightwing issues only in name. They're both middle parts of other stories, they continue from the issues that won't be in the collection and issues that continue from them won't be in it either. They have no Nightwing supporting cast, advance no sublopts from Nightwing as an ongoing series, and #23 especially doesn't have Nightwing in anythign resembling a leading role (unlike #19, which despite being a part of Cataclysm has all of that and is readable on its own). Having #20 and #23 in a book with its surrounding issues is really no different than inserting an issue another of random Bat-book.

      Also, it's DC - with that anal approach they liable to keep those parts of other stories, because they're Nightwing issues, and skip Birds of Prey parts of Hunt for Oracle, because they're not Nightwing issues.

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    7. Sounds like you've got the issues in front of you so I'll defer to your opinion on that. I'm just saying that, just like we well-trained collectors ran to get Batman Vol. 7: Endgame even though it contained less material than Joker: Endgame simply because it had a number 7 on its spine, so too does it matter to a Nightwing collector whether their book contains Nightwing issues #21-24 or issues #21-22 and #24. We are just wired to want the full set, logical or not, bound in a trade or not.

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  2. thanks for the details and comparisons to previous editions. i definitely need to remember to grab those 100 page super spectaculars when theyre out. other than that ive pre-ordered the brubaker volume.

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  3. Marvel: http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/secret-wars-ends-a-force-totally-awesome-hulk-more-debut-in-marvels-december-2015-solicitations

    *Ms. Marvel Vol. 2 HC—Along with the second half of her initial series, this collects Kamala’s appearances in “SHIELD” and “Amazing Spider-Man”. The last few issues feature the incredible team-up between Kamala and her idol Captain Marvel as the world ends. Luckily, the full creative team is returning for the relaunch, or there would be picketers outside the Marvel offices.

    *Daredevil by Frank Miller Companion Omnibus—The title is the long way of saying that this is the omnibus with “The Man Without Fear” and “Born Again”, plus some other projects Miller did with the character. If you have those as individual trades, you’re probably not missing much from this book, but the stories are still classics that are worth getting in some format.

    *Various Secret Wars Tie-Ins—It remains to be seen which of the tie-in series I’ll get. The only one solicited here that I bought on a monthly basis was “Future Imperfect”, which started great but petered out quickly. “Ghost Racers” is pretty much a given.

    *Deadpool’s Secret Wars TPB—In a perfect world, this would have been done in the form of the Duggan, Posehn and Koblish inventory issues, but Bunn and his array of artists have a good grasp on Wade. Read it for Deadpool’s glorious blonde mustache if nothing else.

    *SHIELD: Secret History TPB—This collects various one-shots about the various SHIELD women (and Nick Fury Sr. and Jr.) right in time for the mid-season break on “Agents”. Everyone’s favorite organization is going to have a good 50th anniversary (have you seen Chloe Bennett’s costume as Quake? It’s perfect down to the gauntlets).

    *X-Men: Inferno TPB—The X-Men crossover omnibuses continue to be converted into more affordable paperbacks. I eagerly await the paperback version of the Companion, which has some of the crazier tie-ins.

    *Marvel Frontier Comics TPB—I have a decent knowledge of Marvel UK… but I’m pretty certain I haven’t heard of a single character or title in this trade. They’re not kidding about this being a “forgotten gem”, and with a group of artists like D’Israeli and Mark Buckingham drawing it, I might take a gamble on it.


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    1. The Daredevil by Frank Miller Companion Omnibus tops the list of Marvel omnibi I most desperately wanted to see reprinted. There's no way I'm missing out again.

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    2. I agree on "Ghost Racers" -- probably my 2nd-favorite of the mostly-meh Secret Wars tie-ins after "Old Man Logan".

      I thought the complete reverse about "Future Imperfect", though -- A decent enough first issue petered out to 3 issues of mindless fighting that was so ridiculously uncompressed, I was surprised that the normally quite tightly-plotting Peter David was writing it. Loved that final issue and resolution though!

      -Mike

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  4. Dark Horse: http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/rucka-writes-dragon-age-mystery-girl-1-more-in-dark-horses-december-2015-solicitations

    *Barb Wire: Steel Harbor Blues TPB—The last few years have seen a number of ridiculous 90s comics getting successful revamps. Pat Oliffe as the artist might get me to read this… as long as it doesn’t rip off the plot of “Casablanca” and steal the advertising money from the MST3K movie.


    IDW: http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/judge-dredd-the-rocketeer-return-more-in-idws-december-2015-solicitations

    *TF vs. GI Joe: Tyrants Rise, Heroes are Born TPB—The first (and only) TF vs. Joe crossover done by Dreamwave, it’s infamous for having art by Jae Lee that’s kind of indecipherable. I can’t remember if that was the art being processed wrong or if he was just inexperienced since he’s done much better work. I won’t mind getting this since it’s likely that no money from it will ever reach Pat Lee’s hands.

    *Ghostbusters: Get Real TPB—Okay, so the ‘Busters have meet the TMNT, the Transformers and the X-Files Bureau, so why not have them meet themselves? Hopefully this turns out better than the animated TMNT equivalent “Turtles Forever”.


    Image: http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/the-fade-out-ends-spawn-takes-on-satan-more-in-image-comics-december-2015-solicitations

    *Starve: Vol. 1 TPB—As a fan of “Chopped”, the premise of this book—a cooking show that’s mutated past its origins to become an arena sport—is pretty intriguing. Plus it’s by Brian Wood, who has a knack for crazy premises.


    Valiant: http://www.bleedingcool.com/2015/09/19/the-death-defying-doctor-mirage-leads-the-valiant-december-2015-solicitations/

    *Not a trade, but “Ivar, Timewalker” is coming to an end. A return for “Archer and Armstrong” was teased at on Free Comic Book Day. These might be related.

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  5. I took a peek a while back regarding Brubaker's book. Seems a 2nd volume would collect the few remaining Batman issues along with his Detective work that happened right afterwards. I can only hope they collect Rucka's stuff at some point as this era is one of the gaps I've always wanted taken care of.

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    1. Seconded. A Batman by Greg Rucka collections series is definitely due.

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    2. Hey I'm a bit confused...don't the Officer Down (and etc) and the Murder/Fugitive things collect Brubaker and also Rucka's stuff? Or am I mistaken? What would collections have that those books don't?

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    3. Just took a quick glance but I'm pretty sure Rucka's Detective #751-753 and #755-765 aren't collected, so that's dozen-or-so issues right there, including Two-Face work (ahead of his later Two-Face work in Gotham Central) and the introduction of Sasha Bordeaux, who would be important in Murderer/Fugitive and also Checkmate, etc. And there might be more.

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    4. Rucka's first issue with Martinbrough has also never been collected, because the Batman: Evolution TPB annoyingly starts with their second issue (Detective Comics #743).

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    5. I can only hope that 2/3 of Batman by Brubaker vol. 2 won't be stuff that's already in Murderer/Fugitive set.

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    6. I imagine it won't be. For example this first Brubaker volume compiles those Batman by Brubaker DC presents issues (for the most part) which cover the stuff they haven't collected as part of those crossovers. I think they'll be smart about it, especially since they fairly recently reissued those crossover collections.

      Assuming they do the Rucka stuff, along with the Road to No Man's Land collections and hopefully the rest of Moech/Jones (I really wish these were paperback releases, but with what happened with the Starman omnibus releases I'm not sure), there's only one other era I really want covered off.

      Between Year One and Knighfall there are a ton of issues (especially Detective) that haven't been collected. Grant/Breyfogle/Barr/Wagner/Starlin/Aparo/Wolfman/Byrne/Milligan/Dixon. IMO this the best Batman stuff. Btman in it's purest crime fighting form without being super cheesy. I know about the Breyfogle collection but as I said above I'm not crazy with the format.

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    7. Yes also to collections of the pre-Knightfall 1980s stuff.

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  6. Looks like DC's hyping up Robin War by having poor Tim Drake get beaten up in every story :/

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    1. And he was such a nice lad, at the start ...

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    2. Life's been unfair to Tim ever since they gave him the name of a burger restaurant.

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    3. And no one could ever make that make sense, neither, outside the meta-reference to Kingdom Come.

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