some of which didn't).
Anyway, it's a nice-sized month, indeed with a bunch of those "DC You" collections, and I'm glad to see that all of these seem to include the preview stories published ahead of them in the Convergence titles. There's also new "classic" collections of Azrael and Birds of Prey, a Green Lantern Omnibus whose solicited contents bear some examining, and more. Let's dive in and take a look.
• DC Essentials: DC: The New Frontier #1
• DC Essentials: Superman/Batman #1
I haven't much kept up with these DC Essentials so I don't know if the inclusion of pages from the DC Essentials Catalogue is new or not, but it's assuredly a good strategy, selling not just this individual story but also some related ones. For Superman/Batman, there's plenty of material; for New Frontier, not so much related, I don't think, though maybe DC will use that as a springboard to try to sell A) other Justice League material or B) other Darwyn Cooke material, most notably a couple of Catwoman books. It bears mentioning that if DC would publish a monthly New Frontier book (or alternatively, a monthly Wednesday Comics-type "take a character and go nuts"-type book), it'd probably sell gangbusters.
• DC Comics Essentials and Chronology Catalogue 2016
The 2015 edition of this came out around last February, so the beginning of the year is right on time. These are always interesting and offer a unique insight into where DC's positioning itself or what it's emphasizing for the year.
• Azrael Vol. 1: Fallen Angel TP
What a thrill to see Dennis O'Neil's quirky Azrael series, masterfully drawn by Barry Kitson, getting a new series of collections (pre-order, kids!). This volume is supposed to collect the Batman: Sword of Azrael four-issue miniseries by O'Neil and Joe Quesada, and Azrael #1-6, which I think might be a typo because the first storyline of Azrael was seven issues long and I don't think they'd omit the last part.
• Batman: Arkham -- Scarecrow TP
Notable issues for me among this collection are Batman #523-524, Doug Moench/Kelley Jones issues, though also included in the team's recently-released dedicated volume; Detective Comics #23.3, the "Villains Month"/Forever Evil story that lead in to Forever Evil: Arkham War; and Batman Annual #19, from the "Year One" annual event some years back.
• Birds of Prey Vol. 2 TP
Near as I can tell, DC's got this one pretty much perfect. Birds of Prey Vol. 2 follows the new Vol. 1 collection of all of Chuck Dixon's Birds of Prey miniseries with this collection of Birds #1-8 and the Ravens one-shot. Ravens is perfectly placed since those characters appear in these issues, and also this will be the first time issues #7-8 have been collected. Issue #8 was a significant issue at the time that made explicit Nightwing and Oracle's feelings for one another; it's going for anywhere from $30 to $100 on eBay right now, if that gives you a sense of it. DC's on the right track so far and I'm excited for Vol. 3.
• Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus Vol. 3
There remains what appears to be typos in the solicitation of this third Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus, as it says it collects issues #53-60 of the pre-Flashpoint series, which is some but not all of the Green Lantern: Brightest Day collection, and then also what are the Corps and Emerald Warriors parts of War of the Green Lanterns (though not the Green Lantern parts), and then the twenty Johns-penned New 52 issues. That's missing the pre-Flashpoint issues #61-67 at least, and then also the Green Lantern Zero Month issue and the other Lantern-title parts of Rise of the Third Army and Wrath of the First Lantern (though I recall the latter New 52 crossover issues weren't wholly necessary). I can't believe the Green Lantern Omnibus wouldn't include, at least, all the Green Lantern issues, so again, I'm betting on incomplete information.
It does include the Larfleeze Christmas Special, which I don't think has been reprinted before.
As well, the solicitation for this book talks about the Brightest Day struggles of Osiris, Jade, and etc., which is way off -- that's all stuff that happened in Brightest Day proper, which is separate from Green Lantern: Brightest Day supposedly collected here (one of Johns's strongest volumes, by the way). I'll be curious to see how this all shakes out when the book is printed.
• Identity Crisis (New Edition) TP
Amazes me every time. There's still an audience for another new edition of Identity Crisis, even beyond the recent 10th anniversary edition?
• Bat-Mite TP
Collects the full six-issue miniseries plus the Convergence: Supergirl: Matrix preview story.
• Batgirl Vol. 2: Family Business TP
Collects Batgirl #41-45, so running parallel to Batman Vol. 8 and with appearances by Batwing Luke Fox, plus the Annual #3 with characters from Grayson, and the Convergence: Infinity Inc. preview story.
• Batman Vol. 8: Superheavy HC
In an admirable attempt to preserve the mystery of the new Batman's identity for those readers living under a rock the past six months, the solicitation for Batman Vol. 8: Superheavy asks who the new Batman is and wonders "why is he ... or she here?" Collects Batman #41-45 and the preview story from Divergence.
• Bizarro TP
Collects the six-issue miniseries and the preview story from Convergence: Superman: Man of Steel. Out of curiosity, do you all deem Bizarro and Bat-Mite to have been successful? My interpretation was these stories were supposed to build on the popularity of Harley Quinn humor-type comics (the Bizarro solicit names Harley specifically), but I don't see more of these coming down the pike, and I'm not sure Bizarro, for instance, captures the specific off-color humor that had made Harley successful.
• Catwoman Vol. 7: inheritance TP
Also concurrent to Batman Vol. 8, this collection of Catwoman #41-46 (and the Convergence: Swamp Thing preview) is the last of Genevieve Valentine's stories. Valentine's run was much shorter than I'd hoped; admittedly I haven't read any of it yet but I liked the look of it. I can't say the solicitation fills me with a lot of hope, however. That Selina had ruled Gotham's underworld but gives it all up to track down her (Bat)man seems a move in the wrong direction, in my opinion.
• Constantine, the Hellblazer Vol. 1: Going Down TP
Hellblazer Vol. 1 would win for best collection double entendre subtitle of the month had Midnighter not beat it with the straightforward "Out." This collects #1-6 of the new Constantine series plus the Convergence: Shazam preview.
• Deathstroke Vol. 2: Godkiller TP
Collects issues #7-10, the first annual, and the preview from Convergence: Batman: Shadow of the Bat. I'm surprised this title is still going on and frankly I wonder if it has to do with Harley Quinn as a seeming persistent guest star, including in this volume; a semi-serious Deathstroke/Harley Quinn series might sell, too.
• Doomed TP
With Doomed recently cancelled, this collection of issues #1-6 and the Convergence: Superman preview is the first and last collection. Much as I did not care for the "Doomed" crossover, I find myself curious about a teen-led series written by Scott Lobdell without the constraints of a dozen other titles; also I believe Lobdell reintroduces some Triangle Title characters, which should be interesting.
• Justice League Vol. 7: Darkseid War Part 1 HC
That it's Justice League Vol. 7: Darkseid War Part 1 puts me in mind of the upcoming two-part Avengers movie (because two-part movies are a thing now, apparently). Thinking back, I guess DC published, for instance, Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War Vols. 1 and 2, but those weren't numbered volumes and also parts of stories; Batman: Zero Year was two volumes, but individually named and not "parts." No matter, just interesting. I wonder if "parts" suggests a combined omnibus volume still to come, maybe with the "Darkseid War" specials included (which I believe will be collected in their own book and not in a numbered Justice League collection). Collects issues #40-44 and the Divergence story.
• Martian Manhunter Vol. 1: The Epiphany TP
Collects issues #1-6 and the Convergence: Adventures of Superman preview.
• Midnighter Vol. 1: Out TP
There's many things I like about DC's Grayson/Midnighter-verse and the intelligent wink-and-nod aesthetic of this DC corner, and one of these things is that DC has been forthright enough to name their first Midnighter collection "Out"; no two ways about that one. This collects Midnighter #1-7 and the Convergence: Nightwing/Oracle preview.
• New Suicide Squad Vol. 2: Monsters TP
Again, I wonder if DC might have more success re-naming this book Harley Quinn and the Suicide Squad; the solicitations seem part super-villain team book, part second Conner/Palmiotti Harley Quinn book, i.e. "How far will [the Squad] push the limits and who will fall? Plus, how will Harley Quinn deal with her greatest enemy: boredom?" Collects issues #9-12 and the first annual, and the preview story from Convergence: Justice Society of America (an odd pairing of series and Convergence title, I must say).
• Prez Vol. 1: Corndog in Chief TP
In the expansion and then contraction that was DC's release of their "DC You" series, including the much-discussed Omega Men and etc., there was some question whether Prez would remain twelve issues; it seems it will, just split in two series. Here's Vol. 1, collecting the first six issues, plus the preview story from Convergence: Batgirl.
• Robin: Son of Batman Vol. 1 -- Year of Blood HC
From the solicitation, I'm confused whether this takes place "now" or in a period before Damian met Batman, but don't tell me -- I'll read it eventually. Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason have been among my favorites for a while, and I'm very curious to see what Gleason does on his own. Collects issues #1-6 and the preview from Convergence: World's Finest.
• Secret Six Vol. 1: What is the Secret of the Six? TP
Never expected we'd see another Gail Simone Secret Six series, seems like the collection has taken a while, but I'm thrilled it's soon to be in my grubby hands. Collects issues #1-6 and the preview from Convergence: Wonder Woman.
• Sinestro Vol. 3: Rising TP
Collects Sinestro #12-15, the preview story from Convergence: Action Comics, and Lobo #10-11. With both Lobo and Sinestro written by Cullen Bunn, I'm looking forward to this crossover. I didn't much favor the first new Lobo collection, but among what I thought it needed was more presence from the rest of the DCU, which a crossover with Sinestro delivers.
• Superman Vol. 1: Before Truth HC
Interesting to see this first Superman collection from Gene Luen Yang and John Romita, newly renumbered as Vol. 1, called "Before Truth," and I wonder if that reflects what I understand to be some intentional disconnect in the timeframes that Superman and Action Comics take place. Collects issues #40-46 and the preview story from Divergence.
What'll be on your pull list from these solicitations?