DC Trade Solicitations for February/March 2016 - DC You, Prez, Constantine, Birds of Prey, Azrael, Green Lantern by Johns Omnibus Vol. 3

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

There's a lot of enthusiasm in the February/March 2016 DC Comics hardcover and trade paperback collection releases (posted October 2015), which breathlessly announce in the solicitations for a variety of "DC You" titles, "The first collection of the new DC series is here!" This is in the same round of solicitations that include what we might call the "second wave" of "DC You" titles with miniseries or new series Poison Ivy, Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad Most Wanted, and Swamp Thing, following a minor implosion last month that saw the cancellation of a couple of the "first wave" "DC You" titles (some cancellations of which stuck, 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?
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15 comments:

  1. Bizarro and Bit-Mite, the humor is maybe less colorful than the Harley Quinn title, but it is less outrageous and more "cute". Maybe this books are better for kids, but that's what I love about them.

    I want to check the Azrael series. Dennis O'Neil...

    Doomed is good enough and have some "spiderman" inside... in a weird way. But that's work. I want the trade.

    I want to look at the Martian Manhunter trade, read the first intriguing issue and I liked it.

    Midnighter is definitly a good serie, I am gonna check that too.

    New Suicide Squad is not really about Harley so much, the solicitations just made this point for selling the book... But, in this serie, there is some little taste of the old Ostrander run... It's not enough to be essential, but it's good enough.

    Prez is an absolute "must buy" for me, love it so far and I really, really hope that the next 6 issues will be solicited soon...

    For Robin, I want to check the solo Gleason work too, I am intrigued.

    The same for Superman...

    Yes, that's a lot of book to buy... *sigh*

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  2. Secret Six got delayed a couple of times--someone had a personal emergency that required a halt, and then Convergence hit. Would you be up for a co-review of this?

    Marvel: http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/marvel-january-2016-solicitations-unveil-captain-marvel-old-man-logan-mor

    *Captain America: White HC—A mini-series that’s been in production for so long that I had no idea it had even been stalled until it was announced as restarting this year. Loeb’s quality has been very iffy, but his “ultimate”, color-themed stories with Tim Sale usually end up being worthwhile.

    *Guardians of the Galaxy Omnibus by Abnett and Lanning HC—This really is a lot of material, enough to earn a $125 price tag but a steal at the listed price of $99. If you haven’t yet caught up on the DnA years, here’s your easy way in. Bonus: now that the Inhumans are such a big deal, this can also help you start on “War of Kings” and “Reign of Kings”.

    *Daredevil by Waid and Samnee Vol. 5 HC—Marvel already announced that this creative team is returning for “Black Widow”, mitigating the sadness of this run ending.

    *Secret Wars Tie-Ins TPs—Titles that I’ll be picking up in trade form include “Armor Wars”, “Civil War”, “Red Skull”, “E is for Extinction”, and “1602: Witch Hunter Angela” (once I get myself sorted on the entire Angela storyline).

    *SHIELD Vol. 2: The Man Called DEATH TP—There are so many periods in that title that I’m not even going to try reproducing it correctly. Waid’s “SHIELD” looks to be in very good hands when it merges with “Secret Avengers” to make the new “Agents of SHIELD” title next year.

    *Deadpool Firsts TP—I don’t particularly need anything in this trade, but it’s worth pointing out that it includes the first issue of the “Deadpool” relaunch coming out shortly. This might be the first ANAD Marvel issue ever to get collected.

    *Star Wars: Chewbacca TP—Two great Marvel titles this year starred main characters that can’t even speak English; where’s our big Groot/Chewbacca team-up?! Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto make this a definite get… it’s not like I can question its place in the timeline when the timeline doesn’t really exist anymore.


    Valiant: http://www.newsarama.com/26399-valiant-comics-january-2016-solicitations.html

    *Book of Death TP—A bit morbid for a major crossover, but from what I’ve heard the main book and the spin-offs are excellent.

    *Book of Death: The Fall of Valiant TP—The aforementioned one-shot spin-offs, covering the final defeats of all of Valiant’s heroes in a bad future.

    Dark Horse: http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/hellboy-winter-special-more-in-dark-horse-comics-january-2016-solicitations

    IDW: http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/dark-jem-victorie-city-more-lead-idws-january-2016-solicitations

    Image: http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/four-eyes-prophet-earth-war-more-in-image-comics-january-2016-solicitations

    *I’m not really intrigued by any of these publishers for January; that’s a first. I’m not sure if it’s weird timing or that I’m so excited for the ANAD Marvel titles that the indie books just aren’t that interesting right now.

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    1. Lazarus v4 is a must-buy for me - I was introduced to the series thanks to the reviews here, and I love it.
      http://collectededitions.blogspot.com/2013/10/review-lazarus-vol-1-family-trade.html

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    2. @Doug, yes, I'd co-review Secret Six. Let's look again closer to when it comes out.

      @Fogger Thanks for the kind words on the Lazarus reviews. I'm eager to get back to that series one of these days.

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  3. Sigh so I bought Batgirl as an HC yet next volumes are TPBs. That sucks - my shelf won't look unified now...

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    1. You never can tell. I guess if Batgirl remains TP going forward, then at least you've got a hardcover "header" book and then a series of paperbacks to follow.

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  4. I haven't seen any comments about Azrael trade ending in the middle of an arc before, so I'm glad someone who knows this stuff pointed it out, and it further suggests that those solicitations are wrong: both Azrael and BoP says they're 200-pagers, but given content go beyond that number. I hope both will be similar in size to Nightwing and Robin trades and will go through series in bigger chunks, which would mean even more issues than solicitations say.

    On more general note about DC's solicitations, how are people supposed to pre-order the books (which I assume is a good thing for a publisher) if they don't know what's in it? Amazon's listings that appear few months earlier I get, but this is supposed to be official. I can assume that Green Lantern Omnibus will have all of pre-Flashpoint series, but will all mishaps DC had, it can make people wary.

    And they never correct the contents. Sometimes way after the book is released their official site lists the wrong ones. For example it appears that they changed 1/3 of the contents of Robin vol. 1: Reborn after people preordered it, and if those people don't check several websites regularly they will find out about it when they get the book.

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    1. On the other hand, there's Justice League of America: The Silver Age vol. 1 (which you forgot to include) for $20 which according to the solicitations has more issues than the omnibus. What's the worst that can happen here? The book will have half of those (and skip Mystery In Space again) as it should for that price? If it turns out that it actually has those 22 issues and costs more will someone make you pay additional cost after you preorder? I'm not sure how that works.

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    2. Sorry, not more than Omnibus. I must have mixed it up with something else. But it's still way too many for 328 pages and $20.

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    3. On Amazon.ca they list "Justice League of America: The Silver Age Vol. 1" at 144 pages (I pre-ordered it at $17.32 CDN, it's currently sitting at $21.35 CDN). In their description: "In these stories from THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #28-30 and JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1-16..."

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    4. Marek, I didn't forget to include the Justice League: Silver Age collection, it's just not something I'm personally interested in buying (but I'm glad it appeals to you). Seems to me there's plenty of places you can find the full solicits list, and I won't waste your time repeating the whole list to you all unless I like the book or have something (hopefully intelligent) to say about it.

      Inaccurate solicits, and inaccurate solicits late in the process, remain an issue. If you pre-order a book from an LCS or online store and it turns out not to have the contents you were promised, optimally you should be allowed to return it, but I don't discount the hassle and trouble involved. Something like Azrael, I'd take the risk, with the expectation that the contents will probably be right and not pre-ordering the book might mean it doesn't come out at all. Something like the Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus Vol. 3, I think we can be assured that'll be published, and so I'd wait and see what's actually in it and make sure the problem isn't greater than just the solicts before I put down the money for it.

      What happened with the Robin collection?

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  5. Second mini-series was replaced with Detective Comics #618-621.

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  6. Any thoughts on amazon.ca's recent increase in prices/reduction in pre-order discounts for trade collections? I'll start: it sucks.

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    1. I didn't realize. Is this a stated policy or just a trend you've noticed?

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    2. It's a trend. Luckily I pre-ordered a lot of books through April, so I got the higher "old" discount at the time. For example, when I ordered the new editions of Batman Contagion (out next March) and War Games, they were discounted 37%. Now it's 11%. I have the Elseworlds trade on order for $19, its now called Elseworlds Batman and going for 26.69. The main Convergence series is still discounted at 37%, but tie-in trades are a bit inconsistent - some are 28%, but others are 13%.
      Curiously, although in stock books are not as discounted as they used to be, they are still generally better discounted than pre-order stuff (eg 25%), so I'm wondering if newer stuff is just suffering because the weaker Cdn dollar has finally caught up to amazon.ca's purchases.
      Anyway, its put a chill on my willingness to pre-order books from amazon going forward.

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