DC Trade Solicitations for July/August/September 2016 - Death of Superman, Suicide Squad: Janus Directive, Absolute Batman Year One, Aquaman: Sub-Diego Vol. 2, Elseworlds Justice League

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Plenty to say about DC Comics: Rebirth with new details coming out all the time -- and I'll get back to that soon -- but I'm setting that aside for the moment to look at the DC Comics hardcover and trade paperback collection solicitations for July/August/September 2016 (posted late in April 2016). No big surprises in this month, though a couple of exciting volumes -- Aquaman: Sub-Diego Vol. 2 is an impressive, unexpected follow-up, and of course Suicide Squad Vol. 4: The Janus Directive brings a notable post-Crisis crossover back into print.

Also, just in time for Superman to return to the big screen, DC reprints the "Death of Superman" saga, the modern age's best-known Superman story, in an unprecedented five volumes. This splits Reign of the Supermen from Return of Superman, and then also collects the follow-up Doomsday miniseries together for the first time. There's only a little bit here that hasn't been collected before, but it's always nice to see DC re-collecting things toward more and more completeness.

Let's jump in, shall we?

Absolute Batman: Year One HC

You can read it in the solicitation, but for those who asked me, the way Batman: Year One will make up a whole Absolute volume is that it'll be two books in a slipcase, both the recolored and original versions of Batman #404-407, plus bonus material including all extras from previous collections. Most interesting to me is that the original-colored version will be printed on a paper kind of like the original "newsprint" paper.

Batman Noir: The Killing Joke HC

Similarly, rounding out the black-and-white Batman: Killing Joke reprint is, fittingly, Brian Bolland's (digital-first?) Batman: Black and White story.

Batman/Superman Vol. 5: Truth Hurts HC

This looks to be the second-to-last volume of Batman/Superman before "Rebirth," collecting issues #21-27 and the story from Convergence: Booster Gold. This would mean the final volume collects issues #28-32, which is a three-part story plus two parts of "Super-League." Depending on how you collect, a hardcover for three independent issues might be problematic.

Batman: The Brave and The Bold -- The Bronze Age Omnibus HC

Issues #87-122 of Brave and the Bold, spanning 1970 to 1975. Plenty of good team-ups here though I didn't necessarily see anything historically significant, referenced a lot later, etc.; if I missed something, let me know.

Batgirl Vol. 2: To the Death TP

Collects issues #13-25 of the Cassandra Cain series, which are parts of the A Knight Alone and Death Wish collections, including Joker's Last Laugh and Batman: Murderer/Fugitive crossover issues.

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

Whereas the Batman: Road to No Man's Land Vol. 1 collection actually collected the "Aftershocks" stories that followed Batman: Contagion, this collection actually collects the "Road to No Man's Land" stories proper that preceded No Man's Land (which is great! I'll take both!).

Superman: The Death of Superman TP [New Edition]
Superman: Funeral for a Friend TP
Superman: Reign of the Supermen TP
Superman: The Return of Superman TP
Superman: Doomsday TP

A new series of 5(!) volumes collecting the "Death of Superman" storyline. Included for the first time is the Newstime magazine issue and also the Supergirl and Team Luthor special. We also get the Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey and Doomsday Wars miniseries in one volume. The only omission I see in these books is that Justice League #69 isn't collected, a fairly important "Death of Superman" issue from Dan Jurgens's run. Chances are this is being collected over in the new Superman and the Justice League collections, but arguably it probably should (and maybe will) be here too.

Aquaman: Sub-Diego Vol. 2 TP

As unexpected (but welcome) as was the original Sub-Diego collection, I'm surprised and thrilled to see another, which moves beyond the Will Pfiefer run to stories by John Ostrander and John Arcudi, with art continuing by Patrick Gleason. This collects issues #23-29; a third volume could collect #30-39 by the same team, finishing out this series before Infinite Crisis.

Daring New Adventures of Supergirl Vol. 1 TP

Collects the first twelve issues of the last Supergirl series before Crisis on Infinite Earths. The solicits highlight a Doom Patrol appearance; I'd be happy to see this collection also include the Lois Lane backup stories.

Flash Vol. 8: Zoom HC

The second-to-last Flash collection before "Rebirth" collects issues #41-47 and the Convergence: Detective Comics story; next volume would presumably be issues #48-52.

DC Elseworlds: Justice League Vol. 1 TP

Collects League of Justice (fantasy-based), Justice Riders (Western; recently in Convergence), Elseworld's Finest (Superman/Batman pulp noir), Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl (unrelated to the earlier Elseworld's Finest, but introduces a Supergirl and Batgirl who also appeared in Countdown to Final Crisis and Convergence), Titans: Scissors Paper Stone (manga-influenced), and Wonder Woman: Amazonia (Wonder Woman vs Jack the Ripper in Victorian England).

Demon Vol. 2: The Longest Day TP

The second new collection of Garth Ennis's Demon collects issues #49-58 (possibly also the Zero Month issue after Zero Hour), the final issues of that series.

Green Arrow Vol. 8: The Nightbirds TP

Second-to-last Green Arrow collection before "Rebirth," collecting issues #41-47, the annual, and the story from Convergence: Speed Force.

• Lobo Vol. 3: Paid in Blood TP

I wasn't keen on the first new Lobo collection, but this one's crossover with Sinestro and Green Lantern ahead of "Rebirth" will probably have me picking it up eventually. Also Lobo hunts "the last of the Red Lanterns" here, which given the end of my favorite Red Lanterns, I'm curious who exactly that means.

New Teen Titans Vol. 5 TP

Collects issues #28-34 and Annual #2, within the previously-collected Terra Incognito era.

New Suicide Squad Vol. 3: Freedom TP

Solicitations say this collects issues #13-18, but with #20 being the last issue before "Rebirth," I wouldn't be surprised if it sweeps clean to the end.

Suicide Squad Vol. 4: The Janus Directive TP

A major late 1980s crossover, "Janus Directive" brought together all of DC's gritty spy-espionage series of the time -- Firestorm, Captain Atom, Manhunter, and Suicide Squad and Checkmate, the latter of which double-shipped during this time. This is an exciting collection of post-Crisis DC Comics history.

Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka Vol. 1 TP

The solicitation of this collection -- quite a while back -- certainly makes more sense now. This first volume collects Rucka's Down to Earth and Bitter Rivals, plus the Hiketeia graphic novel. Remaining would be Eyes of the Gorgon, Land of the Dead, and Mission's End; likely parts of Superman: Sacrifice will be included too.

What's caught your eye? More thoughts on "Rebirth"?
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  1. I want to know if Rebirth's directive of double shipping will mean faster trades. Simple math says yes, but you never know. If I did my math right we'll still be collecting the end of the New 52 next year...T.T which breaks my trade waiting heart.

    1. It just occurred to me too that double shipping might mean faster trades. Hard on the wallet, good for the soul, no?

    2. Exactly! I've been sporadic in collecting the New 52, but my goal is to try and get all the trades after rebirth....my wallet will ground me for life, but it sounds so sweet.

  2. From what I've been told, those titles that come out twice a month will have shorter periods between trades. Though as the new Wonder Woman title will apparently alternate storylines between the even and odd issues, thing may be different for it.

  3. I really want that Brave and Bold Omnibus, but so much of that is already collected in the Legends of the Dark Knight: Jim Aparo Vol 1. I think this omnibus gives us maybe 14 issues not drawn by Aparo.

    The Lois Lane back-up in Daring New Adventures of Supergirl was written by Tamsyn O'Flynn, and I don't see her credited at all, so I doubt the Lois Lane tales are included. There's enough LL stories from this title, Superman Family, the Lois Lane mini-series, as well as her own title, to make a very nice collection some day.

    You don't list the Suicide Squad - Silver Age omnibus, but I'm excited to see that one. I wonder if there were some proposed Archives that are now being repurposed into Omnibi?

    1. Depending on how "Rebirth" turns out, maybe indeed we'll see that Lois collection some time. Surely there's a John Byrne tale or two to go in there as well?

    2. Any chance all the backups could be all put into Vol 2 with the rest of series? If they're not there, I could be more tempted to ditch the trade and try to get the complete series via EBay?

    3. Well, the Lois feature only ran in issues #2-12, which are in this volume. It wouldn't make much sense to put them in a volume that collects issues where Lois didn't appear.

      DC collected all the Huntress backups from Wonder Woman in a separate trade a few years ago. There's plenty of Lois Lane material out there for a volume all her own.

  4. Ugh... a new Death of Superman Trade? I just bought the latest edition (2013...I think). How likely is it that the Justice League story will be added, because I couldn't imagine reading DoS without that issue.

    1. Because I couldn't imagine reading "Death of Superman" without that issue either, I'd say I think adding in Justice League #69 is pretty likely; I think it's just a common solicitations omission, actually.

      But hold on -- isn't that new version already out? Someone can go and check and report back to us.

    2. Interesting enough, the new versions were just released last week digitally

    3. And is Justice League #69 included?

    4. Note the book has two places in it that talk about what is and isn't collected. In one place it says it is and in the other it is omitted. However, I can assure you it is in there

    5. From what I gathered, everything's OK with those books content-wise, nothing missing and only Action Comics Annual could be placed better.

      The improvement I'd personally do would be to include Man of Steel #27, because it is set between Action #692 and Superman #83, if only to have unbroken run of issues. Actually, Adventures #506, Action #693 and MoS #28 send off surviving Supermen to their new series, so that those would be cool as epilogues.

  5. Replies
    1. That rather sounds like a tag for a horror movie. Thanks -- fixed now.

  6. What type of paper is this new 5 volume edition of Death of Superman? The same we got back the 90s and in the 2013 version, or the kind we get in all new comics.
    By the way, does anyone know what those different types of paper are called? I've never found information on this.

    I'm hoping for a cool new version of these issues.


  7. More Modern-Age loveliness. We are really being spoiled these days aren't we?!

  8. I'd rather have thicker trades coming out at the same pace as now.

  9. Regarding paper. Do they ever anounce what format these trades are in? I just received Ostrander's Suicide Squad vol 3 and the new (70s) Black Lightning reprint. Both are on paper almost as thin as tissue and with, how shall I say, not the brightest colors. This is especially disappointing given the presentation of the first two Suicide Squad volumes for which I enjoyed glossy paper for once. So vibrant! In addition, given the amazing colors and nice thick matte bone-white paper of some recent back-issue releases (War of the Gods, Golden Age Superman, Silver Age Justice League) I really expected Black Lightning to be on the same stock. Can anyone comment?

    1. The only thing that annoyed me more than that paper that was used in Suicide Squad vol. 3 were glossy-phobe idiots somewhere online who declared that a win without even seeing the book.

      As for why, maybe there are actual reasons, or maybe it's just DC. For all you know next Robin volume will come out on tissue too.

    2. Have the recent Robin collections been on glossy paper? Based on the story quality of the Chuck Dixon chapters in the No Man's Land trades, I have skipped over the Robin and Nightwing re-collections. I am kind of averse to the megagloss applied to all these 90s comics, but withstand it for the Bat (of couurse) and am gradually enjoying it when the effect isnt overkill. It's the lack of consistency that is intolerable. Why DC would regress in the midst of progress is alarming for someone looking to complete at least one series on their bookshelf. New Teen Titans and Deathstroke (90s) collections have been consistent if not stellar presentation. Can anyone state if the recent Azrael trades have that blurry look that his episodes from the No Man's Land collections have? And glossy or matte? As someone who does 100% of their "new" purchased online sight unseen, knowing paper quality is a big assist. Although the last year I have been preordering everything... Which is why it's so disappointing seeing something like last week's Suicide Squad vol 3.

  10. I really, really hate that the new Superman editions have issues that the Omnibus left out. As an owner of that omnibus, and a completionist, I just don't know what to do.

    1. I am in the same position. I will get the Doomsday edition but I cannot double dip on the rest since I already own the Omnibus. This next order is already shaping up to be my most expensive ever.

  11. R'uh R'oh! Bleeding Cool is saying that the Starman Vol 3 trade has been canceled. Any way to confirm this?


    1. This is terrible. I have found the first two in hardcover at reasonable prices since the paperbacks were released, and although I have the third paperback preordered was hoping to soon find the equivalent hardcover priced less than $75!

  12. Any news on what's happening with the new Checkmate trades? Amazon are only listing a volume 2 now.

  13. New Suicide Squad is probably going to extend to #22, but Suicide Squad Rebirth doesn't happen until August. Which makes it bizarre that Vol 3 is only collecting the first two issues of Seeley's 6-issue arc.