Review: Secret Wars hardcover/paperback (Marvel Comics)

Thursday, March 31, 2016

[Review by Doug Glassman, who Tumblrs at '80s Marvel Rocks!]

Reading Secret Wars month to month was an exercise in frustration that I nevertheless enjoyed participating in. Up front, I'll say that it isn't perfect. There are a few too many catch-up exposition monologues (mainly put in due to publishing delays) and a couple of plotlines that have too much happening off-panel. In particular, Captain Marvel takes a weird turn through the middle of the book that never got picked up in one of the spin-offs as far as I can tell. There's also some strange issue placement in the hardcover; the Free Comic Book Day story that should be at the very front is instead at the very end. Even with these flaws, Secret Wars succeeds both as a culmination of five years of stories by Jonathan Hickman as well as a somewhat effective way to refresh the Marvel Universe.
Collected Editions 2017 Comic Book Gift Guide

Review: Convergence hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, March 28, 2016

Though touted as an unprecedented pairing of characters from every era of DC Comics lore, the Convergence event has plenty of precedent. Arguably DC is at its best in the Crisis on Infinite Earths/Zero Hour/Infinite Crisis genre, the characters from different continuities in giant crowd scenes or paired up to fight this or that villain. For the most part, DC has done Convergence before and has a model for how to do it right.

That's why, with the stakes as high as they are, it's astounding that Convergence fails to deliver. There are moments to cheer for, but they're few and unfortunately far between. Instead, this is mostly an Earth 2 story, but focused on some particularly late-blossoming characters, and moreover it veers into a surprisingly laborious crossover between Earth 2 and one of DC's more esoteric properties. Confusion abounds as well, from which villain's to blame to what the consequences of all of this are actually meant to be.

DC Rebirth Omnibus, Crisis on Infinite Earths and Legends Companions, Absolute Batman: Year One and Infinite Crisis, Watchmen Noir, Starman Omnibus Vol. 4, Flash by Mark Waid, Justice Society '92, more in DC Comics Fall 2016 solicitations

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

It's DC Comics's Fall 2016 trade paperback and hardcover collections! This list is now complete and updated with my comments, barring any late-breaking additions.

On the cusp of new details about DC Comics's "Rebirth," we can tell you there will be a DC Comics Rebirth Omnibus coming in December that will collect all the DC "Rebirth" issues (either the specials alone, or the specials plus the #1 issues).

And that's just the start of what's solicited from DC Comics this fall -- a black-and-white Watchmen; Absolute editions of Batman: Year One and Infinite Crisis; long-awaited companion volumes to Crisis on Infinite Earths and Legends, collecting those crossovers' tie-in issues; Batman volumes by Brian K. Vaughan, Ed Brubaker, and Norm Breyfogle; a collection of Ron Marz's Green Lantern; a collection of the complete 1992 Justice Society series; the paperback Starman Omnibus Vol. 4; Flash by Mark Waid; and much, much more. Read on for more details.

[Be among the first to get news like this by following Collected Editions on Facebook and Twitter.]

Note that all of this information is subject to change before publication. Not all links may yet be functional.

52 Book 2

Said to collect the end of 52 in paperback, issues #27-52.

Absolute Batman: Year One

Though only four issues, the Absolute is said to be rounded out with pencils, sketches, and script pages.

Absolute Infinite Crisis

In my opinion the best crossover miniseries DC Comics has ever done. Definitely worthy of Absolute treatment.

Absolute Y: The Last Man Vol. 2

Adam Strange: The Silver Age Vol. 1

Anarky: The Complete Collection

I expect, as the name suggests, this is a comprehensive collection of Alan Grant's Anarky stories. If so, that'll span Detective Comics to Shadow of the Bat, the Anarky miniseries and series, maybe even an "Eclipso: The Darkness Within" Robin annual?

Aquaman Vol. 7

Aquaman Vol. 8

Aquaman: A Celebration of 75 Years

Art of DC Comics Bombshells

Art Ops Vol. 2

Azrael Vol. 2

Pleasantly surprised as I was to see the first collection of this eccentric, under-appreciated series -- in which Dennis O'Neil takes the one-note "bad Batman" Azrael and sets him alongside a quirky cast -- I'm even more surprised to see it continuing. This book stays good for a while, not in the least because of Barry Kitson's art. There's potential here for an Underworld Unleashed tie-in to be collected, among others.

Batgirl: Cassandra Cain Vol. 3

These don't seem to be being published as "Batgirl: Cassandra Cain" collections, but rather just as Batgirl collections. Irrespective, the last volume stopped at issue #25; this next one should get into some of the Batman: Fugitive material. This title was collected sporadically until issue #28 and then not again until #58, so I expect the third volume will have some previously un-collected material.

Batman '66 Meets the Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Batman '66 Vol. 5

Batman & Robin By Grant Morrison

Apparently a hardcover collection of Morrison's Batman & Robin #1-16 and Batman: The Return.

Batman Arkham Vol. 5: Poison Ivy

Batman Arkham Vol. 6: Man-Bat

Batman Beyond Vol. 2

Batman by Brian K. Vaughan

A few years ago DC published Batman: False Faces containing most of Vaughan's Batman work. This is a catchier title but I wonder if it'll actually collect anything different.

Batman by Ed Brubaker Vol. 2

Should collect Brubaker's final Batman issues, and into Detective Comics.

Batman by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo Box Set

Batman Vol. 10: Love Never Dies

Batman Vol. 9: Superheavy Part 2 collects through Batman #50. Apparently this volume is Batman #51-52, Batman Annual #4, and a story from Detective Comics #27. Now, Snyder and Capullo could adapt the phone book and I'd read it, but this seems an awful small collection unless something else is coming.

Batman Vol. 8: Endgame

Batman Vol. 9: Superheavy Part 2
Batman Vol. 9: Superheavy Part 2

Maybe these volumes are coming out a little faster to clear the path for "Rebirth"? The hardcover said to be in September, the paperback in December.

Batman: Arkham Knight Genesis

Batman: Arkham Knight Vol. 3

Batman: Death & the Maidens Complete Collection

Good for Greg Rucka; this is a gripping, harrowing story, and also introduces a character being used heavily over on the ArrowTV show. I question "complete collection," however, because the original collection contained the complete miniseries, though maybe give or take a backup story.

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 8

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 9

Batman: Li'l Gotham Deluxe Edition

Good for Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs; I enjoyed this, and the art certainly deserves a deluxe edition.

Batman: The Brave & The Bold Bronze Age Omnibus

Batman/Two-Face by James Robinson

Another interesting re-naming; this appears to be Robinson's "One Year Later" story Batman: Face the Face, collected again under a different title.

Batman/Wildcat

Collects the four-issue miniseries by Chuck Dixon and Beau Smith, at least, but I'm hoping it's also got the sequel Catwoman/Wildcat miniseries (and where are my Beau Smith Guy Gardner collections?).

Best of Looney Tunes Vol. 2

Birds of Prey Vol. 3

Continuing to collect the original Chuck Dixon run. This should collect some of the gap between the previously collected issues #1-11 and issues #20-21 (Birds of Prey is in all not well collected until issue #56). Within this are Black Canary and Catwoman on Apokolips, possibly the story of Oracle's partnership with Power Girl, and an encounter with the Joker.

Black Canary Vol. 2

The final collection of Brenden Fletcher and Annie Wu's "DC You" title.

Bloodlines

Collecting the new miniseries. I hope people buy the heck out of this so we can get a Bloodlines, original, collection.

Catwoman Vol. 6

The final collection of the 2000s Catwoman series, ending with Will Pfeifer's run. Solicitations suggest this might include Tony Bedard's Blackest Night issue, too. Looks like this will contain Catwoman Vol. 7: Catwoman Dies, Catwoman Vol. 8: Crime Pays, and Catwoman Vol. 9: Long Road Home.

Catwoman Vol. 8

The final Catwoman collection before "Rebirth," by Frank Tieri.

Checkmate by Greg Rucka Vol. 1

I've been excited about this since the rumors started. One of my all-time favorite DC titles, as Rucka and Jesus Saiz turn an eclectic swath of the DC Universe into super-spies. This was solicited this past summer and apparently delayed, so hopefully this does it.

Clean Room Vol. 2

Convergence

Paperback of the miniseries.

Crisis on Infinite Earths Companion

I have been hoping for something like this for years, that collects the tie-in issues published beside Crisis on Infinite Earths. Bring on the Underworld Unleashed Companion, the Final Night Companion, and so on. Solicitations say this includes Action Comics, Batman, Detective Comics, Firestorm, Green Lantern, Justice League of America, New Teen Titans, Swamp Thing, and Wonder Woman, among others.

Cyborg Vol. 2

This should finish Cyborg prior to the "Rebirth" relaunch.

Dark & The Bloody Vol. 1

Dark Knight Returns Book & Mask Set

Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade

DC Comics Bombshells Vol. 2

DC Rebirth Omnibus

Curious as I am about "Rebirth," that we get another in the series of yearly special-month omnibuses lends credence to my notion that "Rebirth" is just another "wave" of DC's cancellations/relaunches, albeit with considerable more fanfare.

DC Super Hero Girls Vol. 2

DC Universe By Neil Gaiman

Another that was solicited for the summer and apparently delayed for the fall.

Deathstroke Vol. 3

The final collection before "Rebirth."

Deathstroke, the Terminator Vol. 4

Very exciting to see the Marv Wolfman collections continue. This collects the "World Tour '93" storyline with Deathstroke, Amanda Waller, and Vigilante, among others -- issues #27-34.

DMZ Book Three

Doctor Fate Vol. 2

Final collection of the "DC You" series before "Rebirth."

Doom Patrol Book Three

Continuing to re-collect the Grant Morrison run; this would be the previously collected Doom Patrol Vol. 5: Magic Bus and Doom Patrol Vol. 6: Planet Love

Earth 2: Society Vol. 2

The second collection, before "Rebirth."

Elseworlds: Batman Vol. 2

Love that we have an Elseworlds collection series now. This is supposed to be Batman: Brotherhood of the Bat, Scar of the Bat, Dark Knight Dynasty, and Man-Bat.

Elseworlds: Superman Vol. 1

Another holdover from previous solicitations. Collects Superman: Speeding Bullet, Kamandi: At Earth’s End #1-6, Superman: Kal, Superman: At Earth’s End, Superman/Batman: Doom Link, and Superman/Wonder Woman: Whom Gods Destroy #1-4

Fables Deluxe Book 13

Firestorm: The Nuclear Man

The solicitation on this credits Gerry Conway and the description is the same as the collection of Conway's earlier Firestorm stories. If this is a second volume, it could collect Conway's Fury of Firestorm issues. Correction: This is most likely a collection of the Gerry Conway Legends of Tomorrow issues.

Flash by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato Omnibus
Flash by Francis Manapul Unwrapped

An omnibus of Manapul and Buccellato's New 52 Flash #1-25 (through Vol. 4: Reverse), and then apparently the exact same issues but with Manapul's line drawings uninked and uncolored, which should be stunning indeed.

Flash By Geoff Johns Book Three

Paperback reprint of the third Flash by Geoff Johns Omnibus.

Flash by Mark Waid Book One

I think most of us consider Mark Waid's Flash run of almost 100 issues to be the definitive run on Flash, at least in depicting Barry Allen Wally West (edit: oops!). No word on what this collects, but I think we can guess it'll start with Flash #62-65, Born to Run, and maybe go up to if not through Return of Barry Allen.

Flash Vol. 8: Zoom
Flash Vol. 9

These will take us to the "Rebirth" relaunch.

Flash: The Silver Age Omnibus Vol. 2

Free Country: A Tale of The Children's Crusade

Gen 13: The Complete Collection

DC does like to tease a new Gen13 series, don't they? The solicitation names Jim Lee and J. Scott Campbell, so whether this is "complete"-complete, with like Superman/Gen13, or just the main series, I'm not sure.

Get Jiro: Blood & Sushi

Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Gotham Academy Vol. 3

This should be the "Yearbook" storyline before the "Rebirth" relaunch.

Grayson Vol. 4

The final Grayson collection before "Rebirth."

Green Arrow by Kevin Smith

Green Arrow Vol. 6
Green Arrow Vol. 7

The next two Mike Grell collections, said to be issues #39-45 and #46-53, including art by Grell himself and an extra-sized 50th issue.

Green Lantern Book One

Love it or leave it, this looks like a new series of collections of Ron Marz's Green Lantern Kyle Rayner run. So far this is just the previously-collected Emerald Twilight/New Dawn, but there's plenty from this seventy-five-ish issue run that wasn't collected. I'd be happy to see this continue even into Judd Winick's run.

Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion Vol. 1

Green Lantern Vol. 7
Green Lantern Vol. 8

These two close out Green Lantern before "Rebirth"

Green Lantern: The Silver Age Vol. 1

Harley and Her Gang of Harleys Vol. 1

Harley Quinn Book & Mask Set

Harley Quinn Vol. 4
Harley Quinn Vol. 5

These should finish Harley Quinn before "Rebirth."

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five Vol. 1

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four Vol. 2

Injustice: Year Two The Complete Collection

Jack of Fables Deluxe Book 1

JLA Vol. 9

The next re-collection of the 2000s JLA series. Solicited for this is issues #115-119, Geoff Johns's Identity Crisis tie-in Crisis of Conscience, but that's awfully little for these collections. I wouldn't be surprised if this collected all the way to issue #125, adding in the Infinite Crisis tie-in World Without a Justice League.

John Constantine: Hellblazer Vol. 15: Highwater

JSA: The Golden Age Deluxe Edition

Justice League 3001 Vol. 2

Collects Justice League 3001 to issue #12. Is there still a question of whether all of Justice League 3000 has been collected?

Justice League of America: The Silver Age Vol. 2

Justice League Vol. 7: Darkseid War Part 1

Justice League Vol. 8: Darkseid War Part 2

Justice League: Gods And Men (Darkseid War)

The "Darkseid War" tie-in specials.

Justice Society of America: The Complete 1992 Series

This does not appear to include Armageddon: Inferno, unfortunately, but it is the entire Len Strazewski/Mike Parobeck series, which introduced Jesse Quick and laid the groundwork for Geoff Johns's JSA series. I'll take it.

Last Days of the Justice Society of America

Going along with this, Last Days of the Justice Society was the Roy Thomas special that saw the Justice Society enter Ragnorak after Crisis on Infinite Earths before they were rescued in Armageddon: Inferno. But Last Days was just a one-shot special, so I'm curious what else this trade might contain.

Last Gang in Town Vol. 1

Legend of Wonder Woman

Legends Companion

Again, very happy to see this collection of 1980s books that tied in to the Legends crossover. Solicitations for this emphasize Firestorm's presence, late of Legends of Tomorrow; I'm surprised Suicide Squad's role isn't also mentioned, though the Squad's presence in these tie in issues is light. Said to contain Batman #401, Detective Comics #568, Green Lantern Corps #207, Cosmic Boy #1-4, Justice League of America #259-261, Secret Origins #10 and #14, Fury of Firestorm #55-56, Blue Beetle #9-10, Warlord #114-115, Superman #3, Adventures of Superman #426, and Action Comics #586.

Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle Vol. 2

Someone was just asking me about this. Solicitation says this contains 1990s Detective Comics issues. There's plenty of Breyfogle work still to collect, even into Batman: Knightfall.

Lucifer Vol. 2

Martian Manhunter Vol. 2

The final "DC You" collection before "Rebirth."

Metal Men
Metamorpho

Additional Legends of Tomorrow collections. See also Firestorm.

Midnight Days

Midnighter Vol. 2

The final Midnighter collection before Rebirth.

Mr. Punch 20th Anniversary Ed.

Multiversity

New Teen Titans Vol. 6

Said to collect New Teen Titans #35-39 and Annual #1, which were collected in the New Teen Titans Omnibus Vol. 2; these take place between the Terra Incognita and Judas Contract trades.

Newsboy Legion by Simon and Kirby Vol. 2

Nightwing Vol. 5

Continuing the new collections of the Chuck Dixon series. The most recent fourth volume is supposed to collect through issue #34, so this should be some of Nightwing: Darker Shade of Justice and into Hunt for Oracle. The big gap in Nightwing collections is after issue #60.

Northlanders Book 2

Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death

Red Hood/Arsenal Vol. 2

The final collection before "Rebirth."

Red Thorn Vol. 2

Robin Vol. 4

The fourth new collection of Chuck Dixon's run. If the last book does indeed end with issue #6, this could collect the Robin tie-in issues to Knightfall, Knightsend, Zero Hour, and Prodigal (it was a busy time!).

Robin: Son of Batman Vol. 1
Robin: Son of Batman Vol. 2

Wrapping up the Patrick Gleason series (we hardly knew ye!).

Sandman Mystery Theatre Book 2

The second new collection of Matt Wagner's Sandman Mystery Theatre is said to collect issues #13-24 and the Annual #1, which are the Vamp and Scorpion collections, and part of Dr. Death and the Night of the Butcher (probably the "Dr. Death" part).

Sandman: Overture

Secret Six Vol. 2

Shadow of the Bat Vol. 2

Continuing the new collections of the Alan Grant series.

Sheriff of Babylon Vol. 2

Sinestro Vol. 4

Space Ghost (New Edition)

In time for DC's all-new Hanna-Barbera comics, this miniseries was a serious take on Space Ghost by Joe Kelly. Here, have a review.

Starman Omnibus Vol. 4

Wasting no time, thankfully, DC follows the long-awaited paperback Starman Omnibus Vol. 3 with Vol. 4. This ought contain issues #39-46 (essentially the To Reach the Stars collection), the 80-Page Giant, the Mist special, Power of Shazam #35-36, and Batman/Hellboy/Starman #1-2.

Sugar & Spike

Another Legends of Tomorrow collection. So they're actually detectives? Is this good?

Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Katana

Suicide Squad Vol. 5

This book's solicitation suggests the "Janus Directive" crossover issues, but that should have been Vol. 4; this would follow that, with some Apokolips action.

Suiciders: Kings of HelLA

Supergirl by Peter David Book One
Supergirl by Peter David Book Two

The first volume seems to have been bumped a season, which is bad if it means the book may not see print; at the same time, solicits for a second volume suggest we may go past the Gary Frank issues into Leonard Kirk's work.

Supergirl Vol. 2

The next collection of the 2000s Jeph Loeb series, at this point collecting issues #11 and #13-22 by Joe Kelly and Tony Bedard (Kara has an abusive boyfriend and Amazons Attack). Some of this was previously collected as Supergirl: Identity and some has never been collected.

Superman Vol. 1
Superman Vol. 2

Paperback of Gene Luen Yang's first volume and hardcover of his second, before "Rebirth."

Superman-Action Comics Vol. 8
Superman-Action Comics Vol. 9
Superman: Super League

Vol. 8 is the paperback of Greg Pak's Truth; Vol. 9 is the Action Comics issues of Peter Tomasi's "Super-League." As has been DC's custom is looks like you can read parts of "Super-League" in the various crossover titles' individual trades or all together in a Super-League collection.

Superman: The Coming of the Supermen

The Neal Adams miniseries.

Superman: The Golden Age Vol. 2

Superman: The Man of Steel Vol. 9

Another resolicit, as John Byrne introduces the post-Crisis Supergirl and General Zod.

Superman/Batman Vol. 5

Issues #50-63, previously collected as Michael Green and Mike Johnson's Finest Worlds and Night and Day, with Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Mike Johnson's uncollected "Nanopolis" (issues #57-59) in the middle.

Superman/Wonder Woman Vol. 4

Superman/Wonder Woman Vol. 5

Ends Superman/Wonder Woman before "Rebirth" with the "Super-League" tie-in issues.

Survivors' Club: The Complete Series

Swamp Thing (Vol. 4) Book 1

Re-collects the fourth series run that started with writer Andy Diggle (Swamp Thing: Bad Seed). Depending on how far this goes, following issues are by Will Pfeifer and Joshua Dysart.

Sweet Tooth Deluxe Book Three

Teen Titans by Geoff Johns Vol. 1

A paperback collection (most likely partial) of the previous Teen Titans by Geoff Johns Omnibus.

Teen Titans Go! Vol. 3

Teen Titans Go!: Bring it On

Teen Titans Vol. 3

By Will Pfeifer and Greg Pak; this should close out Teen Titans before "Rebirth."

Teen Titans: The Silver Age Omnibus Vol. 1

Teen Titans: Year One (New Edition)

Titans Hunt

The Dan Abnett post-Convergence miniseries.

Unfollow Vol. 2

Unwritten Deluxe Book 1

Watchmen Noir

Reprinted as part of DC's series of black-and-white titles.

We Are Robin Vol. 2

Final volume of the series before "Rebirth."

Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Box Set

This slipcase is said to include Wonder Woman collections by Gail Simone, Brian Azzarello, George Perez, and Phil Jimenez, which is a nice cross-section (missing only Greg Rucka and William Messner-Loebs).

Wonder Woman Vol. 8

Wonder Woman Vol. 9

The final Meredith Finch/David Finch collection before "Rebirth."

Wonder Woman: A Celebration of 75 Years

Wonder Woman: A Very Selfish Princess

The Jill Thompson digital-first series.

Wonder Woman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 1

Crisis and Legends companions! 1990s Justice Society! Let me know what else grabs your attention from this list.

Review: Constantine Vol. 4: The Apocalypse Road trade paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, March 21, 2016

I thought the recent Flash television episode "King Shark" was exceptional in how it took the common adventure trope of visiting a duplicate Earth and took it to its logical and very realistic consequences. Consider Barry and Cisco taking Earth-2 selfies at the start of "Welcome to Earth-2," versus everyone's post-traumatic stress after some significant deaths during and at the end of the journey. There's a certain Silver Age charm in imagining the Earth-1 Flash teaming up with the Earth-2 Flash, but "King Shark" demonstrated that a visit to an alternate Earth burdens one with the knowledge of missed opportunities, choices unmade, and fleeting glimpses of loved ones long dead, which Barry can't now forget.

Coincidentally, Raw Fawkes's Constantine Vol. 4: The Apocalypse Road deals with a similarly disturbing trip to Earth 2 (the hyphen, present in Flash, is not so in the post-Flashpoint DC Universe). I know many have felt that DC Comics's sheer act of bringing John Constantine into the DCU proper negatively affected the character, and indeed many of Fawkes stories -- though generally well-written overall -- have tended too far into the superhero realm for some readers' tastes (see Forever Evil: Blight). Surely crossing over Constantine with the mega-event Earth 2: World's End must be the pinnacle of jumping the shark.

Review: Predator Omnibus Vol. 1 trade paperback (Dark Horse Comics)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

[Review by Doug Glassman, who Tumblrs at '80s Marvel Rocks!]

The loss of the Star Wars license to Marvel might be the best thing to happen to Dark Horse in a creative sense. Without the crutch of that massive franchise, they've had to reinvest in older properties and bring out some of their potential. That's why we got Grendel's return in Grendel vs. the Shadow and the return of the Xenomorphs and Yautja in the epic Aliens/AVP/Predator/Prometheus: Fire and Stone crossover. Yet another story cycle recently kicked off with Predator: Life and Death. In the meantime, one Predator appeared in Mortal Kombat X and another crossed over into Riverdale for Archie Meets the Predator.

Like the Aliens comics, the Predator comics franchise got its start with Mark Verheiden. Also like those comics, the initial Predator books are fantastic. This review links to the first Predator Omnibus but I'll be concentrating this review on the first story, Concrete Jungle (a retroactive title in the same way that the first Aliens mini-series became Outbreak in collections). The others are pretty good, but they were written after a wide variety of new weapons were designed for Predator 2, and while I like the weapons, they take away from the purity of the hunting style seen in the superior first film. Verheiden had less technology to work with for Concrete Jungle but he used what the Yautja already had to great effect.

Review: Earth 2: World's End Vol. 2 trade paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, March 14, 2016

There is a moment toward the end of Earth 2: World's End Vol. 2 when the heroes' battle seems hopelessly lost, and when the Earth 2 heroes go so far as to plan retreat and cutting their losses, something almost unheard of in the superhero zeitgeist. It put me in mind -- pleasantly, despite the drama -- of Crisis on Infinite Earths, where it's more than just the suspense of whether the good guys could lose, but rather it seems certain that they will lose, if nothing else than for the world-destroying purposes of the story (even if that loss eventually leads to another triumph). In this way -- really showing a real disaster -- World's End succeeds, at least in scope.

But whereas the weekly series format worked for the first volume of World's End, giving the various factions lots of space for the book's set-up, there doesn't seem quite enough material to fill the book's denouement. As such, the end of World's End involves a lot of the characters flitting from pitched battle to pitched battle, or repetitively worrying over the same thing scene after scene. The writing overall is good, but with so much space, there's a number of glossed-over details -- and even some big character motivations -- that might have been addressed and aren't.

Trade Perspectives: Thoughts on DC Rebirth

Thursday, March 10, 2016


We're about two weeks from when DC Comics releases the next details on their "Rebirth" title relaunch, and I wanted to take the opportunity to pause before that and think aloud a bit about what we already know and what it might or might not mean. I welcome your thoughts as well, and then we'll reconvene after DC's next set of announcements for more discussion of what we know next.

No Worries

I'm not really concerned about the health of the DC Comics company, which -- with three successful television shows currently on air and the "dawn" of a new move franchise about to begin -- I'm pretty sure isn't going anywhere.

But, I do remember when DC Comics series told great event stories without giant, multi-title, multi-month crossovers (our recent discussion of Superman: Panic in the Sky is a good example). Also we went years without world-changing, Crisis on Infinite Earths-type events, or at least line-wide new #1s -- yes, Zero Hour, and yes, Infinite Crisis, but nothing with line-wide new #1s from Crisis in 1986 to Flashpoint in 2011. And I recognize that "Rebirth" is not a "reboot" -- continuity is not changing overall, like Flashpoint -- but it is just five years since the last line-wide renumbering, and that feels awful fast to me when it took 25 years for the last line-wide renumbering to happen.

Review: Earth 2: World's End Vol. 1 trade paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, March 07, 2016

From some of the comments on this reading order thread, I expected Earth 2: World's End Vol. 1 to be a troubled outing, as DC Comics's weekly offerings are sometimes troubled. But riding well the momentum from Tom Taylor's most recent (chronologically) Earth 2 volume, Daniel H. Wilson, Marguerite Bennett, and Mike Johnson tell a fine story with the expansive Earth 2 cast. The book is not perfect, bowing under its own weight toward the end, but there's a big tapestry and enjoyable characters -- not to mention New Gods -- and the scope lends itself perfectly to a weekly-sized tale.

Review: Worlds' Finest Vol. 5: Homeward Bound trade paperback (DC Comics)

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Worlds' Finest has one more volume to go before it ends, but I consider this in some respects "the end" because it's the last volume to specifically focus on Power Girl and Huntress's quest to get home to Earth-2. This is a book that's never ceased to frustrate me, and Worlds' Finest Vol. 5: Homeward Bound is no exception. The story offers a lot of pages of contrived plots that don't really matter in the grand scheme, and ultimately the climax of the book isn't worth the twenty-six issues it took to get there. This could possibly be blamed on the title's growing convergence, no pun intended, with Earth 2 and Earth 2: Worlds End, but at the same time what's come before hasn't been much better. As much good, Birds of Prey-esque stories that could be told from regularly teaming up the two heroes, there's not much to show for the last two years.

Review: Kaijumax: Season One trade paperback (Oni Press)

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

[Review by Doug Glassman, who Tumblrs at '80s Marvel Rocks!]

I'm still a little surprised that "kaiju" has become a common word in American popular culture, but perhaps I shouldn't be. It sums up the idea of a giant monster in a simple word that conveys the genre's Japanese heritage. Whether they're protecting annoying children, fighting any given Ultra Brother, or trampling through Tokyo to fight a Sentai team, the kaiju genre has certain rules and characteristics. These well-worn tropes are ripe for parody, which is where writer and artist Zander Cannon comes in. He was part of the art team for Alan Moore's Top Ten and his new book, Kaijumax -- collected as Kaijumax: Season One -- takes a similar approach with a different set of tropes: in this case, prison drama.