DC Trade Solicitations for February 2018 - Justice League Task Force, Action Comics #1000: 80 Years, Wonder Woman by Perez Omnibus Vol. 3, Dark Days: Road to Metal, All-Star Batman Vol. 3: The First Ally

Monday, November 27, 2017

2018's off to a good start looking at the DC Comics trade paperback and hardcover collections solicitations, which include the never-thought-we'd-see-it first trade of Justice League Task Force.

It's a wild world we live in that by the time this book comes out, one will be able to read Justice League America all the way from when Keith Giffen and company's run ended and Dan Jurgens's began, through "Death of Superman" and when Wonder Woman joined as leader; the entire and most complete run of Knightfall ever collected; and now to be able to read the full initial run of Justice League Task Force from the start to where it intersects with Knightfall and then to just before it meets Justice League America ahead of Zero Hour. That's an astounding chunk of 1990s comics that I don't think any of us thought we'd ever see collected.

And that's not even mentioning what ought be the real main event of the month, the Action Comics #1000 hardcover special (not to be confused with the issue itself). There's also the Dark Days: The Road to Metal "prelude" volume and the next Rebirth volumes of All-Star Batman, Batgirl, Flash, Green Lanterns, Hellblazer, Justice League of America, and Super Sons. We also see both Aquaman and Wonder Woman volumes that came between the characters' Crisis on Infinite Earths-era depictions and their better-known post-Crisis versions; notable too is the third and final volume of the Wonder Woman by George Perez Omnibus series, collecting the War of the Gods-era Wonder Woman stories (plus War of the Gods itself [again!]).

Let's go ahead and take a closer look at the listings.

Action Comics #1000: 80 Years of Superman HC

It'd be hard to pass up this companion volume to Action Comics #1,000. This seems pretty OK to me; we don't yet know how extensive or not Action Comics #1,000 itself is, but if let's say it's just the comic itself, then shunting all the celebratory material to a separate hardcover at $30 (less after discounts) seems OK to me. I'm a tad skeptical of the hedging of bets in "... don’t miss a previously unpublished 1940s Superman tale believed to be written by Jerry Siegel with art by the Joe Shuster studio," as if also like maybe it's not (and who hid it away, and why?). Overall the solicitation copy for this reads a little funny; the tone is off DC's normal solicitation tone, and a little flip for this particular book -- "Enjoy sparkling essays from literary wizards who have won Pulitzer Prizes and hit the bestseller lists." Still, I think now we know what to expect when Detective Comics reaches this same milestone.

All-Star Batman Vol. 3: The First Ally HC

Collects the final issues of All-Star, issues #10-14. It seems in some respects the whole purpose of All-Star has been for Scott Snyder to tell this story, so I'm looking forward to it.

Aquaman: The Legend of Aquaman TP

It's nice to see DC mining their Aquaman material and especially the immediate-post-Crisis Aquaman material. This was a take on Aquaman that didn't last, overshadowed by the Peter David run, but it's a cool bit of post-Crisis nostalgia that we get in trade.

Batgirl Vol. 3: Summer of Lies TP

Collects issues #12-17, guest-starring Nightwing.

Batgirl: Stephanie Brown Vol. 2 TP

The final new collection of Bryan Q. Miller's Batgirl has issues #13-24 and the Bruce Wayne: The Long Road Home: Batgirl and Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes issues, previously collected though not alongside the Batgirl series. The Leviathan issue makes Grant Morrison a co-writer in this volume.

Batman and Harley Quinn HC

The solicitation calls this a sequel to the new animated movie, but I thought it was a prequel. Either way, between this and the Killing Joke movie, I think I'm off Bruce Timm's contributions to the franchise for now.

Batman by Neal Adams Book One TP

If I'm not mistaken, this is the start of a paperback series breaking down the Batman by Neal Adams omnibus into smaller chunks.

Batman: Gothic [New Edition] TP

I know Metal is taking from a lot of places; not sure if this is one of them or if DC is just bringing the Grant Morrison/Klaus Janson story back into print. Collects Legends of the Dark Knight #6-10.

Batman: New Gotham Vol. 2 TP

This second volume, essentially Batman: Detective Comics by Greg Rucka, collects issues #755-765 and Superman #168 -- so, picking up from the last volume, side-stepping the Officer Down crossover, and then continuing through to just before Batman: Murderer/Fugitive, which recently got its own comprehensive collections. That does it for "New Gotham," I'm pretty sure.

Batman: Tales of the Man-Bat TP

As mentioned before, this collects Chuck Dixon and Flint Henry's Showcase '94 #11 and Man-Bat miniseries, and then Bruce Jones's unrelated Man-Bat miniseries from about ten years later that involved the Gotham Knights-era Hush. The more collected material the better, but you'd think Man-Bat would be appearing somewhere for this to be coming out.

Dark Days: The Road to Metal HC

This was originally solicited with just Dark Days: The Forge and The Casting, the Rebirth Nightwing #17, and the Metal story from Detective Comics #950, which seemed slim for a $30 trade. DC has updated this now to include Final Crisis #6-7, The Return of Bruce Wayne #1, and the New 52 Batman #38-39, "and more" (the Detective issue isn't named but could be part of "more"). On one hand I'm not very eager to buy issues I already have; on the other I'm a big fan of the ye olde Prelude to Final Crisis, and Scott Snyder seems to have been planning this story for so long (or taken so much inspiration from elsewhere) that I'd be curious to see a book that brings all that earlier material together.

Ex Machina: The Complete Series Omnibus HC

Kind of astounding this hasn't been published already, this collects issues #1-50 of the Brian K. Vaughan political superhero series and the Ex Machina Special #1-4.

Flash Vol. 5: Negative TP

I wrote at some length how the tone of the Flash series isn't working for me. As we get down to a book called Flash: Negative, I can only hope -- if the glumness of Joshua Williamson's book is intentional -- it's the start of this title's upswing.

Green Lantern: Earth One Vol. 1 HC

I saw a comment the other day that these Earth One have just come out too slowly to be relevant; given the number of reboots DC has had since Earth One started in 2010, another set of new origins didn't have the punch it originally seemed it would, and it's hard to get invested in "series delivered by graphic novel" with books within a series separated by two and three years. That said, a Green Lantern Hal Jordan story set in the semi-future, and with Hal as an astronaut instead of a test pilot (which makes more sense for the here and now anyway) sounds really interesting, and I'm curious to see what Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko do with this.

Green Lanterns Vol. 5: Out of Time TP

Collects issues #27-32, which are Sam Humphries' final issues before Tim Seeley takes over.

Hawk and the Dove: The Silver Age TP

It's interesting to see this, what seems another in DC's recent release of "era-based" collections (with snazzy retro covers), in paperback rather than in hardcover. At the same time, all the material here -- Showcase #75, The Hawk and the Dove #1-6, Teen Titans #21 -- was recently collected in the Teen Titans: The Silver Age Omnibus hardcover, so this is kind of a Hawk and Dove-centric teardown of the material from that book.

Hellblazer Vol. 3: The Inspiration Game TP

The fact that I've been hearing almost nothing about the Rebirth Hellblazer series is surely not a good sign -- it's problematic, or a heck of a lot of restraint, that this book hasn't even had any inter-title crossovers yet. I do see that initial writer Simon Oliver seems to be gone now and Tim Seeley has come on; I enjoy Seeley's work a lot and maybe that portends good things.

Justice League of America Vol. 3: Panic in the Microverse TP

So far I've been underwhelmed by Steve Orlando's Justice League of America title, but the main event for this book from the start has been finding Atom Ray Palmer and his whereabouts' relation to Rebirth, so hopefully that story will give this book some pep. Collects issues #12-17.

Justice League Task Force Vol. 1: Purification Plague TP

We never thought we'd see it, but here is the first collection of Justice League Task Force, reprinting issues #1-12. A quirky series about covert missions by Martian Manhunter and a rotating team of heroes -- and creative teams -- this takes us right up to the "Judgment Day" crossover recently collected in Wonder Woman and the Justice League Vol. 2, and includes "Knightquest" tie-in issues and appearances by the Bloodlines "New Blood" characters, among many others.

Sal Velluto drew many of these issues; Greg LaRoque is also here. Writers include David Michelinie, Chuck Dixon, Dennis O'Neil, Peter David, Jeph Loeb, and Michael Jan Friedman.

Hopefully we get a second collection of the book after Zero Hour, when it took a "Justice League in training" bent, written by Deathstroke's Christopher Priest.

Super Sons Vol. 2: Planet of the Capes TP

The second collection of the Peter Tomasi series includes issues #6-10, and most notably has Superboy Jon Kent teaming up with the Teen Titans.

Wonder Woman by George Perez Omnibus Vol. 3 HC

It's great to see DC finishing out the mostly-never-collected George Perez Wonder Woman run with this final omnibus, collecting issues #46-62. Nicely DC is also including the Wonder Woman crossover War of the Gods even though it saw its own collection not too long ago, and also Perez's guest shots issues #168-169 and the Gail Simone story that Perez drew in the #600 issue (though some creative renumbering).

Wonder Woman: Forgotten Legends TP

The Kurt Busiek/Trina Robbins miniseries that bridged Crisis on Infinite Earths to the George Perez run, plus some assorted other material by Busiek. (Robbins was the first woman to draw Wonder Woman in her own series, as Busiek clarified for me recently.)

So, to be more excited about Justice League Task Force or the Perez Wonder Woman Omnibus Vol. 3? Dark Days: Road to Metal or the Action Comics #1000 hardcover? And what are you most looking forward to unwrapping this season?

And if by chance you're doing some gift-giving, don't miss the Collected Editions 2017 Comics Gift List, as well as our 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007 lists from years past.
Collected Editions 2017 Comic Book Gift Guide
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12 comments:

  1. The Batman: Gothic Reprint is a bit strange since they already did one in 2014/2015 including a Deluxe edition and both aren't out of print. I'm wondering what's so special that they couldn't continue that one.

    I'm really happy to see the Superman issue included in Batman: New Gotham Vol. 2, I was a bit worried about that.

    I really want that Justice League Task Force Vol. 1: Purification Plague book.

    I'm not that interested in the HC reprints of George Perez, but I am collecting the TPB versions (that split each HC in 2 TPB). The 3rd volume of that will be out in April 2018.

    I'm also really interested in Wonder Woman: Forgotten Legends.

    It's hard to say what I'm most looking forward to, but it's going to be between the last 4 mentioned.

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    1. From the Amazon link it looks like this 'new' version of Gothic is just the paperback of the Deluxe hardcover that came out in mid-2015.

      ~3 years feels like a *really* long gap between HB and PB tho.

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    2. I think we're seeing paperbacks of the deluxes of Batman: Death and the Maidens and Superman for All Seasons, too. Seems that's the thing now.

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  2. SA Hawk and Dove is interesting. It's not really enough material to warrant a hardcover and has no current adaptation to force one like Suicide Squad. I assume the Teen Titans paperback conversions will skip the H&D stuff, so that's kinda interesting.

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    1. I'm excited about the Hawk and Dove collection. I have no interest in the Teen Titans issues of that era, so I'm glad that there will be a collection of just the Hawk and the Dove issues (along with that one Teen Titans issue that crossed over with H&D).

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  3. Batman: New Gotham Vol. 2 is where it's at for me. Rucka's excellent Detective Comics run will finally be collected in full, but I wish the Batman: Officer Down TPB weren't out of print. DC has been re-issuing collections of all big Batman crossovers lately, so I hope this will be the next one.

    Speaking of Batman events, I'm not sure it's a good idea to collect the two Dark Days prelude specials only in a thick HC filled with stuff that has already been collected elsewhere. I get that DC wants the Dark Nights: Metal HC to be a 100% Snyder/Capullo collection, but I think the two preludes and the Batman Lost special would make it a more complete, satisfying read.

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    1. Officer Down is funny because it wasn't collected short in such a way that a new collection could expand upon it (except for these New Gotham issues, which they're collecting without Officer Down). I too would like to see the collection back in print; maybe there's a miniseries they can stick in there or something.

      Changing all the time but it looks like Batman Lost and Wild Hunt will both be in the Metal HC.

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  4. The Amazon listing for The Flash: Negative does read "Witness the penultimate act of the Negative-Flash story", so perhaps this is what the whole sad-sack, "Ballad of Barry Allen" Flash character work has been leading to.

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    1. Listing for Vol. 6 still talks about Barry's life being in shambles, unfortunately.

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  5. Action Comics 1000 Collection and Supergirl Being Super Trade Paperback are a must for me to get !!!

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  6. Anyone know if DC is doing an Arkham Asylum: Mad Hatter collection like they did with some of the other villains?

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    1. They've got Killer Croc, Man-Bat, Joker's Daughter, even Hugo Strange, so surely Mad Hatter is just as deserving.

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