DC Trade Solicitations for March 2018 - Dark Nights: Metal, Resistance, Nightmare Batmen; Batman: Dark Night Detective Post-Crisis; Kamandi Challenge; Absolute Killing Joke

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

We were just talking about them a few weeks ago and now here they are: DC Comics's collections of Dark Nights: Metal. But some of the contents are still up in the air, as the DC Comics March 2018 trade paperback and hardcover solicitations still have a couple of issues outside the main Metal collection that we've been told would be in there.

Among others, this month also sees the next collections of both Tom King's Batman and James Tynion's Detective Comics. But I'm excited for Batman: The Dark Knight Detective Vol. 1, a collection of the just-post-Crisis Detective Comics that seems to be running parallel to the Batman: The Caped Crusader collections of Batman issues (really this one is parallel to Batman: Second Chances). I'm a sucker for complete runs, even without a lot of consequence, and these actually do have consequence, weaving in and out of Legends, Millennium, Invasion!, Death in the Family, and more; I'm glad to see both Batman and Detective be being collected so comprehensively.

One last time this year, let's go ahead and take a look.

Absolute Authority Vol. 2 HC [New Edition]

Following the recent new edition of Absolute Authority Vol. 1, this is issues #13-29 from the original Absolute Authority Vol. 2, plus the Authority Annual #1 (2000) and a story from the Wildstorm Summer Special.

Absolute Batman: The Killing Joke HC

As I think I've mentioned before, for me some of the magic is gone from Killing Joke; what might've been the definitive tale of the Joker has been so subsumed at this point by what were meant to be (rightly or not) tertiary aspects of the story that it's hard to see Killing Joke in it any more. The recent animated movie was the last straw, crystalizing what was worse about this story instead of what was better. The solicitation for this volume nearly doesn't know what to do with it itself, positing the book mainly as a battle between the Joker and Commissioner Gordon.

Interestingly, the solicitation says the book has Brian Bolland's "reimagined colors and the original edition's colors"; I wonder if that means two differently colored versions in one book (there have been differently colored versions over the years) or if it will be just one version and then a comparative section later on.

Batman Vol. 5: The Rules of Engagement TP

Batman Vol. 4: War of Jokes and Riddles left me a little cold (good story but I didn't totally understand the point), but I'm eager for this one, which gets back to the present action and includes the reaction of the Bat-family to recent events, including a team-up with Superman and Lois Lane. Collects issues #33-37 and the Annual #2.

Batman: Arkham -- Hugo Strange TP

I love how random these Batman: Arkham books have become, and how no Bat-villain is off-limits no matter how obscure. Hugo Strange is not obscure-obscure, but I never thought he'd get his own trade. Really glad to see Devin Grayson's Gotham Knights "Transference" story in here; with the popularity of James Tynion's Detective Comics, we're overdue for dedicated trades of Grayson's Gotham Knights, that book's spiritual predecessor.

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 5: A Lonely Place of Living TP

Being the other big Rebirth Bat-book of the month (Dark Nights: Metal notwithstanding), this is the moment we've all been waiting for -- the return of Tim Drake to Detective Comics. This is what James Tynion's Detective Comics has been building to all along and I can't wait to get my hands on it. Collects issues #963-968.

Batman: The Dark Knight Detective Vol. 1 TP

We've been seeing bandied about for a while a Batman: The Caped Crusader series and a Batman: The Dark Knight Detective series, at times even seeming to replace one another. Now both are scheduled for the coming months, with Caped Crusader collecting the just-post-Crisis Batman title, mostly by Jim Starlin and Jim Aparo (including "Ten Nights of the Beast" and "Death in the Family"), and Dark Night Detective collecting the Detective Comics stories of the same time by Mike Barr with Alan Davis and Norm Breyfogle, among others. Issues #568-574 and #579-582 start with a Legends tie-in through to a Millennium tie-in, skipping over the already-well-collected Batman: Year Two. (Hopefully Year Three is in the next Caped Crusader volume.)

Bug!: The Adventures of Forager TP

Collects issues #1-6 of the Young Animal series by Lee Allred and Mike Allred. I'm not grooving on this one necessarily; I'm leaning more toward the Shade and Mother Panic urban horror than some of Young Animal's wackier material.

Dark Nights: Metal HC

Collects issues #1-6 of the event miniseries; said to arrive in stores June 6 with a foil-embossed cover.

Dark Nights: Metal: The Nightmare Batmen HC

Scheduled for June 20 in hardcover and also with a foil-embossed cover. The solicitations have this as Batman: The Red Death #1, Batman: The Devastator #1, Batman: The Merciless #1, Batman: The Murder Machine #1, Batman: The Drowned #1, Batman: The Dawnbreaker #1, The Batman Who Laughs #1 and Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1, though Scott Snyder tweeted when this came around the first time that Wild Hunt is going to be in the Metal trade proper, so we'll see.

Dark Nights: Metal: The Resistance TP

Earlier when we saw the Dark Nights: Metal trade solicitations, the Bats Out of Hell and Gotham Resistance trades were separate, but almost immediately they combined into this Resistance collection. Due out June 13 in paperback, this is Teen Titans #12, Nightwing #29, Suicide Squad #26, Green Arrow #32, Flash #33, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #32, Justice League #32-33, and Hawkman: Found #1. The solicitation still lists Batman: Lost #1 even thought Scott Snyder also said this would be in the Metal collection proper.

DC Universe by Brian K. Vaughan TP

No question why it behooves DC to have as many collections out there with Brian K. Vaughan's name on it as possible, but this is a pretty eclectic collection. There's Titans #14, a Tempest story; Sins of Youth: Wonder Girl from the middle of that fifth week event; Young Justice #22, a "day in the life" story; the JLA Annual #4 from the 2000 "Planet DC" event; and parts, but not all, of the Kyle Rayner Green Lantern: Circle of Fire story.

Deathstroke Vol. 4: Defiance TP

Collects issues #21-25 of the Christopher Priest series in the aftermath of the Lazarus Contract crossover, plus a story from DC Universe Holiday Special.

Flash by Mark Waid Book Four TP

Previous solicitations for this book listed the contents of the third book; finally (but not unexpectedly), this is listed as issue #0, #95-105, and the Annual #8. That's the "Terminal Velocity" story and then some (co-written by Michael Jan Friedman), ending shortly before an Underworld Unleashed tie-in (notable because Waid wrote Underworld Unleashed). The annual is a "Year One" story.

Flash: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book Two HC

Collects issues #14-27, the third and fourth paperback collections,Rogues Reloaded and Running Scared, and including the Flash half of the "Button" crossover with Batman.

Infinite Crisis Omnibus HC [New Edition]

A new collection of, let's face it, about the best event DC Comics has ever done, this comprehensive hardcover includes Action Comics #826 and #829, Adventures of Superman #639 and #642, Countdown To Infinite Crisis #1, Day of Vengeance #1-6, Day of Vengeance Infinite Crisis Special #1, JLA #115-119, Infinite Crisis #1-6, Infinite Crisis Secret Files 2006 #1, The OMAC Project #1-6, The OMAC Project Infinite Crisis Special #1, Rann-Thanagar War #1-6, Rann-Thanagar Infinite Crisis Special #1, Superman #216 and #219, Villains United #1-6, Villains United Infinite Crisis Special #1, and Wonder Woman #219.

Injustice 2 Vol. 1 TP
Injustice 2 Vol. 2 HC

The paperback of issues #1-6 and the hardcover of #7-12 and #14. Not sure why issue #13 isn't in there (if the solicitation is right) except that it seems to be a standalone Supergirl issues.

JSA: The Golden Age TP [New Edition]

James Robinson's definitive JSA Elseworlds just had a deluxe edition, so a new paperback is pretty common.

Justice League: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book Two HC

The second deluxe hardcover collection of Bryan Hitch's Justice League includes issues #12-25, the third and fourth paperbacks, Timeless and Endless.

Kamandi Challenge HC

Collecting the serial story. I thought this was twelve issues but the solicitation says "14 ... teams of writers and artists."

Nightwing Vol. 5: Raptor's Revenge TP

Collects issues #30-34 of the Rebirth series, tying back to the first volume.

Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 3: Bizarro Reborn TP

Previously this was solicited as issues #12-17, but now it appears to be #12-18 and the Annual #1.

Suicide Squad Vol. 5: Kill Your Darlings TP

Collects issues #21-25, ending just before the Dark Nights: Metal tie-in issue.

Supergirl Vol. 3: Girl of No Tomorrow TP

A markedly short trade, collecting just issues #12-14 and the Annual #1.

Superman Vol. 5: Hopes and Fears TP

Collects Superman #27-32 (not, as we thought before, any longer, and not collecting the "Imperious Lex" storyline yet), with two issues respectively by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, Keith Champagne, and James Bonny. This feels a bit like the book biding its time during greater Rebirth-centric events in Action Comics.

Wonder Woman by George Perez Vol. 3 TP

Collects Wonder Woman #25-35. Not to be confused with the recently announced Omnibus Vol. 3. Among these are a couple of Invasion! tie-in issues.

One last time for 2017 ... what are your latest acquisitions? What books are you still hoping to be gifted this year? Closing thoughts?
Get the Collected Editions scoop before anyone else -- on Facebook!


  1. I'm happy to see two great Hugo strange stories collected. Didn't read batman annual all the way through, but I did enjoy it and I really liked transference.

    Also cool to hear that golden age is getting a trade paperback, since deluxe is slightly too expensive for me. Trade is so much better in my opinion.

    1. I've been impressed with these Batman: Arkham collections. They seem a better deep dive, and more esoteric or uncollected stories, than books like Superman vs. Zod. Maybe in that respect Batman has a better rogues gallery. I'd be first in line for a Superman: Stryker's Island: Toyman trade, to be sure.

    2. Personally, I feel the flash has a cooler Rogues gallery, but I am not bashing batman' s rogues. They are great, but they have been in the spotlight for so long, especially The Joker. The Rogues from central city are an organised gang and have nearly beaten flash on several occasions. I'll admit, they haven't been fleshed out as much as the arkham gang but they are still awesome.

  2. Finally we've got more information on Batman Arkham: Hugo Strange and it doesn't disappoint. That goes directly on my need to buy list. Now we need reprints of "Batman and the Monster Men" and "Batman and the Mad Monk" of the "Dark Moon Rising" series.

    Batman: The Dark Knight Detective Vol. 1 is another book that I'll certainly want.

    A reprint of JSA: The Golden Age is also good, the binding on my previous version isn't that great anymore (1 page is half lose). To bad that Robinson being back and this being reprinted haven't brought back the Starman Omnibi.

    The Infinite Crisis Omnibus is good for those who want it, but I'm happy with my TPB. Certainly if they're still not printing all the issues (for example the Hawkman intro to Rann–Thanagar War)

    The uncertainty about Batman: Lost #1 is classic DC, a big event wouldn't be complete without confusing collections.

    And of course, I'm collecting the Wonder Woman by George Perez TPB, how can you say no to that.

  3. I'll definitely be picking up the Rebirth books. I'm mostly enjoying all of DC's series right now.

    Batman: Darknight Detective
    Kamandi Challenge
    Flash by Mark Waid
    Bug - just because it's the Allreds and Kirby creations

    I'm on the fence about the Metal stuff. I read the two precursor issues, plus Metal #1, and although I love all the appearances of classic DC characters, I wasn't that impressed with the story. I'm not a huge Snyder fan, and found his Batman run rather boring and smug, feeling he relied on a lot on deus ex machina situations and absurd coincidences.

    As for the holiday/end of year buys, Batirl Bronze age omnibus, the JLA Detroit Omni, maybe a couple volumes of Prince Valiant, and some European graphic novels. I've started getting into the European stuff lately, and I'm kinda liking it. Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese from IDW/Euro Comics has been outstanding, for instance. There's also a new volume out of the Star Hawks comics strip by Kane and Goodwin (I think?) that I want.

    1. How's the JLA Detroit omnibus look? My LCS is all out and I haven't found one on the shelves or photos online yet.

  4. Thanks for the details, I bought a couple through your links. FYI, I think there are a couple that are messed up (Nightmare Batmen, Resistance).

    1. I think I have the links fixed now; thanks for the support! Looks like Dark Nights: Metal is straight to deluxe now ...

  5. Issues # 23 - 26 weren't included in the original Absolute Authority vol. 2 from 2003 because they weren't written by Millar. This new edition has about 200 more pages than the original. (I wouldn't be surprised to see the price change before release; $75 seems low for a 496 page Absolute.)

    The page count for Absolute Killing Joke is 152, so I think it's a safe bet that it has the complete story printed twice. They probably could have also included the noir version since this book is still a bit slim for an Absolute Edition. Of course, it's been awhile since we've seen one at $50.

  6. Random ideas for new absolute editions DC will probably never make:

    Absolute Flash Rebirth (collects Final Crisis Rouges Revenge 1-3, Flash Rebirth 1-6, Blackest Night The Flash 1-3).

    Absolute Whatever Happened to.... (collects Moore’s Whatever Happened to the Man of Tommorrow and Gaiman’s Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader).

    Still would like to see an Absolute 52 one of these days, but that would probably mean two or three bound volumes in one slipcover (which I would be totally cool with).