DC Trade Solicitations for April 2018 - Action Comics #1000, Batman by Morrison Omnibus Vol. 1, Titans: Total Chaos, Deathstroke Vol. 4 (Wolfman), Legionnaires Book Two, Zero Hour HC

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

I'll tell you, I had a heck of a time choosing a cover image to represend DC Comics's April 2018 trade paperback and hardcover solicitations. This is a month that sees Titans: Total Chaos solicited, collecting the second-best Titans story of the 1990s, plus Green Lantern: Kyle Rayner Vol. 2, including Titans crossover "Siege of Zi Charam," plus classic volumes of Legionnaires and Deathstroke, the Terminator, plus a fixed New Teen Titans Omnibus Vol. 3, plus Batman and the Signal and a hardcover of Zero Hour. In a normal month, any one of those would be a shoe-in for the spotlight volume, but ... this is the month that Action Comics #1000 will be coming out.

I'll talk a little more about that monumental issue below, but at the outset you must read this harrowing story of how a young Marv Wolfman saved a reported Jerry Siegel/Joe Shuster Superman story from destruction; the very idea in this day and age that that kind of material might be regularly incinerated is unthinkable.

Dipping in ...

• Action Comics #1000

I think I'm in a bit of shock that Action Comics #1000 is actually here, given I'm not feeling as strongly as I expected about it finally being solicited. This might be in part because, while I had switched to reading Action in single issues starting with "Oz Effect" in the lead-up to #1000, I've ultimately found Action's current direction so sleepy that I haven't even read the last most-recent issue yet.

Also I think I had envisioned Action #1000 as the culminating issue of a nail-biting storyline worthy of this milestone, and now it seems like Action #1000 is just going to be a "what does Superman mean to you" kind of short story anthology. Which is maybe what it should be, but again at this point I thought I'd have the same feeling of "can't miss what's going to happen next" as I did just before "Oz Effect" started, and the fact that it's just going to an anniversary special like any other instead seems less than.

Plus there's all this hullabaloo about the red "trunks," about which I just could not care less. They've got every other character out of their trunks, Superman's has what I think have been a variety of workable trunk-less costumes over the years, the trunks to me don't make aesthetic sense any more, and mostly what I see online about the trunks are too-partisan debates that really seem to be all or nothing for or against the New 52 altogether. But for me, whether Superman has his trunks or not changes my enjoyment of Superman not at all (nor whether the inside of Batman's cape is gray or purple), and for that to be the big news about Action #1000 out of the gate suggests to me we're starting from a lesser position. If Superman's trunks coming back are the most important reason readers should pick up Action Comics #1000, we've got trouble.

Batman and the Signal TP

The three-issue Duke Thomas miniseries by Scott Snyder and Tony Patrick will apparently be padded out in trade with the "Cursed Wheel" backup stories from Snyder's All-Star Batman #1-4 and 6-9. I'm not sure what they might have put in here instead (aside from nothing, or perhaps the Duke Thomas holiday story or maybe a recap of the character's history), but the All-Star backups are disappointing one because they're in the All-Star collections already, and two because, while they start well, they peter out with no real conclusion and ultimately no explanation of what the Cursed Wheel is. It'd be one thing of "Cursed Wheel" was complete, but it's unfortunate to recollect this storyline when it didn't actually work out.

Batman by Grant Morrison Omnibus Vol. 1 HC

Contents are now said to be Batman #655-658, "Batman and Son," and #663-683, which is "Black Glove" and "Batman RIP." There's also the related stories from 52 #30 and #47 and DC Universe #0. Within these is also the prelude and part 4 of "Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul," and the solicitation says "This title also includes two new story pages written and drawn by Chris Burnham that recap events from 'The Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul.'” That crossover was messy and I'm eager to see new Burnham work that makes sense of it.

• Batman by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo Box Set Vol. 3

I'm not much for box sets but Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Batman Vols. 7-10 -- Endgame, Superheavy, Bloom, and Epilogue -- is some of their best work. This is some fine reading.

Batman: Detective Comics: Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 2 HC

Collects issues #950-962, the Detective Comics Vol. 3: League of Shadows and Detective Comics Vol. 4: Deus Ex Machina paperbacks.

Batman: Ghosts TP

A Sam Kieth spotlight book, this collects both Kieth's Batman Confidential #40-43 and also Batman/Lobo: Deadly Serious #1-2.

Batwoman Vol. 2: Wonderland TP

Collects issues #7-12 of the Marguerite Bennett series. I liked the first volume and I'm looking forward to this one. Previous solicitations had this as "Fear and Loathing," now as "Wonderland."

Cyborg Vol. 3: Singularity TP

Earlier solicitations had this at issues #12-18, but these solicitations list #14-20. Issue #20 was actually supposed to be the end of the Cyborg series, with John Sempter writing the "Singularity" story (#14-18 with guest star Beast Boy) and Kevin Grevioux finishing it off with "Wretched of the Earth" in issues #19-20. But, recent reports are that Marv Wolfman will be coming on to the title, picking up with issue #21.

Deathstroke, the Terminator Vol. 4: Crash or Burn TP

The last classic collection of Deathstroke, the Terminator included seven issues plus six Showcase '93 shorts. A bit concerningly, this is only five issues and an annual, specifically #21-25 and the Annual #2. Now, I'm glad to see this collected irrespective, I don't scoff at a Bloodlines annual getting collected, and the next collection will have to be eight or nine issues with "World Tour," but I wish this was a little larger.

Doom Patrol Vol. 2: Nada TP

Said to collect issues #7-11 and not #7-12, which would have collected the final issue of the first "season" of this title; I guess that'll be along in the next book.

Green Arrow Vol. 5: Hard-Traveling Hero TP

Collects issues #26-31, the "Hard-Traveling Hero" story that sees Green Arrow teamed not just with Green Lantern, but also most of the Justice League.

Green Lantern: Kyle Rayner Vol. 2 TP

Said to collect Green Lantern #58-65 (previously #61-69 and Annual #4), New Titans #124-125, Darkstars #34, and Damage #16. That's an encounter with Parallax, a team up with Warrior Guy Gardner, and astoundingly, the entire "Siege of Zi Charam" crossover from New Titans with Marv Wolfman, Michael Jan Friedman, and Tom Joyner, which I recall being a well-written space opera that I never thought I'd see collected. Excited for this one.

Harley Quinn Vol. 5: Vote Harley TP

Collects issues #28-34, which is the "Vote Harley" storyline plus Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti's final issues.

Legionnaires Book Two TP

Said to collect Legionnaires #69-76, Legionnaires #25-30, Legion Annual #6, Legionnaires Annual #2, and a story from Showcase '95 #6. The regular issues stop just before the "Future Tense" crossover with Karl Kesel's Superboy. Both the annuals are "Year One" stories; Showcase is the Science Police and/or the Legionnaires.

New Teen Titans Omnibus Vol. 3 New Edition

We finally know now that the new editions of the New Teen Titans omnibuses will indeed continue collecting New Teen Titans in order (as opposed to the last time around). This is Tales of the Teen Titans #42-58 (this solicitation says #42-68, but the title only went up to #58 before it began reprinting old stories), both "Judas Contract" and some Crisis on Infinite Earths lead-in stories, the Annual #3, and New Teen Titans #1-9. Tales #51-58 and Titans #7-9 have never been collected before besides what's in the recent new paperback.

Nightwing: Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 2 HC

Collects issues #16-28, the Nightwing Vol. 3: Nightwing Must Die and Nightwing Vol. 4: Blockbuster collections, ending just before the "Gotham Resistance" Metal tie-in issue.

Nightwing: The New Order TP

The six-issue miniseries by Kyle Higgins. Trevor McCarthy's art wasn't always my favorite on Batwoman but it grew on me, and I think he and Higgins are just right for this.

Suicide Squad: Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 2 HC

Collects issues #9-20 and the War Crimes special, the Suicide Squad Vol. 3: Burning Down the House and Suicide Squad Vol. 4: Earthlings on Fire paperbacks (Vol. 3 is among the best books I read last year).

Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 2 HC

Collects Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #241-258 and DC Comics Presents #13-14. This is, among other things, the well-known 1970s "Earthwar" story; correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think this has ever been collected before.

Supergirl: Being Super TP

Paperback collection of the four-issue miniseries by Mariko Tamaki and Joelle Jones.

Superman by Mark Millar TP

This collection has changed dramatically from when it was said to collect parts of the "Superman: King of the World" storyline. Instead these are largely the animated Superman Adventures stories, plus Team Superman #1, Tangent Comics: Superman #1, and stories from Superman 80-Page Giant #2 and DC One Million 80-Page Giant #1,000,000.

Superman: Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 2 HC

Collects issues #14-26 and Annual #1, the Superman Vol. 3: Multiplicity and Superman Vol. 4: Black Dawn paperbacks third and fourth paperbacks (with parts of Superman Reborn).

Superwoman Vol. 3: The Midnight Hour TP

Issues #13-18, the final Superwoman collection.

The Wild Storm Vol. 2 TP

Issues #7-12 of the new Warren Ellis series.

Titans: Total Chaos TP

We're getting all that much closer to there actually being a Total Chaos collection. That's New Titans #90-92, Deathstroke, the Terminator #14-16, and Team Titans #1-3. By Marv Wolfman and Tom Grummett among others, this is from about twenty issues when the adult Titans were at their absolute best -- everybody buy like crazy so DC reprints "Titans Hunt," the actual best story from this era. All the Team Titans back-up stories or bust (I kid! I'll take it anyway!).

Wonder Woman Vol. 5: Heart of the Amazon TP

The fifth Rebirth volume by Shea Fontana and Mirka Andolfo, issues #26-30. Also including Fontana's parts of the Annual #1 and the Steve Trevor special.

Zero Hour: Crisis in Time HC

This has turned out to be "just" a Zero Hour hardcover collection, which is actually pretty cool on its own and I'm only bummed because at some point we thought this would have Armageddon 2001 in it. But this does have an introduction by Dan Jurgens, apparently an "updated timeline to the DC Universe" (whatever that means; I expect it's the timeline printed in the last issue of Zero Hour originally) and bonus material.

How many copies of Action Comics #1000 will you be purchasing? Big plans for the big day?
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22 comments:

  1. Could this means we may soon be getting the Armageddon collection we have been wanting for nearly two decades? Maybe? Possibly? (Probably not)

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    1. These were such good "Elseworlds"-type stories, I think this begs for an omnibus to collect all the annuals together. And the other Armageddon miniseries, rougher as they were. And really Eclipso: The Darkness Within and Bloodlines need this even more; scoff if you like, but there's sufficient narrative throughway in those stories that an omnibus would be *awesome.*

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    2. This will never ever happen, but how awesome would it be if they re-drew/re-wrote the ending of Armageddon to match the original plan? Or at least include the original script? Would anyone skip the omnibus if it included the original ending? I'd buy it for sure!! Again, I know this will never happen. (Although, since that story happened 4 continuity refreshes ago, it's not like changing the ending would have real ramifications to any other stories)

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  2. Light month for me. Well, I mean, the Morrison Omnibus will be heavy, but that and Superwoman are my only definite. Zero Hour (depending on extras), Action 1000 (depending on how it gets collected later or if it gets a deluxe edition), and Nightwing:New Order are my maybes.

    I'll have to read Marvel's solicitations again, but I think it's light there, too. Maybe I'll have a shot at clearing my 300+ issue-equivalent backlog.

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  3. Hi
    Was a second Norm Breyfogle Batman hardcover ever scheduled?
    They seem to be moving to paperback now with the Dark Knight & Caped Crusader TPBS.

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  4. I'm definitely interested in the Morrison Omnibus but will have to see how heavy it is. Also how good it opens up so that you can actually see splash pages correctly.

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  5. I'm super excited for the Kyle Rayner, Legionaries and the Titans:Total Chaos trades. This was the era where I first started reading DC comics. Kyle was one of my gateways to both the Titans and the Legion. I'm shocked that it has taken this long for DC to collect this stuff. I agree with you that Titans Hunt hasn't been collected. It has impacted Titans lore for so long, particularly their relationship with Deathstroke.

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    1. Yeah, if the new Titans show is going to have Jericho, etc., then Titans Hunt seems an easy tie in. But having now had a Titans Hunt Rebirth trade, does it need to be called something else? Titans: Wildebeest Hunt? Titans: Hunted?

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  6. I was actually hoping Action Comics #1000 would reveal Mr. Oz isn't really who we were told he was in "The Oz Effect". About the red trunks, I'm pretty indifferent myself, and I think changing Superman's costume so many times in the space of two years makes DC look awfully wishy-washy.

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    1. "Funny" that Superman's costume remained untouched for so long, vs. Batman's, and then we got the New 52 armor, the Romita revamp, blue boots, red boots, and now this, all as you said in the span of a few years.

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    2. If I remember what a friend in the printing business to me correctly -- and I certainly may be wrong about this -- it was the printing process that led to the breaking up of colors in heroes' and villains' costumes in the early days. When comics were printed on newsprint (or maybe even cheaper paper), colors tended to bleed more and breaking up the colors helped keep that to a minimum. So giving Superman a pair of red trunks helped keep the blue from looking like a blob of ink. I mean, do you really think Wesley Dodds was colorblind enough to wear a green suit with purple cape to fight crime? LOL Though printing technology has greatly improved in the past thirty years, Superman's iconic costume is still a major draw for licensing, so I'm not surprised to see it return in a modified version, even though I don't expect it to be the costume going forward.

      That said, Batman's costume changes every few years, but until 2011, most of Superman's costume changes involved the chest shield on his outfit. While I don't mind the Rebirth version, there is a part of me -- the kid who started reading comics in the 1970s -- who does prefer the iconic suit.

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  7. re: Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes Vol 1, You're correct that this contains a lot of uncollected Legion stories. Pretty sure the DC Comics Presents issues were reprinted in the B/W Showcase Presents book, but nothing from this era of the main title have been collected. From Volume 1 up until the newer Levitz issues that sparked his classic run, only the Steve Ditko drawn issues have been reprinted (in one of his Omnibus volumes) along with a Christmas story beautifully drawn by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez that has popped up here and there over the years.

    As a hard core Legion fan, after the Levitz Earth-War story and the two parter with Jim Starlin (aka Steve Apollo here) where Brainiac 5 goes insane, the series went downhill pretty fast and stayed there until Levitz came back. Gerry Conway, Roy Thomas, and J.M. DeMatteis were the primary writers, with art by Joe Staton, Jimmy Janes, and Ditko (primarily). George Perez did some great covers after he came to DC, but the book really suffered. Still, there are some important elements to Legion history in this time span, including the introduction of Blok, that I'm glad they're getting reprinted and hope this reprint series continues to fill in the gaps. I think there may be 30 issues or so after this second volume, so another two books should do it.

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    1. Appreciate the additional Legion perspective!

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  8. One thing that has been nice to see and, im glad it looks like its going to continue, is new introductions making a big comeback. They sorta petered out, or were rarer then they had been, from maybe 2010- late 2016, and it's been great to see intros from pepole like Mark Waid (Legionares book 1 and The Flash by Mark waid book one as far as I know) and Alan Davis (JLA The Nail Deluxe) who haven't done DC work in a long time, and that all the intro's i've come across are generally people who actually worked on the book not 'celebrities'. I think for the most part Marvel only does introductions for there Masterworks series at the moment. Glad to see they may start including introduction information in solicitations if the zero hour listing is anything to go by!

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    1. Yes! Totally. Love this. This kind of "director's cut" feel to trades. Apparently Peter David's doing one for the first volume of the new Aquaman trades, too.

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  9. A critique I would add to your concerns about Action 1000 is that many of the creators aren't even connected with this superman lineage they are supposedly celebrating. I'm all for new creators, but I dont know if im for new creators showing up for only 10 pages and never hearing from them on the title again. Has Oliver Copiel ever drawn Superman? Brian Michael Bendis has certainly never written him. One thing I am excited about for Action 1000: I'm not sure how I feel about him being paired with Scott Snyder, I just don't think there styles will mesh, but I am glad to see Tim Sale doing Superman again, he has done considerably less then with Batman over the years, and I believe this is his first DC interior work since the Superman/Batman 26 story or Superman Confidential whichever came first. It's also worth noting I believe one of the action variants is Dave Gibbons first work for DC since the announcement of Before Watchmen.

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  10. Is there any plan for the JLI omnibus vol. 2?

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    1. I think the many collections of JL stuff was coming off the movie's hype, so now that that's wearing off collections might be put out more slowly. Also depends on how that Gerard Jones business works out.

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  11. Now that a fixed omnibus of NTT is on the horizon, can anyone who bought the new edition of Vol. 1 confirm whether Best of DC #18 is included? Solicits omit it (and so did the paperbacks) so I wanted to know before I start saving up to scoop the omnibi.

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    1. Late reply, yes the Omni includes the Digest story. But NOT the Cover!

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  12. I hear what you're saying about Action 1000 (personally I would prefer the red trunks stay gone) but today's news makes it sound like instead of capping an arc like you wished for, it is launching an arc and I am pretty excited about it.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/markhughes/2018/02/01/exclusive-bendis-to-write-superman-revive-jinxworld-and-oversee-new-custom-imprint-at-dc-comics/#3e5193db5c40

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