DC Trade Solicitations for September 2019 - Doomsday Clock Part One, Naomi Season One, Crisis on Infinite Earths Companion Vol. 3, Doom Patrol by Byrne, Wonder Woman by Wilson, Batwoman: Haunted Tides

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Last month, we saw the collection for one of DC's major series right now, Heroes in Crisis; this month, for the DC Comics September 2019 trade paperback and hardcover solicitations, we've got the collection of DC's other major series, Doomsday Clock. Sort of. What was once solicited as the full hardcover collection of Doomsday Clock is now just Doomsday Clock Part One, collecting issues #1-6.

I'm dissatisfied about that, as I'll detail more below, though since I'm already reading the series in single issues and intended to wait for the trade anyway, it doesn't make much difference to me to wait a little longer until the inevitable compendium edition — because we know that's coming one day. I just think this kind of thing is unfortunate because I'm enjoying Doomsday Clock while knowing it has a lot of factors stacked against it, and this kind of uncertain collection schema is just another knock against it unrelated to the story itself.

Another surprise on this list is the Doom Patrol by John Byrne Omnibus, collecting the 2004 series and some extras. Ten years ago I'd have been all over this; now, the moment's passed, but I love when the DC collections team digs deep in this kind of way. Of course, this still begs the question why we didn't see a Power of Shazam by Jerry Ordway omnibus while that iron was hot, but this Doom Patrol collection is nice nonetheless and I hope it makes it to print.

Hard to believe we'll be in a world where three Crisis on Infinite Earths Companion volumes will be out. Batwoman: Haunted Tides is well worth a read if you haven't already. Other books I'll be picking up this month include the first collection of the new Wonder Woman team, Teen Titans, Silencer, and Naomi.

Let's look at the full list.

Absolute Daytripper HC

This seems to have been solicited and cancelled a couple of times, now back on the schedule for April 2020. The 10-issue Vertigo miniseries by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba from 2010, following an aspiring writer through one moment in his life per chapter.

American Carnage TP

Collects the nine-issue Vertigo (mini-)series by Bryan Hill and Leandro Fernandez, following an African American FBI agent undercover in a white supremacist group.

Aquaman: The Silver Age Omnibus Vol. 1 HC

Collects Aquaman adventures beginning with Adventure Comics #260 as DC crossed over into the Silver Age, and continuing through early issues of Aquaman's solo series. These are not Aquaman's first appearances, what we might perhaps call "Aquaman: The Golden Age," and curiously I don't see those collected outside the Aquaman: A Celebration of 75 Years anniversary volume (More Fun Comics #73), for instance. If anyone knows why those issues seem to get the short shrift, I'm curious.

Contents are said to be Showcase #30-33, Aquaman #1-18, Brave and the Bold #51, stories from Adventure Comics #260-280, #282, and #284, Detective Comics #293-300, World’s Finest Comics #125-133, #135, #137, and #139, Superman #138 and #148, Action Comics #272, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #55, and Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #12 and #29-31.

Batman and the Justice League Manga Vol. 3 TP

Third volume of the manga story by Mangaka Shiori Teshirogi. This one seems to be Aquaman-heavy, maybe with some kaiju monsters.

Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 8 HC

Stories from the 1950s with Joker, Catwoman, and Penguin. Collects Detective Comics #174-195, Batman #66-77, and World's Finest Comics #54-63.

Batwoman: Haunted Tides TP

Collects issues #0-11 of the inaugural New 52 series by J. H. Williams and Haden Blackman, the Batwoman Vol. 1: Hydrology and Batwoman Vol. 2: To Drown the World, likely timed for the Batwoman CW series.

Williams and Blackman played with narrative space and time throughout the series (which has kind of become a Batwoman series' thing) in really interesting ways. The first section, issues #1-5, most closely resembled what came before, with Williams continuing on art from the Greg Rucka Batwoman stories. The second section, issues #6-11, has art by Trevor McCarthy, and while I initially found the change in art styles jarring, ultimately the second part is even more twisty, turn-y, and well-crafted than the first.

Crisis on Infinite Earths Companion Deluxe Edition Vol. 3 HC

The third and final Crisis companion volume. Collects Amethyst #13, Blue Devil #17-18, Wonder Woman #327-329, Swamp Thing #46, Legion of Super-Heroes #16 and #18, Superman #413 and #415, DC Comics Presents #87, #84, #88 and #95, Justice League of America Annual #3, and The Omega Men #31 and #33. I'd have liked to have seen History of the DC Universe here, since it's in the box set.

Doom Patrol by John Byrne Omnibus HC

This is rather surprising, since John Byrne's continuity-light 2004 Doom Patrol series didn't make much of a splash (it reintroduced the Doom Patrol in medias res of a DC Universe that had already met it), though surely the TV show has something to do with it. That said, I admire big chunks of story, and collecting both the introductory JLA: The Tenth Circle story along with all eighteen issues of Byrne's series is, at least, very complete. Here, too, is an (original-er) Doom Patrol appearance from way back in Byrne's Superman #20, plus a story from Secret Origins Annual #1.

Now let's see about finally collecting all of Keith Giffen's post-52 Doom Patrol series ...

Doomsday Clock Part One HC

Well now, this is controversial. Hard to know if DC always planned to release Doomsday Clock initially as two hardcovers, or if this is a product of the late shipping of the book and needing to get something out there. That this hardcover was originally solicited as containing all the issues suggests the latter. We all of course know Doomsday Clock will be released, all twelve issues together, as a Deluxe edition and as an Absolute edition and with all twelve issues together in one paperback, so I take a dim view of reading the book this way.

Breaking at issue #6 is ... fine, I guess. That issue is Marionette's origin, kind of a softer issue; issue #5 before that is bigger, with the revelation of a certain DC artifact, but neither quite has the gusto of issue #7, where a major player arrives on the scene, or the explosion in issue #8. And I can't help seeing this as a sign of our times — can you imagine collecting Watchmen itself halfsies? Treating Doomsday Clock like any other comic unfortunately makes it feel like it's just any other comic.

Part Two should be out May 2020.

Goddess Mode TP

Issues #1-6 of the Vertigo series by Zoe Quinn and Robbi Rodriguez.

Harley Quinn Vol. 3: The Trials of Harley Quinn TP

Issues #55 and #57-63 by Sam Humphries (formerly #55-60; issue #56 was by Mark Russell). Harley works for the Lords of Chaos and Order and teams up with Batman.

Hex Wives TP

Issues #1-6 of the Vertigo title by Ben Blacker and Mirka Andolfo.

House of Mystery: The Bronze Age Omnibus Vol. 2 HC

Issues #201-226 by Bernie Wrightson, Sergio Aragones, and Jim Starlin, among others.

IZombie Book One TP

New larger paperbacks of the iZombie series, this one collecting the first two trades, issues #1-12 and stories from the House of Mystery Halloween Annual #1-2. There's only two more trades, through issue #28, so I'd guess this one will be "done in two."

Jonah Hex: The Bronze Age Omnibus Vol. 1 HC

1970s stories, including All-Star Western #10-11, Weird Western Tales #12-14 and #16-38, Jonah Hex #1-17, and Justice League of America #159-160 ("Crisis from Yesterday," with the Justice Society, Enemy Ace, and more).

Justice League Dark Vol. 2: Lords of Order TP

The second collection of the James Tynion series, issues #8-12 and the annual.

Naomi Season One HC

Issues #1-6 of the Wonder Comics series by David F. Walker, Brian Michael Bendis, and Jamal Campbell. I've no quibble with calling this "Season One" — I think there was some backlash against calling comics iterations "seasons" some time ago, but I thought it was cool, then at least. Moreover it's that Season One only contains six issues, which strikes me as way too short for a "season"; at that rate a book could have four seasons but only gone on for two years.

Powers Book Seven New Edition TP

Collects Powers: Bureau #1-12 by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming.

The Sandman: Overture 30th Anniversary Edition TP

This had at one point been solicited somewhat awkwardly as "Vol. 0," and I'm glad to see that gone. Collects the six-issue miniseries as part of the overall 30th anniversary celebration of Sandman.

The Silencer Vol. 3: Up in Smoke TP

Issues #13-18 by Dan Abnett. the final collection of the series.

Superman Vol. 1: The Unity Saga: Phantom Earth TP

Paperback of Brian Michael Bendis' Superman #1-6. Often the paperback comes out the same month as the next hardcover, but we don't yet have the official solicitation for Superman Vol. 2: The Unity Saga: The House of El.

Superman: Red Son New Edition TP

A new printing of the Mark Millar/Dave Johnson miniseries.

Teen Titans Vol. 2: Turn It Up TP

The second collection of Adam Glass and Bernard Chang's "New Justice" series, issues #25-27 and the Annual #1. I liked the first book better than I thought I would; kind of disappointed to see the second one being so short.

Vamps: The Complete Collection TP

Collects Vamps #1-6 and the never-collected Vamps: Hollywood and Vein #1-6 and Vamps: Pumpkin Time #1-3 by Elaine Lee and Will Simpson.

A Very DC Halloween TP

Stories from 2017's DC House of Horror #1 and 2018's Cursed Comics Cavalcade #1, with Tim Seeley, Bryan Hill, and James Tynion, among others.

The Wild Storm Vol. 4 TP

Issues #19-24, the final collection of (this iteration of) the series. Warren Ellis moves over now to the new Wildcats series.

Wonder Woman Vol. 1: The Just War HC

The first collection of G. Willow Wilson's Wonder Woman run, issues #58-65 (down from #58-68 in previous solicitations),with art by Cary Nord and others, in hardcover.

Young Justice: The Animated Series Book One: The Early Missions TP

There was once some major solicitation confusion in regards to whether "Young Justice" collections were the Peter David series or collections of the animated tie-in, so I'm glad to see "The Animated Series" appended here. Collects issues #0-13.

So, Doomsday Clock Part One or Doomsday Clock complete? Chime in on the comments and let me know, and also what else looks good to you this month.

Review: Green Lanterns Vol. 7: Superhuman Trafficking trade paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Green Lanterns Vol. 7: Superhuman Trafficking is not perhaps the sophisticated spy story I might normally expect from writer Tim Seeley, but it is an enjoyable vignette starring Green Lanterns Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz. On one hand I'm not completely enamored with the direction Seeley is taking these two characters; on the other hand, Seeley writes their interactions so well that I found myself ultimately convinced. Superhero Trafficking contains just that one four-part story, plus an annual by Andy Diggle, but far from feeling short, this seems just right; it's a focused dose that hits the right notes without too much excess.

[Review contains spoilers]

Though not "serious" per se, Trafficking is hardly devoid of substance. Similar to how Seeley's Green Lanterns Vol. 6: A World of Our Own used the immigration debate as a metaphor against a cosmic canvas, Seeley imagines dating app culture through a superheroic lens, and from there touches on both human trafficking and religious fealty. The larger Green Lantern Corps has a heavy presence throughout, as well as one of the Omega Men, making this feel more tied in and connected than Green Lanterns has before, the burgeoning site of main Green Lantern action in the DC Universe (for a few months, at least).

Review: Red Hood/Arsenal Vol. 2: Dancing with the Devil's Daughter trade paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, June 16, 2019

In the immediate aftermath of the "Joker cut off his own face" craze, the new Joker's Daughter seemed a viable antagonist, but a few bad stories — including tying her to a swords and sorcery world underneath Gotham — quickly dampened that possibility. Since that time, Joker's Daughter has popped up hither and yon, usually to fill whatever needs the story has at the moment, a one-note deranged presence or a poor man's Harley Quinn. Scott Lobdell's apparent fascination with the character — using her in Red Hood/Arsenal and then that she's forthcoming in Lobdell's already-controversial Nightwing run — didn't necessarily seem to be doing him favors.

But once again, reading is believing, and once again another of Lobdell's "Red Hood" books does that trick where it pulls success from seeming banality. There's a few places where Lobdell's DC You-era Red Hood/Arsenal Vol. 2: Dancing with the Devil's Daughter threatens to go off the rails, but some good planning and some really, really sharp thinking about these characters puts it all back on track again. If Lobdell doesn't quite totally redeem Joker's Daughter as a character to watch, he at least demonstrates he can do something interesting with her, and I'm eager now to see how he uses her subsequently in Nightwing.

Review: Silencer Vol. 2: Hell-iday Road trade paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

For the doomed "New Age of Heroes" title Silencer, the awkwardly titled Silencer Vol. 2: Hell-iday Road marks the shark-jumping beginning of the end. And yet, for what seems an ill-conceived introduction of the supernatural into this action sci-fi series, writer Dan Abnett pulls it off remarkably well. That underscores the strength of the characters Abnett has created here; while I doubt this book could have held up its "mom is secretly an assassin" premise through a hundred issues, Silencer Honor Guest is likable and interesting — and versatile for a variety of stories, we see here — and I hope she continues to be a player in the Leviathan-focused stories to come in the DC Universe even if not starring in her own book.

Review: Justice League Odyssey Vol. 1: The Ghost Sector trade paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Justice League Odyssey seemed an unlikely title, but Joshua Williamson pulls off something pretty great. This book is, to some extent, more "Titans" than Titans right now, and having even greater claim to the name. In broad strokes, Justice League Odyssey Vol. 1: The Ghost Sector starts to be about how people react to a certain kind of fame, and Williamson positions these characters such that conflicts, when they come, are both unexpected and feel wholly in-character. There's a lot of directions Williamson could go with this book, including graduating to a kind of Game of Thrones-type scope, and I'm more eager than I expected for the next volume.

[Review contains spoilers]

In scant glances at upcoming solicitations, I had seen that Odyssey involved in some way a planet or two that worshipped one or more of these heroes. It was still a surprise, however, to find that when Cyborg, Starfire, and Azrael find themselves trapped in the cosmic Ghost Sector, they're already considered gods — that there is some element of reality-bending or time travel here, such that the people of the Ghost Sector know a lot more about the heroes than the heroes do about them. That's very engaging, and Williamson gets a lot of credit for a conceit that builds a big world with a lot of stakes while requiring very low overhead from the characters or audience to get to that point.

Review: New Super-Man and the Justice League of China trade paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

The series that became New Super-Man and the Justice League of China (formerly just New Super-Man) had a slow start but came into its own once the titular Chinese Justice League became main players. This book marks the final issues after the book was already reportedly cancelled once and provides a nice send off that underscores where the book was having its most success. I'm glad Gene Luen Yang won't stray too far from DC and especially that he's working on a DC Zoom title, which matches in some respects the general tone of New Super-Man. Hopefully this isn't the last we see of Kong Kenan and friends; I'd be happy for them to appear in some other title's international adventure (though without losing the characters' pseudo-comedic tone) or to remain in their antecedent characters' supporting casts (as the Chinese Flash Avery has done in Joshua Williamson's Flash).

Review: Green Lanterns Vol. 6: A World of Our Own trade paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, June 02, 2019

I mostly know Tim Seeley's work from "earthbound" titles like Grayson, Nightwing, New Suicide Squad, and Batman books. I haven't seen him do as much cosmic work, and even his Hellblazer run shined the most when it blended the supernatural with mortal, criminal threats. I expected perhaps a little more realism to Seeley's Green Lanterns Vol. 6: A World of Our Own than I received, though the fault perhaps is in my expectations.

World is a step in the right direction for Green Lanterns, as Seeley makes Lanterns Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz less one-note than they have been; there are also good political dilemmas set against a cosmic canvas, and good acknowledgment of Simon and Jessica as Green Lanterns who are people of color. I was not blown away; the book is not particularly fraught nor suspenseful nor emotionally involving, as compared for instance to Seeley's New Suicide Squad Vol. 4: Kill Anything. Fortunately, Seeley's got another couple of volumes on this title as it heads toward its conclusion, and I'm still optimistic for great things to come.

DC Trade Solicitations for August 2019 - Heroes in Crisis and The Price, Booster Gold by Jurgens, Detective Comics Vol. 1 by Tomasi, Young Justice by Bendis, Wonder Woman by Simone Omnibus, Batman Who Laughs

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

I've just finished reading the last issue of Heroes in Crisis (there won't be any spoilers in this post). I get it, I think, or maybe I don't; it seems a long way around and a lot of damage just to make one singular point. I'm not sure. I'm going to let it sit now, and then pick it up again with my questions and misgivings when the Heroes in Crisis hardcover arrives in September, as part of these DC Comics August 2019 trade paperback and hardcover solicitations. Heroes in Crisis: The Price and Other Tales also arrives the same day (and, not coincidentally, a hardcover of Dan Jurgens' original Booster Gold stories, too).

So, Heroes in Crisis has come to pass, and I'm sure in the next few months we'll learn more about what comes next (which, in the custom of comics, may largely define how we come to see the book itself) and then, come September, I'll go back through and try to make sense of it all. I'm stymied, and pondering, which in some respects I believe was not the intention, but then again maybe that's better than a book you immediately understand and don't further think about at all.

(Also Doomsday Clock #10 was great.)

What would otherwise be a big deal this month is the first new Young Justice collection from Brian Michael Bendis in hardcover. We're only just beginning to see the shape of what Bendis has in store for the DC Universe between Young Justice and Event Leviathan, and I'm excited for more. There's the start of Peter Tomasi's run on Detective Comics, Tom King's Batman Vol. 10: Knightmares, the next Batman: The Caped Crusader book (odd, since its companion series seems to have been cancelled), and also the unexpected Justice League of America: The Wedding of the Atom and Jean Loring, a stand-in it seems for the cancelled Justice League of America: The Bronze Age Omnibus Vol. 3.

Let's dive in ...

Absolute DC: The New Frontier 15th Anniversary Edition HC

New Absolute edition of the Darwyn Cooke miniseries includes the Justice League: The New Frontier Special and "Triangulation," the King Faraday story by Cooke from Solo #5.

Batman Vol. 10: Knightmares TP

Issues #61-63 and #66-69 of the Tom King run, omitting the Joshua Williamson-penned crossover with Flash, "The Price of Justice" (see the Heroes in Crisis companion book solicited in this list. At time of this writing, we still await official word of just how many Batman issues King has left.

The Batman Who Laughs HC

Hardcover collection of the seven-issue miniseries by Scott Snyder, Jock, and Eduardo Risso, plus the Batman Who Laughs: Grim Knight special.

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 1: Mythology HC

The new run by Peter Tomasi and Doug Mahnke; I think an original solicitation said paperback, but now it's hardcover. This is just issues #994-999; previously this was said to have Tomasi's story from Detective Comics #1000, but it's not listed for the contents now.

Batman: Hush New Edition TP

In time for the animated movie, another collection of Hush by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee.

Batman: The Caped Crusader Vol. 3 TP

This is a bit of a head-scratcher, though I'm hoping it indicates good news, that Batman: The Caped Crusader Vol. 3 is still being solicited, even after Batman: The Dark Knight Detective Vol. 3 was apparently cancelled. We've seen the cancelled Justice League of America: The Bronze Age resolicited with a new title, for instance, so my hope, at least, is DC's just taking a little time to regroup on these and not cancelling them outright.

What we've got here is Batman #445-454, including "Penguin Affair" (crossover with Detective Comics #615, also collected here), which was the first appearance of Harold; plus NKVDemon and the Joker (first appearance since "Death in the Family") and Peter Milligan and Kieron Dwyer's "Dark Knight, Dark City" (which factored into both Grant Morrison's run and also Dark Nights: Metal). Also Batman Annual #14, a truly great Two-Face origin by Andrew Helfer and Chris Sprouse.

Batman: The Killing Joke Deluxe Edition HC New Edition

Deluxe edition of Alan Moore's Killing Joke, with additional work by Brian Bolland from Batman: Black and White #4 and Countdown #31.

Batwoman: Elegy New Edition TP

A new collection of the "Elegy" and "Go" stories, Detective Comics #854-857 and #858-860 respectively, early stories of Batwoman Kate Kane, by Greg Rucka and J. H. Williams. Glad to see all of this reprint material in time for the new CW series.

Booster Gold: The Big Fall HC

This is a surprise, one I don't recall seeing in the advance solicitations, and one for which I might wonder "why now," except that it's due out the same day as the Heroes in Crisis hardcover. Not that Heroes in Crisis is an especially positive showing for Booster, and frankly I think DC overestimates interest in Booster such that I do wonder whether this is actually going to make it to print.

That said, Dan Jurgen's original tales of Booster Gold are wonderful. As I wrote in my review of Showcase Presents: Booster Gold (the 25-issue black-and-white collection, whereas this new hardcover is color), "Jurgens intricately structures the twenty-five issues of Booster Gold, long before the prevalence of trade paperbacks, into two distinct twelve-issue 'seasons' that are themselves split into six-issue arcs, and Booster's growth is clear through each of them," such that this collection of issues #1-12 is a great start. A little more from that review to whet your appetite:

"I've been reading about the Booster Gold character for almost twenty years, but I'd never read these initial issues that encompass Booster's first appearances. I can say they'll probably have me looking at Booster a little differently, and looking at the Showcase Presents format with new respect, too. Showcase Presents: Booster Gold is a deceptively deep collection of twenty-five issues worth of material, enough to really feel you're inhabiting the characters; I give this a high recommendation."

Like I said, I'm unsure this book will make it out, but I hope it does.

Crisis on Infinite Earths 35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition HC

A "new anniversary edition" of the 12-issue minseries.

Deathstroke: Arkham TP

Issues #36-40; this concludes just before the "Terminus Agenda" crossover with Teen Titans. Given that Batman vs. Deathstroke was set in the past (though very good), it'll be nice to get back to the forward action of Christopher Priest's series.

Final Crisis Omnibus New Edition HC

A "new edition" of the omnibus previously released in 2018. I don't see any changes to the contents (like, say, including the Infinity, Inc. issues); this is Batman #676-683 and #701-702, Birds of Prey #118, DC Universe #0, DC Universe: The Last Will and Testament #1, Final Crisis #1-7, Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #1-5, Final Crisis: Requiem #1, Final Crisis: Resist #1, Final Crisis: Revelations #1-5, Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge #1-3, Final Crisis Secret Files, Final Crisis: Submit #1, Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1-2, Flash #240-241, Teen Titans #59-60, and Terror Titans #1-6

The Flash Vol. 10: Force Quest TP

Issues #58-63 by Joshua Williamson. This ends just before the new "Coldest Case" crossover with Batman.

Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Book Two TP

Green Lantern #4-20 by Geoff Johns, parts of the No Fear, Revenge of the Green Lanterns, and Wanted – Hal Jordan trades, ending just before the Sinestro Corps War crossover.

Green Lantern: The Silver Age Vol. 4 TP

Green Lantern #36-48, including Hal Jordan meeting Alan Scott and fighting Black Hand and Star Sapphire.

• Harley Quinn and the Gotham City Sirens Omnibus New Edition HC

A new edition of the Harley Quinn and the Gotham City Sirens omnibus released in 2018, collecting Gotham City Sirens #1-26 and Catwoman #83, no doubt movie branded now.

Heroes in Crisis HC

In hardcover, issues #1-9, due out September 25. At the writing of this, Heroes in Crisis #9 is due out on Wednesday. A strange series; the end seems to have come very suddenly and I'm interested to re-read this one to try to get more of the cadence of it, understand the rising and falling and inciting actions.

Heroes in Crisis: The Price and Other Tales TP

In paperback, collecting Batman #64-65 and Flash #64-65, the "Price of Justice" crossover, plus Flash Annual #2 and Green Arrow #45 and #48-50. For comparison, it looks like Green Arrow Vol. 7: Citizen's Arrest, due out in July, collects Julie and Shawna Benson's Green Arrow #43-47 and the Annual #2 (so, including #45), but that Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing's issues #48-50 may only appear here. Flash Vol. 10: Force Quest collects Flash #58-63 and then #66-69.

This Heroes in Crisis companion book is out September 25, same as Heroes in Crisis proper.

Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Two Deluxe Edition HC

Says issues #1-12 and Annual #1 of the Tom Taylor series; an earlier solicitation had it at #1-24. Includes "never before published behind-the-scenes material."

The Joker: His Greatest Jokes TP

Anthology collection of Joker stories in time for the Joaquin Phoenix movie. Wait till they get a load of this. Said to be Batman #8, #67, #145, #260, #353, and #366; Detective Comics #388 and #833-834 (a Batman/Zatanna story by Paul Dini);Spectre #51 (the Spectre inside Joker's soul, by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake); and Batman: Prelude to the Wedding: Harley Quinn vs. Joker.

• Justice League of America: The Wedding of The Atom and Jean Loring HC

Near as I can tell, this replaces the cancelled Justice League of America: The Bronze Age Omnibus Vol. 3, said to collect issues #149-158 from the 1970s and Super-Team Family #13-14 (part of the Jean Loring story); the Bronze Age omnibus was #147-181 (no word on the discrepancy with issues #147-148, but I'd wager this month's solicitation is short).

I'm glad to see the Bronze Age collections not just going away, though things seem a bit disjointed right now; essentially the first two "storyline-based" Bronze Age Justice League collections are this, with issues #149-158, and Justice League of America: The Last Survivors of Earth! (solicited last month), which is issues #77-95 (filling in for the Justice League: The Bronze Age Vol. 1 paperback, a cutdown of the first omnibus) — so basically we're getting the beginning (of the beginning) and the (beginning of the) end (so far) without the middle.

The Sandman: The Dream Hunters 30th Anniversary Edition TP Graphic Novel Edition

Graphic novel adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novella with art by P. Craig Russell.

The Sandman: The Dream Hunters 30th Anniversary Edition TP Prose Edition

The original prose version of Dream Hunters by Neil Gaiman with art by Yoshitako Amano. Which one should I read? Both?

Scooby-Doo's Greatest Adventures TP

Scooby-Doo #1, 10, 35, 68 and 72, Scooby-Doo Team-Up #2, 5 7, 8, 9, 12, 18, 37 and 40, and Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #48, 51, 54, 71, 78, 79, 83, and 85, including appearances by the Super-Pets, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Swamp Thing, and the Jetsons and the Flintstones.

Stargirl by Geoff Johns TP

Ahead of the DC Universe TV series, and with photo covers, this collects the entirety of Geoff Johns' Stars and STRIPE series, #0-14, plus JSA: All-Stars #4. Previously this was also said to include related stories from DCU Heroes Secret Files and DCU Villains Secret Files.

Superman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 1 New Edition HC

Action Comics #1-31, New York World's Fair #1, New York World's Fair 1940 and Superman #1-7, back in print.

Superman/Batman: 80 Years Slipcase Set HC

Slipcase of the Action and Detective Comics "80 Years" hardcovers.

Transmetropolitan Book Two TP

Issues #13-24 by Warren Ellis, plus Transmetropolitan: I Hate It Here.

Watchmen TP New Edition

Trade paperback at $24.99

• Wonder Woman by Gail Simone Omnibus HC

Some excellent stories here, including Wonder Woman's truly brutal battle with enemy Genocide, plus a precursor to Gail Simone's Red Sonja stories as Diana teams with various swords and sorcery figures from DC history — plus Diana's relationship with Nemesis Tom Tresser. Collects Wonder Woman #14-44 (pre-Flashpoint), #600, Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #1, and a story from the Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special. A well-deserved accolade by Simone.

Young Justice Vol. 1: Gemworld HC

Never really thought I'd be holding an in-continuity Young Justice Vol.1 trade again. Issues #1-6 by Brian Michael Bendis, in hardcover.

Deaths, rebirths ... no, not Heroes in Crisis, it's the push and pull of DC's collections line. What's a must-buy for you?

Review: Batgirl Vol. 5: Art of the Crime trade paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, May 26, 2019

The transition from Brendan Fletcher and Cameron Stewart's "Burnside" Batgirl to Hope Larson's Rebirth run felt filled with tension; after such a radical redesign of Batgirl (which affected, in some ways, the DC line as a whole), could a second writer do justice to the same aesthetic? (Essentially yes, as it turned out.) Mairghread Scott taking over as second Rebirth writer feels less fraught, perhaps because the attempt is less to preserve an experimental approach and more to return to what came before.

Some might see the de-Burnside-ification of Barbara Gordon as a regression, but ultimately Scott writes an interesting comic in Batgirl Vol. 5: Art of the Crime and puts her mark on Batgirl in interesting ways, and that's good enough for the start. The story is imperfect, but Scott weaves together strands of Barbara's many incarnations well, and that's a good foundation on which to grow. Normally sunny artist Paul Pelletier takes a stab at horror here, to good effect, and I hope that's a path Scott and Pelletier continue on.

Review: Flash Vol. 9: Reckoning of the Forces trade paperback (DC Comics)

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

After the momentous Flash Vol. 8: Flash War, which delivered a lot of important events though not everything I was hoping for, I resolved to take Joshua Williamson's Flash more as it comes — looking for less of what I want out of a Flash story and focusing more on what Williamson is delivering. In Flash Vol. 9: Reckoning of the Forces, the idea of the various "new forces" (first introduced in Scott Snyder's Justice League) possessing the Flash's Rogues is a clever one, Williamson's manner of spotlighting and updating the Rogues just as Flash writers have before him. Artist Scott Kolins helps immensely in making this feel of a piece with Rogue stories previous.

But it remains that each of Williamson's issues in this volume start with how Barry Allen only "used to be the fastest man alive" (which I don't even really understand, given Barry's still plenty fast here), another dour note in Williamson's stories about what should be one of DC's most optimistic heroes. Barry bemoans endlessly here how Central City is changing and he doesn't want it to; meanwhile he ignores good advice from Iris West and fails to consider an obvious mystery in his midst. Even after the big "Flash War" revelations, even after reuniting with Iris, Williamson still writes Barry as a wet blanket, the least fun guy at the party, and it seems a disservice to the character.

Review: Supergirl Vol. 1: Killers of Krypton trade paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Thinking about what makes a Supergirl series, both Peter David and Sterling Gates had it right, an Earth-based setting in which Kara Zor-El practices superheroics with a cast of supporting characters, toward the same audience as the average Superman or Batman comic (that is, not "mature readers" but neither "all ages").

Marc Andreyko's new take achieves some of that. Supergirl Vol. 1: Killers of Krypton is good, certainly enjoyable and much benefited by Kevin Maguire's expressive art. It is almost wholly space-set, presenting a kind of field trip across the cosmic DC Universe, which is also well-done and holds many possibilities, though it doesn't necessarily seem the right foundation for a Supergirl series. I'm happy to stick with it — this is better, by far, than recent Supergirl takes that confused accessibility with banality — but it seems gimmicky; when the road runs out on Andreyko's space trek, I wonder if he's got terrestrial plans or if that'll be that. Either way I'm glad to see Supergirl more tied to the Superman books and in all I'm happy with the new Brian Michael Bendis era.

Review: Wonder Woman Vol. 8: Dark Gods trade paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

It remains a curiosity what James Robinson might have done on the Wonder Woman title if left to his own devices. Instead, Robinson spends his last volume, Wonder Woman Vol. 8: Dark Gods, tying up others' storylines, none of which were particularly well imagined and none of which Robinson is able to wring anything particularly dramatic out of. After a strong Rebirth start, the Wonder Woman title has floundered, and I sincerely hope G. Willow Wilson can right this ship when she comes on the volume after next.

[Review contains spoilers]

Robinson posits here that the Dark Gods target Earth due to Wonder Woman's wish-gone-wrong at the end of Dark Nights: Metal — that apparently she wished for the gods to return, but didn't specify which ones. That's rather ridiculous, a clunky bridging of "Dark Gods" and Metal, made all the more so by the fact that the narrative really takes Diana to task for this as if she should be a more skillful wisher. The Dark Gods are exceptionally plain (to say nothing of Diana, Steve Trevor, and Diana's twin brother Jason under Robinson's pen), with names like "Mob God" and "Savage Fire." The writer who gave Copperhead hobbies surely has something better in his arsenal than this, and it contributes to the sense of Robinson as pitch hitter here, not driving force.

Review: Batman vs. Deathstroke hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Christopher Priest's Batman vs. Deathstroke is an old-school crossover in the best way, the kind of true miniseries-within-a-series we just don't see any more. It has all the hallmarks of Priest's great Deathstroke series, where it appeared, but reflecting a skill for writing Batman and his ilk, too. Priest is no stranger to writing the larger DC Universe, though his recent Justice League foray was perhaps a bit too stylized for some's tastes; Batman vs. Deathstroke shows that Priest can still write a straighter DC Universe piece that equally has some of Priest's trademark edge.

There are elements for which Batman vs. Deathstroke couldn't and wouldn't work in the modern comics landscape, but Priest pulls it off with aplomb, not that that's any surprise at all.

Review: Damage Vol. 2: Scorched Earth trade paperback (DC Comics)

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Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Artist Aaron Lopresti makes a significant contribution to Damage Vol. 2: Scorched Earth, moving the book away from B movie schlock toward something more superheroic. Writer Robert Venditti's story feels more focused this time too, especially in the straightforward Justice League-centric second half. But "straightforward" is also Damage's downfall, and this book remains so uncomplicated and predictable that it's no wonder it's cancelled after just four more issues. There is much worse on the stands than Damage, but the book fails to rise above being more than just an artist showcase and action romp.

[Review contains spoilers]

Lopresti comes on with the eighth issue, the last part of the book's first arc, and his presence makes an immediate difference. That first arc, "Doing Damage," is representative of what this title is doing wrong, among that some unremarkable art in DC's basic house style atop a crew of uninspired villains. Lopresti is not the grand shake-up that bringing Otto Schmidt or Riley Rossmo on this title would be, but the monstrous Damage here gets less absurdly "extreme" and more realistic-looking.

Review: Wonder Woman Vol. 7: Amazons Attacked trade paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, May 05, 2019

The idea of giving Wonder Woman a long-lost twin brother is a controversial one, ill-conceived I think even if with the best of intentions. It wasn't writer James Robinson's idea and I believe he's trying gamely to make something out of it; unfortunately, we've got what doesn't feel like it has a lot of gusto here on one hand and what feels too familiar on the other.

The result is Wonder Woman Vol. 7: Amazons Attacked, a story that's by no means insulting to Wonder Woman and her ilk, just one that does not necessarily get the blood pumping. Notably, when Robinson abandons the twin brother/Darkseid plot for an issue and does his own thing, that issue is much more compelling, suggesting the direction DC maybe should have gone with this fill-in run.

Review: Supergirl Vol. 4: Plain Sight trade paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Steve Orlando gets it right with Supergirl Vol. 4: Plain Sight, his final volume of the Rebirth series. That's fortunate and unfortunate; fortunate that this run finally lives up to its obvious potential, and unfortunate it should come right at the end. There's something to enjoy here for fans of many of Supergirl's iterations, but wisely Orlando also fills a gap in the present Supergirl landscape; again, this is quite good -- we can assume co-author Jody Houser contributes to the uptick -- and it's too bad there's not more of this particular take.

[Review contains spoilers]

Orlando's inaugural Rebirth Supergirl Vol. 1: Reign of the Cyborg Superman did a fine job setting up a distinct-but-TV-familiar supporting cast for Supergirl Kara Zor-El, with foster parents, a new school, and an internship with Catco. Orlando's Supergirl was kind of like a CW Supergirl prequel -- many of the trappings of the Supergirl TV show, but with Kara still in high school. The subsequent volumes, however, abandoned that almost entirely, with nary a scene at school or work and almost no appearances by Jeremiah and Eliza Danvers.

Review: Teen Titans Vol. 1: Full Throttle trade paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Adam Glass' Teen Titans Vol. 1: Full Throttle is surprisingly enjoyable, which is good because I had extensive concerns about it going in. DC Comics' Teen Titans franchise has been a series of train wrecks for years, which is astounding given how recognition of the team has grown in popular culture. Glass and artist Bernard Chang's take, which at first glance seemed to include an aged-up Robin Damian Wayne and a slate of new characters each more impertinent than the last, seemed headed in the wrong direction, with shades of Glass' too-attitudinal New 52 Suicide Squad launch.

But Glass pulls it off, proposing a Teen Titans paradigm where the team is not (for the most part) bratty, but is violent and unapologetic — a rather adult, "extreme" Teen Titans. Done in a pearl-clutching, "what will our mentors think" kind of manner, this might feel like attitude for attitude's sake, but presented as a natural evolution of many of these characters' experiences, it works. Between Damian, Red Arrow Emiko Queen, and Lobo's daughter Crush, this is kind of a team of teen psychopaths let loose, and that's pretty entertaining. Chang's oft-gritty art is miles from Brett Booth previously on Titans, focused more on story and action than titillation, and that adds intentionality to the book as well.

Review: Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 9: Deface the Face trade paperback (DC Comics)

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

James Robinson returns for a Detective Comics Batman story that, cards on the table, is entertaining and well-done and even coincides with goings on in Tom King's Batman, but seems mainly just an inventory story to bridge the gap till new ongoing writer Peter Tomasi's run starts. The title of Robinson's Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 9: Deface the Face would seem to suggest it's a sequel to Robinson's 2006 Batman: Face the Face, both of which involved Two-Face, but it's not, at least not explicitly. I do believe there's some connections to be made between the two, but Deface can be read so independently that connections to Face can't necessarily be called a reason to pick up this book.

For a fill-in story, we could do a whole heck of a lot worse. I liked this volume, but a discerning reader would have to decide whether they want to stop over here or just proceed to when Tomasi comes on.

DC Trade Solicitations for July 2019 - Bronze Age All-Star Comics and Justice League of America, DeConnick Aquaman, Batman: Black and White Omnibus, Wonder Woman by Rucka Vol. 3, Hitman's Greatest Hits

Sunday, April 21, 2019

The big surprise for me in DC Comics' July 2019 trade paperback and hardcover solicitations is All-Star Comics: Only Legends Live Forever; this is not previously uncollected material, but it does feel like an unexpected nod to the Justice Society at a time when those characters have been off the stands for a while. Justice League of America: The Last Survivors of Earth! is another one that is not new material, but still the validation that collections of this kind of stuff is not dead and gone — especially since these are both squarely Bronze Age books — is nice to see. The big hope is that the All-Star book sells well and we get into collections of All-Star Squadron and Infinity, Inc. (again).

What else? The Rebirth Suicide Squad and Curse of Brimstone and Sideways all take a bow. We've got the first volume of Kelly Sue DeConnick's new run on Aquaman, and then various reprints — Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka Vol. 3, which I know many of you are glad to see; the second paperback Orion cutdown from the omnibus; and a Hitman piecemeal collection that I can't really understand (versus an omnibus or etc.). So not a whole lot happening in these listings, DC taking a summer break of sorts ...

Let's take a look at the full list.

Absolute Death New Edition HC

Collects Death: The High Cost of Living and Death: The Time of Your Life, plus Sandman #8 ("The Sound of Her Wings") and #20 ("Facade"), "Death and Venice" from Sandman: Endless Nights, and the never-collected stories "Winter's Tale" and "The Wheel." Introduction by Amanda Palmer.

All-Star Comics: Only Legends Live Forever TP

Though most of this has already been collected, this is a nice nod to the Justice Society at a time when they're relatively absent from the DC Universe. This is All-Star Comics #58-74, the 1970s revival of All-Star, picking up the numbering from the 1950s when the Justice Society was sidelined and the book became All-Star Western. Issue #74 marks the book's end with the DC Implosion, but Adventure Comics #461-466 is a set of follow-up stories, plus an origin story from DC Special #29. Previously collected in two full-color Justice Society volumes in the early 2000s and a Showcase Presents black-and-white volume, it's now all in one book. Features the debut of Power Girl and Huntress and the death of the Earth-2 Batman.

Aquaman Vol. 1: Unspoken Water TP

The first collection of the new Kelly Sue DeConnick run, issues #43-47 in paperback.

Batman: Black and White Omnibus HC

Stories from Batman: Black and White #1-4, Batman: Black and White Vol. 2, Gotham Knights #17-49, and Batman: Black and White (2013) #1-6.

Batman: Death of the Family Saga TP

Previously billed as an Essential Edition, I think, this is the Batman issues plus tie-ins: Batman #13-17, Batgirl #14-16, Nightwing #15-16, Batman and Robin #15-16, and pages from Batgirl #13, Nightwing #14, Red Hood and Outlaws #14-15, and Teen Titans #16.

Batman: Kings of Fear HC

The new six-issue miniseries drawn by Kelley Jones and written by Scott Peterson.

Batman: Nightwalker: The Graphic Novel TP

Graphic novel by Marie Lu and Christian Wildgoose, based on Lu's YA novel. I really, really enjoyed Wildgoose's art on Hope Larson's Batgirl and I'm sure he'll be excellent here.

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II TP

Issues #1-7 from DC and IDW. Given all the different iterations of these characters, seems James Tynion and Freddie Williams could do this forever; surely Batman Beyond and the Justice League are overdue to get in on the action.

The Curse of Brimstone Vol. 2: Ashes TP

Issues #7-12 and the Annual #1, the end of the Justin Jordan series.

The Flash by Geoff Johns Book Six TP

This goes farther than the original Flash by Geoff Johns Omnibus hardcovers, being now Johns' Barry instead of his Wally. This should contain Flash: Rebirth #1-6, Blackest Night: The Flash #1-3, and Flash #1-6. Johns still has Flash #8-12 and Flashpoint, likely for a seventh and final volume.

Harley &Amp; Ivy Meet Betty &Amp; Veronica TP

Six-issue miniseries by Paul Dini, Marc Andreyko, Laura Braga, and Adriana Melo, with covers by Amanda Conner.

Hitman's Greatest Hits TP

Given that Hitman is already fully collected, I'd think what fans would want is an omnibus or Absolute edition, not necessarily a "greatest hits," but this is Demon Annual #2; Hitman #4-7, #13-14, and #34, and JLA/Hitman #1-2, by Garth Ennis and John McCrea.

Justice League of America: The Last Survivors of Earth! TP

These stories have already been collected as part of the Justice League of America: The Bronze Age omnibuses, and were set to be re-released in paperback as Justice League of America: The Bronze Age Vol. 1. I've been taking a wait-and-see approach with rumors that DC is drastically changing their collections policies, as for instance that Bronze Age volume is cancelled, but is now being released as a "titled" volume, Justice League of America: The Last Survivors of Earth!. Possibly this is a backstop against low sales; if a "collections series" can't continue, at least this no longer has "Volume 1," "Volume 2," etc. on it.

This was the start of the "Satellite Era," and includes appearances by Snapper Carr and Red Tornado.

Justice: The Deluxe Edition HC

Deluxe-size hardcover of the 12-issue miniseries by Alex Ross, Jim Krueger, and Doug Braithwaite. With bonus material; now seems as good a time as any to release a Legion of Doom tale.

The Kitchen New Edition TP

New collection of the eight-issue 2014 Vertigo miniseries series by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle, ahead of the new movie.

Orion by Walter Simonson Book Two TP

Issues #12-25 of the Walt Simonson series; should be with the back-up stories and other extras. Includes a Joker: Last Laugh tie-in and a Captain Marvel/Shazam! appearance.

Powers Vol. 6 New Edition TP

Issues #1-11 of the third iteration of Powers, by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming.

The Sandman Vol. 11: Endless Nights 30th Anniversary Edition TP

Newly branded as volume 11, this was one of Neil Gaiman's graphic novel follow-ups to the series.

Scooby-Doo Team-Up: Doomed! TP

Supergirl, Swamp Thing, and Metamorpho. Sholly Fisch is a national treasure.

The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid TP

Kirk Scoggs' DC Zoom graphic novel about a kid Swamp Thing. It'd be great if this kid was not actually Swamp Thing, but rather could meet Swamp Thing in the course of his adventures.

Sideways Vol. 2: Rifts and Revelations TP

Issues #7-13 and the annual, the final issues of the series. With guest-writing by Grant Morrison and appearances by the Seven Soldiers and other significant multiversal characters.

Suicide Squad Vol. 8: Constriction TP

The final collection of Rob Williams' Rebirth Suicide Squad, collecting issues #41-44, #47-50, and the Annual #1. That's skipping the "Sink Atlantis" crossover with Aquaman, collected on its own.

Swamp Thing by Nancy A. Collins Omnibus HC

First ever collection of novelist Nancy Collins run on Swamp Thing, issues #110-139, Annuals #6-7, Black Orchid #5, and a story from Vertigo Jam #1. Following this would be Grant Morrison's and Mark Millar's runs, before the iteration of the title that included the Alan Moore run would be brought to a close.

Tales of the Batman: Gerry Conway Vol. 3 HC

Batman #349-359 and Detective Comics #515-526. This means the book includes the fourth part of the story that first introduced Killer Croc, Detective #526, which was missing from the Batman: Arkham: Killer Croc trade, plus the first pre-Crisis appearance of Jason Todd.

Watchmen: International Edition New Edition HC

"Features a new lenticular cover," it says. Do you think there's someone out there who's such a fan that they own every single different printing of Watchmen?

The Wild Storm Vol. 4 TP

Issues #19-24, the final trade of the series.

Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka Vol. 3 TP

Again, your patience has paid off (and then some), because here's Wonder Woman #218-226, completing this re-collection series, plus Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #1-3.

Wonder Woman Year One Deluxe Edition HC

A deluxe edition of just the past-set issues of Greg Rucka's Rebirth Wonder Woman run, with art by Nicola Scott in deluxe hardcover format. They should follow this with a collection of the sequentially ordered parts of the other half of the story in the same format. Issues #2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14, plus a story from the Wonder Woman Annual #1.

Wonder Woman: The Golden Age Vol. 3 TP

The contents of this have shifted since the catalog solicitation and you all will have to tell me what makes more sense. It used to be Sensation Comics #49-71 and Wonder Woman #16-23; now it's Sensation Comics #25-36 and Wonder Woman #8-11, and Comic Cavalcade #6-8.

What's a must-buy for you here? Anything I overlooked? Chime in and sound off in the comments.

Review: Batman Vol. 9: The Tyrant Wing trade paperback (DC Comics)

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

After a couple of more esoteric-leaning volumes, Tom King's Batman Vol. 9: The Tyrant Wing is a more accessible stopover as it goes, a pleasant respite if you will. That doesn't make it any less complex, however, and indeed Tyrant Wing starts back into the central mysteries of King's run, raising more questions than it answers. Batman Vol. 10 promises to be a big one, and this short volume (just three regular issues plus assorted specials) has surely whet my appetite for the next in October.

[Review contains spoilers]

"Batman finds out about Bane's plot" is the headline of this particular volume, though whether that's by accident or by design is just one of this book's many complications. This is a Penguin story, of sorts, in that Bane kills Penguin's paramour Penny (a penguin, apparently) such to express his disappointment with Penguin's work, and Penguin tells Batman about Bane in revenge. But all of that — Batman subsequently brutalizing Bane, tearing his way through the Gotham underworld, and alienating Jim Gordon — seems to be the outcome Bane wanted in order to further separate Batman from his allies.