DC Trade Solicitations for January 2021 - Joker War Saga, Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey, Green Arrow: 80 Years, Batman: Gotham Knights Vol. 2, Wonder Comics Amethyst, Swamp Thing: New 52 Omnibus

Sunday, October 18, 2020

It's the DC Comics January 2021 trade paperback and hardcover solicitations, though no doubt all eyes are on the two-month "Future State" event, following the one-month "Endless Winter" event. This is a not insignificant breather DC is taking here and I'm curious what things will look like on the other side.

Much as I thought there were a lot of positives to Dan DiDio's time at DC and I regret his ouster, it's astounding to me to think that he was about to revamp DC's line. I would say "especially since DC has hardly had a cogent timeline in years," which I would have liked to have seen before they cleared the decks again, but apparently the so-called "5G" would have delivered a timeline at the same time as its revamping (equally a novel and long overdue idea). Still I don't think a new timeline is the solution to what ails DC; rather I'd prefer to see them iron out the one they have, the unwritten playbook that most everyone seems to be going off of except the readers.

Publishing what they've got as "Future State" is a good solution, better than letting it all go to waste and leaving us to wonder for years what it was all about. But it's a two-fold shame, one that Doomsday Clock had to be bent to dovetail into 5G ('cause we sure know it wasn't headed there originally) only for 5G never to happen, and two that Dark Nights: Death Metal now leads in to Future State since simultaneously we're also given to understand Future State is a temporary measure and surely that wasn't the plan for Death Metal either. So not to be cynical but it all seems like more of the same old thing — every book's an advertisement for the next one and everything's important, even the one-off, two-month filler events.

That said, we're for some thick Future State collections, and I'm looking forward to them.

This month in collections, not a blockbuster, but some stable releases. Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey: The Hunt for Harley is probably the one I'm most looking forward to, seeing Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti writing Harley again. I'm sorry to see Adam Glass' Teen Titans ending, but that's a book I've enjoyed and I'm sure I'll enjoy the finale; rising star Ram V arrives on Catwoman, too.

That book is a "Joker War" tie-in, and probably the biggest "news" of this solicitations release is that it looks like the two-volume Batman: Joker War Companion volumes have been cancelled, replaced with one single Joker War Saga book — which also contains all the Batman issues collected in its own title. I actually think this is shaping up to be a good thing — it looks like every related Bat-title will have their own collection, and then Joker War Saga will be the book for people who want the expanded main story — more than just the Batman issues, less than buying every other collection. I know what I'm doing, but shout out to this for others.

Also the second and final trade of Devin Grayson's Gotham Knights, helping fill in the rapidly completing collecting of everything Batman since the mid-1980s. Yay!

I've gone on enough. Let's take a look at the books.

Amethyst

The six-issue Wonder Comics miniseries by Amy Reeder, in trade paperback. Eager as I once was for this, now it’s mostly a reminder of Wonder Comics’ impending end. There’s no way they're going to re-relaunch Young Justice so quickly, right? Maybe Young Justice League?

Batman: Gotham Knights: Contested

The second collection of Devin Grayson's Gotham Knights, in paperback. Collects issues #14-24 and #29, which almost finishes out Grayson’s run short of some “Batman: Murderer/Fugitive” tie-in issues and includes a "Joker's Last Laugh" issue. I had previously mentioned that I thought issue #32 needed to be in there too, but I see it’s in the new Batman: Fugitive collection. Therefore, nice of DC to get all these issues collected so quickly.

Books of Magic Vol. 3: Dwelling in Possibility

This had been solicited as issues #14-18 and the Sandman Universe Presents Hellblazer special, but with the series newly cancelled, the contents are now just issues #14-23 (that Hellblazer special is in its own series' book).

Catwoman Vol. 4: Come Home, Alley Cat

Previously solicited as issues #20-24, this is now issues #14-15 and #22-28. That's the two issues by Ram V between Catwoman Vol. 2 and Catwoman Vol. 3 that weren't previously collected, and then picking up from Vol. 3, a one-off by Paula Sevenbergen (#22), two issues by Sean Murphy and Blake Northcott (#23-24), and then tie-ins to "Joker War" also by new series writer Ram V. So, as mentioned elsewhere, if you're already buying this and the other Bat-titles, no need to also get Joker War Saga.

DC Poster Portfolio: Joëlle Jones

Covers from Catwoman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl: Being Super, and more.

Ex Machina Compendium Two

Issues #26-50 and the Ex Machina Special #3-4 in paperback from Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris.

Green Arrow: 80 Years of the Emerald Archer: The Deluxe Edition

Collects More Fun Comics #73, Adventure Comics #246 and #259, Green Lantern #85 and #86, Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters #1, Green Arrow #100-101 (1994), JLA #8-9 (1996), Green Arrow #1, #17, and #75 (2001), Green Arrow and Black Canary #4 (2007), Secret Origins #4 (2014), Arrow: Season 2.5 #1, and Green Arrow: Rebirth #1. I think it’s a really nice thing that they got a TV Arrow tie-in story in there, as well as both Oliver Queen and Connor Hawke stories.

Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey: The Hunt for Harley

Collects the four-issue miniseries in hardcover. Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti picking up where they left off can’t come fast enough for me.

I’m most eager to see after this who the next Harley Quinn creative team is. One wonders if the Future State: Harley Quinn's solicitation statement that "the next era of Harley Quinn begins here" suggests that Stephanie Phillips and Simone Di Meo might be the new creative team.

Hellblazer Vol. 24: Sanctioned

Hellblazer #267-275 and the five-issue City of Demons miniseries, by Peter Milligan, with guest-star Shade, the Changing Man.

Joker War Saga

This had previously been listed as Nightwing #70-73, Batgirl #47-48, and Detective Comics #1022-1024; now it's Batman #95-100, Batgirl #47 (not #48), Detective Comics #1025 (not #1022-1024), Red Hood: Outlaw #48, Nightwing #74 (not #70-73), Joker War Zone #1, and stories from Harley Quinn #75 and Catwoman #25. This comes out February 23; the Batman Vol. 2: Joker War is out earlier that month.

This seems to be a change from two Joker War Companion volumes to one, collecting fewer ancillary issues overall but adding in all the Batman issues also collected elsewhere. The Detective Comics Vol. 5: Joker War hardcover itself has all the Detective Comics issues listed above, so my guess is this volume isn't meant to replace or overlap the individual volumes, but for those who don't intend to buy the individual volumes.

Swamp Thing: The Bronze Age Vol. 3

Ahead of Alan Moore's run, this is The Saga of the Swamp Thing #1-19 and Saga of the Swamp Thing Annual #1, which was the adaptation of the 1980s movie.

Swamp Thing: The New 52 Omnibus

An omnibus collecting both Scott Snyder's and Charles Soule's New 52 runs on Swamp Thing, both of which were quite good (I think it’s super-cool that DC didn’t just collect Snyder’s run, but also Soule here). Collects Swamp Thing #0-40, the Swamp Thing Annual #1-3, Swamp Thing: Futures End #1, Swamp Thing Featuring Arcane #23.1, Animal Man #12 and #17, and Aquaman #31.

Tales From the DC Dark Multiverse

Paperback, following the hardcover, and collecting Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Batman: Knightfall , Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Death of Superman, Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Blackest Night, Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Infinite Crisis , Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Teen Titans The Judas Contract, Superman #75, Batman #497, Infinite Crisis #1, Blackest Night #1, and Tales of the Teen Titans Annual #3. I’m eager to see the collection of the new round of specials sooner than later.

Teen Titans Vol. 4: Robin No More

What was previously Teen Titans Vol. 4: Djinn Wars, collecting issues #39-44 and the Annual #2 by Adam Glass, Robbie Thompson, and Eduardo Pansica, is now #39-47 and Annual #2, finishing out the series. More's the pity; quite unexpectedly, this series was the best Teen Titans has been in a long while.

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7 comments:

  1. Does this Swamp Thing New 52 Omnibus keep getting moved? I really hope it doesn't get canceled.

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  2. The two Joker War Companion volumes were actually cancelled in favor of this Joker War Saga HC, which will collect fewer tie-ins but will include the core Batman issues.

    The only one of these collections I'm excited about is the second Gotham Knights trade. Can't believe I'll finally have the entire Rucka/Grayson/Brubaker era of the Batman books on my shelf.

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  3. Like Shagamu above, I think GK is the only thing I'm getting here. DC is making me sad

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  4. As a Swamp Thing fan I might buy the omnibus. It is the only thing worth buying.

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  5. A month when I am buying absolutely nothing. :-( But that means I can save up for the Who's Who Omnibus, which will probably be in the February solicits.

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  6. Other than Gotham Knights I see nothing of interest. That's a bummer.

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  7. I really wish they would have just made a Swamp Thing by Charles Soule Omnibus instead of a New 52 one. They already released a deluxe edition of Scott Snyder's run.

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