Review: Legends of Red Sonja trade paperback (Dynamite Entertainment)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

As I noted when I read Gail Simone's first Red Sonja collection, beasts and barbarians isn't really my thing, and additionally what would seem to be the built-in explotativeness of a warrior woman clad only in a chain mail bikini dissuaded me. But with Simone at the helm, obviously there was something going on in this title I didn't know about.

Impressively, in Red Sonja Vol. 1: Queen of Plagues, Simone takes what would seem to be a character that inherently objectifies women, and instead writes a story largely about women's relationships -- sisters, parents, mentors, and so on -- with plenty of action and intrigue to boot. Simone even uses, then loses, that chain mail bikini. Simone's Red Sonja is a swords and sorcery book I can get in to, and so I was eager to read the new Legends of Red Sonja, especially as written by Simone and a who's who of comics and fantasy talent, including Mercedes Lackey, Nancy Collins, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Blair Butler, Nicola Scott, and Devin Grayson.

Trade Perspectives: Marvel 75th Anniversary Omnibus

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

[Thoughts from Doug Glassman, who Tumblrs at '80s Marvel Rocks!]

One of Marvel’s biggest projects, premiering in November (just in time for the Guardians of the Galaxy film to hit DVD ... hmm ...) is the Marvel 75th Anniversary Omnibus, boasting content chosen by fans. The results of the fan vote were revealed a few weeks ago and there were some interesting results. I won’t be buying it since it would duplicate many issues I already own and because I don’t have the space for such a book, but I can appreciate the effort put towards creating it. Please note that despite the above link and the online listings, the exact contents have yet to be revealed, so some of this preview is subject to change.

DC Trade Solicitations for November 2014 - Absolute Green Arrow by Kevin Smith, Futures End and Batman Eternal, Nightwing by Chuck Dixon, Spectre

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Some interesting stuff in DC Comics's November 2014 hardcover and trade paperback collections solicitations. Probably I'm most interested here in the collections of DC's new weekly series, though most notable on the list is the rare change-up of the deluxe Green Arrow by Kevin Smith to an Absolute Green Arrow by Kevin Smith. We also see another collection of John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake's Spectre and the first in a new series of collections of Chuck Dixon's Nightwing series. Both of these were "wishlist" trades for me, and I'm both excited about the new collections and also hopeful there will be more volumes to follow each.

Absolute Green Arrow by Kevin Smith HC

I think pretty highly of Kevin Smith's Green Arrow stories, ones that first got me into Green Arrow and also that in a historical sense typify well the transition from 1990s to 2000s comics in bringing back the "iconic" Green Arrow as lead in his own series. The roots of the Green Lantern and Flash "rebirths" and even into what became the New 52 have some of their beginnings in Green Arrow: Quiver and its ilk.

I did notice a few weeks back, however, that the deluxe Green Arrow by Kevin Smith had been canceled. Aside from Smith's notoriety, I figured this was probably meant to capitalize on the current wave of Arrow popularity; when canceled, I figured that meant maybe DC had bet too hard on that popularity and the interest just wasn't there. Instead, I think we can interpret from this that there was so much interest that the book got a format bump, from deluxe up to an Absolute edition.

This probably says good things about the Green Arrow and Arrow franchises, but it's maybe not so good for our wallets. Weekly Collected Editions contributor Doug Glassman sent a couple thoughts on that point:

"One of the biggest regrets in my comics reading journey is selling back my copy of Green Arrow: Quiver. I've been unable to find the trade despite searching up and down Florida at comic book stores and conventions. For instance, not a single booth at Florida Supercon had a copy. I was excited when the deluxe hardcover edition Green Arrow by Kevin Smith was announced.

"So of course, it's now canceled and replaced with an Absolute edition at three times the price. Now don't get me wrong: 'Quiver' is deserving of an Absolute edition ('Sounds of Violence' less so, but hey, they might as well put out all the Kevin Smith stuff at once). Phil Hester's art is amazing, and hopefully the Absolute will include some process pages. But if this is the only way they'll reissue these books, I'll just get them on Comixology instead.

DC, please surprise me. Please announce some sort of softcover collection of Green Arrow by Kevin Smith as a replacement. I'd really like to put it on my shelf next to my old favorites like JSA, Manhunter, Geoff Johns's Teen Titans and Mark Waid's Legion threeboot. I'm simply not willing to spend $100 on a book collecting fifteen issues ... and I don't think I'm the only unwilling one either."

New 52: Futures End Vol. 1 TP
Batman Eternal Vol. 1 TP

In the same month, we have the first collections of the weekly series Futures End and Batman Eternal. The books collect through issues #17 and #20 of the series respectively, so we can expect maybe three collections for each. That these are paperback releases comes as something of a surprise (maybe a pleasant one), given that the last round of weekly series, Brightest Day and Justice League: Generation Lost, were both collected in multiple hardcovers. I think it would surprise no one, however, if we saw an omnibus volume of each series before all was said and done.

Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus Vol. 1 HC

We recently talked about fixes to the Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus elsewhere in the blog; suffice it to say there's some better news now in terms of the "Sinestro Corps War" Green Lantern Corps issues being collected in this book.

Nightwing Vol. 5: Setting Son TP
Nightwing Vol. 1: Bludhaven TP

Curious timing in the release of Kyle Higgins's last Nightwing book alongside Chuck Dixon's first -- the first and last Nightwing titles, even if Grayson lives on. As I've said before, the real value to me in this new line of Nightwing reprints is not if it collects just the early issues, which I already have, but if it goes past issue #50 to some of the uncollected materials and even into Devin Grayson's run. I am skeptical the collection series will go that far.

Spectre Vol. 2: The Wrath of God TP

Pre-order, pre-order, pre-order! The second collection of John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake's Spectre needs your support if we're going to get a third. Hopefully this gets a bump from the new Gotham by Midnight series and/or the rumored appearance of the Spectre on TV's Constantine.

Larfleeze Vol. 2: The Face of Greed TP

Can't say I'm likely to pick up this, the last issues of Keith Giffen's Larfleeze series, any time soon, but it does include a favorite Green Lantern so I'll probably be along eventually.

Movement Vol. 2: Fighting For the Future TP

I'm pleasantly surprised the first Movement trade made it to print and hopefully that means the same for the second; I had thought maybe these would be canceled like Green Team, but apparently not. I would have preferred DC try to squeeze all twelve issues into one trade, perhaps, but no big deal.

Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 5: The Big Picture TP

Red Hood and the Outlaws is one of those books I've completely lost track of. Jason Todd still has no memory? Wasn't that like two books ago? For a long time I was holding out hope this book would address Starfire's own memory issues, and in that way fill in some of the not-Titans history in the New 52, but I eventually gave up on that. I wouldn't be surprised, just speculation, if the Red Hood title didn't last much longer; I think DC would do well to replace it with a re-tooled Arsenal title while the aforementioned Arrow iron is hot.

I am glad to see that this book includes the Red Hood-themed DC Comics Presents stories, however.

Red Lanterns Vol. 5: Atrocities TP

I still haven't had a chance to check out the post-Peter Milligan Red Lanterns title, but I'll probably pick this up eventually because of its ties to the Super-titles. Includes just the Red Lanterns half of the Green Lantern/Red Lanterns #28 flip book.

Worlds’ Finest Vol. 4: First Contact TP

If you compare this Worlds' Finest volume with the Batman/Superman Vol. 2, each book collects seven issues, but they share four issues and there's only three in each trade that are unique to the book. That feels like not enough, to me; I'd have preferred DC kept the two books separate and just let the audience read back and forth between the two.

I know what I'm getting; what looks good to you?

Review: Animal Man Vol. 4: Splinter Species trade paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Animal Man Vol. 4: Splinter Species is what we call around these parts a "cool down" trade, but that's not a negative; this volume might be my favorite of Jeff Lemire's run so far. After the intense chase scene that made up this series' first two volumes, and then the climactic Rotworld crossover in the third, the "Splinter Species" story is much quieter, a traditional Animal Man story (if such a thing exists) reminiscent of a good X-Files "monster of the week"-type episode.

That Splinter contains half as many issues as the previous volume but still emerges just as powerful is a testament to how well-plotted and controlled Lemire has this series, whether telling stories large or small. As Lemire's Animal Man run nears its close, many of the themes that Lemire has touched on now come to the forefront, delivering the kind of brainy story that Animal Man series have been known for.

Review: Animal Man Vol. 3: Rotworld -- The Red Kingdom trade paperback (DC Comics)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Jeff Lemire's Animal Man has been exemplary so far, and Animal Man Vol. 3: Rotworld - The Red Kingdom is no exception. Not only does Lemire tell a surprising, scary, action-packed, and ultimately moving story, but he also carefully navigates that tightrope where so many writers before him have fallen: the dreaded comics crossover. There's great writing here by Lemire, great art by Steve Pugh, and Lemire and Scott Snyder have together constructed an impressive crossover that never feels slow nor padded and treats both the Animal Man and Swamp Thing series well.

JSA Omnibus Vol. 3, Aquaman: Sub-Diego, Deathstroke by Wolfman, America Vs. Justice Society, Question by Veitch, Green Lantern by Johns Omnibus 2, Wonder Woman by Perez Omnibus, Orion by Simonson, more in DC Comics Spring 2015 solicitations

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It's Christmas in August with the release of DC Comics's Spring 2015 trade paperback and hardcover collections. This list is now complete and updated with my comments, barring any late-breaking additions.

There's a lot to look at here, but some of my personal favorites and highlights are: Aquaman: Sub-Diego. Batman: The New Adventures, the post-Crisis origin of Jason Todd. Deathstroke, the Terminator: Assassins, the Marv Wolfman series. Green Arrow Vol. 3 by Mike Grell. Wonder Woman by George Perez Omnibus. JSA Omnibus Vol. 3. Swamp Thing: The Root of All Evil by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar. Orion by Walt Simonson Omnibus. The "Superstorm" Question miniseries by Rick Veitch. Showcase Presents: Blue Devil. Batman Noir: Dark Knight Returns, in black and white. America vs. the Justice Society. A new edition of Batman: Cataclysm. Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus Vol. 2, with Blackest Night.

[Be among the first to get news like this by following Collected Editions on Facebook and Twitter.]

Note that all of this information is subject to change before publication.

100 Bullets Book Two

Absolute Green Arrow by Kevin Smith

When DC listed the Green Arrow by Kevin Smith deluxe edition as canceled, I expected they had over-estimated the appeal this might have to Arrow fans based on pre-orders. Guess the opposite is true; looks like this was popular enough to warrant a rare up-format, to Absolute. More on this when we look at the November 2014 solicitations, soon.

Absolute Transmetropolitan Vol. 1
Absolute Y The Last Man Vol. 1

Once upon a time I would have snapped up Absolutes like these to get the "definitive" version of the series, but digital has spoiled me for holding giant-size books on my lap. These are not for me, though I appreciate the recognition being given to these "now classic" Vertigo titles

Adventures of Superman Vol. 3

All Star Western Vol. 6 (The New 52)

America Vs. The Justice Society

With Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway, this was the original story of the JSA brought up on treason charges by the US government, later re-told in JSA, Starman, and etc. Someone will have to tell me where exactly this fits into the Justice Society publishing history, as I know Thomas and Ordway were also involved in All-Star Squadron and Infinity Inc., and likely this coincides with those somehow. We can only hope if this book does well, it'll inspire new All-Star and Infinity collections.

American Vampire Vol. 7

American Vampire Vol. 8

Aquaman and the Others Vol. 2

Aquaman Vol. 5: Sea of Storms (The New 52)

Aquaman Vol. 6 (The New 52)

Aquaman: Sub-Diego

Aquaman: Sub-Diego was a 2004 storyline by Will Pfeifer and Patrick Gleason that saw a new status quo for Arthur and a new Aquagirl, among other things, picking up from the Rick Veitch run (after JLA: Obsidian Age) and continuing through to Infinite Crisis, where Sub-Diego was essentially retconned out. The storyline gained a reputation in retrospect for being really good, but Aquaman was an underrated title at the time, and with Infinite Crisis and the launch of Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis, Sub-Diego never saw collection. This one has been on my wishlist for a very, very long time, and I'm thrilled there's a chance we might now see a collection. This is issues #15-22, so to the end of Pfeifer's run before John Ostrander and then John Arcudi took over.

Arkham Manor Vol. 1

Astro City: Private Lives

Astro City: Victory

Batgirl Vol. 5: Deadline (The New 52)

Batgirl Vol. 6

The first "new look Batgirl" collection, by Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr.

Batman '66 Vol. 2

Batman '66 Vol. 3

Batman '66/Green Hornet

Batman Adventures Vol. 2

Batman Adventures: Mad Love Deluxe Edition

If you like that kind of thing, and especially with Harley Quinn's resurgent popularity in the DC Universe, a deluxe edition. Apparently contains extras and bonus material along with the original story.

Batman and Robin Vol. 5: The Big Burn (The New 52)

Batman and Robin Vol. 6: The Hunt for Robin

Early solicits have this containing Batman and Robin #29-39, but I'd be surprised if the Robin Rises: Omega issue wasn't in there, too.

Batman Arkham: Riddler

The "Batman Arkham" header on this is interesting (subject to change); this is actually a collection of classic and recent Riddler stories, like the Superman vs. books.

Batman Beyond: Justice Lords Beyond

Batman Noir: Dark Knight Returns

A black and white edition of Dark Knight Returns, from the "I'm amazed no one ever thought of this before" department. This should be really cool-looking, actually. Do you think Batman: Year One might hold up in black and white, too?

Batman Vol. 5: Zero Year - Dark City

Batman Vol. 6 (The New 52)

This is apparently (again, subject to change) the post-Zero Year collection we've been waiting for, with Batman #0, #18-20, #28, and Batman Annual #2. A third time, subject to change.

Batman: Arkham Origins

Batman: Cataclysm (New Edition)

After the new editions of No Man's Land, Knightfall, and Murderer/Fugitive, Cataclysm was certainly due, probably to be followed by Contagion or Legacy. I know this has been out of print for a while and will please a lot of interested readers; expanded as it is, I might have to check it out myself.

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 5: Gothopia (The New 52)

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 6: Icarus (The New 52)

The first collection of Flash's Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato run on Detective Comics.

Batman: Earth One Vol. 2

A commercial for this one toward the end of the first season of Gotham would be really, really neat.

Batman: Eternal Vol. 2

Batman: Gothic Deluxe Edition

Batman: Harley Quinn

A big collection of Harley Quinn stories, including her first (No Man's Land) in-continuity comics appearance, and also the Detective Comics #23.2: Harley Quinn Villains' Month issue (tentatively).

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Vol. 4

Batman: The Dark Knight Unwrapped by David Finch

Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga Vol. 2

Batman: The New Adventures

... Don't believe it until you see it, but if this one's true, I'm floored. Appears to be Batman #402-403, #408-416, and Annual #11, which includes the first post-Crisis on Infinite Earths appearance of Jason Todd, with new origin. I about never thought we'd get this one.

Batman/Superman Vol. 2: Game Over (The New 52)

Batman/Superman Vol. 3 (The New 52)

Batwing Vol. 5 (The New 52)

Batwoman Vol. 6 (The New 52)

Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell


Catwoman Vol. 6 (The New 52)

The first book of Genevieve Valentine's run on Catwoman, spinning out of Batman Eternal.


Constantine Vol. 4 (The New 52)

DC Comics: Zero Year (The New 52)

Deadshot: Bulletproof

Collects Christos Gage's Deadshot mini-series from 2004. Someone will have to look into it, but I think this was between Suicide Squad series, not necessarily related to anything, but I'm pretty sure ...? that Gail Simone used some of what was established in this mini as continuity in Secret Six.

Deathstroke Vol. 1

Deathstroke; The Terminator Vol. 1: Assassins

Way, way back, DC collected just the first couple issues of Marv Wolfman's 1990s Deathstroke series in a collection called Full Cycle, now extremely out of print. We saw listings a couple years ago for a new collection of these issues and more, also called Assassins, but it was canceled before it was officially solicited. Well, here it is again, and I'm just as interested as I was before. Initial plans say issues #1-9 of the Wolfman series, plus New Teen Titans #70. Now if we could only get that Titans Hunt collection ...

Dial H Deluxe Edition (The New 52)

Well, I thought this title began better than it ended, but it was certainly notable, and it's nice to see it getting a deluxe edition instead of just falling into obscurity. This sets an interesting precedent for collections of in-continuity New 52 runs, though maybe this is a special case because of China Mieville's involvement.

DMZ Deluxe Edition Book Four

Earth 2 Vol. 4: The Dark Age (The New 52)

Earth 2 Vol. 5: The Kryptonian (The New 52)

Solicited (preliminarily) to include Earth 2 #21-26, and also Earth 2: Futures End #1. I would be nice if all the "Five Years Later" Futures End issues are collected with their series, as opposed to the Villain's Month titles.

Earth 2: World's End Vol. 1

Ex Machina Book Five

Fables Vol. 21

Fables Vol. 22

Fables: Deluxe Edition Book Ten

Fairest Vol. 5

FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics Vol. 3

Filth Deluxe Edition

Flash Vol. 6 (The New 52)

Forever Evil

Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest

Girl Who Played with Fire

Gotham Academy Vol. 1

Gotham By Midnight Vol. 1

Gotham City Sirens Book Two

This is initially solicited to include Gotham City Sirens #14-26, which finishes out the series and includes Peter Calloway's issues; at the outside I wasn't sure if this collection series would just collect the Paul Dini issues or not.

Graphic Ink: The DC Comics Art of Ivan Reis

Grayson Vol. 1

Green Arrow Vol. 3: The Trial of Oliver Queen

Fantastic! It's the third Green Arrow by Mike Grell collection (everybody go order Vol. 2: Here There Be Dragons). This is said to collect issues #13-18, which is actually not the "Trial of Oliver Queen" story (that's issues #19-20), so it remains to be seen what's in here.

Green Arrow Vol. 6 (The New 52)

Green Arrow: Archer's Quest Deluxe Edition

A deluxe edition of Brad Meltzer's Green Arrow stories, issues #16-21, which followed Kevin Smith's stories. And the Kevin Smith volume was recently upped from deluxe to Absolute. Any bets this one will follow suit?

Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus Vol. 2

OK, remember these are preliminary solicitations, but this one is said to collect Green Lantern #26-52, Blackest Night #0-7, DC Universe #0, Untold Tales of Blackest Night #1-2, and Blackest Night: ales of the Corps #1-2. No, it doesn't have any Green Lantern Corps issues, but those were really a separate storyline from Green Lantern in Blackest Night. More notably missing is Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns, but I wouldn't be surprised if that eventually makes its way in.

Green Lantern Corps Vol. 6 (The New 52)

Green Lantern Vol. 5: Test of Wills (The New 52)

Green Lantern Vol. 6 (The New 52)

Green Lantern: New Guardians Vol. 6 (The New 52)

Harley Quinn Vol. 1: Hot in the City (The New 52)

Harley Quinn Vol. 2 (The New 52)

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Vol. 4: What Lies Within

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Vol. 5

Hinterkind Vol. 3

Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse

Infinity Man and the Forever People Vol. 1

Injustice: Gods Among Us Year 2 Vol. 1

Injustice: Gods Among Us Year 2 Vol. 2

Invisibles Book Four Deluxe Edition

JLA Vol. 7

John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 11: Last Man Standing

JSA Omnibus Vol. 3

I was wrong -- I thought they'd quit after two volumes. This'll definitely make some people happy. It's (preliminarily) JSA #76-87, Justice Society of America #1-28, Justice League of America #8-10, Justice Society of America Annual #1, JSA Kingdom Come Special: Superman #1, JSA Kingdom Come Special: Magog #1, and JSA Kingdom Come Special: The Kingdom #1. That's past Geoff Johns and into the Jerry Ordway issues, though it stops before the Bill Willingham/Matthew Sturges material. Now I think they're done, though there is material out there for a fourth volume.

Justice League 3000 Vol. 2 (The New 52)

Justice League Dark Vol. 5 (The New 52)

Justice League of America Vol. 2: Survivors of Evil (The New 52)

Justice League United Vol. 1

Justice League Vol. 5: Forever Heroes (The New 52)

Justice League Vol. 6: Injustice League (The New 52)

Justice Society of America: A Celebration of 75 Years

Klarion Vol. 1

Lobo Vol. 1

First collection of the new Lobo series (not a collection of previous Lobo material).


Neal Adams Omnibus

Contents too numerous to name (initial solicitation has this at 640 pages), but it seems to include all of both volumes of Batman: Odyssey, among plenty of other material.

New 52: Futures End Vol. 2

New Suicide Squad Vol. 1 (The New 52)

New Teen Titans Vol. 2

Initial solicit of this paperback is issues #9-16. Which leads one to wonder if this is the sequential collection of New Teen Titans that we wanted with the New Teen Titans Omnibuses and didn't get. Which makes me wonder if I'll be trading in my New Teen Titans Omnibuses one of these days ...

Nightwing Vol. 2: Rough Justice

This would seem to be an exact reprint of the previous Chuck Dixon Nightwing Vol. 2: Rough Justice, with issues #9-18. Which is better than a kick in the head, but I was hoping for some larger-scale Dixon/Nightwing collections this time, maybe to move it all along a little faster.

Ocean/Orbiter Deluxe Edition

I don't believe the Ocean miniseries and the Orbiter graphic novel are related, but I've read a little of each and I recommend both as good speculative science-fiction by Warren Ellis. This will be a nice package, I think.

Orion by Walter Simonson Omnibus

Initial solicitations have this as Orion #1-25 and stories from Jack Kirby's Fourth World #9-11 and #13. Frankly I might have been a bit more excited about this when these stories were actually in continuity, though this would definitely be a nice addition were I to go back and revisit my Fourth World Omniubuses.

Question: Falling in Place

I am 99% sure that this is the Question miniseries meant to tie in to the Superman "Super-storm" relaunch that ultimately didn't happen. Written by Rick Veitch with art by Tommy Lee Edwards; this is one I was curious about once upon a time, but again, it's been so long since this all came out. Other related titles were Vigilante, supposed to be by Micah Wright but then later by Bruce Jones, the "For Tomorrow" storyline, and Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo's Lex Luthor miniseries. Interesting timing on collecting this; to tie in to Trinity of Sin, maybe?

Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 6

Red Lanterns Vol. 6 (The New 52)

Robin The Boy Wonder: A Celebration of 75 Years

Sandman: Overture Deluxe Edition

Secret Origins Vol. 2

I guess I'd forgotten that DC solicited a Secret Origins Vol. 1, so that answers the question of whether these stories will only show up with their individual series or in Secret Origins collections, too. Should be Wonder Woman, Cyborg, and Red Hood in here, among others.

Secret Six Vol. 2

Wish I could say more, but I have no initial contents information on this. My hope is that it's a little larger than just one Secret Six collection.

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman Vol. 1

Shazam!: A Celebration of 75 Years

Showcase Presents: Blue Devil Vol. 1

Wow! Gotta say, I've been digging the Showcase Presents reprints of the kind-of-classic 1980s series like Booster Gold and Blue Beetle. Blue Devil's another; this collects issues #1-18 and Fury of Firestorm #24. 'Mazing Man next, maybe?

Showcase Presents: The Flash Vol. 5

Sinestro Vol. 2 (The New 52)

Smallville Season 11 Vol. 6: Titans

Supergirl Vol. 6 (The New 52)

Said to collect Supergirl #34-40 and Futures End: Supergirl #1.

Superman - Action Comics Vol. 5: What Lies Beneath (The New 52)

Superman - Action Comics Vol. 6 (The New 52)

Superman Vol. 5 (The New 52)

Superman Vol. 6 (The New 52)

The first collection of the Geoff Johns/John Romita run.

Superman Vs. Darkseid

No details on the contents, but one wonders if this is meant to coincide with a certain upcoming DC Comics event ...

Superman: Doomed

The "all together" collection of the "Doomed" storyline, including Doomed #1, something called Superman: Brainiac #1 (maybe a Villain's Month issue?), Action Comics #30-34, Superman/Wonder Woman #7-11, and Superman #30.

Superman: Krypton Returns (The New 52)

Superman/Wonder Woman Vol. 1: Power Couple

Superman/Wonder Woman Vol. 2

Swamp Thing Vol. 6 (The New 52)

Swamp Thing: The Root of All Evil

Indeed this is the Grant Morrison/Mark Millar Swamp Thing saga, from issues #140-150. From what I understand, this is a collection a long time coming.

Teen Titans Go! Vol. 1

Teen Titans Vol. 1 (The New 52)

Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse

Top 10

Trinity of Sin Vol. 1

Unwritten Vol. 11


Wonder Woman by George Perez Omnibus

Collects issues #1-24 of Perez's legendary run, plus Wonder Woman Annual #1. This equates the same material as the four of these that were released in paperback. Perez continued writing, if not drawing, Wonder Woman after issue #24, and I hope this is actually the first volume of a series of omnibuses. (Me, I'm still holding out for a complete War of the Gods Omnibus ...)

Wonder Woman Vol. 5: Flesh (The New 52)

Wonder Woman Vol. 6: Bones

Collects Wonder Woman #30-34 (the last issues?) and Secret Origin #6.

Worlds' Finest Vol. 5 (The New 52)

Collects Worlds' Finest #22-26 and Worlds Finest: Futures End.

Y The Last Man Book Two

Wow, again! I didn't get up this morning thinking I'd see an Aquaman: Sub-Diego pre-solicitation, did you? Chime in the comments section with what you're planning to order.

Review: Rocket Raccoon and Groot: The Complete Collection trade paperback (Marvel Comics)

[Review by Doug Glassman, who Tumblrs at '80s Marvel Rocks!]

While Marvel always puts out numerous trades to coincide with their films, the media push for Guardians of the Galaxy was different. The film covers so much ground in Marvel’s cosmic stories and the modern incarnation has existed for such a short period of time that they had to republish just about everything from the 1970s to War of Kings.

Anticipating a rising interest in Rocket Raccoon and Groot, Marvel decided to add their back-up feature stories from the two Annihilators mini-series to the paperback version of the Rocket Raccoon: Guardian of the Keystone Quadrant hardcover. The Rocket Raccoon and Groot Complete Collection trade will likely sell more based on the name recognition than on the stories within in. They’re not bad, but they’re . . . weird.

Review: Flash Vol. 4: Reverse hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

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Monday, August 18, 2014

If Flash Vol. 4: Reverse were just another volume in an "average" Flash run (though Flash comics have been consistently above average on and off for decades now), then it might be really exceptional, with great action and a cogent mystery. But, Reverse is part of Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul's superlative Flash run, following their impressive Flash Vol. 3: Gorilla Warfare, and unfortunately Reverse is good but not as good as its predecessor. As well, Bucellato and Manapul face stiff competition in terms of "Reverse" Flash stories, and neither does Reverse rise to the level of what came before it.

As the kicker, however, to Bucellato and Manapul's collective run (Bucellato still writes a couple more issues), Reverse does cap off an admirable, memorable Flash run, one of the first gems of the New 52 that continued to surprise and impress all the way through.

Review: Flash Vol. 3: Gorilla Warfare hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Writer and writer/artist team of Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul have big shoes to fill in Flash Vol. 3: Gorilla Warfare. Indeed it was Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins's Grodd story that made many sit up and take notice of what became their classic Flash run, and Buccellato and Manapul have the unenviable task of essentially re-telling the same story, of Grodd running rampant through the Gem Cities.

It turns out, Gorilla Warfare is the best of Buccellato and Manapul's three Flash volumes so far, a worthy successor to what came before. Much of what dragged on the team's first two volumes (which were still good in their own right) has been fixed here, suggesting the creators really hitting their stride. Pity the next book is their last, but Gorilla Warfare is a high note to (start to) go out on.

Batman: Murderer reprint images -- before and after

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I'm a little late on this, but as an epilogue to our previous discussions of DC Comics's mis-printing of the Batman: Murderer trade and their subsequent re-issuing of it, I wanted to post these photos from Kirk Kiefer, who helped get the ball rolling on the ultimate reprint.

This is the table of contents, the indicia page, and the back cover of the original edition. Note there that Detective Comics #768 is listed as "Purity Part One" when it's actually "Purity Part Two." The indicia page says the book includes Detective Comics #766-767, when in fact it includes #766-767 and #769-770, skipping issue #768, the actual "Purity Part One." The back cover correctly reflects the book's actual contents, even as the book's contents weren't actually correct, if that makes sense.

The new book includes (and correctly lists) Detective Comics #768 in the contents as "Purity Part One," followed by the other two chapters. The indicia is now correct, though I'm surprised to see the new printing still called the "first" printing; if that kind of stuff matters to you, you'd want to check the contents to make sure you're really getting the printing you want. The new back cover correctly lists the corrected contents of the book.

The original Batman: Murderer/Fugitive collections were seminal volumes in DC Comics's collections history, some of the first to collect the ancillary tie-ins of a series' event, and I'm glad things worked out for the best with these new releases.

Review: Superman Vol. 4: Psi-War hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Superman titles have course-corrected a lot in the beginning of the New 52, after George Perez left, Dan Jurgens and others filled in for a while, and Scott Lobdell came on and almost immediately turned to the "H'el on Earth" crossover. In this way, Superman Vol. 4: Psi-War marks really the first dedicated Superman-centric volume of the definitive New 52 Superman, by Lobdell and Supergirl's Mike Johnson (while Lobdell filled in on Action Comics).

The result is a mixed bag; not perfect, but nothing I'd dismiss out of hand. The up side is that Lobdell's chapters focuses a lot on Clark Kent -- somewhat under-used so far in the New 52 -- though at points even I felt maybe there was too much Clark here. Johnson's actual "Psi-War," once the book gets to it, is a fairly rousing story (conceptually if not in practice), but the good Clark focus also makes for slow-going to get there, and the eventual absence of artist Kenneth Rocafort definitely detracts. Ultimately, however, I really like Lobdell's iteration of Superman, and that's enough to keep me enthusiastic about the half-dozen or so issues left in his run after this book.

Review: Superman: Action Comics Vol. 4: Hybrid hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Action Comics Vol. 4: Hybrid is the first great Superman collection of the New 52 (set in "modern times"; Grant Morrison's "five years earlier" Action Comics goes into a category of its own). Even despite the comings and goings behind the scenes, leading to the book's three or four different writers, Andy Diggle, Scott Lobdell, and the rest succeed in presenting a Superman youthful but classic, powerful yet human, and most of all, impressive. The book is helped handily by Tony Daniel and Tyler Kirkham, along with a team of inkers and colorists, who bring an almost painterly, super-dynamic tone to the pages that sets all the stories here apart.

Review: Robocop vs. the Terminator hardcover (Dark Horse Comics)

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

[Review by Doug Glassman, who Tumblrs at '80s Marvel Rocks!]

My favorite announcement from SDCC 2014 was the upcoming Star Trek/Planet of the Apes crossover from IDW and Boom! Studios. Much like Devil’s Due, Boom! has done well for itself despite losing a major licensee (Disney in their case), doing so by absorbing fellow small company Archaia and by grabbing great tie-in licenses. Their gamble with getting the license for Robocop paid off as the remade film did well; it also allowed them to republish some classic comics kept in limbo as the rights shifted between almost half a dozen publishers. As a result, they were able to team up with Dark Horse, the original publisher, and finally put out a long-awaited trade of the classic Robocop vs. Terminator mini-series, collected for the first time since 1992.

Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus Vol. 1 contents updated, Sinestro Corps War fix

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Back in May, we let you know that DC Comics would be releasing a Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus series, the first volume of which would collect Johns's historic Green Lantern run through the "Sinestro Corps War" crossover.

A number of you, including long-time contributor Xavico, expressed your disappointment at the contents, which were Green Lantern: Rebirth #1-6, Green Lantern Corps #1-5, Green Lantern #1-25, Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Superman-Prime #1, Green Lantern Corps: Sinestro Special #1, and Green Lantern Secret Files 2005. The difficulty here is that it omits Green Lantern Corps #14-18, which were integral parts of the "Sinestro Corps War" storyline.

Xavico let me know today, however, that the Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus has been updated on Amazon. The Green Lantern Corps: Recharge miniseries has been added in, it seems; Green Lantern Corps #1-5 removed, and happily, Green Lantern Corps #14-18 are now included in the volume.

These listings aren't always the be-all and end-all of accuracy, but they have previously indicated good news, as in the case of the updated contents of the JSA Omnibus.

The price of the volume, it seems, has jumped to a whopping $125 (and for fewer issues, I think), but right now Green Lantern Omnibus is on sale for half off.

Thanks to Xavico for pointing this out, and for the stumping that he and others do online and especially in conversation with Dan DiDio on Mr. DiDio's Facebook page, which surely helped to make this happen. And cheers to DC for listening and adjusting this collection.

Review: Supergirl Vol. 3: Sanctuary trade paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, August 04, 2014

Supergirl Vol. 3: Sanctuary, like Superboy Vol. 3: Lost, is a book transitioning from one creative team to the next, all the while in the throes of the "H'el on Earth" Super-title crossover, which only makes the transition that much bumpier. Comparatively, Supergirl performs better issue-by-issue than the Superboy title does, though "H'el on Earth" is rougher on the character; also the final issue by the new team is less auspicious than Superboy's, though I've still found reasons to check out the next volume.

[Review contains spoilers]

The most egregious problem in Sanctuary is that the "H'el on Earth" crossover sees Supergirl falling in love with H'el. Their relationship is fairly chaste, at least, but H'el is such a creepy guy and the evidence against him is so staggering that it requires Supergirl coming off unbelievably oblivious throughout the story.