DC Comics Villains Month trade reading order

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The following is a guide to how you can read the issues involved in DC Comics's 2013 Villains Month in trade paperback or collected format. Indeed all of these issues are included in the New 52 Villains Omnibus, but unlike the 2012 Zero Month issues and the 2014 Futures End issues, a majority of these are not also collected in their respective titles' individual trades.

Further confusing things is the fact that some of these issues tie in to the Forever Evil event miniseries that began the same month as Villains Month, and some of these issues are "standalone," but this doesn't factor into whether or not the issues are collected. Indeed, two fairly significant issues, Justice League of America #7.4: Black Adam and Detective Comics #23.3: Scarecrow, are each uncollected even though they tie in to Forever Evil and Forever Evil: Arkham War respectively. I wish quite a few more of these had been collected than they were.

This first list includes the Villains Month issues that were collected and where they can be found. The issues that take place during or around Forever Evil are listed in bold.

Action Comics #23.1: Cyborg SupermanSupergirl Vol. 4: Out of the Past
Batman #23.4: BaneForever Evil: Arkham War
Batman: The Dark Knight #23.1: VentriloquistBatgirl Vol. 4: Wanted
Batman: The Dark Knight #23.4: Joker's DaughterCatwoman Vol. 4: Gotham Underground
Detective Comics #23.2: Harley QuinnSuicide Squad Vol. 4: Discipline and Punish
Earth 2 #15.1: DesaadEarth 2 Vol. 3: Battle Cry
Flash #23.2: Reverse-FlashFlash Vol. 4: Reverse
Flash #23.3: The RoguesForever Evil: Rogues Rebellion
Green Arrow #23.1: Count VertigoGreen Arrow Vol. 4: The Kill Machine
Green Lantern #23.1: RelicGreen Lantern Vol. 4: Dark Days
Green Lantern: Lights Out
Green Lantern #23.4: SinestroSinestro Vol. 1: The Demon Within
Justice League #23.1: DarkseidBatman/Superman Vol. 1: Cross World
Justice League #23.3: Dial EDial H Vol. 2: Exchange
Justice League of America #7.1: DeadshotSuicide Squad Vol. 4: Discipline and Punish
Superman #23.3: H'ElSuperman: Krypton Returns
Swamp Thing #23.1: ArcaneSwamp Thing Vol. 4: Seeder
Wonder Woman #23.2: First BornWonder Woman Vol. 5: Flesh

These issues take place during or around the events of Forever Evil, but are not collected (except in the omnibus):
  • Action Comics #23.3: Lex Luthor
  • Action Comics #23.4: Metallo
  • Aquaman #23.1: Black Manta
  • Aquaman #23.2: Ocean Master
  • Batman #23.2: Riddler
  • Batman #23.3: Penguin
  • Batman and Robin #23.1: Two-Face
  • Batman and Robin #23.2: Court of Owls
  • Batman and Robin #23.3: Ra's al Ghul and the League of Assassins
  • Batman: The Dark Knight #23.2: Mr. Freeze
  • Batman: The Dark Knight #23.3: Clayface
  • Detective Comics #23.1: Poison Ivy
  • Detective Comics #23.3: Scarecrow
  • Detective Comics #23.4: Man-Bat
  • Flash #23.1: Grodd
  • Green Lantern #23.3: Black Hand
  • Justice League #23.4: Secret Society
  • Justice League of America #7.2: Killer Frost
  • Justice League of America #7.3: Shadow Thief
  • Justice League of America #7.4: Black Adam
  • Superman #23.1: Bizarro
  • Teen Titans #23.1: Trigon
  • Wonder Woman #23.1: Cheetah
These issues are unrelated to Forever Evil, and are not collected (except in the omnibus):
  • Action Comics #23.2: Zod
  • Batman #23.1: Joker
  • Batman and Robin #23.4: Killer Croc
  • Batman/Superman #3.1: Doomsday
  • Earth 2 #15.2: Solomon Grundy
  • Green Lantern #23.2: Mongul
  • Justice League #23.2: Lobo
  • Justice League Dark #23.1: The Creeper
  • Justice League Dark #23.2: Eclipso
  • Superman #23.2: Brainiac
  • Superman #23.4: Parasite
  • Teen Titans #23.2: Deathstroke
For more DC Comics trade paperback reading orders, visit the Collected Editions DC Trade Paperback Timeline.
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  1. How frustrating that they didn't simply collect these issues with the regular title. The Batman ones, in particular, could have gone into the catch-all Volume 6...

    Maybe it has something to do with the poor quality of some of these issues?

    1. I'm miffed about the ones I mentioned, Black Adam and Scarecrow. In both of those cases, I had a "When did that happen?" moment reading Forever Evil and Arkham War respectively because of events that take place in the uncollected issues. You'd think like a Villains Month: Superman and a Villains Month: Batman trade might be good sellers.

  2. An addition for you :)
    Action Comics #23.1: Cyborg Superman is in Supergirl vol 4: Out of the Past

    I don't think the regular title is necessarily the right place for them - but they're missing opportunities to reprint them in other places that make even more sense. It's kind of annoying that they haven't done more pairing of the issues with the storylines they tie in to - the Doomsday and Zod issues would work pretty well in the first Superman/Wonder Woman collection, and Mongul in the second Batman/Superman collection.

    1. Y'know, I was thinking and thinking the Cyborg Superman issue was in the Supergirl volume, but then I couldn't find it in any of the online solicitations. Should've gone with my gut; thanks for the correction and I've fixed it.

      Ditto I would've enjoyed reading that Doomsday issue with Superman/Wonder Woman (would answer a lot of questions!).

  3. Batman and Robin Vol.5 collects the Two-Face issue.

    1. That's one where the back of the book doesn't mention the Villains Month issue. You're sure it's in there?

    2. Its solicitation says as much according to amazon. Might need to double check though.

    3. I took a look at the book with my own eyes and the Two-Face issue isn't in there. I see the solicitations said it in a couple places, but it didn't turn out to be in the book.

  4. So those uncollected ones are not even in the big omnibus?

    1. No, they're all in the big omnibus; it's just that very few of them are collected anywhere other than the omnibus. This is a change from the Zero Month issues and the Futures End issues, both of which had an omnibus but also had most of the issues collected with the individual series.

  5. Flash's Grodd issue is actually quite related to Forever Evil and is most definitely considered a prequel to Forever Rogue's Rebellion.

    1. Got it now. The confusion came from an erroneous listing of the Grodd issue included in the Rogues Rebellion trade, which it is not (the Rogues issue is); however, as you said, the Grodd issue still takes place around Forever Evil, it just isn't collected.

  6. Any chance of getting an update on what's been collected since January? For instance, DC has been doing a series of Batman: Arkham trades each focusing on a different villain, and each has featured a Villains Month issue. The third one features Scarecrow and is scheduled to come out in February, and the first two were Riddler and Two-Face.

  7. Also, I think the confusion about the Two-Face issue being in the Batman and Robin volume (which it isn't) comes from the fact that Batman and Robin changed titles several times, and that volume collects the Batman and Two-Face issues.