Review: Trinity of Sin: Pandora Vol. 1: The Curse trade paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, March 30, 2015

I maintain that there's the glimmer of a good story somewhere within Trinity of Sin: Pandora Vol. 1: The Curse. Among the variety of challenges that face Pandora is that the character appears initially like something out of Wildstorm or Top Cow comic in the 1990s, the stereotypical tough-as-nails lady warrior with a mystic gun in each hand, hard to take seriously. Additional baggage comes in the form of the great emphasis the New 52 titles have placed on the Pandora character so far, all of which this volume promptly ducks.

But in the moments when Pandora is not trying to be what a variety of other series needs it to be and instead asserts its own identity, there's an interesting Forever or Highlander-esque tale of an immortal and the people she's taken under her wing. Pandora could be quite engaging, if only this book would decide exactly what it wants to be.

Wonder Woman: Earth One, Multiversity Deluxe, Absolute Green Lantern/Green Arrow, Batman v. Superman, Crisis on Infinite Earths Deluxe, Showcase Presents Blue Devil, Birds of Prey and Robin by Dixon, more in DC Comics Fall 2015 solicitations

Friday, March 27, 2015

It's DC Comics's Fall 2015 trade paperback and hardcover collections! This list is now complete and updated with my comments, barring any late-breaking additions.

Big items on this list are two from Grant Morrison, Wonder Woman: Earth One and a deluxe-size edition of Multiversity. Don't miss, however, a couple of nice Chuck Dixon reprints, Birds of Prey and Robin (to go along with the recent Dixon Nightwing collections), and a Batman: Road to No Man's Land collection; Showcase Presents: Blue Devil; a deluxe edition of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino's Green Arrow; a new Green Arrow collection by Mike Grell and a new Deathstroke, the Terminator collection by Marv Wolfman; plus a Batman v. Superman companion collection. Read on for more!

[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 Three

Absolute Court of Owls

As solicited just this past month, we have some suspicion this might be the first in a series of Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo Absolute Batman collections.

Absolute Green Lantern/Green Arrow

Obviously I have no objection to Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams's seminal Green Lantern/Green Arrow getting all the continued attention it deserves, though I do wonder how the 1970s artwork will hold up in large-scale format.

American Vampire Vol. 7

American Vampire Vol. 8

American Vampire Vol. 9

Arrow Season 2.5

Art Ops Vol. 1

Astro City: Confession

Astro City: Private Lives

Astro City

I don't know much about Astro City, but by popular demand, the Astro City proper collection includes issues #18-21 and 23-24. Confession is #1/2 and 4-9. Private Lives is #11-16.

Bad Girls

Batman '66 Vol. 3

Batman '66 Vol. 4

Batman '66/Green Hornet

Batman Adventures Vol. 3

Batman and Robin Vol. 6: The Hunt For Robin (The New 52)

Batman and Robin Vol. 7: Robin Rises (The New 52)

Said to include Batman and Robin #35-40, Batman and Robin Annual #3, the Damian Wayne story from Secret Origins #4 (one of the best of the initial Secret Origins stories), and Robin Rises: Alpha, though not Omega. Since this is the last trade of the series as it's cancelled before Convergence, I expect Omega will actually be in here, too.

Batman Arkham: Two-Face

Continuing this series of meant-to-attract-video-game-fans Batman: Arkham collections. It doesn't say it specifically in the solicitations, but the temporary cover art for this collection shows Batman Annual #14 by Andrew Helfer and Chris Sprouse, which I consider history's creepiest, most definitive Two-Face story. Hope it's in there.

Batman Beyond 2.0 Vol. 3: Marked Soul

Batman Eternal Vol. 3 (The New 52)

Final collection of the weekly series.

Batman Noir: Hush

Batman R.I.P. Unwrapped

So "Noir" is "black and white"; "Unwrapped" is pencilled but without inks. Nice to see "modern" stories getting this treatment, as our history becomes classics ...

Batman v. Superman

A collection of Superman/Batman "clashes." Given we already got our Dark Knight Over Metropolis, I wonder what else this will collect, and if the emphasis will really be on fights between Batman and Superman, and whether that means full storylines or just parts of stories (Dark Knight Returns, excerpted?). This seeming emphasis on Superman and Batman not getting along is troubling; the movie producers have the unenviable job of making us take sides but then they ultimately need us to come to like both characters. Avengers, on the other hand, has largely emphasized the characters' teamwork; I'm not sure the DC movie team has the right idea.

Batman Vol. 6: Graveyard Shift (The New 52)

Batman Vol. 7: Endgame (The New 52)

Appears to collect just Batman #35-40 and none of the tie-ins (which will appear in their own Joker trade, below), which keeps with the pattern of the Batman trades that preceded it.

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

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 7 (The New 52)

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Vol. 5

Batman: Road to No Man's Land

The full contents aren't listed, but these are previously-uncollected stories between Cataclysm (recently announced for a new collection) and Batman: No Man's Land (roundabouts Batman #560, Detective Comics #727, Shadow of the Bat #80, and so on). I've probably literally been waiting for this collection for almost fifteen or so years. A good amount of this is written by Chuck Dixon, reflecting an overall trend lately toward DC reprinting Dixon's work -- Nightwing, previously, and in these solicitations Birds of Prey and Robin.

Batman: Shaman

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Deluxe Edition

Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham

Batman: War Games Vol. 1

Rather surprised to see DC reprinting this. I appreciate the sentiment -- though I don't completely recall, apparently the original trade was printed maybe with some non-essential material excluded, and this new collection "includes chapters never before reprinted chapters." At the same time, this story was not great, up to and including the weird torture death of Robin/Spoiler Stephanie Brown that was written and drawn so awkwardly that everyone involved's discomfort nearly bled off the page, and in the spirit of DC's Divergence it surprises me they're choosing to bring this up again. Good for completists, though!

Batman: Year 100 Deluxe Edition

Batman/Superman Vol. 3: Second Chance (The New 52)

Batman/Superman Vol. 4 (The New 52)

Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity Deluxe Edition

I've never read this mini-series written and drawn by Matt Wagner, but I've heard good things about it; something silly that put me off it is that there seemed some fan interest in finding where this fit into continuity, when it ultimately doesn't; likely this deluxe edition is meant to coincide with the Batman v. Superman movie. I have some sense this is set within the same "timeframe" as Wagner's Batman and the Monster Men books.

Birds of Prey Vol. 1

A new collection of Chuck Dixon's first Birds of Prey material, namely Black Canary/Oracle: Birds of Prey #1, Birds of Prey: Revolution #1, Birds of Prey: Manhunt #1-4, Birds of Prey: Wolves #1, Birds of Prey: Batgirl #1, and Showcase ’96 #3. This is essentially the contents of the existing Birds of Prey and Birds of Prey: Old Friends, New Enemies trades, except it excludes Birds of Prey #1-6. I think this is a good thing, however, because it suggests the next volume might collect Birds of Prey #1-6 and beyond; Dixon's Birds of Prey #7-19 and issues from the #20s and #30s have never been collected, but hopefully this is a sign that they might be.

Blackest Night Unwrapped

Boy Commandos by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby Vol. 1

Catwoman Vol. 4: The One You Love

Glad to see this Will Pfeifer collection that follows the Ed Brubaker collections. It wasn't surprising we got re-printed, more-complete Ed Brubaker collections because, well, Ed Brubaker, but whether DC would continue to collect this into the War Games era of Catwoman was another story. Collects the pre-Flashpoint Catwoman series #38-49.

Children's Crusade

DC recently announced this expanded collection of Neil Gaiman's Children's Crusade Vertigo event, with a new story added. It does seem a little strange to me though that this should only collect the Gaiman material and not the Black Orchid, Animal Man, Swamp Thing, Doom Patrol, and Arcana/Books of Magic annuals that went along with it. That would make it more of a must-buy for me.

Coffin Hill Vol. 3

Crisis on Infinite Earths Deluxe Edition

Here's a nice surprise in time for Convergence. If you don't have it, the deluxe size would be a lovely, special-but-not-too-imposing format in which to read Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Deathstroke: The Terminator Vol. 2: Sympathy for the Devil

Hooray! A second collection of Marv Wolfman's 1990s Deathstroke, the Terminator series! This one collects the "Terminator Hunt" storyline, issues #10-13 and Annual #1 (there was a Superman crossover issue, #68, where Lois Lane's sister Lucy gets caught in the crossfire, that I think they should include here, too). Either this is the last of these Deathstroke collections or something really extraordinary is about to happen, because the next Deathstroke issues are part of the "Titans Hunt" "Total Chaos" crossover with New Titans [and Team Titans], which I have wanted to see collected forever but never have been. [Edit: Mistakenly identified this as "Titans Hunt," not "Total Chaos." Verily I'd like to see all of this collected -- basically New Teen Titans and its related series all the way from issue #71 through issue #92, if not all the way to issue #100. Still,] I'm not optimistic that now is the time.

Demon: Haunted Glory

Don't let the title fool you; what's really notable about this collection of Garth Ennis's Demon #40-48 and Annual #2 is all Hitman -- the origin of Hitman (also collected in the Hitman books) plus a Demon/Hitman team-up.

DMZ The Deluxe Edition Book Five

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

Earth 2 Vol. 6 (The New 52)

Earth 2 World's End Vol. 2 (The New 52)

Effigy Vol. 1

Fables: The Deluxe Edition Book Eleven

Fables: The Wolf Among Us Vol. 1

FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics Vol. 4

Flash by Geoff Johns Book One

A paperback of the previously-released Flash by Geoff Johns Omnibus Vol. 1. This one was thinner than the next two, by comparison; I wonder how paperback binding and a paperback spine is going to work when these collections really get to omnibus-size.

Flash Season Zero

Flash Vol. 5: History Lessons (The New 52)

Flash Vol. 6: Out Of Time (The New 52)

Flash Vol. 7 (The New 52)

Collects Flash #36-40, up to Convergence, plus a story from Secret Origins #7.

Flinch Book One

Get Jiro: Blood and Sushi

Gotham Academy Vol. 2

Graphic Ink: Darwyn Cooke

Grayson Vol. 1: Agents Of Spyral (The New 52)

Grayson Vol. 2 (The New 52)

Green Arrow by Jeff Lemire Deluxe Edition (The New 52)

I really liked what I've read of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino's Green Arrow work, and no disrespect to the new team but I was sad to see Lemire leave the book, seemingly somewhat suddenly. This is reported to be Green Arrow issues #17-34, the Futures End issue, and the story from Secret Origins, about three trades worth. Given how quickly this run came and went, I'm glad to see it get this recognition.

Green Arrow Vol. 4: Blood of the Dragon

Hooray also for the next collection of Mike Grell's Green Arrow (though neither collections of John Ostrander's Martian Manhunter nor Spectre on this list is concerning). This collects issues #21-28 of the 1980s series, including a guest appearance by Warlord Travis Morgan, another of Grell's popular characters.

Green Arrow Vol. 7 (The New 52)

If I understand correctly this is the sole Green Arrow trade by Arrow writers Andrew Kreisberg and Ben Sokolowski, collecting issues #35-40, before Ben Percy takes over post-Convergence.

Green Lantern: A Celebration of 75 Years

Green Lantern/New Gods: Godhead

Collects Green Lantern/New Gods: Godhead #1, Green Lantern #35-37, Green Lantern Corps #35-37, Green Lantern: New Guardians #35-37, Red Lanterns #35-37, Sinestro #6-8, and Green Lantern Annual #3, verily the last Green Lantern crossover before Convergence. Somewhat worrisome is that the already-solicited Green Lantern Vol. 6: The Life Equation collects Green Lantern #35-40 and the annual but not Green Lantern/New Gods: Godhead #1; I really hope the only place to read that isn't just here.

Harley Quinn Vol. 2: Power Outage (The New 52)

Harley Quinn Vol. 3 (The New 52)

He-Man: The Eternity War Vol. 1

Immortal Doctor Fate

This would seem to collect Dr. Fate material from his Golden Age appearances to 1970s material, to the Dr. Fate miniseries by J.M. DeMatteis and Keith Giffen (Kent Nelson as Fate to Eric Strauss and his mother Linda as Fate), sending just before the ongoing DeMatteis series in the late 1980s.

Infinite Crisis: Fight For The Multiverse Vol. 2

Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Two Vol. 2

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three Vol. 1

John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 12: How to Play with Fire

Joker: Endgame

Collects the various Batman: Endgame specials: Gotham Academy: Endgame #1, Batgirl: Endgame #1, Batman and Robin: Endgame #1, Arkham Manor: Endgame #1, and Batman Annual #3, back-ups from Batman #35-39.

Justice League Dark Vol. 6 (The New 52)

Justice League United Vol. 1: Justice League Canada (The New 52)

Justice League United Vol. 2: The Infinitus Saga (The New 52)

Justice League: A League of One

Kid Eternity Deluxe Edition

I'd have been all over this had it been released when Kid Eternity was regularly appearing in Teen Titans a couple of years ago. That's just me; I'm sure the impetus nowadays is author Grant Morrison.



MAD Art of Jack Davis: The Complete Collection of His Work from MAD Comics #1-23

MAD Art of Wally Wood: The Complete Collection of His Work from MAD Comics #1-23

MAD Art of Will Elder: The Complete Collection of His Work from MAD Comics #1-23

Mad Max: Fury Road


Mortal Kombat X Vol. 2

Multiversity Deluxe Edition

Something special was inevitable for the Multiversity collection, and deluxe format is a satisfactory opening salvo. This includes the Multiversity Guidebook in addition to all the issues.

Neal Adams Omnibus

New 52: Futures End Vol. 3

New Teen Titans Vol. 3

No word on the contents yet, but of course we're still waiting to see if these paperback editions will result in more complete or straightforward collections of New Teen Titans than the omnibuses did.

Nightwing Vol. 3

No word on the contents other than this is the next collection of the Chuck Dixon series. Last volume collected the same as the original second volume, Rough Justice, issues #9-18. The original volume three collected issues #1/2, #19, #21-22, #24-29. The missing issues, #20 and #23, were respectively parts of the "Cataclysm" and "Brotherhood of the Fist" crossovers; for completeness, I wouldn't mind seeing them restored to this volume.

Phantom Stranger

Among other issues, this collects the Phantom Stranger material from Action Comics Weekly, making it the third (by my count) collection to include Action Comics Weekly material, after Superman: The Power Within and Nightwing: Old Friends, New Enemies.

Quarantine Zone

Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 7 (The New 52)

Robin Vol. 1: Reborn

We know this is a collection of Robin Tim Drake stories by Chuck Dixon, and the apparent presence of artist Tom Lyle suggests this could be one collection of all three of the Robin miniseries that preceded Dixon's ongoing series. If indeed it includes Robin III, that would be the first time that miniseries has been collected. Other Robin material has been collected out of order in Robin: A Hero Reborn and Robin: Tragedy and Triumph, so maybe this new collection series will put all of that back in order.

Sandman: Overture Deluxe Edition

Scalped Deluxe Edition Book Three

Scalped Deluxe Edition Book Two

Scooby-Doo Team-Up Vol. 2

Secret Origins Vol. 3 (The New 52)

Secret Six Vol. 3

No word on the contents, but as Secret Six Vol. 2 collected issues #1-14, the first two (numbered) trades, this could collect Vol. 3 and 4, Danse Macabre and Cats in the Cradle, issues #15-24, and that would leave the fourth new volume to collect the final two trades, issues #25-36.

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman Vol. 2

Showcase Presents: Batman Vol. 6

Showcase Presents: Blue Devil Vol. 1

Another definitively 1980s series that I've really wanted to read; after Showcase Presents: Booster Gold and Showcase Presents: Blue Beetle, Blue Devil is only logical. Said to collect issues #1-18 of the series plus Fury of the Firestorm #24.

Showcase Presents: The Flash Vol. 5

Smallville Season 11 Vol. 7: Lantern

Star-Spangled War Stories Vol. 1

Strange Sports Stories

Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Trial by Fire

I guess this re-print of the already-released collection of John Ostrander's first Suicide Squad issues is meant to coincide with the movie. My hope is that maybe this will finally lead to the release of Suicide Squad Vol. 2: The Nightshade Odyssey, previously solicited and then cancelled; I'd been looking forward to that one.

Suiciders Vol. 1

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

Superman - Action Comics Vol. 7 (The New 52)

Superman Adventures Vol. 1

Superman Unchained (The New 52)

Superman: Doomed (The New 52)

Superman: Earth One Vol. 3

Superman/Wonder Woman Vol. 2: War And Peace (The New 52)

Superman/Wonder Woman Vol. 3 (The New 52)

Swamp Thing by Scott Snyder Deluxe Edition

I liked Scott Snyder's Swamp Thing OK, and the Yanick Paquette artwork is going to be sensational in this large-scale format. Seems to me that if DC is going to do the New 52 Swamp Thing deluxe, only fair that Jeff Lemire's related, superlative Animal Man series get the same treatment.

Swamp Thing: Darker Genesis

Sweet Tooth Deluxe Edition Book One

Teen Titans: Earth One Vol. 1

Wild Dog: Unleashed

Make that four collections now of Action Comics Weekly material, with this collection of Max Allen Collins's Wild Dog stories. (I mainly remember Wild Dog for the stark-looking DC house ads.) Between this and the Batman: Second Chances, seems about time for a collection of Collins's Ms. Tree.

Wolf Moon

Wonder Woman Vol. 6: Bones (The New 52)

Wonder Woman Vol. 7 (The New 52)

The first volume written by Meredith Finch with artist David Finch.

Wonder Woman: A Very Selfish Princess

Collecting what will apparently be, but I hadn't heard announced yet, a twelve-part digital series written and drawn by Jill Thompson (Sandman, Dead Boy Detectives).

Wonder Woman: Earth One Vol. 1

Not to save the highlight for last, but it seems we can expect the Grant Morrison/Yanick Paquette graphic novel in November. No additional clues on the story aside from that Morrison "once again pushes the boundaries of the graphic novel page in his mind-bending new take on the most powerful woman in the DC Universe."

Worlds' Finest Vol. 6 (The New 52)

Y The Last Man Book Three

Maybe not as many real shockers in this list as in the one from last August, but still some stuff to look forward to. Leave a comment and let me know your top picks from the list.

Review: I, Vampire Vol. 3: Wave of Mutilation trade paperback (DC Comics)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Joshua Hale Fialkov's I, Vampire was one of the best of DC Comics's New 52 debuts, and a reader picking up the series' three volumes is in for a treat. The characters, Andrea Sorrentino's art, even the structure of how the story unfolds is remarkable. That I, Vampire Vol. 3: Wave of Mutilation is the weakest of the three books is unfortunate but not unexpected; this is a common pattern, even with good books, that when cancellation looms, the series artist leaves, and numerous storylines have to be wrapped up at once, the overall product suffers. This does not lessen my esteem for the series, and I'm still eager one of these days to pick up Fialkov's new series The Bunker.

Review: Fear Itself: Thunderbolts hardcover/paperback (Marvel Comics)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

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

I miss the Thunderbolts.

I have nothing against Daniel Way and Steve Dillon’s recent version featuring Red Hulk, Deadpool, Elektra, and other anti-heroes, and I get that the name “Thunderbolts” worked for that team because it was organized by General Thunderbolt Ross. But for me, Thunderbolts means that at least some of the original members are involved, usually Songbird and Moonstone. The latter stayed with the old Thunderbolts book when it was reconfigured and rebranded as Dark Avengers, but that book didn’t feel like Thunderbolts either. I was hoping that Songbird would join Luke Cage’s Mighty Avengers, but that’s not the direction Marvel wants to go in.

Review: Flash Vol. 5: History Lessons hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

0 comments | Tags:

Monday, March 23, 2015

Brian Buccellato's Flash Vol. 5: History Lessons could be dismissed as a filler trade. It contains only three issues written by Buccellato, sans co-writer Francis Manapul and just prior to Buccellato leaving Flash to join Manapul on Detective Comics. There's an annual, by Buccellato but disconnected from ongoing events, and then an inventory issue by Christos Gage. It is arguably a thin trade, as these things go, marking time before Robert Venditti, Van Jensen, and Brett Booth take over with the sixth volume.

At the same time, the three-part "History Lessons" is a very good story, and for that reason while one could dismiss this trade out of hand, I wouldn't. Part of what makes it good is, here at the end of the inaugural New 52 Flash run, how close Buccellato comes to upsetting the entire Flash status quo, in ways that might intrigue Flash television show fans. Another notable aspect is that whereas artist Patrick Zircher might not be an obvious choice for Flash, Buccellato plays to Zircher's strengths. What emerges is a gritty, authentically frightening Flash story, markedly different from much of what we've read so far, that demonstrates the range of the character. Even if History Lessons is filler, Buccellato and Zircher go a long way to make the book worth a reader's while.

DC Trade Solicitations for July/August 2015 - Aquaman: Sub-Diego, Batman: Second Chances, Absolute Court of Owls, Wonder Woman by Perez, America vs. Justice Society

Thursday, March 19, 2015

DC Comics's June 2015 post-Convergence solicitations include their July/August 2015 hardcover and trade paperback collection releases, and there are a lot of them. At least ten series release their trades collecting stories right up to Convergence, and of those there's about a half dozen where the books are cancelled and these are the series' last trades.

And that's not even including a bunch of cool releases of older stories in this solicitations round -- America vs. the Justice Society, Batman: Second Chances (nee "The New Adventures"), Aquaman: Sub-Diego, and even an Absolute edition of Scott Snyder's Court of Owls. Let's jump in and take a look:

Aquaman: Sub-Diego TP

Over at Every Day is Like Wednesday, in Caleb's monthly, entertaining look at the DC solicitations, he called Aquaman: Sub-Diego "the biggest head-scratcher of the month." Well, I can't say why DC Comics finally decided to publish this collection of Aquaman #15-22 (from roundabouts the time Identity Crisis, a couple years before Infinite Crisis, but I do know that I've been wanting to read this book for a while, and for the purest reason possible -- I heard it was a good story. The current popularity of Aquaman, and that it's written by current DC scribe Will Pfeifer and drawn by current DC writer/artist Patrick Gleason, probably doesn't hurt, either. Either way, I've been waiting for this one for a while and I'm excited about it.

America vs. the Justice Society of America TP

This one seems the stranger to me, since aside from Earth 2: Society, there really isn't a Justice Society presence now in the DC Universe -- not that I'm complaining, since this is one I wanted to read, too. Just before Crisis on Infinite Earths, America vs. the Justice Society recaps the Justice Society's pre-Crisis adventures, and also includes the JSA being called before the House Un-American Activities Committee, an event I believe later brought into post-Crisis continuity.

My only gripe is I wish this had included the post-Crisis Last Days of the Justice Society special, which was also by Roy Thomas and bridged the pre-/post-Crisis gap for these formerly Earth-2 characters. That, to me, would make this a fuller and more relevant trade.

Anyway, I hope this a start of more collections from this era -- Infinity, Inc., All-Star Squadron, and etc.

Batman: Second Chances TP

No longer called "The New Adventures" (as was sometimes printed on the issue covers), the re-named Batman: Second Chances are the stories that introduced the post-Crisis Robin Jason Todd before Death in the Family, written by Max Allan Collins. Notable that this trade spans issues from just before/just after the Batman: Year One in-series miniseries, to Ten Nights of the Beast. I do rather wish DC had stuck Batman #401 in there, even if by a different writer, a Legends tie-in issue that's arguably the first post-Crisis Batman appearance; later in the trade we do get a Millennium tie-in.

There's just a handful of (rather terrifying, I recall) issues between the end of this book and Death in the Family, as written by Jim Starlin, including the infamous issue where young Jason kills someone. I wouldn't mind if DC collected those to bring the whole era into trade.

Wonder Woman by George Perez Omnibus Vol. 1 HC

As I've said before, a large collection of George Perez's Wonder Woman stories is a great thing. But, I've read these; they were available in paperback some years ago. Perez stops drawing the series after these issues (#1-24 and Annual #1) but he's still writing for another about 40 issues. I'd very much like to see DC follow this with a volume 2.

• Absolute Batman: The Court of Owls HC

I don't go in for Absolute volumes lightly these days, but this one is tempting. I still believe these two books, originally Court of Owls and City of Owls, are Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's strongest work on Batman; the two books read great as individually but they'd be even more powerful read together. Add to that Capullo's magnificent labyrinth pages in the first part (even if these will be a nightmare to turn around in Absolute size) and his cinematic climactic fight scene in the second, and you've got a story worthy of an Absolute. I wouldn't be surprised if Zero Year, at least, also makes it to Absolute.

Green Arrow: Archer's Quest Deluxe Edition HC

The Kevin Smith stories that preceded this volume were just upgraded from deluxe format to Absolute. There's fewer of the Brad Meltzer issues -- just six, #16-21 -- so a deluxe collection makes more sense. The Phil Hester/Ande Parks art will look good either way.

Arkham Manor TP

It's still curious that what's now being advertised in the solicitations as a "6-ssue [mini-series]" was originally pitched as a series. We saw a bunch of New 52 titles that started out as series but became "mini-series" by default; this looks like one that started as a limited series, got an upgrade, and then went back to it. No overwhelming interest in this though I imagine I'll read it as an offshoot of Batman Eternal (actually curious to see what Doug thinks of it as compared to Gerry Duggan's Deadpool).

Batman Eternal Vol. 2 TP

I was not very taken with the all-over-the-place first volume of Batman Eternal and frankly I'm a little impatient that there's one more collection of the series after this one. Hopefully this second volume begins to tie to Catwoman, Arkham Manor, etc. more, so it's not just the Bat-family running around scattershot.

Batman: Harley Quinn TP

Personal preference, but I prefer this semi-villainous iteration of Harley Quinn to the Ambush Bug-esque Harley Quinn that's ubiquitous in the DC Universe these days. Among other contents are back up stories from Gotham Knights and two Detective Comics Harley stories by Paul Dini.

Batwoman Vol. 6: The Unknowns TP

Brings Marc Andreyko's run and the New 52 Batwoman series to a close before Convergence; includes the Futures End tie-in issue.

Catwoman Vol. 6: Keeper of the Castle TP

Brings Catwoman to a close prior to Convergence with issue #40, though writer Genevieve Valentine sticks around when the series resumes.

Green Lantern Corps Vol. 6: Reckoning TP

Includes the "Godhead" crossover issues and the final issues of Green Lantern Corps, cancelled as of Convergence

Klarion Vol. 1: The New Witch in Town TP

Klarion's first and only trade, collecting issues #1-6. Cancelled as of Convergence.

New 52: Futures End Vol. 2 TP

I am just about to crack the first volume of this one and I'm excited about it. By osmosis, I take it reviews are mixed, but I'm eager for it if nothing else than as a lead-in to Convergence.

New Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Pure Insanity TP

The end of New Suicide Squad pre-Convergence, but the series continues afterward still with writer Sean Ryan.

Red Lanterns Vol. 6: Forged in Blood TP

Also the final issues of Red Lanterns, ending with Convergence. This includes the Futures End tie-in issue; as I'm going through this list I'm wondering where some other of these will show up -- Catwoman and Green Lantern Corps, among others.

Sinestro Vol. 2: Sacrifice TP

Collects Sinestro #5-11 and the annual; continues with writer Cullen Bunn after Convergence.

Supergirl Vol. 6: Crucible TP

Collects the final issues of Supergirl, with the Futures End issue and Doomed tie-in. Though cancelled with Convergence, I've no doubt we'll see a new Supergirl series taking cues from the television show within a year or so.

Superman Vol. 6: The Men of Tomorrow HC

Collects the entirety of the Geoff Johns/John Romita run. What art I've seen so far in regards to covers, etc. hasn't thrilled me, but Johns had one of my favorite Superman runs from the past decade or so, so my expectations are high. I'm surprised they didn't just kick in the story Romita wrote and drew for Superman #40, which seems more related to the Johns run than the upcoming Gene Luen Yang run. Hopefully this doesn't mean Superman #40 will never be collected.

Trinity of Sin Vol. 1: The Wages of Sin TP

I was just wondering the other day whether this would even see a collection or not. I imagine Phantom Stranger and Question will still be aspects of the DC Universe post-Convergence, but I wonder if Mystic U will use Pandora or if that character's era has ended.

That's what I'm thinking of buying. How about you? What post-Convergence/Divergence book are you most excited about?

Review: Mighty Avengers Vol. 1: No Single Hero trade paperback (Marvel Comics)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

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

"With art by Greg Land."

There are few words more divisive than those when it comes to comics. It's easy to see why Rob Liefeld's art gets so much hassle from fans, but from a distance, Greg Land's artwork looks okay. That's until you notice the numerous characters, primarily women, who have been traced from pornographic magazines. Nearly every woman Land draws is screaming and bug-eyed; it looks bad enough without knowing exactly why. It's difficult for me to judge his actual talent as he's also been known to swipe from other comic book artists in addition to his tracing escapades. It's so distracting that I decided to not pick up the Marvel NOW! Iron Man re-launch because of his presence. So why did I end up reading and enjoying Mighty Avengers: No Single Hero if I couldn't stand the artwork?

Review: Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion trade paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Throughout his Flash work, Brian Buccellato has had big shoes to fill. For the most part, that's in following Geoff Johns after both his revival of Flash Barry Allen and, before that, a superlative run with Flash Wally West, itself following Mark Waid's equally legendary run. And among the challenges that Buccellato and co-writer/artist Francis Manapul undertook, for the most part successfully, was a Reverse-Flash story, daunting on the heels of Waid returning "Professor Zoom" to prominence and Johns making him downright scary.

But Buccellato still had one more hurdle to surmount. Captain Cold had been a major player in Johns's run, essentially supporting cast and a strong thematic foil for Wally West. Johns wrote a powerful series of Wally West/Rogues stories, completed them, and then came back for not one but two victory laps, the crossover event tie-ins Blackest Night: The Flash and Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge, two final, chilling exclamation points on the Rogues stories Johns had told thus far. So for Buccellato to channel the Rogues in Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion is to tell a story with an intimidating legacy behind it.

Review: Forever Evil: ARGUS trade paperback (DC Comics)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

If the test of a successful miniseries is whether you'd want to read an ongoing series of the same, then Sterling Gates's Forever Evil: ARGUS is a success, though there is not unfortunately an ARGUS/Steve Trevor series nor any material from Gates on DC's new post-New 52 docket. Toward the end, ARGUS takes on too much and can't ultimately deliver on it all, though that's some argument toward continuing the series in a monthly book. Also, while artist Neil Edwards provides a fine base for the book, the art quality varies wildly depending on the inker, hampering the story Gates tries to tell. In all, however, here at the end of the New 52, ARGUS is a fun read, especially for those wanting some key pieces of New 52 history filled in.

Review: The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 1: The Faust Act trade paperback (Image Comics)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

It's a Collected Editions co-review, as I join contributor Doug Glassman ('80s Marvel Rocks!) to discuss The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 1: The Faust Act.

Collected Editions: The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 1: The Faust Act will be an interesting one for us to review together, especially if you liked it, because by and large I did not. This is a perfectly workable premise -- gods reincarnated every ninety years as essentially pop celebrities, but given only two years to live -- but I never felt the story delved below the surface level.

Review: Justice League United Vol. 1: Justice League Canada hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, March 09, 2015

Often two, there are -- Justice League books and Justice League spin-off books. In this way, Jeff Lemire's Justice League United Vol. 1: Justice League Canada joins a long, proud tradition of sub-Justice League titles, including Justice League Europe, Extreme Justice (yeah, I said it), Justice League Elite, the New 52 Justice League International, and even some of the second-tier-character Leagues like Gerard Jones's and James Robinson's. These Justice Leagues tended to be not necessarily "cool" but quirky, and away from the iconography of the main Justice League characters, these titles tended to focus on character over action.

Review: X-Files: Year Zero trade paperback (IDW Publishing)

Thursday, March 05, 2015

With Marvel's Agent Carter ending just when it was getting good and whispers of an X-Files revival in the wind, Karl Kesel's X-Files: Year Zero answers a lot of cravings all at once. Perfectly achieving the tone of an X-Files episode, Year Zero relates the adventures of a 1940s-era FBI team without coming off as an X-Files story in name-only; Mulder and Scully are here, too, and play as integral a role as their decades-past counterparts.

[Review contains spoilers]

In introducing FBI agents Bing Ellington and Millie Ohio, Kesel wisely does not beat the reader over the head with believer/skeptic analogues. The result would have been to make Year Zero too cutesy and even reductive, simply taking an X-Files story and telling it against a World War II-era background. Instead, Ellington and Ohio are two outsider agents with problems uniquely their own (Marvel was maybe right/maybe wrong to make Agent Carter as independent from SHIELD as it was); Ellington's a lone wolf with a temper, while Ohio bristles over the restrictions placed on her due to her gender, as she also tries to escape the shadow cast by her senator father.

Review: Deadpool: The Ones With Deadpool trade paperback (Marvel Comics)

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

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

It's one task to have a great run on a title; it's quite a larger one to set the parameters for anyone else writing said character at the same time. During the Deadpool glut a few years back, one of the biggest problems was that the books couldn't settle on a solid persona. Either Deadpool was a ruthless anti-hero or a complete farce, sometimes within the same mini-series. The Marvel NOW! relaunch cleared the field and allowed Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn to restart the franchise in a more controlled way. Four important tie-in issues have been collected in Deadpool: The Ones With Deadpool, and they show how this new, consistent characterization paid off in the long run.

Review: Teen Titans Vol. 4: Light and Dark trade paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, March 02, 2015

Scott Lobdell takes on his most ambitious challenge with the New 52 Titans in Teen Titans Vol. 4: Light and Dark. It was some thirty-plus years ago when Marv Wolfman and George Perez introduced the most lasting iteration of the Titans, brought together by Raven against her father, the demon Trigon. Almost two years into the New 52, Lobdell has the unenviable task of re-telling a story considered one of DC Comics's all-time classics.

I was prepared to be disappointed. Lobdell's Teen Titans Vol. 3: Death of the Family read a little slow, and in the closing chapter I neither liked some of Lobdell's plot choices nor what seemed too-dark art by Eddy Barrows. Light and Dark was more of a "should read" than a "must read" for me, tying as Titans will to Superboy and Forever Evil in its next volume. But, I was pleasantly surprised. Despite some character excesses, Lobdell has a likable team here, and the inclusion of some "new" (but familiar) characters gives the book a nostalgic tone.