Review: Justice League Dark Vol. 4: Rebirth of Evil trade paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, August 31, 2015

The eighteen-part Forever Evil: Blight crossover takes place between Justice League Dark, Constantine, and the "Trinity of Sin" titles Pandora and Phantom Stranger, running simultaneous with Forever Evil itself. Like Trinity War and unlike, for instance, Superman: Doomed, Blight takes place only in the individual series and not in any specials or annuals, so its equally possible to read it in its own Blight collection or between the various individual series collections, and with much flipping back and forth, I did the latter.

What follows is in part a review of the Blight story as a whole and in part a review of Justice League Dark Vol. 4: Rebirth of Evil, which collects the Justice League Dark chapters of Trinity War and Blight. I'll subsequently review the other collections involved with Blight in a similar way, examining the overall story but also how it plays out in the individual book.

Review: Worlds' Finest Vol. 4: First Contact trade paperback (DC Comics)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Worlds' Finest Vol. 4: First Contact is a crossover with Batman/Superman, and I'd read that crossover before in Batman/Superman Vol. 2: Game Over. What was true in my review of the Batman/Superman book remains true here, that the problem with setting Worlds' Finest and Batman/Superman side-by-side is that the latter only serves to emphasize the significant shortcomings of the former. Additionally, there are errors both within the story and in the production of the Worlds' Finest Vol. 4 book itself.

Aside from the unending call of collection-completion, the main reason to pick up First Contact is because it better contextualizes the "First Contact" crossover than Batman/Superman does, though the relative importance of this is debatable. There's also a couple of significant revelations here regarding characters in the Earth 2 book, though again one has to decide if it's worth buying an entire other trade for a little information that will just as likely come out elsewhere.

Review: Deadpool Vol. 7: Axis trade paperback (Marvel Comics)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

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

It's possible that Axis has set a new record for the number of good stories resulting from a bad crossover. Books like Loki: Agent of Asgard used it as a starting point to warp their heroes, while tie-ins like Carnage took the main crossover's concepts past their limits. Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn, much like Al Ewing on Loki, were able to fit a personality inversion into their plans for a merc who has a history of changing personalities at whim, in Deadpool Vol. 7: Axis. Before I get to that, however, I need to address the trade I skipped over, which is the tie-in to Original Sin.

Review: Superman: The Men of Tomorrow hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Among my favorite Superman stories of the last decade have been Geoff Johns's abbreviated Action Comics -- action-packed, emotional, full of Superman's aspirational spirit, and with a smart take on Superman's supporting cast, too. So I looked forward to Johns's newest short stint, collected in the (now-unnumbered) Superman: The Men of Tomorrow, mitigated only by my hesitations about John Romita Jr.'s artwork and rumors about some of the wilder changes this book makes to the Superman mythos.

I came away from Men of Tomorrow very pleased. Johns again has good control of Superman as a modern and yet unironically heroic character; Lois Lane takes a backseat this volume, but Johns does solid work with Perry White and Jimmy Olsen as well. Though indeed mythos-changing, this is a largely done-in-one Superman story that doesn't require much foreknowledge and offers but does not demand the audience follow it into the next book, making it right for vacation reading or a casual reader. Johns's story deals in parallels and dopplegangers to explore the title character's mythology, as is often the case, but he does so as well as always. Romita's art grew on me the more I read the book, and I'm happy to see him continue into the Gene Luen Yang run that follows. For what is something of a placeholder story before Convergence, Johns acquits his Superman work well once again.

DC Trade Solicitations for December 2015/January 2016 - Batman v. Superman, Wolfman/Deathstroke, Ostrander/Suicide Squad, Dixon/Nightwing

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Still recovering around here from the big reveal of DC Comics's Spring 2016 collections, but the monthly list is out -- hardcover and trade paperback collection releases for December 2016/January 2016 (posted August 2015) -- and there's some interesting material on it, especially for we fans of uncollected 1980s/1990s comics: Marv Wolfman's Deathstroke, the Terminator, Mike Grell's Green Arrow, John Ostrander's Suicide Squad, Chuck Dixon's Nightwing, and Garth Ennis's Demon (with Hitman). Just the fact that the creators' names are so synonymous with these titles suggests how special each one is.

Before we get into my picks for this month (and you can see the full list at the DC Comics site), I did want to mention that Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr.'s Superman: The Men of Tomorrow just came out, no longer numbered "Vol. 6," and if the spring solicitations hold up, Gene Luen Yang's first Superman collection will be renumbered "Vol. 1." I guess I didn't expect that DC would just keep on with the New 52 collections numbering indefinitely, as publishers across the board are somewhat adverse to high-number collections, though it is an oddity to see the series' individual issue numbering keeping on even as the collections switch over. Obviously, we've seen the same thing over in the Batgirl title.

Compare to the current Deathstroke, Teen Titans, and Suicide Squad, all of which were started over with new issue #1s; I wonder if this reflects a hesitation on DC's part to re-renumber Superman, whereas something like Teen Titans is OK, or if they've found that re-launching series like Teen Titans doesn't bring the discernible jump in sales that starting a new team on an existing book does. I can't imagine DC will renumber the Batman collections until Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo leave (hopefully never), but I wonder if, say, Wonder Woman and other series will get new collections numbering when their teams change, or if this was specific to the Superman title somehow.

Enough navel-gazing now; here's my picks:

Batman vs. Superman TP

As the tie-in trade to the upcoming Dawn of Justice movie, this trade is surprisingly compact and modern, which incongruously I don't mind that much -- this is a trade someone interested in current DC Comics could read and get a fair primer on the current DCU, whereas Silver Age or etc. stories wouldn't fit that same purpose. It is, specifically, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #4, Batman #612 (an issue of "Hush"), Batman #35-36 (two parts of "Endgame"), Superman/Batman #32 (maybe the only odd one, part five of Mark Verheiden's Enemies Among Us) and #78 (a Joe Kelly one-off), and Justice League #2 (from Origin).

What's missing is a Superman/Batman team-up a la something from No Man's Land or Dark Knight Over Metropolis (thankfully already collected), though likely that's not really the point of this particular collection. What worries me in general is that the zeitgeist will gain some idea of Batman and Superman as enemies or a "who could beat who" mentality, when that's hardly the actual reality in the comics.

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 7: Anarky HC

The final Detective Comics trade before Convergence and the final with Francis Manapul on art (that didn't last long, unfortunately), with issues #35-40. The solicitation includes the Futures End issue and also Detective Comics: Endgame; other series have omitted their "Endgame" specials, so I wonder if this one'll actually be in there or not.

Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity Deluxe Edition HC

With no disrespect to the Matt Wagner miniseries, which I've never read but I'm told is quite good, it seems a shame there's no modern-ish, in-continuity story DC can go to for a teaming of DC's Big Three in anticipation of Dawn of Justice, turning instead to an essentially Elseworlds (or out-of-continuity) miniseries. Among good Trinity stories, Kingdom Come is obvious but doesn't meet the criteria either. Best I can think of is Jeph Loeb's Batman/Superman: Supergirl, which in recently being re-branded as Supergirl probably can't also be used as a Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman book.

Catwoman Vol. 4: The One You Love TP

I'm not sure if it's Gotham or what has emboldened DC to collect these lesser-known mid-series issues from the Ed Brubaker-era Catwoman series, but it's a strange delight to see them collected. If this trade does indeed collect issues #38-49, then the next volume will start to get into the material previously collected in Catwoman: The Replacements. From then we're into some sometimes-weird, sometimes-well-done issues by Will Pfeifer that involve Catwoman having a child, among other things.

• DC Comics Presents: Superman – Lois And Clark 100-Page Super Spectacular #1

On title alone, there were a bunch of really exciting things this could collect. That it's apparently the somewhat-rushed Wedding Album is a kind of a disappointment (not in the least because Superman didn't have powers at that time), but if you haven't read it, here's the wedding of Clark Kent and Lois Lane for you.

My fervent hope is that Dan Jurgens's new Superman: Lois and Clark series doesn't just use a Superman and Lois Lane who are married kind of like the pre-Flashpoint Superman and Lois, but rather that Jurgens specifically writes the actual pre-Flashpoint Superman, like with references to Death of Superman and the businessman Lex Luthor and etc. That's what I'm interested in, not a familiar-looking alt-Superman.

• DC Comics Presents: Titans Hunt 100-Page Super Spectacular #1

If you want to get me super-excited and super-disappointed in the span of two lines, call a DC Comics Presents reprint book "Titans Hunt" and then put 1960s Titans issues in it. Obviously, I realized afterward, "Titans Hunt" is a reference to the new series, not the Marv Wolfman storyline. My fingers are still permanently crossed, however, that the Titans Hunt series will inspire a classic "Titans Hunt" collection.

Deathstroke, the Terminator Vol. 2: Sympathy for the Devil TP

Speaking of exciting "Titans Hunt"-era books, however, this second collection of Marv Wolfman's Deathstroke the Terminator now includes issues #10-13, the Annual #1, and Superman #68 by Triangle Titles extraordinaire team of Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding. For me that's worth the price of the whole trade.

Demon Vol. 1: Hell’s Hitman TP

Poor Etrigan cannot get a break, sharing even top billing of this Garth Ennis collection with Hitman. With All-Star Section Eight on the stands, surely DC should just bite the bullet, so to speak, and launch a Hitman revival.

Earth 2: World’s End Vol. 2 TP

The final collection of the weekly series, collecting Earth 2: World's End issues #12-26.

Flash Vol. 7: Savage World HC

The final pre-Convergence collection of the Robert Venditti/Van Jensen run.

Green Arrow Vol. 4: Blood of the Dragon TP

Three cheers for the continuing Mike Grell Green Arrow collections. This one includes Shado and an appearance by another well-known Grell character, Warlord Travis Morgan.

Lex Luthor: A Celebration of 75 Years

Said to include stories by Jerry Siegel and Geoff Johns, so from start to finish basically, but if James D. Hudnall and Eduardo Barreto's Lex Luthor: The Unauthorized Biography isn't collected here in full, you can keep it.

Nightwing Vol. 3: False Starts TP

Really good news here for fans of Chuck Dixon's Nightwing, as this third new collection improves on the original Love and Bullets with an unbroken run of issues #19-25 (including Cataclysm and "Brotherhood of the Fist" issues), and the DC One Million, and the Nightwing and Huntress miniseries by Devin Grayson, which was originally collected in a separate trade. Completeness here hopefully suggests more completeness later on.

Suicide Squad Vol. 2: The Nightshade Odyssey TP

You must be living under a rock if you haven't heard me raving yet about the re-solicitation of John Ostrander's Suicide Squad Vol. 2: Nightshade Odyssey (and apparently a third one potentially on the way, too). I don't know if we ever knew the full contents, but I'm pleased to see this is Suicide Squad #9-16 and Justice League International #13 and the Doom Patrol/Suicide Squad Special.

Worlds’ Finest Vol. 6: The Secret History of Superman and Batman TP

Bringing to a close the Paul Levitz series. In a forthcoming review I'll remark that Levitz's Worlds' Finest has made me less likely to check out his new Dr. Fate series, except that the latter has been getting good reviews. Anyone?

OK, so that's what I'm on about. Nice varied list here all around. Tell me in the comments what you're planning to buy.

Review: Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman Vol. 2 hardcover/paperback (Marvel Comics)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

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

I have to take issue with some of the detractors of the recent fiasco that is the 2015 Fantastic Four movie. It's a terrible film, but there are quite a few critics saying that the problem lies with the concept itself. As a counterpoint, I humbly submit the second volume of Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman to demonstrate just how deep a well these creators had available to mine for stories. The four issues collected here bring the team deep beneath the Earth, down to Atlantis, up to the Moon, and finally into the Negative Zone to set up the War of the Four Cities. With the exception of the Inhumans, most of the characters appearing here fall under the Fantastic Four's cinematic license or could be easily changed to avert copyright conflicts.

Review: Lobo Vol. 1: Targets trade paperback (DC Comics)

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Monday, August 17, 2015

I am not one who had any disagreement with the new, almost-"DC You" iteration of Lobo. Every generation defines their own characters, and further the "fraggin'" Lobo of the 1990s was a far cry from Lobo's earliest appearances as is (heck, my favorite is still Slobo). I'm more than ready to give the "gentleman Lobo" (still a Czarnian, still a bounty hunter) a try. But a lot of these sub-"DC You" launches (not the actual "DC You" launches, but the ones that immediately predated them, like Deathstroke, Teen Titans, and New Suicide Squad) haven't quite landed for me, and that includes Cullen Bunn's Lobo Vol. 1: Targets.

Review: Get Jiro! graphic novel (Vertigo/DC Comics)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

If we want to admit guilty pleasures, one of mine was ABC's The Taste, which has apparently and unfortunately been cancelled after three seasons -- and I always rooted for Anthony Bourdain's team. Equal parts best and worst best friend, father figure, and guy you'd want to have a beer with, Bourdain combines high-brow palate with low-brow approachableness, and his tell-all cooking industry books are a riot to boot. Anthony Bourdain plus DC/Vertigo graphic novel is therefore a more-than-natural fit for me, and I've had his Get Jiro (with Joel Rose and Langdon Foss) kicking around here for a while now. With Get Jiro getting a second "prequel" volume in October, the time seemed right for a review.

Review: Superior Foes of Spider-Man Vol. 1: Getting the Band Back Together trade paperback (Marvel Comics)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

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

Despite the cover and name of Superior Foes of Spider-Man Vol. 1: Getting the Band Back Together, the Doctor Octopus version of Spider-Man does not appear in this book. In fact, Spider-Man is only seen in flashbacks. This is actually for the best as Superior Foes is all about the lower-tier bad guys that call Marvel's New York home. It's a sequel to the pair of older Deadly Foes of Spider-Man mini-series as well as the Luke Cage-led version of Thunderbolts. All of those stories and more are called back to over the course of this trade.

Review: Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest graphic novel (Vertigo/DC Comics)

Monday, August 10, 2015

More than anything else, the scope of Stieg Larsson's "Millennium Trilogy" astounds, that what started as a whodunit involving a missing heiress has come to this, an investigation of government corruption at the highest levels. Larsson's volumes -- as adapted for comics by Denise Mina, Andrea Mutti, and Antonio Fuso -- have been murder mystery and thriller, and the third volume, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, emerges as a surprisingly bloodless (for the most part) legal drama. It is assuredly an important coda for the other two books, especially the second, Girl Who Played with Fire; at the same time, it is markedly quiet, with Fire being the most action-packed climax and Hornet's being a somewhat elongated epilogue. That's odd but not bad per se, with the focus mostly (and perhaps, finally) on the circumstances of the characters themselves.

Suicide Squad Vol. 2, Elseworlds Omnibus, Wonder Woman: War of the Gods, Justice League by Jurgens, Aquaman Omnibus by Geoff Johns, Gotham Central Omnibus, Azrael, Black Lightning, Batman Noir: Black Mirror, more in DC Comics Spring 2016 solicitations

Thursday, August 06, 2015

It's DC Comics's Spring 2016 trade paperback and hardcover collections! This list is now complete and updated with my comments, barring any late-breaking additions.

Great long-awaited collections on this list like Wonder Woman: War of the Gods, Superman and the Justice League America by Dan Jurgens (the "Death of Superman"-era run), and a new solicitation of the previously-cancelled Suicide Squad Vol. 2: The Nightshade Odyssey (plus a third volume!). We also see a collection of DC Comics's Elseworlds stories, the new Tony Isabella Black Lightning collection, an Aquaman by Geoff Johns collection, a Gotham Central Omnibus, Batman Noir: Black Mirror, and new numbering for the regular-series Superman trades. 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 Five

100 Bullets Book Four

Absolute Transmetropolitan Vol. 2

Collects through the end of the sixth trade paperback.

Absolute Y: The Last Man Vol. 2

Collects through the middle of the seventh trade paperback. I'd guess just one more Absolute collecting Vols. 7-10.

American Vampire Vol. 8

Aquaman By Geoff Johns Deluxe Edition

Said to collect Aquaman #0-16 and Justice League #14-16, which is not actually all of Johns's Aquaman run, just through "Throne of Atlantis," omitting issues #17-25, "Death of a King" (this could, of course, change).

Aquaman Vol. 6: Maelstrom

Aquaman Vol. 7

Art Ops Vol. 1

Astro City Vol. 12

Azrael Vol. 1

As I discussed previously, I really enjoyed the Dennis O'Neil/Barry Kitson take on Jean Paul Valley all those years ago, weird and quirky and introspective. If you only know Azrael from Knightfall, give this a try; it's one of my long-time favorite series.


Batgirl Vol. 2

Batman '66 Vol. 4

Batman '66 Vol. 5

Batman Adventures Vol. 4

Batman and Robin Vol. 7: Robin Rises

Batman Arkham: Scarecrow

Batman Beyond Vol. 1: Beyond the Bat

Batman by Ed Brubaker Vol. 1

Said to collect Batman #582-586 and #591-594, which includes conflicts with the Penguin, Deadshot, and Zeiss, the "Batman Dies" mini-event, a tie-in to "Our Worlds at War," and skipping the Officer Down issue and some issues written by Brian K. Vaughn (obviously). Brubaker wrote Batman into the #600s, so there's some material at least for a second volume.

Batman by Neal Adams Omnibus

Batman Noir: Black Mirror

Solicitations have this as Batman #871-877, which I don't believe is right, and I don't believe they'd favor Jock here specifically over Francesco Francavilla. My guess it's indeed the whole Black Mirror, and this wonderfully creepy tale, one of Scott Snyder's best, would be dynamite in just black and white.

Batman Vol. 7: Endgame

Batman Vol. 8

Interesting that Batman apparently isn't being re-numbered in trade, at the same time that books like Batgirl and now Superman (see below) are. Maybe this is just for books with new creative teams or books that were otherwise previously in trouble (renumbering such to separate), neither of which is true for Batman.

Batman: Arkham Knight Genesis

Batman: Arkham Knight Vol. 2

Batman: Europa

Long-stalled miniseries by Brian Azzarello, with at least one issue by Jim Lee. I don't know what to tell you except I'm looking at a listing for a collection of the four issues, due out "forthcoming."

Batman: Legacy/Contagion

Say it with me now: It should actually be Batman: Contagion/Legacy. Respectfully I informed you of this at an earlier juncture. Contents currently listed are Batman: Shadow of the Bat #53-54, Batman #533-534, Detective Comics #700-702, Catwoman #36, Robin #32-33, and Batman: Bane, which is just Legacy, so I'm guessing these aren't actually the full contents. (Update: Title seems to have been changed to just "Legacy," and the contents listed were only the ones in Legacy. Here's hoping a new Contagion trade will be along sometime to round out the set.)

Batman: Road to No Man's Land Vol. 2

Second lead-in volume to No Man's Land is said to contain Batman #560-562, Detective Comics #727-730, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #80-82, Batman Chronicles #15-16, and Azrael: Agent of the Bat #47-49. These were the actually-labeled "Road to No Man's Land" issues (as opposed to Road Vol. 1's "Aftershocks" issues, though happy to see them collected), with stories by Dennis O'Neil and Chuck Dixon (including Bruce Wayne himself trying to prevent "No Man's Land" politically in Washington).

Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga Vol. 3

Batman: War Games Vol. 2

Seems to collect Detective Comics #798, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #183, Nightwing #97, Batman: Gotham Knights #57, Robin #130, Batgirl #56, Catwoman #35-36 and Batman #633, which is Act Two and part of Act 3 of War Games, so either these contents are incomplete or we can expect a third volume (with Stephanie Brown's ultimate resurrection, perhaps, thereby re-shaping War Games?).

Birds of Prey Vol. 2

Continuing the re-collection of Chuck Dixon's Birds of Prey (a common theme on these recent lists is more previously-uncollected Chuck Dixon stuff). Birds of Prey is collected only in crossovers, etc. from issue #7 to about #55.


Black Canary Vol. 1

Black Lightning Vol. 1

As you've read about elsewhere, Tony Isabella and DC have seemed to reconcile, culminating to start with the publication of this collection. Collects mostly likely ten or eleven issues of the 1970s Black Lightning series.

Blackest Night Unwrapped

With Ivan Reis's un-inked and un-colored pencils, as opposed to Batman Noir where it's inked but un-colored.

Catwoman Vol. 5

Catwoman Vol. 7

Constantine; The Hellblazer Vol. 1

Cyborg Vol. 1

DC Comics: Bombshells Vol. 1

DC Comics: Elseworlds Vol. 1

No word yet on what this will contain (and it looks to be a paperback volume one, not an omnibus as my headline mistakenly suggests), but I'm hoping it's a publication-order re-collection of all of DC's Elseworlds specials, specifically the old Prestige Format ones. Hardly do we need another collection of the Batman: Red Rain books, but a collection of books like Batman: In Darkest Knight and Superman: Speeding Bullets would be great.

Deathstroke Vol. 2

Deathstroke, the Terminator Vol. 3

Wow! I overlooked this in my list of headliners! Hey, Hix! This is said to collect issues #14-20 of Marv Wolfman's Deathstroke, the Terminator, which means just the Deathstroke parts of the "Total Chaos" crossover with New Titans and Team Titans (and I'm not even upset about that) and then also the no-longer "Uncollected Edition" "Nuclear Winter" (also starting Arsenal).

Demon Vol. 2: The Longest Day

What's funny about the solicitation for this collection of Demon #49-58 by Garth Ennis is that the copy touts "tons of appearances by Hitman!" Poor Etrigan -- upstaged in his own collection. These are actually the last issues of the 1990s Demon series.

DMZ Book One

Doctor Fate Vol. 1


Earth 2: Society Vol. 1


Fables: The Deluxe Edition Book Twelve

Fables: The Wolf Among Us Vol. 2

Flash By Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato Deluxe Edition

Collects to issue #25, so through Flash: Reverse but not the issues with Deadman that were just by Buccellato in History Lesson.

Flash by Geoff Johns Vol. 2

Flash by Grant Morrison & Mark Millar

Not that it's not nice to have these back in print, but this is just a re-collection of Flash: Emergency Stop and Flash: The Human Race, even possibly (if the solicitations are to be believed) missing some issues that were just by Millar and not both authors. See also Wonder Woman by Mike Deodato; it's not that I'm not glad per se, it's just that we've seen this before (also Supergirl by Peter David and Gary Frank).

Flash: The Silver Age Vol. 1

Flinch Book Two

Gotham Academy Vol. 2

Gotham by Midnight Vol. 2

Gotham Central Omnibus

I still find omnibuses to be an awkward reading experience, but if there was ever a book that deserved better and better formats, it's this one (meanwhile I'm not sure there's an audience for another collection of Kingdom Come).

Graphic Ink: The DC Comics Art of Jim Lee

Green Arrow by Kevin Smith

Green Arrow Vol. 5

Continuing the Mike Grell collections, and with Black Canary, Eddie Fyers, and Shado. Support your Mike Grell collections!

Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus Vol. 3

Collects through the end of the pre-Flashpoint Geoff Johns/Green Lantern series and the entirety of the New 52. This doesn't, at present, seem to include the non-Green Lantern parts of "Rise of the Third Army" and "Wrath of the First Lantern," but maybe those are coming (or I can't recall; they may not be that essential).

Green Lantern Vol. 6: The Life Equation (The New 52)

Green Lantern Vol. 7

Green Lantern: Lost Army Vol. 1

Green Lantern/New Gods: Godhead

Harley and Ivy: The Deluxe Edition

Harley Quinn and Power Girl

He-Man: The Eternity War Vol. 2

Immortal Doctor Fate

Collects a variety of early to 1980s Dr. Fate stories, including by Paul Levitz and J.M. DeMatteis.

Injustice Year One: The Complete Edition

Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Four Vol. 1

Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Three Vol. 2

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three Vol. 2

Invisibles Book One

JLA: Gods and Monsters

John Constantine: Hellblazer Vol. 13

Joker: Endgame

Justice League 3001 Vol. 1

Justice League of America Vol. 1

The new Bryan Hitch series, in hardcover.

Justice League of America: The Silver Age Vol. 1

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

Justice League Vol. 7: Darkseid War

Justice League: Gods And Men (Darkseid War)

This would appear to be the collection that has elsewhere been listed as DC Comics: Darkseid War.

Kill Your Boyfriend/Vinamarama Deluxe

Two Vertigo books by Grant Morrison together.

Kingdom Come 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

Lobo Vol. 2

Lucifer Vol. 1

Manifest Eternity

Martian Manhunter Vol. 1

Midnighter Vol. 1

Mortal Kombat X Vol. 3

New Suicide Squad Vol. 2

Newsboy Legion by Simon and Kirby Vol. 2

Nightwing Vol. 4

Said to collects issues #27-34 of the Chuck Dixon series, spanning Love and Bullets and Darker Shade of Justice.

Omega Men Vol. 1
Omega Men Vol. 1

Happily but confusingly, the upper listing is the new Tom King series, and the lower listing is a collection of classic 1980s Omega Men appearances. This is said to collect Green Lantern #141-144, #161, Action Comics #535-536, New Teen Titans #24-25, New Teen Titans Annual #1, and Omega Men #1-4, which includes the debut appearance of Lobo.

Prez Vol. 1

Quarantine Zone

Red Hood/Arsenal Vol. 1

Robin Vol. 2

Said to collect Robin issues #6-10 by Chuck Dixon, which collects that series's parts of Knightquest and KnightsEnd (this may be an odd collection). The next volume, if it gets the Prodigal material out of the way, would then be the re-introduction of Spoiler into Dixon's Robin series.

Robin: Son of Batman Vol. 1

Scalped Deluxe Edition Book Four

Secret Six Vol. 1
Secret Six Vol. 4

The former is the first collection of the new Gail Simone series (kind of seems awful late, doesn't it?); the latter would seem to collect part of Cats in the Cradle and part of Reptile Brain from the original Simone series, but I'm skeptical that it's parts and not the whole.

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman Vol. 3

Sinestro Vol. 3

Smallville Season 11 Vol. 8: Chaos

Starfire Vol. 1

Suicide Squad Vol. 2: The Nightshade Odyssey

Once solicited and then cancelled, with the forthcoming movie this collection of the John Ostrander series is back on the schedule again. It's not often we get a second chance; buy this one like crazy, kids.

Suicide Squad Vol. 3

But wait, there's more! This appears to be a third collection of the John Ostrander series, collecting issues #16-22. This is almost, but not quite, Oracle's first appearance (that's in issue #23, which is also an Invasion! crossover). Keep 'em coming!

Supergirl by Peter David & Gary Frank

Also as we've discussed previously, this is basically just a reprint of the previously-published Supergirl trade. David has expressed he's not thrilled, though the story here is pretty top-notch.

Supergirl Vol. 1

Collecting Jeph Loeb's issues starting with Superman/Batman.

Superman & the Justice League America

I've said before that this is my favorite Justice League team -- Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Fire, Ice, and Guy Gardner, plus Superman, Maxima, and Bloodwynd. As written and drawn by Dan Jurgens, this book was often a fifth "Triangle Title," especially in its crossover with Death of Superman. Glad DC hasn't forgotten about this and glad to see it getting recognition.

Superman Adventures Vol. 2

Superman Vol. 1

Here's a sticky widget. The new post-Convergence storyline "Truth," by Gene Luen Yang and John Romita ... with a new Vol. 1 renumbering. Now, Aquaman, for instance, is getting a new writer in Cullen Bunn, but Bunn's first collection is solicited (above) as Aquaman Vol. 7. Who can tell what books get what numbers these days? Is there a pattern? I'd think it makes it hard for readers and vendors to keep it straight -- Superman Vol. 1 is concurrent with Aquaman Vol. 1 but then also Superman Vol. 1 is concurrent with Aquaman Vol. 7?

Superman: Secret Identity Deluxe Edition

Superman: The Golden Age Vol. 1

Superman: The Men of Tomorrow

Swamp Thing Vol. 7: Season's End

The final collection of Charles Soule's Swamp Thing, ending before Convergence.

Sweet Tooth Deluxe Book Two

Teen Titans Vol. 2

Vertigo Quarterly SFX

We Are Robin Vol. 1

Wonder Woman by Mike Deodato

Kind of funny William Messner-Loebs doesn't get a credit, since I believe he wrote all of these. Astoundingly, according to the solicitations, this is not even a "giant-size" collection of the previously-collected The Contest and Challenge of Artemis; it's just Contest, suggesting there's a volume 2 around the corner. It seems strange to me to re-solicit an out-of-print book with a different name but essentially the same contents, now linked to the artist; the up-side is, 1990s extreme art aside, this was actually an interesting Wonder Woman story and introduced the fan-favorite character.

Wonder Woman Vol. 7

Wonder Woman Vol. 8

Wonder Woman: Earth One Vol. 1

Seemingly a hardcover release, which we've seen solicited before, so maybe it's been delayed or maybe this is the paperback even though it says hardcover.

Wonder Woman: War of the Gods

If I had to choose just one book on this list ... OK, that would be hard, but War of the Gods would be pretty high up there. I have waited forever for this book, a collection of the 1991 crossover that was the first in-title crossover DC had done in a couple of years, starring Wonder Woman and marking the beginning of the end of George Perez's run on the title. We've talked about this a little bit before already; as I said then, the crossover included Superman versus Quetzalcoatl in Louise Simonson and Jon Bogdanove's Man of Steel; Flash racing Hermes; a pretty bloody issue of Suicide Squad; a good Maxie Zeus story in Batman; Lobo versus Captain Marvel in LEGION and then variously Wonder Woman versus Lobo and the Demon Etrigan; a New Titans issue roundabouts "Titans Hunt"; Pariah from Crisis on Infinite Earths; Captain Atom and Hawk and Dove issues that ended both comics before Armageddon 2001; and Wonder Woman's budding friendships with Dr. Fate Inza Nelson and Hawkwoman Shayera Thal.

Again, I expected none of this to be included in the collection, and indeed it is only said to collect War of the Gods #1-4 and the Wonder Woman tie-in issues, #58-61. I'll take it, and gladly.

World's Finest: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 1

World's Funnest

Some nice books here, and especially good to see DC continuing to fill out their 1980s and 1990s collections. You try it now -- if you could pick just one book from this list, what would it be? (Good thing you don't have to!)

Review: Teen Titans Vol. 1: Blinded by the Light trade paperback (DC Comics)

On one hand, in Teen Titans Vol. 1: Blinded by the Light, writer Will Pfeifer convincingly transitions what was a covert and somewhat accidental collection of teen heroes into a full-fledged Teen Titans superhero team, complete with twenty-first century super-fame. But on the other hand, Pfeifer relies too much on the audience's existing knowledge of the Titans -- a bad idea when this title is meant to relaunch DC's Titans franchise -- and eschews most character development in favor of an ultimately repetitious plot. The Titans have an interesting status quo by the end, but this does not feel like a strong enough debut to draw new readers to the fold, which is what Teen Titans ultimately needs.

Review: Avengers: Time Runs Out Vols. 3 and 4 collected hardcovers (Marvel Comics)

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

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

After a perfect break point at the end of the second collection, Avengers: Time Runs Out Vol. 3 starts out with Jonathan Hickman spinning the wheels a bit on both stories to get the various plot points aligned. There’s an unevenness in the storytelling which comes from Avengers and New Avengers bleeding into each other. To its credit, it wasn’t the total grinding halt that I remember it being when I read the stories on a monthly basis. What makes it feel a little choppy are some subplots staying in one book rather than progressing over both; this is particularly true for New Avengers, which has to juggle the Cabal, Doctor Doom, and the Black Panther/Namor feud all at once.

Review: Star Wars: Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir trade paperback (Dark Horse Comics)

Monday, August 03, 2015

I was a faithful Star Wars: The Clone Wars viewer for five years, so when they cancelled the show (with an encore season on Netflix) but announced that unproduced episodes would be released in different media, including Dark Horse's Star Wars: Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir, this piqued my interest. Among the strongest material to come out of Clone Wars was when the show had gained enough ground to tell stories without the Jedi and instead devote entire episodes to villains or other long-running plotlines, namely Asajj Ventress, the Nightsisters, Savage Opress, the Mandalorian conflict with Death Watch, and the resurrected Maul.