DC Comics Trade Solicitations for December 2016 - Superman, Batman Rebirth, Arkham: Man-Bat, Checkmate by Rucka, Bloodlines

Friday, September 23, 2016

Obviously the big draw for DC Comics's December 2016 hardcover and trade paperback solicitations are the first eight Rebirth collections, as we discussed last week. These solicitations answer as many questions (paperback, shipping a little closer together) as they do raise them (how will crossovers be collected, will there ever be hardcovers), but I'm certainly excited to get my hands on the next big thing from DC.

If that weren't enough, we've got a variety of fun collections and reprints from DC this month -- a new Cassandra Cain Batgirl trade ending Kelley Puckett's run, the last Will Pfiefer "new edition" Catwoman trade, another Mike Grell Green Arrow collection, the Bloodlines miniseries collection fueled entirely on 1990s nostalgia, post-Crisis Green Lantern ... plus PLUS a "new edition" collection of the first two volumes of Greg Rucka's Checkmate, one of my top comics recommendations.

All in all, a good way to start/end the year. Here we go ...

Aquaman Vol. 1: The Drowning TP

Collects the Rebirth special and issues #1-7.

Batman Vol. 1: I Am Gotham TP

Collects the Rebirth special and issues #1-6, ending just before the "Night of the Monster Men" crossover. (It's a weird coincidence[?] that the first Bat-family "Rebirth" crossover and New 52 crossover both began with "Night of ...".)

Flash Vol. 1: Lightning Strikes Twice TP

Collects the Rebirth special and issues #1-8. Since DC Universe: Rebirth is not collected here, my next guess is it'll be collected with Titans.

Green Arrow Vol. 1: The Death and Life of Oliver Queen TP

Collects the Rebirth special and issues #1-5.

Green Lanterns Vol. 1: Rage Planet TP

Collects the Rebirth special and issues #1-6. Got nerves about this one. Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz headlining a title is great, but apparently Bleez is the villain. Will the writer undo all of Bleez's growth in Charles Soule's Red Lanterns? Sure hope not.

Justice League Vol. 1: The Extinction Machine TP

Collects the Rebirth special and issues #1-5. Totally unsubstantiated guess -- could this title be cancelled and replaced with Justice League of America after the Suicide Squad crossover?

Nightwing Vol. 1: Better Than Batman TP

Collects the Rebirth special and issues #1-4, 7, and 8. As we discussed earlier, this volume omits the "Night of the Monster Men" issues. Possibilities are: the "Monster Men" issues could be in the next Nightwing volume, plus in the Night of the Monster Men trade; Batman and Detective Comics will also omit their "Monster Men" issues and they'll all just be released in the Monster Men trade; or Batman and Detective will have those issues but Nightwing won't, requiring a significant double-dip to get the Nightwing issues. Obviously we're hoping for a good outcome.

Superman Vol. 1: Son of Superman TP

Collects the Rebirth special and issues #1-6.

Batgirl Vol. 3: Point Blank TP

The third new collection of the Cassandra Cain Batgirl series collects issues #26-37, which includes among other things appearances by Spoiler and Green Arrow Connor Hawke and Batman: Murderer/Fugitive issues. If the issue list is right, then this does not include a Joker's Last Laugh issue as the solicitation suggests (indeed that was Batgirl Vol. 2: To the Death). This volume also ends original writer Kelley Puckett's run on the series; issues #30-32 and #34-37 have never been collected before.

Batman: Arkham – Man-Bat TP

No word as to the contents but I love that these Batman: Arkham have started collecting the stories of Batman's less well-known villains like Killer Croc and Man-Bat. That missing issue in the Croc volume still stings, though ...

Catwoman Vol. 6: Final Jeopardy TP

Issues #66-82 of the 2000s series, written by Will Pfiefer, with the Blackest Night special issue #83 from 2010 by Tony Bedard. These are the Catwoman Dies, Crime Pays, and Long Road Home trades, which dovetail with Amazons Attack and Salvation Run in the Countdown to Final Crisis era, if you like that sort of thing.

Bloodlines TP

Collecting the six issue miniseries by JT Krul. I will be getting this for the nostalgia value and the hope it might lead to a collection of the original Bloodlines event. DC needs to start releasing omnibus editions of the annual(s) crossover events stat.

Green Arrow Vol. 7: Homecoming TP

The next Mike Grell collection, issues #51-62. If these keep at about 10-11 issues each, just two more to go to collect Grell's Green Arrow run in total.

Checkmate By Greg Rucka Book 1 TP

One of my all time favorite series, a smart, political espionage series utilizing the most random characters from across the DC Universe. This collects issues #1-12, so A King's Game and Pawn Breaks, ahead of the Checkmate/Outsiders crossover that follows. Not to mention this title stood in for Suicide Squad in the post-Infinite Crisis era ...

• Green Lantern: Hal Jordan Vol. 1 TP

Collects Emerald Dawn #1-6 and Emerald Dawn II #1-6, a pair of late 1980s miniseries that served as Green Lantern Hal Jordan's post-Crisis on Infinite Earths origin (Emerald Dawn the first being to Green Lantern what Man of Steel was to Superman). These are hopelessly outdated now and contradicted by Geoff Johns's work but are a great bit of history, and the "Vol. 1" on this hopefully means we'll see more of the 1980s Green Lantern series collected to follow.

Grayson Vol. 5: Spyral’s End TP

The final Grayson collection, issues #17-20 and Annual #3 (those slim Grayson volumes to the end!).

Justice League United Vol. 3: Reunited TP

I'm glad to see this Jeff Parker volume, the final of the series and previously cancelled, back on the schedule again, in no small part because this is one of the "DC You" series that specifically acknowledged the events of Convergence.

Starfire Vol. 2: A Matter of Time TP

The final collection of the "DC You" Starfire series, collecting issues #7-12. Though my sense is this series might be sillier than I'm looking for, Dick Grayson cameoing in a Starfire series, especially before Rebirth clears everything up, is definitely a draw for me.

Those're my picks (not a comprehensive list, mind you, just my picks). What'll you be putting on reserve?
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  1. For the Hardcovers, I think DC might try what Marvel has been doing, in that trades will come out in paperback first, then later down the line the hardcovers will pop up, but might contain more than one paperback volume in each part. Like Thor: God of Thunder, and Remender's Captain America each had five trade paperbacks before each series was collected into two hardcovers. That could be interesting.

    1. If the deluxe hardcover editions of some of these full New 52 runs have sold well, maybe that was a factor too. Sounds like a similar concept.

  2. The JLA Bronze age Omnibus looks good to me.

  3. I'me pretty sure Justice League won't get cancelled. Hitch has years' worth of plans for the book, and he's building towards an event called "The Forever Crisis".

    This Batgirl volume collecting the end of Puckett's run is something I've been eagerly awaiting for years, and I can barely believe it's just 4 months away. I'm also pleased we're approaching the end of the Green Arrow by Grell TPBs, but I wish they weren't skipping the annuals. The first three I let slide because they were written by O'Neil, but the fourth one was co-written by Grell, and should be included in Vol. 7.

    1. Oh, I haven't heard that about Justice League. Did he drop that in an interview somewhere?

    2. He talks a lot about his JL plans in this Twitter feed (@thebryanhitch).

    3. I'm being too cynical, I'm sure. But recent delays plus I'm unsure the market will support two Justice League books makes me think one will see the chopping block. Maybe not. "Forever Crisis" sound cool.

      Yes, I'd like to see those annuals, too -- the Batman/Question/Green Arrow crossover, Eclipso (pencilled by Grell), and Bloodlines (and *that* one's by Grell!).

  4. "...hopefully means we'll see more of the 1980s Green Lantern series collected to follow."

    Dare we dream of a MOSAIC omnibus...?

    1. I hardly want to mention it for fear it'll never happen. But that would be fantastic.