DC Trade Solicitations for April 2017 - Batman: Zero Hour, Suicide Squad: Phoenix Gambit, Green Arrow: Hunt for Red Dragon, Wonder Woman: Year One

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

DC Comics's hardcover and trade paperback solicitations for April 2017 have a bunch of charming post-Crisis offerings in them, including the next collection of John Ostrander and Kim Yale's Suicide Squad and Mike Grell's Green Arrow. There's also a collection of the Batman Zero Hour tie-ins, strange but welcome; Greg Rucka's Detective Comics "New Gotham" stories; Chuck Dixon's Batman/Catwoman/Wildcat miniseries; and another Arkham villain spotlight collection, for Mr. Freeze. Plus John Byrne's Wonder Woman and last but not least, we finally find out what's in the Last Days of the Justice Society collection.

Don't forget that pre-ordering is your friend, because at the same time we do seem to have lost the Justice League: Breakdowns collection among others -- more on this later.

All of that plus a bunch of new/Rebirth collections including the first collection from Young Animal, Gerard Way's Doom Patrol.

Let's take a look!

Batman: Zero Hour TP

I've been excited about this quirky little book for a while now; I'm not quite sure what prompted it, but it fills a nice gap in terms of collected Batman material. This is Batman #511, Shadow of the Bat #31, Detective Comics #678, Catwoman #14, and Robin #10, and then the "Zero Month" issues of each that followed the Zero Hour crossover, plus Legends of the Dark Knight #0.

These for the most part involve the Bat-family interacting with previous-continuity versions of themselves; it's an odd draw for modern readers given that the "present" characters are themselves now considered alt-continuity. But I recall these being rather cute, and in a time before Barbara Gordon was Batgirl again (or even much of a player in the Bat-family titles at that time as Oracle), the appearance of Batgirl here was a big deal, not to mention Tim Drake meeting Robin Dick Grayson. Probably this collection will be even more enjoyable to the casual multi-media Bat-fan than a dedicated one. The #0 issues equally spin a Batman origin that's also well out of continuity by now, but for a casual reader, I imagine this will all feel pretty familiar.

Collections of Zero Hour tie-in issues are rare (almost nonexistent) to begin with. These issues, previous uncollected, came out between Knightfall and Prodigal, both long-since collected themselves. To that end this collection fills a sizable hole, and that much should appeal to dedicated fans, so I see this book really having something for everyone.

I'd be happy for a Superman: Zero Hour collection too, but in the absence of that, my only gripe is that this book doesn't include Louise Simonson and John Bogdanove's Superman: The Man of Steel #37, which has Superman meeting a bunch of alternate Batmans including from the Golden Age, Neal Adams, the Kelley Jones vampire Batman, and Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns Batman.

• Batman: New Gotham Vol. 1 TP

Greg Rucka and Shawn Martinbrough came out of No Man's Land swinging with a dynamic Detective Comics that used a singular color palette and hard-boiled stories that would eventually set the template for Rucka and Ed Brubaker's Gotham Central. Issues #743-750 were collected in a book called Batman: New Gotham Vol. 1: Evolution, but this new book picks up with the beginning of Rucka's run, issue #742, and continues through a Poison Ivy story and a Two-Face one-shot (again, shades of Gotham Central), as well as the previously-collected Ra's al Ghul story.

That this book is called New Gotham Vol. 1 is notable, however, because previously, the second "New Gotham" book (of only two) collected the Officer Down crossover between all the Bat-books, including Detective #754. Possibly, or not, DC will issue a new printing of Officer Down as New Gotham Vol. 2. Or, if this "New Gotham" series is really meant to be a "Detective Comics by Greg Rucka" series, then Rucka and Martinbrough (also with Rick Burchett) continue to issue #765, before the Batman: Bruce Wayne: Murderer/Fugitive crossover (so, New Gotham Vol. 2 or Vol. 3 could be issues #754/755-765). This particular run of Rucka's would then end with Detective #775, but all of that is collected in the new recent Murderer/Fugitive collections, so I doubt DC will collect that again (Rucka would follow Bruce Wayne's bodyguard Sasha Bordeaux over to Checkmate).

So the future of this seems to be a two or three-book series tops, with the next book collecting Officer Down and/or the end of Rucka's Detective run. I'm doubtful this new series is collecting all the post-No Man's Land Batman stories, as Ed Brubaker's stories over in the the Batman title proper were recently collected in a Batman by Ed Brubaker series. Possibly Gotham Knights could be collected, but as Devin Grayson hasn't worked with DC in a while, I'm doubtful -- I think this is probably just a Rucka book.

Batman/Wildcat TP

Meant in the most positive way possible, Chuck Dixon's 1990s-2000s output for DC produced some wonderfully workaday comics. This is not to call them boring, but rather DIxon, like Dan Jurgens and others on the Super-books, produced stories day in and day out that were not all of them event comics or blockbusters, but had a consistency and longevity that we don't see nowadays (including one hundred issues of Robin and seventy of Nightwing). Similarly the Batman/Wildcat and Catwoman/Wildcat miniseries collected here (along with Guy Gardner: Warrior writer Beau Smith) are no barn-burners, but they are charming late 1990s fare that it's nice to see preserved as a testament to Dixon's legacy. I think it's a nice touch that DC includes Bob Haney's 1970s Batman/Wildcat Brave and the Bold team-ups (issues #88, 97, 110, 118, and 127) for precedent.

Batman: Arkham -- Mr. Freeze TP

Collects Batman #121, 308, 375, and 525; Detective #373 and 595; the Batman: Mr. Freeze special by Paul Dini published around the Batman & Robin movie; Gotham Knights #59; Legends of the Dark Knight #190-191; and the New 52 Batman Annual #1. There's plenty of classic stuff in here, including when Mr. Freeze was known as "Mr. Zero." To my interests, Batman #525 is an Underworld Unleashed tie-in (collected also in the Batman by Doug Moench and Kelley Jones book); the issue of Gotham Knights is uncollected but also generally unrelated to the War Games doings of the time.

Green Arrow Vol. 8: The Hunt For the Red Dragon TP

Hooray for continuing the Mike Grell Green Arrow collections! Ten issues here, #63-72, leaving just eight left for the last collection, issues #73-80. I am pretty sure Grell's Green Arrow: The Wonder Year origin miniseries (published around the same time as the end of this collection) has never itself been collected, and it'd be a nice touch to include that with the last volume.

JLA: Year One Deluxe Edition HC

One of my all-time favorite books is Mark Waid and Barry Kitson's JLA: Year One. The twist in the book totally floored me, and Waid writes a superlative Hal Jordan and Barry Allen (probably, for a real deluxe edition, Waid and Kitson's follow-up Flash/Green Lantern: Brave and the Bold miniseries should be in here, too). Irrespective, this book is surely deserving of oversized hardcover treatment.

Last Days of the Justice Society of America TP

A collection of the Last Days of the Justice Society of America special by Roy and Dann Thomas has been knocking around the early solicitations list since last March, so it's good to see it finally getting a listing. This also solves for us the long mystery as to what else would be in this book besides the one special, namely stories from Secret Origins #7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 24, 25, and 31.

Last Days of the Justice Society is, as mentioned before, Roy Thomas's special just after Crisis on Infinite Earths that saw the Justice Society exiled to Ragnarok (and separated from sticky continuity concerns) untl they'd return six years later in Armageddon: Inferno (not collected here, but it was a long shot). Subsequently, DC's Secret Origins series presented the post-Crisis origins of a variety of heroes, but with special emphasis on the lost Golden Age heroes, written by the Thomases. These origins are, respectively, Sandman, Flash (and.or Star-Spangled Kid), Hawkman (and/or Paul Kupperberg's Power Girl), Johnny Thunder (and/or the Whip), Spectre, Hourman, Green Lantern, Dr. Mid-Nite, Dr. Fate, the Atom, and the Justice Society itself.

All in all this looks like a fine collection and I'm satisfied with the Secret Origins stories being there. Now let's see collections of All-Star Squadron, Young All-Stars, and more Infinity Inc.!

Suicide Squad Vol. 6: The Phoenix Gambit TP

Hooray as well for another volume of John Ostrander and Kim Yale's Suicide Squad! Most notably, the last couple issues of those collected here, #40-49, spotlight Barbara Gordon as Oracle, as created by Ostrander and Yale. There's also the "Phoenix Gambit" storyline, where a year after the events of Suicide Squad Vol. 5: Apokolips Now, Amanda Waller and Batman reconvenes the team for a mission in Cold War "Vlatava," plus a run-in with Kobra.

For the next volume, ten issues would take us through the "Dragon's Hoard" storyline and also a War of the Gods tie-in issue at #58. That would leave issues #59-66 for the final eighth volume; what a joy if indeed this whole series could be collected.

Supergirl Vol. 3: Ghosts of Krypton TP

The material here is a combination collection of Supergirl: Beyond Good and Evil (#23-27 and Action Comics #850) and Supergirl: Way of the World (#28-33). The next issues begin Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle's run with ties to the "New Krypton" story, recently re-collected on their own, so I'm guessing this is it for these larger Supergirl re-collections. This volume offers stories by Kelley Puckett that are a more traditional take on Supergirl than the "good-girl-gone-bad" stories by Joe Kelly in the previous volume, but my reviews at the time found the stories a tad dull, even despite a guest-appearance by Mitchell "Resurrection Man" Shelley.

Wonder Woman by John Byrne Book One HC

John Byrne took over Wonder Woman after William Messner-Loebs's almost forty-issue run, the last of which, the "Contest" story, had Mike Deodato on art and was recently re-collected. Byrne's run, ultimately over thirty issues, would restore Wonder Woman of sorts to the Justice Society via her mother Hippolyta, would also try to smooth out (with no small degree of difficulty) Donna Troy's origin, and would introduce the first iteration of Cassie Sandsmark as Wonder Girl. Here, Wonder Woman also seemed to die for a time and there was tie-in with Byrne's Genesis event crossover.

All of these issues short of #113-114 were collected in Wonder Woman: Second Genesis and Lifelines, but the issues are uncollected after that. Second Genesis pits Wonder Woman against Darkseid; Lifelines, with some intention, sees Diana fighting some major "event villains" of the time: Doomsday, the Reverse Flash, and Sinestro.

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 2 -- The Victim Syndicate TP

Collects issues #943-949 of the Rebirth series, including the "Batwoman Begins" two-parter.

Blue Beetle Vol. 1: The More Things Change TP

Issues #1-6 and the Rebirth special.

Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love TP

Collecting the Deadman miniseries by Sarah Vaughn and Lan Medina.

Doctor Fate Vol. 3: Fateful Threads TP

Collects issues #13-18, the final issues of the Paul Levitz series.

Doom Patrol Vol. 1: Brick by Brick TP

The first collection of Gerard Way's Young Animal imprint is Way's own Doom Patrol, collecting issues #1-6.

Flash Vol. 2: Speed of Darkness TP

Collects issues #9-13 of the Joshua Williamson Rebirth series.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Vol. 2: Bottled Light TP

Collects issues #8-13

Raven TP

The Marv Wolfman miniseries. I glanced at this and it seems Raven believes something has happened to Tim Drake, so it must take place after Detective Comics #940, unless there's something in the end of Teen Titans I don't know about.

Supergirl Vol. 1: Reign of the Cyborg Supermen TP

Collects issues #1-6 and the Rebirth special.

Superwoman Vol. 1: Who Killed Superwoman? TP

Collects issue #1-7. I was surprised to see Phil Jimenez is off this title; I hope that's for good reasons and not unhappy ones.

Wonder Woman Vol. 2: Year One TP

The second collection of Greg Rucka's Rebirth Wonder Woman series, reprinting the issues set in the past, with art by Nicola Scott, issues #2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14 (#8 is an "interlude" story wth art by Bilquis Evely).

It's our first solicitations list of 2017. What're you buying? What are your new year's comics-purchasing resolutions?
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37 comments:

  1. I really hope the New Gotham trade is real this time. I have a little doubt left, because it's still not listed on Amazon. Can't wait to revisit those stories.

    Regarding the content of possible volumes 2 or 3: The Batman by Bru trades also included the Murderer/Fugitive issues, even though they have been collected earlier. Hopefully the same will hold true for these New Gotham collections. For me, they should be called Detective by Rucka... and hopefully they will be treated as such content wise.

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    1. Yeah ... I mean, collecting all of Rucka's Detective stories quickly without stopping for the Officer Down tangent is probably a good idea, in order to get the Rucka stories done and reprinted quickly. But ... I can't escape that Officer Down was called "New Gotham Vol. 2" the first time around, and all of this is of course leading into Gotham Central, so I guess I see all the parts of Officer Down as pretty important to the Rucka New Gotham run. At the same time I don't mind just including the Rucka issues of Murderer/Fugitive and no more, since that's well since collected elsewhere.

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    2. Rucka didn't write the Officer Down TEC issue, so there is some wriggle room here, I guess. Officer Down was missing from Bru's Batman trades, too, as he also didn't write the corresponding issue. They shuffled around there quite a bit.
      But you are right, the crossover is much more important for Rucka's run than it is for Bru's.

      After TEC #753, there are 21 issues left of Rucka's first run, plus probably Batman: The 10¢ Adventure and Superman #168. So that looks pretty tight, but hopefully, Officer Down will be included.

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    3. Now that the New Gotham TPB has actually been solicited, I think we can be sure it will come out this time. Amazon UK is even showing its new release date. What I'm not sure about is what the next volume will be like. I'm hoping it will collect the "Officer Down" crossover in its entirety, because otherwise they should have just called these TPBs "Batman by Greg Rucka". And they'd better start collecting Gotham Knights, too.

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    4. Why Gotham Knights necessarily? I'd like it for completeness and because it was essentially the "Bat-family" title that Detective is now, but looking at it the other day, I couldn't discern anything significantly notable in the early run. Something that stands out to you?

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    5. I'm just a big fan of Grayson's Gotham Knights run, and how she nailed Batman's relationships with just about any character. The "Transference" arc (issues #7-11) is a particular favorite of mine, and the best Hugo Strange story I've ever read.

      Since the New Gotham TPBs apparently won't cover this series except for maybe the "Officer Down" issue guest-written by Rucka, I'd like to see it get its own separate TPB line, like Shadow of the Bat. In fact, I'd be satisfied just to see the first 24 issues collected, because the new Bruce Wayne: Murder/Fugitive trades cover the rest of Grayson's run.

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    6. Agreed on the quality of Grayson's Gotham Knights run. The issue where Bruce legally adopts Dick is, I think, the last time I got misty over a comic. Excellent stuff!

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    7. I'm really excited about this New Gotham TPB and want to know more about what more they want to collect. And I agree some of those Gotham Knight stories deserve to be collected in TPB.

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    8. I can't seem to find it on Amazon, which doesn't bode well...

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    9. It's a collection of Gregg Rucka issues, that makes it less likely to be canceled atm if you look at what they're reprinting. It's a good time if you like his writing (and who doesn't...).

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    10. I'm on a read-through of all solo Batman titles, and a few months ago I hit the post-NML era and loved it. Rucka's Detective Comics is the best of the bunch (in my opinion) and deserves to be collected on its own, BUT, the Bat-office was very interconnected back then and it's really cool to read Batman, Detective, Gotham Knights, and other titles together and see how they weave in and out and reference each other.

      Chronological collections of post-Crisis Batman uniting the various titles will probably remain a pipe dream for the rest of... ever (?) but it would still be cool. But yeah, not complaining, Rucka's run needs to get there any way it can.

      And there's really no need to worry about Officer Down. The second printing already ditched the New Gotham branding years ago.

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    11. Collecting just one issue of Officer Down in this series doesn't sit well with me, though; I'd rather they just reprint the whole thing.

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  2. As much as I would like to buy everything, I think for now I'm going to try and collect trades based around the films that are coming out. (i.e. 2017 has WW and JL so I'll try and be selective by buying only WW and JL trades. I'm excited to delve into some older WW).

    On a side note, it doesn't seem like the Justice League Breakdowns collection is available for pre-order anymore. Has that been canceled?

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    1. Yes, apparently cancelled. More here soon.

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    2. Edelweis lists JLI: Breakdowns as cancelled:

      http://edelweiss.abovethetreeline.com/ProductDetailPage.aspx?sequence=28&group=catalog&mailingID=0&mailingGroupID=0&catalogID=4035065&org=&sku=1401268021

      Also listed as canceled from the Spring and Summer 2017 DC lists:

      Justice League United Vol. 3: Reunited
      Azrael Vol. 2: Requiem
      Swamp Thing: The Bronze Age Omnibus
      Super Pets: The Silver Age
      Doom Patrol: The Silver Age Omnibus
      Legion Lost: The Complete Saga
      Azrael Vol. 3
      Green Lantern: Hal Jordan Vol. 2

      And "postponed indefinitely," whatever that means:

      Batman: Hush - An Adult Coloring Book Vol. 2
      Legends Companion
      Quarantine Zone
      Gen 13: The Complete Collection
      Elseworlds: Batman Vol. 3
      DC Universe by Mike Mignola

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    3. Aw :( That's so sad, especially that a lot of these are ones I was going to buy. Gen 13, Hal Jordan vol 2, Elseworlds, DC Mignola, and JLU were all on my list.

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    4. And now I see this article on Bleeding Cool:

      https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/01/31/dc-comics-cancels-gerard-jones-justice-league-green-lantern-collections-child-pornography-charges/

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    5. It's a bummer to see so many collections cancelled, but since these weren't even solicited, it probably had nothing to do with low pre-orders. Hopefully the Azrael volumes will eventually resurface, as well as the Legion Lost: The Complete Saga TPB (please make it a Legion by DnA Vol. 1, DC), but I'm surprised that the DCU by Mignola HC is among the cancellations, because it just got solicited.

      I was also looking forward to the Gen 13 book, in the hope that these volumes would eventually get to the Arcudi/Frank run. The Choi/Lee/Campbell stuff is a guilty pleasure of mine as well, and since this remains the only series that Campbell ever bothered pencilling for more than 7 issues, there must be some demand to see that run fully collected.

      As for the Gerard Jones situation... I guess we'll have to wait a few years for the dust to settle on that one.

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    6. Bummer on the Azrael books; that must, I think, be a reflection of orders on the first volume. That Justice League United book has been on and off the schedule a bunch of times; it's Jeff Parker so I think they should just do it. Pity on Legion Lost but I'm not sure there's a great demand for that; I would like to see the Legends Companion.

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  3. Can someone spoil me on the JLA: Year One twist? I'm somewhat interested in picking this book up, but am hesitant given how out of canon it is.

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    1. Email me at the Yahoo account and we can discuss further. Quite aside from the twist, it's exceptionally out of canon now, both for Infinite Crisis making Wonder Woman a founder of the Justice League again and then the New 52 revising the Justice League's origins altogether and taking out Black Canary's legacy, the Justice Society, etc., etc. JLA: Year One is only canon as relates to the post-Crisis/post-Legends continuity, and even then a little shakily.

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    2. I don't really see it as out of Canon. For the new 52 to happen everything before that also had to happen. After every time altering event there are "altered history books". I got a separate shelf for each period where I place books that relate to history changes after one of those events.

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    3. Of course. Believe you me, I was on the "it's a continuum" train back when they connected the events of pre- and post-Crisis in the fold-out timeline at the back of Zero Hour (letting alone my own DC Trade Paperback Timeline. I simply intuited from TNT's use of the word "canon" that TNT meant "in immediate continuity," which JLA: Year One is not. Did it happen at one point in the grand holistic meaning of "happen," sure, but I think the use of the word "canon" is intrinsically asking for a more limited definition of continuity than what you're describing.

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  4. Whatever happened to the Mike Parobeck JUSTICE SOCIETY trade?

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    1. Not cancelled, I understand, but hasn't been solicited yet.

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    2. Yay!!! This is one collection I'm eager to add to my bookshelf. I was afraid that since it hadn't been solicited that it was probably shelved for good. Of course, Last Days of the Justice Society is just now being solicited and it was to come out earlier as well.

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    3. I'm hopeful, but we've seen books solicited one month, cancelled the next, so, y'know, don't blink.

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  5. The last days of the JSA being published is a real surprise to me. It is about as far out of continuity as you can get. Hopefully All Star Squadron will soon be collected.

    John Byrne has been getting a lot of publication love from the Big 2 over the last few years. His X Men, Fantastic Four, West Coast Avengers, and Alpha Flight have all seen the omnibus treatment from Marvel. His Man of Steel run finally was completed in trade by DC. I may be remembering this wrong, but I thought his Wonder Woman work was not very well received so I am suprised that it is being traded.

    The Batman Zero hour, Grell Green Arrow, and Ostrander Suicide Squad trades will round out the rest of my DC order.

    For Marvel, Jason Aaron's Unworthy Thor and the Amazing Spiderman Epic Collection with issues #105-123 will be on my order.

    With the cancellations, either way the Jones situation goes, that era of Green Lantern will probably never again see the light of day. Hopefully DC will just move forward and reissue the Ron Marz Green Lantern books.

    I am not surprised that the Silver Age Doom Patrol Omnibus will be getting axed. When it was solicited, I commented on how it was strange and I did not think there would be much of an audience for this era of the team.

    As for Justice League Breakdowns. So disappointing. We were getting so close to having a complete run of the series.

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    1. I'm happy to see Last Days of the Justice Society is finally being solicited. My only complaint is that they're not including the golden age Superman and Batman origins from Secret Origins 1 and 6. Sure, they were pre-Crisis origins but both appeared in the Last Days special that was, in essence, the final pre-Crisis JSA story.

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    2. I agree those would be good to add, including because those characters come back around a bit in Infinite Crisis/the end of JSA.

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  6. I'm really wondering what they're trying to do with Batman: New Gotham Vol. 1. I got Batman: Evolution, but I'm really interested in it.

    I've also collected all the previously uncollected single issues with Sasha Bordeaux (including the 1 superman crossover). As a fan of the Checkmate series I just had to buy them. I would love to see those collected in TPB.

    I'm also exited for the JLA: Year One Deluxe edition. And the raven mini series has peaked my interest.

    Earlier this month I was saddened to learn that just like the "Crisis on Infinite Earths Companion", the "Legends Companion" has been canceled. And now "Justice League: Breakdowns"... I don't like it when I get my hopes up for something and they cancel it.

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  7. Do you think that Gail Simone's early Bird's of Prey stuff will ever be reprinted? It's been out of print for so long and I have a few gaping holes in my collection that I want to get filled in. With so many other older series being released, you would think that one would be a no-brainer...

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    1. They're reprinting that whole Birds of Prey series atm, so unless they suddenly sell really badly it will reach those issues.

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    2. Yeah, just depends on how far the Dixon collections get. Given that most of the Simone run has been collected one time, I'm more eager for them to get the Dixon run finished, but no harm in continuing on after that.

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    3. Was the Dixon stuff any good? I've been on the fence about trying it for a while now...

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    4. Depends on what it was. Some of his early Robin work is brilliant, also some of his early Nightwing. Birds of Prey is an inspired concept. At the same time Dixon had a tendency to fixate on silly one-off bad guys who'd reappear time and again to no great effect (especially in Nightwing) and also I think there was a certain sameness to his fight sequences. But this goes to my point -- Dixon's not being mentioned in the same breaths as Grant Morrison, but for consistent day-to-day output Dixon's only matched in the 1990s by Dan Jurgens and the Super-team.

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  8. Really excited for Batman Zero Year TPB and Supergirl 2005-2011 Vol 3. It so nice DC Comics is collecting all to most of The Supergirl Trade Paperbacks since The CW TV Series has come out!!!

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