DC Trade Solicitations for January 2019 - Batman: Year Three in Caped Crusader Vol. 2, Black Lightning '95, Superman by Bendis Vol. 1, New Justice Titans Vol. 5, Aquaman/Suicide Squad, Batman by Morrison Omnibus Vol. 2


DC Comics kicks of January 2019 with a smaller month, at least in terms of my buy pile. The trade paperback and hardcover solicitations list has some enticing books in it, but fewer, it feels like, than the very full months of October through December.

Probably the book I'm most excited about, but might be the most controversial on the list, is the Batman: The Caped Crusader Vol. 2, the second volume of the Batman side of these collections of the hero's immediate post-Crisis on Infinite Earths adventures (together with Detective Comics's Dark Knight Detective volumes). Caped Crusader Vol. 2 collects Batman #433-444 and the Annual #13, including "Year Three," collected for the first time since it was published 30 years ago. At the same time, so far the solicitations don't list New Titans #60-61, the quite-essential parts two and four of the "Lonely Place of Dying" storyline that followed it; it will be a disappointment if those issues aren't in there.

I've also been digging the "New Age of Heroes" books of late, so even knowing almost nothing about it, I'm interested to get Steve Orlando's Unexpected: Call of the Unknown; Orlando's clearly excited, having been cameoing these characters in his other books, and even though the series is cancelled and this is one-and-done, I think this'll be a fun, low-commitment read.

This month also has what's now called Black Lightning: Brick City Blues (with Gangbuster!), the Aquaman/Suicide Squad crossover (pretty close, unfortunately, to the end of Dan Abnett's run), Batman: Shadow of the Bat Vol. 4, the first Superman series collection by Brian Michael Bendis, and the start of Abnett's "New Justice" run on Titans. Again, nothing earth-shattering, but a few books worth checking out.

Let's take a look at the full list:

A Very DC Valentine's Day TP

In an earlier solicitation this seemed like it would collect both some modern Valentine's Day specials and also some classic 1940s Young Romance by Jack Kirby. Now the Kirby material seems to have been jettisoned — sorry if you were looking forward to it but it did seem a strangely focused collection — and now this has just the more recent Young Romance: The New 52 Valentine's Day Special, Young Monsters in Love, and Harley Quinn Valentine's Day Special. The Young Romance special's individual stories have been collected here and there, but never all together, I don't think.

Aquaman by Geoff Johns Omnibus HC

It's things like these that make me excited what we'll get closer to the Shazam! movie (Jerry Ordway's Power of Shazam! omnibus, yes please). Collects Johns' Aquaman #0-25, #23.1, #23.2, and Justice League #15-17. A new collection of "Throne of Atlantis" is coming in late November, too, retitled Aquaman: War for the Throne and with a new Jason Momoa-tastic cover.

Aquaman/Suicide Squad: Sink Atlantis TP

Collects Aquaman #39-40 and Suicide Squad #45-46 by Dan Abnett and Rob Williams respectively. An advance solicitation for the upcoming Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth crossover collection said that book also collects Aquaman #40, with Aquaman #41, but judging by the issue contents, I think that's supposed to be #41-42. Issue #42 is the end of Dan Abnett's run; if Aquaman Vol. 6: Kingslayer indeed collects #34-40 (overlapping Sink Atlantis) and the Annual #2, I tend to think we won't see any more Abnett-specific Aquaman trades, and rather Drowned Earth will have those final two issues and that'll be it.

The Authority Omnibus HC

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this seems to be the first time all 29 issues of the first Authority series have been collected together. Also Planetary/The Authority: Rule The World, Jenny Sparks: The Secret History of the Authority #1-5 (the solicitation says #1-15 but it was just a five-issue miniseries), Authority Annual 2000, stories from Wildstorm Summer Special, a story from Wildstorm: A Celebration of 25 Years and more.

Batgirl: Year One Deluxe Edition HC

Deluxe of the Chuck Dixon/Scott Beatty miniseries.

Batman by Grant Morrison Omnibus Vol. 2 HC

Collects Batman #700-702, the end of Grant Morrison's run there, Batman and Robin #1-16, and Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1-6. Next up, Batman: The Return and a whole lot of Batman Incorporated.

Batman: Death of the Family Saga (DC Essential Edition) HC

This was previously listed as three hundred pages in paperback, and the blurb suggested this might have both the Batman issues and the tie-in issues from the other Bat-family series. The most recent solicitation has 176 pages and is down to just Batman #13-17. Possibly this represents a shrinking of expectations in terms of what these DC Essential Editions can do.

Batman: Shadow of the Bat Vol. 4 TP

Previous solicitation said #32-43, but now it's down to #32-42, which makes sense because #43 is part one of a three-part story that crosses into the Jim Balent Catwoman series in the midst of Chuck Dixon's run. (It will be interesting to see if the next Shadow of the Bat volume includes that Catwoman issue, written by Shadow's Alan Grant.) Some people won't like that this volume is parts two, six, and ten of "Prodigal" and part two of "Troika," but there's also stories with Black Canary, the Joker, Solomon Grundy, and Anarky, plus Joe Potato.

Batman: The Caped Crusader Vol. 2 TP

Continuing the collections of Batman's immediate post-Crisis on Infinite Earths adventures, this is Batman #433-444 and Batman Annual #13. As mentioned above, while I'm glad to see "Many Deaths of Batman" by John Byrne and Jim Aparo and "Year Three" by Marv Wolfman here, the latter collected for the very first time, it's worrisome that these solicitations still don't list New Titans #60-61 as part of the "Lonely Place of Dying" storyline.

I wasn't thrilled that the previous Caped Crusader volume skipped "Death in the Family," but at least it did skip it and the audience can go somewhere else to read it. Collecting "Lonely Place of Dying" incompletely would mean the audience has to go somewhere else to read that story in full while still paying for a couple of the issues, and that's taking advantage of the buyer. (Maybe the Titans parts will be by themselves in a New Teen Titans paperback one of these days, but it'll be a couple volumes, some years down the road, before those books catch up.)

Hopefully this book just does the simple thing and includes those two Titans issues.

Black Lightning: Brick City Blues TP

The collection of Tony Isabella's 1995 Black Lightning series (with Dave deVries) is now called Black Lightning: Brick City Blues. Both Lynn Stewart and Tobias Whale appear here, making this a CW television-friendly volume (this is before Jefferson's kids were introduced, so you could read it kind of like the unseen first run of Black Lightning from the show, before Jefferson's first retirement). Of course I'm still high on this for appearances by Marv Wolfman and Jerry Ordway's Gangbuster Jose Delgado.

Blackest Night Omnibus 10th Anniversary Edition HC

This is the big one, an omnibus at 1,648 pages, collecting the entire Blackest Night miniseries, almost ten issues each of Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps, and all the tie-in miniseries and extra issues.

The contents are said to include Blackest Night #0-8, Adventure Comics #4, 5 and 7, Blackest Night: Batman #1-3, Blackest Night: The Flash #1-3, Blackest Night: JSA #1-3, Blackest Night: Superman #1-3, Blackest Night: Titans #1-3, Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #1-3, Catwoman #83, Green Arrow #40 (pretty sure this is supposed to be issue #30 of Green Arrow/Black Canary), Green Lantern #43-52, Green Lantern Corps #39-47, Phantom Stranger #42, Atom and Hawkman #46, Power of Shazam! #48, Question #37, and Weird Western Tales #71, but I think this is incomplete -- I'd venture a couple issues of Superman/Batman too, at least.

Blackest Night Saga (DC Essential Edition) TP

Formerly listed at 450 pages, this is down to 320 now, a stripped-down collection of Blackest Night at just issues #0-8 without the Green Lantern series or any of the tertiary books.

Bombshells: United Vol. 3: Taps TP

Issues #13-19.

The DC Universe by Len Wein HC

Collects a variety of material by the late Len Wein, including the DC Retroactive: Green Lantern: The '80s and also the recent Swamp Thing Winter Special.

DC Universe: The Bronze Age Omnibus by Jack Kirby HC

A bevy of Jack Kirby tales including some based on his own experiences in World War II, this is In the Days of the Mob #1, Spirit World #1, Demon #1-16, Sandman #1-6, OMAC #1-8, Our Fighting Forces #151-162, Super Powers #1-5 (1984), Super Powers #1-6 (1985), 1st Issue Special #1, 5, and 6, DC Comics Presents #84, Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter #3, Weird Mystery Tales #1-3, and Forbidden Tales of Dark Mansion #6.

DC: The New Frontier New Edition TP

Though this solicitation doesn't identify it as such, this is supposed to be the DC Black Label-labeled release -- unless plans have changed ...

Elseworlds: Justice League Vol. 3 TP

The next Elseworlds: Justice League collection includes Conjurors #1-3 (alt-reality team-up of DC's magic characters by Chuck Dixon and the late Eduardo Barreto, Flashpoint #1-3 (an older Flash miniseries, not the one before the New 52), Superman and Batman: World’s Funnest #1, JLA: Created Equal #1-2 and Green Lantern: 1001 Emerald Nights.

Fire New Edition TP

Reprint of the graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis, said to include a "newly revised script," so I wonder if that means actual story changes or just that script is included.

Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Book One TP

A new "recut" paperback series of collections of the Geoff Johns era. Collects Green Lantern: Rebirth #1-6, Green Lantern #1-3, Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #1-5, and Green Lantern Secret Files and Origins 2005.

Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess' Stardust New Edition TP

Paperback by Gaiman and Vess.

New Super-Man and the Justice League of China TP

Collects issues #20-24, the final issues Gene Luen Yang's newly retitled New Super-Man series.

Powers Book Three New Edition TP

Issues #25-37 and the Oni Press Color Special 2001 by Brian Michael Bendis.

The Sandman Vol. 5: A Game of You 30th Anniversary Edition TP

Issues #32-37 with an introduction by Paul Dini.

Shazam! New Edition TP

New edition of the Geoff Johns/Gary Frank story, ahead of the movie's release.

Shazam!: The Monster Society of Evil New Edition TP

Paperback of the four-issue miniseries by Jeff Smith. Obviously this is an easier sell and more palatable in the wider market than the now-canceled reprint of the classic story by the same name.

Sleeper Book Two TP

Coup D’etat: Sleeper and Sleeper Season Two #1-12 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.

Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay TP

The 12-chapter digital series based on the recent animated film.

Superman Vol. 1: The Unity Saga HC

In hardcover, the first six issues by Brian Michael Bendis and Ivan Reis. It's a long time to wait between the release of Man of Steel and this; DC sure did spoil us with those twice-monthly comics for a while.

Superman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 6 HC

Collects Action Comics #106-125, Superman #44-54, and World's Finest Comics #26-36, including Prankster and Mr. Mxyztplk.

Superman/Batman Vol. 7 TP

The final Superman/Batman issues, #76-87 and Annual #5, some of which that haven't been collected before. With Judd Winick, Joshua Williamson (writing Supergirl and Damian), Joe Kelly, Cullen Bunn, and Joshua Hale Falkov.

Titans Vol. 5: The Spark TP

Collects Dan Abnett's "New Justice"-era Titans stories. Contents are #23-27 and the Titans special, which is more correct than the previous listing of issues #19-22 and the Annual #2 (the contents of the fourth volume). Glad to see DC is keeping the trade numbering going.

Torso New Edition TP

Graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis and Marc Andreyko. I was not aware of the writers' previous connection, but it makes it all the better that they're partnering now with Andreyko on Supergirl.

Transmetropolitan Book One TP

Issues #1-12 of Transmet in paperback.

The Unexpected: Call of the Unknown TP

Previously listed as issues #1-6, this is now issues #1-8, the entirety of the series by Steve Orlando with Ryan Sook and others. I like how Orlando was populating the ends of his Justice League of America and Supergirl with these characters and I'm interested to read this now done-in-one.

Wonder Woman: Spirit of Truth HC

A hardcover of the Paul Dini/Alex Rose illustrated prose book. Originally this series of books was released as paperbacks, and then all of the Dini/Ross collaborations have been released in hardcover and Absolute, etc.; I think this (and the Shazam one announced elsewhere) may be the first time these are individually in hardcover.

Wonder Woman: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book Three HC

Collects issues #26-30 by Shea Fontana, plus Wonder Woman: Steve Trevor and the Annual #1 (likely just the Fontanta stories) -- being the contents of the Wonder Woman Vol. 5: Heart of the Amazon paperback -- and the Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary comic. If DC was going to stop making these deluxe hardcover editions of one or two paperbacks of the regular series, this is the place they might stop with Wonder Woman.

What looks good to you this month?

Comments ( 29 )

  1. They should just skip A Lonely Place of Dying, since anybody bummed over skipped issues would have already got the Death in the Family book which it's included in. DC is so wishy washy. Regarding Shadow of the Bat, how many different books do we need with only certain chapters of crossovers? I'm looking at YOU, Robin Volume 4! If those parts are already in a more comprehensive volume that you just published ... skip them please. (Although the presentation in the SoB trades is very good.)

    1. My feeling is, current stuff, I don't need double-dipping. If the issue is in Aquaman/Suicide Squad: Sink Atlantis and both the Aquaman and Suicide Squad trades end neatly right before that book, let's not have any overlap with the main trades. But, I'm doing a straight read-through of the Shadow of the Bat trades for a far different reason (mapping Alan Grant's presentation of Batman and his villains) than I'm reading the 25th anniversary Knightfall books (to read Knightfall comprehensively). Personally I'm much less concerned about double-dipping there.

  2. I'll get New Superman, the Unexpected, Bendis Superman and the Morrison omnibus. Nothing surprising or too interesting in the solicits, though.

    The pace of Bendis books is really jarring. Kind of weird to replace two twice monthly books by different creative teams with two one monthly by the same writer. They could have just given him Action and let him write it like Rucka did WW. Oh, well.

    1. I assume you mean give Bendis Action and let it run twice-monthly and give someone else Superman, rather than cancel Superman. But that's an interesting idea, given that they relaunched and renumbered it anyway. Though I imagine DC wants to have a title called "Superman" on the stands; Action is meaningful within comics, but I'm not sure how meaningful it is to the wider world.

    2. Yeah, I meant Bendis on one twice monthly book (with alternating art teams) and someone else on another twice monthly book - I made it unclear when I couldn't decide who to list as the other creative team and the whole post fell apart.

    3. All good -- appreciate your insights on the blog. :-) For me, best Superman writer for a while was Geoff Johns; not sure Tomasi or Jurgens ever quite had the oomph I was looking for. If not Johns, maybe Greg Pak? Charles Soule? Frankly the Superman title especially has been afloat for a while, certainly through most of the New 52. Bendis seems one of the more steady hands the Man of Steel has seen in a while.

    4. Part of me thinks when you have a big time creator on the main book (Bendis on Superman, variously Morrison, Snyder, King on Batman), you should give the second book to an up-and-comer/writer with a following from a smaller company. Snyder on 'Tec was a brilliant choice, for example. There's something to be said for giving such a book to a pro like Tomasi - he rolls with the punches of big changes in a main book as well as anyone - but I think I'd lean towards using the gravity of someone like Bendis to try to get a lot of eyes on someone new.

    5. Great thread; I always love the discussion on solicitation-posts on here. As much as I was enjoying both Jurgens and Tomasi's recent Action/Supes runs... And as much I was advocating for the same approach, eg, wholly different talent on each... I'm surprised and pleased by how much I'm enjoying Bendis' run on both books. Moreso, the back and forth between the two actually does (to me) feel reminiscent of how it felt reading Rucka's rebirth run in biweekly floppies -- with less of a time-jump, but still, clearly VERY different tones between the action-movie bombast of "Superman" and the very grounded Metropolis / Lois&Clark style of "Action". The tones are so disparate that I feel able to enjoy each as its own standalone title, which should bode well for future TPB collections.

    6. "Lois & Clark style of Action" ... you're speaking my language. Excited for this collection when it comes out, though it's not even advance-solicited yet.

  3. I was going to say the same thing Stephen Anderson mentions above. I almost prefer them to skip those crossovers already collected elsewhere. More space for non-collected issues!

    the idea of having a comprehensive collection in one series in a row is appealing, and I would like it, but since they finally skipped Death in the Family (I really though they would include it) then skip everything.


    1. Right; having skipped Death in the Family really changes the tenor of the collections series. But omitting just certain parts of Lonely Place of Dying rankles too; I'd certainly rather they skip the whole thing than reprint it incompletely.

  4. Marvel Solicits: https://www.newsarama.com/42355-marvel-comics-january-2019-solicitations.html

    (Please note that I'm not going to comment on all of the books, but rather just highlight ones that look interesting and/or collect previously uncollected or hard to find material. If there's something you'd like me to look into, feel free to let me know.)

    *THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN OMNIBUS VOL. 4 HC ROMITA COVER: This omnibus contains the Death of Gwen Stacy, the first appearance of the Punisher AND the wedding of Doctor Octopus and Aunt May, so you've some of Spidey's biggest stories of the 70s all in one place. I'm not a big omnibus guy but this might be worth spending some Christmas money or giftcards on.

    *MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN VOL. 12 HC: Bill Mantlo's work on Iron Man often gets overlooked since he was the author directly before Michelinie and Layton's first run. This is the first time it's been collected in any form.

    *CAPTAIN MARVEL: MONICA RAMBEAU TPB: The tie-ins to the Captain Marvel movie are piling on, and with Monica's mother appearing in the film it's likely we'll be seeing her sooner than later. This collects a wide range of appearances from before Nextwave! reinvigorated Monica and even has some obscure stories from anthologies like Avengers Unplugged.

    *MARVEL KNIGHTS PUNISHER BY GOLDEN, SNIEGOSKI & WRIGHTSON: PURGATORY TPB: Before he was Frankencastle, before he took War Machine's armor, Frank became a literal avenging angel in this oft-maligned series. I can't technically recommend it because it contains artwork by Pat Lee but I might have to get it for free in the next buy one/get one Comixology sale.

    *MARVEL UNIVERSE: TIME AND AGAIN TPB: This is a collection of recent annuals and one-shots that, for lack of a better term, are Times Past stories. One of the most interesting in the solicit involves Miles Morales as it seems to retcon him into Secret Invasion.

    *IMMORTAL HULK VOL. 2: THE GREEN DOOR TPB: One of the few series I'm following monthly anymore (along with Donny Cates' Venom), Al Ewing will always get my attention and money. This version of the Hulk is a brilliant horror comic in the vein of 50s EC Comics but it does so without violating the spirit of the character, instead returning the Hulk to his earliest roots.

    *GHOST RIDER: THE WAR FOR HEAVEN BOOK 1 TPB: Jason Aaron's Ghost Rider run is something I've wanted to check out for a while but the collections were slapdash. As with many other long runs they're finally putting it into large multi-trade collections.

    *X-MEN: UNSTOPPABLE TPB: It's finally happened... Marvel is making new trades of Chuck Austen's Uncanny X-Men run. I'm starting to think the X-Embargo had some valid points.

    1. "Immortal Hulk" is one of the very few Marvel books I've been reading monthly due to its very-deserving praise -- it really does feel like some lost relic from the EC Comics era, in a style not at all attempted these days. It's SO fitting for a character like the Hulk, and I hope for a long run by the same creative team. Highly recommended for any fans of classic horror comics!

  5. A note on Wonder Woman Rebirth Deluxe vol 3. Does that not seem short for one of these Deluxe editions?

    1. It does seem short. And maybe they're just clearing the decks so the next hardcover can be all Robinson's, but another alternative is that this indicates that hardcover series being brought to a close with this one.

    2. The Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special is about 80 pages long, so if you combine it with 5 regular issues, the double-sized Steve Trevor special and the Annual (except for the Rucka/Scott short story that was included in vol. 2), you get about the same page count as a 12-issue collection.

    3. Has that special been recollected elsewhere or is this deluxe the only non-floppy way to collect it?

    4. As far as I know, it hasn't been collected anywhere else.

  6. "Jenny Sparks: The Secret History of the Authority #1-5 (the solicitation says #1-15 but it was just a five-issue miniseries)"
    Catches like these are why I love reading this site. Thank you for the attention to detail as it keeps me feeling up to date.

    "A hardcover of the Paul Dini/Alex Rose illustrated prose book"
    Alex Ross, I presume. Just pointing this out as it would not show up when people search the site for stuff about Ross.

    1. You're welcome! Glad the solicitations posts help you.

  7. Bombshells: United Vol. 3: Taps TP

    Does anyone here read these Bombshells United books? I saw some individual issues with their alternate version of Black Adam on the cover and am very intrigued. Is that a cool storyline? If so, can you tell me specifically which volumes I should look for? Appreciated

  8. An observation about the latest Caped Crusader volume. The previous volume stopped at issue 431. The next one is solicited as starting at 433 which obviously excludes issue 432. Probably just a mistake in the solicitation but worth mentioning and keeping an eye on.

    1. I'd like to think they wouldn't skip just one issue, especially not one by the future Christopher Priest.

  9. Oh, and I am in favour of skipping A Lonely Place of Dying altogether. The precedent has been set with Year One, Year Two and A Death in the Family. Those are all well collected stories and A Lonely Place of Dying is included in the same trade that collects A Death in the Family. I would rather have more uncollected issues than buying issues I already have again.

  10. Definitely on board for Aquaman, Morrison 2nd, and maybe Blackest Nigh Omnis. So am I reading correctly that the Deluxe Hardcovers will end? That’s a great shame, I was loving what we got. I have the HC of Scott Snyder’s Batman run and wish they had a similar format (Scott Snyder Omnibus anyone?). Love that you provide these. Helps me plan.

    1. I have a suspicion the deluxe hardcovers will end, but I don't know for sure and I could be wrong. Agreed Batman by Scott Snyder Omnibus should be a thing.

  11. That blackest night omnibus is huge! I think they should have just collected the blackest night and the green lantern issues and release the tie-ins in a separate omnibus collection. And I am personally annoyed that dc wont release the orginal monseter society of evil story. I know why, but it would not have been difficult to put a disclaimer on it. It was a product of the time it was written, but these days we live in an overly sensitive world where everything is seen as offensive! Sorry but this really annoys me.

  12. I don't know why DC doesn't publish "Transmetropolitan" in Deluxe or hardcover format. It's seriously overdue.

  13. Any new if they will ever continute to collect softcovers for the Perez run on Wonder Woman?
    I have now the third volume and would like to get more, but I simply do not have the shelve space and budget for the Hardcovers...


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