DC Trade Solicitations for November 2020 - Batman: City of Bane Complete, The Green Lantern Season Two by Morrison, Shazam and the Seven Magic Lands by Johns, DC Through the '80s and Twilight of the Gods

Sunday, August 16, 2020

So it's the DC Comics November 2020 hardcover and trade paperback solicitations. Usually at the top of these posts I give a little introduction, a brief glance at comics news and some highlights of the solicitations before we dig in. This month, with everything going on at DC, I started writing and the intro turned out to be the size of a post all on its own. Not wanting to put too much space between you, dear reader, and the solicitations, the list is immediately below, and below that is a couple more paragraphs thinking about a variety of things that've happened lately. As upside-down as the world already is, please enjoy a solicitations post that's effectively upside down as well.

Here's that list:

100 Bullets Omnibus Vol. 1 HC

Collects 100 Bullets #1-58 and Vertigo: Winter’s Edge #3 of the 100-issue series.

Amazing World of Superman (Tabloid Edition) HC

This was published in 1973 in conjunction with Metropolis, Illinois, being designated the “hometown” of Superman. There’s a variety of reprints included, being stories from the ‘50s and ‘60s, plus a new telling of Superman’s origin by Nelson Bridwell, Carmine Infantino, and Curt Swan. In its “original, tabloid-size format.”

Authority Book One TP

Collects issues #1-12, Planetary/Authority: Ruling the World, and the new story from Wildstorm: A Celebration of 25 Years — so, the contents of a recent Absolute edition, now in paperback.

Batman: City of Bane: Complete Collection TP

In paperback, collecting Batman #75-85, being Batman Vol. 12: City of Bane Part 1 and Batman Vol. 12: City of Bane Part 2, together in one volume. I do recognize there's some upset that those volumes won't be reprinted separately in paperback, but putting them together is a good idea. The first part of "City of Bane" is the weaker of the two (in an altogether good story), and they'll definitely read better as one volume.

DC Through the ’80s: The End of Eras HC

Astoundingly, still a third set of contents for what's now renamed (again) as DC Through the '80s: The End of Eras and no longer seems to contain selections from DC's gritty late 1980s like The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen, but instead early pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths material. Doesn't really make a difference to me; I'm just stymied who this is for and what the audience might be for it. The headline here, what makes this rather worth picking up all on its own (and, one might wonder, maybe the whole collection is meant as a venue just to pad out this very thing), is the complete text of Alan Moore's "Twilight of the Gods" proposal — who knew such a thing existed and that DC's been sitting on it this long? And if they own it, how long until they decide to put art to it?

Collects Action Comics #583, Detective Comics #500, Flash #296-298, Jonah Hex #54-55, Superman #423, House of Mystery #286, #290, #294-295, #300, #308, and #321, Warlord #42, Wonder Woman #311-312, Brave and the Bold #200, Weird War Tales #93, Time Warp #2 and #3, G.I. Combat #288, Blackhawk #258, DC Comics Presents Annual #1, Super Friends #36, and Sgt. Rock #345, #347, #368, and #387.

Flash by Geoff Johns Omnibus Vol. 2 HC

Collects Flash #192-225, the end of Geoff Johns' Flash run, plus Wonder Woman #214, and what's called "The Flash: The Secret of Barry Allen #1," which isn't a thing (rather that was the title of a storyline), so maybe it's cover art or maybe it's nothing at all.

Green Lantern Season Two Vol. 1 HC

Best news of a difficult month is that this collection will include Green Lantern: Blackstars #1-3 as well as The Green Lantern Season Two #1-6, and not omitting that mini as it previously seemed. It was hard to believe some Grant Morrison material would just be left on the table.

Justice League: Vengeance Is Thine TP

The entirety of Robert Venditti's stint on Justice League, previously listed as #40-45 and now #40-47. I'd like to see things more stable on the Justice League title, and a single volume by an author who leaves immediately thereafter (albeit a good writer) doesn't particularly get my blood pumping. That said, can't argue with the Eradicator and the Spectre in the same comic.

Shazam and the Seven Magic Lands TP

The solicitations list this as Shazam #1-11 and #13-14, formerly #1-12. The series ends with #15, and issues #12 and #15 are by Jeff Loveness. While I understand, theoretically, how DC might want this to be a Geoff Johns-specific trade, seems rather a waste to me to pull out two index issues rather than, even, just shunting them to the back of the book.

Super Friends: Saturday Morning Comics Vol. 2 HC

Super Friends #27-47 from the 1970s, the final issues of the series, plus "material from" Super Friends Special #1 and the Super Friends: Truth, Justice, and Peace collection. By E. Nelson Bridwell and Ramona Fradon, among others, with appearances by Gorilla Grodd, Sinestro, Plastic Man, and the Wonder Twins.

Teen Titans Vol. 4: Djinn Wars TP

This newest collection by Adam Glass and Robbie Thompson is still listed as issues #39-44 and the Annual #2, but given that the title now ends with issue #47, hopefully the final three issues will be there as well. A darn shame — I liked Glass’s run on this title a whole lot.

Terrifics Vol. 4: The Tomorrow War TP

The final collection of Terrifics by Gene Luen Yang. This collects issues #19-30, of which #28-30 were previously only released digitally. This series has been troubled but it looks like some cool guest stars — namely, most of the DCU — in the last one.

Tiny Titans: Beast Boy & Raven TP

Collects select Beast Boy and Raven stories from Art Baltazar and Franco's Tiny Titans series, being issues #1-4, #6, #8, #12-14, #17, #20, #26-27, and #44.

Transmetropolitan Book Four TP

Issues #37-48 and the one-shot Transmetropolitan: Filth of the City by Warren Ellis. The series went to issue #60.


Well, quite the concerning week for fans of DC Comics. That plenty of nice, long-time, professional employees were let go is the important tip of the iceberg, which continues all the way down ultimately to the very question of whether DC will still be publishing comics in the near future. Signs so far point to yes, if the official word can be believed, but things like the laying off of senior staff from the DC Collected Editions department is obviously of concern to the readership here.

In general I don't tend to look disfavorably at series cancellations or even widespread series cancellations; almost never have I thought DC was publishing too few comics at one time, and ostensibly cutting the chaff from the line makes more room for the good stuff. Also comics are cyclical like that, and inevitably the New 52 Justice League, Justice League Dark, and Justice League of America were going to get cancelled for the Rebirth Justice League and Justice League of America, which were then cancelled for the "New Justice" Justice League, Justice League Dark, and Justice League Odyssey, the latter of which has now been announced as cancelled as well and I'd be surprised if there wasn't more shakeup in the wake of Dark Nights: Death Metal. So in that regard, these things happen.

That said, Batman and the Outsiders isn't much of a surprise, nor Justice League Odyssey, nor even Hawkman — I liked the first volume, but I found the question of who this Hawkman is or what his role is in the DC Universe utterly befuddling (letting alone, even more so, the history of Hawkgirl Kendra Saunders over in Justice League). Batgirl will assuredly be back, and that's a title that's been having some troubles; Teen Titans is one that's maybe not much of a surprise, though I was really liking that book for the first time in a while so that stings. Ditto Tom Taylor's Suicide Squad, which I haven't read yet but has been getting great reviews (Titans and Suicide Squad, too, will assuredly be back).

John Constantine, Hellblazer is a shame, both because (without yet having read it) I think it was a legitimate attempt to recreate some of the old Hellblazer mojo, and because that's about the end of the Sandman Universe imprint short of G. Willow Wilson's Dreaming miniseries. I had felt excited to jump back into the original Sandman volumes (and may still yet) given that the "Sandman universe" seemed to be back and at least somewhat re-aligned with the DC Universe; now that Sandman Universe seems to have been a failed experiment, I'm less enthused to pick up those books and less enthused for my overall project, which I feel badly about.

Young Justice's cancellation is an absolute shocker — if a Young Justice reboot (!) written by Brian Michael Bendis (!!) can't survive on the stands, what possible chance does anything else have? That does it too, of course, for Bendis' Wonder Comics imprint — between Wonder Comics, Sandman Universe, and Young Animal, management wouldn't be faulted for thinking these pop-up imprints just don't work, which is unfortunate, because good, compelling material has come out fo them. I hold out hope this was planned or at least leads to Bendis doing something bigger and better with the characters, because the worse alternative is that this sours Bendis' relationship with DC Comics and the Bendis era of DC ends before it barely got off the ground.

Into all of this, we have the DC Comics November 2020 hardcover and trade paperback solicitations. That these are noticeably thin is supposedly no reflection on DC's recent events, as these solicitations were put together well before the upset at DC. At the same time, there's been a general understanding that DC was cutting back on their collections releases even ahead of all of this, something we thought we've been seeing for a while and now seems nigh undeniable. Last year at this time DC solicited 31 collections; this month it's 14.

There are some notable books this month, to be sure. Any other time, the fact that DC plans to publish Alan Moore's outline for "Twilight of the Gods" (!) in DC Through the ’80s would be all anyone could talk about, and the fact that it's not shows just how upside-down everything is. Happily, the first volume of Grant Morrison's The Green Lantern Season Two includes the Blackstars miniseries, when previously it seemed like it would not — for completists, that's a big deal. And among others, I'll be picking up, finally, Geoff Johns' Rebirth Shazam collection (though the fact that this is both the first and last volume of said series is another indication of trouble), as well as presumably the final volume of Teen Titans and the final volume of Terrifics.

If not already, head on up to the top and let's take a look at the full list.

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13 comments:

  1. What are the contents of the "End of Eras" collection? The Amazon link doesn't say.

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    1. Meant to include that — added above now.

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    3. Some real good stories in there, but still seems oddly collected.

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  2. Was this your first time hearing about Moore's Twilight of the Gods?

    Having Hank Kanalz fired really sucks. I'm not optimistic that some of the lesser known collections previously solicited will ever see light of day. This is just awful all around, for DC employees and fans.

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    1. >> Was this your first time hearing about Moore's Twilight of the Gods?

      Not as a proposed Moore venue, no, but I don't think I realized DC had something "publishable" in hand.

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    2. It's funny, because the full text of Twilight has been on the internet since before the web. I have the text off a dial-in message board in the early 90s. It's also a very different Moore, who writes excitedly about the possibility that his stories will be adapted to movies and TV.

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  3. Teen Titans and Young Justice being cancelled the same month (with rumors of LoSH ending at Issue 12) seems to be evidence to some kind of relaunch of DC's "young heroes" properties.

    The missing Shazam issues are a bummer but I'm holding out hope that they'll be in the final book or that DC will pull some New-52-CE-level weirdness and collect them alongside Jeff Loveness' JL issues. But after the Flash #75 backup burn (yes I'm still salty about that) who even knows?

    Also talk about value on that Terrifics trade: 17 bucks for 12 issues!

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  4. Disturbing week for DC Comics for sure. I fear that based on everything the DC comics we knew is gone. They basically let go all the experienced editors. It's a shame, I have always loved DC books for most of my life.

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  5. The Twilight proposal was, I think, included as extras in the Watchmen Absolute edition.

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  6. There is a second DC THROUGH THE DECADES volume with "The Experiments" scheduled for 2021, according to Edelweiss+. I believe it will have the DKR and Watchmen samples as well as Camelot 3000, Nathaniel Dusk, and others.

    According to the Spring 2021 DC catalog on Edelweiss+, DC has plans for 121 books to be released between February and May, including a half dozen must-buys for me. Of course, the catalog was released before the layoffs, so who knows if there might be cancellations or postponements. There were no cancellations when I checked last over this past weekend.

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  7. The end of these particular pop up imprints seemed inevitable. None of them garnered any real attention; they were vanity projects. I’m most disappointed that Young Animal never caught on; it was like Vertigo redux without going full horror (where Vertigo originated from and leaned heavily on in its first decade or so). It’ll be interesting to see if the latest news about a Milestone revival is affected; it was, after all, conceived as another pop up.

    But speaking of Bendis, it’s also disappointing that his Jinxworld material vanished; that guy was singlehandedly recreating the old Vertigo feel. I don’t know if he backed off that voluntarily to concentrate on DC proper. No one expected his Legion to happen, either, and it still has the potential to be one of his big legacies with the company.

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  8. Edelweiss and PRH say Teen Titans Vol. 4: Djinn Wars got pushed back to February 2021 and expanded to 256 pages, so it looks like it will include the series' last three issues after all.

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