DC Future State collections, final Flash by Mark Waid, Death of Iris West, DCeased: Hope at World's End, Fourth World by Byrne, Suicide Squad movie tie-ins, Superman omnibus with Earth Stealers, more in Summer 2021 solicitations

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

It’s the DC Comics Summer 2021 hardcover and trade paperback catalog solicitations. Last December, that catalog had 92 books in it and that seemed small compared to the about-150 in previous catalogs. This one just has 62 books in it, and of those are the YA graphic novels (important as those are) and etc. Time to be concerned yet?

There are certainly some interesting books here, including all the Future State collections that we recently talked about. There’s also a bevy of Suicide Squad collections in time for the new James Gunn movie; the one really of interest is Suicide Squad: Casualties of War, collecting the previously uncollected Keith Giffen series, but then there’s also some anthology collections if you like that sort of thing.

A dour but important classic Flash story arrives with Flash: The Death of Iris West; we also see the first-ever collection of the (first) end of Mark Waid’s Flash run with Flash by Mark Waid Book Eight. The Fourth World by John Byrne Omnibus has Genesis in it(!), and the Superman: The Man of Steel Vol. 3 by Byrne and company has Superman: The Earth Stealers in it(!!). I liked Tom Taylor’s DCeased: Unkillables and I’m eager for any more DCeased material, so DCeased: Hope at World’s End is a highlight for me, along with Steve Orlando’s Gotham City Monsters, Tales From the Dark Multiverse II, and the finale of the Wonder Woman series pre-Future State with Wonder Woman: Lords & Liars.

Look, if we found DC’s output getting lighter, I’ve still got a to-read pile miles long of older stuff or books I skipped over, not to mention branching out to indie series I’ve always wanted to read. So wanting for reading material isn’t the concern. The overall health and future of DC Comics, sure that’s a different story. And oh look, Penguin Random House just bought Simon & Schuster …

A reminder as always that the Red Cross often has a critical need for blood donations.

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So, let’s dive in and see what 62 books we’ve got …

Absolute Wonder Woman: Gods and Mortals

This seems cool, George Perez's Wonder Woman #1-14 collected in Absolute edition; it's not often we see "regular series" get the Absolute treatment. Surely this is due to the movie, though it makes me thing Superman: Man of Steel maybe deserves the same (Batman: Year One's already been there).

Aquaman: Deep Dives

Collects stories from the Walmart Aquaman Giants #1-4 and the digital Aquaman: Deep Dives #4, 6-7, and #9.

Batman Adventures: Cat Got Your Tongue?

Collection of Catwoman stories set in the DC animated universe — Adventures in the DC Universe #2-19; Batman: Gotham Adventures #4-24 and 50; and Batman Adventures #10.

Batman by John Ridley: The Deluxe Edition

Recent Batman stories by John Ridley from Batman: Black & White #1, Batman: The Joker War Zone #1, Future State: The Next Batman #1-4, and a previously unpublished story by Ridley and Dustin Nguyen.

Batman Vol. 3: Ghost Stories

Hardcover from James Tynion collecting Batman #101-105, a story from Detective Comics #1027, and Batman Annual #5.

Batman: Dark Prince Charming

Paperback, following the hardcover, collecting Batman: The Dark Prince Charming #1-2 by European comics creator Enrico Marini.

Batman: Earth One Vol. 3

What I believe is the last book of a trilogy, by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, coming in hardcover in June.

Batman: The Adventures Continue

Collecting the new digital-first series by Paul Dini, Alan Burnett, and Ty Templeton.

Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 9

Collects Batman #76-84, plus stories from Detective Comics #192-208 and World’s Finest Comics #63-70.

Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn

Spin-off of Sean Murphy's Batman books by Katana Collins, collecting Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn #1-6 and Harley Quinn Black + White + Red #4.

Batman: Zero Year

In paperback, collecting both of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s “Zero Year” collections in one volume, being Batman #21-27 and #29-33.

Batwing: Family Is Everything Omnibus

Not for no reason, a collection of Batwing's solo series, with both David Zavimbe and Luke Fox under the metal cowl. By Judd Winick to start, and then by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, I liked the Zavimbe parts better though the Luke Fox parts are more important going forward. Glad to see this underrated series getting a nod. Collects Batwing #0-34 and Batwing: Futures End #1.

Bizarro Comics: The Deluxe Edition

Deluxe reprinting of the early 2000s anthology featuring indie comics creators, including the once-pulped “Letitia Lerner, Superman’s Babysitter” story by Kyle Baker and Liz Glass from the Elseworlds 80-Page Giant.

Catwoman: Soulstealer (Graphic Novel)

Comics edition of the young adult nove by Sarah J. Maas, adapted by Louise Simonson and drawn by Samantha Dodge. I never did catch before that this was Catwoman vs. Batwing Luke Fox.

DC Comics: Generations

In hardcover, coming in June 2021, at 192 pages. That’s more than the Fractured and Shattered specials, but no word on the contents just yet.

DC Poster Portfolio: Jae Lee

Covers and artwork, including one would imagine from the New 52 Batman/Superman series.

DC Poster Portfolio: Joelle Jones

Covers and artwork, including I’m guessing Jones’ work on Catwoman.

DCeased: Hope at World's End

In hardcover, the digital-first series by Tom Taylor, taking place during the events of the original DCeased, and including Spoiler Stephanie Brown, Flash Wally West, and Jimmy Olsen, among others.

DCeased: Unkillables

Paperback collection of the three-issue miniseries, following the hardcover.

Fables Compendium Three

In paperback, collecting Fables #83-113, Jack of Fables #33-35, The Literals #1-3, and Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland.

Flash by Mark Waid Book Eight

The end of Mark Waid’s original Flash run, the “Dark Flash Saga,” which has never been collected before. These collections of Mark Waid’s Flash have been great, but this one, collecting never-collected material, makes it really worth it. This is Flash #151–162, Flash Annual #12 (”JLApe”), and material from Flash Secret Files #2.

Flash: The Death of Iris West

Cary Bates long saga of the murder of Iris West and its aftermath. This begins the story that ends, of course, with “The Trial of the Flash,” which has not (to my recollection) been collected so far in color (only in Showcase Presents in black-and-white). Hopefully this collection is an indication we’ll get a companion one of that. This is Flash #270-284.

Fourth World by John Byrne Omnibus

Y'know, I'd venture not every part of this was great, but I've got to give it to DC for including Genesis in this, a crossover I didn't entirely understand likely because I had not been reading all of John Byrne's other Fourth World work. Even again if Genesis struggled, this is a mighty attractive collection. Said to include New Gods #12-15, Jack Kirby's Fourth World #1-20, and Genesis #1-4.

Future State: Dark Detective

The solicitation compares Mariko Tamaki’s “Dark Detective” stories to 1984, showing the DC hype machine running full tilt. This book has Future State: Dark Detective #1–4 (including Grifters and Red Hood) Future State: Catwoman #1–2, Future State: Harley Quinn #1–2, Future State: Robin Eternal #1–2, and Future State: Batman/Superman #1–2.

Future State: Justice League

Collects Future State: Justice League #1–2 (with Justice League Dark), Future State: The Flash (called Future State: The Flash: Death Race here), and Future State: Green Lantern #1–2 (including Last Lanterns and Tales of the Green Lantern Corps). Again, seems like the collection where Aquaman might show up.

Future State: Suicide Squad

Collects Future State: Suicide Squad #1–2 (including Black Adam), Future State: Teen Titans #1–2 (called Future State: Teen Titans: Dead of the Class), Future State: Shazam! #1–2 (called Future State: Shazam: The Death of William Batson), and Future State: Swamp Thing #1–2 (called Future State: Swamp Thing: Obsidian Sun).

Future State: Superman

Collects Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1–2 (including Guardian and Mister Miracle), Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #1–2 (including Midnighter, and Black Racer), Future State: Superman vs. Imperious Lex #1–2, Future State: Kara Zor-El, Superwoman #1–2, _Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes _#1–2 (the solicitation calls it “Legion 5000”), and Future State: House of El #1.

Future State: The Next Batman

Collects Future State: The Next Batman #1–4(including Outsiders, Arkham Knights, Batgirls, and Gotham City Sirens) and Future State: Nightwing #1–2, and the solicitation also says it collects Future State: Dark Detective #1–3, which isn’t a thing unless some of the backup stories from Dark Detective are showing up here.

Future State: Wonder Woman

Including early appearances by Yara Flor (called “Maria Flor” here), in the running to headline a new “Wonder Girl” TV series. This is Future State: Wonder Woman #1–2, Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman #1–2, and Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #1–2 (including Nubia).

Gotham City Monsters

In paperback, Steve Orlando's six-issue miniseries including Frankenstein, Killer Croc, Lady Clayface, Orca, and I, Vampire's Andrew Bennett. Some great characters in there; I'm looking forward to this.

Green Arrow: Stranded

Juvenile fiction volume by Brendan Deneen and Bell Hosalla.

Green Lantern Season Two Vol. 2

In hardcover, coming in July, what I believe to be the finale of Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp’s The Green Lantern, collecting issues #7–12.

Green Lantern: John Stewart: A Celebration of 50 Years

Assuredly a deserved recognition of this character, and also a book that will skew more modern (and to my tastes) than the celebrations with early Superman or Batman stories. Includes Green Lantern Vol. 2 #87 (first appearance), #182, and #185 (serving as Earth’s primary Green Lantern); Green Lantern Vol. 3 #74 (John as a Darkstar) and #156 (spotlight issue in Judd Winick’s Kyle Rayner run); Green Lantern Vol. 4 #49 (Blackest Night issue); Green Lantern: Mosaic #18 (now could we get a full collection?10; and Justice League of America #110 (from 1974, with John subbing for Hal Jordan) — among others, possibly.

Indestructibles: The First Fracture

Young readers graphic novel by Ridley Pearson, focusing on an all-new super-team but set in some of the same locations as his Super Sons books.

Injustice: Year Zero

Collects Injustice: Year Zero #1–14, the prequel digital-first series by Tom Taylor, featuring the Justice Society.

John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 25: Another Season

The penultimate collection of the classic Hellblazer series, collecting issues #276–291 by Peter Milligan and Giuseppe Camuncoli.

Justice League of America: The Bronze Age Omnibus Vol. 3

Collects Justice League of America #147–181, with appearances by the Legion of Super-Heroes, Jonah Hex, Enemy Ace, the Viking Prince, Phantom Stranger, Black Lighting, and more.

Justice League Unlimited: Girl Power

Collects Adventures in the DC Universe #3–6 and #9, Justice League Adventures #4, and Justice League Unlimited #20–22 and #35–42, with stories featuring Supergirl, Mary Marvel, and Wonder Woman.

Justice League: The New 52 Omnibus Vol. 1

Collects Justice League #0–22; Aquaman #14–16; Justice League Dark #22–23; DC Comics - The New 52 FCBD Special Edition #1; Justice League of America #6–7; Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger #11; Constantine #5; Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1–3. That’s the first four volumes of the series, from the start through “Throne of Atlantis” and in to “Trinity War.” The next volume — and I’d think this could be done in two — should include Forever Evil tie-ins on the way to “Darkseid War” and that’s that.

Krypto, the Superdog

Collects issues #1-6 of the comic based on the mid-2000s animated series.

Last God

The DC Black Label fantasy series by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Riccardo Federici. Collects The Last God #1–12, The Last God: Tales From the Book of Ages #1, and The Last God: Songs of Lost Children #1.

Mystery of the Meanest Teacher

A “Johnny Constantine” graphic novel, guest-starring Etrigan the Demon. Whoever would’ve thunk it? By Ryan North and Derek Charm.

New 52: The 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

On one hand, yes, this is a weird collection of New 52 #1 issues; on the other hand, if as the solicitation says this is showing the “breadth” of that first lineup of titles, I kind of get it. This is All Star Western #1 (so, a Western), Animal Man #1 (horror, and good at that), Aquaman #1 (there’s a pretty direct line between what Johns did here and the eventual Aquaman movie), Justice League Dark #1 (not the strongest the title ever was, but OK), Demon Knights #1 (swords and sorcery), Voodoo #1 (I don’t know, possibly Wildstorm plus a female protagonist), Justice League #1 (sure, the flagship book), Flash #1 (with those big Francis Manapul vibes), Action Comics #1 (a big creator, Grant Morrison), and Wonder Woman #1 and Batman #1, both of which ended up being significant runs for the characters. So I don’t know, we could cast about for Harley Quinn or Swamp Thing or Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE, but I can follow the thinking.

O.M.A.C by Jack Kirby

Collects Kirby’s OMAC: One Man Army Corps #1–8 in paperback; this was previously collected in hardcover.

Preacher Omnibus Vol. 2

In hardcover, collecting Preacher #34–66, Preacher Special: The Story of You-Know-Who, Preacher Special: The Good Old Boys, Preacher Special: One Man’s War, Preacher: Tall in the Saddle, and material from Absolute Preacher Vol. 2 and Absolute Preacher Vol. 3.

Sandman: The Deluxe Edition Book 3

Collecting Sandman #32-50, which is the "A Game of You," "Fables and Reflections," and "Brief Lives" collections, but originally the issues were out of order between these. It's too bad there's no significant extras this time, but having the issues recomposed in order is interesting in and of itself.

Suicide Squad Case Files 1

Stories featuring first or major appearances by Bloodsport, Mongal, Polka-Dot Man, King Shark, Weasel, and the Thinker — can these all possibly be in the James Gunn movie? It’s Superman #4 and #170, Detective Comics #300, Superboy #9, Fury of Firestorm #38, Suicide Squad Vol. 4 #25, Vigilante #36, and Suicide Squad: Amanda Waller #1.

Suicide Squad Case Files 2

Stories focusing on Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Rick Flag, Ratcatcher, Savant, Javelin, and Blackguard. Collects Suicide Squad #44, Secret Origins #14, Detective Comics #585, Birds of Prey #58, Batman: Harley Quinn #1, Green Lantern #174, and Booster Gold #1.

Suicide Squad: Casualties of War

Collects all 12 issues of the early 2000s Keith Giffen series that followed the “Superman: Our Worlds at War” event. I thought this had been collected before but it seems it hasn’t, and now I’m not sure if I read it or not; I might be thinking of the John Ostrander miniseries from 2008, following Infinite Crisis.

Suicide Squad: Their Greatest Shots

All of these Suicide Squad books are, of course, timed for the new James Gunn movie. Good that DC already has all of John Ostrander’s Suicide Squad series collected, though indeed that seems to leave us with just anthologies left when DC needs new Suicide Squad books. This collects Suicide Squad #10 (1987) (emphasis on Waller vs. Batman), Suicide Squad #15 (2012) (”Death of the Family” tie-in), Suicide Squad #22 (2013) (including Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and King Shark), Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1 (2016), Suicide Squad #16 (2017) (vs. Lex Luthor), Suicide Squad #20 (2017) (Harley leads the Squad), Suicide Squad #47 (2018) (Captain Boomerang spotlight), and Suicide Squad Special: War Crimes #1 (2016) (John Ostrander special timed to the first Suicide Squad movie).

Supergirl Adventures: Girl of Steel

Supergirl’s animated adventures, including Superman Adventures #21, Superman Adventures #39, Superman Adventures #52, and Justice League Unlimited #7.

Superman: Man of Tomorrow Vol. 1: Hero of Metropolis

Collecting the digital-first Robert Venditti series, issues #1-6 and #11-15.

Superman: The Man of Steel Vol. 3

The third hardcover “omnibus” collection of John Byrne’s Superman-titles run. A lot of this is concerned with tie-ins to the Millennium crossover event, plus a crossover with Dan Jurgens’ Booster Gold series.

But the biggest deal in my opinion is this includes for the first time the Superman: The Earth Stealers graphic novel, written by Byrne with art by the legendary Curt Swan. That’s a big add to this collection series — I know I’ve said I’d rather see DC collecting further Superman stories than re-collecting the John Byrne material, but this is an interesting surprise.

Full contents are Superman #12–15, Adventures of Superman #436–438, Action Comics #594–597, Superman: The Earth Stealers #1, Action Comics Annual #1, Superman Annual #1, Adventures of Superman Annual #1, Booster Gold #23, and material from Who’s Who Update 1987 #5 and Who’s Who Update 1988 #2.

Swamp Thing: New Roots

In paperback, collecting the Walmart exclusive and digital-first Swamp Thing series — Swamp Thing Giant Direct Market Edition #1–4, Swamp Thing Giant #5, Swamp Thing: New Roots #6, and Swamp Thing: New Roots #9 by Mark Russell and others.

Sweet Tooth Compendium

Paperback, collecting Jeff Lemire’s Sweet Tooth #1–40. Interestingly, the description says that the compendium is “a new story-only collection that places the reader directly into the action and doesn’t let up until the very last page!” Is that to say it doesn’t have covers between the issues (which I entirely support, because then the book reads more like a graphic novel!)? Otherwise I’m not sure how to interpret that.

Sweet Tooth: The Return

Issues #1-6 of the new miniseries by Jeff Lemire.

Tales From the Dark Multiverse II

In hardcover in June 2021, this sequel collection includes Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Batman: Hush #1, Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint #1, Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Wonder Woman: War of the Gods #1, Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Crisis on Infinite Earths #1, and Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Dark Nights Metal #1, and Wonder Woman #8 (in the right George Perez era as “War of the Gods,” but I wonder if they meant another comic), Batman #608, Flashpoint #1, Dark Nights: Metal #1, and Dollar Comics: Crisis on Infinite Earths #1 (surely there’s no reason this isn’t actually Crisis itself).

Teen Titans: Beast Boy

Hardcover of the YA graphic novel by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo.

Transmetropolitan Book Five

Issues #49-60.

Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story

Cool to see relatively new character Jessica Cruz getting the spotlight in this immigration-focused YA graphic novel by Lilliam Rivera and Steph C. I appreciate that DC’s mining new classic characters for these as well as old favorites.

Wonder Woman: 80 Years of the Amazon Warrior: The Deluxe Edition

I admit I’m confused at this point whether this is a reprint of a special or if it’s brand new, just in deluxe format. Anyway, George Perez and Phil Jimenez are among the creators mentioned as included.

Wonder Woman: Lords & Liars

By Mariko Tamaki and Mikel Janin, collecting Wonder Woman #759-769. This takes us right up to the Future State break.

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  1. It is with great sadness that I announce that there is little here that I am interested in (re-)reading, much less adding to my bookshelves. "The Death of Iris Allen" is a surprise and in a way gives me hope for future bronze age material. (I keep hoping for a complete Mr. and Mrs. Superman collection.) Still no 80th anniversary acknowledgement for the Justice Society. You'd think DC would recognize the first super-hero team with an All-Star Squadron omnibus or a 1992 series collection, at the very least. The "Demise of Justice" collected edition gives me hope that we may eventually see the Strazewski/Parobeck volume at some point.

  2. Regarding GL Mosaic, even though I'd love to have it, I hope that DC will not reprint anything that would generate any royalties for Gerald Jones, for obvious reasons.

  3. Man, this catalog was almost a gut punch. Hopefully it's so spare because they're working on a big relaunch of their collected line, but this is grim. Beyond the sort of obvious ones (Batman by Snyder & Capullo v2; a Batman by Snyder side collection w/Black Mirror, ASB, etc.; Metal Omnibus), why not release an Ostrander Suicide Squad omnibus with the other SS stuff? Are we getting a second volume of the Wally West Flash series covering the pre-Waid run? Anything with the LoSH in 2021 besides the one Before Darkness collection? The last Flash by Johns collection? Or a Barry/Flash omni by Johns?

    Flash by Waid, Gotham City Monsters, and the two Wonder Woman collections. That's it for four months. Maybe some Future State stuff if the reviews are good. Maybe.

  4. While I'm very relieved to see The Flash by Mark Waid Book Eight listed, its contents certainly surprised me. After seven volumes collecting only stories Waid wrote or co-wrote and skipping many annuals and other stories he didn't write, I was expecting the last one to include the rest of his original run (issues #151-159, #162 and the lead story from The Flash Secret Files #2) plus his brief comeback run (All-Flash, The Flash #231-236 and a story from the Infinite Halloween Special).

    Instead, Book Eight is stopping at #162 and including issues #160-161, written by Bryan Augustyn and Pat McGreal respectively, and Annual #12, written by Augustyn. While it's cool that they're including these issues that would remain uncollected otherwise, I wonder why they only decided to change their approach for the very last volume, when the previous ones could have also included other stuff Augustyn wrote solo like Annuals #10-11 and the New Year's Evil: The Rogues special. Also, why not also include issue #163 (another uncollected fill-in by McGreal) and the DC Retroactive '90s special (by Augustyn, and set during the "Dark Flash Saga") in this volume?

    Lastly, I hope they're saving Waid's second run for a thick trade collecting the entire "Wild Wests" period of The Flash, which went up to issue #247. Those last four issues written by Alan Burnett have yet to be collected, and Waid's six issues were only collected in hardcover, with no paperback edition.

  5. I'm hopeful that the reduced output has to do with the fact that there are only two (three if you count The Green Lantern) ongoing series' collections, less than usual, with DC's probably-gonna-happen relaunch in early 2021. Lot of ongoings have been cancelled (for hopeful relaunch) and many others don't have new creative teams attached (Flash, JL, Supes/Action, Aquaman, among others). Probably we'll be seeing a more full winter 2021 catalogue.

    Not that I'm uninterested in what IS on this catalogue. As a Flash fan, it's nice to see Bronze Age material getting some love after the entire Silver Age and most of the Modern Age has been collected in some form. Also the Giffen SS book means (I think) that every Suicide Squad issue has been collected at some point.

  6. Sad state of affairs at DC, and I hope the lower number of collected editions does not mean that they are on the way to dramatically reducing their collected edition output (as they are with their periodicals). As of now, there are no real experienced staff members in their collected editions department. Every time I pick up a DC collection now, the first thing that comes to me is a sadness.....in now knowing if there will be another volume....Also, I would be thrilled with an All Star Squadron or Infinity Inc omnibus set. Loved both of those series back in the day......

  7. Flash by Mark Waid Book 8 for me, and I'm glad that they'll be actually finishing out Waid's 90s monthly run (although one more book collecting the uncollected Augustyn annuals plus The Life Story of the Flash would be more than welcome...

    Might pick up the Bizarro Comics Deluxe and the Giffen Suicide Squad series.

    No new volumes of once continuing series of trade paperbacks disappoints be a bit more, now that Young Justice book 5 which was supposed to collect the series to the end stopped 10 or more issues before what was solicited.

    You know what'd brighten my day? A collection of issues after the ones published in Superman Exile and other Stories Omnibus. Or a new volume of Superman Blue.

  8. Preacher omnibus vol. 2 for me. An Ostrander Suicide squad omnibus would have been perfect. I'd love to see more Hellblazer omnis too. Perhaps Delano's run.

  9. I think the Batwing omnibus may actually be cheaper than current speculator prices for issue 19...

  10. The Keith Giffen Suicide Squad volume is the one with Sgt. Rock in the Rick Flagg role (sort of). I predict that Sylvester Stallone's mystery role in the new movie is Sgt. Rock, and that's why this is being reprinted now.