DC Trade Solicitations for March 2021 – Dark Knights: Death Metal: The Darkest Knight, Orlando's Wonder Woman, Taylor's Suicide Squad and DCeased: Dead Planet, DiDio's Metal Men, New Gods: Bloodlines

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Well, that's something of a relief. Though by my count there's 20 or fewer regular series titles listed alongside the DC Comics March 2021 trade paperback and hardcover solicitations, there are at least titles listed, and all the big ones are there — Superman, Action Comics, Batman, Detective Comics, Wonder Woman, Flash, Justice League, a Teen Titans title, plus Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn, a Swamp Thing title(!), Nightwing, Batman/Superman, and so on.

I know, there's the minor outrages, Justice League Dark reduced to a backup in Justice League (but better than nothing at all). We're missing what, Red Hood? Hawkman? As I've said before, there's probably never been a time I've thought, "Gosh, DC is publishing too many comic books." A more thoughtful selection, I've got to think, leads to a better selection. The big concern was some radical dismantling of DC's publishing line, some solicits this month that were wholly unrecognizable from what came before, and that didn't arrive.

And I'm interested to see if there's more coming in the manner of Batman: Urban Legends, seemingly a true in-continuity anthology featuring the likes of Red Hood, Grifter, and the Outsiders. That's not the same, as has been discussed, as Superman: Red & Blue, more akin obviously to the out-of-continuity Batman: Black & White, but I would be happy to see a Superman-family anthology title of that sort or, y'know, like a Young Justice Quarterly or something. And a Joker title would be an easy hard pass for me (I'm skeptical whether a villain-focused series of that type can ever really last), except that James Tynion is essentially DC's headline writer right now, and a title that really seems to star a Jim Gordon on the hunt and Harper-Row-as-Bluebird is probably everything I want in a comic, so I'm eager for that one, too.

So all in all, resets happen, and having lived through a couple I can say that this one seems, story-wise, considerably less cynical than some (while not discounting all the long-time behind-the-scenes staff recently let go), and so I'm optimistic. And for what threatened to be a disastrous month, I can't quibble too much about the collections output, either — Tom Taylor's Suicide Squad: Bad Blood, Steve Orlando's Wonder Woman Vol. 4: The Four Horsewomen, Brian MIchael Bendis' Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 2, Sam Humphries' final Harley Quinn, and of course Taylor's DCeased: Dead Planet.

Other highlights for me are, of course, the Dark Knights: Death Metal: The Darkest Knight collection (though how these are being solicited in drips and drabs is crazy-making) and Dan DiDio's Metal Men (which, for better or for worse, wouldn't be on my radar without everything else that happened). I'm also very hopeful for the New Gods collection by Mark Evanier and Jim Starlin to continue into a second volume, too.

Ending the year on a high note, then. Let's take a look at the full listings.

Batman Adventures: Riddle Me This! TP

Collects the animated tie-in Batman: Gotham Adventures #11, #28, #56-57, and Batman Adventures #11, featuring guess who.

Batman: Creature of the Night TP

The four-issue miniseries by Kurt Busiek and John Paul Leon, in paperback following the hardcover.

Batman: Kings of Fear TP

Paperback of the six-issue miniseries by Scott Peterson and Kelley Jones, following the hardcover.

Dark Knights: Death Metal: The Darkest Knight TP

Paperback collecting tie-ins to Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s sequel event, Dark Nights: Death Metal. We know from DC’s Spring 2021 solicitations that there will be three of these total, plus the Dark Nights: Death Metal collection itself. So far both the main book and this one drop in April, though it's unusual they weren't all solicited at the same time. Collects Dark Nights: Death Metal: Legends of the Dark Knights #1, Dark Nights: Death Metal: Speed Metal #1, Dark Nights: Death Metal: Trinity Crisis #1, Dark Nights: Death Metal: Multiverse's End #1, and the Dark Nights Death Metal Guidebook #1. Hope someone gives us a good reading order for all of this.

DC Poster Portfolio: Jae Lee TP

Covers and artwork, including one would imagine from the New 52 Batman/Superman series. Solicitation mentions “from Catwoman to Ozymandias to Superman to the Dark Knight.”

DC Through the '80s: The Experiments HC

It's taken me a few to get my head around this, but I don't blame myself since DC has solicited and cancelled these similar-sounding books a couple of times. We now know that DC Through the '80s is to be a three-volume set, starting with "The End of Eras", just recently released, and continuing into "The Experiments."

Whereas the former book was largely late Bronze Age superhero stories (including "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?"), this is the edgier material we might sooner associate with where DC-in-the-1980s ended up, including Sandman, Watchmen, and Dark Knight Returns. Here's the full contents per the solicitations: Secret Origins #48, Swamp Thing #40, Sandman #8, Doom Patrol #25, Warlord #48 and #55, Legion of Super-Heroes #298, Nathaniel Dusk #1, Infinity, Inc. #14, New Teen Titans #16, Best of DC: Blue Ribbon Digest #58, Watchmen #1, Camelot 3000 #1, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #2, Angel Love #1, and History of the DC Universe #1-2.

Interested to see what's in volume three.

DCeased: Dead Planet HC

Hardcover collection of the seven-issue sequel miniseries by Tom Taylor.

Event Leviathan TP

Paperback collection of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s six-issue Event Leviathan miniseries, plus parts of Superman: Leviathan Rising and the Year of the Villain Special, following the hardcover.

Harley Quinn Vol. 5: Hollywood or Die TP

Sam Humphries' final collection and the end of this run before it's relaunched after Future State (with incoming team Stephanie Phillips and Riley Rossmo). Collects issues #70-75 and guest-stars Booster Gold, plus a "Joker War" tie-in with Punchline.

Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 2: Trial of the Legion TP

Collects issues #7-12 by Brian Michael Bendis in paperback (no longer in hardcover). Includes issues #8-9 with over 40 guest artists.

Metal Men: Elements of Change TP

In paperback, all 12 issues of the (farewell) miniseries by Dan DiDio and Shane Davis with Michelle Delecki.

Aside, but I think a collection of modern Metal Men appearances would be cool — mainly I’m thinking of the never-collected Dan Jurgens series, but maybe the Len Wein or Duncan Roleau minis can get in there with it.

New Gods Book One: Bloodlines TP

Collection of the 1980s New Gods stories by Mark Evanier and Jim Starlin, following Cosmic Odyssey; collects issues #1-14. There were 28 issues of this series total, so hopefully they’ll knock this out soon in one more volume.

Suicide Squad: Bad Blood HC

Collects all 11 issues of the recent Tom Taylor series, in hardcover. Due in April (formerly October). That’s not a really angry Lagoon Boy on the cover but I wish it was.

Superman by Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason Omnibus HC

The whole of Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason's well-received Superman run, which introduced Super Son Jon Kent. Collects Superman: Rebirth #1, Superman #1-25, #27-28, #33-39, and #42-45, Teen Titans #15, Action Comics #975-976, the Tomasi story from Action Comics #1000, Super Sons #11-12, Superman Annual #1, and the Superman Special #1. That’s all the parts of Tomasi and Gleason’s storylines, though omitting the interstitial issues (which still, to be fair, often included Jon Kent).

Superman's Greatest Team-Ups HC

Feels like we’ve seen a collection of DC Comics Presents stories come around before, but I’m sure it ever made it to print. In hardcover, this is DC Comics Presents #5, #9-12, #14, #19, #28, #30, #35, #38-39, #45, #50, #58, #63, #67, #71, and #97 by Martin Pasko, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Steve Englehart, Dan Mishkin, Steve Gerber, Gary Cohn, and more. Superman teams up with Wonder Woman, Bizarro, Aquaman, Sgt. Rock, Hawkman, Mister Miracle, Batgirl, Man-Bat, Black Canary, Plastic Man, Amethyst, Firestorm, the Flash, Elongated Man, Robin, and apparently even Santa Claus, vs. Mongul and the Atomic Skull, among others.

Superman: Up in the Sky TP

Paperback of the Walmart exclusive stories, following the hardcover, by Tom King and Andy Kubert. A real winner, in my opinion.

The Batman Who Laughs TP

Paperback, following the hardcover, collecting the six-issue miniseries by Scott Snyder and Jock, plus the Grim Knight special with Eduardo Risso.

Wonder Woman Vol. 4: The Four Horsewomen TP

Issues #82-83, #750-758, and Wonder Woman Annual #3, being the return of Steve Orlando to the title after the departure of G. Willow Wilson, coming in April. I’d have guessed the entire issue #750 wouldn’t be in here, since it’s got its own deluxe edition, and instead just Orlando’s relevant bit, but the solicitation talks about contributions from "others,” so maybe it’s got it all.

Mariko Tamaki takes over with #759 to #769, before Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, and Travis Moore after Future State. The whole of Tamaki’s run should be in Wonder Woman: Lords & Liars, due out in July.

I appreciate all of you who have visited and commented over the past year. The joy for me in continuing this site is getting to talk collected comics with such a great bunch; all best wishes and I look forward to seeing you in the new year.

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12 comments:

  1. Paul Levitz has said that Vol 3 of the 'Dc Through The 80's' books will focus on the Post-Crisis reimagining of the heroes so it will have stuff like Batman Year One, Perez's Wonder Woman, Byrne's Superman etc

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    1. There's probably a good trade to be made — maybe it will be that one — of the various post-Crisis relaunch first issues, like one issue each from Superman: Man of Steel, Batman: Year One, Perez Wonder Woman, Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn, Hawkworld, Green Arrow: Longbow Hunters, etc., etc. I feel like that'd be a nice historical resource.

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  2. Thanks for the site, it's a great resource and always an interesting read. Happy holidays!

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  3. they are staggering the titles , we will be getting 3-6 new titles -for all of 2021 - barring more large Covid closures

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  4. This is more like it. Still a little spare in spots, but at least I'm getting a couple things - LOSH and WW for sure, Suicide Squad and Metal Men I'll decide on later.

    Happy holidays, and I'm very happy this place exists and you keep on chugging out timeline updates!

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    1. I might've waited on Metal Men but the schedule is getting so sparse I may find I suddenly have room for it.

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  5. The Superman 'Greatest Team Ups' collection you are thinking about was published in April this year. It was called Guardians of Earth and it collected issues of World's Finest. So there is no overlap with this new collection of DC Presents stuff :)

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    1. Thank you! Are the books contemporaneous at all? Same era, different era? Overlap in creative teams? Similar/different tones?

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    2. The 'Guardians of Earth' book already published is a run of World's Finest issues from 1970-1972. The forthcoming book is selected issues of DC Presents from 1979-1986. So both books are Bronze Age but there is no overlap and stylisitically the later team-ups are much different than the early stuff :)

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  6. Hey!

    Did you see they added a second Dark Night's Death Metal collection when releasing the solicitations in DC Connect format? "Dark Night's Death Metal: The Multiverse Who Laughs" for May 4th,

    Couldn't help sharing as I immediately thought of reading this post when I saw it.

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    1. Awesome. Right now the Death Metal collections seem a mite bit spread out, which is a bummer — I'd like to read them all together, but I'd also hate to wait.

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