DC Trade Solicitations for April 2021 – Dark Knights: Death Metal: War of the Multiverses, Flash: Death of Iris West, Flash Age, Batman by Ridley, Bendis final Superman, Justice League: Galaxy of Terrors

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Well, the newest all-new DC Universe keeps rolling along with the DC Comics April 2021 trade paperback and hardcover solicitations. No big surprises, but as we've discussed, what continues to seem to be an intentionally slow rollout of new titles. On the regular series side, we're looking at a new Green Lantern title said to star John Stewart, Young Justice's Teen Lantern Keli Quintela, and the popular Far Sector's Jo Mullein — done right, that sounds very promising. Also the Superman titles have Midnighter on one hand, tying in to Future State, and Ambush Bug on the other, and that's about as much as one could ever ask for in a month. Again, if it weren't for the sudden and blithe dismissal of a swath of DC's long-standing braintrust, the Infinite Frontier era would seem off to an auspicious start.

It is not, from my perspective, an exceptionally heavy trade-buying month, but what's there I'm looking forward to. Batman: The Dark Knight Detective Vol. 5 is a must-get for me, as are all the Dark Knight Detective and Caped Crusader books in that series. Equally, talking about "old(er) stuff," that Flash: Death of Iris West collection is a cool slice of history I'll be interested to read (hopefully a full color "Trial of the Flash" will follow; also I maintain that in the CW Flash season 3, when it seemed Iris was fated to die, they really should have gone ahead with it and then brought her back in the manner of the aforementioned comics).

In terms of ongoing series, it's always a good month when we get collections of Brian Michael Bendis' Superman and Action Comics, though unfortunately this marks his final Superman, and Action doesn't have much longer left. Speaking of Flash, Joshua Williamson's series nears its end with Flash Vol. 14: The Flash Age, which should have some fun time-travely stuff in it. Justice League bides its time on the way to Death Metal and the reluanch, and the slow rollout of Death Metal continues with Dark Nights: Death Metal: War of the Multiverses. So again, far from a full-full month, but certainly some books I'll be picking up.

Let's take a look at the whole thing.

Authority Book Two TP

By Mark Millar and Frank Quitely, Dustin Nguyen, Art Adams, and others. Originally this was said to have the "uncensored, original" pages from Authority #13-29 (as seen, I believe, in the Wildstorm 25th anniverary book), but that’s not mentioned here. So some version of #13-29, plus the Authority Annual 2000, and stories from the Wildstorm Summer Special. Introduction by Tim Miller, director of Deadpool.

Batman by John Ridley: The Deluxe Edition HC

Recent Batman stories by John Ridley from the new Batman: Black & White #1, Batman: The Joker War Zone #1, and Future State: The Next Batman #1-4, plus a previously unpublished story by Ridley and Dustin Nguyen. If that latter story involves the Next Batman or etc., this volume might become a hot commodity.

Batman: The Adventures Continue TP

Collecting issues #1-8 of the new digital-first series by Paul Dini, Alan Burnett, and Ty Templeton.

Batman: The Dark Knight Detective Vol. 5 TP

Collects Detective Comics Annual #3, and Detective Comics #612-614 and #616-621 (issue #615, part of a crossover, is over in Batman: The Caped Crusader Vol. 3, which demonstrates these books are a little out of step with one another). Stories are largely by the super-team of Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle, and include appearances by Anarky and a big development in Robin Tim Drake's early life. We're still about forty issues away from "Knightfall."

Batman: Universe TP

Paperback of the Brian Michael Bendis/Nick Derington story, following the hardcover.

Bizarro Comics: The Deluxe Edition HC

Deluxe reprinting of the early 2000s anthologies Bizarro Comics and Bizarro World 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.

Dark Nights: Death Metal: War of the Multiverses TP

Solicitation says this just collects Dark Nights: Death Metal: The Last 52: War of the Multiverse #1 and Dark Nights: Death Metal: The Last Stories of the DCU #1. Both of these are 80 pages, though still that seems a little slim — at the same time, it’s paperback, $19.99 and 176 pages, so maybe that tracks. Coming in May.

Fables Compendium Two TP

Originally said to collect Fables #42-81 and Peter & Max: A Fables Novel, now just Fables #42-82 (which makes sense, going to the end of the Dark Ages trade).

Flash Vol. 14: The Flash Age TP

Collects Flash #88, the lead story from Flash #750, Flash #751-755, and Flash Annual #3. Long-time writer Joshua Williamson's run ends with issue #762, presumably the next trade. In paperback.

Flash/Impulse: Runs in the Family TP

Another one that's been solicited before but keeps getting cancelled; let's try it again now that Impulse is back in the DCU. Collects Mark Waid's Impulse #1-12 and Flash #108-111, the "Dead Heat" crossover.

Flash: The Death of Iris West HC

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 from the early 1980s.

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy TP

Paperback of the six-issue miniseries, following the hardcover, by Jody Houser and Adriana Melo.

Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red TP

Collects issues #1-17 of the digital-first series, along with new stories by David Mandel (Veep) and Adam Hughes, and Paul Dini and Batman: The Animated Series’ Kevin Altieri.

Justice League: Galaxy of Terrors TP

Collects "Rule of War", Justice League #48-50, by Si Spurrier and Aaron Lopresti, and "Garden of Mercy" by Jeff Loveness in #51-52, ahead of the Death Metal tie-in story by Joshua Williamson and the book’s post Future State relaunch.

Justice League: The New 52 Omnibus Vol. 1 HC

Said to collect Justice League #0–23; Aquaman #14–16; Justice League Dark #22–23; DC Comics - The New 52 FCBD Special Edition #1; Justice League of America #1–7 (formerly just #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. Impressive that they’ve got a big chunk of Johns’ Justice League of America in there too.

Krypto the Superdog TP

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

Shazam!: The World's Mightiest Mortal Vol. 3 HC

Collecting 1970s adventures of Captain Marvel in hardcover; this is World’s Finest Comics #253-270 and #272-282, and Adventure Comics #491 and #492.

Superman Vol. 4: Mythological TP

In paperback, collecting issues #20-28, the end of Brian Michael Bendis’ run.

Superman: Action Comics Vol. 4: Metropolis Burning TP

In paperback, guest-starring Young Justice, and tying in to "Year of the Villain," this is issues #1017-1021. Whereas the collections of Brian Michael Bendis’ Superman finish this month, he will still have one last Action Comics volume to go after this.

Superman: The Man of Steel Vol. 3 HC

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, and Booster Gold #23. Previously mentioned was material from Who’s Who Update 1987 #5 and Who’s Who Update 1988 #2.

Young Justice Book 2: Growing Up TP

In paperback, issues #14-25 of the animated tie-in comic by Greg Weisman.

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8 comments:

  1. The Bendis Superman collections aren't in HC anymore? DC, why do you hate how my shelves look? C'mon!

    Beyond that, I'll probably grab the Impulse book and maybe The Death of Iris West. I'm not really brimming with confidence that DC will follow through with The Trial of the Flash anytime soon.

    I've read those two 80-page Death Metal collections, and they're . . . fine, but DC seems to be a little greedy trying to get this as a separate collection instead of just beefing up one of the other tie-in books.

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    1. And the Death Metal collections are being solicited so piecemeal! So far I see one at the beginning of April, one at the end, and one in May. I'd hoped we might see a better trade reading experience for Death Metal than Metal, but it doesn't look like it so far ...

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    2. To make matters worse, the Justice League: Death Metal TPB, which will collect the whole "Doom Metal" arc that tied into the event, won't come out until late September, two months after all Future State collections are out:

      http://prhinternationalsales.com/book/?isbn=9781779511997

      That's some odd scheduling.

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    3. This will not be better, no. At least it doesn't have the weird "Road to ..." prequel collection that's wildly padded. Both Metal and Death Metal need to be omnibused, but only if they put the stories in the right order. It's maddening that they (once again) are collecting Snyder-penned stories in ancillary collections.

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  2. Sad that Byrne's World of Krypton, World of Smallville, and World of Metropolis remain uncollected and part of these Man of Steel collections, especially since they became integral parts of Superman lore up to and including the Jeph Loeb era

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    1. Agreed. I hope they're saving these minis for a Vol. 5, or maybe a companion.

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    2. Some of that's related to the Millennium miniseries, too, which is heavily referenced in Vol. 3, so it would've been a good time to include them.

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  3. With "Batman by John Ridley," DC's releasing a super-slim, super-cheap Deluxe Edition hardcover that purportedly collects all of John Ridley's Batman-related work. (128 pages, less than 20 bucks)

    And in the same solicitation, coming out just a few months before that Deluxe Edition, is the first of a newly announced 4-part "Future State Batman" miniseries by Ridley, which obviously isn't being included in the Deluxe Edition. So the Deluxe Edition will be incomplete and obsolete on its first day off the press.

    I don't know why DC isn't just waiting a few more months for the completion of that miniseries so that they can include it in the hardcover - which would not only make it more "complete," but also allow DC to deliver it at a price-point and page-count that is more consistent with their Deluxe Edition books.

    Is there going to be a more "complete" hardcover Ridley later, with DC expecting us to double-dip? Is the miniseries never going to be collected in hardcover Deluxe format?

    Or does the left hand at DC (collected editions department) not talk to the right hand at DC (new single issues department)?

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