DC Trade Solicitations for November 2021 — Batman: Urban Legends Vol. 1, Rorschach and Strange Adventures by King, Teen Titans Academy Vol. 1, Crisis on Multiple Earths Book Two, Flintstones Deluxe by Russell, Wonder Woman: Afterworlds

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

It’s the DC Comics trade paperback and hardcover solicitations for November 2021. As is sometimes the case, we just got done talking about the DC Comics Spring 2022 catalog solicitations, so not too-too much new information here, though some details to shade in as some solicitations get updated information.

On the general news front, I was sorry to see James Tynion leaving DC for creator-owned pastures. Seems to me he was doing some “new paradigm for Batman” work that was going to take a while to unfold, and I’m doubtful that will come to everything he wanted nor that others will take up the selfsame banner once he sets it down. It also begs the question, at a time when overall we’ve been wondering what the direction of DC will be under new leadership — pondering, even, if DC will continue to have a “DC Universe” or if things might become more standalone and one-off-ish toward a greater value on simple IP — who’s leading DC’s creative vision?

Following Tynion’s own logic of “five eras of Batman” — of which the Morrison-Snyder-King era ends with Tynion — there’s no clear heir apparent to pick up the mantle; that was essentially Tynion. The new “Shadows of the Bat” event seems to be guided by Mariko Tamaki, which is great, but Tamaki hasn’t been with the franchise long enough for me to glean whether her ambitions might continue to Justice League or a line-wide crossover (it’s up in the air whether a Detective Comics-lead crossover will even turn out to be an important Batman event or something more like the “Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul” footnote).

Another likely candidate for DC’s “lead writer” is Joshua Williamson, given that he’s got the various Infinite Frontier titles and has been teasing big things to come; I think Williamson is most likely to steer DC’s big story ship and I’ve long admired his genuine-seeming love for DC, though I’ve found much with which to quibble in his actual work. Brian Michael Bendis has Justice League right now, usually the step before running a big DC crossover (and DC would be silly not to get a true line-wide Bendis event in their backlist), though his reduced title count and all his Jinxworld books moving to Dark Horse makes one wonder how long he is for DC. (And most assuredly whatever Amazon is willing to pay Tynion for content, they’re ready to pay at least as much to Bendis.)

My final long-shot guess for “DC story lead” is Tom Taylor, and that’s hardly so much of a long-shot as it used to be. I only ding Taylor a little as compared to Williamson or Bendis because Taylor doesn’t have that much experience writing dedicated runs within the mainstream DC universe, but that’s changing fast with both his Superman series and Nightwing. And Taylor has swiftly proved himself to be the best writer in the bunch; I wouldn’t at all be disappointed if DC moved Taylor to Batman to replace Tynion, and on up from there.

Oh, you came here to talk about DC’s November 2021 collections? Well, high on the list is Batman: Urban Legends Vol. 1, which is still solicited as a book of Grifter and Red Hood stories, but if DC collects all of issues #1–6 for this book, that’ll include the landmark Tim Drake story as well. The Infinite Frontier train keeps rolling this month with collections of the new Harley Quinn, Green Lantern, Nightwing, Teen Titans Academy, and Wonder Woman.

If you can’t get enough of what Tom King’s going to do this time, these solicitations have both the Rorschach and Strange Adventures collections, and I’m pleased to see that King is one writer still getting work at DC with his Supergirl and Human Target miniseries (plus whenever Batman/Catwoman finishes). Long-time readers will cheer and sigh that DC’s picked up collecting the Crisis on Multiple Earths stories again, with the second book in these listings. If the Flintstones deluxe edition were coming out right now, given I’m in something of a drought of DC titles to read, I’d pick it up in a heartbeat.

So OK — let’s take the big look.

All-Star Superman: The Deluxe Edition

Perhaps kind of astounding this didn’t already exist, it’s a deluxe-size edition of the 12-issue miniseries by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely.

Annotated Sandman Vol. 1

With the Netflix show getting closer and closer, this is issues #1-20 (being Preludes and Nocturnes, Doll's House, and Dream Country, due out in March in hardcover. Annotated by award-winning researcher Leslie S. Klinger.

The Batman Box Set

Batman: The Long Halloween, Batman: Ego and Other Tails, and Batman: Year One, seemingly in a The Batman movie-branded box.

Batman vs. Ra's Al Ghul

Hardcover collection of the new Neal Adams six-issue miniseries.

Batman: The Caped Crusader Vol. 6

Collects Batman #475-483 and Detective Comics #642, including the Ventriloquist and Maxie Zeus, and creative teams including Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle, and Doug Moench and Jim Aparo. Notably, this book ends right where the Batman: Prelude to Knightfall collection begins; the solicitation doesn't call this the last volume, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is. If so, I'm so glad this collection series of Batman's post-Crisis adventures made it to its finish point, and what a wonderful set of books. I can only hope DC does the same thing with post-Crisis Superman at least up to "Death of Superman."

Batman: Urban Legends Vol. 1

Said to be Batman: Urban Legends #1-6. The solicitation only mentions Red Hood and Grifter by Chip Zdarsky and Matthew Rosenberg respectively, but unless DC is going to split these up by character instead of issue, then this may very well also collect the notable three-part Tim Drake story by Meghan Fitzmartin.

Batman/Superman: The Archive of Worlds

This had been previously solicited as Vol. 1, but is now just “Archive of Worlds” on its own. That probably reflects the fact that this book has already been cancelled, and though contents aren’t listed, probably this is #16-22 from Gene Luen Yang, Ivan Reis, and company. I had high hopes for this from Gene Luen Yang, given that depicting the Golden Age Superman seems to have been where he's had the most success with DC, though clearly the market wasn’t there.

Crisis on Multiple Earths Book 2: Crisis Crossed

Pre-Crisis multiversal team-ups, including the Justice League, the Justice Society, Earth-X and the Freedom Fighters, Captain Marvel and the Marvel family, the Legion of Super-Heroes, Jonah Hex and more, being Justice League of America #91-92, #100-102, #107-108, #113-124, #135-137, #147-148, and #159-160. These are more-issue reprints of the former Crisis on Multiple Earths collections; this volume collects the third and fourth volumes of those and into the fifth.

DMZ Compendium Two

Re-collecting the final half of the Brian Wood series in paperback, issues #37-72.

Fables Compendium Four

The final Fables compendium volume, said to collect issues #114-150.

Fables: The 20th Anniversary Box Set

Seems to collect the four Fables Compendium volumes, being issues #1-150 plus The Last Castle, 1001 Nights of Snowfall, Werewolves of the Heartland, Jack of Fables #33-35, and The Literals #1-3.

The Flash By Geoff Johns Omnibus Vol. 3

Arrives now at collecting Geoff Johns' post-Wally West work with Barry Allen. Said to collect Final Crisis: Rogue’s Revenge #1-3, Flash: Rebirth #1-6, Flash #1-12, Blackest Night: The Flash #1-3, Flash Secret Files and Origins 2010 #1, and Flashpoint #1-5.

The Flintstones: The Deluxe Edition

In hardcover in February, collecting Mark Russell and Steve Pugh's entire Flintstones run — Flintstones #1-12 and the Booster Gold/The Flintstones Special.

Gen 13: Starting Over: The Deluxe Edition

At one point this was said to collect Gen13: Lost in Paradise #1, Gen13 #1-5, Gen13 European Vacation #1, Gen13 Backlist #1, Gen13 #0-5, Wildstorm Universe Sourcebook #1, and Gen13: Encore No. 1. This most recent solicitation has it at the #0-5 issues of the first and second volumes of Gen13 plus pages from the Wildstorm Universe Sourcebook #1.

Green Lantern Vol 1: Invictus

In paperback in December, starring John Stewart, Teen Lantern Keli Quintela, and Far Sector's Jo Mullein. Previous solicitations said this collected Future State: Green Lantern #1-2 and Green Lantern #1-4; the earlier solicitation also mentioned Jessica Cruz (possibly in reference to Future State), though that’s been removed from this new solicitation.

Harley Quinn Vol. 1: No Good Deed

The first post-Future State volume by Stephanie Nicole Phillips and Riley Rossmo, in hardcover.

Justice League by Scott Snyder Deluxe Edition Book Three

Issues #26-39 of the Scott Snyder series, being the tail end of the Sixth Dimension collection plus the Justice/Doom War collection.

Mister Miracle: The Great Escape

A YA take on Mister Miracle by Varian Johnson and Daniel Isles. This looks promising and I’d be eager to see it have future volumes, especially if the author intends to trace some of the twists and turns of Scott Free’s New Genesis origins.

Nightwing Vol. 1: Leaping Into the Light

The first Nightwing volume post-Future State, renumbered again, by Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo. Previously said to collects issues #78-83 in paperback, but this solicitation shows hardcover.

Rorschach

In hardcover, collecting issues #1-12 by Tom King and Jorge Fornes. Previously this has been solicited to come out the same day as King’s Strange Adventures hardcover; now this is December 7 and Strange Adventures is December 14. Still a good time for King fans.

The Sandman: The Deluxe Edition Book Five

Collects Sandman #70-75, Sandman: The Dream Hunters #1-4, Sandman: Endless Nights, Sandman: Dream Hunters 30th Anniversary Edition (prose version), and Dust Covers: The Collected Sandman Covers. Arriving in February in hardcover. Interesting, the solicitation calls this “the final deluxe harcover,” so it looks like Overture won’t be included in these books, perhaps because the miniseries already has a deluxe edition on its own. Still might’ve been nice to have a complete run with the same branding on the shelf.

Strange Adventures

In hardcover by Tom King, Mitch Gerads, and Doc Shaner, collecting Strange Adventures #1-12. Comes out December 14, the week after King’s Rorschach hardcover.

Superman: Red & Blue

Hardcover collecting issues #1-6, with stories by John Ridley, Brandon Easton and Steve Lieber, Wes Craig, and Marguerite Bennett and Jill Thompson.

Teen Titans Academy Vol. 1: X Marks The Spot

In hardcover, coming in January, the first collection of the series by Tim Sheridan and Rafa Sandoval.

Wonder Woman Vol. 1: Afterworlds

In paperback, the first post-Future State volume (with new numbering) by Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad, and Travis Moore. Not that it’s that much of a mystery, but this solicitation spoils one plot point from the end of Dark Nights: Death Metal.

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8 comments:

  1. Might be worth noting that Annotated Sandman is a reprint. Interestingly, it was in these four volumes that I first read the complete series. Other readers at the time thought they didn’t really offer much of value (not enough commentary), but I greatly valued them, and am glad there’s another chance for them to find the appreciation they’re due.

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  2. Yeah, Tynion's abrupt departure from Batman was genuinely shocking. He'd talked about his 3-year plan for the book and the interconnected focus of the Infinite Frontier-era Bat line. I thought he was in it for the long haul too.

    I don't know who's the heir apparent is either. Too much of the old guard has left either since the end of Death Metal or with the Substack exodus. I'd love to see Tomasi finally get a crack at the main book rather than an ancillary title, but it seems like he's wound down his DC work, too.

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    1. I think part of what's shocking is that Tynion's departure matches Nick Spencer's own impending Substack exodus from Amazing Spider-Man.

      Batman and Amazing Spider-Man are the two flagship titles of their respective companies. They are *the* two most sought-after gigs in the entire publishing industry and the ones everybody's always lobbying to get the keys to.

      The point I'm making is you do NOT walk away from either books unless you have a DAMM good reason. So I'd imagine the mood at DC and Marvel, to lose both flagship titles' writers to Substack almost back-to-back, probably has them in a panic.

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    2. Exactly this. Going creator-owned was a draw before, but these are big exoduses. It's like a creator used to build up indie cred before going to the Big Two; now it's the other way around. Superhero comics already struggle; to have the best and brightest constantly leaving just makes it all the harder.

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    3. Bingo.

      And while that shift was underway before the pandemic, the shut-down last Spring and fallout have definitely accelerated it now that things are getting back to normal.

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    4. Well, CE, your hunch was right on the money.

      Joshua Williamson will be succeeding Tynion as the new Batman writer:

      https://www.cbr.com/batman-joshua-williamson-jorge-molina-new-creative-team/

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    5. Cautiously optimistic. Cautiously. I feel like Batman is so well established, there's less room to go wrong than there is with a lesser-established-character-in-modern-times like Barry Allen.

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