DC Trade Solicitations for December 2021 — Detective Comics Vol. 1: The Neighborhood, Milestone Compendium One, Crime Syndicate, Legion: Before the Darkness Vol. 2, Static Season One, Absolute Dark Nights: Metal and Doomsday Clock

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Well, it’s not like the DC Comics December 2021 trade paperback and hardcover solicitations are disappointing all told.

This month introduces a Barbara Gordon/Stephanie Brown/Cassandra Cain Batgirls series (written by Becky Cloonan), and something called One-Star Squadron with Red Tornado, Power Girl, and Gangbuster (!) in it (hopefully despite the book’s humorous take, writer Mark Russell gives Jose Delgado’s long history a fair shake), and Jeff Lemire and Doug Mahnke on Swamp Thing, and (I had forgotten) Tom Taylor’s Dark Knights of Steel is still going on, plus the Blue & Gold miniseries. As I’ve said recently, the big question was whether post-Dark Nights: Death Metal and the firing of Dan DiDio, we were headed for DC as licensed-properties only, very appeal-to-the-widest-consumer-base stuff, and instead we do seem to be getting a lot of deep cut, fan-love products; it’s hard to be too upset.

That comes with the acknowledgement, however, that there’s only two collections of first-run, main DC Universe material in these solicitations, and that continues to make for some scant months. I think it’ll pick up — or maybe it’s not so bad if it doesn’t — but indeed collections-wise we’re still on the slight side.

Those two main DCU collections, by the by, are Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 1: The Neighborhood, kicking off Mariko Tamaki’s run, and Crime Syndicate, the post-Dark Nights: Death Metal miniseries. Not that those’re the only notable books of the month; we’ve also got Legion of Super-Heroes: Before the Darkness Vol. 2, and I’ll probably finally take my opportunity to read Catwoman When in Rome, too. Also notable are two Milestone titles, Milestone Compendium One (hopefully, finally), and Vita Ayala’s Static: Season One.

Let’s dive in …

Absolute Dark Nights: Metal

Collects Dark Nights: Metal #1-6, Batman: Lost #1, Dark Nights: Metal Director’s Cut #1, and Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1. Good for Greg Capullo, especially, getting an Absolute edition of this artwork. I will say I recently re-read Dark Nights: Metal and liked it a lot more than I did the first time.

Absolute Doomsday Clock

I mean, so many mixed feelings about Doomsday Clock in general, but if you didn't read it another way, this is a way to read it. I wonder if the "dozens" of included behind-the-scenes features would help illuminate what this series was supposed to be versus what it actually turned out to be.

Batman Vol. 2: The Joker War

Paperback collecting of Batman #95-100, following the hardcover.

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 1: The Neighborhood

Everything old is new again, as it often is, with a new Detective Comics Vol. 1, though individual issue numberings remain on track, of course. This is Detective #1034–1039 by Mariko Tamaki and Dan Mora, coming in hardcover in February.

Batman: The Long Halloween: Catwoman When in Rome: The Deluxe Edition

Another volume now newly branded with "Long Halloween." Collects Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's six-issue miniseries, which I never read; maybe I should take this opportunity with all the Long Halloween hoopla.

Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn

Paperback, following the hardcover, of the six-issue miniseries by Katana Collins plus the Harley Quinn Black + White + Red tie-in story.

Crime Syndicate

The six-issue miniseries by Andy Schmidt and Kieran McKeown, spinning out of Dark Nights: Death Metal and Infinite Frontier. I’m guessing the backup origin stories drawn by Bryan Hitch appeared in the original issues and aren’t exclusive to this collection.

DC Poster Portfolio: DC Pride

Covers from DC’s Pride Month, due out in May.

Green Arrow: Stranded

YA take on a 13-year-old Oliver Queen by Brendan Deneen and Bell Hosalla.

Harley Quinn & the Birds of Prey: The Hunt for Harley

Paperback, of course, following the hardcover. I enjoyed this well enough, reminding of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti’s original Harley run.

The Joker War Saga

Paperback, following the hardcover, of Batman #95-100, the tie-ins from Batgirl, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Catwoman, Harley Quinn, Nightwing, Detective Comics, and the Joker War Zone special.

Legion of Super-Heroes: Before the Darkness Vol. 2

Collects Legion of Super-Heroes #272-283, DC Special Series #21, and Best of DC: Blue Ribbon Digest #24 in hardcover, coming in January.

Milestone Compendium One

I have been very excited for this much delayed collection, which was supposed to include the first dozen or so issues each of Blood Syndicate, Hardware, Icon, Static, and Xombi, plus Shadow Cabinet #0 (the end of the "Shadow War" crossover between the titles). That this latest solicitation lists no contents is worrisome, but I'm still hopeful that the collection fulfills its original intent.

Represent!

In hardcover, collecting DC’s digital-first anthology series, with stories by Christian Cooper and others.

Static: Season One

In hardcover, collecting issues #1-6 of the new Static series by Vita Ayala. Collects Milestone Returns: Infinite Edition #0 and Static: Season One #1-6.

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11 comments:

  1. Legion and Milestone for me. I don't even have the energy to be disappointed anymore.

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    1. I want the Legion material too, but I'm hoping DC will continue the Legion omnibuses with the Bronze Age material. Anyone have any idea how well the Silver Age omnibuses did?

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  2. Thanks for the info. I look forward to this every month. I have to say, that I have been saving a lot of money lately as DC is releasing less and less that is appealing to me. As you mentioned, there's barely any current or recent stuff. I would pick up the Absolute Metal and Detective Comics vol 1...I have mixed feelings as you do regarding Doomsday Clock, which I think was totally changed around by editorial, with those changes rendering Doomsday Clock's changes moot.

    I also subscribe to DC Infinite, and though I really dislike reading comics online - At least I am able to keep reasonably up to date on some current issues that way.

    I am hoping that DC picks up and releases more collections soon.....

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    1. I'm not sure what the extras in ABSOLUTE DOOMSDAY CLOCK are, but I'm not sure I want an Absolute edition either. I'd be happy with an omnibus that includes the extras mentioned here (including, I hope, the original pitch for the series), DC Universe: Rebirth, and, perhaps, Batman/The Flash: The Button. Is that too much to ask? :)

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    2. Hi Kevin, I actually agree that an omnibus containing Rebirth, the Button....and any ancillary series plus Doomsday Clock......would be much more worth the money....and a better more complete read.

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  3. Hi, first comment here, great blog BTW. I've been expecting that Milestone compendium for a long time, even buying it in preorder when it was first announced. A new delay or a reduction of its content would be really bad.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words! I'm excited about the Milestone Compendium, too, and that it'll have the Shadow War crossover right off the bat. Worlds Collide should be in the second volume if I'm not mistaken — we've got to pre-order so DC's encouraged to keep going.

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  4. The Absolute Metal is tempting, but...I'm frustrated that it's including the Batman Lost and Wild Hunt interludes, yet NOT including the Dark Days prelude one-shots.

    That just feels like a massive oversight.

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    1. Great point....hopefully they add those before they actually print/publish this.

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    2. Agreed, I think Dark Days really helped contextualize some of Metal's twists and turns; I can understand them wanting to keep it a Capullo-only book, but it would help the storytelling.

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    3. Yes! Dark Days was really important to the story....provided some solid context and was a really enjoyable story. I'd rather they include it for the complete story over just focusing on a single artist.

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