DC Trade Solicitations for June 2023 - Lazarus Planet with Monkey Prince and Wonder Woman tie-ins, Batman Vol. 2 by Zdarsky, Detective Comics Vol. 1 by Ram V, new WildCATs Vol. 1, Detective Comics Omnibus by Tomasi, Blue Beetle: Graduation Day


Strangely, though maybe not for us, the biggest headline in the DC Comics June 2023 trade paperback and hardcover solicitations might be the paperback collection, following the hardcover, of “regular series” Batman issues. But in this case, the collection is Batman Vol. 3: Ghost Stories, the hardcover came out almost two years ago, and many paperback aficionados will be breathing a sigh of relief at this news.

After the hardcover and paperback collections of James Tynion’s Batman Vol. 1: His Dark Designs and Batman Vol. 2: The Joker War, the following three books arrived in hardcover only, leaving those who waited for the paperback with the option of an unfinished story or uneven-looking shelves. That Tynion’s departure from Batman was slightly abrupt, and that DC seemed to be proceeding right along with Batman collections by Joshua Williamson and Chip Zdarsky, made it a real possibility Tynion’s stories would never be published in paperback (those of us who’ve been here long enough remember when collections format switches like that were disappointingly common). But — better late than never; now we have Ghost Stories, and I can see Cowardly Lot and Fear State arriving by the end of the year.

Otherwise, I’m most excited for the Lazarus Planet collection; I don’t know enough about this DC crossover to really justify my excitement, except that it seems a story with mildly connected pieces in a variety of places — the Superman titles, the Batman titles, the Wonder Woman titles, etc. — and I think that scope might be fun. Monkey Prince Vol. 2 and Wonder Woman Vol. 4 tie in to that, and then we’ve also got Zdarsky’s second Batman collection and Ram V’s first, the expansively named Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 1: Gotham Nocturne: Overture.

Notable too, Matt Rosenberg’s WildC.A.T.s Vol. 1, just because hey, WildC.A.T.s is still a thing; also the Batman: Detective Comics by Peter Tomasi Omnibus, which is not what I thought it was but still a giant swath of comics.

Let’s look at the full list …

Batman Vol. 2: The Bat-Man of Gotham

In hardcover in August, the second volume of Chip Zdarsky’s Batman. Some (but not all) sources say this will be issues #131-#135 (the latter being an oversized issue).

Batman Vol. 3: Ghost Stories

There had been some well-placed concern that DC might not be collecting James Tynion’s hardcover Batman books as paperback, perhaps due to rapidly shifting teams on the title. Well, it’s been two years, but whether it was all just delays or reader demand, the first of the missing ones, Batman Vol. 3: Ghost Stories, is now listed for August. That’s the Rebirth era Batman #101–105 plus material from Detective Comics #1027 and the Annual #5. I reviewed Batman Vol. 3: Ghost Stories in 2021.

Batman: Detective Comics by Peter J. Tomasi Omnibus

Silly me, but when I saw the title, I really thought this would be a collection of Peter Tomasi's DC You "Superheavy" tie-in stories featuring Jim Gordon as Batman, Blood of Heroes and Gordon at War, though as it turns out I was mis-remembering just how long Tomasi's run that time wasn't, as the case may be. No, this is Detective Comics #994-999, #1001-1016, and #1018-1033, Detective Comics Annual #2-3, Batman: Pennyworth R.I.P., and Tomasi's work from Detective Comics #1000 and Detective Comics (New 52) #27.

What we have here, as these things do, ranges from the sublime to the mundane — or the mundane, the sublime, and the mundane again. The first arc, Mythology, disappointed me at least personally in not being what I thought it would, but the second, "Medieval" (retitled for trade as Arkham Knight) was a stark improvement. But it all starts to fall apart in Greetings From Gotham, a collection of self-contained stories that didn't necessarily impress, the somewhat tepid Cold Vengeance, and then Joker War and Road to Ruin, two volumes that see Tomasi going back to the Batman & Robin well (for better, for some readers, but for worse in my humble opinion).

So, this sure is a lot of Batman — almost 40 issues' worth — certainly notable for its place in time (spanning from Tom King's run to James Tynion's), and I have certainly been a fan of Tomasi's over the years. This is not peak Batman, but one could also do worse.

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 1: Gotham Nocturne: Overture

The first volume of Ram V’s Detective Comics run, in hardcover in August, collecting issues #1062-1065.

Blue Beetle: Graduation Day

Timed for a movie that is so far still coming out, this is Josh Trujillo and Adrian Gutierrez' six-issue miniseries, in paperback in August, and to be released in both English and Spanish editions.

The DC Icons Series: Graphic Novel Boxed Set

Collects the Batman: Nightwalker, Wonder Woman: Warbringer, and Catwoman: Soulstealer graphic novel adaptations of the YA novels.

Icon & Rocket: Season One

In paperback, following the hardcover, and collecting the Milestone Returns: Infinite Edition #0 and issues #1–6 by Reginald Hudlin, Leon Chills, and Doug Braithwaite.

The Joker Vol. 2

In paperback in July, following the hardcover, this is issues #6–9 and the 2021 annual.

Lazarus Planet

La, la, la *fingers in ears* … trying to be totally surprised what this is about. I know it’s by Mark Waid, I know one or two other details I wish I didn’t know, but otherwise trying to go in blind. In hardcover in August, collecting Lazarus Planet: Alpha, Lazarus Planet: Assault on Krypton, Lazarus Planet: We Once Were Gods, Lazarus Planet: Legends Reborn, Lazarus Planet: Next Evolution, Lazarus Planet: Dark Fate, and Lazarus Planet: Omega. It would seem the Lazarus Planet: Revenge of the Gods four-issue miniseries will be collected on its own.

Monkey Prince Vol. 2: The Monkey King and I

Being the final collection of the limited series by Gene Lien Yang and Bernard Chang, this is said to be issues #0 and #7–12, with material from Lazarus Planet: Alpha and Lazarus Planet: Omega.

The Sandman Book Six

Cleverly, for the final of these paperback collections tied to the start of the TV series, this contains Sandman: The Dream Hunters (the P. Craig Russell edition), Sandman: Overture, and then Sandman Universe #1, the first time a Sandman collection has bridged from Neil Gaiman’s original work to the new(est) expanded universe. Puts a shine not only on all the completed original Sandman Universe miniseries, but also James Tynion and company’s current work.

WildC.A.T.s Vol. 1: Better Living Through Violence

Description: Matthew Rosenberg continues the saga he began way back at the beginning of Batman: Urban Legends with this, another WildC.A.T.s revival. This was previously said to include the uncollected Zealot story from Batman: Urban Legends #6, though that's not mentioned here. Confirmed is issues #1–6 and material from the Wildstorm 30th Anniversary Special.

Wonder Girl: Homecoming

The six-issue miniseries by Joelle Jones, now in paperback in August. Among the various Trial of the Amazons titles, I had many concerns about Wonder Girl: Homecoming.

Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello & Cliff Chiang Omnibus (2023 Edition)

New edition of the bold, controversial New 52 run, being issues #0–35, 23.1 and material from Secret Origins (2014) #6.

Wonder Woman Vol. 4: Revenge of the Gods

In paperback, issues #795–800, the end of Becky Cloonan and Michael Conrad’s run. This ties in to, and the title matches, the Lazarus Planet: Revenge of the Gods miniseries, though that hasn’t been solicited just yet.

Comments ( 4 )

  1. I'm a little surprised that the Tomasi DetCom omnibus (DetComnibus?) doesn't include his New 52 material. The B&R omnibus went back to his three New 52 issues (and which seem now to be reprised in Tomasi's current Image book, "Blood Tree"). Then again, his seven DetCom issues in the New 52 were all Jim Gordon Batman, which fits much less with his Rebirth run than the B&R content did in /that/ collection.

    All the same, Tomasi has some great meat-and-potatoes issues in that omnibus - including an all-time great issue with The Joker (#1008). For context, Joker had been bogged down in big-bad interpretations and cosmic conflicts (both, notably, under the pen of Scott Snyder), and so Tomasi does heroic work reminding us that Joker is scary purely by dint of being unpredictable, homicidal, and deeply obsessed with Batman.

    Anyone else grateful to see DC's latest Milestone revamp actually sticking? I know it's been fits and starts over the last two decades, but we've already had five Milestone minis, two in progress, and a few teases for plenty more. Maybe it's just my "child of the 90s" showing, but I've always liked these characters.

    1. I am glad to see the Milestone revamp sticking, though among complaints (of course) I'd have liked to have seen a continuation of the old Milestone and also having Milestone be part of the DCU instead of separate. Though I do wonder where the Icon vs. Hardware miniseries is heading ...

    2. I haven't read it yet, but the Milestone 30th Anniversary Special seems to be channeling a "Milestone of Two Worlds" vibe, with the 93 iterations meeting the current Earth-M residents. A quick thumb-through shows they've even gone back to the original coloring style.

      As for Icon vs Hardware, I was already intrigued by the book, but the last-minute rebrand as "Worlds Collide: Act One" has me very attentive indeed...

    3. Hopefully that Milestone 30th Anniversary special shows up in a trade somewhere.

      Yeah, we of a certain era perk up when we hear the words "Milestone" and "Worlds Collide." Any mailmen about in that story?


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