DC Trade Solicitations for December 2023 - Knight Terrors, Fourth World Omnibus with Great Darkness, Absolute Superman by Johns, Creature Commandos: Frankenstein, Flash: One-Minute War, Milestone Compendium Three, final Batman: Urban Legends


Knight Terrors is the big headline in the DC Comics December 2023 trade paperback and hardcover solicitations, some but not all of the Knight Terrors books answering some but not all of our questions about how it’ll be collected. We see three collections here, of five, though four are supposed to come out in February and one in March. It is somewhat unusual for DC to spread the collections of an event over two months, but at the same time DC’s collections releases have seemed slower lately, and I’ll happily take all of Knight Terrors slowly than no collections at all.

Late in looking through these solicitations did I notice that the Fourth World Omnibus Vol. 2 is not simply a reprinting of contents of the original four-volume Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus (all of which was collected in a previous one-volume omnibus too), but rather subsequent New Gods appearances (written by Kirby or not), including the revived Mister Miracle and New Gods series, Great Darkness Saga (!), and more! That’s very cool, and makes one wonder if a “modern stories” Fourth World omnibus isn’t coming up next.

The Milestone Compendium series keeps trucking, I’m glad to see (wish we might get these a little smaller); also I adore that Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. is all of a sudden back in the spotlight. Among regular series, aside from Knight Terrors, I’ve got my eye on Ram V’s second volume of Detective Comics, Batman: Urban Legends Vol. 6, and Flash: The One-Minute War. Can’t argue with an Absolute Superman by Geoff Johns & Gary Frank, though I’d like to see an omnibus collection of more of that era.

Let’s take a look at the full list.

Absolute Superman by Geoff Johns & Gary Frank HC

Said to collect Action Comics #858–863, #866–870 (issues #864–865 were by Geoff Johns but not Gary Frank), #900, Action Comics Annual #10, Superman: Secret Origin #1–6, and Superman: World of New Krypton Special #1, to be released in May. That would be Johns and Frank’s Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes, Brainiac, and Superman: Secret Origin, all of which were great, but one can’t help but feel this lacking a bit without the other, non-Gary Frank Superman stories written by Johns, the most important of which is Last Son (which was drawn, no slouch, by Adam Kubert). Neither does this have Escape From Bizarro World with Eric Powell (and many of these stories were co-written by Richard Donner). Probably what we need are both Superman by Geoff Johns and New Krypton Omnibus collections.

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 2: Gotham Nocturne: Act I HC

Ram V’s second Detective Comics collection, in hardcover in February 2024. Collects issues #1066–1070 and the Detective Comics 2022 Annual.

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 3: Arkham Rising TP

Paperback, following the hardcover, by Mariko Tamaki, collecting issues Detective Comics #1044–1046 and Detective Comics 2021 Annual #1.

Batman: Justice Buster Vol. 2 TP

Continuing the manga adventure from the Ultraman team, Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi, a collaboration between DC and Kodansha. Batman and Joker vs. Joe Chill, apparently, plus rumors of a ROBIN computer.

Batman: Urban Legends Vol. 6 TP

Collects issues #18–23, the final issue of the series, coming in January. I’m don’t think the solicitation is quite right, since it mentions things like Dennis Culver’s “Arkham Academy” story that was actually collected in Batman: Urban Legends Vol. 5, but it seems like at least we get a Nightwing story and a Renee Montoya story.

Creature Commandos Present: Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. Book One TP

This collects Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers Frankenstein miniseries with Doug Mahnke, and also issues #1–7 of one of my favorite New 52 titles, Jeff Lemire’s Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE. Couldn’t be happier to see all the new DC media news giving Frankenstein a spotlight.

The Flash Vol. 19: The One-Minute War TP

Collects Jeremy Adams' Flash #790–796 and The Flash: One-Minute War Special #1, in paperback in January.

The Fourth World Omnibus Vol. 2 HC

Collects (deep breath) Mister Miracle #19–25; New Gods #12–19; Adventure Comics #459–460; Brave and the Bold #112, #128, and #138; DC Comics Presents #12; First Issue Special #13; Justice League of America #183–185; Legion of Super-Heroes #290–294; Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #3; Secret Society of Super-Villains #1–5; Super Powers #1–5; Super Powers (Vol. 2) #1–6; Super Powers (vol. 3) #1–4; Super Powers Collection #13–23; Super-Team Family #15; and stories from DC Special Series #10 and Legion of Super-Heroes #287. So, not the original Fourth World saga as was collected in the original four-volume Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus series and in a previous all-together omnibus, but also Steve Englehart and Steve Gerber's Mister Miracle continuation, Gerry Conway's New Gods, the famous Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga, Kirby’s Super Powers stories, and the Justice League of America story “Crisis on New Genesis” — which is to say, subsequent, sometimes non-Kirby-written appearances of the New Gods. With a new intro by “Great Darkness” writer and one-time DC president Paul Levitz and other extras. This one’s awful tempting.

Icon vs. Hardware HC

In hardcover in November, the five-issue miniseries by Reginald Hudlin and Leon Chills. Depending on how far the twist in this one goes, I may find myself catching up on these respective series.

Joker: One Operation Joker Vol. 3 TP

Continuing the manga in which the Joker raises a baby Bruce Wayne, seemingly encountering Alfred and a Robin.

Knight Terrors HC

The Dawn of DC event by Joshua Williamson and Howard Porter, in hardcover on Feb. 6. Collects Knight Terrors #1–4, Knight Terrors First Blood, Knight Terrors: Night’s End, and a story from the Dawn of DC Knight Terrors 2023 FCBD Special Edition (missing from previous solicitations). In early February 2024.

Knight Terrors: Dark Knightmares HC

In hardcover on Feb. 13, collecting Knight Terrors: Batman #1–2, Knight Terrors: Detective Comics #1–2, Knight Terrors: Catwoman #1–2, Knight Terrors: Nightwing #1–2, and Knight Terrors: Robin #1–2. Looking at the Knight Terrors collections to come, the only thing I haven’t yet seen collected is the Joker two-parter; since it’s not here, I venture it’ll be in Knight Terrors: Knockturnal Creatures (not solicited this month).

Knight Terrors: Knightmare League HC

In hardcover on Feb. 20, collecting Knight Terrors: Action Comics #1–2, Knight Terrors: Green Lantern #1–2, Knight Terrors: Superman #1–2, Knight Terrors: The Flash #1–2, and Knight Terrors: Wonder Woman #1–2.

Milestone Compendium Three TP

Collects Deathwish #1–4, Blood Syndicate #24–27 (the series goes to issue #35), Hardware #22–28, Icon #22–27, Static #21–25, Shadow Cabinet #5–13, and Kobalt #1–14.

Monkey Prince Vol. 1: Enter the Monkey TP

Issues #1–6 by Gene Luen Yang and Bernard Chang, in paperback following the hardcover.

Nubia: Queen of the Amazons TP

Paperback in January, following the hardcover, and collecting the Nubia: Coronation Special and Nubia: Queen of the Amazons #1–4. I reviewed Nubia: Queen of the Amazons just this past March.

Peacemaker Tries Hard! HC

The six-issue Black Label miniseries by Kyle Starks and Steve Pugh.

Static: Shadows of Dakota HC

Collects the six-issue Static: Season Two miniseries by Vita Ayala and Nicholas Draper-Ivey, plus Static Team-Up: Anansi. In hardcover in February.

Superman vs. Meshi Vol. 3 TP

Third volume of the food-focused Superman manga, as Superman’s culinary tour of Japan is interrupted by Darkseid.

Comments ( 10 )

  1. Haven't decided about Knight Terrors yet, but I may get the main book and the Batman one. Definitely getting Flash (loving Jeremy Adams and plan to follow him to GL) and Milestone v3 (which I think is on pace to finish all the original material in 5 volumes). Slow DC month for me, but I think it'll pick up soon

    1. I'm surprised by what seemed a conscious effort to focus on Green Lanterns other than Hal Jordan, and now "suddenly" (from my perspective) a Hal Jordan series. Maybe that's required for a "back to basics" Dawn of DC approach, but like you I trust Jeremy Adams and so I'm interested to see where that goes.

  2. Okay, between the recent Batman Adventures Omnibus and now the Fourth World Vol. 2, I'm convinced someone at DC is reading my reviews! Vol. 2 has everything that was collected in Gerry Conway's New Gods and Steve Englehart's Mister Miracle.

    It also includes all three runs of Super Powers. Kirby plotted the first run, pencilled the second, and had no involvement with the third (which, consequently, hasn't been reprinted before). The second Super Powers, unless I miss my guess, was the only time Kirby drew Batman...

    I'm especially intrigued that the omnibus purports to collect Super Powers Collection #13–23... these should be the mini comics bundled with the 1983 Kenner action figures, expanding the line into the Fourth World (and garnering Kirby a modest stipend in the process). These haven't ever been reprinted or collected, unless you count bootlegs on eBay. Talk about burying the headline!

    1. I really did a double-take reading that Fourth World solicitation. I'm like, "OK, probably the original volumes 3 and 4 ... oh, Great Darkness Saga is in there ... wait, those Mister Miracle numbers seem a little funny!" And now you're telling me we might get mini-comics?! Be still my heart! (Which makes me think a collection of Super Powers mini-comics, a la Dark Horse's collection of the Masters of the Universe mini-comics, is something we really need.)

  3. Sure would love to see the Spectre Omnibus re-published. So hard to find.

    1. You're referring to an omnibus of the Silver Age material, I think, but I what I want is good collections of the John Ostrander series!

  4. I would say it's okay to split the Johns Superman stuff into chunks since his run doesn't really have subplots. Each arc is pretty self contained. That said Superman is probably the character Johns is best at and so an omni would be a big book of greatness.

    Up, Up, and Away, Last Son, Escape from Bizarro World, Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes, that Toyman issue, Brainiac, New Krypton Special, Action Annual 10, Secret Origin, The Men of Tomorrow and I would include Doomsday Clock #10, the Metaverse issue as well.

    1. I'll at some point be re-reading, and finally reviewing, Doomsday Clock. It's been long enough that I don't get your reference, but now I'm curious to read issue #10 with an eye toward that.

  5. I am really looking forward to your review of Knight Terrors (and also Dark Crisis - but for entirely different reasons).

    I was completely suprised by how much i enjoyed Knight Terrors, especially after the huge let-down that was Dark Crisis. And I think you will agree. My guess is that Williamson felt more "at home" writing Knight Terrors, which probably carried less pressure than a book with "Crisis" in the title.

    1. I seem to be taking the long way around to Dark Crisis, but I promise I'm trying to get there! Curious to read it given all the mixed reviews; glad to hear Knight Terrors seems to be faring better than it originally seemed.


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