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DC Comics Collected Editions Solicits – February 2017

Here’s a look at the lineup of collected editions from DC Comics out in February 2017.

(Looking for Marvel’s February releases? I covered those previously.)

This month DC’s releases are split evenly between the final run of New 52 collections and initial Rebirth era paperbacks, with a trio of huge books in the mix – Green Lantern: The Silver Age Omnibus Vol. 1Justice League of America: The Bronze Age Omnibus Vol. 1, andAbsolute Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello & Cliff Chiang!

Posts like this will help both you and I keep up with DC’s newest collections until my Guide to Collecting DC Comics has guide pages to cover more of their heroes!

All of the links below are to Amazon. Note that Amazon (and other mass market retailers) receive books one to two weeks later than direct market sellers like comic shops. Still, I find Amazon convenient for their uniform format of displaying information like contents and ISBNs. If you purchase though an Amazon link on CK I receive a minor credit as your referrer; your purchase price remains the same. (Continued)

DC Rebirth – Every 2016 Rebirth One-Shot Ranked

DC Comics was full of bold movies in 2016.

Not only did they relaunch their entire line with the DC Universe Rebirth one-shot, but they followed it up with 21 additional one-shots to launch the majority of the books in their line – and I’m here to rank them!

(That left out non-Rebirthed books like Action and Detective Comics, plus heroes who jumped off of their appearances in these initial issues straight to their own series, like Superwoman and Harley Quinn.)

The one-shots are a double-edged sword for new readers. They make for easy, low-risk, low-commitment samplers. That means it’s likely that – like me – most fans would read most or all of them out of curiosity.

However, there’s a risk that they’re exactly that – samplers. It’s hard to craft a one-shot so good that it tells its own story plus pulls you in for a subsequent series.

To achieve that goal, I think a solid Rebirth issue needs to do three things:

  1. Give a sense of the character’s recent and relevant history
  2. Portray a vital truth and inherent coolness about the title character
  3. Set up a reason to keep reading the series (i.e., Always leave them wanting more!)

How many of the 21 Rebirth one-shots of 2016 hit the mark? Below, I’ve ranked every issue, rating it and giving the percentage chance that I might keep reading its respective series?

Place your bets now – did I love my long-term favorite Wonder Woman? Did I find a way to get excited about the staid Superman or enjoy the typically impenetrable Green Lantern? And, what about relative B-listers in this muscular line-up like Batman Beyond, Deathstroke, and Blue Beetle?

Find out now, and then head to my DC Rebirth Guide to snag the upcoming collections of the titles that pique your interest.

Rebirth Ranked: The Best!

Superwoman #1 

I know, I know – it’s not a Rebirth one-shot. It should have been. It’s a phenomenal issue full of action, explanation, and heart that will definitely leave you surprised – plus, stunning pencils from writer/artist Phil Jimenez. Read it and keep reading with Superwoman Vol. 1: Who Killed Superwoman?

Nightwing: Rebirth 

I hope all future Rebirth one-shot writers took notes, because Tim Seely delivered an absolutely perfect comic book in Nightwing: Rebirth.

It was so good that it makes me not only want to read subsequent issues of Nightwing, but I feel compelled to go back to New 52 to read past issues because this comic made them sound so freaking awesome.

Tons of exposition and backstory? Check. Emotional scenes with a protege that weren’t all they seemed to be on first read? Check. Bisexual flirting? Check. Uncharacteristically light, bouncy figurework from Yanick Paquette? Check.

If you’re looking for lightweight, snappy DC reading in Rebirth that’s Batman adjacent, you’ve found your book.

Chances I keep reading: 200% – that’s 100% for reading forward into Rebirth and another 100% for reading backwards into New 52. I’m hooked. Keep reading with me with Nightwing Vol. 1: Better Than Batman. (Continued)

DC Comics Collected Editions Releases – January 2017

To continue this week’s DC theme, here is the lineup of collected editions from DC Comics out this month – including their first round of Rebirth collections!

(Looking for Marvel’s January releases? I covered those previously.)

One of the biggest stumbling blocks that kept me from adding DC Comics guides to Crushing Krisis was a knowledge gap – and not just about the comics stories, themselves. I know all of Marvel’s formats by heart – Masterworks, Epic Collections, Complete Collections, and more.

As I work on my 52 DC Comics Guides, I find that I have to do a lot of getting acquainted with their collected editions to understand their major reprint lines outside of Rebirth and New 52. While DC is committed to keeping their biggest stories in evergreen print, they don’t share Marvel’s philosophy that just about every major series ought to be covered in reprinted editions – their 80 and 90s reprints are more sparse, and pre-Crisis 70s and 80s reprints are reserved only for the most acclaimed of runs!

Of course, I didn’t know anything about Marvel’s formats and strategies when I began the X-Men guides in 2010 – that was kind of the point of starting them. So, I’m not going to let that stop my exploration of DC! Plus, posts like this will help both you and I keep up with DC’s newest collections until I have guide pages to cover more of their heroes!

All of the links below are to Amazon. Note that Amazon (and other mass market retailers) receive books two weeks later than direct market sellers like comic shops. Still, I find Amazon convenient for their uniform format of displaying information like contents and ISBNs. If you purchase though an Amazon link on CK I receive a minor credit as your referrer; your purchase price remains the same. (Continued)

Comic Book Review: DC Universe Rebirth Special

Have you ever attempted to make a new first impression on someone? Did it actually change their opinion about you?

I think it’s a near-impossible feat. First impressions are the ones that last. After that, each successive impression provides an increasingly diminished return until you’re barely changing someone’s opinion about you at all with each meeting – just reinforcing it.

How could you make a brand new first impression? It’s not enough to simply say, “Hey, look, I’m different now!” Even if your target believed you, they would still weigh your new behavior against the old you.

No, to make a new first impression you need an explosive bombast of both context and contradiction – a shy friend who slays a karaoke, or a messy coworker with an impeccable neat home. You need to convince them that their first impression was demonstrably wrong – or, at least, so incomplete or controverted as to be useless.

Every piece of fiction has the dilemma of making a first impression by introducing you to a universe you’ve never entered before.  It’s hard enough to make a good impression introducing yourself let alone an entire universe! Even if they’re successful with that first impression, sequential storytelling mediums sometimes have to re-impress you, as with the season premiere of a TV show.

Few other mediums do what comic books so often do – willingly relaunch dozens of books at the same time with new directions as a means of screaming, “LOOK! We’re really, really different now! All-new, all-different, actually.”

And, of those that have, hardly any have ever put all the onus of an entire multi-title universe on a single episode the way DC Comics did on DC Universe Rebirth last July. Read my critical take on the issue below, and then head to the DC Rebirth Guide to follow your favorite characters from here.

DC Universe Rebirth #1   Amazon Logo  

Written by Geoff Johns with line art by Gary Frank, Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis with Joe Prado, and Phil Jimenez with Matt Santorelli and color art from Brad Anderson, Jason Wright, Gabriel A. Eltaeb, and Hi-Fi Colour Design

DC Universe Rebirth is exciting and inscrutable – a tantalizing glimpse of change for continuity nerds and a tangled skein of contradictory continuity for new readers.  It’s a love note dense with heartfelt apology to longtime fans that weathered all of New 52 and a Rosetta Stone for DC’s new continuity.

It is not necessarily the first comic you ought to read if you’re new to DC Comics or coming back from a lengthy lapse … unless you happen to be a major Flash fan.

The issue uses the device of Wally West trying to return to the present day from within the Speed Force, where has has been trapped since the Flashpoint event that lead to New 52. He follows several hunches on who can pull him out of the aether of time and back into reality. It’s not just about survival. West has critical information that might help to amend a timeline that has grown dark and cynical (and lost a decade of memories along the way).

Like the Ghost of The Fastest Christmas Ever, he first visits Batman (he’s the best detective!), an old guy named Johnny (he has the best chance to remember things!), and his former partner Linda (love will bind them together!), each without much success. Finally, he says hello from the other side to current flash Barry Allen (super-bros FTW!). (Continued)

Song of the Day: “Body Language” by Carly Rae Jepsen

The network effect on critical darling music is fascinating.

If you don’t already know what that term means, you’d be justified in thinking it refers to a network’s tendency to aid in the discovery and amplification of niche material. That’s very applicable to music.

That’s not what “network effect” means. The actual definition is subtly different.

A network effect is where each subsequent owner of a thing makes owning the thing more valuable. The classic example is telephones – they weren’t very useful until a critical mass of people owned them. The same holds true for any social media platform. Sure, we might like niche platforms where the cool kids are, but each incremental cool kid makes it that much more desirable.

It’s the second, actual meaning I’m thinking of when it comes to critical darlings. Our networked world relies on shared meaning. We don’t want to have just languages in common, but context. The network works best when all of our slang, emojis, animated gifs have caché Memes rely on being shared not only for their viral spread, but for people to get the joke and subsequent use as a reference.

Music is a part of that landscape of shared meaning, too. Each subsequent listener to an under-the-radar critical hit increases its cache as a signifier.

Case and point: Carly Rae Jepsen. She achieved ubiquity in 2012 with her debut hit “Call Me Maybe,” which achieved near-instant meme status in a way only summer singles can. Follow-up single “Good Time” was top 10 in the US, but never hit meme-level penetration in America. That left Jepsen adrift in potential one-hit wonder-dom.

Then, a curious thing happened. Jepsen’s 2015 sophomore full-length Emotion failed to generate another massive “Maybe” sized hit. Yet, the audience who stuck around for it weren’t the long tail of listeners who played “Call Me” repeatedly until it transformed into shrill self-parody in its ubiquity. Nope. It was a specific subset of taste-makers and hipsters, whose fluency with the disc (see “network effect”) spawned another meme for “Run Away With Me.”

Suddenly, Jepsen was a signifier of a totally different kind. Everyone knew her “Call Me Maybe,” but if you knew the source of the meme without being told you were in a secret in-club of hip kids who love unapologetic pop music. (Continued)

New Collecting Guides: DC Comics Rebirth & New 52 (plus: What is DC Rebirth, anyway?)

It’s a new year and with it comes something I never thought I’d be saying on Crushing Krisis:

Today I’m announcing the first pair of what will eventually be 52 DC Comics Guides coming to CK –DC Comics Rebirth and DC Comics New 52.

Yes, really. Each guide comprehensively covers the issues of their era, with every comic listed and every collection linked.They’re available thanks to my supporters on Patreon. If you find them useful, I’d love it if you’d chip in $1 a month.

Why DC? Why now? And, what is DC Rebirth, anyway?

That’s a slightly longer story. (Continued)