Currently available exclusively to Patrons: comic guides for Detective Comics, Green Arrow, Hellblazer, Legends of the Dark Knight, and X-23!
The comic collected editions scheduled for release by major comic publishers on any given week are a surprisingly unknowable and subjective list, which is exactly why I’ve done my best to summarize them here in a single post for you.
Why is the release schedule of trade paperbacks, deluxe hardcovers, and omnibuses so unknowable when other new media releases like novels, films and DVDs, and music are so predictable?
Preview Magazine tells us what comic publishers have scheduled to release to the direct market as of three to six months out from publication dates. Yet, that the schedule frequently changes and is not updated in a uniform fashion (although Previews does continue to update it right through the last moment before releases are shipped).
Meanwhile, Mass market booksellers receive comic collections on a delay from the direct market, but the delay differs from publisher to publisher depending on their distribution arrangements. Marvel is consistently delayed two weeks, while Image can range anywhere from one week to over a month.
So what is the book list below? It’s based on a combination of the Previews catalog, Amazon listings adjusted for the common mass market delay, and a poll of the top comic selling websites. There’s no other place you can find a similarly curated list.
What are the must-buy read books this week?
There are a lot of good collections out this week, but just one is must-buy – and that’s not even due to my personal affinity for the character! Wonder Woman Vol. 1: The Lies is the first Wonder Woman collection of the present-day story from her Rebirth comic, written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Liam Sharp. Fans already loved Rucka from a mid-2000s WW run, and they’ve been raving about this one.
And now, on to the books! [Read more…] about This week in comic book collected editions – February 22, 2017
I have a new collecting guide for you today: John Constantine, Hellblazer!
The guide covers Hellblazer’s every appearance, from beginnings as a guest star in Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing through his two decade run in his solo title to his multiple relaunches since 2012.
There’s something about Constantine that draws readers in and makes him a prime choice for screen adaptations. A big part of that is that he is by no means a hero. Sure, Constantine is a supernatural detective and occasional magician, but he has little interest in saving anyone – in fact, his actions are often as likely to get people killed as to save them!
Another hallmark of Constantine was years of exclusivity. He was created by Alan Moore in a pre-Vertigo Swamp Thing and than shuttled off to his own title written by Jamie Delano, who was hand-picked by Moore to launch the character in Hellblazer. Constantine made very few appearances outside of his own title, his mini-series, and Swamp Thing for the next twenty years. This insulation was furthered when he became a part of the Vertigo family of titles and allowed Constantine to age in real time with his readers.
That means Constantine is very easy to read sequentially, with just a few limited series and OGNs to fit in to his reading order. However, he’s a bit harder to collect. Despite DC keeping early Jamie Delano issues evergreen in print, Hellblazer went over a decade without his new arcs seeing collection (until #146 in 2000), though occasional trades went back to collect short bursts of issues.
His first 145 issues were finally filled in sequentially via a 2011 line of paperbacks that has now extended to #188 in a newly-solicited Volume 16 with no signs of slowing. However, those TPBs aren’t quite as comprehensive as they could be, omitting some OGNs and mini-series that remain uncollected since their original publication.
Hellblazer’s status quo changed in a big way in from 2011-2013 with the advent of DC New 52.
First, an alternative, younger Constantine was introduced into the superhero world in a major way as the anchor of Justice League Dark, a magic and slightly horrific team that co-starred Zatanna and Deadman, amongst others. While Constantine’s relationship was Zatanna was maintained, his full history was not.
When Hellblazer reached its #300 issue his title was relaunched as Constantine starring the Nu-Constantine of JLD. His League membership saw him tangling with DC’s wider cast of heroes for the first time – including a one-on-one encounter with Shazam during the Trinity War crossover.
This newer, younger, but still just as surly Constantine is a breeze to collect – every issue hits trade paperback at a reliable interval from the end of each arc. The confusing part is knowing what title to collect – he jumps from Constantine in 2013 to Constantine: The Hellblazer in 2015 and back to The Hellblazer in 2016.
Between the new title-go-round and the multiple means of collecting his original series, the result is a pretty dizzying reading guide. If you’re happy to have it, you can thank my Patrons – this was their choice for me to tackle in January after I finished Wonder Woman!
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. 1, Justice 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!
- February DC Rebirth Era Collections (2016 – present)
- February DC New 52 Era Collections (2011 – 2016)
- February DC Post-Crisis Collections (1986 – 2011)
- February DC Pre-Crisis Collections (1938 – 1986)
- Other February DC Material (including various era collections and alternate continuities)
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. [Read more…] about DC Comics Collected Editions Solicits – February 2017
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:
- Give a sense of the character’s recent and relevant history
- Portray a vital truth and inherent coolness about the title character
- 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!
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?
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. [Read more…] about DC Rebirth – Every 2016 Rebirth One-Shot Ranked
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!
- January DC Rebirth Era Collections (2016 – present)
- January DC New 52 Era Collections (2011 – 2016)
- January DC Post-Crisis Collections (1986 – 2011)
- January DC Pre-Crisis Collections (1938 – 1986)
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. [Read more…] about DC Comics Collected Editions Releases – January 2017