There are 13 Batman collections in the DC Comics August 2021 hardcover and trade paperback solicitations, plus at least three other “Batman-adjacent collections,” roughly a full third of DC’s output for that month.
That’s it, that’s all I wanted to say about that.
Y’know, this is better than the July 2021 solicitations in that at least we’ve got some regular-series material here, most notably Justice League: Death Metal, though arriving disturbingly later than the rest of the Death Metal trades. And then, as mentioned, Batman, both Batman Vol. 4: The Cowardly Lot (no longer, interestingly, listed as “Part 1” of that storyline) and Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 6: Road to Ruin (Peter Tomasi’s finale). And then of course also The Next Batman: Second Son, as we see Future State loom ever larger.
That is about it — I didn’t say it was an overwhelming month, just that it was more “whelming” than July. I’m curious about Batman: The World — having enjoyed a couple of Bat-special-anthologies lately, I’m curious to see what some international interpretations of Batman are like. And maybe I’m just eager to see Sandman on TV, but I’ve been thinking about picking up the Hill House books (solicited in paperback this month) for a dose of comics horror — anyone enjoy these? Any of them that were particularly any good?
So, a little more to discuss (are these really Batman’s “greatest mysteries”?), but I’ll go ahead and get to it now, and we can pick up in the comments. Enjoy!
• Basketful of Heads
Paperback collection of the seven-issue miniseries by Joe Hill and Leomacs, following the hardcover.
• Batman Arkham: Catwoman
Said to collect Batman #1 and #355 (original series, first appearance and a well-regarded issue from the 1980s), Catwoman #1–4 (four-issue late-1980s mini by Mindy Newell, following Batman: Year One and often collected as Catwoman: Her Sister’s Keeper), Catwoman (1993) #54 (by Devin Grayson and Jim Balent, published in 1998, which has been reprinted before), Catwoman #25 (New 52 “Zero Year” issue), Catwoman Secret Files #1 (from the Ed Brubaker run; if I had to guess, it’s either “The Many Lives of Selina Kyle” or “Why Holly Isn’t Dead”), Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane #70–71 (hypnotized Lois becomes Catwoman’s partner and Superman is transformed into a cat[?!], from the 1960s). No longer listed in the solicitation, but mentioned before, was the Catwoman entry from Who’s Who Update '87#2.
Recent DC Comics Trade Solicitations
More upcoming collections ...
• Batman Black & White
Hardcover collection of the new series, collecting issues #1-6. With James Tynion, Andy Kubert, John Ridley, Mariko Tamaki, Jorge Jimenez, Joshua Williamson, and more.
• Batman in the Fifties
Collects Batman #59, #62, #63, #81, #92, #105, #113, #114, #121, #122, and #128; Detective Comics #156, #168, #185, #187, #215, #216, #233, #235, #236, #241, #244, #252, #267, and #269; and World’s Finest Comics #81 and #89. No small amount of Black Casebook material here, including the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, plus Deadshot, Batwoman Kathy Kane, Mr. Zero (the future Mr. Freeze), and Bat-Mite.
• Batman Vol. 4: The Cowardly Lot
Hardcover by James Tynion and Jorge Jimenez. This solicitation doesn’t have issue numbers, but earlier it was Batman #106-111, plus apparently some/all of Infinite Frontier #1 (and not Infinite Frontier #0, unless that was a misprint).
• Batman: Arkham Asylum: The Deluxe Edition
Another deluxe-size collection of the story by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean; notably we also saw a recent 25th anniversary deluxe edition.
• Batman: Curse of the White Knight
Paperback collection of the eight-issue miniseries by Sean Murphy, plus the Batman: White Knight Presents Von Freeze special.
• Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 6: Road to Ruin
Peter Tomasi's final Detective Comics collection (and the final collection before Future State and Mariko Tamaki's run); this is issues #1028-1033, seeing Damian Wayne return to the title. In hardcover (previously listed as paperback) in October.
• Batman: His Greatest Mysteries
I’m not super-impressed with the contents of this trade, if this is what they turn out to be:
Batman #404 ("Year One," part 1) and #610 ("Hush," part 3), Detective Comics #822 and #824 (two from Paul Dini's run), Batman Annual #2 ("Zero Year"? "Date Night"?, Batman Universe #1, and the story "Alone" from Batman: Secret Files #2 (Riddler story by Mairghread Scott). Maybe fine for the uninitiated, but I don’t need disparate parts of multi-issue storylines.
• Batman: Li'l Gotham: Calendar Daze
Collects the recent Li'l Gotham #1-6 by Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs.
• Batman: No Man's Land Omnibus Vol. 1
Collects the equivalent of the first two (of four) No Man's Land "complete" editions, being Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #116-121, Azrael: Agent of the Bat #51-57, Batman #563-568, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #83-88, Detective Comics #730-735, Catwoman #72-74, Robin #67, Batman Chronicles #16-17, Nightwing #35-37, Batman: No Man's Land #1, and Young Justice in No Man's Land #1. (Previously listed as included, but not in this solicitation, is the Batman: No Man's Land Gallery #1.)
• Batman: Noel
New hardcover printing of the graphic novel by Lee Bermejo.
• Batman: The Long Halloween Deluxe Edition
Deluxe edition of the 13-issue miniseries by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, along with behind-the-scenes material.
• Batman: The World
Hardcover, so I guess we call this a trade, coming in September. 160-page book featuring stories from creators across the world; the U.S.-associated team is Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo.
• Batwoman Omnibus
Collects Detective Comics #854-863 (not through #864 as previously solicited), Batwoman #0 (New 52), Batwoman #0-24, and Batwoman Annual #1, being Greg Rucka, JH Williams, and W. Haden Blackman's work on the character, stopping before Marc Andreyko's less-well-regarded run (short of the annual where Andreyko finished up Williams' unfinished run).
One does wonder what effect (the very endearing) Ryan Wilder on TV will eventually have on the DC Universe’s own Kate Kane.
• Birds of Prey: Fighters by Trade
Collects Gail Simone's Birds of Prey #81-91, so spanning the Battle Within and Perfect Pitch trades. That issue #91 is by Jim Alexander, Brad Walker, and Jimmy Palmiotti and I don't believe it’s been collected before.
• The Books of Magic Omnibus Vol. 2 (The Sandman Universe Classics)
Second omnibus by Peter Gross, including Books of Magic #33-75, Books of Magic Annuals #1-3, Books of Faerie #1-3, Vertigo: Winter’s Edge #1-3, Hellblazer/Books of Magic #1-2, and Books of Faerie: Molly’s Story #1-4. Mentioned in a previous solicitation, but not here, was Vertigo Secret Files: Hellblazer #1. Should have a new foreword by John Ney Rieber and a new introduction by Gross, too. I wouldn't mind seeing these as a set of more affordably priced paperbacks.
• Daphne Byrne
Paperback of the six-issue Hill House miniseries by Larua Marks and Kelley Jones, following the hardcover.
• DC Comics: Girls Unite! Box Set
Includes four recent animated-series comics trades: Batman Adventures: Cat Got Your Tongue?, Supergirl Adventures: Girl of Steel, Batman Adventures: Batgirl: A League of Her Own, and Justice League Unlimited: Girl Power.
• The Dollhouse Family
Issues #1-6 by Mike Carey and Peter Gross in paperback, following the hardcover.
• Hill House Box Set
Box set including Basketful of Heads, Low, Low Woods, Dollhouse Family, Daphne Byrne, Plunge, and Sea Dogs, in paperback. Now if DC could find a way to release all of these in one volume sans box, I might pick it up.
• Justice League: Death Metal
Justice League #53–57 by Joshua Williamson and Xermanico and others, tying of course into Death Metal and being the final storyline before “Endless Winter,” Future State, and the Brian Michael Bendis run of the title. Coming in September in paperback, well after the rest of the other Death Metal material.
• The Low, Low Woods
Paperback collecting issues #1-6 of the Hill House miniseries by Carmen Maria Machado, following the hardcover.
• The Next Batman: Second Son
In hardcover, collecting the digital series by John Ridley and Tony Akins, spinning out of (into?) Future State.
Six-issue miniseries by Joe Hill and Stuart Immonen, in paperback following the hardcover.
• Saga of the Swamp Thing Box Set
Box set of six Alan Moore Swamp Thing collections. Not sure if these are hardcover or paperback but I’m pretty sure they won’t use the infamous sticky glossy covers.
• Sensational Wonder Woman
Collects issues #1-6 of the digital first series with contributions from Stephanie Phillips, Alyssa Wong, Meghan Hetrick, Bruno Rodondo, and Eleonora Carlini.
• Suicide Squad Case Files 1
Stories featuring first or major appearances by Bloodsport, Mongal, Polka-Dot Man, King Shark, Weasel, and the Thinker — can these all possibly be in the James Gunn movie? It’s Superman #4 and #170, Detective Comics #300, Superboy #9, Fury of Firestorm #38, Suicide Squad Vol. 4 #25, Vigilante #36, and Suicide Squad: Amanda Waller #1.
• Suicide Squad Case Files 2
Stories focusing on Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Rick Flag, Ratcatcher, Savant, Javelin, and Blackguard. Collects Suicide Squad #44, Secret Origins #14, Detective Comics #585, Birds of Prey #58, Batman: Harley Quinn #1, Green Lantern #174, and Booster Gold #1.
• Suicide Squad: Their Greatest Shots
All of these Suicide Squad books are, of course, timed for the new James Gunn movie. Good that DC already has all of John Ostrander’s Suicide Squad series collected, though indeed that seems to leave us with just anthologies left when DC needs new Suicide Squad books. This collects Suicide Squad #10 (1987) (emphasis on Waller vs. Batman), Suicide Squad #15 (2012) (”Death of the Family” tie-in), Suicide Squad #22 (2013) (including Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and King Shark), Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1 (2016), Suicide Squad #16 (2017) (vs. Lex Luthor), Suicide Squad #20 (2017) (Harley leads the Squad), Suicide Squad #47 (2018) (Captain Boomerang spotlight), and Suicide Squad Special: War Crimes #1 (2016) (John Ostrander special timed to the first Suicide Squad movie).
• Superman: The Man of Steel Vol. 4
DC’s solicitation describes the Superman: The Wedding Album deluxe edition that’s already been solicited. There was earlier a listing for a fourth Superman: The Man of Steel volume, so I’m assuming this is that. That book was said to collect Superman #16-22, Adventures of Superman #439-444, Action Comics #598-600, and the Superman Annual #2. I imagine it should also have the crossover issue Doom Patrol #10, which was included in the original Man of Steel paperbacks.
Notably Superman #22 is where John Byrne's run ended, as well as the original Man of Steel paperbacks — whether these books continue on from here or not would really be telling.
• Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace Vol. 1: Global Guardian
Collects 11 chapters of the digital series by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, pitting Wonder Woman, Etta Candy, and Steve Trevor against Cheetah, Deadshot, Penguin, and more (plus a Harley Quinn team-up!).
• Wonder Woman: Blood and Guts: The Deluxe Edition
The first 12 issues of the New 52 series by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang. We have also already seen this reprinted as an Absolute.
• Wonder Woman: Who Is Wonder Woman? The Deluxe Edition
This was a kind-of notable post-Infinite Crisis Wonder Woman story which, as its main claim to fame, brought some of the super spy Diana Prince trappings back to Wonder Woman, but all of that was short-lived. To be sure, DC's draw for reprinting this now is that writer Allan Heinberg also wrote the screenplay for the first recent Wonder Woman movie. Collects Wonder Woman #1-4 and the Wonder Woman Annual #1 of that era.
This post first appeared on Collected Editions | Blog, Collected Comics Review, please read the originial post: here