And the collection of the “New 52” juggernaut rolls on...
Batman: Detective Comics vol. 1 -- Faces of Death, and Batwoman vol. 1: Hydrology: Both are getting the hardcover treatment, and I’ll probably wait until both are in softcover before picking them up. I’ve never read any of Tony Daniel’s “Batman” prior to the relaunch, but everything I’ve heard about his work on “Detective” indicates that he’s struck some kind of nerve with his audience (in a good way). I’ve heard next to nothing about the story, beyond the fact that the first issue apparently had an AWESOME cliffhanger, so I’m not about to buy it without “minimizing my financial risk” first. Same with “Batwoman,” though the vibe there is that the brilliant art justifies the “merely okay” story.
Animal Man vol. 1: The Hunt: I guess it’s fitting that a kind of “pack mentality” is getting me to pick this up. As one of the two critical breakouts of the relaunch, “Swamp Thing” being the other, picking this up based on word-of-mouth alone feels like a no-brainer. It’ll also be the first collection featuring the character that I’ve bought where he wasn’t written by a certain demented Scottish counter-culture shaman.
Stormwatch vol. 1: The Dark Side: I was sold on picking this up even before I saw Paul Cornell talk about the title at the “New 52 Edge & Dark” panel at Comic-Con. The man is just as clever and witty in person as his writing would indicate with the high point coming as he addressed Apollo and The Midnighter’s relationship. Cornell said that he’d be approaching it not as an established relationship, but as two men finding each other, and that he had no intention of straightening them up. He then mentioned how the “Gays in Comics” panel he’d be attending later on wouldn’t let him leave alive if he had said something like, “Well, we’re taking a new direction with those two...” Good for him, though this will be his only volume as Paul Jenkins will be writing this as of issue #7.
Batman: Prey: Another collection being released with a tenuous tie in to “The Dark Knight Rises” based on the rumored/presumed/confirmed appearance of Hugo Strange in the movie. I actually read the original story while I was a student at the University of California, Riverside, since they had a lot of “Legends of the Dark Knight” issues as part of the Eaton Collection. My memory of it is fuzzy, but I remember liking it well enough, though I have no idea what the other arc they’ll be collecting here is about. Did Moench and Gulacy actually do a sequel? We shall see.
Legion Lost: I’ve never read a “Legion of Superheroes” story, but I’m tempted to pick this one up as it garnered a fair amount of acclaim at the time of its release and was successful enough to get writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning the job of writing a new ongoing featuring the team. My main fear is the series’ legendary reader-unfriendliness, but it can’t be as bad as say, starting to read any of the “X-titles” without any prior knowledge of the story or the characters. Right?
Starman Omnibus vol. 1: Now available in a more affordable softcover. This is the edition I’ll probably be picking up at some point since the original collected editions didn’t collect everything. So if you haven’t started reading this classic series yet, you now have no excuse and will have the chance to look considerably smarter than people like me.
Get Jiro!: Not sure what to think of this since the solicitation text makes it sound like a distaff “Vertigo Crime” book, only fun, and it has that eye-catching cover. On the other, it’s one of those books written by a semi-famous person, Anthony Bourdain (writer of “Kitchen Confidential,” star of “No Reservations”), with a co-writer I’ve never heard of and an artist who -- well, he did that cover so it’s a point in his favor. If there’s a dearth of interesting product in the week it comes out, I might pick it up. Or I’ll wait until softcover or later.
Deadenders: Ed Brubaker, before he was famous, wrote this mod-influenced sci-fi series. A collection of the first four issues was released years ago and it was great. Not quite as good as “Scene of the Crime,” but proof that Brubaker has been writing excellent comics ever since he broke into the industry. My only concern is that since this was intended to be an ongoing series, will the ending feel rushed to the point of tarnishing the whole endeavor. It’s a real possibility, but I’ll be picking it up anyway.