Friday, February 17, 2012

Update 2-17-12 - Final Pre-Flashpoint trades, Batman: Black Mirror, Brightest Day, Superman, Green Lantern, Knightfall

The big news, if you haven't already heard, is that the Collected Editions DC Universe Trade Paperback Timeline reading order is now an ebook! The online timeline is great for when you're sitting at your computer, but for those times when you're on an airplane and really wish you could check where a book fits into the timeline (and trust me, this has happened to me!), the ebook is a great mobile, e-reader, or offline alternative to the original timeline. Check it out at Smashwords.

Today, the online DC TPB Timeline has been updated to match the ebook (except for the ebook-exclusive introduction by yours truly). Among the updates are a new, streamlined table of contents that more closely matches the history of the DC Universe (organized largely by events, though the timeline of course includes both crossover-related and "on their own" trades), which will make it easier to find what you're looking for and explore different eras on the timeline.

This new update also adds 40 books to the timeline, including all the final trades of the "old" DC Universe before the DC New 52 reboot (and those books are coming to the timeline, promise!). We have the conclusion of "Batman Reborn," including Batman: Black Mirror, Golden Dawn, Gates of Gotham, and Batman, Inc.; we've got Superman: Reign of Doomsday and all its tie-ins; we've got the conclusion of Brightest Day and Justice League: Generation Lost; War of the Green Lanterns, Flashpoint, and much, much more. The timeline now organizes over 800 DC Comics collections

So go ahead, check out your best source for how to read the DC Universe in order -- the DC Universe Trade Paperback Timeline. And don't forget, for all your timeline needs on the go, we proudly welcome the DC TPB Timeline ebook to the family. Thanks!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Update 10-21-11 - Superman: Reign of Doomsday, Green Lantern, Resurrection Man, Chase, Warlord

Closing out the week with a reading order update to the DC Universe Trade Paperback Timeline.

One of my favorite aspects of timeline-ing are the multi-title crossovers that take place around other events in a series. For instance, I've added all the elements of the Superman: Reign of Doomsday crossover; this includes the Return of Doomsday trade that includes Steel #1 (2011) and the Superman/Batman annual, as well as issues of Outsiders, Justice League, and Superboy -- and then the individual Outsiders, Justice League, and Superboy trades that collect the same respective issues plus more. I enjoy being able to read a crossover in this way, both from the crossover perspective and then how the crossover affects other events in the individual series.

Another example of this -- Secret Six: The Reptile Brain and Superman: The Black Ring Vol. 2 both make the timeline this time and each contain the others' crossover issue; some duplication, yes, but it also allows you to read the crossover as if from each characters' perspective.

I'm also excited to add both the Resurrection Man (pre-Flashpoint) and Chase collections to the timeline. Chase is one of just a handful of collections to include a DC One Million issue, plus a bunch of Secret Files stories (which made placement a little difficult). Resurrection Man includes, even more rare, a Genesis crossover, and ends just before the series's One Million issue (which tied rather prominently to DC One Million). Hopefully the next Resurrection Man collection will also include the crossover with Peter David's Supergirl.

Finally, here's an overlooked gem: Mike Grell wrote a very short-lived Warlord revival series just in the past year or so. It didn't make much of a splash, but it did get a collection -- and later on, Gail Simone's Secret Six: Reptile Brain builds on the continuity of the Warlord trade, earning it a certain place on the timeline. I'd have overlooked this if not for Reptile Brain, so good on you Gail Simone.

Thanks as always for your comments and suggestions! Remember, we're constantly thinking out loud about trade collections on Facebook and Twitter, plus the ongoing conversations at our comment feed. Get a glimpse of what doesn't quite make the Collected Editions cut, too, at Collected Editions After Party on Tumblr.  And while you're 'round the 'net, be sure to spread the word about the Timeline.  Until next time!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Update 8-19-11 - Batman Reborn, Brightest Day, Flashpoint

The newest reading order update to the DC Universe Trade Paperback Timeline brings to a close (for the most part) the "Batman Reborn" saga with Batman: Bruce Wayne -- The Road Home and the odd Red Robin: Hit List -- "odd" because that particular trade spans from before Time and the Batman to after Road Home, making for some rather tricky placement and reading. Details follow the book listing.

Also, by popular demand, all the Batman Confidential collections are now on the timeline. I resisted this like mad -- books like Batman Confidential and Legends of the Dark Knight aren't quite germane to the timeline necessarily -- but one very small throw-away line in the "Return" chapter of Batman and Robin Must Die brings Batman: Rules of Engagement into continuity, and thus Batman Confidential. Thank Grant Morrison, kids.

We have also shored up much of the early Brightest Day and Justice League: Generation Lost reading order, including moving Green Lantern: Brightest Day way down the list, to after Batman: Road Home. For good measure, there's some Flashpoint books on the timeline now, and of course the gap between Brightest Day and Flashpoint will be filled in as we go.

Look too for my favorite stuff, some new additions to the early post-Crisis on Infinite Earths material, including some Swamp Thing, Justice League International, and Suicide Squad books.

Everyone who writes in -- your comments are read and appreciated. Now that the newest update is live, we will be replying to some of the recent comments soon -- and keep 'em coming! Remember, you can catch all the latest Collected Editions news and discussions on the comment feed, Facebook page, Twitter feed -- and now there's something special on Tumblr, too. See you in the comments section!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Update 4-9-11 - Brightest Day, Swamp Thing, Flash, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne

Today, it's all about Brightest Day.

Well ... not all about Brightest Day, but pretty close. I have added a new "Brightest Day/Flashpoint" section to the DC Universe Trade Paperback Timeline, and placed a whopping fourteen books in the inaugural round. There's more to come, but this will get you started with how Brightest Day connects to Green Lantern and REBELS, and how Flash leads in to Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne and Wonder Woman, among others.

Other additions to the timeline include some entries from the Vertigo side of things: Saga of the Swamp Thing joins our "Pre-Crisis" reading list, as volume four contains a Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover; later on a volume of Swamp Thing will tie in to the Invasion crossover. I have also added the Kid Eternity miniseries since that character appears in Teen Titans and elsewhere.

A Blackest Night tie-in volume of Secret Six, War of the Supermen, Outsiders, Justice Society, Magog, and Question all round out today's update.

Keep those notes and letters coming -- we appreciate every one. Don't forget you can subscribe to the Collected Editions comments feed for all the latest chatter on the blog; friends of the Collected Editions Facebook page even heard about this timeline update early (though we love our Twitter followers, too). Thanks!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Update 3-1-11 - Batman: Long Halloween, Streets of Gotham, Gotham City Sirens, Arkham Reborn

Thanks to everyone who's been waiting so patiently for a reading order update to the DC Universe Trade Paperback Timeline. I think the Bat-errific update has a lot of what you've been looking for.

First, Batman: The Long Halloween and its related books have finally made it to the timeline. Credit in no small part Tony Daniel's Batman: Life After Death -- some books have made vague references to Long Halloween before, but Daniel's is the first to completely summarize Long Halloween and Dark Victory's plots, and that brings those stories firmly into continuity.

I've placed them after Infinite Crisis, just before Batman: Face the Face, which itself makes a vague reference to Long Halloween. Why not just after Batman: Year One? Because, the way I conceive the timeline, you're reading these books the way they're meant to be understood, and Long Halloween, though it's set in the "Year One" era, is not a contemporary of Frank Miller's 1980s story. Dark Victory, for instance, specifically contradicts Batman: Prodigal and Robin: Year One for simple reasons, that Dark Victory wasn't written yet, so for the timeline I wouldn't recommend reading the Long Halloween books that early; that would just confuse things. But your results may vary.

The other item of note is that some major aspects of the "Batman Reborn" saga -- Streets of Gotham, Gotham City Sirens, the aforementioned Life After Death, and Batman: Arkham Reborn all now appear on the timeline. In short order the rest of "Batman Reborn" is on its way, mostly in line with what reviews you see on Collected Editions.

Other highlights include Ravager: Fresh Hell, Blue Beetle: Black and Blue, and some other minor gaps filled in.

Don't forget you can subscribe to the Collected Editions comments feed for all the latest chatter on the blog; there's also often timeline talk on our Facebook page and Twitter feed. See you around!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Update 12-17-10 - Lobo, Legion of Super-Heroes, Batman Reborn, Superman: New Krypton

To celebrate the 200th fan of the Collected Editions Facebook page, we have a new reading order update to the DC Universe Trade Paperback Timeline.

I have had for a while a reader request to add some Lobo books to the timeline, but held off because many Lobo books, while enjoyable, aren't really tied in to DC Comics continuity -- Lobo: Highway to Hell, for instance, is just a one-off "imaginary" story, for instance.

But -- there is a great trade paperback out there if you can get your hands on it called Lobo's Greatest Hits, which includes a bunch of otherwise-uncollected issues of L.E.G.I.O.N. and Mister Miracle, so that definitely has a place on the timeline. Also, the Lobo: Portrait of a Bastich collection includes two Lobo miniseries that stemmed from the character's popularity in the early 1990s, so I've includes that as well.

In addition to updating the current Superman: New Krypton and Batman Reborn listings, including triangulating where the series come together in Sterling Gates's World's Finest miniseries, I have also found a place for DC's great new collections of older materials. I'm very excited to see DC collection such stories as the death of Aquaman's son and Trial of the Flash -- both pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths stories that are still in continuity today -- so I've found where those should go on the timeline along with the classic Infinity Inc. and Firestorm collections. I'm also thrilled that the stories of the pre-Crisis Legion of Super-Heroes that are now back in continuity post-Infinite Crisis, so I've begun building those into the timeline as well, starting with the vaunted Great Darkness Saga.

I appreciate corrections and suggestions as always, and thanks again to everyone who gives the DC Comics Trade Paperback Timeline a mention on their own site or on message boards. More updates coming soon!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Update 9-7-10 - Sandman, Doom Patrol, Countdown to Final Crisis

If you were following the Collected Editions Facebook page yesterday, you already know that we had an update to the reading order of the DC Comics Trade Paperback Timeline.

In addition to adding Batman: Long Shadows, Wonder Woman: Warkiller, Superboy: Boy of Steel, and generally tightening up some of the explanations around those books, the other big addition was two Vertigo titles, Doom Patrol and Sandman.

Originally my intention was to include Sandman only, but helpful Collected Editions reader Hix rightly pointed out that Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol run launches from the conclusion of the Invasion! storyline, which gives the series a natural place in the storyline. I have mostly lumped those Doom Patrol books in one place after that because they don't tie to the DC Universe of that time all that closely, but they're important reading because the current Keith Giffen Doom Patrol refers back to them.

I had avoided for some time including Neil Gaiman's Sandman on the timeline because I want everything on the timeline to be specifically relevant, and I know that Sandman is for the most part far removed from the ongoing DC Universe. It remains, however, that the Sandman characters have appeared in JLA: Strength in Numbers, JSA: Lost and Mixed Signals, Green Arrow: Quiver, and in Paul Cornell's forthcoming Superman: The Black Ring, letting alone that stories in Sandman follow from (the tragically uncollected) Infinity, Inc. That Sandman helps you understand that many books warrants its inclusion on the timeline.

(Fun fact: it seems Sandman: The Kindly Ones is considered an unofficial tie-in to DC's Zero Hour crossover event.)

I also did some reorganizing of the early Countdown to Final Crisis era. This is a very tricky time in that it has to balance one character's death and another's rebirth, Green Arrow and Black Canary's engagement, the Sinestro Corps War, and more. Thanks again for the suggestions; I think those books are about set now.

More updates on the way. Thanks for following along!