DC recently announced its upcoming trades and collections for the beginning of the summer, and the list is up here. As in previous lists, I found some things worth commenting on.
DC is really pushing out the Batman stuff to coincide with the upcoming film. Joker: The Last Laugh is really best forgotten, but I guess it makes sense to put this out from a business standpoint, since the Joker will be all over the place this summer. Paul Jenkins's Two-Face story, Batman: Jekyll and Hyde, is an interesting choice: despite good art, the series was just okay, and it's pretty easy to get in cheap back issues. However, that book, combined with the Batman vs. Two-Face trade, seems to indicate a spoiler about the movie: Aaron Eckhart's Harvey Dent will probably turn in to Two-Face by the end of the movie. The Two-Face collection, which features random appearances from throughout the character's history, looks good. It contains the Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams story, which is one of my all-time favorite Batman comics.
I also want to mention that I'm glad I'm not buying the current Ra's al Ghul crossover in single issues, as the collection is being pushed out pretty quickly. In fact, I'm surprised how many collections are announced for storylines or miniseries that aren't even over yet. DC seems to be showing its support for the new Infinity Inc. series by issuing a quick trade, though that comic got off to a pretty boring start.
While the number of Batman books on this list is understandable, I'm not sure why DC is putting out so much Superman stuff, especially collections of stories from John Byrne's revamp, like the World of Krypton collection. Also, if DC is going to do a collection like this, that mixes pre- and post-Crisis Krypton stories, why not include the first World of Krypton series from 1979, which has the added importance of being DC's first real miniseries (plus, it has some nice art by Howard Chaykin and Murphy Anderson)?
It's also interesting to see what DC added to the Bizarro World hardcover to get a collection out of the recent 3-issue story.
The Showcase Presents volumes are an interesting lot, in that all are continuations of series that already have volumes, like Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, and The Haunted Tank. I'll be curious to see what other series get the Showcase treatment later this summer.
On the flipside of the Showcase books are the Archive collections. Rumor has it that the two listed here--for Seven Soldiers of Victory and The Doom Patrol--are the last of this format, and DC is going to move more series into the Omnibus format, like the nice Starman collection. Speaking of that book, I probably won't be getting it because I have all the single issues, but I can't recommend it highly enough. It's one of my all-time favorite series, and I'm glad it's being released in this format.
The real exciting news in this list, however, is the announcement of the harcover collection of Jack Kirby's OMAC series in a format similar to the Fourth World Omnibi. At last summer's HeroesCon, I asked DC Executive Editor Dan DiDio at one of the DC panels if they would release OMAC in a format similar to Kirby's Fourth World. Clearly, I have some pull, as this collection will be out in less than a year from the time I asked the question. At the next opportunity I have to talk to Dan DiDio, I will use that influence more ambitiously.