2016 Holiday Gift Guide – DC Comics

Wonder Woman: A Celebration of 75 Years
Wonder Woman: A Celebration of 75 Years

With the holidays arriving on our doorstep, Corrina and Ray decided to put together a holiday gift guide of their favorite DC items, with a concentration on stories from this past year that they’ve been raving about in reviews. Books first and scroll below for our favorite new collectibles.

Wonder Woman: A Celebration of 75 Years

A terrific collection of Wonder Woman throughout the years, from her creation to her depowered era, to George Perez’s magnificent reboot and some of the short stories in the digital first Wonder Woman comics. Overall, it’s a representation of the Amazon at her best.

The Legend of Wonder Woman: Volume #1: Origins by Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon

This superlative retelling of Wonder Woman’s origins received the deluxe hardcover treatment and the quality of the pages spotlights the lush art. If you can only afford one Wonder Woman tale for the Amazon in your life, this is the one.

Batman volume 9: Bloom
Batman volume 9: Bloom, image copyright DC Comics

Batman: Volume 9: Bloom by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

The swan song of a definitive run for this creative team on Batman, the story follows a non-traumatized Bruce Wayne as he struggles to answer or deny the call to put on the Batman costume. A tale about the nature of heroism, Batman’s mystical connection to Gotham, and the other heroes who serve the city.

Omega Men: The End Is Here by Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda

A space-faring story that’s about a rebellion against tyranny but it’s also a commentary on the nature of terrorism, revolt, and if humanity is essentially good or evil. An instant classic and relevant to our times.

The Flash: Volume 1: Lightning Strikes Twice by Joshua Williamson and Carmine Di GIandomenico 

Rebirth brought a new creative team to the Scarlet Speedster and it was the first time in a long time that Barry Allen came to life for me, dealing with not one speedster but a speed storm that created numerous speedsters, some with good intentions, some not, but most who needed Flash’s help and support. This is the most interesting the Flash comic has been to me in a decade.

Midnighter Volume #1, Out, cover copyright DC Comics
Midnighter Volume #1, Out, cover copyright DC Comics

Midnighter Volume 1: Out and Volume 2: Hard by Steve Orlando and Aco, David Messina, and Hugo Petrus

For anyone who is enjoying Steve Orlando’s work on Supergirl or excited for Justice League of America, his first published work is a must-read. A bare-knuckle brawl of a comic that revitalizes old Wildstorm characters and delivers no-holds-barred action with a surprising human core, it’s a perfect way to catch up on one of DC’s best recent titles just in time for the current Midnighter and Apollo sequel miniseries.

We Are Robin Volume 1: The Vigilante Business and Volume 2: Jokers by Lee Bermejo and Jorge Corona, Khary Randolph, and Rob Haynes

Another hidden gem from the DC You era, this book is not only a must-read for any fan of Gotham’s teen vigilante scene (introducing an intriguing group of original heroes), but also an essential chapter in the storyarc of Duke Thomas, Batman’s newest ward and protege in the current Batman books.

Panel from Gotham Academy Volume #1, copyright DC Comics
Panel from Gotham Academy Volume #1, copyright DC Comics

Gotham Academy Volume 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy, Volume 2: Calamity, and Volume 3: Yearbook by Brenden Fletcher, Becky Cloonan, Karl Kerschl, and a group of the best indie talent in comics

A high school adventure fusing Gotham mythology with an original group of teenage characters with secrets, this unconventional book has quickly established itself as one of DC’s most original and is a great choice for any fans of Lumberjanes (which has actually crossed over with this book in recent months). While volumes one and two tell a serialized story, volume three is an anthology that spotlights a combination of elite DC writers and up-and-coming indie creators to flesh out the world of Gotham Academy.

Superman: Lois and Clark by Dan Jurgens and Lee Weeks

Enjoying the current Superman and Action Comics runs? The story actually began eight months earlier with this miniseries that revealed how the original Superman and Lois Lane made their way to the main DCU Earth. It’s also the first step on Jon Kent’s journey to becoming the new Superboy. A breath of fresh air that was one of our favorite Superman stories since the New 52 began.

Superman Family Adventures Volume 1 and Volume 2 by Art Baltazar and Franco

An ideal introduction to the world of Superman for young kids, as well as a fun all-ages book for any fans of the characters. Baltazar and Franco remain some of the best all-ages storytellers in comics, and this series (a more plot-dense spinoff from their popular Tiny Titans series) digs deep into Superman’s history for twelve issues of adventures.

Art Ops, Vol 1, cover copyright DC Comics
Art Ops, Vol 1, cover copyright DC Comics

Art Ops Volume 1: How to Start a Riot and Volume 2: Popism by Shaun Simon, Mike Allred, and Lee Bermejo

A surreal, art-history inspired conspiracy thriller with the distinctive art of Mike Allred on the majority of issues, this recent Vertigo title delivered some of the most unique visuals of their recent wave. You’re not going to go wrong with a book where two of the main threats are a Kaiju-ized Statue of Liberty and an army of dads.

Red Thorn: Volume 1: Glasgow Kiss by David Baillie and Meghan Hetrick 

A young woman who can draw things that come to life, a power both terrifying and intoxicating. A god imprisoned for eons who invades the woman’s dreams. Toss in the mythology of the whole world and demons and gods trying to come back through to the real world, all beautifully rendered, and this is one of my favorite Vertigo books in a long time.

Clean Room: Volume 1: Immaculate Conception by Gail Simone and Jon Davis-Hunt 

The palette of this book is bright, almost blindingly white, and that only makes the nightmares it induces more horrifying. It begins with a young girl about to be run down in the street, takes a turn into suicide investigations, and then to where it all happens: the clean room where the demons can speak and be destroyed. Yikes!

Collectibles: 

DC Super Hero Girls Action Doll (Various prices from $12 up)

Corrina never had a Wonder Woman action figure as a kid. That may have something to do with wanting this one as an adult. An excellent gift for either that young girl in your life or that grown-up woman who still idolizes the Amazon. (Psst…there’s also a whole DC Super Hero Girls high school action playset…just sayin.’)

Batman: Arkham Knight Batgirl & Oracle Two-Pack, via DC Collectibles
Batman: Arkham Knight Batgirl & Oracle Two-Pack, via DC Collectibles

Batman: Arkham Knight Batgirl and Oracle Action Figure Two-Pack ($60)

No, I don’t play the video game. But I love Oracle and to this point, there’s only been one Oracle figure released and that was in a long ago Birds of Prey boxed set. (Which I own, yes.). This is a terrific two-pack of Barbara Gordon’s identities. My only quibble? The wheelchair could be sleeker and less bulky.

Batman: That Animated Series Batmobile. Oh, yeah, those other guys are available too. Images copyright DC Comics.
Batman: That Animated Series Batmobile. Oh, yeah, those other guys are available too. Images copyright DC Comics.

Batman: The Animated Series Batmobile ($65.99)

It’s sleek, it’s black, and it’s as cool as it looks on the television show. Only drawback? You can’t drive it.

 

 

 

 

 

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Reviewer, comic book writer, and the author of Alex Actonn, Son of Two Seas - novel available on Amazon now! DC superfan who is loving everything about Rebirth. Feels very strongly about Cassandra Cain, Stephanie Brown, and Young Justice. Can also be found on Graphic Policy doing sales analysis with Glenn Matchett, and on the Rabbitt Stew Podcast with Glenn and Brandon James.