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Alex J. has been grilling me with some tough questions by email. It’s pretty great, because typing answers helps me organize my thoughts.

Figured I’d share them here as well.

Alex J: Will you add the Jonah Hex titles to the Trade Reading Order? And if you do, where will you place them?

TPBro: I’ve been thinking about that – that and the WWII titles. I feel like I might add them in where they would have taken place in the sort of timeline? I’m not really sure.

I haven’t read them myself yet, so I don’t know how much they crossover with the main DCU (The modern ones anyway, I know that the “present” DC characters travel into the past or meet characters like Jonah, Tomahawk, Bat Lash, Haunted Tank and so on, but I’m not sure if that happens in their own books as well.)

I’ve got the Showcase ones in the database, but unplaced, but haven’t put any of the Modern Age trades in yet.

Honestly, it might wait until I get my hands on them and can make a decision based on reading them (like I did with Madame Xanadu).

Do you have any advice on the westerns? I think I’d like to place them PreCoIE, since the characters do show up from time to time in a lot of the other Pre-Crisis books and events, but I’m not sure if I should place them near when their Showcase books were placed or before the Golden Age stuff.

It’s tough, cause I really like starting the reading order with Superman and Batman – but it feels weird to dip into westerns right after that.

Alex J: Personally, I’d place the TPBs in accordance with their placement on the DCU timeline, the best iteration of which can be found here: http://dcu.smartmemes.com/

I’ve spoken to the webmaster of that site, and it’s true that he hasn’t updated since last December, but he’s working on a major overhaul. Until then, though, the data is still good. So, I’d place them before the Superman Chronicles, personally. Hell, I’d put the Superman Chronicles after Superman For All Seasons, but that’s just me.

Yeah, it’s a pickle. Here’s another suggestion: find the first place in continuity before Jonah Hex, for example, crosses over with the main timeline, and dump them all right before that point. Ultimately it’s your call though.

TPBro: I kinda consider Superman Chronicles to be premier of Golden Age Supes and then all the other stuff to be Modern/Silver Age Supes – since it feels like Silver/Bronze Age Superman turns into Modern Age during CoIE. that’s why I kinda have them separate. It also gives me a place to put all the Golden Age stuff which really doesn’t fit with the other character stuff and seems to be separate according to the story in Multiple Earths, etc.

Finding the first place before crossover isn’t a bad idea either, and I’ve done that before. But yeah, that will be once I’ve had a chance to look at em, I think.

I’m really trying to concentrate on getting the data up for all the books currently in there and once I’ve got that it will be mostly adding new books.

Eventually I have to think about tackling Marvel, but I’ve already decided I’m just doing that one chronologically by release date of the issues, haha. It’s too much of a mess otherwise.

Alex J: Pfft, Marvel. Whatever. But, if there’s anything I can do to help with DC, let me know.

TPBro: Haha, that’s kind of how I feel (right now, since I’m so deep into the dcu while working on this), but there’s a demand for it and I try to be helpful. Just chatting with me about this stuff is helpful, it lets me organize my thoughts.

Alex J: I’ll keep up the chatter then. So, now that we’re clear more or less on WWII and Westerns, what about stuff like the Legion of Superheroes, and Kamandi?

TPBro: Legion of Super-Heroes I’ve been placing from the perspective of their 20th/21st century members/observers. Which sort of means when it came out chronologically (Silver Age near Silver Age, Modern Age near Modern Age) but I’ve moved them around a little bit when I could condense (like near Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes).

For Kamandi, I’m not sure – I’ve been holding up on that one until I started putting more hardcovers in. I haven’t hit any of the Archives, for example. Unless there was a softcover somewhere there that I missed!

Alex J: I don’t know that much about Kamandi, but I do know that Crisis on Infinite Earths set it between now and the Legion Era. That’s not true anymore, at least I don’t think so, but putting it before your first Legion placement might be as good a place as any to put it. Just an idea.

TPBro: Yeah, it was supposedly somewhere between us and Legion, but I’m just going to put it where it came out Pre-Crisis, probably. It does interact a bit with Superman and some other titles, so it makes sense to keep it near the ongoings it was crossing over with.

—- a little later, after some unrelated discussion, wherein Alex gets credit for the TPBRO acronym, which is technically correct and also sounds like “bro” as in “Yo, bro, what’s up dude?” which I like. —

Alex J: By the way, glad you included Watchmen on the reading list.

TPBro: I felt Watchmen was essential – it shows up literally in a couple solo series later on, and it’s pretty much an Elseworlds for the Blue Beetle and The Question, etc. Also, sets the mood for the following era.

Alex J: Why do you place the first Superman stories (after the Chronicles) after the first Batman stories (after the Chronicles)? By all accounts, Superman was active a full year before Batman.

TPBro: Mainly cause Batman shows up in the Man of Steel trade. There’s a weird section where there’s room for a lot of Superman stories, but they don’t seem to have been published the way the Batman year one stuff has. At least collected (I have no idea about the floppies.) There’s just a TON of Batman stuff that takes place specifically before he meets Superman. So even though Supes is active, I have to place the trade where he meets Batman after those books.

Alex J: When the inevitable TPB of Superman: Secret Origin is released, where will you place it on the list, relative to the current Superman Origin TPBs?

TPBro: Not sure. For any retcon or retelling of origin book, I usually wait till I’ve read it to place it firmly. I’ve read all the modern ones on that list and had to do about a slow years worth a tweaking, haha. they don’t fit perfectly with the silver age stuff (and some of it is so out there it will never fit perfectly with anything) but I’m pretty happy with it as a whole.

Superman: Secret Origin will probably be read as soon as I get my hands on it, and then placed.

Same with JSA: Strange Adventures. I’m still not sure where that goes cause I haven’t had a chance to read it.

And there you go! I’m sure we’ll have more back and forth later. Hope this is useful to anyone who has similar questions. Feel free to send em in or leave a comment, as always!

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