Now that we know that the trade Blackest Night hardcover collection is on the horizon (though not, unfortunately, in a deluxe edition), it's time to start considering how YOU would want to see Blackest Night collected.
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Even more than Final Crisis, it seems Blackest Night has a whole bunch of moving parts that need to be included in this. Let's take a look at them.
* Blackest Night: The Series
Final Crisis was seven issues; Blackest Night clocks in at eight issues, the first of which is an oversized 48-pages and the rest at least 40 pages (though likely issue #6 or #8 might be oversized, too). Right off the bat, that's 328 pages, whereas the Amazon listing for Blackest Night only cites 304 pages. Though a page count this early is usually just a placeholder and could change, it makes it very unlikely that the Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps crossover issues will be included in this volume.
As discussed in the comments of our original post on this, there's some debate as to how the Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps issues will read separate from Blackest Night (the former perhaps better than the latter, but basically, there doesn't seem to be room in the hardcover for any). Chances are we're looking at a Blackest Night hardcover, and then Green Lantern: Blackest Night and Green Lantern Corps: Blackest Night companion hardcover volumes, which'll make about as much sense on their own as the Final Crisis crossover "Last Rites" in Batman RIP, but such is the life of reading comics in collected format.
Another interesting suggestion in the previous post is that we might actually be looking at two volumes of the main Blackest Night hardcover, which could then include the Green Lantern titles. DC did this for The Sinestro Corps War, though that was a largely in-title event; a two-volume crossover collection would be a first for DC Comics.
* Blackest Night: Tie-in Miniseries
None of that takes into account, however, a whole slew of ancillary Blackest Night miniseries published in addition to the main title and the Green Lantern books. Not only is there the three-part Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps, there's also six three-issue miniseries starring DC Comics heroes -- Batman, Superman, Titans, Wonder Woman, Flash, and JSA -- and eight "resurrected" issues DC just announced for January. That's twenty-nine (!) more Blackest Night issues that must (of course), be collected.
This is where I venture we'll see a Blackest Night Companion like the Infinite Crisis and Final Crisis companions before it. And twenty-nine issues probably means Blackest NIght Companion volumes one, two, and maybe three -- as this moves farther from Blackest Night proper, I'd hope to see paperbacks of these.
* Crossover Titles
As of November, DC Comics has solicited a number of in-series Blackest Night crossovers -- Adventure Comics, Booster Gold, Doom Patrol, and more. And I say: Well played, DC, well played.
See, I wait for the trade, on one hand, and on the other hand, my budget isn't what it used to be. So when I'm faced with two new series, for instance, and I have to think, "Do I want to buy Power Girl: A New Beginning, given that I read the introductory Power Girl trade and I follow Justice Society, or do I want to pick up R.E.B.E.L.S.: The Coming of Starro?" R.E.B.E.L.S. is brand-new and I don't already follow the series ... BUT I know that the next R.E.B.E.L.S. trade is going to contain the Blackest Night crossover, and if I want to be up-to-date for that, I might pick up R.E.B.E.L.S. instead (or, frankly, in addition). The same is true of Doom Patrol, a title on which I might otherwise have passed for a while.
Kudos to DC, by the way, for including a bevy of the "Origins & Omens" pages in the requisite trades. They're included as far as I know in Nightwing: The Great Leap, Robin: Search for a Hero, Booster Gold: Reality Lost, and Teen Titans: Changing of the Guard, and I'm sure there's more. If I knew a trade that I otherwise might not pick up (few as they are) had the "Origins & Omens" pages in it, would the completist in me then want to pick it up ...? Probably. Well played, DC, well played.
So that is, frankly, an almost dizzying amount of material due to land on our doorsteps in 2010 related to Blackest Night.
I open it up to you now: how do you want to see Blackest Night collected, what will you buy, what could you do without ... and will the final product be thick enough that you can beat zombies with it when the dead will rise? Chime in!