Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Second, despite DC binding these in square "Prestige" format and writing the books' names on some of their spines, I'm not sure these are all that different from the Countdown Specials that DC published around Countdown to Final Crisis time, though they cost twice as much. Most of these "100-Page Spectaculars," as the covers announce, contain only four issues, or 88 pages, for $7.99. Countdown Special: Eclipso, touted as an "80-Page Giant," contained three issues and cost $4.99; so did the Jimmy Olsen volume, and so did the New Gods volume.
That is, there's some excitement that the DC Comics Presents books are a good approximation of a trade paperback-type product released monthly and at a price more affordable than trades. Instead, I'd suggest these are not overmuch different than the 80-Page Giants or Specials that we're already used to reading, but at a greater price point than those other books.
I accept the argument that the stories in these books might not otherwise support a trade paperback collection. There are stories among these DC Comics Presents collections that I'm thrilled to see available again to the public -- Geoff Johns and Jeph Loeb with Ed McGuinness on Superman, especially -- but that aren't tied to any specific event nor are they "big" in their own right, and I agree it wouldn't be worth DC's money to publish them as trades. Probably they will sell in these smaller chopped-up versions.
But I still don't like the precedent of these "newsstand" trade volumes, here today and gone tomorrow. If DC is going to reprint these stories, they might as well reprint them in a way that'll last more than just a couple of months; else I'm not sure these stories necessarily needed to be reprinted at all.
Let me be nothing, however, if not inconsistent. All of that said, I love DC Comics history, and I especially love getting to fill in the little gaps I have in my DC Comics reading -- when Jason Rusch teamed up with original Firestorm Ronnie Raymond in Jason's Firestorm series, for instance, or when Checkmate's Sasha Bordeaux appeared in Ed Brubaker's Batman prior to Batman: Murderer/Fugitive, for another. And I was nice enough to have a friend who slipped me some of these DC Comics Presents volumes, many of which fit between trades that I already own. I am reading and enjoying DC Comics Presents, even despite my misgivings.
So, coming tomorrow is a look at all three issues of DC Comics Presents: Brightest Day, considering how the books read and also offering a bit of context for new readers -- this timed to coincide with the Collected Editions review of the first Brightest Day hardcover collection that we ran last week. More DC Comics Presents reviews will follow over the next few months, sometimes timed with a look at a relevant book.
I'm curious your thoughts on the DC Comics Presents books, and be here tomorrow for the first review.