I understand, to be sure, why that book is controversial, but Identity Crisis marked for me a distinct rebounding of the quality of DC Comics's crossover events, and the beginning of much greater line-wide cohesiveness. Say, again, what you will about Identity Crisis, but it was far greater than Millenium Giants, Genesis, or Day of Judgment, and DC's crossovers have been blockbusters ever since.
I do not, however, think it deserves a $100 oversized Absolute edition.
First, the book has a hardcover and a paperback edition that are both still in print. At the time that Batman: Hush and Superman For Tomorrow each came out in Absolute editions, neither had one single collection of the entire story; Batman: The Long Halloween
While it does not necessarily follow that a book must lack an edition to deserve an Absolute edition -- it's perfectly reasonable with the Green Lantern movie coming out that Green Lantern: Rebirth should get an Absolute edition -- I feel it's not as though there was a dearth of ways to read Identity Crisis that an Absolute edition could solve.
Second, if we warrant (perhaps incorrectly) that the publication of one Absolute edition means a delay in the publication of another, there are potential Absolute editions out there that I think are more deserving than Identity Crisis. Numerous readers, in my opinion, would snatch up an Absolute Sinestro Corps War, especially re-ordered with the specials mixed in -- or Absolute Blackest Night presented in reading order, again to tie in to the upcoming Green Lantern movie. Rags Morales lovely art will certainly be lovelier in Absolute format, but a collection of just the Identity Crisis issues, no different than how they're already available, seems to me a waste of the format.
Third, $100? Really, DC Comics? When Absolute Green Lantern: Rebirth was $75, and historically Absolute editions have been $75, to price an Absolute Identity Crisis at $100, more than just being expensive, seems an overestimation of the value of the item they're selling. Indeed, Absolute All Star Superman is $100, but it doesn't have a full hardcover collection yet, and there's a movie based on it coming out. Identity Crisis is a seven-year-old miniseries that I enjoyed, but that I can hardly imagine someone now paying $100 to read.
For all of these reasons, I'm a bit stymied by this particular solicitation.
Hail and Farewell
The pre-crossover purge, in this case Flashpoint, begins here with the loss of Outsiders, JSA All-Stars, Freedom Fighters, Doom Patrol, and REBELS. I'm not altogether disappointed to lose the first two, which I felt needlessly expanded upon franchises that didn't need expanding (see Outsiders: Road to Hell), while I'm genuinely sorry to see the latter two go (Freedom Fighters I managed to entirely lose track of, even as I liked the initial miniseries). REBELS has been a lovely blast from the 1990s past, with writer Tony Bedard effectively capturing everything I used to love about the morally gray Vril Dox; Keith Giffen's Doom Patrol was in the first book a wonderfully madcap, self-destructive, psychologically thoughtful romp, and it played nice with continuity, too.
This happens all the time, I know -- it wasn't much before Final Crisis that we lost Blue Beetle, Manhunter, Checkmate, Mark Waid's Legion of Super-Heroes, and others too -- and the old adages still of course apply, that if a book doesn't star a member of the Justice League or have a Super- or Bat-character in it, much good luck wished to you. I'm rooting for Booster Gold, Power Girl, and especially Gail Simone's Secret Six that these "independents" in the DC Universe can keep on keeping on.
At the same time, I was struck that there seem to be thirteen new collections -- hardcovers, paperbacks, and Absolutes -- and five reprint collections solicited by DC Comics for May 2011. All of these, of course, won't actually come out in May, but that's a big host of collections to solicit. I won't make more of that right now than to say this obviously demonstrates the viability of and the fan interest in comics collections, as if there was still any doubt. A solicitation list that includes Showcase Presents Doc Savage, Absolute Identity Crisis, Tales of the Batman by Gene Colan, Power Girl: Bomb Squad, Aquaman: Death of the Prince, and Batman: The Road Home is quite a significant mix of new, old, high profile, standard collections, and so on, to suggest there's not a fan out there anymore who couldn't find something of interest to them in collected format.
What do you all see in DC's May 2011 offerings?