Ask Collected Editions #4: Which Batman: Under the Red Hood edition to choose?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's time for another in our "Ask Collected Editions" series! This question comes from Collected Editions reader Tom, who's wondering about the multiple editions of a popular Batman story.

As always, if you have a question for "Ask Collected Editions," send an email to the Yahoo account or post it on the Collected Editions Facebook wall, and your question could be used in a future segment.

Tom writes:
Three months back, DC re-solicited Batman: Under the Hood, Vol. 1 for $9.99, which I guess has been out of print. Then in this most recent Previews DC solicited Batman: Under the Red Hood, which collects volume 1 and 2 together, for $29.99. I pre-ordered Vol. 1 three months ago, but now I am contemplating canceling my order and ordering the larger Under the Red Hood instead. You see, Batman: Under the Hood Vol. 2 is really hard to find, and used copies are expensive. If I knew with certainty that DC was going to re-solicit Vol. 2 sometime in the near future, I would not cancel my order because it would be cheaper and form factor does not matter to me too much. But, there is no guarantee that they will re-solicit Vol. 2 any time soon. The safe play would be to cancel the order and buy the combined trade, but it would be more expensive (assuming that Vol. 2 would still sell for $9.99 when re-solicited).

So, I guess my question is: what do you think the chances are that DC will re-solicit Vol. 2? In your opinion, should I play the odds, or go for the sure thing? And, lastly, why would they solicit Vol. 1 three months before they solicit a trade that combines the two volumes? That's just maddening!

Anyway, thank you for your time. I love your blog!
Great question, Tom, and thank you. As pleased as I am that DC is releasing a combined edition of Under the Red Hood, the multiple volumes can be confusing -- not to mention that some of the solicitations for these books list differing contents, though rest assured Vols. 1 and 2 equal the combined edition.

To your first question: I can't say definitively that DC won't release another printing of Batman: Under the Red Hood Vol. 2, but I haven't seen it in the DC Comics collected editions solicitations through the end of 2011. They might possibly rush-solicit a volume, but there's a better likelihood that if we're going to see this, it won't be until 2012. So for one thing, you probably have to consider how long you have to wait until you want to read Vol. 2.

In my opinion, I think you should go for the new edition. You could keep searching for Vol. 2, certainly, and I imagine the astute Collected Editions readers can even find a low-cost copy for you. I very, very much like reading a whole story in one volume, however; I don't want to read the beginning of a story in one book and the end in another. It's a convenience factor, and also a matter of not being taken out of the story by changing books -- I wish DC would re-release more of their two-volume sets in one book, really -- Superman: The Black Ring, Superman: Grounded, and Wonder Woman: Odyssey, to name a couple recent examples.

Why did DC re-solicit Vol. 1 just three months before the new collection, and at an exceptionally lower price? I'm sure that had to do with ye old Batman: Under the Red Hood direct-to-DVD movie that came out not too long ago. DC might've just solicited the new collected volume on it's own, but since it's got the steeper price tag, I imagine a cheap re-release of Under the Hood Vol. 1 functions as a better impulse buy than the larger book.

(Read the Collected Editions reviews of Batman: Under the Hood Vol. 1 and Batman: Under the Red Hood Vol. 2.)

Hope that helps! Remember, if you have a question, don't hesitate to drop me a line, and your question could be featured next time in "Ask Collected Editions." Thanks!
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  1. Both, Volume 1 and 2 are out of print. I wouldn't bet any of them are going back in print anytime soon (or ever) because the new format will hit in August.

    The way I see it the most intelligent way to go is purchasing Batman: Under the Red Hood on Amazon. At this moment the price is $19.02 that is cheaper than the $19.98 you would pay for Volume 1 and 2 separate.

    Besides this new edition comes with 384 pages, which is more than Volume 1 and 2 adds, so.... I don't know you, but I already pre-order my Under the Red Hood book on Amazon!.

  2. I bought vol. 1 and 2 for $12 from in stock trades. When DC solicited the combined edition I sold my vol. for more than what I bought because they were out of print.

    It bugs me when DC releases these small thin trades in two trades and then later release a combined edition.

    On a similar note, could use some advice CE readers on a purchase. Would you recommend selling my JLA deluxes for the paperbacks? I saw that vol. 1 of the first volume will include some extra non Morisson issues.

  3. I'd go for the sure thing and buy the combined collection. Why risk Vol 2 not coming out for the sake of $10? If Vol 2 never gets re-released, then you'll end up tracking down one of the out-of-print editions, and probably end up paying more than just getting the combined edition now.

  4. My questions is why DC havent released a HC version of this story.. being a HC freak thats all i want. I do own the trades but would much prefer a definitive HC collection of vols 1 and 2 and they could include lost days with it, which, if you havent read is essential reading to complete the under the hood storyline in my opinion.

  5. I think the new collection straddles the line between a definitive volume (combined and collected) and a fairly old story without much cache nowadays besides the movie (hence paperback). It's good, no doubt, but five or six years old (more?); hence I think HC wouldn't be in the cards.

  6. The way I see it, you have 2 options:

    1) Order V2 from I did that but the binding isn't that good. I don't know how unyieldy the final book (v1+v2) will be. JLA Year One is pretty unyieldy (13 issues) & my copy of SUPERMAN: OUR WORLDS AT WAR is in the mail.

    2) Pre order the combined volume from Amazon. I know how difficult it can be to get the single trade once they go OOP, so better sell the 1st volume to make money for the purchase.

    I don't think there were fill in issues so early on to be included in the 1st JLA Omnibus. Also, if you see, the page count is the same as for the 1st Deluxe edition HC. No room for more issues. The fill ins started with the 4th volume (in TPB) with a Christopher Priest filler (maybe from an 80pg giant?) & 4 issues by Mark Waid. IMHO Mark Waid did maybe 5 issues of filler totally, Millar had only 1, same for DeMatteis & Dan Curtis Johnson.

    If I were you, I'd keep the Deluxe handy, wait till paperback of vol 2 comes out. If it contains those issues (now that DC is awake, it sure will) go for both paperbacks, junk both hardcovers. Personally, I'm running to buy the single trades before they go.

  7. More interesting will be whether they carry the issues further than Morrison's run ends-after that there was Waid, a fill in by Dixon, Joe Kelly (I would so looove to see the uncollected issue here), Dennis O'Neil, Chris Claremont, Chuck Austen, Geoff Johns & Bob Harras. After Kelly left, everything felt like filler....more JLA CLASSIFIED than

  8. It's strange how the JLA TPBs used to be so comprehensive, to the point of including easily skippable stuff like the fill-ins by J.M. DeMatteis and D. Curtis Johnson, and yet they neglected to collect two issues of Kelly's run (#83 and #90).

    There must have been a regime change somewhere between the Rules of Engagement and Trial by Fire TPBs. Maybe it had something to do with Dan Raspler getting fired and replaced by Mike Carlin, but I don't think either of them had that much input on the collected editions.

    As for Abu George's question, I agree with Alok. In fact, there's one thing I'd like to know: does the first JLA Deluxe volume include the short stories Millar wrote for JLA Scret Files #1? If it does, then the softcover version shouldn't be any different content-wise, and whoever wrote the solicitation made a mistake.

  9. I checked my copy and SF #1 is written my Morisson and Millar. Maybe the solicitation is wrong?

  10. The lead story from JLA Secret Files #1, where the team faces some Starro probes, was co-written by Morrison and Millar, but what I'd like to know is whether the short stories Millar wrote by himself (both drawn by Don Hillsman II) were included in the fist JLA Deluxe HC, too. I assumed they were, because Hillsman was listed as one of the artists on the HC's solicitation.

  11. Whatever the case, the Deluxe edition vol 1 does collect Star Seed from Secret Files 1. That's not astounding, as Morrison also wrote that one.
    I think what the DC people are trying to say is that this time around these paperbacks will be actually collecting the filler issues. So start from the 1st one to make an even collection.
    In any case, no other issue can be included in the 1st deluxe edition because Morrison wrote the 1st 17 issues without missing a beat. the only plausible filler they can include here (which is actually not filler) & I would be surprised if they do include it & not give a huge advertising blurb is JUSTICE LEAGUE: A MIDSUMMER'S NIGHTMARE. Besides, I think the solicit just said "JLA 1-9 & the lead story from JLA Secret Files 1". If they include other stories from JLA Secret Files 1, or subsequent issues, 80 page giants I'm hooked.

  12. I didn't see Hillsman name in mine, so it was probably just that "Star Seed" with Morisson.

    If these paperbacks do collect all issues that'd be great, unfortunate because I would of waited before picking up the HCs.

    I would like to see a deluxe of the missing issues with the addition of Waid's Midsummer's Nightmare. Morisson does talk about that in one of the intros to the deluxe.

  13. DC goes from moronic move to moronic move!.