How would you like Batman: Night of the Owls collected?

Friday, May 25, 2012

The tie-in portion of "Night of the Owls," the first Batman-family crossover of the new DC 52, has just about wrapped up. Even despite that DC Comics hasn't released the first collections of many of the titles involved, it's not too early to start thinking about how DC might collect this one.

Batman is the title most involved, along with Nightwing. Batwing, Batgirl, Batman and Robin, Birds of Prey, Catwoman, Nightwing, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Batman: The Dark Knight, and All-Star Western all offered loosely-related tie-ins.

I see three ways DC could go about this:

1) Collect all of the above titles in one book, and call it Batman Vol. 2. Maybe books like Birds of Prey would include the same issue and maybe not, but the second Batman volume, as it were, would contain a couple issues of Batman and then these other titles (we recently reviewed the first DC New 52 Batman collection, The Court of Owls).

2) Collect just Batman (and maybe Nightwing) issues in a Batman Vol. 2: Night of the Owls collection, and collect the tie-in issues in a Night of the Owls Companion book. That way interested readers could read the main "Night of the Owls" story and the tie-ins all in one place; the tie-in issues could be additionally collected in their own second volumes or not.

3) Collect Batman and maybe Nightwing in a Night of the Owls collection, and simply collect the tie-in titles in their own individual second volume collections. The main "Night of the Owls" story would get its own collection, and you could pick up Red Hood and the Outlaws or All-Star Western if you wanted more of the story, or not if you didn't.

I'm guessing this won't be popular, but I hope DC goes the third route.  I see no need for the tie-in issues to be collected twice (I think DC should be doing less of that).  If the tie-in issues really aren't mandatory reading for "Night of the Owls," then let's have the second DC New 52 collections be as solid as the first -- the next Batman collection contains the next seven issues, the next Batwing collection contains its next few issues, and let text pages fill in any gaps.

I entirely prefer this to a Batman: Murderer/Fugitive-type collection approach, in which the tie-ins are chopped up to excise any bits not relevant to the crossover and then mushed together in a collection, making for what's ultimately a more awkward reading experience.

But that's just my take -- how would like to see DC collect the first major crossover of the DC New 52? How would you like Batman: Night of the Owls collected?
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  1. I really would like option 1 and they just call it simply Batman night of the owls. I personally think the remaining 2 methods of collecting just makes the reader buy too many tpbs for the full story. People are going to be buying red hood, then batgirl, then batman and robin etc. just to read it all. I see option A as best as it allows DC to tell the entire story of night of the owls then allow the rest of the TPBs to carry on their stories in their vol. 2s...

  2. I'd like to see a separate Night of the Owl collection, but only if every tie-in issue is also collected in their own book. Yes it's bad if you buy every single book of the Batman family, but I think it's unrealistic.

    I'd be disappointed if for example I buy my BoP vol.2, and one issue is missing, just because it's in the Night of the Owl collection. I wouldn't like to buy it just for that singe issue, especially if it's a companion book which doesn't contain the main storyline.

    I think the right way here is to collect "everything everywhere".

  3. I don't know how likely this is but I would LOVE one big event collection and then individual trade volumes for the series involved? I know that's not likely but since I don't read many of the titles involved but I am interested in the idea behind it, I'd be all about that.

  4. Before the new 52 I never know what book a given Batman collection is from. They're all just called Batman: Something Something.

    Now DC is actually labeling each collection with the title of the book so it seems odd to me to start pulling those things apart. It just confuses things all over again. If they do want to collect this crossover together then I think they should collect each series normally, then collect all the tie-ins in a single book. It's a double-dip but it seems like the easiest method to me.

  5. I don't think a comprehensive collection is required for Night of the Owls. Each non-Snyder issue feels more like a "red skies" tie-in than a chapter of a larger story, and none of them is indispensable.

    My guess is DC will go with a mix of routes 2 and 3, collecting the tie-ins both in a single companion book and in each series' second volume, while the second Batman volume will only include Snyder's issues.

  6. Dijonase suggests a kind of Superman: Reign of Doomsday model, where the Return of Doomsday tie-in issues from Superboy, Outsiders, Steel, and Justice League were all collected together in one book, and then those issues were all collected individually in their own books with other issues of the time (so Superboy #6 is in Return of Doomsday, but then also in Superboy: Smallville Attacks as part of Superboy #1-11).

    The difference is that in Return of Doomsday, there was the Steel #1 and Superman/Batman Annual #5 that wouldn't be collected anywhere else, so the reader has a reason to buy both the Return of Doomsday and Superboy: Smallville Attacks collections, even though they duplicate one issue. In the case of Night of the Owls, however, it looks like if every individual series collected its own tie-in issue, there'd be nothing proprietary about a Night of the Owls Companion collection.

    Now, maybe that's OK for some -- you're not a Birds of Prey reader, you don't want to buy a Birds of Prey collection, but you *do* want to read the BOP Night of the Owls tie-in issue, so a Companion book would be up your alley. For me, however, someone who does read most of the Bat-books, I don't like the idea of a Companion volume out there that collects the issues that are already somewhere else. No big foul, I guess -- my collection won't melt down for skipping a Night of the Owls collection because I have the issues in their own individual collections -- but still, the Companion route is not quite how I'd like to see it done, for my collecting methods.

  7. I think the reverse is true as well, collectededitions. If I'm reading Birds of Prey (which I plan to do) I want every issue to be collected, even if it's part of a tie-in that I'm not necessarily reading. Maybe it's a bit confusing but I'd prefer completeness over DC deciding which issues to give me.

    It's definitely not perfect, but I probably plan to read every series that's included (other than probably Catwoman, which I hear is pretty lousy) so I can basically ignore the Companion book, while readers ignoring the other series can get the tie-ins in one convenient place if they like.

  8. Well, I'm a wait for trade person, so I don't know how the Night of the Owls event is being presented. I would assume from threads i've visited on forums that there isn't a core event book going on separtely from the other titles (a la the Blackest Night event), so if that is the case, I think the even should be collected in such a way that the main story needs to be collected together so that the reader gets the complete core story in one or two volumes, with the tie-in issues being collected like the Blackest Night issues. It does result in haphazard reading of the tie-ins, but I prefer to have to purchase as few volumes as possible to get the whole story.

  9. Personally, I think Option #3 is what DC will go with. I agree with shagmu, that the tie-ins are largely "red sky" issues.

    I read an interview with Scott Synder a while ago where he basically said that he was doing the Court/Night of the Owls story, and the other Bat-writers were told that they could do a tie-in issue or not. Most of them chose to do it (or their editors chose for them!). Anyway, other than I believe Kyle Higgins on Nightwing (who I believe was working closer with Synder than the other writers), I expect these tie-in issues to be very unimportant to the story that Synder has written.

    I was thinking of buying the digital issues of the tie-ins of the series that I am not collecting, but I'm still on the fence about that.

  10. Wow , a lot of you guys have this totally wrong , once you read the annual you will see how essential the tie-ins were , this may be the most tied-together crossover since Blackest Night , you really have to read every issue to catch the scope of the entire series-this has huge ramifications for all the books that are part of the storyline --and they all lead into the Batman title

    Best option will be to collect both ways, there a lot of people who will just prefer a huge "OWLS" collection , as a comic store owner , i see this all of the time , there are people who just buy the "collected event" type comics from Marvel and DC

  11. I think there should be a deluxe hardcover collecting the entire Night of the Owls crossover. It's 16 total issues, and I have a number of very nice hardcovers with more issues than that. But then have the individual issues of the various series collected in their trades.

    I'm buying Catwoman and Birds of Prey trades anyway because I love the series, and I get severely annoyed when a trade is missing issues (something DC is frequently guilty of). However, I'd absolutely buy a nice hardcover (or even a deluxe paperback) of all of the Night of the Owls tie-ins in one collection, even if I already had two of the issues elsewhere. They could call that Batman Volume 02, or just Batman: Night of the Owls, and then collect just the Batman issues in a Batman trade.

  12. Unrelated question to the Night of Owls, but somehwhat related question to how people want it collected: Does anybody here have interest in getting their un-collected runs bound? Has anybody done it? It seems like the next logical step for us collected edition fans. I have just started looking into it. I would of course prefer collected editions be released by the companies themselves, but for runs that might never be collected it is an interesting option (Doug Moench/Kelley Jones Batman run for example). What is your position on it CE?

  13. Well I just collected all of the single issues of NotWs and it's worth checking out and having a trade. Though some people are arguing the issues not part of Batman and Nighwing ARE important, I still feel there not important. They add to the event and make it epic feeling...but really there not needed.

    Realistically, #3 will probably happen. DC shouldn't leave out issues for the characters trades (completionist will be pissed if you did this)...but I would like it to be #3 and a new option. Every trade should get the events issues and DC should make a Vol.2 of Batman with just Batman, BUT...after all the trades are done, make a Absolute edition of the Court/Night of the owls books, that includes Batman 1-11 and all of the other Night of the owl books.

    This way the individual trades don't get affected by the event and we could have all the event in one book for the fans.

  14. Having read most of the issues involved now, I'd agree that they're not essential to the storyline, but you could argue that Nightwing wasn't essential to the Batman storyline either. Rather, they're very closely tied, and such is the case for perhaps a couple of the tie-ins as well. Batgirl in particular, I think, is much more useful to the overall crossover than to its own series. I'd want that one collected with Batman. It'd lose something collected separately, and the crossover would lose something without it. I wouldn't want to have to go hunting through Bat books for more pieces of story, or to stumble across an awkwardly-placed one-shot issue in an otherwise cohesive volume.

  15. My 2 cents , I think it has to be an all in one done volume , just read DK today and like the all of the other issues , it is really connected to the overall story. It would be hard to leave out any of the issues, too much is reflected / redirected back and forth between all of the crossovers

  16. I would like to have the choice to read the tie-ins either in a companion book or in the tpb of the seperate series.

  17. What we want: 1

    What will actually happen: 3

    DC consistently screw their collections up - heres an idea: lets make the reader have to download a reading order, then flip through multiple TPBs/HCs just to read the story in order! DC need to take lessons from MArvel on this, Marvel know EXACTLY how to collect a crossover i.e. Second coming is a prime example. The whole story collected in one collection and the issues presented in order.

  18. Just do what they did with "Sinestro Corp War" Do 2 books and call them "Night of the Owls Vol 1 and 2". Put all the issues from all the titles in order.