Trade Perspectives: DC Rebirth Deluxe Series Hardcovers

Thursday, December 01, 2016

You've probably seen that a lot of new solicitations for DC Comics's Summer 2017 collections have started to pop up online, which means the new catalog is right around the corner.

I'm going to set those aside right now until the big list comes out, but I did want to dig in to one piece of news, that at least some of the Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 of the DC Rebirth paperbacks will be re-released as deluxe hardcovers.

Arriving in July and August are:

July 4, 2017
Superman -- Action Comics Vol. 1 & 2 Deluxe Edition - $34.99

July 18, 2017
Justice League Vol. 1 & 2 Deluxe Edition (Rebirth) - $34.99

August 1, 2017
Batman Vol. 1 & 2 Deluxe Edition (Rebirth) - $34.99

August 22, 2017
Aquaman Vol. 1 & 2 Deluxe Edition (Rebirth) - $29.99

Superman Vol. 1 & 2 Deluxe Edition (Rebirth) - $29.99

All of this information is, of course, subject to change. Given that DC is releasing eight Rebirth Vol. 1 trades in January and a majority of them by the end of the first quarter of 2017, I doubt we're only going to see five hardcover releases in July and August, but rather there's more to come.

Each of these are said to include the first twelve issues of each series and their Rebirth special, except for Action Comics, which collects issues #957-968. This gives us further indication that some of these details will probably change, since for instance Aquaman Vols. 1 and 2 together are said to collect through issue #15, and Action Comics Vol. 2 is currently solicited at just issues #963-966 plus Justice League #51 (Titans: Rebirth tie-in issue, so probably that's not right either and they really mean issue #52).

Rebirth trades seem to be averaging about $16.99 per volume, so the $34.99 price (about the cost of two of the paperbacks) doesn't seem to be adding a premium per se, and of course discounts abound.

I glanced at a DC Universe: Rebirth deluxe hardcover the other day, and I'm pretty sure it didn't have a jacket, but rather a shiny printed exterior like the old Superman/Batman hardcovers. I personally liked those better because there wasn't a jacket to keep track of or to get damaged or warped, and I wonder if DC will have these combination deluxe editions follow suite.

The good news is that these should be spiffy collections befitting the hardcover form (though I hope they're not "deluxe" height, just "deluxe" in that they collect two books, because the deluxe size is hard to shelve). The bad news of course is that wait-for-hardcover-traders will have to wait all the way until the summer before they get their books.

What do you think? Approve or disapprove? Any way you think DC could be collecting Rebirth better?

(Thanks to all the Collected Editions readers who emailed to make sure I saw this news. I appreciate it!)
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18 comments:

  1. Oh heck yes, if this is actually deluxe size, I will insta-purchase that Rebirth deluxe today.

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  2. Surprised that Aquaman is getting a Deluxe, since it hasn't been selling well. And that Hal Jordan is getting a Deluxe before Green Lanterns, as the latter launched first. I suppose all the double-shipped books will get this treatment?

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    1. Do you think this is just for the double-shipped titles and not for all of them? Aquaman would be a lock for a deluxe edition, I'd think, with the movie on the horizon.

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  3. Marvel is currently employing the same "paperback first, deluxe hardcover collecting two paperbacks" strategy for a lot of their series, and it seems to be working pretty well for them. It's not their whole line, as titles like Dr. Strange and Iron Man still seem to be coming out in hardcover first, but it does include some other pretty popular series (like Amazing Spider-Man and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl).

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    1. Is it bothersome that the hardcovers come out that much later than the paperbacks?

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    2. I don't think so. People in the collected editions-focused Facebook groups I follow seem to look forward to them just as much as they would otherwise. I think many CE-waiters these days are more interested in having CEs with good production values and less on the "timeliness" of their purchases.

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  4. I think the important information you can take away from this first few hardcovers is:
    - Hardcovers are coming.
    - They contain two paperback volumes each.
    - They are released on the same day as the following paperback volume (in this cases vol. 3).

    So Green Lanterns is probably coming on July 11th, Green Arrow on August 8th, and Wonder Woman on August 15th.
    The exact content remains to bee seen until the paperbacks are out.

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    1. I think tying it to the third paperback release is really key. If you enjoy the hardcover's story a whole lot, it's probably going to be really tempting not to continue on to that next paperback when it's right there ...

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  5. This is going to wreak havoc on my OCD, with my insistence on reading everything in order! I won't buy the paperbacks, but will have to wait until the deluxe versions to come out before I start reading the "lesser" Rebirth titles who won't follow this pattern. I'll worry that I may read another Rebirth title referencing something that happened in Batman, Superman, etc. Ugh!

    Oh, well. I guess I could catch up on some Earth One books, along with some Vertigo titles.

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    1. So you're thinking some of the Rebirth titles will do this and not others? That wasn't necessarily what I expected, though conceivably if a Rebirth title is cancelled before it gets through it's second volume or so on, I guess maybe it won't get hardcover. This is what I thought people would object to, that they're going to have to wait that much longer if this is the way they want to read.

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  6. I'm all for this. Super excited that Aquaman is getting the Deluxe. From the first 7 or so issues I have read from the Rebirth title it would be easier to read both of the first arcs together.

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  7. Considering how some New 52 titles got the hardcover treatment, and others the softcover, I thought it would likely be the same practice. Don't forget, the first volumes of books like GLC and Batwoman began in hardcover before switching to only soft.

    Do you know if DC will make a Batman (or Superman, or Aquaman, etc.) deluxe book using volumes 3 & 4? I'm sure if sales dictate, they probably will...until They don't.

    Like I said, this will probably drive me crazy!

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    1. I've resigned myself to "this series will continue until it doesn't." If I want something in hardcover, I buy it in hardcover, but as with GLC, Batwoman, Justice League International, I know if I start buying in a format before the collections finish, I risk that the books might not end in that format, and/or the collections might not finish collecting the series at all. There are some titles I take a wait-and-see approach on, snapping them all up only after the collections run finishes.

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  8. I'm glad DC is clarifying their position on hardcovers (as opposed to the complete lack of information before these solicitations).

    I'm also glad we're getting 12 issues in a hardcover. 6 issues was just too slim - both for the hardcover format AND for may of the stories (Half of Snyder's "Batman" story arcs were split into two hardcover volumes apiece). This way, the book will be both more enjoyable and more affordable.

    Disappointed that we haven't seen anything for hardcover Rebirth "Detective Comics," but perhaps it's simply unannounced for now, rather than absent forever.

    I personally like the dust jackets - it helps give a nice "deluxe" vibe to the book, making it feel more "serious." And it gives multiple display options (for those who prefer an abstract look, with just the embossed logo - an even more "serious" look!). Hardcovers with artwork printed on them (without a dust jacket) just remind me too much of children's books. Too juvenile for my tastes!

    As for the size - consistency is key. If all the Deluxe books are in the larger format, that's fine. If they're all in the standard format, that's fine too. There truly are enough Deluxe books now (at least, on the Batman side) that my bookshelf can fit them, and they certainly wouldn't stand out as being different from half of the other books on the shelf.

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    1. As popular as Detective Comics has turned out to be, I'd be surprised if it didn't get the hardcover treatment. Looks like these are timed to the Vol. 3 paperback, so maybe that's why no hardcover solicitation yet?

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  9. So long as Christopher Priest's Deathstroke gets the deluxe package, I'll be happy. If it doesn't and I can only get the tpb's I'll still be happy. Just not AS happy.

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  10. I've never been a fan of thin, standard-sized hardcovers, even though there are many of them on my shelf, so I think these oversized hardcovers collecting 12-13 issues each are a step in the right direction for DC. I think readers who want to own collections with the best possible quality won't mind waiting a bit longer than TPB buyers will.

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    1. There was a lot of upset from hardcover-lovers when DC announced that Rebirth would be paperback-first. I'm really surprised there isn't more consternation over having to wait longer for the hardcover (though glad people are happy), but maybe any sadness about waiting is offset by how big the hardcovers are.

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