How DC Will Collect Before Watchmen

2013 is a long ways away, but it’s never too early to guess how DC Comics will collect Before Watchmen into trades, hardcovers and Absolutes.

Let’s first look at the series breakdowns:

  • RORSCHACH (4 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: Lee Bermejo
  • MINUTEMEN (6 issues) – Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke
  • COMEDIAN (6 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: J.G. Jones
  • DR. MANHATTAN (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artist: Adam Hughes
  • NITE OWL (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert
  • OZYMANDIAS (6 issues) – Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Jae Lee
  • SILK SPECTRE (4 issues) – Writer: Darwyn Cooke. Artist: Amanda Conner
  • BEFORE WATCHMEN: EPILOGUE –  Featuring the work of various writers and artists
  • CURSE OF THE CRIMSON CORSAIR (2 page back up in all 35 issues) – Writer: Len Wein. Artist: John Higgins.
Let’s assume that all 35 issues are 32 pages; that equals 1,120 pages total. The recent oversized New 52 Hardcover was 1,126 pages/$150.00, so it’s easy to say that the Before Watchmen HC/Omnibus/Absolute would be in a very similar, if not the exact price point ballpark. You may recall that the Absolute Watchmen is 464 pages/$99.99. You can certainly expect a ton of extras in a book like this, so maybe we are looking at 1, 200 pages.

Deluxe Hardcover
DC is all about the Deluxe Hardcover collected edition these days.  The upcoming Batman: The Black Glove will be 384 pages/$39.99. Under this plan we would have a 3 volume set to collect the entire series. What comics would be in which hardcover (or trade) remains to be seen. I doubt we will see the “DVD extras” that will be in the Absolute, but you will get your fair share. I think this format will be the first one we will see in 2013.

Trade Paperback
Without a doubt the most affordable route would be to buy Before Watchmen in softcover trades. DC could collect each series individually. Let’s assume that all comics will be 30 pages/$2.99. That means:

  • Five 4-issue trades; 120 pages each
  • Three 6-issue trades; 180 pages each
  • One  Crimson Corsair/Epilogue; 100 pages (70 pages/30 pages)

Sounds great, but I doubt this will be the case. That’s just too many trades (9 total) and DC Comics is not going to charge $11.99 for a 4-issue book when you could get so much more money if you combine them. More likely is the possibility that DC will collect it like this:

  • Three 10-issue trades (One 4-issue and One 6-issue); 300 pages; $29.99 each
  • One 9-issue plus Crimson Corsair storyline (Two 4-issue, Crimson Corsair/Epilogue); 340 pages; $29.99

Why $29.99? Again recent DC history gives us this price point. Resurrection Man TPB is 336 pages/$29.99 so it seems like a good place to start. However, DC has also released new editions of Batman: Knightfall which is roughly 652 pages/$29.99. But that’s too much Watchmen for too small a price for brand new material.

Either way I am excited for Before Watchmen. Not all of the comics, but most.
And it has nothing to do with JMS.

I welcome your comments.

4 thoughts on “How DC Will Collect Before Watchmen”

    1. Never said he wasn’t. I like his work very much! It’s just that I’ve seen posts from people saying they won’t buy his Dr. Manhattan or Nite Owl just despite his recent Superman and Wonder Woman work. That’s not my position, I have other reasons.

  1. Just happened to find this while looking for current info on this topic…..any updates to share? Seems we are getting close to the end of Phase 1, but nothing in Amazon.

    Terrific research, I’d also like to say. Nicely grouped for easy digestion!


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