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.
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.
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.