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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.
Absolute
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.