Friday, August 13, 2004

I regret nothing...!

Forgot to mention in the weekly reviews that I picked up the gigundo JLA/Avengers two-volume slipcased oversize Herbert Walker hardcover set. The oversized format makes looking for Waldo that much easier, and if that fails, the annotations will tell me just exactly where he is.

The companion volume reprints the Marvel Age and "Meanwhile..." columns which the two publishers put out in 1983 after it was clear the project was going nowhere. While it's water 20 years under the bridge, it still strikes me as brave for the companies to include their dirty laundry in a commemorative edition. Sadly, I don't know that the current atmosphere between Marvel and DC is much better.

The companion volume also includes Perez's 21 pages he pencilled for the '83 series, most of which I had seen in various places before now. While they're mostly introductions and team-gathering, there is one action sequence involving Batman, Hawkman, and Zatanna versus Captain America, Starfox, and Scarlet Witch. It was nice to see everything in order and flowing together.

Probably the most interesting part of the companion volume is Busiek's Amalgam-like plot for issue #3. Busiek wanted the DC characters "Marvelized" and vice versa -- for example, Superman is a scientist who works in a Baxter-Building-like skyscraper, and is literally haunted by the Phantom Zone-exiled inhabitants of Krypton, which his actions destroyed. It was excised apparently for being too Amalgamish, and I'm happy with the #3 which was published (probably my favorite issue of the four), but thematically it reinforces Busiek's conceptions of the two universes' differences.

Overall, I'm glad I got it. It probably ranks up there with the Marvels 10th Anniversary edition in terms of "bonus features," and it's miles ahead of the Kingdom Come slipcase. Since we're not likely to see a Super-DeLuxe Watchmen hardcover anytime soon, this may be as good as it gets for a while.


Neil said...

I wish I had the money to spend on stuff like this! Though if I did, I'd probably have waited and gotten the collection instead of each individual issue.

It was a great series for comics fans and the extras sound great.

I really wish they'd spend more time (more DC than Marvel, but still) adding these extras to TPBs. It annoys me that DC sometimes doesn't even include the cover art to each individual issue.

So, it does open a good topic for discussion...what series would you want slipcases for? Watchmen was a good choice, but I wonder if two or three Sandman slipcovers would be worth the $200-$300 price. And Starman could get a few slipcovers as well. Maybe smaller versions, but more of them. $50 collections, but 3-4 of them?

Tom Bondurant said...

Anymore I look at this like buying DVDs -- are the extras worth your money? Therefore, I don't know what kind of "extras" you could add, even to a series like Sandman or Starman, to justify a $75 pricetag. Thre is so much history, both real and comics-related, with JLA/A that I thought it was worth it.

This is probably the last big-ticket comics purchase for me for a while, at least until the American Flagg! reprints come out.

Shane Bailey said...

Sandman you can make it annotated, include interviews from around the time of the publication date, and sketches from the various artists involved as they were working out the characters, you could also do some sort of commentary after each chapter. That would be enough to interest me. I would also like to see Invisibles and Transmet in this format. I could list more, but I'd have to think about it a bit more.