Jiminy Christmas! | Absolute Mistake

DC solicitations for March 2011 went online yesterday and I was shocked, shocked, to see Absolute Promethea Volume 3 solicited.

The final Absolute edition of Alan Moore’s epic collects issues #24-32 with the spectacular artwork of J.H. Williams III!
ADVANCE SOLICITED • On sale AUGUST 17, 328 pg, 8.25” x 12.5”, FC, $99.99 US

Last week I looked at Absolute sales numbers and found Absolute Promethea Volume 2 to be the worst selling Absolute edition ever at 805 units its premiere month.  I know Alan Moore is a big name in comics and J.H. Williams III has struck it big time with Batwoman but who is buying these Absolute Promethea volumes?

This is a premium item priced at $100: why is material that received lukewarm sales at best during its initial production getting the “Absolute” treatment.  Based on production I’m sure modern works that DC already has large scans of is the easiest to remaster in any format.  But even then isn’t there better material to draw from in the last twenty years?

The oldest material to see an Absolute edition is Ronin, published in 1983, followed by Crisis On Infinite Earths in 1985 and The Watchmen and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns in 1986.  We need to see smaller works get the Absolute treatment, 200 pages for $50; skip the slipcase if need be.  This oversized work should focus on art: here’s what I’d like to see:

  • Cosmic Odyssey.  A really nice work by a young Mignola using a lot of characters.  The 1992 trade was 204 pages and they could throw in some extras.
  • DC Comics The Shadow.  I want to see Kaluta’s The Private Files Of The Shadow, Chaykin’s Blood & Judgement and the Sienkiewicz series which hasn’t been collected. About 300 pages of quality material.
  • Batman Elseworlds, specifically Batman: Gotham by Gaslight and Batman/Houdini: The Devil’s Workshop.  I loved both of these because of the art: stunning work by Mignola and Chiarello.  Both 64 page prestige stories so DC could add in a few more to get this up to 200 pages.
  • Superman For All Seasons.  Tim Sale’s artwork deserves the oversized format.  Trade was 208 pages.
  • Superman: Red Son.  Another visual feast, this time courtesy of Dave Johnson.  160 pages of material so they should throw something in or discount it further.
  • Batman Year 100.  Paul Pope drawing a crazy Batman of the future: it’s so strong visually you can forgive the lack of character development.  232 page trade from 2007.

Let me know what you’d like to see by posting a comment!

Scott VanderPloeg
Scott VanderPloeg

Scott works in I.T. but lives to eat and read. His other ramblings can be found at AE Index and eBabble. Art collection at Comic Art Fans.

Articles: 1231


  1. Simonson & Goodwin’s “Manhunter” stories. They’d need to pad it out with sketches, scripts, afterwords from other creators etc but it would be nice to see it come out in hardcover.

    DC’s collected Tarzan/Edgar Rice Burroughs work (“Tarzan”, “Korak, Son of Tarzan”, “Tarzan Family”, “John Carter”, “Carson of Venus”). Art by Joe Kubert, Mike Kaluta, Russ Manning etc. Lots of great material, would make a nice hardcover collection. With the live-action “John Carter” movie in the works it may spark interest in the comic adaptations of ERB’s works (or, in my case, just make an older comic fan very very happy)

  2. The reason I can see them doing it is that they’ve done the first two. Why not just complete the story for the 805 people that purchased it. I think completests are who they are appealing to with this one.

  3. The ERB stuff is no longer in DC’s rights to reprint. The Joe Kubert Tarzan Archives Vol.1-3 have been available for a few years now, and there was an announced Weird Worlds collection.

  4. In addition to your choices I would include:

    – ABSOLUTE: THE GOLDEN AGE (James Robinson, Paul Smith)
    – ABSOLUTE BATMAN: DARK MOON RISING (Batman and the Monster Men / Batman and the Mad Monk / Batman: Faces) (Matt Wagner)

    – DELUXE: BATMAN: PREY / TERROR (Doug Moench, Paul Gulacy)
    – DELUXE BATMAN BY ENGLEHART & ROGERS (Batman: Strange Apparitions / Batman: Dark Detective) (Steve Englehart, Marshall Rogers)
    – DELUXE SUPERMAN & BATMAN: GENERATIONS VOL.1-3 (John Byrne) (Vol.1 1939/42/49/53/59/64/69+Batman/Captain America Vol.2 1975/79/86/89/97/99/08/2019/2919, Vol.3: Generations III maxiseries – never been reprinted)

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