Sunday, January 29, 2012

Kryptonite Nevermore!


When this volume debuted a several years ago, I was both excited and annoyed. I've long wanted to have this series of Superman stories in a volume, but never really thought it would happen.


When Jack Kirby left Marvel and arrived at DC, the startling news caused my Marvelite eye to turn to those parts of the spinner rack I'd ignored for a few years, and I discovered that much of the DC Universe was a bit different than when I last looked in.


Green Lantern and Green Arrow stomped across an exceedingly relevant geography. Wonder Woman was all in white with a feminist edge. Batman was actually a bit scary. And Superman was rather exciting, with his world having undergone a change both thematically and tonally, along with some more vibrant artwork by the Swanderson team. I picked up a few issues here and there of this saga, but never found them all, especially the finale. So this story of the end of Kryptonite and the mysterious Sand Creature are all unfinished business for this comic book reader.


So you'd have thought I'd have snatched up this volume in a heartbeat. I would've too, but there was a sticking point. DC wanted to damn much money for it. They wanted to charge forty bucks for nine comic book issues, none all that old really and with suspect printing techniques. I just couldn't bring myself to pay for it, and so I waited for the eventually trade paperback, but it's never come and I despair it ever will. I waited to catch it discounted, but it's never happened, even on Amazon, they don't cut it that much. So yesterday with some store credit burning in my wallet I expended it on this volume of magical tales by Denny O'Neil, Curt Swan, and Murphy Anderson. It cost me "nothing" in that way technically, so I can soothe my consumer anxiety, but still it rankles me a bit.

So I'll be laying up with these fantastic stories a bit later today and finally finishing what I started over forty years ago. That feels good though.










And now that I've gone and bought it, I'm sure a cheaper trade will be announced in a few weeks. Lordy!

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12 comments:

  1. I'm lucky enough to have all the original issues, but I bought the book when it first came out to have a handy reference copy. Like you, I was disappointed with the printing because it's been laser-scanned from original issues and the colour is a bit washed-out, with a yellow tinge in places.

    I've seen far better results elsewhere from the same process, so can't understand the annoyingly sub-par finished product. Let's hope they produce an inexpensive, superior-printed volume of this classic series one day, as it really is worth having. Definitely Denny O'Neil and 'Swanderson' at their best.

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  2. It's a volume worth having, but I have to say the price points on these DC Library volumes is not right to my taste. They seem too pricey for what you get, relative to other product on the stands from the same company. Value for money is always a question and this rates over four dollars an issue (sans the World of Krypton tales) for the whole storyline. That's steep by my estimates.

    But maybe I'm out of touch.

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  3. "...with suspect printing techniques..."
    They scanned printed comics?
    While I can understand doing that with Golden Age material, DC has a pretty complete archive of negatives and stats of their books from the mid-50s forward, due to Jack Adler and Sol Harrison implementing a number of mandates including NEVER sending first-generation material overseas or to licensors.
    I'm truly startled (and saddened) at this.

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  4. To be honest I don't dislike the reproduction technique, though I've seen it done a better. What annoys me is that they charge premium prices for this low-tech approach.

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  5. are the originals that expensive? Seems like it would be the same amount of money for the originals

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  6. They are around that price in the lowest grade of "Fair" according to what they have at Mile High. Getting a better copy would cost a bit more. A really good copy of most of these books would cost a lot more.

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  7. This is my all-time favorite comic book story, but I have no desire to own the collection, my original comics (which you can find for not that much moolah) are more than enough. As for the printing, I'd much rather have the original scanned comics AS THEY APPEARED reprinted than the "cleaned up" digitally colored anachronisms that clog the trade paperback shelves.

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  8. In regard to the printing techniques -- say what you will about the new coloring we've seen from Neal Adams in his DC volumes, or in the Chronicles of Conan series of tpbs from Dark Horse... I'll take that sort of commitment to getting a quality product out there over what you are suggesting. Does it alter the original look (and perhaps intent) of the source material? Sure it does. But I have to feel like someone was trying to give me a better product.

    I recall having some of the same feelings, Rip, when I got a copy of Essential Avengers Volume 3. It looked like a fair portion of the book was shot from color pages rather than from the original art. Not a good look when published in gray scale. Does it work for the B&W magazines? Yes, but then the inks, the wash, etc. are designed to look awesome in gray scale. Color to gray scale just looks muddy.

    I've long had my eye on some of these DC Library volumes, but have stayed away due to the price as you've suggested. Why they can't figure it out and produce a product in the vein of the Marvel Premiere Hardcovers is beyond me. But then, DC's been running behind Marvel for the past 45 years.

    Doug

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  9. I don't mind cheapjack printing tricks in low-cost volumes like the Showcases and Essentials. The draw there is a bunch of comics for little money, so whatever it takes. But this volume seems to want to offer these techniques for premium money. That's what annoys me.

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  10. Cool! Actually, I didn't know these were available in a trade. Yeah, there were some good things happening at DC in the early 70's. The Bronze Age happened at MArvel earlier than at DC.

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  11. Boy, you're going to love this: Kryptonite Nevermore TPB coming out July 3:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/140123478X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=thisispop-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=140123478X

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  12. I just saw it. AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

    'Nuff Said!

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