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Doomed: Price/Variants/Scheduling

While I am certainly guilty of “enabling” or such in this case by buying along, the current crossover/”mini-event” Superman: Doomed makes for a bit of “case study” for why I will probably avoid the Futures End stuff and other future “mini events” or such from DC (to say nothing of Marvel‘s pricing, variants, and events).



I initially allowed myself to be sucked into Doomed because firstly, it’s Superman; secondly, Doomsday (even though I really do NOT like the revised visual of the character); thirdly, an ad/checklist indicated 4 chapters, so I figured why not? Only 4 issues…sure.

What I had not realized was that this was a 4-month, several-title saga or I would have simply awaited the collected volume…get the whole story in one book, all at once, in one place, no variants, cheaper than the singles, etc.

As far into things as I’ve gotten, I intend to finish this one out, and then I will be far more hesitant with any future such stories.

So far this has been a mix of pricing. As of this typing, we have 12 chapters. 1 was $2.99, 8 were $3.99, and 3 were $4.99…round the penny up on the cover prices and we’re at $42 so far. An ad in the latest issue gives an August checklist showing there are 3 more chapters, and unless I’m completely “off,” that’s 1 each at $2.99, $3.99, and $4.99. Meaning the $17ish story I thought I was getting into has become a $54 investment for 15 issues. (I paid about $55 for my Death and Return of Superman Omnibus that has about 40 issues’ content). And if I were to hazard a guess, I would guess that the hardback will be $29.99 to $34.99 cover price.



I no longer pay the attention to “late books” that I used to…probably because I’ve been primarily sticking to Valiant and TMNT comics, and those have been coming out in the months they’re supposed to. I’ve not particularly paid attention to which week of the month, so if there’s been a bit of slidage I’m not particularly conscious of it.

julydoomedchecklist01That said, it’s long been frustrating–if only passively so–the way books seem to “cluster,” rather than be more spread out. Valiant would seem to skip a week or two and then have multiple books out the same week…and I think the last couple months, both the main TMNT book and the Animated Adventures have been out in the same week rather than spaced out. Maybe they have different audiences, but there are some people (like me) who buy both, so instead of spreading the cost through the month, when they both show up the same week, I’m out $8 instead of only $4 that week.

I noted my issue with this when Doomed STARTED, and the issue came up again a couple weeks ago with a $14 3-issue cluster that EASILY could have been spread out–and should have, as both of the $5 annuals were on a July checklist, not August. (In fact, 3 out of the 5 Wednesdays in July had NO new chapter! Superman/Wonder Woman #10 hit July 9th, and there was nothing July 16th, 23rd, or 30th).



That $54 mentioned above actually translates to $62ish for me, as I wound up re-purchasing two issues. I didn’t even KNOW there were variants, and thus WOUND UP WITH variants for Superman #31 and Action Comics #32. Since this story has a trade dress and numbering, I sorta want all my single issues to look like they belong together, PARTICULARLY with the added expense and hassle OF buying this as single issues.

superman31variantsThe other week, I actually had to go to TWO shops just to get the NON-variant edition of Action Comics #34, as there were several variants left but the ‘regular’ trade-dress cover was sold out (and I got to the first shop maybe 2 hours after they opened?).

It’s one thing to have a variant as an actual SPECIAL thing…and on “key” issues (like a #1 or anniversary or such), and on very FEW titles. But when they’re so frequent and common and such that it’s the VARIANT that’s left and the REGULAR issue that sells out, it’s just a little ridiculous. (and it’s not like I’m grousing that a 1st print sold out before a 2nd print or any such).action33variants

I’m not going to blame the shop on the earlier issues: there was only the one cover there, the covers were not MARKED as variant (by the publisher), so I had no reason to suspect they were (perhaps I SHOULD have suspected due to how MANY variants are constantly being pumped out…but that’s another topic for another post). Of course, I wised up thanks to those, hence leaving my usual shop with one less otherwise-in-the-bag sale and went to another shop in seeking the regular edition.

*     *     *     *     *

So, a few more issues to complete this story that I’ve gotten this far into…and I’m done. Again. There are plenty of “classic” stories I’ve yet to read, many I’ll enjoy re-reading, and given my enjoyment of bargain bin hauls…I don’t need the hassle of things like I’ve experienced with Doomed.

And I’m not even getting into any of the issues I have with Marvel events this time around…

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