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Defiant Card Albums – #0 Issues

I’ve known about the (Warriors of) Plasm card set that–completed and in 9-pocket card pages–makes up a #0 issue since it came out back in the day (1993 or so). But I don’t think I knew about the Dark Dominion one until this year.

defiant_zeroissue_card_albums

I happened across a regular sized standard-ish comic edition of Plasm #0 in a quarter bin that I decided to get for the novelty of it. The issue seemed like it had been an insert in something, without proper binding of its own.

The store owner noticed it and asked if I was interested in these, and while I declined at the time, they stuck in my head, and a week after, I decided if he still had them, I’d ask about the price he’d quoted…since that stood, I bought ’em.

Getting these for roughly the price of a contemporary comic…reminds me once again how much my comic shop puts CONVENTION dealer rooms to shame…the every-day stuff I can get, the organization and cleanliness and extremely reasonable pricing–I often find myself quite DISAPPOINTED at cons.

Now, of course, I try to remember if I’d passed on a run of both of these series and think it’d be interesting to track them down and compare the "zero issue" to the main series for myself.

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Avengers: Warriors of Plasm?

avengerskreeskrullwarcardscoverI remember back in 1993 or so, a comic publisher (Defiant) teamed up with a trading card publisher and put out a set of trading cards. When assembled in 9-pocket pages, these cards became a quasi comic book, a zero issue.

Now, 18 years later, Marvel‘s hopping on-board with Upper Deck to do an Avengers: Kree-Skrull War “issue” that same way.

(see an official article at Marvel‘s site –  Kree-Skrull War: Upper Deck-ades in the Making | Marvel.com.)

plasmzero001What I don’t get is if something like this will actually sell. Granted, I’m absolutely NOT the target audience…but it seems that straight up “trading cards” fell out of favor with the advent of Trading Card Games/Collectible Card Games. I know I myself haven’t had any interest at all in buying cards that can’t even potentially be part of a playable game.

Then I spotted this gem:

The comic-card hybrid revolution is further celebrated with additional insert cards, richly presenting the set’s magnificent “cover” art by Harvey Tolibao–in full color as well as black and white–and even variant cover art by Paul Renaud.

avengerskreeskrullwarcardscover2“Love” the buzzwords here. Even in CARDS, can’t escape the “variant” cover for Marvel’s comics (DC, Dynamite, IDW, etc are guilty of the variants craze, but they’re not partaking in this card thing).

So even assembling a full set of the “basic” cards, one still has to track down the “insert” (aka “chase”) cards to have a TRUE “full set” by way of a so-called “variant” cover/art.

The cards come 9 to a pack, and I’m going to guess the packs individually will cost at LEAST $2. But let’s be generous and pretend they’d be $.99 per pack of 9 cards. And let’s assume that — just for the STORY — you get a complete set in the smallest number of packs necessary to physically acquire that set. plasmzero003190 cards, 9 to a pack…that’s a minimum of 22 packs. For just the story itself–supposedly “over 40 pages”–let’s assume 40 even. The cards’ll be double-sided, so a pack of 9 would make 2 pages (1 page on the fronts, 1 on the backs?)…so you’d need 10 packs BARE MINIMUM to assemble the story. $9.90 if there’s no tax. But probably double that as the cards would almost have to be $2/pack. Add another few dollars to account for inserts and variants.

And already this becomes at best a double-length “comic” for a minimum of $20, and probably closer to $30 or $40 on the cheap side when you account for the random assortment causing you to wind up with lots of duplicates to assemble just one actual unique set.

plasmzero002And then what? Are they going to sell a special binder for the set? Charge for the uniqueness of the card binder, maybe extra for special cover art?

And will card COLLECTORS really want to do all that JUST for “a comic?” Will “comic fans/comic collectors” really want to go to such trouble “just” for a complete set of cards to “read” the “issue”?

Me? I’d much rather take and spend that sort of money–if I had it–on a quality oversized hardcover or small omnibus, with 18-30+ ISSUES’ content or a couple/several TPBs or such.

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