While doing research for this site, I found it on Amazon for 15 dollars (ok 18.99 including shipping) and just couldn’t resist! There’s actually still another copy up there for that price, but mine was marked as “Like New” from someone’s personal collection, haha.
I’ve been avoiding them, even though they have a natural appeal to someone who love the Golden Age and introductions in his books.
The reasons I’ve been unsure about them:
1. A lot of them collect by series and not by character – so you get Detective Comics but not Batman in the same volume (unlike Chronicles, which I’m loving). I’d rather have things in order than in seperate volumes – but apparently DC heard that complaint, which is why we have Chronicles now.
2. They’re hardcover – I actually don’t like hardcovers, they take up more room on the shelf, I find them harder to hold (shut up), and I feel worse if they get a nick or ding.
3. They’re expensive! 50 bucks a book? Really? I tend to spend between 6-10 dollars on a book, unless it’s Nightwing: Rough Justice, which was a super special exception and I couldn’t find it for any cheaper after looking for a year. (Currently going for between 70 and 80ish on Amazon! Insane! I got it for much cheaper than that.)
Reasons I’ve been slowly caving:
1. They’re essential for catching up on the Golden Age! There’s no other way to read a lot of amazing stories in collected edition, and the single issues are super expensive! I’m crossing my fingers for a JSA Chronicles at least, but will they ever release Golden Age Spectre Chronicles? I kinda doubt it… but one can hope.
2. Sometimes they go under 20 used. I can manage that. I’ll treat myself to maybe one or two a year and cross my fingers for some kind of crazy All Stars Archives lot on Ebay.
3. They have introductions! I dislike that the Chronicles books don’t really include any academic or historical context. As Chronicles go, they’re great reproductions (so far) and wonderfully inexpensive ways to read early Superman and Batman, but I wish there was a little essay. From what I’ve read, the text in the Archives books isn’t bad, and I’m a historian at heart, so I’m looking forward to it.
4. I’ve got a completion-ism complex (in case you didn’t notice.) It’s really hard for me to know there are stories out there I haven’t read that are technically available in trade. This is why I own Batman: Digital Justice, for example. Which is actually pretty entertaining as a case study for how not to use computers to create comic books.
So now I’ve got my first Archives book on its way.
I’m really looking forward to it and I’m actually happy that it turned out to be this book. Golden Age Black Canary is a character I’ve never known enough about – no idea about her origin, early stories, early life. I only really know her character design through her Silver and Modern Age incarnations. That’s about it.
Do you guys have any other Archives books to recommend?