It has been noted by folks wiser than your humble blogger that Marvel has reached the point where they are releasing collected editions because they can, not because there is any great demand for them. I think I have run across a fine example of this phenomenon in their latest batch of solicitations.
Observe if you will Avengers: Citizen Kang on the Marvel site. This book caught my eye because I bought all four of the Annuals it reprints back in 1992. I enjoyed them for what they were, but haven't thought much about this "event" since then. Except now someone at Marvel thinks we need a collection of it.
Don't get me wrong here. I liked those Annuals, and I wouldn't be opposed to reading them again. It'd also be nice for all the creators involved to get royalties for that work. I'm assuming Marvel is paying royalties for these, right? It's just that there is no way on Earth I can justify buying this book.
I went to a well-known comic book retail site and checked the current base prices (not sale prices) of the four books reprinted in Avengers: Citizen Kang. This is what I found for them in Near Mint condition:
Captain America Annual #11 - $1.30
Thor Annual #17 - $1.10
Fantastic Four Annual #25 - $1.30
Avengers Annual #21 - $1.10
No, your eyes do not deceive you. The entire crossover can be had for $4.80. Granted, you would have to pay postage too, unless you made a large enough order to qualify for free shipping. Still, that's peanuts to own those comics in a day where one new comic costs almost that much.
How much is Avengers: Citizen Kang? $24.99. And it is entirely possible that it will not reprint all the extra stories and bonus features that are in the Annuals. But even if it does, that's twenty extra dollars for a reprint! Twenty dollars just for the privilege of saying you own a "book" instead of a pile of old comics.
I'm sorry, Marvel, but I'm just not going for it.
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