Would U Buy It #39: "DC Legends, Vol. 1-4"

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We all have trade paperback (TPB) collections we'd like to see. Here's four of mine:

Proposed Title:DC Legends, Vol. 1.
Vol. 1 Collecting 6 Issues:

Chapters:

  • 1) Batman #401
  • 2) Detective #568
  • 3) Green Lantern Corps (1986) #207
  • 4) Cosmic Boy (1986) #1
  • 5) JL of America (1960) #258
  • 6) Secret Origins (1986) #10
Vol 1 TPB Cover: Secret Origins (1986) #10

I was surprised at how well these issues seem to break up for TPB volumes. I think this would be my favorite of the four TPB's simply because it has two of my all-time favorite comics in it. With Batman #401, Magpie intrigued me, because she was a new addition to the Batman rogues, right after COIE. She intrigues me today, because she seems to be the last of the theme villains, right at the time that they were being phased out. As for Secret Origins #10, I still think the four possible origins of the Phantom Stranger were an awesome idea - some of the best characterization I've ever seen at DC. It keeps the mystery of the Phantom Stranger alive and well, and is an excellent place to end Volume 1.

For the cover, what's more legendary than the Phantom Stranger? Definitely Secret Origins #10.

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Proposed Title:DC Legends, Vol. 2.
Vol. 2 Collecting 5 Issues:

Chapters:

  • 7) Fury of Firestorm #55
  • 8) Cosmic Boy (1986) #2
  • 9) JL of America (1960) #259
  • 10) Fury of Firestorm #56
  • 11) Blue Beetle #9
Vol 2 TPB Cover: Blue Beetle #9

I like that both Fury of Firestorm chapters are in this volume (Brimstone was so cool at the time). I thought the Blue Beetle issue was a good place to end Volume 2, because it's a definite downturn in the story arc.

For the cover, I was torn between Fury of Firestorm #55, with Brimstone on the cover, or Blue Beetle #9. I decided on the Blue Beetle cover, because it says much more about the overall story in Legends.

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Proposed Title:DC Legends, Vol. 3.
Vol. 3 Collecting 5 Issues:

Chapters:

  • 12) Warlord (1976) #114
  • 13) Cosmic Boy (1986) #3
  • 14) JL of America (1960) #260
  • 15) Blue Beetle #10
  • 16) Warlord (1976) #115
Vol 3 TPB Cover: Warlord (1976) #114

I like Volume 3, because it works out nicely that it begins and ends with The Warlord.

For the cover, I went with Warlord #114. It's just the pose of a legend.

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Proposed Title:DC Legends, Vol. 4.
Vol. 4 Collecting 6 Issues:

Chapters:

  • 17) Superman (1987) #3
  • 18) Adventures of Superman (1987) #426
  • 19) Action #586
  • 20) Cosmic Boy (1986) #4
  • 21) JL of America (1960) #261
  • 22) Secret Origins (1986) #14
Vol 4 TPB Cover: Superman (1987) #3

Volume 4 shapes up just as nicely as Volume 1. The first half is the three Superman chapters, and it ends with the origins of the past and (then) present Suicide Squads.

For the cover, I went with Superman #3. What's more legendary than a god holding a hero in his clutches?

The Four TPB Collections As A Whole
Legends logo

Overall, each volume carries one chapter each of the Cosmic Boy mini-series, and of the four issue Justice League of America arc, "The End of the Justcie League." Cosmic Boy undergoes a pretty significant change in that mini-series, and I think it's cool that we only get one chapter of it per volume. Breaking up the JLA story makes that seem a little more epic too.

As this story is over twenty years old, it may not be marketable as four volumes. In that case, I'd combine Volumes 1&2 into one volume, and Volumes 3&4 into a volume. This would make them 11 issues each, which isn't too bad of a size. I made the title "DC Legends," instead of just "Legends," to differentiate it from the mini-series TPB.

I didn't include the Legends mini-series in these volumes, because Legends: The Collection collects Legends #1-6, and because the mini-series issues weren't numbered as part of the chapters.

Would you buy it? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading.

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12 Comments
12 Comments
Posted by Primmaster64

Cool

Posted by humanfly26

cool! it's a little annoying that some of the stories in one volume don't relate to each other. (i.e. none of the stories in Volume 1 relate to each other except two of them have Batman), but I would probably still buy it. I think most of my favorite comics come from the 80s and first couple years of the 90s.
 
I have sad news for you though....

Posted by cbishop
@humanfly26: I thought about that, but each of the covers has a banner at the top that says "Legends Chapter ____," so I put them in chapter order.  Keep in mind that a retail version of a TPB was still a relatively new thing at the time - the industry was still figuring it out.  What's now called the "graphic novel" used to be called the "trade paperback," because they were "paperback collections" used for the reference of those "in the trade."  If you were the new writer (or artist) on a title, these TPB's were available for your reference, so you could brush up on what you needed to know, to keep your stories in continuity with the past stories. 
 
All that to say: Legends: The Collection came out seven years after the mini-series.  I don't think the 22 chapters outside of the series were produced with TPB collections in mind.  I don't have all of the issues, but I'd love to stack them up and read them back-to-back, and see if there's any sort of continuity throughout.  Otherwise, I think it would just read sort of like changing scenes from chapter to chapter of a book.  That feeling might be facilitated better if the mini-series issues were incorporated into the four volumes, but should be helped by the four part Cosmic Boy and JLA tales, where there is definitely continuity.  Plus, there's two issues of Firestorm and two issues of Warlord in there, which ought to have some continuity, but I don't know how they'll read with the other chapters inbetween.  I think it's a little weird that the three Superman chapters are back-to-back when everything else was broken up, but maybe it'll help build a sense of climax at the end of the story arc.
 
Honestly, if done at all, two 11 issue volumes would probably be better, and people would probably be more willing to buy it that way.  A 22 issue compendium could be done also, but I don't think those have been perfected yet - I still feel leary of the contents coming away from the spine of the book.
 
As for Magpie, I think I had heard somewhere that she had been killed off.  It's not really surprising, because she wasn't much of a character.  She was just one that intrigued me, like I said, because she seemed to be one of the last theme villains.  Plus, i thought it was cool that another bird-name character was being added to the Bat-verse (Batman, Robin, Penguin, Magpie). ;)
Posted by humanfly26
@cbishop said:
" @humanfly26: I don't have all of the issues, but I'd love to stack them up and read them back-to-back, and see if there's any sort of continuity throughout.  
I haven't done that for Legends yet, but it works pretty well for some of the other crossovers (Millennium, Darkness Within, Invasion, etc.)
Posted by Donovan Montgomery

I think I would buy something like your proposal.  It would make for a great easily accesable companion to the LEGENDS trade. 
 
(I already have the entire collection as they came out :], but a convenient book format would be great to put on the shelf so every one can read it.)
Edited by cbishop
@Donovan Montgomery said:

"I think I would buy something like your proposal.  It would make for a great easily accesable companion to the LEGENDS trade.  (I already have the entire collection as they came out :], but a convenient book format would be great to put on the shelf so every one can read it.) "

 
I bought most of these when they came out as well, but I have sold my collection a couple of times, so I no longer have all of those issues.  I can probably find most of them in quarter bins if I wanted to, but I really like it when this stuff comes out in TPB's. 
 
@humanfly26 said:

"I haven't done that for Legends yet, but it works pretty well for some of the other crossovers (Millennium, Darkness Within, Invasion, etc.) "


Those are probably coming in future installments of Would U Buy It. lol
Posted by Liberty

I would buy this if it was incorporated with the Legends Mini series.  I have read almost all of these books.  I am missing only a couple.  The story is a lot better with the main Legends books.  I think you can have the mini without the chapters but not the chapters without the mini. If that makes sense.

Posted by tonis

I bought all the originals when they came out, the Legends arc was definitely one of DC's great major events. Highly recommend buying and reading if you don't have them. 
If you watch Smallville you get some small hints of this event in season 10.

Posted by cbishop
@Liberty: It makes sense, but I figured the mini's TPB is out, and it's not really clear where the mini's issues fit in the chapters.  I'd have to be able to look in the books to figure that out.
Posted by cbishop
@tonis said:
"I bought all the originals when they came out, the Legends arc was definitely one of DC's great major events. Highly recommend buying and reading if you don't have them. If you watch Smallville you get some small hints of this event in season 10. "

I bought them as they were coming out as well, but I don't have them all anymore.  I loved that it had chapter numbers on each issue though - trying to figure the reading order can be a pain sometimes.
Posted by AirDave817

Sure! Heck yeah! I'd buy it as a "Showcase" volume.

Posted by cbishop

AirDave: I bristle at the Showcase volumes a bit, just because they are in black-and-white, just as I did with the Marvel Essential volumes. However, I must admit that I've actually picked up several of the Showcase volumes at discounted prices, and enjoyed them thoroughly! The reason we have Essentials and Showcases is because recoloring them for the modern preferred paper (rather than the original newsprint they were printed on as single issues) makes the TPB's more expensive (see Marvel's X-Men: Mutant Massacre, at a wopping $30), and B&W; allows them to be affordable. And you get way more B&W; issues for your $16.99 than you would in a color TPB at $16.99 (although the older issues had lower page counts, but most Showcase volumes are usually 500 pages). I'd prefer to see these Legends chapters in color, but color is always my preference. I might still buy them as a Showcase volume, but I'd be a little disappointed about it. Lately, for me, disappointment = no sale.