What’s Going on With the Doctor Fate Archives?

I knew Doctor Fate was one of those weird comic characters, but this is pretty weird even for him… Let me see if I can get the chronology straight.

In February’s Previews, DC offered the Golden Age Doctor Fate Archives, due out at the end of June for $75. In March, they cancelled the series of the character, but no word was said about the Archives. At that time, I found the book for order on Amazon, but the link I used then now shows “The Web address you entered is not a functioning page on our site.”

If you look for that title on Amazon now, you’ll see the following:

Dr Fate Archives Amazon screenshot

Hey, it’s only $20! That’s a great price for an Archive! But wait… what the heck is a “sourcing fee” and why is it $31? One netizen reports that the response to that query from Amazon customer service was “We add a sourcing fee for special order titles and other selected items because of the additional costs associated with processing these orders.” So what do they know about this book that DC hasn’t revealed yet? Or is Amazon just doing a sort of online bait-and-switch to make back some of the money they lose in discounting?

(Thanks for the pointer, Tommy!)


12 Responses to “What’s Going on With the Doctor Fate Archives?”

  1. Ralf Haring Says:

    Amazon adds a sourcing fee when books are out of print or hard to find. They’ve most likely just miscategorized this book, thinking that it has actually come out and is just super-rare instead of not having come out at all. They’re not the best source in the world to find out the in-print status of a book.

  2. Dave Says:

    It’s just a case of Amazon screwing up:

    http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/web/thread.jspa?threadID=2000113254&tstart=0

  3. Ali Kokmen Says:

    For what it’s worth, I notice that the original, no-longer-existing Amazon listing and the current one with the sourcing fee have different ISBNs for the book, which is weird.

    If there were confusions/corrections to be made to so fundamental a data element as the ISBN, it’s not necessarily surprising that strange errors may crop up as publisher data feeds are corrected and recipient booksellers incorporate those corrections with varying degrees of efficiency.

  4. Chris Marshall Says:

    Johanna,
    As far as I know it’s on schedule for a June 27th release. Nice catch on the price! It’s really listed at $75, but is oversized with 396 pages. It collects all the solo Dr. Fate adventures from More Fun Comics #55-98. Also it was to come out last December.
    I really hope it doesn’t get delayed, too. We buyers of Archives have been waiting years for this book.

  5. Comic Book Blog browsing on a Thursday afternoon - Collected Comics Library Says:

    […] out about it now. Thanks, Johanna!!! For something a little more recent, Johanna blogs about the upcoming Dr. Fate Archives and the price that was posted on Amazon. As far as I know it’s on schedule for a June 27th […]

  6. Jim Kosmicki Says:

    Amazon now lists it as not available, we’ll email you once it comes out — no price whatsoever listed. Amazon had a pricing glitch like this for New Frontier Absolute edition, IIRC.

  7. Johanna Says:

    Yes, I documented the New Frontier problem as well — at one point, they were selling it for $13, although they cancelled those orders.

  8. Johanna Says:

    Chris, thanks for reminding us of all the basics.

  9. Allan Says:

    A couple of years ago, Amazon had the huge, 800+ page Fantastic Four Omnibus listed for just £12.00 (real price, something like £63). I ordered it on a whim, just to see what happened. Lo and behold, it actually showed up and I was charged just £12. Sometimes it works..!

    I think it helps if you don’t advertise the fact. If you see a bargain, keep it to yerself! :)

  10. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Here is a little update. Amazon now lists the Dr. Fate Archive as unavailable and has removed all pricing information. You can sign up to be emailed when the book is available.

  11. Chris Marshall Says:

    That’s odd. I spoke to DC just nine days ago and it was on schedule.

  12. Brettl Says:

    According to DC’s website, the archives have been pushed back to July 4th.

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