Courtesy of San Francisco comic retailer James Sime, a look at the span of Marvel Comics' Secret Invasion series in collected form - 22 books so far, and that's not even the complete story. Is this final proof that the cost of (reading about comic book) war is too high?
Accompanying his photo of the spines of each of the Secret Invasion collections (although there may be more to come - There's a Mighty Avengers Book 1 in there, which suggests a Book 2 would be on the way), Sime (who runs San Francisco's Isotope - The Comic Book Lounge) comments that,
The first book in your Secret Invasion collection is only going to run you $29.99. It's $14.99 for the rest (thereabouts).
For those too lazy to do the math, that's an approximate cost of $344.78 for just those books alone, and that's avoiding all of the prologues that trailed the main Secret Invasion event. Weirdly enough, that total isn't too different from Newsarama.com's total for what you'd have spent if you had bought everything to do with the series - including the prologues - in single issue format ($378.78; you can see their math here).
Everyone involved with Secret Invasion has said on numerous occasions that you don't have to read every book to understand the story, with main writer Brian Michael Bendis putting it best:
The final call will be the readers’ call, but whatever you chose to read will only accentuate the experience for you. If you want the single disc DVD, you’ll get the full story. If you want the double disc edition, fine. If you want the Blade Runner five discs with the toy in the briefcase, we’ve got that too... It’s our goal to make you want to buy them, not to make you have to buy them.
Nonetheless; almost $400 for the five disc Blade Runner? Those had better be some awesome extra discs...