It looks like DC Comics are using the Omnibus format as their current way to collect classic material in chronological order.  In the past, there have been the Archives series (hardcover, full color), the Showcase Presents series (softcover, black and white, usually twice the page count of an Archive), and the Chronicles series (softcover, full color, smaller page count than an Archive).  In the past few years, all of these lines have been quietly shuttered, and now DC is releasing Omnibus collections in both hardcover and softcover formats.

As you would expect, the Omnibus hardcovers are huge.  Two Silver Age volumes collected the first 76 issues of JLA (along with Brave and Bold 28-30 and Mystery in Space 75), for example.  Earlier this year, DC released JLA: The Bronze Age Omnibus Volume 1, collecting JLA # 77-113.  That's almost half of the original series collected in this way, which for a fan like me is great news.  The JLA Archives had 10 volumes, collected the first 93 issues, and the first volume and last volume were released twenty-two years apart.  The first JLA Omnibus came out in 2014.

DC is also releasing these collections in trade paperbacks with a smaller page count than the hardcovers.  The great thing is that these TPBs collect more issues than the Archives did!  The material collected in the first JLA Silver Age Omnibus has all been released in 3 TPBs.

I have the first JLA Silver Age TPB, and I loved it!  I also have the first JLA Showcase Presents, but I find that without color, I just don't enjoy the stories as much as I could.  Actually, I find I enjoy most Silver Age comics more in color versus reading them in Showcase Presents and Essential Marvel.

I wonder how many of the rest of you are buying and reading these Omnibus collections, and what you think of the format.

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I am currently reading SA GL OMNI v2 (and "sneak reading" The Wrath of the Spectre omnibus), but I am always thinking ahead as to what to read next. Regarding...

GA BM OMNI v8: I bought that one a week or two ago, too. 

ADAM STRANGE OMNI: This one has been a contender on my "to read next: pil;e for quite some time. There seems to be some interest in this series. Some of the best discussions we have had in the past happened when multiple people agreed to read the same arc at the same time. Any takers?

If Richard Willis, Dr. Hmmm? and Jeff of Earth-J would all commit to reading the Adam Stange omnibus at the same time (and everyone else would participate via memory or interest) we could get a good discussion going. 

I enjoyed a lot of the stories I saw in the 100 Page Super-spectaculars but with so many more available to me, my respect has increased. There's just so much good stuff.


Dave Palmer said:

My respect for Golden Age Batman goes back to these paperbacks from 1966.  



I'd be up for it. I just read Fadeaway Doom — I'm working through it at about one story every week or two as part of a Silver Age reread — but I can always go back and reread something if I need to refresh my memory.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I am currently reading SA GL OMNI v2 (and "sneak reading" The Wrath of the Spectre omnibus), but I am always thinking ahead as to what to read next. Regarding...

GA BM OMNI v8: I bought that one a week or two ago, too. 

ADAM STRANGE OMNI: This one has been a contender on my "to read next: pil;e for quite some time. There seems to be some interest in this series. Some of the best discussions we have had in the past happened when multiple people agreed to read the same arc at the same time. Any takers?

If Richard Willis, Dr. Hmmm? and Jeff of Earth-J would all commit to reading the Adam Stange omnibus at the same time (and everyone else would participate via memory or interest) we could get a good discussion going. 

I have the three ADAM STRANGE ARCHIVES, if that counts!

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I am currently reading SA GL OMNI v2 (and "sneak reading" The Wrath of the Spectre omnibus), but I am always thinking ahead as to what to read next. Regarding...

GA BM OMNI v8: I bought that one a week or two ago, too. 

ADAM STRANGE OMNI: This one has been a contender on my "to read next: pil;e for quite some time. There seems to be some interest in this series. Some of the best discussions we have had in the past happened when multiple people agreed to read the same arc at the same time. Any takers?

If Richard Willis, Dr. Hmmm? and Jeff of Earth-J would all commit to reading the Adam Stange omnibus at the same time (and everyone else would participate via memory or interest) we could get a good discussion going. 

I just have the first Adam Strange Archive, but could probably follow along for a little bit.

I'm up for it. I didn't expect to start reading it so soon after it arrived but I've already read the first four stories.

Hi all, I know I'm going to sound like a crank, but I can give you my feedback early on the Adam Strange stories. An alien being threatens to take over the planet Rann. Strange stops it. Repeat.

I would follow an Adam Strange thread, as I do with most, although I don’t often chime in.  I could keep up with you until MIS #84 where Showcase Presents ends, as well as the Strange Adventures reprints from the early 70s, coincidentally.  If I really looked around the place I think I may have a few of the Space Ranger/Adam Strange MIS issues tucked away somewhere.

As much as I enjoy Adam Strange’s stories, the solutions are indeed inventive, I have to agree with Dennis, they are a bit formulaic, especially reading a bunch at once.  But, for what they are, they are well done.  

And even though he was just represented by reprints (in the aforementioned Strange Adventures—what a natural title for the character to be the feature in), he was one of the few DC Silver Age “superheroes” to outlast the Silver Age, if only by a few years.  Superman (and his “family,” including Supergirl, who was a Silver Age creation), Batman (and maybe Batgirl who had a series in Detective Comics), and Wonder Woman, obviously, but who else (as an ongoing headliner)?  Okay, Flash, JLA, Phantom Stranger, and for a while (until 1972) Green Lantern and Teen Titans.  Who didn’t make it much beyond 1970 (or earlier) as a headliner:  Doom Patrol, LSH, Spectre, Aquaman, Hawkman, Space Ranger, Plastic Man, Atom, Eclipso, Metal Men, Martian Manhunter, Prince Ra-Man, Dial H, Challs, Sea Devils, Rip Hunter, Inferior Five, Deadman, Blachawks, Captain Action, Ultra, Elongated Man (he wasn’t the headliner but he was a long-running back-up), Metamorpho, and I guess we could even throw in Enchantress, Automan, and Animal Man as well.  I’m sure I missed somebody since that was off the top of my head.

Egads, I forgot Hawk & Dove, and Creeper.  And if we’re going to throw in Automan and Animal Man, then I guess we have to include Immortal Man.

Judgement call:  obviously not a headliner, but does Rose and Thorn sneak in as originating in the Silver Age?  She debuted as a back-up in Lois Lane #105, October, 1970.

I lean toward “not Silver Age,” but where do you draw that line?  1971 (cover date) is Kirby’s Fourth World and it doesn’t seem right to call that Silver Age, although Jimmy Olsen #133 does have an October, 1970 cover date.  Arrgghh, it’s enough to drive someone to distraction.

Start of the Bronze Age generates much more debate, I think, than the start of the SIlver Age (though that generates some). Movie books on film noir do the same thing — there's general agreement classic noir starts with 1940's Stranger on the Third Floor, but where the cycle ends and becomes neo-noir is much less certain.

Almost all my Adam Strange exposure came with the Strange Adventures reprints. I picked up Planet That Came to a Standstill because it had the JLA, and I was hooked.

Reading the Omnibus I've noticed that even in the strip they joke about how Adam's arrival is a sign something's about to attack Rann. But if we didn't like formula, would we be reading Silver Age comics?

Dave Palmer said:

Judgement call:  obviously not a headliner, but does Rose and Thorn sneak in as originating in the Silver Age?  She debuted as a back-up in Lois Lane #105, October, 1970.

I lean toward “not Silver Age,” but where do you draw that line?  1971 (cover date) is Kirby’s Fourth World and it doesn’t seem right to call that Silver Age, although Jimmy Olsen #133 does have an October, 1970 cover date.  Arrgghh, it’s enough to drive someone to distraction.

I don’t want to digress too much, but comics are the world of what if.

Just imagine instead of Strange Adventures #244 (October-November, 1973) being the last issue that it continued and #245 (December 1973-January 1974) featured the start of new stories by Archie Goodwin and Gray Morrow.  

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