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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Speaking of things not matching up, I've been waiting for Fantastic Four Omnibus Vol 5, because I'm missing MMW Vols. 14-15, which should fall in that book (should it come to exist). But today I discovered, to my chagrin, that the MMWs and Omnibuses don't line up. I already have FF Omnibus Vols 1-2 (which do line up), so my choices now are to accept some duplication or buy Omnibuses Vols 3-4.

I'm tempted to do the latter, since both are currently available for roughly half price at In Stock Trades. But, geez, this never ends.

CAPTAIN ACTION: CLASSIC COLLECTION: Collects issues #1-6 by Gil Kane, Wally Wood and Jim shooter, with an introduction by Mark Waid. I used to play with the dolls but I put off buying the series as backissues (too expensive). Now I'm glad I waited. Solicited for May 18 release. IDW. 

I do have the originals, and the art is indeed lovely. DC put their best people on toy adaptations back then: Gil Kane and Wally Wood on Captain Action, and Alex Toth on Hot Wheels.

As a mythology lover I was fascinated with the first couple of issues, even though the origin for the gods obviously didn't fit the rest of the DCU. The first Gil Kane issue was disappointing by comparison though the art was indeed pretty.

But six issues? I thought they only published five?

And I wonder what it took to work out the rights issues?

Jeff of Earth-J said:

CAPTAIN ACTION: CLASSIC COLLECTION: Collects issues #1-6 by Gil Kane, Wally Wood and Jim shooter, with an introduction by Mark Waid. I used to play with the dolls but I put off buying the series as backissues (too expensive). Now I'm glad I waited. Solicited for May 18 release. IDW. 

I try to avoid duplicating in Marvel Masterworks what I already own in omnibus format. For example, I took positive delight not buying MMW Captain America when it got to the Kirby era, MMW Fantastic Four when it got to the Byrne era, MMW Daredevil when it got to the Miller era, MMW Amazing Spider-Man and Spectacular Spider-Man when they got to the Stern era, and so on because I already own that stuff in omnibus format and, whenever I choose to read it again, that's the version I will read. 

But Marvel is not too diligent when it comes to matching up Masterworks with omnibuses. The latest MMW Spectacular Spider-Man, for example (solicited for June 22 release), duplicates fully half of its content (six of 12 issues) from the Roger Stern Spider-Man omnibus and the latest MMW Captain America (July 13) duplicates 9 of 14 issues from one of the John Byrne omnibuses. 

DC's TPBs of relatively recent material tend to go in the opposite direction (I get them from the library) — they don't include any crossovers or explanations which means sharp changes in direction or plot (he was dead! Now he's alive!) between two issues with no enlightenment as to why.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I try to avoid duplicating in Marvel Masterworks what I already own in omnibus format. For example, I took positive delight not buying MMW Captain America when it got to the Kirby era, MMW Fantastic Four when it got to the Byrne era, MMW Daredevil when it got to the Miller era, MMW Amazing Spider-Man and Spectacular Spider-Man when they got to the Stern era, and so on because I already own that stuff in omnibus format and, whenever I choose to read it again, that's the version I will read. 

But Marvel is not too diligent when it comes to matching up Masterworks with omnibuses. The latest MMW Spectacular Spider-Man, for example (solicited for June 22 release), duplicates fully half of its content (six of 12 issues) from the Roger Stern Spider-Man omnibus and the latest MMW Captain America (July 13) duplicates 9 of 14 issues from one of the John Byrne omnibuses. 

This is beyond most definitions of "Bronze Age" but it shipped today nevertheless.

GREEN ARROW: THE LONGBOW HUNTERS SAGA OMNIBUS VOL. 2: Green Arrow #51-80, The Wonder Year #1-4, Shado: Song of the Dragon #1-4, The Brave & the Bold #1-6, Annual #4 & #6, a short story from the 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super-Spectacular, plus brand new essays and an extensive art gallery. 

I'm on the fence on that one. I got the first volume because I had store credit and couldn't find any other omnibus they had that I wanted. And besides, as I told my wife, "Longbow Hunters is a pretty big Green Arrow story, and there aren't many big Green Arrow stories." Now here comes volume 2, still calling itself "Longbow Hunters" long after the miniseries is over, as if they're re-defining the entire Mike Grell period as "Longbow Hunters" so they wills sell more books to unwitting youngsters looking for the famous "Longbow Hunters" story when this book has nothing to do with it. (Other than Mike Grell.)

Still, I have Volume One, and Volume Two completes the series (I think), and someday I will sell all my floppies, so maybe I should have it on the shelf? Or am I just getting another white elephant for my wife to get rid of when I die?

DC has changed their omnibus trade dress again 

I don't like it either, but I'm sure some bean counter has figured out that they'll sell x more copies by making that change.

Intellectually, I recognize that DC's commercial interests are the only reason we're getting the reprints at all, but emotionally I can't help but wish aesthetics were taken into account as well.

What would it cost them to commit to a single trade dress for a given series? Why can't a multimillion-dollar company commit to a full reprint of a given series at the outset, as a celebration of its own IP if nothing else, instead of evaluating a reprint series volume by volume and dropping it the minute sales flag a little?

Yeah, I'm dreaming. 

SUPERMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE OMNIBUS Vol. 7:

Includes Action Comics #126-147, Superman #55-65 and World's Finest Comics #37-47.

Solicited for 7/12/22 release.

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