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.
Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol 4 comes out Nov 15.
Wonder Woman: The Golden Age TPB Vol 1 comes out Nov 22.
Green Arrow: The Golden Age Omnibus comes out Dec 27.
Superman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol 5 comes out Jan 24.
Green Lantern: The Silver Age TPB Vol 2 comes out Nov 8.
Teen Titans: The Silver Age TPB Vol 1 comes out Dec 20.
Suicide Squad: The Silver Age TPB Vol 1 comes out Jan 3.
Green Lantern: The Silver Age Omnibus Vol 2 comes out Mar 28.
Supergirl: The Silver Age Omnibus Vol 2 comes out May 16, as Jeff mentioned earlier.
Batgirl: The Bronze Age Omnibus Vol 1 comes out Dec 20.
The Brave & The Bold TPB Vol 1 comes out Dec 27.
House of Secrets: The Bronze Age Omnibus comes out Feb 7.
Justice League of America: The Bronze Age Omnibus Vol 2 comes out Mar 14.
- I find it interesting that Green Arrow gets collected ahead of other Golden Agers: Flash, Green Lantern, the JSA, and others who got at least one Golden Age Archive volume.
- Still no sign of Silver Age volumes for Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. I would love to see Silver Age Superman get collected in this format. Batman was uneven in the 1960's in my opinion until Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams showed up. I haven't read any Silver Age Wonder Woman stories but I've heard here and elsewhere that they were mostly dreadful. Given how much of it has never been reprinted, it would be great to see Bronze Age collections for Superman and Batman. Bronze Age Wonder Woman? No idea.
- Do any of you know if there's anything stopping DC from doing a Silver Age Superboy collection?
- What collections would you folks like to see?
I wonder if getting Green Arrow out now isn't another case of striking when the iron is hot. Arrow won't be on TV forever, so Ollie is arguably at the peak of his popularity now. (Jay Garrick, too, probably has more name recognition than ever before, but he's a supporting character rather than a star like Ollie.)
“What collections would you folks like to see?”
Numbers one and two on my list are Silver Age Superman and Bronze Age Superman.
“Do any of you know if there's anything stopping DC from doing a Silver Age Superboy collection?”
I have no idea. They released one volume of Superboy a couple of years ago but after that nothin’. That’s another one I’d buy in a heartbeat.
The owner of my LCS once told me that some of these decisions are personality motivated, such as if one creator or another is out of favor with a particular publisher, his work will not be reprinted so they won’t have to pay royalties.
I can’t really see that being the case with John Byrne, though. Not because he’s universallyt beloved, but because his Superman is already available in tpb, and DC released a HC of his Wonder Woman not too long ago.
Put me down for more Superboy whether its Golden Age or Silver Age.
As far as other collections from DC, I would love to see a Captain Storm book and The Unknown Soldier in color. Jonah Hex gets a lot of love but I would buy a Scalphunter volume any day!
Super Hero-wise? I would instantly order a Mr. & Mrs. Superman, Bronze Age Plastic Man, Post-Kirby Kamandi and SHAZAM! from World's Finest collections!
Oh, yeah. Golden Age Captain Marvel (and all the "Marvel Family" titles). I'm in the process of reading through the archive editions tight now, but they stop just when it starts to get good. The vast majority of stuff between 1942 and 1953 has never been reprinted. (I can't believe I forgot that one.)
I'd love some Golden Age Captain Marvel too. Hopefully as the movie gets closer we'll be treated to some. I have all of the Archives, and they really made me love the character in a way that more modern stories never did. (Though I'm picking up the 70s run from back-issue boxes now, and I enjoy them too. And I always liked the character... but I just couldn't understand why people were gaga over him. The refreshing art and storytelling in the Golden Age stories makes me understand.)
It's not an Omnibus, and I guess it's not technically Bronze Age, either -- but I'm excited to get the Night Force: The Complete Series hardcover at last. I've had it on preorder from Amazon for ages, and it looks like it's going to arrive on Halloween!
The Giffen/Dematteis Justice League Omnibus is supposed to ship tomorrow.
I knew this day was coming…
GOLDEN AGE BATMAN OMNIBUS VOL. 5: Reprints Detective Comics #113-132, Batman #35-45 and World’s Finest #23-32. Archives has reprinted Detective Comics through 170, Batman through #37 and World’s Finest through #32.
Those of us who have the Archives need this volume for only eight issues: Batman #38-45.
Decisions, decisions… Is it worth it? I’m thinking not… unless I could get a good price for some of the archives comprising the issues the omnibus will duplicate.
Well, poop. If DC just did one more Batman Archives, it would settle the issue (for a lot less money than the omnibus).
Darn you, DC! (Old man shakes fist at sky)
BTW, I just got the Night Force hardcover collection in the mail today; I gave it a quick flip-through, and it looks great. (No introduction, though -- I sure miss those.)