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'm less familiar with The Atom. It was more like The Flash, but with a romance like Green Lantern's. The reader followed the stories from the hero's perspective and was privy to his thoughts. He didn't have a confidant like Green Lantern. He wanted to marry Jean, but she wouldn't marry him because she wanted to establish herself as a lawyer. The stories always had action sequences in which the Atom jumped around and went to his full weight just before he hit the crooks.

I have a couple of the Aquaman Showcases, but I haven't read them yet.

Aquaman appeared in supporting slots for twenty years before getting a Showcase try-out and then his own title. The supporting slot stories continued for a bit after the hero's title started, so the first two Showcases have a mix of supporting slot stories and whole issues.

As a kid I usually found Aquaman stories from the supporting slots dull. In contrast, I quite liked some of the Green Arrow stories. (Adventure Comics #267 [1959] had an early crossover in which Aquaman hunted a foe on land and Green Arrow hunted a foe underwater. Both parts are reprinted in Showcase Presents Aquaman #1.)

I haven't read the Showcase try-outs and I'm not very familiar with Aquaman. My impression is they told quite different stories to the supporting slot feature from the start.

The first Showcase starts with Aquaman's Silver Age origin. This introduced the idea that Atlantis still exists, but for quite a while he never visited there. He spent his time patrolling the seas.

Once Aquaman started Aquaman started having more to do with Atlantis. Quisp, Aquaman's Bat-Mite, appeared for a brief period. Mera was introduced, became Aquaman's girlfriend, and married him. Aquaman became King of Atlantis. They had a child. Aquagirl was a 1967 addition.

In the late Silver Age Jim Aparo became Aquaman's artist, and he was again the artist when the feature was revived (initially in Adventure Comics) in the 1970s. The third Showcase ends just before his first issue.

The post Aparo stories I've seen from before Crisis were DC at its late Bronze worst: boring writing, often boring art.

I think they can see money coming in for Supergirl reprints. Aquaman is in the movies but his presentation is very different from the Silver Age character, who is more like the "talks to fish" public perception and Superfriends image. Like the Atom and Hawkman, sales figures on Aquaman Archives probably work against him. I did read the Aquaman, Green Arrow and Martian Manhunter backups when I was a pre-teen. They were moderately entertaining but not mindblowing stories.

A few updates to my "Upcoming Releases" post from Thursday:

Justice League of America: The Silver Age Vol 4 comes out July 11, collecting JLA 31-41.

Doom Patrol: The Silver Age TPB Vol 1 comes out July 25, collecting My Greatest Adventure #80-85 and Doom Patrol #86-95.

(Previous info was that these were July releases without specific dates)

Wonder Woman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol 3 comes out Nov 7, collecting Sensation Comics #49-67, Wonder Woman #16-24, and Comic Cavalcade #14-22

The last WW Archive (Vol 7) collected Wonder Woman #16-18 and Sensation Comics #50-57.  Wonder Woman #19-24, the WW stories from Sensation #58-61 and 63-67, and all of the WW stories from Comic Cavalcade have not been reprinted anywhere before.  The WW story from Sensation #62 was collected in the 1972 Wonder Woman collection that had an introduction from Gloria Steinem.  So this Omnibus gives readers a fair chunk of material that has never been collected before.

Thanx for the details on Wonder Woman -it saves me the work ;-). It looks like I'll be picking up that book in spite of the archives repetition.

Delighted to hear about the WW collection. It's been a little frustrating watching DC switch over to the Omnibus format, because they started over, thereby regurgitating material that's already been collected before (and I have in Archive form). But given that WW Omnibus Vol. 2 had some Comics Cavalcade material that had never been reprinted, I went ahead and got WW Vols 1-2 and started afresh. Good to see my faith has not been misplaced, and that the Omnibuses to come will largely be material I've never seen before. I can't wait for the mysterious "domesticated Diana" I've read about but never read from the mid-1950s.

Let's hope they do the same with Superman and Batman. Both of those Omnibus runs are reaching the end of the Archives material, so I'm hoping they charge ahead without delay. There's just tons of '50s material I've never seen concerning DC's big three, and I hope they'll finally get around to reprinting it.

I mean, geez, I'm not getting any younger!

Like the good captain, I'm delighted to move beyond the Chronicles (I have little of the Golden Age Archives). I must admit, though, this format is physically hefty--I just got Batman Ominibus III as a gift I'd have been happier with more Chronicles. It's work to move it.

But I'm not giving it back!

So you were the other guy who bought the Chronicles?  photo biggrin.gif

I started getting them because the Batman and Superman ones combined the various titles instead of splitting them up like the Archives did. But as I've gotten older, it appears the type on them has gotten smaller. Isn't that strange? I blame sunspots.

Needless to say, I also got all the Archives. So now that I'm slowly replacing those with the Omnibuses, I'm buying this material for the third time. Good lord, I'm so glad they're finally moving beyond the mid-1940s -- I can finally read something "new'!

...That Steinem'd collection is many many decades in the past . They're really using that as an excuse not to reprint it now? 45/6 years later? That's like saying that just because the president in office in 1972 almost got impeached we can't impeach ~ OKAY, okay, okay.



John Dunbar said:

A few updates to my "Upcoming Releases" post from Thursday:

Justice League of America: The Silver Age Vol 4 comes out July 11, collecting JLA 31-41.

Doom Patrol: The Silver Age TPB Vol 1 comes out July 25, collecting My Greatest Adventure #80-85 and Doom Patrol #86-95.

(Previous info was that these were July releases without specific dates)

Wonder Woman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol 3 comes out Nov 7, collecting Sensation Comics #49-67, Wonder Woman #16-24, and Comic Cavalcade #14-22

The last WW Archive (Vol 7) collected Wonder Woman #16-18 and Sensation Comics #50-57.  Wonder Woman #19-24, the WW stories from Sensation #58-61 and 63-67, and all of the WW stories from Comic Cavalcade have not been reprinted anywhere before.  The WW story from Sensation #62 was collected in the 1972 Wonder Woman collection that had an introduction from Gloria Steinem.  So this Omnibus gives readers a fair chunk of material that has never been collected before.

Emerkeith Davyjack said:

...That Steinem'd collection is many many decades in the past . They're really using that as an excuse not to reprint it now? 45/6 years later? That's like saying that just because the president in office in 1972 almost got impeached we can't impeach ~ OKAY, okay, okay.

That's not what he said.

He said Golden Age Wonder Woman Vol. 3 would contain Sensation Comics #49-67, Wonder Woman #16-24, and Comic Cavalcade #14-22.

He then specified which of those stories had never been reprinted before. Since Sensation Comics #62 had been reprinted before, he didn't include it in his list of books that had never been reprinted before. That's all.

Me, I'm really impressed with John's thoroughness! 

Speaking of print sizes, since I don't have any Omnibuses yet: Is the art reproduced at a larger size than the Archives or Chronicles? (I actually don't have any Chronicles volumes either -- was that art reduced from the Archives?)

...Okay, I see that now. The SENSATION #62 story will be included?

Captain Comics said:

Emerkeith Davyjack said:

...That Steinem'd collection is many many decades in the past . They're really using that as an excuse not to reprint it now? 45/6 years later? That's like saying that just because the president in office in 1972 almost got impeached we can't impeach ~ OKAY, okay, okay.

That's not what he said.

He said Golden Age Wonder Woman Vol. 3 would contain Sensation Comics #49-67, Wonder Woman #16-24, and Comic Cavalcade #14-22.

He then specified which of those stories had never been reprinted before. Since Sensation Comics #62 had been reprinted before, he didn't include it in his list of books that had never been reprinted before. That's all.

Me, I'm really impressed with John's thoroughness! 

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