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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Someone did put out a collection of Lou Fine's work on Black Condor and the Ray back in the 1980s. Absolutely gorgeous art.

Fraser Sherman said:

Hell, me too.

Dennis Summers said:

Both of which I'd snap up in a heartbeat.

Yup, if it's the one I'm thinking of I have it. Unfortunately it's all black and white. So between you and me we can guarantee 2 book sales ;-)

I think the one I saw was color, or partly in color, but I don't trust my memory.

Dennis Summers said:

Yup, if it's the one I'm thinking of I have it. Unfortunately it's all black and white. So between you and me we can guarantee 2 book sales ;-)

Here are some 2020 Marvel omnibuses, announced at SDCC (copied from Bleeding Cool):


Incredible Hulk By Peter David Omnibus Vol. 1

Jan. 28, 2020 $125 1,000 pages. By Peter David, Bob Harras, Steve Englehart, Dwayne Turner, Todd McFarlane, Erik Larsen, Dale Keown. Beginning an incredible collection of Peter David’s character-redefining, 130-plus issue Hulk run – including his complete collaboration with artist superstar-in-the-making Todd McFarlane! The Hulk, now a gray-skinned goliath, is angrier than ever – leaping into action against horrors from the grave, from the stars and from the house next door! Featuring the revitalization of one of the Hulk’s longtime foes, the Leader – and a new life for the Hulk in Las Vegas! Say hello to Joe Fixit, as casino conclaves mesh with interdimensional intrigue! Plus: Classic clashes with X-Factor, Wolverine, Iron Man, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and Werewolf by Night – and vile villains including Grey Gargoyle, Doctor Doom and the Abomination!
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COLLECTING: INCREDIBLE HULK (1968) 328, 331-368; WEB OF SPIDER-MAN (1985) 44; FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) 320; MATERIAL FROM MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS (1988) 26, 45


Spider-Man: Miles Morales Omnibus

$75 624 pages Feb. 25, 2020. Welcome to the Marvel Universe, Miles Morales! Visionary writer Brian Michael Bendis completes his 18-year association with wall-crawlers by bringing the Ultimate Spider-Man to a brand-new life on a brand new world – and not everything is how it was! Miles will have to fi nd his feet quickly, though, when he goes up against one of the biggest bads in the Marvel U.! Then, the villainous Black Cat plots to get her claws in this new Spidey – but will Miles find romance with the other-dimensional Spider-Gwen? And Spidey finds himself caught in the middle when Marvel’s heroes square off in a second Civil War! Plus, the secret history of Miles’ dad…agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.! And a familiar face returns -together with an all-new, all-deadly Sinister Six!

COLLECTING: SPIDER-MAN (2016) 1-21, SPIDER-MAN (2017) 234-240, SPIDERGWEN (2015B) 16-18


X-Men Vs. Apocalypse: The Twelve Omnibus

Feb. 18, 2020, $125, 1,280 pages. Apocalypse’s long-prophesied ascension begins! As Professor X grows paranoid and withdrawn, the X-Men split up -leaving only a small team to aid a friend. And when Apocalypse’s newest Horseman of Death strikes, an X-Man will perish! But not everything is as it seems, and as the team realizes the full scope of Apocalypse’s scheme, it may be too late! Only the Twelve, a gathering of mutants foretold to save the world, might turn the tide -but Apocalypse plans to use them to become a god! Who will make the ultimate sacrifice to prevent the Ages of Apocalypse from becoming a horrifying reality?
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COLLECTING: UNCANNY X-MEN (1981) 371-380, ANNUAL ’99; X-MEN (1991)91-93, 94 (A STORY), 95-99, ANNUAL ’99; X-MEN UNLIMITED (1993) 24(A STORY), 25-26; GAMBIT (1999) 8-9; ASTONISHING X-MEN (1999) 1-3; WOLVERINE (1988) 145-149; CABLE (1993) 71-78; X-MAN (1995) 59-60; X-51 (1999) 8; X-FORCE (1991) 101; X-MEN 1999 YEARBOOK


Conan The Barbarian: The Original Marvel Years Omnibus Vol. 3

Jan. 28, 2020 $125 824 pages
Battle runs through Conan’s life like the blood in his veins. A stint with the mercenary Crimson Company isn’t enough to quench his furor – but perhaps consorting with Bêlit, pirate queen of the Black Coast, can! Together, Conan and Bêlit will reave across Hyboria’s high seas and into the dark depths of its jungles. There, Conan will earn his honored name – Amra – in one of the Cimmerian’s greatest epics! Master storytellers Roy Thomas and John Buscema follow with a saga that brings Conan, Kull and even Red Sonja together! All the while, the struggle to reclaim Bêlit’s title and lands from the Stygians carries on! Also featuring an adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s first Conan tale – and a massive trove of rare bonus material!

COLLECTING: CONAN THE BARBARIAN (1970) 52-83, ANNUAL (1973) 2-3, GIANT-SIZE (1974) 5, POWER RECORDS 31

And some reissues of the Annihilation Omnibus, Ultimates By Mark Millar & Bryan Hitch Omnibus, Daredevil By Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev Omnibus Vol. 1 and 2.

I'll be buying the PAD Hulk one for sure. It's been years since I read it, and I don't own any of the previous tpbs. Who would be interested in a discussion? (I'm talking max participation here. like in the old days.)

Hi all, this might be old news to everyone, but my exchange with Fraser led me to do a little internet sleuthing, in case I had missed something. In doing so I discovered Gwandanaland - Lance Jones who has been printing comics with lapsed copyright coverage in color on demand, available from Amazon. As you can guess they're from scans and not remastered but apparently "lightly" touched up. He has a zillion different collections, including complete Ray, Black Condor, and Plastic Man but also the less well known Barker by Jack Cole, and much much more, the list is extensive. They are a little pricey, but not crazy, for example a 412 page book at $60. From the "look inside" option at Amazon, the pages look decent, and at least for me way easier than trying to read comics on the internet at comicbook plus for example.

You can write to him at gwandanaland@yahoo.com and he'll send you a list and a document describing the business.

Good news indeed!

Dennis Summers said:

Hi all, this might be old news to everyone, but my exchange with Fraser led me to do a little internet sleuthing, in case I had missed something. In doing so I discovered Gwandanaland - Lance Jones who has been printing comics with lapsed copyright coverage in color on demand, available from Amazon. As you can guess they're from scans and not remastered but apparently "lightly" touched up. He has a zillion different collections, including complete Ray, Black Condor, and Plastic Man but also the less well known Barker by Jack Cole, and much much more, the list is extensive. They are a little pricey, but not crazy, for example a 412 page book at $60. From the "look inside" option at Amazon, the pages look decent, and at least for me way easier than trying to read comics on the internet at comicbook plus for example.

You can write to him at gwandanaland@yahoo.com and he'll send you a list and a document describing the business.

A couple of new books at Instock Trades this week caught my eye, but I have questions. So many questions!

One is the Golden Age Sub-Mariner book Jeff of Earth-J mentioned in his "recent Sub-Mariner" thread. It's titled "pre-war" Subby, although some of the material comes from mid-1942. But mainly what I thought was "don't I have all this already in Marvel Masterworks?" I haven't made a head-to-head comparison, but I'm pretty sure I've got the first several years of Sub-Mariner Comics, All-Winners Comics, Marvel/Marvel Mystery, Daring Mystery, USA Comics, Captain America Comics, Human Torch and some others I'm not remembering, probably all of them well into 1942 or beyond. The only thing that jumped out at me from the list of stories was a story from some book with a humor title that hasn't been collected before. Has anybody done a comparison?

Also, there's an omnibus called Marvel Horror, and it looks like it concentrates on some of the short-run material from Marvel's 1970s horror explosion -- which is to say, whatever wasn't in Ghost Rider, Tomb of Dracula and Werewolf by Night. I think it's got all of the Living Mummy stories, the very few Manphibian stories (maybe just one), possibly It the Living Colossus, maybe Morbius ... I don't have the description in front of me, but it sounds like it would be a worthy companion to the Werewolf by Night and Tomb of Dracula collections. I have all those stories already, of course, but having them all between two covers is tempting, Anybody thinking about this one?

I am, definitely. Which doesn't mean I'm getting it anytime SOON. I didn't get around to the Golden Age Green Arrow Omnibus until this week, for cryin' out loud.

I got the GA book right away, because -- unlike Marvel Horror -- it was all or mostly stories I'd never read before. That isn't to say they were all good. In fact, it was so repetitive that it took me a couple of months to get through it, as I'd pick up other books for a break. 

"Has anybody done a comparison?"

I have. I am more exited about The Golden Age Sub-Mariner by Bill Everett than I have been about any other book this year. This one has been on my wish list for years. It is definitely my "Pick of the Year" for 2019! I'll be back later with a more detailed description, but I will clarify now, the "pre-war" in your description (not actually part of the title) refers to Bill Everett; it contains all of the Sub-Mariner stories he did before he enlisted in WWII.

"Also, there's an omnibus called Marvel Horror..."

I bought that one, too. I'll be able to clarify what exactly this volume contains.

GOLDEN AGE SUB-MARINER by Bill Everett:

I have been wishing for a complete collection of Bill Everett’s Sub-Mariner for a long time. AFAIAC, Everett is the most underrated writer/artist of the Golden Age, better than Siegel & Schuster, better than Kane & Finger, better than Simon & Kirby. What you get in this volume is every Sub-Mariner story from Marvel Comics/Marvel Mystery Comics #1-31 with every other Sub-Mariner story by Bill Everett (from Sub-Mariner, All-Winners, Human Torch, etc.) chronologically inserted when it was released.

In addition, you get other significant Sub-Mariner stories by hands other than Everett’s (such as the crossovers with the Human Torch by Carl Burgos and text pieces by Stan Lee). All this, plus an informative introduction written by Roy Thomas. Yes, Cap, you probably have most of this, but not chronological. This presentation allows one to experience the development of this visionary creator’s most famous character. Just flipping through the volume (especially toward the end), it’s easy to tell when other less talented artists and assistants loaned Everett a hand, but it’s interesting to note How he signed such stories. Rather than using his distinctive signature (designed to look like an artist’s palette), he simply printed it or he did not sign it at all.

The volume ends with all three stories of Everett’s other water-based character, “The Fin” (one of these is from the “book with a humor title that hasn't been collected before”). Me, I’m looking forward to reconciling the continuity between the stories contained in this volume and the ones from Roy Thomas’s Invaders.

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