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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MARVEL HORROR:

I understand your confusion. I saw this collection solicited and I read about it last week in CSN, and although Marvel did a good job of listing the contents by title and issue, it was nevertheless confusing because the features were spread across multiple titles. Also, adding to the confusion, the collection includes these characters’ guest appearances in other titles (for example, Modred the Mystic in Marvel Team-Up and Avengers). Here, then, is a list of the characters included in the collection…

The Zombie (Simon Garth)
Brother Voodoo
The Living Mummy
It! The Living Colossus
The Golem
Gabriel, the Devil Hunter
The Scarecrow
Modred the Mystic

I'm not sure I can justify buying it, but you make a compelling case. I'll have to give it some more thought. thanx --ds

Jeff of Earth-J said:

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.

It's also true that a Volume 2 has been solicited, and that probably does venture into new, uncollected territory. I may feel compelled to buy Vol. 1 just because mismatched collections give me the heebie-jeebies. {Sigh}

Same here, Doc. And Jeff's talked me into it already.

It'll fit nicely with my other Everett books. I've got the Everett Archives Vols. 1-2, and Fire & Ice: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics. I enjoyed the first two, but started and never finished the last one.

Flipping through the latest Previews...

Adventures of Superman: Jose Garcia-Lopez v2 - JAN

Aquaman: Death of a Prince (HC) - JAN

Green Arrow by Mike Grell Omnibus - JUN

Legends of the Dark Knight: Steve Englehart - JAN

World's Finest: Guardians of Earth (#198-214, editied by Julius Schwartz) - APR

Sub-Mariner by Bill Evertt v2 - APR

Black Widow Omnibus - MAR (Very inclusive! Includes sub-plot pages from Avengers #16, #32-33, #38-39, #41-42, #45-47, #57, #63-64 and $76 for example.)

She-Hulk by John Byrne Omnibus - APR (Includes graphic novel)

Daredevil/Elektra by Miller & Sienkiewicz Galley Edition - MAR (Includes Love & War and Elektra: Assassin)

Also new printings of Wolverine Omnibus and Astonishing X-Men Omnibus, both of which I gave a pass to first time around, but am considering now.

I looked up Marvel and DC HCs through the end of the year, with a bonus of DC's omnibuses through June 2020. But my sources were different than yours, Jeff, as they didn't include all of the stuff you have.

Here's the list I compiled today:

Oct. 1: Zero Hour: Crisis in Time 25th Anniversary Omnibus
Oct. 1: Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Two: The Deluxe Edition
Oct. 1: Infinity Wars by Gerry Duggan: The Complete Collection
Oct. 8: Harley Quinn by Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti Omnibus Vol. 3
Oct. 15: Crisis on Infinite Earths Companion Deluxe Vol. 3
Oct. 15: Immortal Hulk Vol. 1
Oct. 15: Marvel Universe by Rob Liefeld Omnibus
Oct. 15: Namor the Sub-Mariner by John Byrne and Jae Lee Omnibus
Oct. 22: Batman by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo Omnibus Vol. 1
Oct. 22: The Flash of Two Worlds Deluxe Edition
Oct. 22: Jim Lee XXL
Oct. 29: House of Secrets: The Bronze Age Omnibus Vol. 2
Nov. 5: Lucifer Omnibus Vol. 1
Nov. 5: Timely’s Greatest: The Golden Age Simon & Kirby Omnibus
Nov. 12: Wonder Woman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 4
Nov. 19: Venom by Donny Cates Vol. 1
Nov. 19: Injustice: Gods Among Us Omnibus Vol. 1
Nov. 19: Savage Sword Of Conan: The Original Marvel Years Omnibus Vol. 2
Nov. 19: Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Omnibus
Nov. 26: Man and Superman: The Deluxe Edition
Nov. 26: New Teen Titans Omnibus Vol. 4
Nov. 26: Batman: The 1989 Movie Adaptation Deluxe Edition
Dec. 3: Superman: The Golden Age Omnibus (New Printing)
Dec.1 10: Animal Man by Jeff Lemire Omnibus
Dec. 10: Superman: Secret Origin Deluxe Edition
Dec. 10: Final Crisis Omnibus (New Printing)
Dec. 10: Superman: For Tomorrow 15th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
Dec. 10: Justice League by Scott Snyder Book One Deluxe Edition
Dec. 10: Timely’s Greatest: The Golden Age Human Torch By Carl Burgos Omnibus
Dec. 17: Y: The Last Man Omnibus
Dec. 17: Green Lantern: Rebirth Deluxe Edition
Dec. 17: Ditko is Amazing! King-Size
Dec. 17: Iron Man: The Mask in the Iron Man Omnibus
Dec. 24: The Flash by Geoff Johns Omnibus Vol. 1
Dec. 24: Power of X
Dec. 31: Promethea: The Deluxe Edition Book Two
Jan. 14: Swamp Thing by Nancy A. Collins Omnibus
Jan. 28: Batman: Black & White Omnibus
Feb. 5: Harley Quinn & the Gotham City Sirens Omnibus New Edition
Feb. 19: Doom Patrol By John Byrne Omnibus
Feb. 26: Wonder Woman by Gail Simone Omnibus
Mar. 4: Aquaman: The Silver Age Omnibus Vol. 1
Mar. 11: House Of Mystery: The Bronze Age Omnibus Vol. 2
Apr. 1: Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 8
May 6: Jonah Hex: The Bronze Age Omnibus Vol. 1

I'm a little interested in Aquaman: Death of a Prince. Even though I've read all those stories, they appeared in Adventure when it was both a regular comic and in its final days, when it was a digest. Having them all together might be worth the bucks. I don't remember who wrote the stories, but Aparo was the artist.

I'm definitely getting the Black Widow omnibus, if for no other reason than to have it handy when I have to write about the Widow when her movie comes out next year. Her early adventures kinda hopped around -- it was mostly Avengers, but also Tales of Suspense, Amazing Adventures and even an important story in Amazing Spider-Man. (I don't think it goes far enough, chronology-wise, to get to Daredevil/Black Widow.) Having them all in one place is worth the money. I hope they also gather the Yelena Belova stories together in one place, which they haven't done yet.

Thanks to you, Jeff, I'm committed on Bill Everett Vol. 2. I suppose you're going to talk me into the Carl Burgos collections, too?

I might get the She-Hulk by Byrne Omnibus -- again, because I'm going to have write about the character next year, and getting all this stuff in one place is simply easier by (cheap) purchase than digging through all the longboxes. Or the short magazines boxes -- I have almost 30 of those, with no idea which one houses the She-Hulk graphic novel. Have the Dan Slott She-Hulk series been omnibused? I'd really rather have those, but I'll take what I can get.

I'll be getting, of course, the Golden Age Wonder Woman and Superman books. As everyone must have heard me say a million times by now, one of my highest priorities is reading the Big 3 up to the point where I have read them comprehensively already, which is roughly 1958.

I'll also be getting the Wonder Woman by Simone, Jonah Hex and Y: The Last Man omniboo. I don't need any of them, but I kinda want 'em.

“But my sources were different than yours, Jeff…”

My source is exclusively Diamond’s Previews catalogue, but it’s not as if anything is guaranteed to ship on the dates solicited no matter which source you use.

“I'm a little interested in Aquaman: Death of a Prince….”

Ooh! Would you be interested in a tpb version (on slick paper, if that makes a difference)? I don’t like to duplicate things in my collection, but I will sometimes (let’s be honest… “frequently”) “upgrade” if a better format becomes available, and in this case, I would really like to have “Death of a Prince” and “The Seach for Mera” HCs side-by-side on a shelf. Let me know if you’re interested in the tpb and we’ll work something out.

“I'm definitely getting the Black Widow omnibus, if for no other reason than to have it handy when I have to write about the Widow when her movie comes out next year.”

Tax write-off (business expense).

“I might get the She-Hulk by Byrne Omnibus -- again, because I'm going to have write about the character next year.”

Another tax write-off.

“I suppose you're going to talk me into the Carl Burgos collections, too?”

Well, I’ll tell you this: I’m getting it. And I will definitely be writing about it here, so we’ll see.

"As everyone must have heard me say a million times by now, one of my highest priorities is reading the Big 3 up to the point where I have read them comprehensively already, which is roughly 1958."

Much the same with me, though I'm more interested in the Bat than Big Blue.

"Tax write-off (business expense)."

Are people actually making a living here? I assumed this was just blogging for fun.

This list is a depressing reminder of how much more stuff is out there than I can a)afford and b)have time to read. It also reminds me how much I hated Byrne's Doom Patrol.

"Are people actually making a living here?"

Well, Cap is a professional journalist and could legitimately claim his comics purchases as a business expense. I could not. I once had a financial advisor who told me that, if I started selling my unwanted comics (and I've got a lot of them that could stand to be culled), I could legally claim all my purchases as a business expense. If you're considering this be advised, the catch is you would need to show a profit at least once every three years, which means selling more than you buy.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed financial advisor and cannot give financial advice.

Thank you, that clarifies things.

Fraser

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"Are people actually making a living here?"

Well, Cap is a professional journalist and could legitimately claim his comics purchases as a business expense. I could not. I once had a financial advisor who told me that, if I started selling my unwanted comics (and I've got a lot of them that could stand to be culled), I could legally claim all my purchases as a business expense. If you're considering this be advised, the catch is you would need to show a profit at least once every three years, which means selling more than you buy.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed financial advisor and cannot give financial advice.

“Thanks to you, Jeff, I'm committed on Bill Everett Vol. 2. I suppose you're going to talk me into the Carl Burgos collections, too?”

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I have to talk you into buying the Golden Age Simon & Kirby collection (which shipped yesterday) first. ;)

TIMELY’S GREATEST – THE GOLDEN AGE SIMON & KIRBY:

The same thing I said about the Sub-Mariner volume (seeing the work develop in real time) holds true here, too. I’m pretty sure you have most if not all of these stories already (because I have most if not all of them) in other formats, but these are presented in publication order and reinforces what you already know (that Captain America was their big hit), with a perhaps a few surprises. For example, can you list their early Timely creations in order without having to look them up? Sure, you could look them up, but that’s not the point. Now you don’t have to. And reading them in order would entail moving around among several different collections.

For the record, here is a list of Simon & Kirby creations before Captain America in the order they were published (only one appearance each unless otherwise noted):

The Fiery Mask (3 appearances)
The Phantom Bullet
Trojak the Tiger Man (2 appearances)
Red Raven
Mercury
Comet Pierce
Marvel Boy
The Vision (13 appearances)

Captain America

After Captain America, there was only…

Hurricane (2 appearances)
Tuk the Caveboy (2 appearances)
Captain Daring
The Defender

Clearly Captain America was their big success, with the Vision a distant second. No other character even came close, even to the Vision.

If you have the Young Allies Marvel Masterworks edition, you know that S&K did only the splash pages to the first issue before they joined the service and were shipped overseas, and that’s all that’s included here. I was wondering how they were going to handle that, and I approve; the non-S&K pages were crapola.

And Jim Steranko’s introduction! I don’t know his sources, but he revealed things about the early days of the S&K partnership (and of their relationship with Martin Goodman) that I have never read before. This volume is not inexpensive, but it’s well worth the price.

I'm sure the price is more than I want to pay but yes, that does sound like a very cool offering.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

“Thanks to you, Jeff, I'm committed on Bill Everett Vol. 2. I suppose you're going to talk me into the Carl Burgos collections, too?”

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I have to talk you into buying the Golden Age Simon & Kirby collection (which shipped yesterday) first. ;)

TIMELY’S GREATEST – THE GOLDEN AGE SIMON & KIRBY:

The same thing I said about the Sub-Mariner volume (seeing the work develop in real time) holds true here, too. I’m pretty sure you have most if not all of these stories already (because I have most if not all of them) in other formats, but these are presented in publication order and reinforces what you already know (that Captain America was their big hit), with a perhaps a few surprises. For example, can you list their early Timely creations in order without having to look them up? Sure, you could look them up, but that’s not the point. Now you don’t have to. And reading them in order would entail moving around among several different collections.

For the record, here is a list of Simon & Kirby creations before Captain America in the order they were published (only one appearance each unless otherwise noted):

The Fiery Mask (3 appearances)
The Phantom Bullet
Trojak the Tiger Man (2 appearances)
Red Raven
Mercury
Comet Pierce
Marvel Boy
The Vision (13 appearances)

Captain America

After Captain America, there was only…

Hurricane (2 appearances)
Tuk the Caveboy (2 appearances)
Captain Daring
The Defender

Clearly Captain America was their big success, with the Vision a distant second. No other character even came close, even to the Vision.

If you have the Young Allies Marvel Masterworks edition, you know that S&K did only the splash pages to the first issue before they joined the service and were shipped overseas, and that’s all that’s included here. I was wondering how they were going to handle that, and I approve; the non-S&K pages were crapola.

And Jim Steranko’s introduction! I don’t know his sources, but he revealed things about the early days of the S&K partnership (and of their relationship with Martin Goodman) that I have never read before. This volume is not inexpensive, but it’s well worth the price.

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