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.
"I suspect they are looking at how many are pre-ordered by Amazon and other retailers."
Oh, yeah, definitely. But from a fan perspective, the disappointment is worse than the waiting.
I'm disappointed in Aquaman as well, but I do have all of those books anyway, so it's not a crisis for me. But we've already got one Showcase and two Archives of the same material in print as it is. With the "Search for Mera" HC out already, most of the Silver Age Aquaman is available. It's not ideal, but you can assemble a pretty good SA Aquaman reprint collection.
My dream Aquaman collection is the Golden Age stuff that's never been reprinted in any form. Like the GA Green Arrow Omni, it would be kinda repetitive, maybe even dull. But I'd sure like to compare the first origin (early '40s) and second origin (1958), the introduction of Topo and Aqualad, and all the other World's Finest and Adventure back-up stories. Heck, I'd pay good money to see the "yellow glove" period, just to see what Roy Thomas was on about in All-Star Squadron.
I'm looking forward to the "Wrath of the Spectre" HC and sure hope they don't cancel that. Once again, I have all the books that will be included, but it'll be nice to have both the SA Spectre and the Fleisher Spectre in between two covers. DC never finished collecting the Golden Age Spectre (Damn. It.), but this is a nice addition anyway. Spectre is one of those characters whose entire solo adventures prior to the '80s could be collected in about 3 or 4 Omnis.
Aquaman's debut and origin from More Fun Comics #73 (N'41) was first reprinted in Secret Origins #7 (N'74) but the actual origin was told, not shown, in a panel or two. Basically, his father found some way to turn his son into a water-breather. And that was that.
The funny thing was that when I got this book, I already read his revised/Silver Age/Earth-One origin and was perplexed why this story was "lying" to a nine-year old!
Also, my personal theory is that Secret Origins #7 which came out seven months after Secret Origins #6 (F'74) was an unadvertised Super Friends tie-in, connecting two cancelled collections!
I think Aquaman had a more extended origin later in the series, but I might be thinking of the Silver Age origin. Anyway, that's why I want the collection, so I can refer to vaguely remembered stories.