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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John Dunbar said:

Also, coming out in July is the 2nd hardcover volume of Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes.  The first volume was released last June, picking up where the last LSH Archive left off in 2012.  Volume 1 collected S & the LSH #233-240 and All-New collectors' Edition C-55.  The upcoming volume collects #241-258 and also DC Comics Presents #13 and 14.  Incidentally #259 was the first issue that dropped "Superboy" from the title.

I checked this out on Amazon recently, and it looks like they've added issue 259 to the collection. A good thing, since it's the conclusion of a two-parter that begins in 258!

This Wednesday, May 16, sees the release of  - 

Supergirl Omnibus Volume 2: The Silver Age, collecting Supergirl backup stories from Action Comics #308-333, #335-340, #342, #344-346, #348-350, #353-354, #356-359, #361-372 and #374-376.  

Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection Volume 3: Spider-Man No More, collecting Amazing Spider-Man #39-52 and Annual #3-4, and material from Not Brand Echh #2.

Defenders Marvel Masterworks Volume 6, collecting Defenders #42-57 and material from FOOM #19.

This past Wedneday, May 23 saw the release of Superman: The Golden Age TPB Vol 4.  It collects Action Comics #41-47, Superman #12-15, World's Best Comics (1941), and World's Finest #3-5. 

This coming Wednesday, May 30, sees the release of Silver Surfer Epic Collection Vol 6: Thanos Quest.  It collects Silver Surfer #39-50 and Annual #3, Thanos Quest #1-2 and material from Marvel Comics Presents #50. 

Next month features Champions Classic: The Complete Collection for June 20. I never got the two prior tpbs so I'm stoked about this. It has everything except their appearance in Godzilla. 

There is a 'From the Vault' issue out there starring the Champions with (shock) GAMBIT headlining as a kind of hidden original appearance.

It has a certain appeal but I don't think anyone is fooled. - it's an unused issue with aan antagonist they have since tweaked into GAMBIT from obscurity.

Has anyone else seen the issue?

Doubt it'll be in this Omnibus and as I have the earlier two -book 'complete' set U won't be checking.

Philip Portelli said:

Next month features Champions Classic: The Complete Collection for June 20. I never got the two prior tpbs so I'm stoked about this. It has everything except their appearance in Godzilla. 

So, the Spider-Man Epic collection is redundant with several Masterworks and, more or less, Spider-Man Omnibus Vol. 2. Should we assume Epic collections are replacing Omnibuses? Or just in addition? And if the latter, why?

John Dunbar said:

This Wednesday, May 16, sees the release of  - 

Supergirl Omnibus Volume 2: The Silver Age, collecting Supergirl backup stories from Action Comics #308-333, #335-340, #342, #344-346, #348-350, #353-354, #356-359, #361-372 and #374-376.  

Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection Volume 3: Spider-Man No More, collecting Amazing Spider-Man #39-52 and Annual #3-4, and material from Not Brand Echh #2.

Defenders Marvel Masterworks Volume 6, collecting Defenders #42-57 and material from FOOM #19.

"Or just in addition? And if the latter, why?"

I think they're just in addition. Been duplicating that way for a while now (in addition to non-duplicate editions). I think it's just to give consumers a choice of format.

Oh, that's perfect — Epic Spidey takes up almost exactly where my four Masterworks ends. And as I said upthread, smaller volumes are easier to heft than omnibuses.

Fraser

Captain Comics said:

So, the Spider-Man Epic collection is redundant with several Masterworks and, more or less, Spider-Man Omnibus Vol. 2. Should we assume Epic collections are replacing Omnibuses? Or just in addition? And if the latter, why?

John Dunbar said:

This Wednesday, May 16, sees the release of  - 

Supergirl Omnibus Volume 2: The Silver Age, collecting Supergirl backup stories from Action Comics #308-333, #335-340, #342, #344-346, #348-350, #353-354, #356-359, #361-372 and #374-376.  

Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection Volume 3: Spider-Man No More, collecting Amazing Spider-Man #39-52 and Annual #3-4, and material from Not Brand Echh #2.

Defenders Marvel Masterworks Volume 6, collecting Defenders #42-57 and material from FOOM #19.

I've been picking up the Silver Age issues of Iron Man, Thor and the Avengers in Epic form. They are nice packages with terrific printing and color. These titles are ones I didn't already have in Masterworks form. So far the only Omnibus I have is the Amazing Fantasy one. I have both Masterworks volumes covering Ant-Man/Giant-Man.

The Green Lantern Archives covered the run I cared about, so no problem there, and I have the entire Doom Patrol run in Archives. I am wrestling with the idea of buying Flash Omnibus volumes that go beyond the end of the Archives. I had bought the B & W Showcase volumes but I have a problem with comics intended for color being reprinted in B & W. The intended effect is not the same. The Omniboo I'm considering would leave a small gap covered only by a Showcase volume. I can't justify buying a third Omnibus which would mostly overlap my Archives.

Color is preferable (though I do get a sharper appreciation of the pencil work in b&w), but I have so many Flash issues that buying an Omnibus to fill in gaps isn't justifiable. Ditto Green Lantern, Hawkman, etc.

I do think the Epic coloring looks much better than some of the Marvel Masterworks. I've only picked up some Captain America so far.

Richard Willis said:

I've been picking up the Silver Age issues of Iron Man, Thor and the Avengers in Epic form. They are nice packages with terrific printing and color. These titles are ones I didn't already have in Masterworks form. So far the only Omnibus I have is the Amazing Fantasy one. I have both Masterworks volumes covering Ant-Man/Giant-Man.

The Green Lantern Archives covered the run I cared about, so no problem there, and I have the entire Doom Patrol run in Archives. I am wrestling with the idea of buying Flash Omnibus volumes that go beyond the end of the Archives. I had bought the B & W Showcase volumes but I have a problem with comics intended for color being reprinted in B & W. The intended effect is not the same. The Omniboo I'm considering would leave a small gap covered only by a Showcase volume. I can't justify buying a third Omnibus which would mostly overlap my Archives.

Today brings two books I'm getting:

MMW: Ant-Man and Wasp Vol. 3 (collecting Bronze Age Henry Pym and introducing Scott Lang)

EC Archives: Weird Fantasy Vol. 3

Instocktrades is pricing the latter as if it had arrived already. Perhaps it did and I missed it.

I just noticed that Haunt of Fear Vol 5 is on the schedule (10/23), as is Vault of Horror Vol 5 (12/24). That will finish the EC horror reprints. In fact, Dark Horse is about to finish the "New Trend" books altogether, and has turned its attention to the "New Direction" books.

If you're not getting the New Direction books, you should take a look. I found Aces High too one-note to be interesting (all World War I aviation stories), but Valor and especially Extra! are high-quality EC fare at least as far as artwork goes.

The new Masterworks includes Black Goliath as well.

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