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.
This is going to be annoying.
I just ordered the Adam Strange Omnibus. Theoretically I could get rid of all my reprints (and I will get rid of the Showcase collection) but they're all in Strange Adventures issues (I have maybe one original Mystery in Space) so they're bundled together with other stories I don't want to give up. It feels like I should be getting rid of more stuff, but I won't.
Plus, of course, as I don't buy single issues any more, it's not like freeing up space in my comics drawers will accomplish anything.
I understand your annoyance, Fraser, and share it. I have a lot of duplication in my reprint collections, and a lot of holes. That. Is. Irritating.
ADVENTURE INTO FEAR OMNIBUS: Collects #1-31, solicited for June 2020 release.
“Fear” started out as an all-horror reprint title, them featured Man-Thing, then Morbius. All of the Kirby and Ditko stories are available either in the volumes dedicated specifically to their collaborations with Lee and/or the MMW volumes which reprinted the series in which those stories originally appeared. The latter is likely also true of the horror stories drawn by other artists and reprinted in Fear.
The Man-Thing stories are collected in tpb.
The Morbius stories will soon be available in an omnibus dedicated to that character.
I think this one is skippable, unless you don’t have any of those other books I mentioned above, in which case you may want to give it a look. It’s an eclectic mix.
I will say that I have always liked the “milestone” Human Torch stories, particularly Young Men #24 and Fantastic Four Annual #4 (the latter not included in the collection, obviously), but beyond that, I have found most of the Torch’s Golden Age stories to be a snooze fest.Furthermore, the aspect of watching Burgos’ style develop is not as prevalent as it is with Everett’s, the chronology of the stories is not as important, and most of these stories are readily available in other collections. Nevertheless, there’s something about having a complete collection of these stories between two covers and on the shelf next to the two (soon to be three) others volumes in the “series” and I’m going to approach it in hope of recovering some of the same “sensawunda” I had reading those reprints in 1974, I just don’t see it as essential as the Everett or Simon & Kirby ones.
I loved the Original Human Torch stories a lot more than the Johnny Storm ones from Strange Tales. Plus the OHT was featured in The Invaders at the same time.
But wouldn't a Torch vs Torch rematch been cool? They gave us another interpretation of that when Fantastic Four Annual #4 was reprinted in Fantastic Four #189 (D'77).
What I always wanted to see was an iterration of the Fantastic Four in which (for whatever reason) Jim Hammond replaced Johnny Storm. I don't know why.
Will the Burgos series run beyond the Marvel Masterworks? That is to say, will it contain stories not already on my bookshelf? I hadn't planned to buy this series -- like you, Jeff, I like the Torch the least of the Big Three. But I'll change my mind if I get "new" material.
"Will it contain stories not already on my bookshelf?"
No, it will not.
Burgos himself did not stay as long on Torch as Everett did on Sub-Matriner.
If you have all the MMW Marvel Mystery Comics (and various others such as back-ups in MMW Sub-Mariner) I'm happy to report you already have all of the Borgos Torch.