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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I just found out that the Not Brand Echh Complete Collection is being released in paperback on June 18. This is good news for those of us who didn't want to take out a loan to buy the scarce hardcover version.

Dan DiDio has announced that DC is cutting a number of already-announced collections including Batman: Brave & Bold Omnibus v3 and JLA Bronze Age Omnibus v3. He tried (and failed, AFAIAC) to put a positive spin on it by adding, “This decision was made to make way for even more books highlighting stories and series from these moments in time. Comics, never collected in color or ever before, will see print in smaller volumes before being collected (if demand dictates) in omnibus form.” I just recently pre-ordered the Doom Patrol Bronze Age Omnibus and was really lookming forward to it. I wonder if that one has been cancelled, too…?

Yeah I wondered what happened. I'd be happy with small volumes if they were hardcover, but I'm sure they won't be. Oh well I have too much to read anyway. --ds

It's difficult to assemble a nice run of silver age books in the same format, because Marvel and DC keep changing formats. Grrr.

Seconded.

I think we had this discussion upthread but I've never been bothered by this.So long as I've got the stories, I'm good. But I know not everyone feels that way.


Captain Comics said:

It's difficult to assemble a nice run of silver age books in the same format, because Marvel and DC keep changing formats. Grrr.

"It's difficult to assemble a nice run of silver age books in the same format, because Marvel and DC keep changing formats. Grrr."

You said it.


"So long as I've got the stories, I'm good."

Theoretically, I agree. Problem is, seems as if every time they switch formats they feel the need to start over. I have a decent collection of DC archives, but when they switched to ombuses I decided not to duplicate. Now they've finally (FINALLY!) gotten to the point where I can begin collecting again, they switch formats on me. Also, I was really pleased with the omnibus format. for about the same cash outlay as a Marvel Masterworks, we got a larger format with strict chonological ordering of related series.

Oh yes, the Omnibuses are a much better investment.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"It's difficult to assemble a nice run of silver age books in the same format, because Marvel and DC keep changing formats. Grrr."

You said it.


"So long as I've got the stories, I'm good."

Theoretically, I agree. Problem is, seems as if every time they switch formats they feel the need to start over. I have a decent collection of DC archives, but when they switched to ombuses I decided not to duplicate. Now they've finally (FINALLY!) gotten to the point where I can begin collecting again, they switch formats on me. Also, I was really pleased with the omnibus format. for about the same cash outlay as a Marvel Masterworks, we got a larger format with strict chonological ordering of related series.

I really like the Omnibuses. I have, in fact, replaced a lot of my Archives and Masterworks with the Omnnibus format. If that changes, I don't know where I'll be.

I already don't know what to do about Marvel. I stopped buying the Masterworks when they started publishing the Omnibus (which had the letters pages), but the Omnibuses stopped including the letters pages, and started coming out very slowly. Meanwhile, the Masterworks have marched along smoothly, but I can't catch up because the ones I missed are out of print and are priced astronomically. Do I buy the new Masterworks, and hope Marvel provides something to fill in the gap? Or do I stick with the Masterworks, and just stop buying anything when they stop altogether? (Which I expect soonly, given DC's move.)

I do have a virtually comprehensive collection of both Marvel and DC from the early '60s to 2010, so NONE of this material is new to me -- I just want them on the shelves 1) for easy research and 2) so I can sell the originals.

But I can't seem to assemble a decent, comprehensive reprint collection. Tis a misery.

Marvel often seems to have a screw loose. Agents of Shield hit TV but the Masterworks with the Lee/Kirby/Steranko run stayed out of print (the two Steranko paperbacks were still available). Black Panther debuts in Civil War on screen but they didn't put him back into print until the Black Panther movie. I know they're penny-ante to Disney's overall finances, but that's still leaving money on the table.

I bought the Masterworks of the Jungle Action run and SHIELD used for about $100 each, when I got a generous birthday cash gift.

That was weird. I guess they thought the books wouldn't sell, despite the movies. Or that if someone who loved the movies sampled one, they'd be disappointed. They may be right on either point.

It sure makes it hard on us hard-core collectors, though. I have half of Sgt. Fury in hardback. I suspect I will never see any more. I do not want TPBs, assuming such will ever be printed, so I'll probably just leave things as they are, and when I sell my Sgt. Furys someday, to rely on Marvel Universe.

I wonder if starting over with each format change is distorting the demand by lowering sales? I  guess reissuing the same stories (which are already digitized and ready to go) is cheaper for the publisher, but how many readers are willing/able to buy the same material in every format? It causes them to think that the later stories won't be in demand when most of them would be. Also, basing print decisions on preorders may be flawed if they are only using comic book store orders. Those of us who prefer to buy online at a discount aren't preordering at a comic book store (or shouldn't be, since they are nonreturnable). Hopefully, mass orders from Amazon pre-publication are factored into the demand. 

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