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.
Yeah, pretty much the climax of the book was Lois gritting her teeth and convincing Angel to stay strong as they worked to dismantle the heart of the alien structure, as the temperature and pressure inside threatened to overwhelm them.
I usually enjoy these types of stories for reasons outside of their literary merits. Looking at how a writer tackles a particular challenge can be fun. We’re seeing a little bit of that right now with Kamandi Challenge and we saw it with its predecessor DC Challenge. How will a creative team deal with a predetermined plot or character requirement? Sometimes it leads to some innovation, sometimes it falls flat. In the letters page to Showcase #100, Paul Levitz talks about how difficult it was finding a writer who wanted to tackle the challenge of fitting all of those characters into a coherent plot. He finally roped Kupperberg into doing it, but had to pitch in himself to work out the kinks. And then Joe Staton apparently threw in a even more characters that weren’t called for in the script.
One of my favorite Bronze Age runs is the Adventure Comics Dial H for Hero stuff that basically killed the book. It certainly wasn’t going to win any Eisner Awards but I always looked forward to seeing how Marv Wolfman and others were going to handle the logistics of including all these reader creations and concepts and stitch them all together into some kind of coherent ongoing storyline. It was more about how the creators met the challenge than how good the story was. I think the final issue actually took it even further as a story was written with the sole intention of throwing in the maximum number of reader creations that was humanly possible in a single issue. Kind of a cool thing to do for all the readers that took the time to send in characters. Who knows, maybe the experience gave Wolfman the confidence to take it even further with Crisis on Infinite Earths.
The story about how Contest of Champions came together is pretty interesting (at least to me) as well. Apparently it was originally intended as a sequel to a winter olympics comic that Marvel had done. But when the US boycotted the olympics they had to shelve it. Some time later they figured out a way to repurpose the artwork into a completely different story. From what I can tell, they ended up making so many changes to the art, they probably could have just started over from scratch.
How often do you get a comic where Angel O'Day saves the day?
Sure, it's not the best written or most coherent comic, but for what it is, it's lots of fun.
I was stunned when some book somewhere -- I think the first Angel and the Ape miniseries -- established that Sam Simeon (ha!) was from Gorilla City. Well, duh, of course he is! I had never even thought he needed explanation, so I never thought about it. But once it was said, it was so obvious.
And another book (heck, maybe the same one) established Angel as the sister or cousin of Dumb Bunny of the Inferior Five. Which established why she was so durable as well. It all make sense!
Right on both being from the same mini-series, Captain.
But Angel and Dumb Bunny (now being called Tough Bunny) were only half-sisters sharing the same father. Bunny's mother was the amazon or pseudo-amazon Princess Power so Angel got nothing from her!
And Sam was revealed not only to be from Gorilla City but Gorilla Grodd's grandson! Yikes!
Well, here's a fine thing. I just checked my Wonder Woman Archives, and as expected, they include all Sensation and Wonder Woman comics up through the second Omnibus. But they do NOT include ANY Comics Cavalcade WW Stories, which the Omniboo do.
So, clearly, I need to divest myself of the Archives, and get the Omnibuses.
Argh! How do I do that?