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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Fraser Sherman said:

I remember Roy Thomas saying that one of the things he admired about Stan was that if he got you to work for Marvel with promises you'd have enough business to pay your rent, by god, he'd see you got it.

There were a couple of instance later on, too, of Lee re-contacting the old creators. The Angel/Dazzler story by Siegel and Ayers was apparently produced during the X-Men's break-up period, which is to say 1968. Hart returned again to write Nick Fury #8. Wikipedia tells me he and Rico had had staff jobs at Marvel in the past. Siegel was briefly Marvel's proofreader at some point in the later 1960s, and also wrote the first instalment of "The Gunhawk" for Western Gunfighters in 1970.

Robert Bernstein certain wrote for Atlas: O'Hearn has posted was credited in the artist's signature on Black Rider stories he did with Jay Scott Pike. The character is a copy of the Durango Kid, a movie character played by Charles Starrett who starred in comics from Magazine Enterprises.

Fraser Sherman said:

I remember Roy Thomas saying that one of the things he admired about Stan was that if he got you to work for Marvel with promises you'd have enough business to pay your rent, by god, he'd see you got it.

I think Stan felt bad when Goodman decided to use only inventory stories and fired everybody but Stan.

Flipping through the latest Previews...

AUGUST 1961 OMNIBUS: Includes every Marvel comic published that month, many never before reprinted. It's interesting, but I don't plan to buy it. I'd rather see a more affordably-priced series of tpbs starting in August 1961, then moving one to September, October...

WHAT IF? OMNIBUS: Reprints #1-15, #17-22. Again, I'm not interested, but there it is.

LOKI OMNIBUS: Loki in chronological order. Again, interesting, but again, I won't be buying it. (I've got everything in this collection in hardcover already.)

X-FACTOR by PETER DAVID OMNIBUS: I like Peter David but I lack shelf space. 10 years ago, I might have considered it. 

From DC...

FLASH: THE DEATH OF IRIS WEST - Reprints #270-284, $40, June 1

Fine, but when are they going to release The Trial of the Flash in HC? 

The August 1961 is a neat idea but yeah, paperback would be better.

Fraser

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Flipping through the latest Previews...

AUGUST 1961 OMNIBUS: Includes every Marvel comic published that month, many never before reprinted. It's interesting, but I don't plan to buy it. I'd rather see a more affordably-priced series of tpbs starting in August 1961, then moving one to September, October...

WHAT IF? OMNIBUS: Reprints #1-15, #17-22. Again, I'm not interested, but there it is.

LOKI OMNIBUS: Loki in chronological order. Again, interesting, but again, I won't be buying it. (I've got everything in this collection in hardcover already.)

X-FACTOR by PETER DAVID OMNIBUS: I like Peter David but I lack shelf space. 10 years ago, I might have considered it. 

Upcoming releases that caught my eye...

MARVEL:

FANTASTIC FOUR OMNIBUS v4: #94-125 (+ The Lost Adventure) - August

SPIDER-MAN OMNIBUS v5: #143-180 (+ Annual #10-11 and Nova 12) - September

DC:

ABSOLUTE SWAMP THING by ALAN MOORE v3: #51-64 (the final volume) - October 26

JACK KIRBY'S FOURTH WORLD by JOHN BYRNE OMNIBUS: The whole thing! - July 13

JLA BRONZE AGE OMNIBUS v3: #147-182 (+ five other comics) - July 6

OTHER:

GORGO ATTACKS: If you're anything like me, you already own the YOE! Books volume reprinting all the Steve ditko stories (from #1-3, 11, 13-16), but this new volume from Fantaco Enterprises, Inc. collects issues #5-10 &12 drawn by Joe Sinnott and Vince Colletta; available in both hard cover and softcover editions. 

GOLDEN AGE BATMAN OMNIBUS Vol. 9 shipped today. It contains...

Batman #76-85

World's Finest #63-70

Detective Comics #192-210

("The Death of Iris West" shipped today, too.)

I preordered that one, but it won't arrive for a few weeks, because I doubled it up with Golden Age Captain America Vol. 2.

This week I ordered the Man-Thing Omnibus in preparation for October. (I read the Swamp Thing Omnibus LAST October, so this year another muck monster gets an "at bat." And I'm SERIOUSLY eyeing those Heap collections for 2022.)

Anyone know why What If #16 was skipped in the omnibus? I could look it up, but I'm lazy.

I ordered The Death of Iris West, or whatever it's called, for research purposes. I would do the same for "The Trial of The FLash," should it be published. But for anyone who hasn't read it, be warned: I consider that storyline the boringest, dumbest and most pointless storyline from the Big Two I've ever read. And I include the Clone Saga in that.

I will get that 1961 Omnibus, because stuff like that is really helpful to provide context for the stuff we've read 100 times.

Jeff, I'm curious: Do you get Marvel Omnibuses, and then skip the corresponding Masterworks, or vice versa, or get them both? I keep stumbing into situations where I've missed a given Masterworks, and getting the Omnibus that includes it (and two or three more) is cheaper than getting the Masterworks on the seondary market. Frankly, my Marvel library is an overlapping mess.

I haven't gotten omnibuses but some Epic collections are cheaper than the Masterworks. Not always though  — the first Hulk and Thor Masterworks came out a better deal than the alternatives.

Yes, that storyline was a mess. Illogical and sloppy about the law (which I can forgive in, say, a Silver Age Lois Lane, but not in a big multi-parter that's pretending to be Serious). I know part of that was Cary Bates knew Flash was going to buy it so he just stretched it out to the finish line, but knowing that doesn't make it more palatable.

Captain Comics said:

Anyone know why What If #16 was skipped in the omnibus? I could look it up, but I'm lazy.

I ordered The Death of Iris West, or whatever it's called, for research purposes. I would do the same for "The Trial of The FLash," should it be published. But for anyone who hasn't read it, be warned: I consider that storyline the boringest, dumbest and most pointless storyline from the Big Two I've ever read. And I include the Clone Saga in that.

I will get that 1961 Omnibus, because stuff like that is really helpful to provide context for the stuff we've read 100 times.

Jeff, I'm curious: Do you get Marvel Omnibuses, and then skip the corresponding Masterworks, or vice versa, or get them both? I keep stumbing into situations where I've missed a given Masterworks, and getting the Omnibus that includes it (and two or three more) is cheaper than getting the Masterworks on the seondary market. Frankly, my Marvel library is an overlapping mess.

"Anyone know why What If #16 was skipped in the omnibus?"

It's a rights/licensing issue I would guess.

"Jeff, I'm curious: Do you get Marvel Omnibuses, and then skip the corresponding Masterworks, or vice versa, or get them both?"

Well, it varies. I prefer the omnibus format, but in most cases, the Masterworks were released first

FANTASTIC FOUR/X-MEN: For these series, I have gotten rid of the Masterworks as I replace them in omnibus format. I reasoned (regarding the Masterowrks), "I will never read these editions again," and that made it a decision based on practicality. MMW FF has now reached the Byrne era, but I already have the two Byrne Omnibuses, so I stopped. MMW X-Men is up to the point I stopped enjoying the title, yet I am on the fence about dropping it.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: I dropped MMW CA for three volumes when it got the the Kirby era because I have the Kirby omnibus. My pre-Kirby MMWs are the black & silver editions, but for post-Kirby I reverted to the non-sequential original trade dress. Now I'm back for a volume or two, but will drop it again when it reaches the Byrne era which I already have in Omnibus format.

SPIDER-MAN: I have four omnibuses (with a fifth on the way), yet I also keep MMW Spider-Man because I have the entire run in the original trade dress. I stopped buying the newer ones when they got to the Stern era, because those are collected in the Roger Stern Spider-Man omnibus. Happily, the MMW PPSS series stops exactly at the point of the Roger Stern volume, so I have stopped buying that series as well.

IRON MAN: This one cheeses me off a bit. The last volume of MMW reprinted only two issues not included in the Michelinie/Layton/Romita, Jr. omnibus, but now I have stopped buying this series, too.

DAREDEVIL: I stopped MMW when it got the the Miller era.

These days, there's nothing I enjoy more than not having to pre-order, Fantastic Four, Captain America, Spider-Man, Spectacular Spider-Man, Iron Man and Daredevil MMW editions. 

I broke the next part of the above post off into a discussion of its own, "How Many Versions Does One Man Need?" If that discussion takes off, I am prepared to branch off into John Byrne's Man of Steel/Superman/Action Comics

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