The ultimate comics story of my childhood is now the ultimate single volume in my entire collection.
I “passed” on the original “omnibus” released back in 2007 or so. It seemed expensive, and as I hadn’t pre-ordered it, I had time to learn that it wasn’t a “true” omnibus–the heart of the story (Funeral for a Friend) was gutted, and a number of other stuff was left out.
When I found out about this edition (I believe from Michael Bailey), it had my interest. Yet, the solicitation text seemed similar to the previous edition, listing material from the various issues, but not specifying if the issues were collected in their entirety, or just a handful of pages.
When this arrived in the mail this week and I opened it yesterday…I was quite impressed on a number of things. Firstly, in Amazon‘s “bargain” shipping. I’ve at least twice in the past half-year had to return stuff I deemed too damaged to keep, due to the way they packaged/shipped ’em. But this arrived in good shape, no random dings or dents in the covers or spine. The dustjacket has a little piece bent on the back, but that was UNDER the shrink wrap of the book itself–factory issue, and straightened right out enough that I’m not concerned.
Secondly, the weight and physical size of this thing. This is absolutely THE largest single comic volume of any sort that I have ever bought. I’ve posted in the past about how close some of Marvel‘s omnibus editions are to otherwise “regular”-ish hardbacks…but this one easily dwarfs the largest Captain America omnibus I own.
Thirdly, I paged through the volume last night, and it indeed seems to have the entirety of what I’d expect; each issue’s cover is also included at the start of each chapter, making this essentially a bound-without-the-ads sort of thing…you know exactly where the issue breaks are, and which issue you’re reading.
Fourthly, the Justice League tie-in issue to Doomsday is included in full, as is the Green Lantern tie-in issue to Reign of the Supermen; this also includes the entirety of the Legacy of Superman special. And rather than “short” us with a few pages of “immediately relevant” stuff from Adventures of Superman #505 and Action Comics #692, the entirety of both of those issues is reproduced here.
Finally, the extras–though not entirely impressive in and of themselves–proved a real treat to read through. I don’t tend to care for random sketch pages, but this volume is a certain exception given the subject matter. And while not quite annotations, the text comments from the various creators were enjoyable to read–confirming stuff I (mostly) already knew, and I also enjoyed seeing some of the promo artwork and such that I’d forgotten about or in the case of art for a couple t-shirts don’t think I ever knew existed.
I don’t think I’d consider this “worth” its full cover price at the moment–I have the original issues several times over; I have the original editions of the individual paperbacks, I have several of the issues digitally in my ComiXology account–but I snagged this for 45% off and free shipping from Amazon, and for that price, I am presently very happy with what I got.
I don’t know how well the binding will or won’t hold up–I flipped through carefully, but didn’t try to lay this out flat or actually READ any of the issues in this edition yet, and it was sorta awkward holding it to read the “extras” material without putting this out flat.
But overall, in the present moment…I’m loving this thing.