Teen Titans by Geoff Johns Omnibus, paperback Jack Kirby's Fourth World solicited

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Consider me a little speechless right now.

Teen Titans by Geoff Johns Omnibus.

When DC Comics announced the Flash by Geoff Johns Omnibus, it made immediate sense to me. Johns's Flash series was critically acclaimed, massively long, and almost completely out of print, not to mention that Johns was about to start an entirely new Flash run built on the foundation of his first. We predicted the Flash omnibus series, begged for it, and lauded its arrival.

But this ... is unexpected.

I'll say the first reason the Teen Titans by Geoff Johns Omnibus surprises me, perhaps unfairly, is because of the way the series ended. Johns's Teen Titans started strong, really strong; Teen Titans: Kid's Game is one of my top favorite trade paperbacks -- well-written, well crafted and executed, and as I see now, out of print. But as well as Johns's Teen Titans started, the book lost considerable momentum around Infinite Crisis, and ends rather unevenly with a co-writer and varying art teams. Johns's Teen Titans is in general worthy of an omnibus edition, I think, but the unevenness of the series as a whole makes me surprised that DC would collect it in whole this way.

Second is that, considering again all the reasons a Flash omnibus seemed inevitable, I wonder now what the Teen Titans omnibus means for DC's publishing line going forward. One semi-modern series collected in omnibus format is a surprise; two semi-modern series collected in omnibus format starts to look like a pattern. We've speculated on a Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus before; is that next? A Justice Society by Geoff Johns Omnibus? A Batman by Grant Morrison Omnibus? Like hardcovers and paperbacks, are omnibuses something we should start to expect, too?

Not to mention, the other big news of the day is a paperback edition of DC's Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Vol. 1. We've seen this with Gotham Central, JLA, and others -- omnibuses aren't even exclusive hardcover volumes any more, but also more affordable paperback releases. Is this a trend toward larger volumes overall -- hardcover, paperback, whatever, are bigger volumes and more issues the new normal?

Now, possibly DC produced the Flash omnibuses in connection with Johns's new Barry Allen Flash series, and maybe the Teen Titans omnibuses are meant to reflect Young Justice -- though I can't imagine the Young Justice audience is quite extensive enough to support a series of potentially $75.00 omnibuses. A Young Justice tie sounds to me like a big risk; I'd sooner hope DC is publishing the Teen Titans omnibus series, for better or worse, out of love for Johns's Teen Titans stories.

... OK, so maybe not speechless after all, but certainly surprised. Are you surprised, too? Is this a must-buy, or a plan-to-pass? I'm still thinking this through, and I'm eager to hear everyone's thoughts.
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25 comments:

  1. Not surprised one bit. Sure Johns' previous Flash run was critically praised but at this point its more about his name recognition. I assume the Blackest Night and Brightest Day trades sold really well and they figure to test the market with the $75 price point. Morrison's Batman presents itself to the Omnibus format but I'd rather wait until he's done before starting that series.

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  2. It makes sense to keep older runs in print via thicker volumes, because that means fewer isbn's to maintain. Marvel's been going that route for years with their omnibuses and ultimate collections. I suspect that once the HC volumes sell out, we'll see softcover versions of the Starman, Flash and other omni.

    Morrison's Batman would be a prime candidate for similar treatment, as would Geoff Johns' Superman and Green Lantern runs. Possibly even something like 100 Bullets. My pipe dream would be Ed Brubaker's Catwoman, though that seems like.. well, a pipe dream.

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  3. I liked Johns' Teen Titans run on the whole but, as you said, it ends on a weak note with that Titans East arc. At 320 pages, this first volume also seems a bit thin compared to other DC Omnibus collections. I assume it will only collect the first 12 issues and material from Teen Titans/Outsiders Secret Files 2003.

    But the fact that DC will reprint Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Vol. 1 in paperback is really encouraging for me, since it means I won't always have to buy thick, expensive hardcovers as soon as they come out, in fear of them going out of print.

    Runs I'd like to see getting the omnibus treatment include the Loeb/Casey/Shultz/Kelly Superman era, the Rucka/Brubaker/Grayson Batman era, Kelley Puckett's Batgirl, Brubaker's Catwoman, Mark Waid's Flash, Peter David's Aquaman, Ron Marz's Green Lantern and almost everything Batman-related by Chuck Dixon.

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  4. If DC plans on releasing more omnibus collections I believe they really need to increase the number of issues collected in each. At least, I won't be purchasing any unless content is increased or the price point reduced. While the prospect of a Flash omnibus may have been lauded, and i would love to buy one, at just over 2 trade paperbacks worth it's actual content is a joke, frankly. And it seems the Teen Titans collection is even shorter.

    On a more positive note, thanks for this great resource that has been invaluable in helping me get into the DC universe. Truly great stuff.

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  5. I'll go on record as saying that a Morrison/Batman omnibus is a brilliant idea. I say that as someone with single issues AND trades. His stuff is just that good.

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  6. For me, the Omnibus format seems good to collect older series that have not been collected in their entirety. TPBs were available at all points of time for the Johns' Titans. I'd rather that a time frame sort of thing apply before a series goes into omnibus, like say, after coming out in TPB for the 1st time, we will publish trades for ___ years after which we will let them go out of print in favour of hardback deluxe editions/omnibuses. That said, I'd really like Omni for a few series. Some examples:
    FLASH BY MARK WAID
    DETECTIVE COMICS/CATWOMAN/ROBIN/NIGHTWING/BIRDS OF PREY by CHUCK DIXON
    BATMAN by DOUG MOENCH & KELLEY JONES
    BATMAN by ALAN GRANT
    SUPERMAN: THE NEW ERA (LOEB/MILLAR/IMMONEN/KELLY/SCHULTZ/CASEY)
    SUPERMAN: CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS (BYRNE/WOLFMAN/ORDWAY/STERN, essentially from the end of SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL volumes to the beginning of SUPERMAN: EXILE)
    STARMAN by ROGER STERN & TOM LYLE
    SUPERGIRL by PETER DAVID
    YOUNG JUSTICE by PETER DAVID
    SPECTRE by JOHN OSTRANDER
    SPECTRE by DOUG MOENCH & GENE COLAN
    SPECTRE by GEOFF JOHNS & J M DEMATTEIS (HAL JORDAN, also including DAY OF JUDGMENT)
    JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE DETROIT ERA by GERRY CONWAY & J.M. DEMATTEIS
    DR FATE by J.M. DEMATTEIS & SHAWN MCMANUS
    BATMAN by ED BRUBAKER & GREG RUCKA
    BATMAN by PETER MILLIGAN

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  7. Also JONAH HEX by JOE LANSDALE & TIM TRUMAN ....13 ISSUES(2 5 issue mini & 1 3 issue mini)

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  8. That's a bummer. If I didn't already have the trades I probably would of got it. I had a similar experience with the Wolfman/Perez Titans trades. I went back and forth on whether to buy or not and I'm glad I decided not to. Those New Titans omnibuses are going to be cool.

    But this didn't work out for the Flash. I finally completed my trade collection of Johns's Flash and then the release of the omnibus happens...great. I thought of selling my trades to get these but I spent too much on Blitz and Crossfire. But at least the trades are in new condition.

    Looking forward to the Fourth World paperbacks. I didn't want to spend too much on the HC because i wasn't sure of the series.

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  9. Observation: the paperback 4th World, Vol. 1 omnibus lists 304 pages, while the hardcover lists 396 pages. I wonder if it's a misprint or maybe the contents are going to be split across more books?

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  10. If we're tossing out wish lists, I'd like to see omnibus editions of the early Byrne era of Superman comics, even into the "Triangle" era though to the Death of Superman. And George Perez's Wonder Woman issues, too, those that have already been collected in paperback (further, even, through War of the Gods).

    I'd guess that the content of the Fourth World paperbacks will match the hardcovers exactly (as has the JLA and Gotham Central hardcover/paperbacks), and that the page count is just a stand-in figure.

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  11. "the book lost considerable momentum around Infinite Crisis"-- I agree with you

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  12. Geoff's Teen Titans didn't just lose momentum; it pretty much hit a dead stop. It was a completely different book after IC; and frankly, an inferior one. If I were setting up an omnibus, I'd only include the material from the pre-OYL trades; the way they had structured the trades themselves - especially the last one, with good amounts of IC pages - more or less brought the run full circle. It was never the same after that and only got worse when he left.

    Hope the New Teen Titans omnibus hits paperback eventually.

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  13. You know, in Spain and Italy, Planeta DeAgostini, who has the rights to DC Comics, has already released 2 Omnibus volumes of Geoff Jonh`s Teen Titans (the second volume was released Friday), two of Geoff John`s Green Lantern, One of Geoff John`s Flash and has anouced the release of both Superman and JSA by... Geoff Johns. It´s surprising that in this case its DC`s fololowing the Europeans and not the other way around!

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  14. What will this book contain?. 320 pages seems a little low but the price tag is not as high as other "Omnibuses".

    I just got the whole Teen Titans softcovers so I'm not getting this one.

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  15. Since when a 320 pages book is considered an "Omnibus"?. I think they put it there just to make it more expensive.

    Final Crisis was a 352 harcover when it came out and it wasn't branded "Omnibus".

    Hush Unwrapped Deluxe is 320 and is not "Omnibus".

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  16. Here's how I expect DC to split Johns' Teen Titans run in the omnibus volumes:

    Vol. 1 - Teen Titans/Outsiders Secret Files 2003 and Teen Titans #1-12
    Vol. 2 - Teen Titans #13-23 and Teen Titans/Legion Special
    Vol. 3 - Teen Titans #24-26 and #29-33, Teen Titans Annual #1 and Outsiders #24-25
    Vol. 4 - Teen Titans #34-46

    Each volume would be about as thick as a JLA Deluxe HC, but I agree that the page count is too low for a so-called omnibus. If Marvel can collect all 26 issues of Millar and Hitch's Ultimates in a single omnibus volume, why can't DC do the same with Johns' 26-issue Hawkman run?

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  17. >> Why can't DC do the same with Johns' 26-issue Hawkman run?

    They are. Check back here tomorrow morning.

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  18. By the by, I'm calling an "omnibus" (since DC hasn't necessarily defined their terms) a hardcover that collects the material from two or more previous collections. Flash Omnibus, New Teen Titans Omnibus, Starman Omnibus, check. Gotham Central, JLA Deluxe, Justice League International -- none of them say it, but I consider those omnibuses, too. Final Crisis and Hush Unwrapped are big books, but don't fall into that omnibus scenario (just my theory, and completely arbitrary).

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  19. You might be right. On the other hand I think to brand a book as "Omnibu" implies only a raise on the price tag.

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  20. TAKE A LOOK THE NEW SOLICIT FOR THIS COLLECTION:

    This collections is going to have the first 12 issues of the Teen Titans run plus TEEN TITANS #1/2, TITANS SECRET FILES #2, TEEN TITANS/OUTSIDERS SECRET FILES 2003, LEGENDS OF THE DC UNIVERSE 80-PAGE GIANT #2 and the four-issue BEAST BOY miniseries!

    560 pages for $75. This looks WAY better. See?. When you scream out loud they can hear u!!.

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  21. That is an impressive amount of content, especially collecting the Beast Boy miniseries (though I guess that was in the Teen Titans: Beast Boys and Girls trade). Was Teen Titans #1/2 the story where Bart drove the Batmobile?

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  22. Now that's an omnibus. It's the same size as the last Starman omnibus, and it will even include some unexpected stuff like Johns' contributions to Titans Secret Files #2, which was published back when Jay Faerber was writing the monthly Titans book. I guess they could collect the rest of Johns' run in only 2 more volumes.

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  23. Teen Titans 1/2 was the story where a little light was shed on the reunions of Deathstroke & Ravager. It was a pretty nice bit of storytelling. And here I repent jumping the gun again, with TITANS SECRET FILES 2 & LEGENDS OF THE DC UNIVERSE 80 Pg GIANT 2 being uncollected to date. I thought that as the 1st five trades are for 10US$ each, better to buy them, which ways I'd spend 95US$ on the whole series (VOLS 1-7, TEEN TITANS/OUTSIDERS which I have no idea as to in which series it is numbered) and come to think of it, TEEN TITANS/OUTSIDERS: THE DEATH & RETURN OF DONNA TROY also should fit in somewhere in the narrative. I haven't read the story to understand whether the OUTSIDERS issues need to be collected though.

    @Xavier:
    On the DC site it's mentioned as 15 issues, plus the Beast Boy and extras. Come to think of it, that's the 1st 3 trades. I still think I'll get a better deal tracking the single issues.

    @CE: I read the 1st 2 trades and it does have Bart driving and pressing a button broadcasting the location to Batman. I'm hard pressed to remember though, whether it was the car or the plane

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  24. I'm most curious to see where this omnibus series ends -- after the Johns/Beechen Titans East run? Closure, of sorts, but not the happiest moment for the Titans, foreshadowing Bart Allen's death and such.

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