Tuesday, March 15, 2011
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.