Doug Glassman, who Tumblrs at '80s Marvel Rocks!]
The mission of Collected Editions is to appreciate comic books in their trade paperback format. In a perfect world, this would work as an inviolable philosophy. Unfortunately, trade-waiting is not a tactic embraced by comic book companies. Some are better about it than others, such as Valiant, which has the title's next trade solicited on the last page of the current one. Marvel is getting a little better at putting out trades faster and at releasing softcover versions of hardcovers and omnibuses. DC may well be getting faster too, but in the case of one book, it isn't going to be fast enough. The first trade of Omega Men won't be released until March 2016. By then, the title will be gone.
[Post contains some Omega Men spoilers]
It's only through a massive outcry that Omega Men got a reprieve. From the response of DC, I get the feeling that it might have been a mistake that it was scheduled to be cancelled in the first place. Whether that's the case or not, it's a sign of just how thin the sales margins are at DC for a title to continue on or not. Writer Tom King has the first twelve issues plotted ... but if that's all he had planned, Omega Men would have been solicited as a mini-series, not an ongoing.
I wouldn't be writing this op-ed if I didn't feel that Omega Men was worth the hype and the backlash. And full disclosure: I didn't read the book at all until it was "uncancelled" a few days ago. While the DC Cinematic Universe wants to make Suicide Squad its equivalent of Guardians of the Galaxy, they're overlooking the fact that Omega Men literally is an edgier Guardians of the Galaxy. It's the complex tale of a revolt led by outlaws that would qualify as supervillains in other books (plus it has a towering character named Broot, but that really is just a coincidence). King and artist Barnaby Bagenda have reinvigorated some of DC's classic and underused alien races to give the series its own identity while maintaining some links to the main DCU.
The major link is Kyle Rayner, and Omega Men has answered some of my lingering questions about how much of his origin changed after Flashpoint. While seeing him speak Spanish and use a rosary is a little off from what I remember, Kyle retells his origin with enough vagueness to fit the New 52 trappings while keeping certain specifics. The biggest one of these is his girlfriend Alex DeWitt, the original "Woman in a Refrigerator," who still exists in the current Kyle's origin story. This might seem like an odd detail to fixate on, but I started reading comics as a hobby to get ready for Green Lantern: Rebirth, and "Emerald Dawn" was one of the first trades I ever got. I still have a lot of questions about how Parallax and Extant played out in the new continuity, but King has kept at least some of the past intact.
Barnaby Bagenda (along with Toby Cypress, the guest artist on issue #4) draws the book with a nine-panel grid on each page that really makes it feel like a movie storyboard. Pat Brousseau does some Simonson/Workman levels of sound effects, sometimes providing the only images on black panels. It really looks nothing like the often polished blandness (or the occasional Liefeldian horror) of the New 52.
DC wants to gain new readers with "DCYou," so I urge you to support the first book from DC that I've truly enjoyed in years. As of this week, there are four issues of Omega Men out, with the fifth due out on October 7. Those four issues will cost you ten dollars on Comixology or about fifteen if you want to get them from your local comic book store. It's the same price you would pay for the same amount of issues as Saga, and I dare say that Omega Men is just as good. Trade-waiting only works if the title lasts long enough to continue past the publication of that first collection.