What Is A Marvel Omnibus?

A Marvel Omnibus is a wish come true for diehard comics lovers. But that explanation is neither here nor there. The dictionary definition of "omnibus" is "a collection of previously published works". Looking at comicbooks, this could also cover collections such as graphic novels and trade paperbacks, so it's not quite adequate for our purposes.

A Marvel Omnibus is a hardcover collection of previously published Marvel comicbooks that is so extensive that total page count is in the hundreds of pages (even thousands of pages for some omnibuses). A Marvel omnibus is worthy of being called a tome.Wonderfully, wonderfully, thick and heavy - the promise of countless hours of comics reading.

Omnibuses or omnibi have been so popular that some comics lovers collect them exclusively. A bunch of omnibuses on the shelf looks fantastic!

If you're the type who thinks one issue of a comic goes way too fast. If you're dissatisfied with how easily your trade paperback got damaged. If you simply have to have the entire run. A Marvel Omnibus is for you.

Not all comics have made it as an omnibus, of course (I'm still looking for this in Omnibus form, for example), but enough has been produced to make a solid, if not comprehensive collection. The high quality pages and hardcover construction make these collections book-tough. I think the best part is just the plain heft of it, by any definition, this is a LOT of comics. And since we can never have enough of comicbooks, a Marvel Omnibus is a dream come true.

Marvel 75th Anniversary Omnibus

The Marvel 75th Anniversary Omnibus is the closest we can get to having the entire marvel universe in in the palm of your hand.

Counting from when Marvel was called Timely back in 1939, the 75th Anniversary Omnibus team left it to fans to nominate the most significant Marvel stories since those days. Therefore, this is a compilation of stories chosen by the fans and not by Marvel.

There is no better hero to "bookend" the Marvel years than Captain America. The two other potential candidates would be the Human Torch and the Submariner. The original Human Torch, Hector Hammond, didn't make it out of those early years (although he is still around, just not as the Torch), superceded by the Fantastic Four's Johnny Storm. Namor, undeniably still a major Marvel character, simply doesn't have the cache of Captain America. The collection starts almost at the beginning with Captain America #1 from 1941. Later on in the omnibus, readers get a Captain America tale from 2005.

The Captain may bookend this collection but the undeniable favorite is Spider-Man. From Spidey's origins in Amazing Fantasy 15 to the most unforgettable stories including the Death of Gwen Stacy, Spidey is definitely the biggest gem in Marvel's Infinity Gauntlet.

Marvel's utterly incredible cosmic tales is represented by the first - and maybe, still the best - cosmic story: The arrival of Galactus and the Silver Surfer as shown in the pages of the Fantastic Four.

The next big focus are the X-Men. Though I am a big fan of the original X-Men it cannot be denied that the first team was less than a financial hit - seeing effective cancellation after issue 66. The Omnibus covers the birth of the new team - the one with Nightcrawler and Storm - and the beginning of a new, and extremely successful franchise within Marvel. Also included under the 'X-Men banner' is Hulk 181, the first appearance of you-know-who .

There's more. Thunderbolts, Hawkeye, the Electra run from Daredevil - they're all here.

If you want to give the a truly representative omnibus to a Marvel fan (yourself included, of course) you can hardly do better than this 75th anniversary omnibus.

I want it!

Amazing Fantasy Omnibus (v. 1)

For the record the Amazing Fantasy series was about to be discontinued at around the time of Amazing Fantasy 15 which introduced Spider-Man. That was a successful introduction that launched Spider-Man into his own series (a title that is going strong even to this day). In effect, Amazing Fantasy was also instrumental in launching Marvel as a major superhero imprint - one of the strongest brands in entertainment today. But Amazing Fantasy did get cancelled.

So why this omnibus?

Let me get the lame answer out of the way. That being that this omnibus does include Amazing Fantasy 15 - so you're getting the classic first Spidey appearance.

The real answer is that these Stan Lee and Steve Ditko stories, the other issues of Amazing Fantasy other than the introduction of Spider-Man, are quite good, despite not being popular at the time. They hearken to a period when Marvel mostly did business by turning out well, 'amazing' stories about space, aliens and monsters. And these are the stories you'll find here. They're marvelously campy and they'll transport you to another era in comics plus these stories have twists to them that would most likely remind you of this .

In any case, you might want to give these a go, especially if you're curious about the comics before superheroes took over.

Annihilation Omnibus

"Annihilation" is a cosmic-level epic from Marvel. For those who have experienced Marvel's cosmic stories that simple statement should have been enough.

For those who are not familiar with Marvel's cosmic stories, let me explain. I think the first major cosmic tale happened in the early sixties in the pages of Fantastic Four 50 to 52. This iconic story featured the arrival of Galactus and his herald, the Silver Surfer, to planet Earth. The next buildup to what would become Marvel's cosmic mythos was the creation of Thor and the subsequent introduction of the gods of Asgard and the Realm Eternal itself - these too are firmly set in Marvel's cosmic firmament. Then came some truly major additions in the form of the Jack Kirby's creations - Jack Kirby, presumably inspired by the "ancient astronaut" theories prevalent during the early seventies, created the star-spanning Celestials and their "progeny" the Eternals and the Deviants. By this time, the world - or worlds - beyond Marvel's Earth was really beginning to take shape. Cosmic Marvel was becoming deep and wide and breathtaking.

With "Annihilation" it is many decades, and many stories, after the early years of the nascent Marvel Cosmology. The cosmic stage is now well developed with galaxy spanning empires like the Kree, Shi'Ar and Skrull. The other-dimensional Negative Zone also features prominently - "Annihilation" is named after Annihilus, the Negative Zone's most formidable tyrant. Also in this tale is the Big One himself: Galactus and all his heralds. That's right. All his heralds. Marvels cosmic heroes are here, of course. The famous Guardians of the Galaxy's Starlord and Gamora are here. The Avenger Quasar is here too. Of all the heroes the star is unquestionably this guy .

If your eager for a cosmic yarn. Buckle up. "Annihilation" will definitely satisfy.

I want it!

Marvel Now! Omnibus

The Marvel Now! Omnibus collects stories from what is effectively a Marvel-wide relaunch.

Skeptics will counter that this is nothing more than a reaction to this I don't take any sides in comics, I simply like good comics and don't like bad ones - from any publisher. Whether this is or is not a reaction to something else is neither here nore there for me. The pertinent question is: Are these stories good?

Yes, they are. Very, very good.

These stories are twenty-first century Marvel stories, born from exposure to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Reading these comics is like watching the movies. Large panoramas, movie-like angles abound. The modern-day film buff should be right at home. Apart from their look, the stories themselves are part of what could be deemed Marvel's own version of the classical "Great Conversation". In a way, the writer's of today are writing in response to writers of the previous eras of comics. The latest answers are unique, creative and, most of all, entertaining.

Admittedly, admiration for these tales are by no means universal. There have been rumblings from the older readers. Do not be swayed by such sentiments. It is just because each era of comics have a certain "feel" to them. The 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s Marvels are quite startingly differently written from one another. Some people are used to a particular decade and consider all other decades "bad". I counsel you to adjust your taste based on the the time frame of the comics your reading - there are some amazing comics from every age.

And with that, throw away all pre-made prejudices and jump into Marvel NOW! - I just know you're going to enjoy it.

Marvel Universe by John Byrne Omnibus

It doesn't matter when you got into comics, you simply HAVE to know John Byrne. I don't mean know him as a person, I mean you should do yourself the favor of becoming familiar with his comics. I feel it is my duty to tell you this because I have been fortunate enough to start reading comics at a time when John Byrne was very active in comics, so I got a good dose of John Byrne - and they were some of the best I've ever read.

John Byrne started out just like you and I - a fan. Just like us, he experimented with drawing comics. Like a few fans, he tried writing. Unlike almost all of us, John proved talented enough to go from fanboy to comics creator. He is the rarest and best kind of creator - a writer/artist, or is it artist/writer? I can't decide whether he does one better than the other. This is an exclusive group composed of only a handful of luminaries (Frank Miller, Jack Kirby and this guy come to mind).

This Omnibus collects Byrne's earliest work at Marvel. You'll quickly get acquainted with and appreciate his distinctive linework - clean but never boring. By the time you've finished this tome you'll know that Byrne isn't so much a creator but an experience. The best thing of all is this is just the beginnning. John Byrne will go on to have legendary runs in the X-Men, Fantastic Four and he'll helm his own titles like Namor and Alpha Flight. Trust me, this guy is good and this is an omnibus you'll never regret owning.

Marvel Zomnibus (Marvel Zombies)

Have you ever gone through a phase? A time when you identified being a particular kind of person or you became obsessed with something that, for a time, it was your main preoccupation? Well Marvel too went through a phase - a zombie phase, and this 1,200 page monster of a collection is a testament to the entertaining union between the Marvel Universe and this notion .

If you're considering buying this for a child you might want to reconsider. The zombie part is pretty no-holds-barred gory. The tales are shocking and pull no punches in terms of being part of zombie lore. If you're considering buying this for yourself or a fellow adult please DO NOT reconsider. The zombie part is, as mentioned, pretty no-holds-barred just the way you like it. The fact that it's your familiar Marvel heroes that are the zombies only adds relish to your serving of maggot pie. The zombie heroes don't lose their personality, underneath it all the zombie Spider-Man has Spidey's personality, the zombie Wolverine is recognizably Logan and so on and so forth.

Another reason to get the Zomnibus is that Marvel's zombie phase was just that- temporary. The whole zombie tale is dispersed across several runs; it's going to be a chore putting it together. This collection does away with any trouble, you'll have the whole Marvel zombie story on hand to enjoy, no missing issues whatsoever - just missing body parts.

And may you have a truly thrilling time of it too.

I want it!

Star Wars: The Original Marvel Years Omnibus Volume 1

When Star Wars (now known as episode IV: A New Hope) came out in the late 70s, Marvel was the first to adapt these innovative new tales to comicbook form. The House of Ideas began by recreating the movies, of course, but once that was done Marvel's Star Wars comics were free to begin "adding to the movies", so to speak.

Not to worry, even during these early times, no one could write a word about Star Wars without the blessing of you-know-who . Every tale in these comics are part of Star Wars canon. More than that, these tales were written when the worlds of the Jedi and the Sith was new (new to us), granted that the Republic had already been overthrown, but it is unavoidable that Episode IV was the beginning of Star Wars (although not the chronological beginning).

Collectors of Star Wars would definitely want to add this omnibus to their collection. It is only much later that Marvel lost the license which was subsequently taken up by Dark Horse. Any collection aiming for completion would have both the Dark Horse and Marvel versions of the tales. The attraction can only increase when you consider that both Marvel and Star Wars have been purchased by Disney with the Star Wars license naturally going back to Marvel for what we are all anticipating, and hoping, to be endless Star Wars stories to come.

Looking at Star Wars exclusively in the comics medium, the comics (both Marvel and Dark Horse) - unlike the films - have almost continuously published stories. The entire Star Wars timeline has been outlined and stories told for what is now known to be a history many thousands of years long.

Begin at the beginning, as they say, and in the comics, 'a long time ago and far, far away' started within the pages of Marvel.

I want it!

Ultimate Marvel Omnibus Volume 1

And there came a time when Marvel wanted to do some really wonderful stories about it's core characters. The big problem was, they couldn't. They couldn't very well re-write the backstories of such iconic characters and teams like Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Avengers, continuity would go down the pipes and old readers would definitely complain about it.

What to do? Well, what they did do is create a new universe. Universe 1610, known as the Ultimates universe, was a universe that existed right 'besides' the this universe . This way, Marvel could revisit the stories of their most popular characters without disturbing all those Silver Age and Bronze Age comics.

The Ultimate Marvel Omnibus is as near a comprehensive guide to Universe 1610 as you can possibly get in one book. This omnibus presents two distinct pleasures, depending if your a new Marvel reader or a long-time Marvelite.

For the long-time Marvel reader it is an opportunity to compare the Marvel he or she knows (Universe 616) to the new Marvel universe in these pages (Universe 1610). Plotlines will diverge from familiar paths and small details will also be different. All together, it promises to be a delightful journey for "readers in the know".

New comic book readers will find themselves in the front seat as stories of iconic characters are told from the beginning and with twenty-first century sensibilities. No prior knowledge required - no need to read a bunch of previous story arcs just to understand the current one. In this sense, this is the perfect collection for someone who's never read comics before.

Whether your a 'comics veteran' or a new reader these tales have the additional advantage of being written with a contemporary viewpoint. The idiosyncrasies of the 60s, 70s and 80s (although interesting in themselves) are nowhere to be found - these are millenial tales that Millenials will have no trouble "wrapping their heads around".

Welcome to the Ultimates universe, let the adventures begin.

Women of Marvel: Celebrating Seven Decades

Well, well, what do we have here? An entire omnibus about the women of Marvel. It so happens that I'm fresh off reading some iconic issues from the early sixties - early Avengers, early X-Men, early Iron Man. Noticing how the Wasp, Sue Storm and Marvel Girl were handled in those tales had me reading with both eyebrows raised. If a woman wasn't a damsel in distress (Invisible Girl, Wasp), she was stuck doing so-called "womanly" chores. Don't get me wrong, I credit Stan Lee with being the prime mover of Marvel's creation, and "The Man" is a permanent part of my personal comics pantheon, but those early Marvel's definitely stereoptyped women to the point that I got a little uncomfortable when I read them. At the excuse of seeming to be an apologist I would note that it was probably the social climate of the time (although I wasn't around during the 60s). It reminds me of this hero being the secretary of the Justice Society in those 40's comics evidently because she's a woman (wince).

Anyway, times have changed for women in Marvel and this omnibus is a showcase in two ways. First, in terms of variety. You'll read about Venus, Black Widow, Namora, Lorna, MJ, Phoenix, Elektra, She-Hulk, Silver Sable, Arana, Kitty Pryde, Rogue and the Invisible Woman. Next in terms of chronology. This omnibus is a trip through time showcasing changes in art and writing style through decades of both Marvel and Timely comics.

Get your copy here .

Choose from a selection of Marvel Omnibuses