In yesterday’s post reviewing what’s been printed from the 2016 Most Wanted Marvel Omnibus Secret Ballot I joked that ballot voters want nothing more than to un-orphan a lonely volume one omnibus.
That got me thinking: How many Marvel Omnibus orphans are there? That is, “Volume 1” omnibuses without a sequel.
While we’re at at, what are all of the open omnibus lines – in effect, a line with more than one book in it with one or more books left to go before the run is entirely covered?
Since comic fans are nothing if not completionists, it seems like these books should all be heavily represented on this year’s Most Wanted Marvel Omnibus Secret Ballot. Was that the cast last year? And, if it’s not, should these books be filling out everyone’s survey choices in 2017?
Let’s find out!
The Orphan Report
There are 24 Little Orphan Omnis out there right now, although only 2/3rds of them are true “Volume 1” orphans. The remaining third are unnumbered books that still imply a continuing volume (or, in one case, a preceding one).
Of the 22 Orphans:
- 7 orphans saw their sequels appear on the 2016 survey results
- 6 orphans missed having their sequels on the 2016 results (though 3 of these weren’t true “Volume 1” omnibuses)
- 9 orphans were printed (or are due) in 2017, so their sequels haven’t had a chance to be voted on yet (including 4 books that were printed after appearing in the 2016 results)
- 2 orphans did not have enough additional issues for a second volume as of last year’s vote
Let’s take a tour of the Omnibus Orphanage, shall we?
Note: I’m not counting Silver Surfer’s omnibus, as labeling it a “Vol. 1” was an obvious tactical error – there is no material from that era for a Volume 2. Also, I haven’t decided if we can really call Iron Man by Michelinie et al an Orphan, though it does have a “Vol. 1” on its spine.
Alpha Flight by John Byrne Omnibus
Next Volume: Alpha Flight by Mantlo, Hudnall, & Lee, collecting Alpha Flight (1983) #30-78, Annuals 1-2, and Avengers #272
While this brand-new book doesn’t say “Volume 1” on the side, it stops just one quarter of the way into the long-running 1983 Alpha Flight series.
John Byrne was off the book after #29 and we’ve never seen any collections of Flight past that point. The title was taken over by Bill Mantlo – another strong 80s author – through issue #66. Mantlo’s run also featured Jim Lee’s historic first artwork for Marvel!
While it’s tempting to simply call this potential book “Alpha Flight by Bill Mantlo & Jim Lee” for the sales boost, a second omnibus could easily push past a year past Mantlo’s run to as far as issue #78 (plus two annuals and Avengers #272). That would end the volume where the Acts of Vengeance Crossovers Omnibus picks up.
That hefty tome would capture a lot of solid plots and leave enough material for a final omnibus. Unfortunately, right now there is close to zero demand for it. However, I’d take this solution rather than wait an eternity for the Epic line to make its way to this series.
CK Patrons can read more in their exclusive Guide to Alpha Flight.
Avengers by Jonathan Hickman Omnibus, Vol. 1
Next Volume: It’s complicated – see my breakdown from last year’s Most-Wanted survey
If we were placing bets on the book least likely to remain an orphan in 2018, you should be putting all of your money on this one.
Marvel let only 13 months elapse between Volume 1 and 2 of Hickman’s similar hot Fantastic Four omnibus set, and those books are still in mega-high demand a few years later. Given the hype on this Hickman run (and how well it’ll read for movie fans), Vol. 2 is likely just around the corner.
Read more about this run in the Guide to Modern Avengers Flagships.
Captain America by Mark Waid & Ron Garney Omnibus
Next Volume: Captain America by Dan Jurgens, collecting Captain America (1998) #24-50, Annual 2001 & 2001, and Captain America: Dead Men Running (2002) #1-3.
This late-2017 omnibus announcement was an utter surprise, as it doesn’t appear to tie into any Marvel film properties. Plus, it has not appeared on the Most Wanted survey to date, though it was on my list of 50 More Marvel Runs That Deserve An Omnibus.
While carefully left unnumbered to avoid the obvious orphaning, this book covers just Waid’s run of #1-23 of Cap’s 1998 series, leaving a perfectly omni-sized 28 issues (plus a few extras) on the other side for a Captain America by Dan Jurgens volume.
Luckily, this material has already been collected – see the Guide to Captain America.
Daredevil Omnibus, Vol. 1
Next Volume: Daredevil Omnibus Vol. 2, collecting Daredevil (1964) #42-74, Iron Man #35-36, and material from Not Brand Echh #4
This orphan was #37 on the 2016 results. It took forever just for Marvel to kickstart Daredevil’s Silver Age omnibus line, despite his Masterworks line advancing at a steady clip to Volume 11 just last month. See how they break down in the Daredevil Guide.
We’d need to get a second omnibus volume of just-okay material from Masterworks Vol. 5-7 out of the way before we dig into stronger stuff in Volume 3. That could be either an argument for speeding up or for slowing down this omnibus line, depending on your perspective!
Daredevil by Mark Waid, Vol. 1
Write-up to-come. Thanks to Rincewind for catching my omission!
Doctor Strange Omnibus, Vol. 1
Next Volume: Doctor Strange Omnibus Vol. 2 just missed last year’s results. It would collect Strange Tales #147-168, Doctor Strange #169-183, The Avengers #61, and maybe also Sub-Mariner #22, Incredible Hulk #126, Marvel Feature #1, Marvel Premiere #3-14, and Doctor Strange #1-9
No less than Marvel’s own collections steward has mentioned that this little orphan was left deliberately brief in order to preserve the logical content breaks in further volumes. That means we’re almost definitely going to see more from this omnibus line – it’s just a question of when. Do we have to wait for another Doctor Strange entry into Marvel’s cinematic universe to get this book’s sequel, or was it successful enough to merit another edition at any time?
Read more about the breakdown of this run in the Guide to Doctor Strange.
Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme Omnibus, Vol. 1
Next Volume: Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme Omnibus Vol. 2, collecting Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme (1988) #41-90 & Annuals 2-4.
This orphan is out this summer and it’s a tricky little one!
The Omnibus covers issues #1-40. Since this series extends to issue #90, you might think it could easily be wiped out with a second 51-issue volume! However, once you add crossovers and Annuals, I’m not sure the remainder of the series could quite fit into just one more volume.
You could likely skirt including any of “Rise of the Midnight Sons” story in an omnibus since it doesn’t cross directly into Doctor Strange, but there are also the direct crossovers “Blood & Thunder” and “Siege of Darkness,” plus Spider-Man/Doctor Strange: Way To Dusty Death OGN.
There’s the chance that issues #41-47 could be contained in an Infinity War omnibus, but #31-36 being collected with Infinity Gauntlet had no effect on this book’s contents.
I’m also not sure if anyone cares. There’s some positive sentiment for the early run of this series, but not too much is said for it past #40, where this omni would begin. With major demand for the Doctor’s Silver Age material in omnibus, it could be a long wait for a second volume of this one.
Read more about the breakdown of this run in the Guide to Doctor Strange.
Golden Age Captain America
Next Volume: Golden Age Captain America Vol. 2, collecting Captain America Comics (1941) #13-24, and maybe more.
The Golden Age Masterworks line was never the hottest seller, which is probably why Marvel discreetly avoided adding “Volume 1” to the title of this book. (I believe it’s also not on the spine.)
However, there is plenty more material for a Golden Age Captain America Omnibus line to collect! Unlike a lot of Marvel’s Golden Age books, there’s actual historic interest in seeing more of this Cap run in oversize format, and the Steve Rogers material hasn’t even been fully reprinted. (His stories extend to issue #48, based on the retcon of when he crashed into the ocean to be later retrieved by The Avengers.)
While following the “3xMMW per Omni” law would see us covering through issue #24 in a volume two, that would leave us needing two more volumes to end this line. That’s never gonna happen. If the next volume could push as far as #30 or 32 (which isn’t unreasonable, in terms of page length), it would have the allure of containing previously un-restored issues and also set up a third and final volume (which would also be entirely new reprint material).
See the Guide to Captain America for more on collecting Cap’s Golden Age comics.
Golden Age Marvel Comics
Next Volume: Golden Age Marvel Comics Vol. 2, collecting Marvel Mystery Comics (1939) #13-24, and maybe more.
This 2009 omnibus was a slow seller and not likely to get much more love nearly a decade after its release. This series mostly featured Namor and the Golden Age Human Torch, but their most historic blow-out is already covered in Volume 1.
Ultimately, Marvel’s Golden Age material doesn’t have the same pull as DC’s, in the same way that Marvel’s Silver Age material has a much huger demand than DC’s. This orphan is probably never going to be adopted.
Guardians of the Galaxy by Brian Michael Bendis Vol. 1 Omnibus
Next Volume: Guardians of the Galaxy by Brian Michael Bendis Vol. 2, collecting Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) #1-19, and maybe more… see below.
This is an easy orphan to resolve, since Bendis just ended his Guardians run with Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) #19, but that means we only have those 19 issues for a second volume. That’s pretty slim for an omnibus, and these issues had absolutely zero acclaim or buzz behind them.
One way to make this collection more attractive would be cramming it with all of the other contemporaneous Guardians series that ran from the end of Secret Wars through the “Grounded” arc that closes out Bendis’s run – that would include some of Guardians of Infinity #1-6, Drax #1-11, Rocket & Groot #1-11, Rocket Raccoon #1-5, and Star-Lord (2016) #1-8 & (2017) #1-6.
That’s another 47 issues, so some of it would need to get the chop, but I could see an Omnibus that included both Guardians team tales and Guardians solo material (particularly Star Lord’s series) being a strong seller to more casual readers.
No matter how you shake up the contents, we might have to wait for a third Guardians movie for this one, if we ever get it at all.
See the Guardians of the Galaxy Guide for collection information.
Guardians of the Galaxy by Jim Valentino
Write-up to come! Thanks to Arthur on FB for pointing this one out.
Incredible Hulk, Vol. 1
Next Volume: Incredible Hulk Vol. 2 was #22 on the 2016 survey results, collecting Incredible Hulk #103-134 & King-Sized Special #1.
Marvel is probably not in a hurry to give this lonely green orphan a sibling since this omnibus took forever to sell out.
When it comes to classic Hulk, it’s not exactly beloved by fans until until the hundreds of issues, which makes the prospect of selling a Vol. 2 Silver Age omnibus unattractive. If we’re not getting it with Thor: Ragnarok, we might not ever be getting it.
See my Guide to Hulk to see how this is collected in other formats.
Iron Man by Kurt Busiek & Sean Chen
Next Volume: Iron Man by Quesada et al, #26-55, & 1/2, and Iron Man Annual 1999 and 2000.
While not strictly an orphan in that Busiek’s run ends cleanly with issue #25, this is only about a third of Iron Man’s 1998 series.
With Marvel attacking both Captain America and Thor series from this period, there’s a chance they might also go back to the well on this series for more (though, it was the least distinguished of the trio). I featured it as a suggestion in my 50 More Marvel Runs That Deserve An Omnibus last year.
See Guide to Iron Man for more on this run.
Ms. Marvel Omnibus Vol. 1
Next Volume: Contents TBA!
One of a handful of very young orphan volumes, given the continued popularity and visibility of Ms. Marvel we’re surely due for a sequel to this slim, sub-500-page volume – it’s just a matter of ending another run of her title, first!
See the All-New All-Different section of the Captain and Ms. Marvel Guide to see where we stand on Ms. Marvel’s series post Secret War.
New Avengers by Brian Bendis Omnibus, Vol. 1
Next Volume: New Avengers by Brian Bendis Vol. 2 was #6 on the 2016 survey results, collecting New Avengers #32 through 59 or 64 (depending on if Siege is included or left in its own OHC), Annual 2, New Avengers: Illuminati #1-5, and Avengers Free Comic Book Day 2009.
This is by far the saddest orphan in the lot right now. It’s a recent, beloved run that would surely sell a second volume, yet this first one is just… sitting there. We even got new reprints of the Volume 2 material in 2017! That’s just adding insult to injury.
While fans despair for their orphaned volume is likely going to keep this in the Top 10 of the survey results this year, there are plenty of ways to collect the run – see Guide to New Avengers (2005) for details.
New Warriors, Vol. 1
Next Volume: New Warriors Vol. 2 was #20 on the 2016 survey results, collecting New Warriors #27-50, 51, or 53 & Annual 3-4, X-Force #32-33, Nova #6-7, Night-Thrasher #11-12, and possibly adding to that Night Thrasher (1992) #1-4 and (1993) #1-10 (starting after NW #37), and Nova #1-5 & 8-12.
This used to be one of the most hopeless cases here at the Marvel Omnibus Orphanage, but in the past few weeks its outlook is starting to look better.
A new Squirrel Girl and the New Warriors TV show just got the greenlight for ABC’s Freeform channel, which makes an eventual Volume 2 seem like a sure thing!
That would be awesome, as Fabian Nicieza’s run on this book is an underrated gem and it has barely been touched by collections to date.
See Guide to New Warriors for more information.
Powers Omnibus Vol. 1
Next Volume: Powers (2004) #1-30 and maybe also Powers (2009) #1-11
The first omnibus of this creator-owned Brian Bendis series covers all of the original 2000-2004 run. There’s plenty more to collect, but with the TV show on The Playstation Network (I swear, that is really a thing) cancelled there might not be any demand for a second volume.
Punisher: Back to the War Omnibus AKA Punisher, Vol. 0
Next Volume: Punisher Omnibus Vol. 1 was already #44 on last year’s survey before we knew it was (sort of) an orphan. It would collecting The Punisher (1987) #1-13, plus Daredevil #257 and some amount of the following material: The Punisher (1987) #14-34 & Annuals 1-3, The Punisher War Journal (1988) #1-11, and the OGNs Punisher: Assassin’s Guild, Punisher: Return to Big Nothing, Punisher: Intruder, Punisher: No Escape, Punisher: The Prize, and Punisher: Kingdom Gone.
While not a true orphan, knowing we have Punisher’s complete prologue material in a single oversized volume absolutely screams for a proper Punisher, Vol. 1 omnibus.
We might be seeing a standoff between the Epic and Omnibus reprint lines here when it comes to which reaches this material first. Either way we’ll see a lot of previously uncollected material covered.
See Guide to Punisher for an exhaustive threaded reading order of Punisher’s trio of 90s series and many OGNs.
Spider-Man by Roger Stern
Previous Volume: The Spectacular Spider-Man Vol. 1 was #48 on the 2016 survey results, collecting Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #1-42.
Okay, calling this omnibus an orphan is a stretch, since it’s a very self-contained, single-author volume. However, it strands another worthy run before it – Spectacular Spider-Man #1-42!
Fans noticed this last year and pushed Spectacular to #48 on the survey, but news of the series finally hitting Masterworks in 2017 might suppress enough votes to knock it out of contention.
Thor: Heroes Return Omnibus, Vol. 1
Next Volume: Thor: Heroes Return Omnibus Vol. 2, collecting Thor (1998) #36-78 or 85, Iron Man (1998) #64, Avengers #63, Marvel Double Shot #1, and maybe Stormbreaker: The Saga of Beta Ray Bill (2005) #1-6
Realistically, a second volume could cut off at #78, which ends Dan Jurgen’s run as author – the following run has already been collected in oversize format in Avengers Disassembled: Iron Man, Thor, & Captain America.
See Guide to Thor for more information.
Ultimate Marvel Omnibus, Vol. 1
Next Volume: Ultimate Spider-Man (2000) #8-13, Ultimate X-Men (2001) #7-12, The Ultimates (2002) #7-13, and Ultimate Fantastic Four #7-12
This volume is doomed to remain an orphan for life, and that’s a good thing.
This was one of Marvel’s dumbest omnibuses of all time – not only for its sampler platter approach to the Ultimate universe, but for being so damned tiny. It could have doubled its contents, effectively covering each of the initial OHCs from the big four Marvel Ultimate lines. Instead, it would now take a second volume of this ugly duckling just to push that far.
See Guide to Ultimate Marvel for more logical ways to collect these four series.
Ultimate Spider-Man Omnibus, Vol. 1
Next Volume: Ultimate Spider-Man Omnibus, Vol. 2 was #15 on the 2016 survey results, collecting Ultimate Spider-Man #40-71 and Ultimate Six #1-7.
I was flabbergasted to see Marvel skip the chance to reprint this evergreen material to support a younger Spider-Man in this summer’s Homecoming film. With that opportunity squandered, I wouldn’t be surprised to see fan rage over orphaning this beloved run push this volume into the Top 10 of this year’s Most Wanted Omnibuses.
See Guide to Ultimate Marvel for more logical ways to collect these four series.
Wolverine, Vol. 1
Next Volume: Wolverine, Vol. 2 was #27 on the 2016 results, collecting Wolverine (1988) #11-30 plus some or all of Marvel Comics Presents #29-31, 38-47, 51-53, Wolverine/Havok: Meltdown #1-4, Wolverine/Punisher #1-3, Uncanny X-Men #268, Wolverine: Jungle Adventure OGN, and Wolverine/Nick Fury: The Scorpio Connection OGN.
Voters are already eager to see one of the oldest orphans get a sequel – in fact, they voted for both Volume 2 and Volume 3 on last year’s survey!
The challenging part is that this edition is a bit… let’s say, “undistinguished” compared to Vol. 3, which would contain the Larry Hama and Marc Silvestri material. Despite that, it includes stories from Peter David and more Madripoor action. That’s a better pedigree than most X-Men content from the 90s that’s seen oversized treatment.
Visit the Wolverine guide to see how this is collected as of today.
Wolverine by Jason Aaron, Vol. 1
Next Volume: Wolverine by Jason Aaron Vol. 2, collecting Wolverine (2010) #1-20, 5.1, & 300-304, plus Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #1-6 and material from Wolverine: Road to Hell
I’m an avowed non-fan of Jason Aaron’s run on Wolverine, but even I’m surprised that this book hasn’t shown up on the survey in the six years since the first Jason Aaron omnibus.
A second volume could pick up from Wolverine (2010) #1 and collect the entire remainder of Aaron’s run, fitting perfectly onto a shelf between Vol. 1 and the Wolverine and The X-Men omnibus. The back half of Aaron’s run is stronger material than the front, and it’s entirely self-contained. You wouldn’t even have to call it “Volume 2” – it could be titled “Wolverine’s Revenge.”
Visit the Wolverine guide to see how this is collected as of today (most conveniently, in a pair of Complete Collections).
Open Omnibus Lines
Not counting the Volume 1 orphans, Marvel has just nine open lines of Omnibuses awaiting completion. Of those 9, 7 were represented in the 2016 Survey Results.
To those, I’ll add a trio of additional semi-open lines marked with an asterisk to note their special circumstances, since adding their final volumes is not so straight-forward.
Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 1-3
Next Volume: Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus Vol. 4, collecting Amazing Spider-Man (1962) #105-142, plus Giant-Size Super-Heroes (1974) #1 and Marvel Treasury Edition (1974) #1
Now that we’re about to have Volume 3 in our hands, which was #3 in last year’s results, Volume 4 is definitely going to appear on the survey this year.
There are still enough Masterworks volumes released to push through Volume 5 and into Volume 6, so there’s no reason for this omnibus line to end anytime soon.
Avengers, Vol. 1-2
Next Volume: Avengers Omnibus, Vol. 3 was #9 in last year’s vote, collecting Avengers (#1963) #59-88, plus Incredible Hulk #140 and a Black Knight story from Marvel Super-Heroes #17.
The bitter irony of an Avengers Vol. 3 is that it’ll just miss the historic Kree-Skrull War storyline, which begins in the next Masterwork after Volume 3 contents would end!
Of course, with the Avengers Masterworks line up to Volume 17 this summer we could be in store for more omnibuses dolled out with every Avengers movie from here until the mid-2020s – there’s no other oversized run of Avengers for them to bump into all the way up until the brief chunk in Avengers by Byrne (#305-318) and then The Crossing at Avengers #390!
Visit the Avengers Guide to see how this run has been collected in numerous formats to date.
Avengers: West Coast Avengers, Vol. 1-2 & Avengers by John Byrne
Final Volume: West Coast Avengers, Vol. 4 AKA by Roy Thomas AKA Disassembled was #45 in the 2016 ballot results, collecting Avengers West Coast (1989) #63-79, 83-100, 102 & Annuals 5-8, plus Darkhawk (1991) Annual 01 & Iron Man (1968) Annual 13. It could also include the Bloodties crossover: Avengers West Coast (1989) #101, The Avengers (1963) #368-369, Uncanny X-Men (1963) #307, & X-Men (1991) #26.
While Avengers West Coast was never the most distinguished run of comics, it was also never bad. In a pretty surprising move, Marvel has swiftly collected 2/3rds of this run in just three short years across a trio of Omnibus volumes. That leaves us tantalizingly close to finishing out the run, which could be done in a single hefty volume.
Given an incredibly movie-friendly line-up of Iron Man, Hawkeye, Vision, and Scarlet Witch with appearances from Ant-Man and The Wasp, Marvel needs to hurry up and release this volume to end one of their open omnibus lines!
Visit my guide to Avengers West Coast for collection options to cover this final run, plus the series that followed – Force Works.
Captain America, Vol. 1-2
Final Volume: Captain America Omnibus Vol. 3 collecting Captain America (1968) #149-192
I’m puzzled over how this edition got shut out of the 2016 survey when it’s one of the most obvious gaps in all of omnibus land! Volume 2 ends with Captain America (1969) #148, and an already-existing Cap by Kirby omnibus picks up at #193.
Conveniently, the final Marvel Masterworks volume covering this run is out this summer! That means all signs point to this omnibus becoming reality in the not-distant future – closing out another of Marvel’s open lines!
See the Captain America Guide for more details on how to collect this run.
Deadpool, Deadpool, Deadpool, and More Deadpool, starring Deadpool *
Next Volume: Deadpool by Daniel Way Vol. 1, collecting Deadpool (2008) #1-31, Thunderbolts #130-131, and Wolverine Origins #21-25. Then, Volume 2 would collect #32-63, 33.1, & 49.1
Marvel has been anything but shy when it comes to collecting Deadpool into omnibus format over the past few years. In fact, I think we could fairly say they’ve gone a bit overboard – we went from no Deadpool omnibuses as of three short years ago to having Deadpool Beginnings, Deadpool by Joe Kelly, Deadpool Classic Omnibus, Deadpool & Cable, Deadpool Mini-bus, Vol. 1 (already reprinted in 2016), Deadpool by Posehn & Duggan Omnibus, and Deadpool Minibus, Vol. 2.
That is one dead pool, yo. When it comes to in-continuity, ongoing Deadpool, Daniel Way’s 2008 series is the final frontier for oversized collection. It’s not the best Deadpool, but the Merc With a Mouth has been socialized enough to the general public at this point that they can probably digest this run, which is so filled with gags that it occasionally forgets it’s telling a story.
See my Guide to Deadpool for coverage of his every appearance, ever – all soon coming to an Omnibus near you!
Fantastic Four, Vol. 1-3
Next Volume: Fantastic Four Vol. 4 was #8 in last year’s results, collecting Fantastic Four (1961) #94-128.
Marvel hewed to their “3xMMW per Omni” rule and cut off 2015’s Volume 3 Omnibus just 10 issues shy of the end of the legendary Lee/Kirby run on Fantastic Four, which is a major reason why we immediately saw a Volume 4 rocket to #8 on the survey last year!
We could actually get another two or three volumes before butting up against the pair of John Byrne Fantastic Four omnis on the other side to end this open line.
See The Fantastic Four Guide for more details
Iron Man, Vol. 1-2
Next Volume: Iron Man Vol. 3 debuted on the survey last year at #43, collecting Iron Man (1968) #26-67 & Daredevil #73
This isn’t the most distinguished material, which is probably why Marvel seems to be in no rush to release it. The Iron Man Masterworks line is one of the slower ones, having only reached Volume 10 in January. That means this omnibus line is likely stalled after it hits Volume 3 even though a fourth volume could close out the line, as it would butt up against the Iron Man by Michelinie, Layton & Romita Jr. Omnibus that begins with issue #115.
Head to my Iron Man guide for more information.
Iron Man by Matt Fraction, Vol. 1-2 *
Next Volume: Iron Man by Matt Fraction & Salvador Larroca AKA Vol. 3 is already at #39 on the survey despite it’s dubious distinction as a necessary line-ending volume. It would collect Invincible Iron Man #500-527, 500.1, and Annual 1, Free Comic Book Day 2010: Iron Man/Thor, Fear Itself 7.3 AKA Shattered Heroes: Iron Man, and Rescue #1, (written by Fraction’s wife, Kelly Sue DeConnick).
These books are the root of a great debate in omni-land.
You see, neither of them are really omnibuses. They’re just hefty oversized hardcovers. Yet, Marvel happened to market them occasionally as omnibuses, which leaves fans wanting a third volume – which would, in fact, have to be omni-sized.
The rub is that the pair of non-omnibus OHCs collect genuinely great, Eisner-winning material from Matt Fraction and this volume … doesn’t. While it’s not exactly bad, this passage of issues just didn’t have the heat of what came before.
Don’t take my word for it – read the whole run by following my Iron Man guide and decide for yourself.
The Mighty Thor, Vol. 1-3
Next Volume: The Mighty Thor Vol. 4, collecting Thor #195-228 and Marvel Treasury Edition #3, plus maybe #229-241 & Marvel Premiere #26.
This Mighty Thor Volume 3 was #21 on last year’s survey, and we’re getting it for this year’s Thor: Ragnarok film! Not only are we getting it, but it’s as aggressively large as one of Chris Hemsworth’s bicceps – it’s collecting four Masterworks instead of the typical three!
This taboo-busting move from Marvel surely broke dozens of fan-made omnibus maps across the country! The next volume will pick up from #195, and could cover another three or four Masterworks, but then we’re going to be out of freshly Masterworked content for a fifth volume.
See The Thor Guide for more details.
Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 1-3
Next Volume: It’s a really long story, which is part of why this was the #1 most fan-demanded omnibus of 2016.
Perhaps the most infamous open line of all, given the drama over whether we’ll see a Volume 4 before we cover it in two more volumes of Masterworks. This line can easily extend to Volume 5, and maybe beyond, depending on if we get Uncanny-Only coverage of runs previous OHC’d alongside New Mutants and X-Factor.
I’m never going to explain it again as well as I did in last year’s survey results, but if you want to skip all the drama and just read the darn issues you can head to the Guide to Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men.
X-Force, Vol. 1 and Deadpool & X-Force
Next Volume: Cable & X-Force Vol. 1, collecting at least X-Force (1991) #32-42 & Annual 3 and Cable (1993) #9-20 along with crossovers into New Warriors #45-46, Excalibur #82, and X-Factor #106, and Wolverine #85.
That’s a slim 28 issues, so we could add X-Force #44-48 and Cable #21-28, but they kick off a new era of story-telling in both books.
Alternately (and this one is a long shot) this volume could solve the issue of patchy post-Phalanx Covenant X-Men collections and grab all of the Pre-AOA issues (which Cable #20 crosses over into) – X-Factor #108-109, Uncanny X-Men #319-321, X-Men #38-41, and X-Men Age of Apocalypse Ashcan Edition.
This omnibus line when from orphan to intriguingly open-ended with the release of the remainder of 2017’s solicits last month.
The newly announced Deadpool and X-Force Omnibus collects X-Force (1991) #19-31 and Annual 2; Cable (1993) #1-8; Deadpool: The Circle Chase #1-4; Deadpool (1994) #1-4; New Warriors (1990) #31; andd Nomad (1992) #20.
Deadpool is going to part ways with the X-Force line after this, as he headed to his own series which has already been completely covered in omnibuses. However, a third volume could conceivably be Cable & X-Force, Vol. 1 – there’s plenty of X-Force and Cable to rack that line up to higher numbers, and they do frequently interact.
Want more info? Hit either the Cable or X-Force guides.
X-Men, Vol. 1-2 *
Next Volume: X-Men, Vol. 3, collecting only covers of #67-93, as they were reprint issues with new covers, plus Amazing Adventures #11-17 (transformation of The Beast), Incredible Hulk #150, 161, 172, & 180-181 (debut of Wolverine), Amazing Spider-Man #92, Marvel Team-Up #4, 23, & 38, Avengers #110-111, Captain America #172-175, Defenders #15-16, and Giant-Size Fantastic Four #4. To this, we could add Magneto’s appearances in Fantastic Four (1961) #102-104 and Amazing Adventures Vol. 2 (1970) #9-10
This is the stealth open line. There’s a pair of Marvel Masterworks full of material to fit into a third volume with room to spare, although there is scant other X-material in that period beyond five issues of Magneto appearances unless you were to cram in the entirety of Angel and Iceman appearing in The Champions!
See my Guide to Classic X-Men for more information.