This is the final post in our series time-traveling backwards through Marvel’s era of comic books to see what books would make fantastic omnibuses, and this is a big one – it’s what I’m calling “The Masterworks Era.”
After this post, you should have more than enough ammo to fill out your 2017 Most Wanted Marvel Omnibus Secret Ballot, which is due by Sunday at midnight! I’ve suggested over a hundred possible votes!
What exactly is “The Masterworks Era,” aside from something I just made up? It refers to the period of comcis that Marvel has covered with their deluxe, standard-size hardcover Marvel Masterworks reprint line. The Silver Age portion of the line begins with Fantastic Four #1 in 1961.
The end is a little fuzzier. The Silver Age is understood to end in 1970-71, but with a handful of exceptions Marvel has already pushed past that point with every line of Masterworks collections. In fact, their newest two Masterworks lines are The Spectacular Spider-Man (1976), Spider-Woman (1978), and The Savage She-Hulk (1980)!
Yes, that’s right – Masterworks now cover comics that began in the 1980s! That’s like when the oldies station of my youth started playing Madonna songs. Plus, the farthest outlier, Uncanny X-Men, has reached all the way up to issue #188 in 1984.
When it comes to classic Omnibuses, until this year Marvel followed a specific formula almost every time – one omnibus contained three Masterworks volumes. We’re now seeing them deviate from that formula with Amazing Spider-Man, Daredevil, and Thor, all of which contained more than the customary three volumes.
To figure out what comics are due for potential omnibuses to feature in this post, I had to first figure out both what has been covered by Masterworks volumes and what has been skipped! That’s not really a part of this discussion, but if you’re interested, I’ve shown my work.A list of titles that are eligible for Masterworks treatment
- Marvel Spotlight (1971), an anthology series which branches to:
- Red Wolf (1972) – This has never been reprinted in color, but does not have enough material for an omnibus.
- Werewolf by Night (1972) – This has been reprinted in Omnibus, but could still be Masterworked
- Ghost Rider (1973) – This has never been reprinted in color and is listed below!
- Son of Satan (1975) – This received a TPB collection in 2016 and is too short to be an omnibus on its own.
- Spider-Woman (1978) – This has begun to be Masterworked and could be an omnibus, but we need more MMW volumes first.
- Moon Knight (1980)– Collected in color in Epic collections and could be an omnibus; it is listed below
- Plus, the Deathlok MMW line, Warriors Three stories in the Thor MMW line, and a Fury story in the Nick Fury MMW line
- The Cat (1972) – Collected in the Women of Marvel Omnibus
- Chamber of Chills (1972) – A horror anthology; this has never been reprinted fully in color.
- Marvel Premiere (1972), an anthology series featuring:
- Warlock (1972) – This has been fully Masterworked and could be an omnibus; it is listed below
- Doctor Strange (1974) – This has begun to be Masterworked and could be an omnibus; it is listed below
- Iron Fist (1975) – This has been fully Masterworked and could be an omnibus; it is listed below
- Doctor Who – This is licensed material.
- And shorter runs and one shots of Hercules, Satana, Legion of Monsters (Ghost Rider, Man-Thing, Morbius, Werewolf by Night), Liberty Legion, Woodgod, Monark Starstalker (before Star Wars!), Solomon Kane, 3-D Man, Weirdworld, Torpedo, Seeker 3000, Tigra, Paladin, Jack of Hearts, Man-Wolf, Ant-Man (Scott Lang), Falcon, Alice Cooper, Black Panther, Caleb Hammer, Wonder Man, Dominic Fortune, and Star-Lord
- Night Nurse (1972), collected in the Women of Marvel Omnibus
- Shanna, the She-Devil (1972), collected in the Women of Marvel Omnibus
- Supernatural Thrillers (1972), a horror anthology; this has never been reprinted fully in color.
- Tomb of Dracula (1972) and Dracula Lives (1973) – This has been reprinted in Omnibus, but could still be Masterworked
- Frankenstein (1973) – Collected in color in TPB and is too brief for an omnibus
- Vampire Tales (1973) – An anthology series featuring Blade and Morbius. This has been collected in TPB and could be Masterworked, but it’s too short to be an omnibus without including other material.
- Haunt of Horror (1974), which included Satana stories
- Master of Kung Fu (1974) and The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu (1974) – Collected in Omnibus but not Masterworked.
- Man-Thing (1974 / 1979) – Collected in both an omnibus and a Complete Collection line, but not Masterworked.
- The Invaders (1975) – Collected in a pair of Complete Collections, and previously in Classics; could still be Omnibused – listed below.
- Marvel Chillers (1975), an anthology series featuring:
- Modred the Mystic, not collected
- Tigra, not collected
- Marvel Presents (1975), an anthology series featuring:
- Bloodstone, not collected
- Guardians of the Galaxy, which has been collected in omnibus and could conceivably hit Masterworks
- Super-Villain Team-Up (1975) – Collected in a single Complete Collection; too short for omnibus, but could appear in a Namor omnibus line.
- Captain Britain (1976) – Collected entirely in a pair of OHCs; could still be Masterworked, but an omnibus would be redundant since there’s nothing left to add.
- The Eternals (1976) – Collected in one of Marvel’s early omnibuses; could still be Masterworked
- Howard the Duck (1976 / 1979) – Collected in both an omnibus and a Complete Collection line; could still be Masterworked
- Nova (1976) – Collected completely in a paperback Classic line, but not omnibus or Masterworks – so it’s covered below!
- Omega the Unknown (1976) – Too short to be an omnibus; has been collected in TPB, but could be Masterworked
- What If? (1977) – Collected in a paperback Classics line, but not in omnibus – so it’s covered below!
- Devil Dinosaur (1978) – Previously collected in omnibus, and recently in paperback; could be Masterworked!
- Machine Man (1978) – Collected in a single TPB in 2016 and has previously appeared on the survey; however, without the rights to reprint 2001: A Space Odyssey material Marvel likely can’t expand this to an omnibus.
- Amazing Adventures (1979), an anthology series which branches to:
- Inhumans content in their MMW line; could be omnibused
- Beast content in the X-Men MMW line; could be omnibused
- Killraven, which has not been reprinted in color and could be omnibused
- Marvel Spotlight (1979), an anthology series which branches to:
- the final volume of the Captain Marvel MMW line
- A handful of Dragon-Lord stories, uncollected
- Star-Lord, collected variously with Guardians of the Galaxy (including in Omnibus)
- Captain Universe, as a spin-off from Micronauts, collected in Captain Universe: Power Unimaginable; not enough material for ominbus
This list omits Western titles like Tex Dawson, Gunslinger (1973), Gun-Slinger (1973), and Gunhawks (1972) and licensed material Marvel can’t Masterwork, including Conan, Doc Savage, Godzilla, The Human Fly, John Carter, Kull, Micronauts, Planet of the Apes, Red Sonja (in her own title and in Marvel Feature (1975), Shogun Warriors, Star Trek, Tarzan, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and The Wizard of Oz (based on the film).
How am I defining “due” here? It’s any superhero universe series that the Masterworks line has skipped entirely or any Masterworks line with three or more un-omnibused volumes.
Any comic with a Masterworks line that’s in-progress with only one or two volumes is not included: Ka-Zar, Luke Cage, Marvel Team-Up, Marvel Two-in-One, Not Brand Echh Vol. 1, Rarities Vol. 1, Rawhide Kid, She-Hulk, Spectacular Spider-Man, Spider-Woman.
I also didn’t include the one-and-done Masterworks volumes Champions and Deathlok as potential omnibuses, since the omnibus would be the same as the Masterworks!
Are you ready to travel back in time from 1980 to the beginning of Marvel’s Silver Age in 1961? Here we go!
Amazing Spider-Man (1963)
Current status: Omnibus Volume 3, out this month, ends with #104 in the middle of Masterworks Volume 11. See Guide to Spider-Man.
What comes next? An Omnibus Volume 4 would likely contain the remainder of Masterworks Volume 11, and then 12, 13, and some or all of 14, ending somewhere between #131-142. The Masterworks line has advanced through 19 and issue #202, so we could easily see a Volume 5 containing MMW 15-17 or 18.
How far could it go? The next oversized release with ASM issues is the Spider-Man by Roger Stern Omnibus, which contains ASM #206 and 224-252, which means the line could extend through a Volume 6 before reaching #223 to marry the Stern Omnibus.
Ant-Man has never been omnibused, but he does have a pair of MMW volumes and a first volume of Epic Collection that doesn’t quite cover them both.
A third MMW has been speculated, but doesn’t contain much relevant or cohesive material so isn’t very likely. That means this could head to omnibus without a third MMW happening first, although Hank Pym isn’t exactly Marvel’s most-popular hero.
Ant-Man/Giant Man Omnibus – Collects Tales to Astonish (1959) #27 & 35-69, Iron Man #44 (2nd story), Marvel Feature #4-10, Black Goliath sort-of-as Giant-Man material from Black Goliath #1-5, and Scott Lang’s introduction in Marvel Premiere #47-48.
Current status: Omnibus Volume 2, which ends with #58 and perfectly covers Masterworks Volumes 4, 5, and 6. See Guide to Avengers (1963).
What comes next? Any fan will tell you we’ll see an Omnibus Volume 3 with the third Avengers film. Marvel might push it to contain four volumes of MMW to continue through Volume 10 to end with either issue #97 or 100 so it contains the Kree/Skrull War, so it has some space content to fit in with the film. If that happens, we’d still have enough Masterworks material for a Volume 4 and Volume 5 omnibus – Avengers Masterworks will hit Volume 17 this summer, covering through issue #177.
How far could it go? Seeing as there’s not another Avengers omnibus until John Byrne’s at issue #305, there’s plenty of room for more!
Black Panther (1977) and Jungle Action (1972)
Like Ant-Man, Black Panther has just a pair of Masterworks volumes to his name, with some previous FF material covered in his Epic Collection. I think this omnibus can and will happen – the material is prohibitively classic, with tons of Kirby stories.
An omnibus could add all of Black Panther’s introductory story in Fantastic Four, plus key guest appearances prior to his solo run – which would differentiate it from both the MMW and Epic lines. The question is if Marvel would rather get out a second Epic first or head straight to Omnibus.
See Guide to Black Panther for the story order of this content.
Black Panther Classic Omnibus – Collects Fantastic Four #52-54, 56, 60, & Annual 5, Tales of Suspense #97-99, Captain America #100, Jungle Action #6-24, Black Panther (1977) #1-15, and Marvel Premiere #51-53.
Captain America (1968)
Current status: Omnibus Volume 2, which ends with #148 and perfectly covers Masterworks Volumes 4, 5, and 6. See Guide to Captain America.
What comes next? Captain America Omnibus, Vol. 3 collecting Captain America (1968) #149-192 – the contents of Masterworks Volumes 7, 8, and 9 – out last month.
How far could it go? An already-existing Cap by Kirby omnibus picks up at #193, so Volume 3 will end this classic line! That book is on the slimmer side, covering through #214 – and nothing but Essentials volumes have touched the material immediately following it.
Captain Marvel (1968)
Captain Marvel is a perfect two-and-done omnibus line with its six Masterworks volumes. That would put a solid chunk of classic material in each book, with the first book including Captain Marvel’s famous Thanos encounters, and the second containing the seminal The Death of Captain Marvel.
Captain Marvel Classic Omnibus, Volume 1 – Collects Marvel Super-Heroes #12-13, Captain Marvel #1-33, and Iron Man #55
Captain Marvel Classic Omnibus, Volume 2 – Collects Captain Marvel #34-62, Avengers Annual 7, Marvel Two-in-One Annual 2, Marvel Spotlight (1979) #1-4 & 8, Marvel Graphic Novel (1982) #1, and material from Marvel Superheroes (1990) #3
Current Status: A bold first Omnibus, out this February, covered four Masterworks volumes. See Guide to Daredevil.
What comes next? A Daredevil Omnibus, Volume 2 could stretch from Masterworks Volume 5 to Volume 7 or 8 at #74 or 84, depending on how aggressively Marvel wants to develop the line and if they want to push a third volume to be marketable as “Daredevil and Black Widow.” We’re currently on Volume 11, out this March and covering through #119. That means we could only squeeze in omnibus Volume 2 and Volume 3 before stalling.
How far could it go? Daredevil doesn’t have more oversize coverage until Frank Miller’s run at issue #158. The Masterworks aren’t quite there yet, but we could eventually hit an Omnibus Volume 4 to meet up with the Miller run on the other side.
The Defenders (1972)
The Defenders is ripe for omnibus treatment, with five Masterworks volumes and likely due for a sixth in 2018. Maybe if the Defenders brand comes alive for Netflix with the release of their special event series this year, we could see Marvel bring this to life (despite the casts not lining up at all).
It was on the 2016 survey at #41, and I expect its stock to rise this year. Note that an omnibus could pick up the original Defenders crossover that was included in Essentials but omitted from the Masterworks line. See Guide to Defenders for more.
The Defenders, Volume 1 – Collects Doctor Strange #183, Sub-Mariner #22 & 34-35, and The Incredible Hulk #126, Marvel Feature #1-3, Sub-Mariner #34-35, Defenders #1-21, Giant-Size Defenders #1-4, Avengers #115-118, and Marvel Two-in-One #6-7
Doctor Strange (1968)
Current Status: An surprisingly slim first Omnibus didn’t quite cover two whole Masterworks! See Guide to Doctor Strange.
What comes next: An Doctor Strange Omnibus, Volume 2 just missed the Top 50 on the 2016 Secret ballot, and would likely push into Masterworks Volume 4, although it might not collect the entirety of its contents.
How far could it go? This Masterworks line appears to be on Marvel’s fastest track and with good reason – they’re about to hit heavily demanded Roger Stern material with Volume 8, out next week. It ranked #28 in last year’s results. Given that a Roger Stern omnibus would effectively be Volume 4 but would sell better under the “Stern” name, I think we can definitely expect this classic Omnibus line to hit Volume 3 and then switch titles.
Fantastic Four (1961)
Current Status: Volume 3 follows the “3 MMW per Omnibus” rule to the tee, ending with #93 despite the fact that it could have easily pushed another volume to finish out the Lee/Kirby era with #104. See Guide to Fantastic Four.
What comes next: Fantastic Four Omnibus, Volume 4 would hit Masterworks 10, 11, and 12 and cover through issue #128.
How far could it go? A pair of John Byrne Fantastic Four omnibuses begin by covering #215-218, 220-221, and then 232 to 295 with no breaks. The Masterworks line is ready to hit Volume 19 this December, which will cover through #218 – meaning we need Volume 20 to bring us flush with the end of the gap in the first Byrne Omnibus. That means we could easily see an Omnibus Volume 5 to cover MMW 13-14, and 15 into 16 and Volume 6 to cover MMW 16 or 17 along with 18, 19, and 20, perhaps skipping the Byrne issues already in his omnibus.
Ghost Rider (1973)
Early Ghost Rider has never been collected in color, which explains its placement at #17 on last year’s survey!
Demand will likely only increase over time as this remains one of the outliers of Marvel superheroes in color reprints. See Guide to Ghost Rider to see how much of this you can collect in black and white Essentials.
Ghost Rider: Johnny Blaze, Volume 1 – Collects Marvel Spotlight #5-12 & Ghost Rider, Vol. 1 #1 through 28 or 34. Potentially also Daredevil #138, Marvel Team-Up #15, and Marvel Two-in-One #8.
Human Torch in Strange Tales (1951)
The Human Torch starred in his own stories (frequently along with Thing) in Strange Tales #101-134. That would easily fit into a slim single omnibus, but even moving Torch into the cast of the Inhumans of All-New, All-Different didn’t exactly ignite fandom behind him. This omnibus will likely never come to pass. See Guide to Fantastic Four.
Human Torch Classic Omnibus – Collects Strange Tales #101-134 and Annual #2.
Incredible Hulk (1968)
Current Status: A lonely first volume perfectly overs Masterworks 1-3, collecting through issue #102. See Guide to Hulk.
What comes next? As highlighted in the Orphan Report and ranked at #22 on the 2016 survey results, Incredible Hulk Omnibus, Volume 2 would cover through MMW 6 and issue #134. The Masterworks line currently extends through Volume 10 out in 2016 that covers through #183, which means we could easily knock out a Hulk Omnibus Volume 3 before needing more Masterworks volumes to continue.
How far could it go? There isn’t anymore oversized Hulk collections until the 00s with Planet Hulk, so there’s plenty of runway for more books – but there’s a likely cutoff where other lines could begin either at #269 to start a “by Mantlo” omnibus line or #331 for “by Peter David.”
Inhumans (1975) and Amazing Adventures (1970)
It’s curious we didn’t see an omnibus or Epic collection to cover these two Masterworks of material with the Inhumans TV show coming this fall. It would make a tidy omnibus packed with Kirby goodness, and could even reach back for Fantastic Four issues collected in the The Origin of the Inhumans trade to differentiate itself from the Masterworks line.
See Guide to Inhumans for every appearance of the Royal family in the Silver Age!
Inhumans Classic Omnibus – Collects Fantastic Four (1961) ##36, #38, #41-47, #54, #62-65 & Annual 5 as well as excerpts from #48, 50, 51, & 55-61, material from Not Brand Echh (1967) #6, Amazing Adventures (1970) #1-10, Thor (1966) #146-152 (2nd stories), What If? #29-30 (2nd stories), The Avengers (1963) #95, Inhumans (1975) #1-12, Captain Marvel (1968) #52-53, Fantastic Four (1961) Annual 12, and Marvel Super-Heroes (1967) #15,
The Invaders (1975)
Marvel has completed collected this 1975 throwback series in paperback, but never in Masterworks or Omnibus! I cover Invaders in the Guide to Namor, the Sub-Mariner.
The Invaders Omnibus – Collects The Invaders (1975) #1-41 & Annual 1, Giant-Size Invaders #1-2, Marvel Premiere #29-30, Avengers #71, Invaders (1993)# 1-4, andWhat If? (1977) #4.
Iron Fist (1974)
Iron Fist had a two-and-done Masterworks line, as he joins the Power Man and Iron Fist title directly afterwards.
However, an Epic Collection already perfectly covers that pair of Masterworks, so Marvel is likely in no hurry to issue an omnibus (although it could finally fix the omission of Marvel Team-Up #31 and collect Iron Fist material from Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, now that Marvel is allowed to reprint it). See the Guide to Iron Fist for more information.
Iron Fist Classic Omnibus – Collects Marvel Premiere (1972) #15-25, material from Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #10, 18-24, 29, Special 1, and Annual 1, Marvel Team-Up #31, Iron Fist (1975) #1-15, Marvel Two-in-One #25, Marvel Team-Up (1972) #63-64, and maybe Power Man (1974) #48-49 and Power Man and Iron Fist (1978) #50
Iron Man (1968)
Current Status: A pair of classic omnibuses cover through #25, which is the final issue in Masterworks Volume 6. See Guide to Iron Man.
What comes next? Iron Man Omnibus, Vol. 3 debuted on the survey last year at #43, collecting the next three Masterworks volumes and containing Iron Man (1968) #26-67 & Daredevil #73. The Masterworks line reached Volume 10 in January, which means there’s no more material ready for omnibus after a third volume.
How far could it go? A fourth volume would likely complete this line by ending with #114, with the Iron Man by Michelinie, Layton & Romita Jr. Omnibus picking up with issue #115.
Killraven in Amazing Adventures (1970)
Killraven was the next story featured in Amazing Adventures after The Inhumans, Black Widow, and Beast had their runs, which places it smack in the middle of possible Masterworks or Omnibus content. It placed at #44 on the 2016 ballot.
Killraven Omnibus Amazing Adventures (1970) #18-39, Marvel Team-Up #45, Marvel Graphic Novel #7, Killraven (2001) #1, and Killraven (2002) #1-6 (not in continuity with the other material).
Moon Knight (1980)
Moon Knight could very well be the next Masterworks line Marvel opens, but having his earliest appearances collected comprehensively in Epic Collections means that’s not as much as a priority as it used to be. Perhaps we could see him make the leap directly to Omnibus, considering demand for him is high among fans – he still ranked at #24 in the 2016 survey, even after his Epic Collections were released.
A first Omnibus could effectively widen the scope of the first Epic Collection by including its contents but pushing to the break point of the first Essential Moon Knight volume. Then, a second would be verbatim to Essential Moon Knight Vol. 2, though there are some other appearances of the era it could include. See Guide to Moon Knight for details on how to collect these comics in color today.
Moon Knight by Doug Moench, Vol. 1 – Collects Werewolf by Night (1972) #32-33, Marvel Spotlight (1971) #28-29; Defenders #47-50 (and excerpts of #51); The Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #22-23; Marvel Two-In-One (1974) #52; Hulk [Magazine] (1978) #11-15, 17-18, & 20; Marvel Preview (1975) #21; Moon Knight (1980) #1-10.
Moon Knight by Doug Moench, Vol. 2 – Collects Moon Knight (1980) #11-38, Moon Knight (1985) #1-6, Marvel Fanfare (1982) #30 & 38-39, material from Marvel Super-Heroes (1990) #1, and Solo Avengers (1987) #3
Ms. Marvel (1977)
All of Carol Danvers’ classic Ms. Marvel material was collected into a pair of Marvel Masterworks volumes, but an omnibus could be padded with a few more key appearances. See Guide to Captain Marvel for more.
Ms. Marvel Classic Omnibus – Collects material from Marvel Super-Heroes #13, Captain Marvel #1-18, 34-35, & 40, material from Avengers #90, Ms. Marvel (1977) #1-23 and stories from Marvel Super-Heroes (1990) #10-11 (effectively Ms. Marvel #24-25), Marvel Team-Up (1972) #61-62 & 76-77, Marvel Two-in-One #51, Avengers (1963) #197-199 (excerpts), 200 & Annual 10, and material from Marvel Fanfare (1982) #24
Namor, The Sub-Mariner (1968)
Namor’s Silver Age material has nearly been covered in full by Masterworks volumes, with just a Volume 8 left to be solicited, but he has never merited his own omnibus!
Given the intriguing thread of Sub-Mariner’s Silver Age return threaded through much of Marvel’s early line of superhero titles, it would be fantastic to add those dozen appearances to his Masterworked appearances. Similarly, after his title ended Namor leapt to Super-Villain Team-Up, which could easily fill out a third volume.
See the Guide to Namor, The Sub-Mariner for more information.
The two-volume sprint version.
Namor, The Sub-Mariner, Volume 1 – Collects Marvel Comics #1, Daredevil #7, Tales To Astonish (1959) #70-101, Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1, and The Sub-Mariner #1-25
Namor, the Sub-Mariner, Volume 2 – Collects The Sub-Mariner #26-72, Ka-Zar #1, and Daredevil #77
The more-expansive three-volume version, which adds Sub-Mariner’s earliest appearances as an effective MMW volume into the first omnibus and the Super-Villain Team-Up material into his final volume.
Namor, The Sub-Mariner, Volume 1 – Collects Marvel Comics #1, Fantastic Four #4, 6, & 9, Strange Tales #107, Fantastic Four #14 & Annual 1, Avengers #3-4, Fantastic Four #27, X-Men #6, Strange Tales #125, Fantastic Four #33, and material from Avengers #16, Daredevil #7, Tales To Astonish (1959) #70-101, Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1, and The Sub-Mariner #1-13.
Namor, The Sub-Mariner, Volume 2 – Collects The Sub-Mariner #14-49, Ka-Zar #1, and Daredevil #77
Namor, The Sub-Mariner, Volume 3 – Collects The Sub-Mariner #50-72, Marvel Two-in-One #2, Super-Villain Team-Up (1975) #1-14, 16-17, & Giant-Size #1-2, Avengers #154-156, Marvel Two-in-One #28
There’s nothing left to cover from this run of three Masterworks – they’ve been collected entirely by S.H.I.E.L.D. Complete Collection Omnibus.
This is simple – an omnibus would collect the contents of Nova Classic Volumes 1-3, which are effectively every major Nova appearance from his 1976 debut through 1981, after which he disappears for almost a decade. See Guide to Nova for more.
Nova Classic Omnibus – Collects Nova (1976) #1-25, Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #171, Defenders (1972) #62-64m Fantastic Four Annual 12, Marvel Two-in-One Annual 3, and Fantastic Four 204-206 & 208-214
Sgt. Fury & His Howling Commandos (1963)
I have a sentimental connection with this throwback way series published in the superhero age – my uncle had an impressive run of these comics which I catalogued and bagged for him over 20 years ago, which he eventually sold on a comic con adventure with my cousin!
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of market for non-superhero war series in the modern day, especially with this white Nick Fury not matching up with the Marvel films. The Masterworks line stalled in 2012 with Volume 4, covering through issue #43, but the series continued to issue #120 in 1974 before switching titles to Sgt. Fury And His Howling Commandos and heading into reprints. This could theoretically be knocked out with a trio of omnibuses.
Sgt. Fury & His Howling Commandos, Volume 1 – Collects Sgt. Fury (1963) #1-43, Sgt. Fury And His Howling Commandos (1974) Annual 1 and Special 2.
Sgt. Fury & His Howling Commandos, Volume 2 – Collects Sgt. Fury (1963) #44-80(ish) and Sgt. Fury And His Howling Commandos (1974) #3-4
Sgt. Fury & His Howling Commandos, Volume 3 – Collects Sgt. Fury (1963) #81(ish) through 120
Commenter Dwalt chimed in to let me know that half of the final 40 issues are reprints! That means this series only has 104 issues to collect rather than 124. Would Marvel dare to knock that out in a pair of hefty 52-issue tomes? Generally, Marvel will only go that big on one-and-done books, because why split a potential three-book series into just a pair of omnibuses and leave $100 on the table! More likely we’d get the standard 3xMMW first volume and two slimmer follow-up volumes.
What comes next? Thor Omnibus Volume 4 could cover Masterworks Volumes 11, 12, 13, and maybe 14, taking us through either issue #228 or #241. However, we’re then out of Masterworks – Thor’s line currently only extends to 15, though it will likely see a Vol. 16 in 2018.
How far could it go? Thor doesn’t hit an omnibus edition until the beginning of the Walt Simonson omnibus at #337, so we could easily see an Omnibus Volume 5, 6, and maybe even 7 – although, they would likely be branded with author names rather than such high volume numbers.
This omnibus, which we could see to accompany a third Guardians of the Galaxy film, would effectively copy the Warlock Essentials just as the Punisher: Beginnings omnibus copied the first Punisher Essentials volume. See the Guardians of the Galaxy Guide for more.
Warlock Omnibus – Collects Marvel Premiere (1972) #1-2, Warlock (1972) #1-15, Marvel Team-Up (1972) #55, Marvel Two-In-One (1974) Annual 2, Strange Tales (1951) #178-181, The Avengers (1963) Annual 7, and The Incredible Hulk (1968) #176-178. (To which we could add some later guest-appearances, such as Marvel Two-in-One #61-63)
What If? (1977)
This cheeky series full of imagined possibilities has a perfectly omnibus-sized run, but it’s a very niche title! This omnibus would likely never materialize if not for major fan demand.
What If? Classic Omnibus – Collects What If? (1977) #1-47
X-Men, Vol. 3 – Collecting 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