This morning I had the absolute pleasure of announcing the results of the Most Wanted Marvel Omnibus 11th Annual Secret Ballot with Near Mint Condition!
The Most Wanted Marvel Omnibus Secret Ballot is an annual poll conducted by a mysterious comic book forum user named Tigereyes. The rules are simple: anyone can email Tigereyes up to 10 picks for their most-wanted, never-before-printed omnibuses of material originally printed by Marvel, even if they may no longer own the licensing rights.
Each first vote gets 10 points, each second vote gets 9 points, all the way down to your tenth vote getting just 1 point. After the voting period, Tigereyes goes through the gargantuan effort of tallying up all the votes – which also involves figuring out what everyone meant by their sometimes inconsistently-named or cryptically-described votes.
For me, the reveal of the results of the Tigereyes Secret Ballot is an international comics-loving holiday. I used to be the primary person on the internet creating statistics from the results every year! However, when I attempted to cover the entire poll entry-by-entry in 2017 I stalled out at the halfway point as the results straddled our move to New Zealand.
That’s why it was worth waking up at 4am NZ time to be ready to share this year’s results with my good friends Omar and Jess on the Near Mint Condition channel, thanks to some last-minute planning with Omar over the weekend.
Our show was nearly three hours long as we dug into the potential contents of every book on the list and whether we’d read them or not. As always, I had just as much fun appearing on-camera as I did chatting with all of the wonderful Minties in the live chat!
Don’t have time for the full 3-hour tour? We actually run down the full 60-book list in just 15 minutes, starting just before the 12-minute mark. I’m sharing the full list below, but it’s more than just a list – every omnibus includes a full suggested omnibus mapping along with a link to the relevant collecting guide on Crushing Comics.
That’s right, y’all – this is a post with SIXTY omnibus mappings in it, mapping well over 2,000 issues of comics. (Actually, it’s even more than that – there’s one tie, and in several entries I get into mapping second volumes if they would complete a run). That makes that one of the longest blog posts in 23 years of CrushingKrisis history.
Are you ready to be rocked by the Most Wanted Marvel Omnibus vote? Strap in, true believers, and prepare to be mapped like you’ve never been mapped before.
1. Daredevil by Ann Nocenti [Vol. 1]
See Guide to Daredevil. Ann Nocenti’s historic run on Daredevil has always had its fans, but I feel like the fervor behind seeing it in omnibus has escalated in te past decade thanks to it seeing release in Epic Collections (which also means it is available on Marvel Unlimited)
This would start from either Daredevil (1964) #234 (the first issue after Denny O’Neil’s run) or #236 (Nocenti’s first issue, though she skips #237). Nocenti writes through #291, so in reality this might get split into two volumes – although, Marvel has the ability to do it in one if they want!
In total, this run includes Daredevil (1964) #234-291 & Annual 5-7, Punisher (1987) #10, and material from Punisher (1987) Annual 3, Incredible Hulk (1968) Annual 16, and Silver Surfer (1987) Annual 3. (Annual 7 occurs after Nocenti’s exit on #291 and before #292, so you could leave it out so it wouldn’t be anti-climactic.)
2. X-Men [Legacy] by Mike Carey [Vol. 1]
See Guide to New X-Men and Guide to X-Men Legacy. This is a popular vote for an outstanding run with an ambiguous mapping.
Most folks intend for it to start from X-Men (1991) #188, which has previously been collected as “Supernovas.” However, if that’s the case, would it collect Carey’s complete Endangered Species back-ups as well as all of Messiah Complex? Or, would it skip right past that to continue to X-Men Legacy (2008) #208 and collect the entire Xavier-focused portion of Legacy in the first volume, with a second volume covering Rogue?
I think the answer to that question largely has to do with what a Messiah Complex omnibus would contain, which we’ll get to in just four more spots on the list.
Either way, I just opined in my update to the X-Men Legacy guide that it’s high time this material was reprinted, and fans seem to agree!
If this starts with Carey’s X-Men (1991) run, the first volume would likely be X-Men (1991) #188-204 & Annual 1/2007, X-Men Legacy (2008) #208-225, X-Men: Odd Men Out (2008), Wolverine: Origins #28-30, X-Men Original Sin One-Shot, and material from X-Men: The Unlikely Saga of Xavier, Magneto and Stan.
If this purely collects Legacy, I think a first volume would collect X-Men Legacy (2008) #208-234 & Annual 1 [AKA Giant-Size], X-Men: Odd Men Out (2008), Wolverine: Origins #28-30, X-Men Original Sin One-Shot, and material from X-Men: The Unlikely Saga of Xavier, Magneto & Stan and from X-Necrosha [AKA Necrosha X] (2009) #1
(Also, Mike Carey wrote X-Men: Secret Invasion (2008) #1-4, but that fits more with the broader cast and scope of Uncanny X-Men around issue #500, so I’m not sure if it makes sense to collect it here.)
3 Ghost Rider: Danny Ketch [Vol. 1]
See Guide to Ghost Rider. A Danny Ketch omnibus means starting from Ghost Rider (1990) #1, which was Ketch’s introduction.
Mapping this potential omnibus is made complicated by crossovers beginning with issue #28 (with “Rise of the Midnight Sons”), a sibling title (Ghost Rider/Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance (1992)), and copious appearances in Marvel Comics Presents (1988) (which the Wolverine omnibus line has established a convention of including.
Based on all of that, I think the minimum amount of material collected in this first volume would be Ghost Rider (1990) #1-27, Fantastic Four (1961) #347-349, Marc Spector, Moon Knight (1989) #25, Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme (1988) #28, Ghost Rider / Wolverine / Punisher: Hearts of Darkness OGN (1992), and X-Men (1991) #8-9. That would take this material through July 1992, which means this could also include and material from Marvel Comics Presents (1988) #64-71, 90-97, 98-100 and Marvel Collector’s Edition (Charleston Chew giveaway).
(Stories from Marvel Comics Presents (1988) #101-118 also fit into this period, but #107 and and onward were published after July 1992. Marvel has established the precedent of not pulling future-published stories forward for their reading order placement.)
That would be 27 issues of core Ghost Rider, 8 additional issues of guest appearances, and 20 issues of excerpted 8-page stories for an additional 160 pages.
That sounds like a moderate-sized and very enjoyable omnibus that doesn’t have room to get into the crossovers that come with the next year of issues of this title! Unfortunately, we’re only a single Epic Collection into this material being remastered and released in paperback, so I’d expect there to be another 1-2 Epics before we see this omnibus solicited.
4. Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus Vol. 6
See Guide to Spider-Man, Peter Parker (1963-2018). This is a straight-forward “collect the Marvel Masterworks” omnibus, which you will be seeing many more of on this countdown!
For a Masterworks-based omnibus of Silver or Bronze Age comics, the standard expectation is each volume contains three Masterworks volumes of material. Marvel sometimes fudges that down to 2.5 or stretches it to 4, but in the vast majority of cases it’s 3. While Marvel has recently surprised us with some hunkier Masterworks-based omnibuses, I don’t think they’ll be in any rush to cram more material in a classic Spider-Man book than is strictly necessary.
Omnibus Volume 5 collects Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #143-180 & Annual 10-11, which exactly covers Masterworks Volumes 15-17. It seems obvious this next volume would contain Masterworks Volumes 18-20, including issues #181-213 & Annual 12-14. Those Masterworks have been out since 2018, so it wouldn’t shock me to see this book in 2024.
5. Spectacular Spider-Man by J. M. DeMatteis
See Guide to Spider-Man, Peter Parker (1963-2018). This was the most surprising result for me on the entire poll! I had no idea this run had so much interest behind it.
After filling in on The Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #131-132 in 1987, DeMatteis’s proper run begins in 1991 with The Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #178 and continues to issue #200 before being plunged into “Maximum Carnage.”
That’s slightly on the slim side for an omnibus. Plus, I wonder if we’d really see an omnibus of this before Marvel figures out how to address both Spectacular and Web in Epic Collections.
6. X-Men: Messiah Complex
See Guide to Uncanny X-Men (2001-2010). This may be the book with the most mysterious contents on this entire list!
Would it include only Endangered Species and Messiah Complex, already two hefty oversize hardcovers that are long out of print?
Many would say it should be an Uncanny X-Men focused-book that includes that material but also picks up Ed Brubaker’s run from Uncanny X-Men (1963) #487 and continue through #499 so a Matt Fraction omnibus could begin cleanly with #500.
Others would insist it must include the X-Men (1991) run from Mike Carey that leads up to Messiah Complex, since many of those characters form the core cast of the crossover.
A fourth group of loud-but-wrong people would ask for it to contain “The Messiah Trilogy,” a group of three unrelated crossovers that would leave dozens of issues of gaps and make for a miserable reading experience because it requires 20+ issues of both Uncanny X-Men and X-Force in the middle (plus all of Cable (2008) to make a lick of sense.
I’m not mapping all four of those options, y’all. I think the second option absolutely makes the most sense as the core material of this book. That would collect
Uncanny X-Men (1963) #487-491, the serialized X-Men: Endangered Species story from X-Men: Endangered Species (2007) #1 and backups in New X-Men (2004) #40-42, Uncanny X-Men (1963) #488-491, X-Factor (2006) #21-24, and X-Men (1991) #200-204, all of X-Men: Messiah Complex in X-Men: Messiah CompleX (2007) One-Shot, Uncanny X-Men (1963) #492-494, X-Men (1991) #205-207, New X-Men (2004) #44-46, X-Factor (2005) #25-27, and X-Men: Messiah CompleX – Mutant Files (2007), and then conclude with Uncanny X-Men (1963) #495-499 (although these final five issues could also make sense in Matt Fraction Omnibus, later on this countdown).
That’s 5 initial Uncanny issues, about 5 effective issues of Endangered Species, and 14 issues of Messiah Complex, for a core book of just 24 issues – 29 if we include that last bit of Uncanny.
That means it wouldn’t be out of the question to add Mike Carey’s X-Men (1991) #188-204 & Annual 1/2007, another 18 issues, to bring the total up to 47 issues.
I think the mapping of this book lies somewhere between those two solutions. The book is too slim with just Messiah Complex and Endangered species, and too unsatisfying with the Messiah Trilogy.
7. Captain America by Mark Gruenwald [Vol. 1]
See Guide to Captain America – Steve Rogers. If there is one omnibus I am shocked that Marvel has never released, it is this one! Mark Gruenwald wrote the absolutely definitive run of Captain America, which spanned over a decade from Captain America (1968) #307-443.
If you think of Ed Brubaker’s 2000s run that introduces Winter Soldier as essential, I’d say this run is every bit as important to Cap’s character. It has a similar weight and pedigree to Peter David’s run on Incredible Hulk, which is now entirely collected!
While it includes some bonkers stories like the infamous Cap-Wolf, what else do you expect from a decade-long run! It also includes a lot of formative tales, essential allies, and iconic villains. Claremont had X-Babies, for heaven’s sake! Let’s not judge a run by its goofiest material.
We’re incredibly lucky to finally have all but the final 13 issues of this collected in 9 Epic Collections, the oldest of which is from way back in 2014. A first omnibus would also cover Epics released in 2017 and 2021. If we go by the Disney/Marvel metric of re-releasing material every 7-10 years, that means 2024 will be a perfect year to get started on collecting this massive run, which will surely require four or more omnibuses to cover it’s 140+ issues.
A first volume could include Captain America (1968) #307-350, Annual 8, Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #278, Iron Man (1968) #228, material from Marvel Fanfare (1982) #29 & 31-32 and various excerpts connected to the Scourge storyline. However, three Epics to one omnibus is a little bit aggressive, so it might stop somewhere between #333-350.
8. Spider-Man by Michelinie & Bagley
See Guide to Spider-Man, Peter Parker (1963-2018). Mark Bagley drew Amazing Spider-Man (1963) from issue #351 to issue #415, which gives us a starting point to map this omnibus – which would include all of Maximum Carnage!
The existing Spider-Man by Michelinie & Larsen omnibus collects Amazing Spider-Man (1963) though issue #350, placing it perfectly before this Michelinie/Bagley run. Then, the first Clone Saga omnibus picks up with issue #398.
Ta-da – we have a map! Actually, two maps, because I’m almost certain this would require a pair of omnibuses to collect in total.
This would collect Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #351-397 – which alone is 47 issues! That’s one full omnibus already. To that it would necessarily add Annual 25-28, 11 Maximum Carnage crossover issues from The Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #201-203, Spider-Man (1990) #35-37, Spider-Man Unlimited (1993) #1-2, Web of Spider-Man (1985) #101-103, and other annual crossover stories including Spectacular Spider-Man Annual 11-12, Web of Spider-Man Annual 7-8, and New Warriors Annual 2.
That’s hefty enough that this would have to be a pair of omnibuses which would either split before or after Maximum Carnage in issues #378-380. Split into two, there would be more room to include other supporting material from this period.
9. Avengers by Roger Stern Vol. 1 [AKA Avengers Omnibus Vol. 7]
See Guide to Avengers (1963-1996). Roger Stern authored a beloved 100-issue run of Bronze Age Avengers from Avengers (1963) #189-287 and Annual 13-14 (though this period included other Annuals not by Stern).
The tricky thing about collecting it into Omnibus is that Marvel Masterworks have not quite covered all of this run – they’ll just hit issue #245 next month with Volume 23. That means we have another 40 issues to go to complete this run in Masterworks, which should take three more volumes released across 2024-2026 and bring us up to Volume 26.
Furthermore, the Avengers Omnibus line will hit Volume 5 this fall to celebrate the team’s 60th Anniversary. That volume will cover through issue #149 – the end of Masterworks Vol. 15. An Avengers Omnibus Volume 6 would collect – you guessed it, #150-188! The exact gap between Volume 5 and Roger Stern.
As a result, I wouldn’t expect to see this in-demand book anytime before 2026. I think we’ll see Avengers Omnibus Volume 6 in late 2025 or early 2026, and then the 2-3 volumes that would cover this run.
10. Star Wars Vol. 2 by Kieron Gillen [& Greg Pak]
See Guide to Star Wars, The Expanded Universe Comics (2015-Present). This is an obvious book to produce, between the enduring popularity of Star Wars and the massive fandom amassed by Kieron Gillen over the past decade.
None of the run of Star Wars (2015) from after Jason Aaron’s initial 37 issues were ever collected in oversize hardcover and both Darth Vader and Doctor Aphra have now hit omnibus, so this is the biggest remaining gap of pre-The Empire Strikes Back ongoing comics still left to collect!
This book would collect Star Wars (2015) #38-67 by Kieron Gillen and #68-75 by Greg Pak (as well as material from Star Wars: Empire Ascendant (2019) #1).
11. New Avengers by Brian Bendis Vol. 2
See Guide to New Avengers (2006-2010). It’s far past time to collect more of this landmark run that made The Avengers the hottest title in comics for the first time since the Silver Age. The first Brian Bendis omnibus collects through issue #31. While a subsequent Secret Invasion omnibus went on to collect issues #31-32 & 39-49, I don’t know that folks looking for a complete bookshelf want a New Avengers, Vol. 2 that collects around that volume.
I think that means this book would contain New Avengers (2004) #32-64, Annual 2-3, & Finale, New Avengers: Illuminati (2007) #1-5, Secret Invasion: Dark Reign One-Shot, Free Comic Book Day 2009 (Avengers), Dark Reign: The List – Avengers One-Shot, and material from Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #601 and Breaking Into Comics The Marvel Way #1.
That’s 44 issues. It could also optionally college Siege (2010) #1-4, which is also by Bendis and does wrap up some plot points of this run.
Some folks would argue this should be split into two volumes that also integrate Mighty Avengers (2008). I am against that idea. Mighty Avengers makes its own perfect one-and-done book, which would be collected as Might Avengers (2008) #1-36 and Secret Invasion: Requiem, to which you could add Avengers/Invaders (2008) #1-12.
BOOM, done. The Mighty Avengers tie-in issues to Siege are much more self-contained and wouldn’t require the entire mini-series to make sense.
12. Agent Venom by Rick Remender
See Guide to Venom. This run brings the Venom symbiote to Flash Thompson, a bully turned war hero who wants anything but to become a superhero. Thompson starts as a symbiote-powered war machine, but his time with the Venom suit starts to change his mind (and body).
This would collect the material from two Venom by Rick Remender: The Complete Collection volumes, including Venom (2011) #1-22, 13.1-13.4, and Venom/Deadpool: What If? (2011) #1.
That’s a reasonable-but-slim omnibus of 22 issues and it would abandon the back half this run by Cullen Bunn. I really love that run, not only because it is set in my hometown of Philadelphia, but because Bunn shows us what the fully heroic version of Thompson as Venom – as well as shows him as a mentor. That material has been collected in its own Complete Collection containing another 25 issues Venom (2011) #23-42, 27.1; Minimum Carnage: Alpha & Omega; and Scarlet Spider (2012) #10-11.
That means altogether this is a 52-issue omnibus, which is totally doable. I’d hate to see that Cullen Bunn run get abandoned for a future book when we could have all of Flash Thompson’s terrestrial heroics in a single volume (since after this he joins Guardians of the Galaxy by Brian Bendis and takes to space for his next series).
13. X-Force by Kyle & Yost
See Guide to X-Force. It’s absolutely wild to me that we still don’t have an omnibus of this Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost X-Force (2008) run after all these years. It’s X-Men at its darkest and bloodiest, it often features hyper-realistic art, and it stars both Wolverines! Marvel, what are you waiting for!
This would collect three oversize hardcovers completely – two exclusively of X-Force, plus one of “Messiah War.” Then it would also include the core of the “Necrosha” event, which doesn’t require it’s tie-ins from New Mutants (2009) or X-Men Legacy (2008) to make sense. However, it would omit Second Coming, which fits better with Uncanny X-Men (as we’ll see below).
That makes the contents of this one-and-done volume X-Force (2008) #1-25 & Annual 1, X-Force Sex & Violence (2010) #1-3, Cable (2008) #11-15, X-Force/Cable: Messiah War Prologue (2009) #1, X Necrosha [AKA Necrosha X] (2009) #1, X Necrosha: The Gathering (2009) #1, and material from X-Men: Future History – The Messiah War Sourcebook (2009) #1.
That’s 38 issues, which is a perfect size for a modern omnibus. That leaves room to add X-Men: The Lives and Times of Lucas Bishop (2009) #1-3 and New Mutants (2009) #6-8 for more context for its two big events, but I think X-Men Legacy (2008) #231-233 is too far off to the side of Necrosha to be worth including.
14. Moon Knight, 2011-2018
See Guide to Moon Knight. This year range covers several distinct runs of Moon Knight by several different authors. For a long time, wishing that Marvel would issue omnibuses like this – that cross both series and writers – was wishful thinking. However, we’ve now seen several instances of it, including the prior Moon Knight volume which contains three separate runs by four different authors.
That makes sense for Moon Knight, not only because if his multiple personalities, but because in the post-2010 era he has increasingly become a prestige character attracting marquee writers for brief runs.
That means this could include Moon Knight (2011) #1-12 (by Brian Bendis & Alex Maleev), Moon Knight (2014) #1-6 (Warren Ellis & Declan Shalvey), #7-12 (Brian Wood), & #13-17 (Cullen Bunn), and Moon Knight (2016) #1-14 (by Jeff Lemire & Greg Smallwood), 188-200 (Max Bemis) & Annual 1 (Cullen Bunn, again).
Whew. That’s 57 issues, which would be a lot for an omnibus. Also, I question whether Marvel would be in such a hurry to lump Lemire’s run into this book when his name can sell all on his own. However, adding more prestige authors to this omnibus would help to water down the need to advertise it on the names of Ellis or Wood, who aren’t well-liked by many fans after a series of allegations of grooming and unwanted sexual advances.
15. Silver Surfer by Steve Englehart [AKA Vol. 1]
See Guide to Silver Surfer. This Steve Englehart run of Silver Surfer (1987) is the first time we were able to see Surfer as a truly intergalactic hero. An edict from Galactus (and Stan Lee) kept the character largely earthbound for his first two decade of comics.
This would collect Silver Surfer (1987) #1-31 & Annual 1-2, plus two non-Englehart issues #32-33. That would allow it to butt up against the Infinity Gauntlet Omnibus on the other side, which collects many non-sequential issues of this title.
That said, if this wasn’t purely an “Englehart” omnibus and instead was just the first volume collecting the 1987 series, it would likely match the mapping of the Epic Collections to also include Fantastic Four (1961) #325, Marvel Graphic Novel: Silver Surfer (1988) OGN AKA Judgment Day, Silver Surfer (1988) #1-2 AKA Parable (which is not strictly in continuity), Silver Surfer: The Enslavers (1990) OGN, and material from Marvel Comics Presents (1988) #1.
(It could also include preceding material from Silver Surfer (1982) #1, Super-Villain Classics (1983) #1; and material from Epic Illustrated #1 and Marvel Fanfare (1982) #51, since none of that is collected in the prior Stan Lee Silver Surfer omnibus. However, I would not be entirely shocked to see Marvel offer an expanded edition of that omnibus that also includes Silver Surfer’s debut in Fantastic Four and other Silver and Bronze Age material.)
16. Civil War
See Guide to Marvel Universe Events – Civil War. Now that Marvel has published an absolutely massive House of M omnibus including the core event and all of its tie-ins, fans are hungry for more all-in collections of Marvel Universe Events.
The problem with that desire is there’s no way to fit Civil War and all of its tie-ins into one book. It was an entire boxed set! While House of M was originally recollected as a main event book and a trio of hefty oversize hardcovers, Civil War was a main event book and six oversize hardcovers. Making things even more delicate and confusing, Civil War is an event with a well-coordinated reading order, meaning all of those issues could be threaded between each other in the style of the Infinity Crusade omnibus.
I don’t know where that leaves us in terms of splitting the material into a main Civil War Omnibus and a Civil War Companion Omnibus. The dividing line might be whether if a character in a tie-in appears substantially in the main event series or not. For example, all of the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man tie-ins are absolutely critical to the main series, since Reed, Sue, and Peter are all major players. However, tie-ins from X-Men were farther to the side.
Perhaps that mains the main omnibus is the main event plus the contents of Civil War: Avengers (Captain America, Confession, Initiative, Daily Bugle, Iron Man, Iron Man / Captain America, Ms. Marvel, New Avengers, New Avengers: Illuminati, Winter Soldier), Civil War: Fantastic Four (Black Panther, Fantastic Four, Young Avengers/Runaways, and She-Hulk), and Civil War: Spider-Man (all 3 Spider-Man arcs).
Then, the companion omnibus could include Civil War: Front Line (Front Line #1-11), Civil War: The Underside (War Crimes, Ghost Rider, Heroes for Hire, Moon Knight, Punisher War Journal, Thunderbolts), and Civil War: X-Men (Blade, Cable & Deadpool, Damage Report, Files, X-Factor, X-Men, Wolverine).
Yet, even that is imperfect, since Wolverine’s Civil War tie-in follows a major plot thread of the main event!
I can’t figure out how to split this up without slicing Civil War itself right down the middle and doing half the event in each omnibus, but Marvel has never done anything like that before and I can’t imagine it would make anyone happy.
17. Punisher by Greg Rucka
See Guide to Punisher. Greg Rucka’s run on The Punisher was immediately loved by fans. It was also scarce in collected editions right from the start, with some of the books hard to track down only a year after release.
(I remember, because I was there tracking them down!)
This run is slightly short for the omnibus label. It includes The Punisher (2011) #1-16, Punisher: War Zone (2012) #1-5, Daredevil (2011) #11 and Avenging Spider-Man (2011) #6 and material from Spider-Island: I Love New York City. That’s just 24 issues, but with Rucka’s name on it, it would sell!
18. Secret Wars (2015)
See Guide to Marvel Universe Events – Secret Wars. This is another event omnibus fans think they want, but which could never actually exist.
The core material of Secret Wars is Secret Wars #1-9 and Free Comic Book Day 2015 AKA Secret Wars #0. That already accounts for 312 pages in an existing oversize hardcover, which means we have another 1200-1300 pages that could be filled with more material.
What would that material be?
There are 58 issues of “Battleworld” mini-series, which are the books that tie in with Hickman’s main event to some degree. That’s likely about ~1330 pages, which would be a very tight squeeze into a book that also includes the primary event series.
But, wait… there’s more! Another 124 issues worth of “Warzones” mini-series, which were further divorced from the main Battleworld concept and presented individual slices of alternate reality reduxes of existing Marvel storylines.
I suppose that means that this volume would likely be the main series plus Battleworld, and then there could be a subsequent two volumes of Warzones. The trouble is, none of those series are in continuity with themselves or with future books – they’re all just filler. I don’t think there’s enough appetite in the market to reprint all of them, so we might only ever see a single volume – if we ever see anything.
19. X-Factor Vol. 1
See Guide to X-Factor. Mapping the first omnibus of X-Factor is a lot more complicated than it sounds. In fact, it’s one of the most complex and contested maps on this entire list! That’s why I devoted an entire post to working out the mapping of all of X-Factor back in January.
At its most basic level of mapping, this book would have to include Avengers (1963) #263, Fantastic Four (1961) #286, X-Factor (1986) #1-36 & Annual 1-3, Thor (1966) #373-374 & 378, Power Pack (1984) #27 & 35, and material from Classic X-Men (1986) #8 & 43.
Whether it pushed past hat to include Inferno, or pulled forward some of the Marvel Comics Presents (1988) stories that could fit into a second volume to pad this volume out is what makes things so complicated! I think Marvel would have to find a way to include some extra contents in both this book and the following volume, because everything from issue #9 and on has already been collected in existing X-Men crossover event oversize hardcovers.
20. [Invincible] Iron Man by Matt Fraction [& Salvador Larroca, Vol. 1]
See Guide to Iron Man. Matt Fraction and Salvadore Larroca made Iron Man one of the hottest comics in the industry for several years running, starting with winning the Eisner for Best New Series in 2009! This run was famously recollected in a pair of oversize hardcovers that are sometimes mis-labeled as omnibuses and then abandoned in oversize format. That lead fans to request a “Volume 3” in earlier years of this poll, until it became clear it was never coming.
That means this Volume 1 omnibus would collect the contents of that pair of hardcovers, which would include Invincible Iron Man (2008) #1-33. Nice and simple, and with a satisfying stopping point.
Then, a Volume 2 would collect issues #500-527, 500.1, Annual 1, FCBD 2010 Iron Man / Thor, Rescue #1, and Shattered Heroes: Iron Man. That’s another 33 issues, some of which are extra-length, so I don’t think there’s any way to get this done in a single volume. Plus, there are some non-Fraction mini-series from the same period that could be thrown in to sweeten the deal, especially Iron Man / Thor: God Complex #1-4 by Abnett & Lanning.
21. Generation X Omnibus [Vol. 1]
See Guide to New Mutants & Young X-Men. It’s hard to believe, but Generation X is now one of the earliest remaining gaps in oversize collections of X-Men comic books! The series includes 75 regular issues, but with special issues and crossovers it actual weighs in at over 100 issues in total! That means it would be easily completed in two volumes about the size of the New Mutants omnibuses.
I think this Omnibus would collect almost all of the first three Epic Collections, which include Uncanny X-Men (1963) #316-318, X-Men (1991) #36-37, Generation X (1994)# 1-32, -1, Annual 1-3/1995-1997, Wolverine (1988) #94, Generation X Collectors’ Preview (1994) #1, Generation X Ashcan Edition (1994) #1, Generation X San Diego Preview (1994) #1, X-Men Unlimited (1993) #16, Marvel Team-Up (1997) #1, Daydreamers (1997) #1-3, Generation X Underground Special (1998) #1, and material from Incredible Hulk (1968) Annual 1997.
(Yes, this duplicates a few issues from Phalanx covenant. Yes, that’s a good idea – they include plots that lead directly into the first issue of Generation X and are always collected alongside it).
That’s about 53 issues, which leaves 52 issues for a second volume that would likely collect Generation X (1994) #33-75, 1/2 Annual 4-5/1998-1999, Holiday Special, and X-Man (1995) #50.
One interesting note – this would be the one instance where I think a lot of fans would advocate for an “Age of Apocalypse” series to be collected alongside its regular continuity run. That is because Generation Next (1995) #1-4 is by the regular creative team of Scott Lobdell & Chris Bachalo, and it interrupted this run so early (at issue #4) that we wound up learning a lot about these characters by meeting their alternate reality versions.
22. Fantastic Four Omnibus Vol. 5
See Guide to Fantastic Four. The fourth omnibus of Fantastic Four (1961) collects past the end of Stan Lee & Jack Kirby’s historic run up to #125, which falls in the middle of Marvel Masterworks Vol. 12.
That means this next volume would likely contain the rest of Masterworks Vol. 12 as well as all of Vol. 13-15. That includes Fantastic Four (1961) #117-163, Giant Size Super-Stars (1974) #1, Avengers (1963) #127, Giant-Size Fantastic Four (1974) #3-4, and Marvel Treasury Edition (1974) #2.
23. Daredevil by Chip Zdarsky Vol. 1
See Guide to Daredevil. It’s wild to see a run that is still ongoing on the omnibus poll, especially a poll that’s heavily influenced by fans with tastes in comics that are rooted in the 70s, 80s, and 90s! That shows not only the incredible buzz around this Chip Zdarsky run, but also the extent he has accumulated fans of all ages and from all comic eras.
It’s hard to map a run while it’s still ongoing, but this could potentially collect Daredevil (2019) #1-36 & Annual 1, Devil’s Reign (2021) #1-6 & (2022) Omega, and Daredevil: Woman Without Fear (2022) #1-3 & Elektra (2022) #100. At 48 issues, that would be on the slightly-chonky side, so perhaps this would break before Devil’s Reign and Elektra rather than after.
24. Doctor Strange Omnibus Vol. 3
See Guide to Doctor Strange. The pair of initial Doctor Strange omnibuses are tiny, covering not quite all of the first four Masterworks between them!
There are seven subsequent Masterworks volumes collecting Strange’s 1974 series, so this would cover three or four of them.
That means this book would collect Marvel Premiere (1972) #9-14, Doctor Strange (1974) #1-37 & Annual 1, Tomb of Dracula (1972) #44, and Chamber of Chills (1972) #3-4. It might also include some or all of Doctor Strange (1974) #38-46, Man-Thing (1979) #4, Marvel Fanfare (1982) #5, What If? (1977) #18, and material from the Marvel Comics Calendar 1980.
25. X-Men: Road to Onslaught
See Guide to Uncanny X-Men – The Crossover Era (1991-2000) and Guide to X-Men Vol. 2. This is Omar’s #1 choice out of the poll results since it fills the next sequential gap in oversize Uncanny X-Men collections – continuing directly from the end of the Age of Apocalypse omnibus and to the Avengers/X-Men: Onslaught omnibus on the other side.
This book would collect a trio of Road to Onslaught paperbacks, which includes X-Men: Prime (1995), Uncanny X-Men (1963) #322-332 & Annual 19/1995, X-Men (1991) #42-52 & Annual 1995, X-Men Unlimited (1993) #8-10, X-Men/Clandestine (1996) #1-2 X-Men (1991) #46-49; Sabretooth Special (1995) AKA Red Zone #1, Archangel (1996) #1, X-Men/Brood (1996) #1-2, Wolverine (1988) #101, and the Xavier Institute Alumni Yearbook (1996).
Ta-da! Now we have every flagship X-Men issue in oversize format through 1996.
26. Old Man Logan [Vol. 1]
Right now these Old Man Logan comics are covered in the Guide to Wolverine – Logan, but I think the fact that there are two omnibuses of them out there means it could be time for him to have his own guide!
The big debate around this book (which we had on the show) is whether it should include Mark Millar’s original Old Man Logan story arc or if it should simply begin with the character’s revival during 2015’s Secret Wars. I think since this material requires two omnibuses anyway, we might as well include it!
That means the map to this book would likely be Wolverine (2003) #66-72 & Wolverine: Old Man Logan Giant-Size (2009) #1 by Mark Miller, Old Man Logan (2015) #1-5 by Brian Bendis, and Old Man Logan (2016) #1-25 by Jeff Lemire & Andrea Sorrentino. That’s a book with a terrific pedigree!
Then, a second volume would collect Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan (2017) #1-5 by Declan Shalvey, Old Man Logan (2016) #26-50 & Annual 1 by Ed Brisson, and Dead Man Logan (2019) #1-12 by Ed Brisson & Mike Henderson (with Shalvey back on covers). It’s almost the exact same size as the first volume!
27. Marvel Team-Up Vol. 1
See Guide to Spider-Man, Peter Parker (1963-2018). I think it’s time we finally had all of this incredibly fun series collected in an oversize hardcover line! Enough of seeing it excerpted in the books of the team-up partners. Despite the constant switching of dance partners for Spidey (and sometimes Human Torch), Marvel Team-Up has story arcs and ongoing plots.
This 150-issue and 7-Annual series has a Masterworks line, but the early volumes are a bit petite in size and would probably lead us to a line of five omnibuses. I think it makes more sense to get it done in four volumes (three would be pushing it, since Marvel doesn’t love issuing huge Bronze Age books).
I think that means the first volume would include Marvel Team-Up (1972) #1-30, Daredevil (1964) #23, and Giant-Size Spider-Man (1974) #1-3. But, that’s just 34 issues, so it could push one Masterworks volume further to also include Marvel Team-Up (1972) #31-40 and Giant-Size Spider-Man (1974) #4-5.
28. Alpha Flight Vol. 2
See Guide to Alpha Flight. This is by far my most-wanted book on this list!
The initial Alpha Flight omnibus ends at issue #29. While Bill Mantlo’s run ends with issue #66, I think it makes sense to push past that to include the popular “Wrath of the Dreamqueen” story arc, which gives the book more weight and some good cover options. After that, Issue #78 makes for a good break point because #78-79 are part of “Acts of Vengeance” and they roll right into another story in #81-82.
That means this second volume would collect Alpha Flight (1983) #30-77 & Annual 1-2, Avengers (1963) #272, and Marvel Fanfare (1982) #28. That’s 53 issues, which is totally doable.
Then we could knock out all of the rest of the series in future Volume 3 could include Alpha Flight (1983) #79-130 and Northstar (1994) #1-4, another 56 issues.
Could we go smaller on both books? Sure, but then Marvel would have to figure out how to market a FOURTH Alpha Flight omnibus!
29. Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 4
See Guide to Marvel Ultimate Universe. The third Ultimate Spider-Man Omnibus collects through issue #111, which maps perfectly to the end of the original Oversize Hardcover Vol. 9.
This means this book could collect Ultimate Spider-Man (2000) #112-122, Ultimatum: Spider-Man Requiem (2009) #1-2, and Ultimate [Comics] Spider-Man (2009) #1-14 to match up perfectly with the Death of Spider-Man omnibus on the other side.
That would make both Ultimate Spider-Men completely covered in omnibuses!
30. Spider-Man – The Alien Costume Saga
See Guide to Spider-Man, Peter Parker (1963-2018) and Guide to Venom. Despite potentially overlapping with some other Spider-Man material in omnibus, this is a book that ought to exist because many people would buy it independently of the rest of the Spider-Man omnibus line.
There are a pair of Complete Alien Costume Saga trade paperbacks which collect Amazing Spider-Man #252-263, Marvel Team-Up (1972) #141-150 & Annual 7, and Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #90-100 & Annual 4, and Web of Spider-Man (1985) #1. That ~33-issue map would be the same material collected into this book, along with some excerpted material from the original Secret Wars.
This overlaps by 10 issues with another possible omnibus just a few spots lower on this list, Amazing Spider-Man by Tom DeFalco. This material could conceivably be merged with that material to make one book that’s still a reasonable size. However, Amazing Spider-Man omnibuses wouldn’t typically include so much material from the accompanying Spider-books, which gives this one a reason to exist as its own distinct volume.
31. Ghost Rider: Johnny Blaze, Vol. 1
See Guide to Ghost Rider. Marvel has been aggressively covering this Ghost Rider (1973) volume in Marvel Masterworks starting in 2019. Masterworks Volumes 1-5 collect issues #1-62 (plus the lead-up run in Marvel Spotlight (1971) #5-12), with just 19 more issues to collect in a final 1-2 volumes to reach the end of the series with issue #81 (plus a few subsequent guest appearances).
I think that means this volume would collect the contents of Masterworks Vol. 1-3, which were Marvel Spotlight (1971) #5-12, Ghost Rider (1973) #1-35, Marvel Team-Up (1972) 15, Marvel Two-in-One (1974) #8, Daredevil (1964) #138, Marvel Premiere (1972) #28. Then, I suspect it would collect some (but not all) of Masterworks Vol. 4, which included Ghost Rider (1973) #36-50.
32. Amazing Spider-Man by Tom DeFalco
See Guide to Spider-Man, Peter Parker (1963-2018). Former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Tom DeFalco has never been a big enough name to sell omnibuses, but he has extremely well-regarded runs on Thor, Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man that we’ve finally seen in print via Epic Collections.
This omnibus refers to the first DeFalco run on Amazing Spider-Man (1963), which spanned issues #251-285 & Annual 18. That’s the perfect size for an omnibus, but we’re in the middle of it being covered by Masterworks, so I’m not sure how feasible it would be to see in the next few years.
(He would later return for a post-#400 run.)
33. Iron Man by David Michelinie [Vol. 2]
See Guide to Iron Man – Tony Stark. The first David Michelinie Iron Man omnibus is officially the “Michelinie, Layton & Romita Jr. Omnibus,” which collects Iron Man (1968) #115-157. Michelinie later returned for a second, non-sequential run on issues #215-250 & Annual 9-10.
That’s still quite a bit ahead of the current Masterworks line, but this run has already been completely remastered for Epic Collections, so it’s not out of the question that we could see it in Omnibus!
If it were to completely cover this period, it would likely also include Iron Man: Crash (1987) OGN, and material from Marvel Fanfare (1982) #22-23 & 44.
34. Ultimate Universe by Jonathan Hickman
See Guide to Marvel Ultimate Universe. I was always puzzled that Marvel never issued this oversize hardcover in the lead-up to Hickman’s Secret Wars. He heavily referenced his Ultimate Universe material in the back half of his run on Avengers & New Avengers and The Maker was a major player in Secret Wars and beyond.
With Hickman returning to revive the Ultimate Universe for some reason in 2023, it’s the perfect time to collect this material!
This book would likely include Ultimate Thor (2010) #1-4, Ultimate Fallout (2011) #1-6, Ultimate Hawkeye (2011) #1-4, Ultimate Comics Ultimates (2011) #1-12.
However, it could also include some other material not by Hickman that surrounds these comics that was never collected in oversize hardcover, like Ultimate Comics New Ultimates AKA Ultimate New Ultimates (2010-2011) #1-5.
35. Exiles [Vol. 1]
See Guide to Exiles. Despite its decent placement on the poll, I don’t think we’ll see this alternate-universe X-Men book collected in omnibus anytime soon. It doesn’t feature any core 616 X-Men characters until much later in the run and it doesn’t tie in closely with any current comic book plots or media properties.
Of course, stranger things have happened when it comes to omnibus releases, so never say never! After all, we’re getting an X-Men 2099 book later this year!
Exiles (2001) is 100 issues, plus an annual, Days of Then & Now, and X-Men: Die by the Sword #1-5. Then it relaunched as New Exiles (2008) #1-18 & Annual 1, plus Psylocke Special AKA X-Men: Sword of the Braddocks (2009), and then finally another relaunch as Exiles (2009) #1-6. That totals 132 issues, which would make for three ~44-issue omnibuses.
I think that means this first book would collect Exiles (2001) #1-45 and material from X-Men Unlimited #41.
36. Hulk by Bruce Jones
See Guide to Hulk – Bruce Banner. Even if this book was specifically labeled “by Bruce Jones,” it would likely be a complete, chronological slice of Hulk’s early-00s era that fit neatly between the Hulk: The Dogs of War oversize hardcover on one side and Incredible Hulk by Peter David Omnibus Vol. 5 on the other.
That means it would include a minimum of Jones’s material from The Incredible Hulk (2000) #34-76, Hulk & Thing: Hard Knocks (2004) #1-4, and Hulk/Wolverine: 6 Hours (2003) #1-4.
It could also include Wolverine/Hulk (2002) #1-4, Hulk: Nightmerica #1-6 and Startling Stories one-shots to collect everything from this period. (I could also see the argument for it duplicating #77-87 from that odds-and-ends David Omnibus Volume 5 so it marries perfectly to Planet Hulk on the other side.)
37. Scarlet Spider [by Christopher Yost)
I don’t currently have a guide for this Scarlet Spider (2011) Spidey spinoff by Christopher Yost starring Kaine as the Scarlet Spider. I really enjoyed this series, which made Kaine into a dynamic character with his own stories that felt completely distinct from the world of Peter Parker.
This book would collect Scarlet Spider (2011) #1-25, 12.1, Minimum Carnage: Alpha (2012) One-Shot, Minimum Carnage: Omega (2013) #1, Venom (2011) #26-27, and Superior Spider-Man Team-Up (2013) #2.
38. Iron Man Omnibus Vol. 3
See Guide to Iron Man – Tony Stark. With a 2023 reprint of the first Silver Age Iron Man omnibus, I’d say hope is alive to see this line continue even though there are no more Iron Man movies to help support their release.
Omnibus Vol. 2 ends with Iron Man (1968) #25, which is also the end of Masterworks Vol. 6. That means this volume would collect the straight-forward run of Iron Man (1968) #26-67 and Daredevil (1964) #73.
39. Ultimate Fantastic Four Vol. 1
See Guide to Marvel Ultimate Universe. It would make perfect sense to recollect the first three oversize hardcovers of the Ultimate Fantastic Four (2004) series into one omnibus, which would include issues #1-32 & Annual 1.
That leaves exactly half the series for a second omnibus, plus it breaks right before the characters begin to appear in the “Galactus Trilogy” of mini-series in Ultimate Nightmare (2004) #1-5, Ultimate Secret (2005) #1-4, Ultimate Extinction (2006) #1-5.
Honestly, this book could include them all as well. Even if the F4 don’t appear in all of those issues, it would make a lot of sense to wrap all of the Ultimate Galactus saga into the Fantastic Four omnibus line.
40. Spider-Girl Omnibus [Vol. 1]
I don’t have a guide to the much-beloved Spider-Girl of the MC2 universe, since it sits outside of Marvel-616.
Spider-Girl (1998) ran for 100 issues plus a #0, 1/2, and annual, so this would be two volumes at minimum. I don’t think Marvel would have the appetite to release it as three volumes, given that multiple collected edition lines have already sputtered out in the past.
I could see this volume collecting issues #1-50, 0, 1/2, and Annual 1, since issue #50 was a break-point for Digest volume9. Then, a second volume could collect #51-100.
41. Punisher by Mike Baron [AKA Punisher Omnibus Vol. 1]
See Guide to Punisher. This is an example of an omnibus that could exist, but wouldn’t actually exist as titled on the poll results. Mike Baron’s name is here purely as a label to specify which period of Punisher we’re talking about.
Mike Baron wrote The Punisher (1987) #1-62 plus many of his original graphic novels and crossovers with The Punisher War Journal (1988). However, he didn’t write The Punisher (1986) mini-series, where this omnibus would necessarily begin to pick up after the Punisher: Back To The War Omnibus that collects all of his early appearances.
Could we see a Punisher Vol. 1 that covers the first huge swath of his solo series? Perhaps, because it could exactly collect the contents of a first trio of Epic Collections that follow the Back to War material – Punisher (1986) #1-5, Punisher (1987) #1-34 & Annual 1-3, Daredevil (1964) #257, Marvel Graphic Novel: Punisher – Assassin’s Guild, Classic Punisher (1989) #1, Epic Graphic Novel: Punisher – Return to Big Nothing (1989), Marvel Graphic Novel: Punisher – Intruder (1989), and Punisher: Kingdom Gone (1990).
That would abandon a number of side-series like War Journal and War Zone. Could a Punisher omnibus line take a similar strategy to the Wolverine Omnibus line and improve on any other collections of his material by integrating those side series? Personally, I think there’s a major case to be made for it, since that would be the easiest way to sell that material. However, Marvel doesn’t often go in for that sort of “fully-integrated across multiple titles” omnibus format outside of Wolverine.
42. Indiana Jones
I was dimly aware there were Indiana Jones comics out there, but I had no idea that there was a run of them by Marvel Comics or that they were this in-demand!
This omnibus would collect Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) #1-3, The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones (1983) #1-34, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) #1-3, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) #1-4. All of these issues were reprinted in a trio of Indiana Jones: The Further Adventures Omnibus Dark Horse paperback omnibuses from 2009-2010.
Since Indiana Jones films are now firmly part of the House of Mouse with a new movie on the way, I think this could be a book we see in the next few years!
43. Hulk by Bill Mantlo
See Guide to Hulk – Bruce Banner. For many fans, Bill Mantlo’s run on Hulk is the first notable creator-centric run on the title after the Silver Age.
Mantlo’s run covers The Incredible Hulk (1968) #245-313 & Annual 10-13. Plus Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions (1982) #1-3 occurs in this period. I think that makes it ripe for a two-omnibus run. However, the Masterworks line is currently only 20 issues into this period, so I doubt we’ll see an Omnibus anytime soon – as that would tank the sales of the next 4-5 Masterworks volumes.
44. ROM Vol. 1
I have no ROM collecting guide to direct you to, largely because there are no collections of his Marvel series due to licensing issues!
The problem with collecting ROM is that Marvel no longer holds the license for the character, but ROM’s series included a constant cavalcade of Marvel heroes, which means no current licensor can reprint them either.
Marvel’s Collected Editions chief David Gabriel knows there is ongoing demand for this omnibus to happen, so I’m sure he pokes at the licensing agreement every so often to see if there’s any path to making it work. I think if it ever did happen, we’d also get something like a “ROM & The Marvel Universe” companion paperback to include all of the ROM issues and ROM guest appearances that have been omitted from Epic Collections due to licensing issues (like Power Man and Iron Fist (1978) #73)
45 Fantastic Four by Chris Claremont [AKA Fantastic Four Heroes Reborn]
See Guide to Fantastic Four. This was my number one vote on the omnibus poll for many years until we got a set of four volumes of Fantastic Four: Heroes Return, Complete Collection to cover this material from Fantastic Four (1998)!
If this book strictly covered Claremont’s run on the title, it would include Fantastic Four (1998) #1-34, 1/2, & Annual 1998, Iron Man (1998) #14, and Fantastic 4th Voyage of Sinbad #1. (Claremont left the title with #32, but John Francis Moore tied up some loose ends in #33-34 and Claremont wrote the Sinbad one-shot). That’s a tidy 38-issue omnibus.
That would abandon an amount material from the remaining Complete Collection line to match up with a Mark Waid omnibus on the other side. That material consists of Fantastic Four (1998) #35-59 & Annual 2001, Inhumans (2000) #1-4, and Thing & She-Hulk: The Long Night.
That’s another 31 issues, which means a single omnibus couldn’t possibly cover all of this material in one shot. Thus, the question becomes if the first volume would truly collect all of Claremont to leave just those 31 issues remaining, or if the break point would fall slightly earlier.
Also, there’s a question of if there is some more material to squeeze into these to make them seem attraction for folks who already have the Complete Collections, including series like Domination Factor.
46. X-Men: Inferno Aftermath [AKA, X-Factor Omnibus Vol. 2]
See Guide to X-Factor and Guide to New Mutants & Young X-Men. This book is a remnant of the way we all voted in the first decade of this poll. During that time, we assumed all of X-Factor (1986) and New Mutants (1983) would be covered in “crossover” omnibuses that include all titles from the X-Line, since that’s how the central portion of both of them are collected from Mutant Massacre through the end of Inferno.
However, since the last Tigereyes ballet, we’ve had the announcement of both a New Mutants Omnibus Vol. 3 and of Uncanny X-Men Omnibus Volume 5-6 mappings that DO NOT include the first eight issues of X-Factor. Armed with that information, now it seems obvious that X-Factor (1986) will eventually garner it’s own omnibus line, and that New Mutants has its own mapping strategy to carry it beyond Inferno to meet up with the existing X-Force Omnibus Vol. 1 on the other side.
That means there’s no reason for this book to exist anymore, other than to satisfy the completist urges of those of us who bought all of those crossover omnibuses. And, the appearance of that New Mutants Omnibus Vol. 3 volume tells us our urges are not a priority for Marvel.
Instead, this is now really just an alternate branding for a massive swath of X-Factor (1986) #41-70 (plus an OGN and a number of Marvel Comics Presents (1988) stories – see my X-Factor Mapping post for full details). Maybe it would sell better under this X-Men branding, but it’s not really the Inferno Aftermath any more than the following stories of Uncanny X-Men are.
47. Prince Namor, The Sub-Mariner Vol 1
See Guide to Namor, The Sub-Mariner. It’s hard to believe this omnibus line didn’t arrive alongside Namor’s screen debut in 2022’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever! Despite being a Silver Age run, there’s something Epic and slightly modern to these comics. Maybe it’s the undersea royal intrigue or maybe it’s Gene Colan’s pencils, but this always feels like something different from everything else from Marvel’s 1960s heroes.
This entire Namor run from Tales to Astonish (1959) #70-101, Iron Man and the Sub-Mariner (1968) #1, and The Sub-Mariner (1968) #1-72 is covered by eight Masterworks, but they include just one issue of prelude the very enjoyable 14 issue reintroduction of Namor into Marvel’s Silver Age. Since those prelude issues (starting with Fantastic Four (1961) #4) are included in the Epic line, I suspect they would also be included in an omnibus – maybe them an effective ninth Masterwork volume.
For that reason, I think this is almost certainly a three-book line of omnibuses, as just two would include more than four Masterworks of material each – and Marvel never does that! However, Namor isn’t the hugest omni-seller, so maybe this would be a rare example of Marvel having an appetite for fatter Silver Age omnibuses.
The first volume would collect a minimum of Fantastic Four (1961) #4, 6, 9, 14, 27, 33; Fantastic Four Annual (1963) #1; Strange Tales (1951) #107, 125; Avengers (1963) #3-4; X-Men (1963) #6; Daredevil (1964) #7, Tales to Astonish (1959) #70-101, and Iron Man and the Sub-Mariner (1968). It could then push forward some amount of issues into The Sub-Mariner (1968), depending on the overall mapping of the subsequent pair of volumes.
48. Uncanny X-Men by Kieron Gillen
See Guide to Uncanny X-Men (2001-2010) and Guide to X-Men Flagship Titles (2010-2019). For me, this was as good as Uncanny X-Men got since the early 1990s, or maybe even since 1985! Note that this isn’t only the 2011 second volume of Uncanny X-Men, but also Gillen’s takeover of the original volume at the end of Matt Fraction’s run.
This could easily be mapped from a pair of Uncanny X-Men by Kieron Gillen: The Complete Collection volumes, which would make the contents S.W.O.R.D. (2009) #1-5; Uncanny X-Men (1963) #534.1 & 535-544; X-Men: Regenesis (2011), Uncanny X-Men (2011) #1-20, and Avengers vs. X-Men: Consequences (2012) #1-5.
That’s a very reasonable 42 issue omnibus, only 15 issues of which have been duplicated by the AvX oversize hardcovers.
However, I’d stump for the contents to start with Uncanny X-Men (1963) #526-534 and to also include all of Generation Hope (2010) #1-17 (even though the final arc is by James Asmus), X-Men: To Serve and Protect (2010) #1-4, “Journey to the Negative Zone” from the 2011 Annuals of Uncanny X-Men, Namor: The First Mutant (2010), & Steve Rogers: Super Soldier (2010), Si Spurrier’s X-Club (2011) #1-5, and Skottie Young’s Magneto: Not a Hero (2011) #1-5. Plus, it honestly makes sense to have Schism here, even though it’s by Jason Aaron and included in his Wolverine omnibus line. Otherwise, the X-Men’s break-up comes out of nowhere!
That’s another 48 issues, which would push this to be a two-book line. Ultimately, I doubt Marvel would include a lot of those companion issues in the Gillen book, especially since 20 of them together could make a Generation Hope hardcover on their own. But, I wouldn’t be an X-Men fan if I wasn’t in favor of aggressive and fully-comprehensive mappings!
49. Web of Spider-Man Omnibus Vol. 1
See Guide to Spider-Man, Peter Parker (1963-2018). This is a tricky book to map at the moment, since there are no Masterworks or Epic Collections of Web of Spider-Man (1985). However, there are #100 issues of this series until it heads into heavy crossovers for its final 29 issues, so I imagine you’d want to cover that in 2-3 volumes.
A slim first volume could end as early as issue #33 (just past Kraven’s Last Hunt), while a chunkier effort could collect as far as issue #50. But, you’d have to map both the two- and three-volume versions of this to find the perfect break points.
50. X-Men: Dawn of X Omnibus [Vol. 1]
See Guide to X-Men: The Age of Krakoa. I think getting a fully chronological omnibus of the entirety of our current era of X-Men is inevitable. The fan demand is there, the books have already been collected in this format in the wildly popular Dawn of X anthology trade paperbacks, and an omnibus of just the Hickman material already exists. However, I don’t think we’ll see it until this first mega-arc of Krakoa comes to a close sometime in 2024-35.
This would likely follow the mapping of the Anthology collections, and I’d imagine it would collect all of their first arcs – through issue #6 of all six 2019 launch titles – X-Men, Excalibur, Fallen Angels, Marauders, New Mutants, and X-Force. That would be 36 issues, though all of the initial issues were extended length, so more like 40 issues – a perfect-sized omnibus, weighing in at over 800 pages.
(Could we add all of House of X & Powers of X to that? Many of their issues were extra-length and the oversize hardcover collection was a hefty 448 pages. That would just fit here, and it certainly would add a lot of extra excitement for new readers picking this up… but, Marvel isn’t in the habit of committing to those kinds of double-dips).
Then, a second volume could collect the second arcs of those titles, less the cancelled Fallen Angels but plus the first handful of issues from Wolverine, Cable, Hellions, and X-Factor. That would yield a similarly-sized book and would take us through the start of X of Swords.
This is how all of X-Men (and Spider-Man) has always deserved to be collected. I’d love to see Marvel start the trend on the X-books now at a 5-year delay from their original release.
51. Darkhawk Omnibus
See Guide to Darkhawk. This would be my #1 must-buy from these poll results, because it’s a one-and-done volume that collects a ton of issues which have never been collected before from this 90s series that felt like part Spider-Man, part Ultraman.
This book would collect Darkhawk (1991) #1-50 & Annual 1-3, New Warriors (1990) #14, Sleepwalker (1991) #17, “Assault on Armor City” stories from Avengers West Coast (1989) Annual 7 and Iron Man (1968) Annual 13, and Darkhawk material from Sleepwalker (1991) #7 and Amazing Spider-Man: Friends & Enemies (1995) #1-4. It could also include New Warriors (1990) #22-25 and Secret Defenders (1993) #1-3.
(Plus, it could maybe include excerpts or some or all of the Darkhawk material from Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #353-354 & 357-358,Avengers West Coast (1989) #93-94, and from “Time and Time Again” in New Warriors (1990) #48, Nova Vol. 2 (1994) #7, and New Warriors (1990) #49-50 plus epilogue in New Warriors (1990) #51 and Nova Vol. 2 (1994) #10.)
52. Daredevil Omnibus Vol. 3
See Guide to Daredevil. The second omnibus of Daredevil (1964) ends with issue #74, which is also the end of Masterworks Vol. 7. (The first Daredevil Omnibus collected a chunky four Masterworks volumes). Frank Miller’s Daredevil run begins with #158, and there are another seven Masterworks to cover between here and there.
That means this omnibus would absolutely cover Daredevil (1964) #75-107 and Avengers #111. It might skip the Black Widow stories from Amazing Adventures #1-8 since they are collected in her omnibus line.
Would this then continue into some or all of the next Masterworks volume? Maybe, since Black Widow continues appearing past #107 all the way until #124. Either that, or the next omnibus will simply include four whole Masterworks so this joins up seamlessly with the Miller omnibus on the other side.
53. Uncanny X-Men by Matt Fraction Omnibus [Vol. 1]
See Guide to Uncanny X-Men (2001-2010). Would this omnibus simply collect the contents of all three Uncanny X-Men by Matt Fraction: The Complete Collection volumes?
If so, the map would be Uncanny X-Men (1963) #500-522, 526-534, & Annual 2/2009, Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men (2009) Utopia & Exodus, Dark Avengers (2009) #7-8, Dark Reign: The List – X-Men (2009) #1, Uncanny X-Men: The Heroic Age (2010) #1, and material from X-Men Unlimited (2004) #9 and X-Men: Divided We Stand (2008) #1, Dark Reign: The Cabal (2009)
I think that would be a bad idea.
First, we should note that this will likely pick up from wherever an X-Men: Messiah Complex omnibus leaves off, which may or may not brush up against the beginning of those Complete Collections with Uncanny X-Men (1963) #500. It depends on the mapping of that book, from above – it could leave this starting from #495.
Next, I think it would make a lot of sense to include all of the tie-in series of this period in this omnibus, which would include sideline anthology series like Nation X.
And, finally, I think it makes much much sense to end this book with all of Second Coming and then start a Gillen omnibus with issue #526. Even if Fraction was the primary author of the first “Five Lights” arc, thematically it fits in with Gillen’s run and not Fraction’s.
That would change the contents of this volume to be Uncanny X-Men (1963) #500-526 & Annual 2/2009, X-Men FCBD #1, X-Men: Manifest Destiny (2008) #1-5, Wolverine: Manifest Destiny (2008) #1-4, X-Men: Manifest Destiny Nightcrawler (2009) #1, Secret Invasion: X-Men (2008) #1-4, Dark Avengers (2009) #7-8, Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men (2009) Exodus & Utopia, Dark Reign: The Cabal (2009), Dark X-Men: The Beginning (2009) #1-3 & The Confession, Dark X-Men (2009) #1-5, Dark Reign: The List – X-Men (2009), and Nation X (2009) #1-4, plus Second Coming crossover issues X-Men: Second Coming (2010 #1-2, New Mutants (2009) #12-14, X-Men Legacy (2008) #235-237, X-Force (2008) #26-28, and material from Second Coming: Prepare (2010) #1… and maybe also X-Men: Blind Science (2010) #1, X-Men: Hellbound (2010) #1-3, and X-Men: Hope (2010) #1.
That’s 27 regular issues, 1 annual, 33 companion issues, and 11 Second Coming issues plus another 5 crossover companion issues. That would make for 72 issues, which could easily be a pair of omnibuses. However, I think it’s more likely that at least 18 issues of that companion material would be jettisoned, at which point this approaches fitting into just one volume.
54. Uncanny X-Men by Brian Bendis Omnibus
See Guide to X-Men Flagship Titles (2010-2019). We got into a brief debate on the show between the three of us and the commenters about what this book could contain.
On one hand, it could easily collect all of Bendis’s run on Uncanny X-Men (2013), even including the entire “Battle of the Atom” crossover! That would be Uncanny X-Men (2013) #1-35, 600, & Annual 1, X-Men Battle of the Atom (2013) #1-2, All-New X-Men (2012) #16-17 & Annual 1, Wolverine & The X-Men (2011) #36-37, and X-Men (2013) #5-6.
However, Uncanny X-Men was often tightly threaded with the events of Bendis’s co-flagship, All-New X-Men (2012), which ran for 41 issues and include a pair of additional crossovers. Would it make sense to combine both runs into a two-omnibus set in reading order?
I say “no.” While including some All-New X-Men issues might improve the Uncanny omnibus, enjoying the All-New X-Men run doesn’t really require reading much of Uncanny (if any at all). Plus, All-New could easily extend to another 1-2 omnis of its own to follow the teen cast into the next period of publishing, whereas this run is a standalone.
For those reason, I tend to think that this volume would be mapped as above. Trying to treat Uncanny and All-New as if they were perfectly-coordinated in a single reading order like a pair of Hickman titles simply doesn’t work.
55. [TIE] Incredible Hulk Omnibus Vol. 3
See Guide to Hulk -Bruce Banner. With an Incredible Hulk Omnibus Vol. 2 finally announced for later this year, omnibus fans are ready to snap up a third volume as well!
That book ends with Incredible Hulk (1968) #134, which is the end of Masterworks Vol. 6. That means this omnibus would likely collect Incredible Hulk (1968) #135-170, Avengers (1963) #88, & Marvel Super-Heroes (1967) #16 from the next three Masterworks volumes.
55. [TIE] Spectacular Spider-Man Omnibus Vol 2
See Guide to Spider-Man, Peter Parker (1963-2018). The first omnibus in this series collects through Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #42, which perfectly covers the first three Marvel Masterworks volumes. That means this volume would likely collect the next three Masterworks, including Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #43-79 & Annual (1979) 2-3.
There are two slight conflicts.
First, Marvel Masterworks Vol. 6 isn’t out until this June, so this omnibus likely isn’t going to show up in 2024.
The second conflict is that exactly half of this map is overlapped by the existing Spider-Man by Roger Stern omnibus, which has issues #43-61. Might that be incentive to push these contents to include some or all of a fourth Masterwork volume? If so, we’d be waiting for a 2024 release of Masterworks Vol. 7, which means we wouldn’t see this omnibus any earlier than late in 2025.
56. The Eternals by Kieron Gillen [& Esad Ribic]
See Guide to The Eternals. This is another surprising entry on this list, both because it’s a very recent run and because it would be a very slim omnibus – just 15 issues! However, what’s not surprising about this vote is the quality of the run. Gillen’s book was one of the best comics in 2021. It was one of the few books that has met its hype of being compared to Game of Thrones, and it distills many of the themes of the sprawling Age of Krakoa into a single tight title that also unspools a central mystery.
It would only contain The Eternals (2021) #1-12 and a trio of accompanying one-shots from Thanos Rises, Celestia, & The Heretic (and probably not a non-Gillen Eternals Forever (2021) #1). It could also include some establishing scenes from Jason Aaron’s Avengers (2018) #1-6 (and, especially issue #5). That would rank it among the slimmest Marvel omnis of all time.
Unfortunately, it’s not simply lumped into the upcoming AXE – Judgment Day Omnibus, which would actually make a lot of sense. There’s just not any other material to squeeze in here without double-dipping the Judgment Day Omnibus. The last prior Eternals appearances were nearly a decade prior, and had a very different tone from this singular series. If anything, it could stand to be padded out with some preceding Thanos material, since he is a key player in this series.
Or, honestly? Just leave it be. Gillen & Ribic’s statement on this series is strong enough to stand alone without any accompanying fluff.
57. Star Wars: Poe Dameron by Charles Soule
See Guide to Star Wars, The Expanded Universe Comics (2015-Present). This would be a tidy one-and-done omnibus of the Charles Soule series (much of which was drawn by the imitable Phil Noto) that covered events leading up to and out of The Force Awakens. To date this has been Marvel’s only ongoing series to play in the Sequels time period.
This omnibus would contain Star Wars: Poe Dameron (2016) #1-31 & Annual 1.
58. Spider-Man: Big Time by Dan Slott [Vol. 1]
See Guide to Spider-Man, Peter Parker (1963-2018). This would likely require more than one book to collect, as it would need to cover the contents of all four Big Time: The Complete Collection volumes.
That would be Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #648-697, 654.1, 679.1, Amazing Spider-Man: Infested #1, FCBD 2011, Spider-Island: Deadly Foes #1, Daredevil (2011) #8; Amazing Spider-Man: Ends of the Earth #1; Avenging Spider-Man #8 & 11, and Alpha: Big Time #1-5. Issues #698-700 are usually collected along with Superior Spider-Man, but I could see them being double-dipped here to give this run a second of closure.
It’s not as though Marvel is lacking for material to fill out this pair of books. The easiest target would be many more Spider-Island tie-in issues. Also, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to also find a way to map in all of Avengering Spider-Man into this omnibus line, although that was not exclusively written by Slott. That would add Avenging Spider-Man #1-15 & Annual 1; Punisher (2011) #10; Daredevil (2011) #11; Amazing Spider-Man (1963) Annual 39; and Spider-Man vs. Vampires #1 – which is only about half an omnibus of material on its own.
59. Doom 2099 Omnibus
Alas, I have no 2099 guides for you just yet. I didn’t think the demand was all that high past Spider-Man 2099, but maybe I was wrong!
While many folks demand only the Warren Ellis portion of this run (#24-39) in oversize hardcover, there’s really no reason not to collect the entirety of it from Doom 2099 (1993) #1-44 and 2099: The World Of Doom – although that has never stopped Marvel before from truncating an obvious one-and-done run to only collect issues by a featured creator.
60. New X-Men: Academy X by Kyle & Yost [AKA New X-Men: Childhood’s End]
See Guide to New Mutants & Young X-Men. This covers the back half of Academy X, which is a run that I greatly enjoy packed with characters I love. It spins out of House of M and Decimation, subverting an idyllic school life full of mutant acceptance and turning it into operatic tragedy.
This book would likely include New X-Men (2004) #20-43, as well as X-Infernus (2008) #1-4 & Saga; and material from X-Men Unlimited (2004) #14 and X-Men: Divided We Stand (2008) #2. Issues #1-19 and their associated mini-series would be collected along with all of New Mutants (2003) in a preceding volume.
Could there be enough demand for this in omnibus now that many of its characters appear on Krakoa, including Wolverine AKA X-23 – who anchors much of this run?
Great post as always, Krisis. I am always eager for Tigereyes’ annual ballots as well, and would welcome something similar for the Epic Collections (maybe in the 2nd semester?).
My votes this year were:
1 – Spectacular Spider-Man by DeMatteis and Sal Buscema – it’s criminal how this stuff has never been collected before. This is the dude that wrote Kraven’s Last Hunt! and the stories from this run are very reminiscent of that story, with a psychological approach to Spider-Man’s villains. The book would contain Issues #178-200 of Spectacular Spider-Man and, as far as I’m concerned, only that. DeMatteis wrote plenty Spider-Man stories before, simultaneously and after this run, but none of it belong in this book.
2 – Web of Spider-Man Vol. 01 – Which would go to the aforementioned KLH, ending on Issue #32. Not a slim omnibus, though – It would basically be the 2 WOSM Essential volumes put together, which were the only dedicated collected edition this book ever got, and they round up to 1000 pages. + It would probably include Spider-Man vs. Wolverine, as issues #29-30 are a sequel to it – for some reason it wasn’t included on the Essentials. I can see this being a 3-volume set going up to issue #116 – the Clone Saga starts at #117 and the book is cancelled at #129, midway through it, so no reason to go further than that.
3 – Spider-Man – The Final Chapter Vol. 01 – An proposal I saw at the Masterworks Board – to collect all Spider-Man titles from the undercollected post-Clone Saga, pre-Byrne reboot era in 3 volumes, similar to the Clone Saga/Ben Reilly omnis. So ASM 419 – 441, Peter Parker: Spider-Man 76-98, Spectacular Spider-Man 242 – 263, Sensational Spider-Man 12 – 33, the respective flashback -1 issues and annuals, Slingers 1 – 12, Hobgoblin Lives limited series, and some odds and ends I may be forgetting. This one didn’t rank but I didn’t thought it would make it anyway – Spider-Man has a lot of books and this era, despite being uncollected, doesn’t seem to be too high on the list of priorities. Maybe I will show up in next year’s thread to suggest it to the board members to make it gain some traction.
4 – Rampaging Hulk – Collecting the Rampaging Hulk magazine, that like WOSM has only been collected by Essentials. Pretty straightforward mapping, as the two essentials collect everything (Vol. 02 is a completely different book that is already in a upcoming Hulk omni). It didn’t make it, but I wasn’t betting on it either.
5 – Hulk by Greg Pak V3, Incredible Hulks Era – Surprised that this one didn’t make it. I thought it would rank low but still appear, maybe in the mid-40s. Well, maybe next time.
06 – Punisher War Zone Vol. 01 – Didn’t make it and didn’t thought it would make it either. Will only start ranking when the main title is fully done in omnis.
07 – Punisher War Journal – Ditto
08 – Alpha Flight V2, or by Mantlo -. Alpha Flight is one of the most uncollected Marvel books out there, and I love Mantlo, so why not? This one is a constant on the ballot, but always ends up on the middle, and that doesn’t seem to suggest urgency.
09 – Doom 2099 – Voted for this one because I like Doom, the 2099 universe, and because the guy in the Masterworks Board thread on it was really enthusiastic about it that he sold me on it. Marvel seems to be releasing two 2099 omnis a year, so I’m fairly confident we will see this one at the very least in 2025, as there are only so many 2099 books to be omnied.
10 – Sgt. Fury Vol. 01 – The only remaining uncollected Silver Age Marvel book. The Masterworks and the Epics tried and failed, but maybe an omni line could finally slay this beast. I don’t think we will see this one appearing in the ranking, let alone be solicited, before we get every other silver/bronze age book omnied.
A few, brief comments on some other ranked books:
#40 – Spider-Girl Vol. 01 – I am surprised this book is on the list because, if Marvel were to announce it now, I thought the general reaction would be of tremendous frustration, as Marvel was progressing through the series in a series of the now-discontinued Complete Collections line, going up to V4/#67. The least frustrating way to handle the situation I think would be to release Vol. 05 and beyond as Modern Era Epics and eventually going back and rereleasing the first 4 vols. under the new ttrade dress. Ideally they would simply continue the line as is, but Complete Collections are gone forever apparently. Not every book needs to be an Epic, and this is true even if Modern Era Epics are a thing!
#27 – Marvel Team-Up Vol. 01 – I’m actually fairly confident MTU will not have an omnibus line that soon. The reason is that this book is a minefield of copyright problems, and there are many issues which Marvel cannot reprint anymore. These problems were fixed for the Masterworks, but the deals have since expired – you can check on Comixology that some Masterworks volumes are no longer available there. So while I can see MTU having an Epic line like Marvel Two-In-One and skipping issues there, I cannot see it happening in an Omnibus line, that is much more premium and should be the best way to collect the series.
#12 – Agent Venom by Remender – I agree with you that the Agent Venomnibus would collect the entire book and not only Remender’s run, but I’m not seeing either happening as Venom was one of the chosen to kickstart the Modern Era Epic line. Same with #11 – New Avengers Vol. 02.
Thank you for this detailed comment and sharing your ballot, Felipe! My Spider-Naiveté is showing, because past the big hits I really don’t have instant knowledge of a lot of his runs and their creators.
It’s just so interesting to see this poll less dominated by X-books and PAD Hulk after the past few years of omnibuses, plus several other mainstays they’ve finally announced (like PAD Captain Marvel).
Great read! I think speculating on future omnibus collections is among my favorite hobbies. I appreciate all the effort you put into this write up of the results.
It seems to me that Marvel has three lines of omnibus collections; Event, Author, and Series. So we are likely to see a lot more double dipping further down the line as the omnibus format matures even further.
Thanks, Dylan! I love omnibus speculation and omnibus mapping so much. I tried to find room in every week to make a post focused on that, but researching the maps takes so much time away from actual new guides!
I completely agree with your take: as the Marvel Omnibus program continues to age and mature, I think we’re seeing different lines emerge – and that’s a good thing. Fans just need to get out of the “Scarcity!” mindset where every book is an essential must-buy that could be the only chance to have certain issues in oversize format, which no longer lines up with the release strategy.