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
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! [Read more…] about Marvel series still awaiting an omnibus from the Masterworks Era (1961 – 1980)