The Omnibus hobby is now more popular than ever. As it should be. Omnibus are a great format that collects an entire event, including tie ins, or an entire run by a creative team. The cover price for an omnibus can range between $75-$150. The price is a little steep, however, you can usually buy new omnibus for 40-50% off cover price from sites like In Stock Trades or Cheap Graphic Novels.
The problem with omnibus, like any other collectible, is that once they’re out of print, the only place to purchase them would be through a third party like eBay or Amazon. These out of print (OOP) books end up selling for well over cover price, making it difficult for collectors to obtain.
It seems Marvel has caught on to the huge after market for these books and has announced a slew of reprints that will release early next year. While this is great for those who missed out on these books when they first came out, it drastically devalues the first prints that old school collectors own.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 OOP omnibus reprints in no particular order.
Annihilation - This is THE Marvel Cosmic saga. Annihilation was Marvel’s answer to Geoff Johns' Green Lantern epic. This run put Nova at the forefront against the Negative Zone’s Annihilus and his Annihilation Wave. The omnibus has a $125 cover price and would sell for more than double on the aftermarket prior to the reprint announcement. There are still those trying to sell theirs on eBay as we speak, but you might as well grab the new printing for $75 shipped when it comes out next year.
Silver Surfer by Stan Lee - One of Stan Lee’s greatest creations. The dramatic tale of Norrin Radd is told over these 18 issues including a parody in Not Brand Echh issue 13. It was originally released for only $75 and became a $300 book once it was out of print. It’s nice to see that the reprints will be keeping their original cover price and not increased by Marvel.
Wolverine vol. 1 - This is THE Wolverine omnibus to own. It collects Wolverine’s original based on his continuity, not by publishing date. It starts with his Weapon X origin which takes place in the issues of Marvel Comics Presents. It then covers his initial battle with Wendigo and the Incredible Hulk. We get the 4 issue mini series by Frank Miller which teachers Wolverine discipline as a samurai in Japan. It continues to follow Wolverine though his time with the X-Men and eventually ends with the first 10 issues of his story as Patch in Madripoor. This $100 book would sell for $250-$350 on eBay prior to the announcement of the print just a few months ago.
Uncanny X-Force - This is one of my favorite Marvel runs and omnibus of all time. Rick Remender creates an all start cast of mutants to make up this black ops team who is willing to do what X-Men won’t. This quickly became a “whale” in the omnibus community once Diamond Distributers no longer had copies in stock. What’s a whale? Think of Moby Dick, the elusive White Whale that Ishmael could never catch.
Astonishing X-Men - Before Joss Whedon directed Marvel’s billion-dollar Avengers, he wrote a little run called Astonishing X-Men. Piggy-backing off of Grant Morrison’s New X-Men, Joss created what I like to call, the most accessible modern X-Men omnibus for new readers to jump on to. With a great cast which brings back Colossus, incredible art, and fluid writing, collectors will now be able to get this omnibus at 50% off it’s original $75 cover price…which is insane.
I have been very vocal about my beliefs that Marvel will print books that they have plans for in the MCU. With these reprints including 3 mutant books, which we know are coming to the MCU. A Silver Surfer book which we have been hearing rumors of a solo Silver Surfer movie. It makes me wonder if Marvel intends to bring the Annihilation saga to the big screen.