Marvel is collecting The Micronauts in new Omnibus editions! Just what is an Omnibus, anyway?
As reported here at MajorSpoilers.com, Marvel Comics will be reprinting fan-favorite series The Micronauts from writer Bill Mantlo and artist Michael Golden, and the first hardcover volume will come out in April of 2024.
Here are some of the important highlights from that news release:
From out of the Microverse, it’s the Omnibus you thought could never happen! The subatomic superstars headlined a long-running series packed with rich world-building, fascinating mythology and big-scale, sci-fi excellence!
What’s in that initial edition?
MICRONAUTS: THE ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS OMNIBUS VOL. 1 will collect THE MICRONAUTS (1979) #1-29 & ANNUAL (1979) #1-2 and material from MICRONAUTS SPECIAL EDITION (1983) #1-5.
The group will encounter “big-time heroes and villains” including Captain Universe, Man-Thing, the Fantastic Four, Doctor Doom, and S.H.I.E.L.D., just to name a few.
What intrigues me most is that this Omnibus is restored and is complete with the letter pages and lots of bonus material including house ads, original artwork, and more!
For those who don’t know, the Micronauts include “Commander Rann, Princess Mari, Biotron, Acroyear, and Bug” who “traverse the universe aboard the microship Endeavor as they struggle to free Homeworld from the tyrannical Baron Karza.”
To prepare fans for the Omnibus release, Marvel will release a Micronauts #1 Facsimile Edition in September of this year.
By the way, I don’t see a price listed for the Omnibus yet, but you should expect it to cost you over $100 if past volumes are any indication.
So, what exactly is an omnibus, anyway? According to the always-correct Internet/Wikipedia, “Marvel Omnibus is a line of large format, high quality, full color, hardcover graphic novel omnibuses published by Marvel Comics. The Marvel Omnibus series reprints comics previously printed in single-issue format.”
Over the years, the House of Ideas has printed several omnibuses, including collections with Adam Warlock this year, the Avengers, Stan Lee’s best stories, and Black Panther.
There are more coming this year, including an Alpha Flight one in October, a Black Cat edition in July, and more Avengers, of course!
The page counts in these books vary from the hundreds to over a thousand, depending on the original source material. The largest ones have 1,400 or more while the books with the fewest pages contain around 300 or so.
Other companies also produce omnibus editions, including DC, who has reprinted 100 Bullets, 52, American Vampire, and Aquaman, just to name a few.
If you’ve been paying attention, you have likely noticed that some of the most popular storylines and issues have been collected and reprinted in several editions previously.
Famously, both Marvel and DC made newsprint (less expensive paper) editions that were only black and white, not color. That reduced the cost, helping fans who may not have been around when those initial books hit the stands.
Also, if a story catches the interest of fans who like to have the whole story at their disposal (kind like me, actually), comics companies will print a trade paperback and, if it will sell well, a hardcover edition. Sometimes I actually find myself double- and triple-dipping with certain storylines and/or characters I’m interested in (like Batman, of course)!
However, rather than simply collecting a single storyline, an omnibus often brings together all the issues printed with a character or group. The Micronauts is a perfect example! Those early editions are likely very difficult to find in good condition if you can find them at all!
Granted, collectors who have these books in their possession will likely not appreciate these characters/stories appearing again in the local comics shop because it may cause what other fans might be willing to part with to go down. That’s never a good thing to a collector!
Marvel, like other comics companies, is show business, after all. As much as we would like them to make comics purely out of the love of them, they have bills to pay as well!
Companies will often have people who monitor what fans are talking about in shops or in online groups. If they notice fans are showing interest in a certain property they own, they’ll check to see if there is enough interest to reprint books.
After all, reprints are much cheaper to produce than new ones with original content. You basically have all the books ready to print most of the time. You don’t have to pay to go through all the steps of writing, coloring, lettering, editing, etc. However, with pages from decades ago, “restoration” can make the presentation even better than it was originally!
It’ll be interesting to see how fans react to this new edition! Could there be more toys in our future?
Another thing that companies are always concerned about is trademark and ownership of that. In order to keep that under the banner of your company, every so often you need to print something from that franchise. Otherwise, it could go into what is called “public domain,” where anyone can use it without paying you for the privilege. Companies are determined not to let that happen, particularly if it’s a popular franchise!
Of course, it’s too early to send in orders to comics distributors yet, but you can certainly let your local comics shop know if The Micronauts Omnibus is of interest to you. It’s not likely that many stores will order one just to have it around. You’re likely going to have to tell them you want it and will pay for it!
What do you think? Are you going to pick up The Micronauts Omnibus? What other groups/storylines would you like to see collected and released? Do you prefer the glossier versions or the less-expensive editions? Whatever your opinions, be sure to share them in the space below!