Sunday, October 21, 2012

John Byrne's Fantastic Four Omnibus

Editor's Note: Last Week, Pierre talked about John Byrne's new comic, Trio. This week, he gives us his thoughts on another John Byrne book he bought: The Fantastic Four Omnibus. - Jim

If you want a comic that is even MORE fun than TRIO, then go get yourself the Fantastic Four Omnibus by John Byrne. Damn that is a GREAT comic. Although I almost wish the Marvel Omnibus it was using the same paper as the TRIO comic.

Yes I know that some people are pissed when they don't uses the shiny glossy paper when they make comics in the Omnibus format (yes I am looking at you Chris Sims ;) ), but I think the shiny paper does not always make older comics look good. Some older comics artwork don't look too flattering when printed on that shiny paper. So, personally I don’t mind that the Kirby Omnibi are printed on thick newsprint.

But maybe that is just me.

Although the Fantastic Four Omnibus does not look bad, but the colors do look a little bit oversaturated on that shiny paper.

But that is a very nitpicky thing.

It is an AWESOME looking comic despite that.

I was surprised that it started with the Marvel Team-Up issues with the Human Torch drawn by Byrne. Then it also had a Marvel Two in One issue by Byrne. And we got the first run of FF with Byrne written by Marv Wolfman and inked by the legendary Joe Sinnott.

The sad part is that I had bought the Search for Galactus Premiere HC that already had some of the first FF run with Byrne. So once more, when I bought the FF Omnibus, ended up buying comics that I already owned.

Although to be fair, I already had most of them comics in that FF Omnibus. The only NEW comics I got in that Omnibus were the Marvel Two in One #50, the Avengers # 233, the Thing #2 and the FF Annual #17.

Although as a kid, the FF comic that I bought was in black and white, and it contained two FF stories per issue. And we only had the cover of only one of those two stories. Si a lot of the covers in that book were new to me.

The Omnibus does not contain that many extras, but it does contain a few.

It has a lot of the characters that Byrne did for the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. Some TPB covers. And a page 18 from FF#242 (see below) that was taken out when they made the Trial of Galactus TPB. But for some reason, it was not added back in for this collection. It was simply added in the extras at the end. WHY??? That makes no sense, why not put the page back where it is supposed to be??

Somtimes I sure do scratch my head at some of the decisions that are made when making them comics.

Some of the TPB covers that are in the extras were recolored with more modern coloring, and I have to admit that I like it.

I have to wonder why the Walter Simonson Thor Omnibus was recolored, but this one wasn't. What made Marvel decide that Thor should be recolored, but not the FF, or any other Omnibuses??

I don't get it.

But still, despite my few minor complaints, the FF Omnibus is an AWESOME comic that anyone should own. I can't wait to get my hands on the second volume, if Marvel ever decides to publish it. Heck we are still waiting for the second Uncanny X-men Omnibus with the end of the Dark Phoenix saga, and the legendary tale Days of Future Past.

I guess we have to be patient with them Omnibuses.

But if you don't want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for the FF Omnibus, then go get the TRIO TPB for about $18.

So you guys have no excuses now,

, go get yourselves some fun comics.  ;)

Until next time.


MattComix said...

Shh! You can't say fun! Comics aren't fun. They're serious business for wanna-be Sith Lords who seriously don't want their friends who are horror movie fans to think they're not "badass" enough.

Why do you think most mainstream supercomics now are like Saw with capes? :P

This FF collection is something I need to get. I think it's fair to say that the Lee/Kirby run and Byrne's run are pretty much definitive FF. Though I prefer the Lee/Kirby take on Reed Richards both in character and visually.

Jim Shelley said...

@MattComix Saw With Capes <-- that's funny!

At to Pierre's post, yeah, I remember in the late 80's reading the liner notes of thrash metal band Anthrax Among the Living? wherein they thanked John Byrne for giving them the Best Fantastic Four run since Kirby and Lee. Reading that back then, I was like, "wouldn't be great if they could've have said that about any comic run?"

Until Jonathan Hickman's recent run, I never thought anyone would ever get close to that level again. (Hickman started strong, but the length of his epic took a lot of the steam out of the engine for me.)

Kid said...

Although a very nice volume, I thought that the Marvel Team-Up stories weren't really necessary. Also, some of the reproduction on these MTU tales was a bit ropey.

Pierre Villeneuve said...

Matt; Saw with cape.

That is the perfect way to describe DC comics since the NU 52.

Damn that is brilliant.

And as much as I loved the first Saw3 film.... I never wanted in a million years to have super-heroes comics try to emulate that formula.

Now I will go cry in the corner for a while. :(

Zoran said...

Occasional reader, first time commentator.

I figure someone should point this out... and since no-one else has in the week or so this post has been up, I guess it's up to me.

The page you reproduce is indeed page 18 of FF #242 and it can be found on page 554 of the omnibus, right where it belongs. The page featured at the back of the omnibus as an "extra" page from Trial of Galactus tpb is page 3 from FF #243 and it can be found on page 562 of the omnibus, also right where it belongs.

When assembling the Trial of Galactus, tpb Byrne moved the page to just before the one featuring Thor and Iron Man so all the pages featuring the Avengers responding to Terrax taking Manhattan were all together. I guess he thought the story read more smoothly that way.

The mystery isn't why didn't the editors put the page back in before the one featuring Thor and Iron Man, it's why did they include as an "extra" a page that was already included in the omnibus. As far as I can tell, they knew that Byrne had inserted an extra page into that sequence, but they thought it was a new page created just for the collected edition rather than a page from a subsequent issue moved back.

The omnibus includes all the pages of all the issue reproduced in the omnibus in the right order.

Jim Shelley said...

@Zoran - Thank you for clearing all that up! I find publishing industry stories like that very fascinating!


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