Marvel vs Dark Horse: Omnibuses

July 17, 2014 at 12:01 am | Posted in Comic Books, Dark Horse, Marvel, Opinion, Star Wars | 1 Comment

a-long-time-ago-volume-1As a fan of the Dark Horse Comics omnibuses, I was a little surprised to see the price point on the newly announced Marvel Star Wars omnibus. A $125 is a big chunk of change when compared to the $25 price tags on Dark Horse’s omnibuses. Checking around on Amazon, it seems this is a normal MSRP for Marvel’s omnibus collections, though they typically get a discount that puts them at $85 to $90. That’s still pretty high in comparison to Dark Horse. So where does the extra cost come in?

Size.

According to the October 2014 solicitation for Marvel…


Star Wars: The Original Marvel Years Omnibus HC (Chaykin Cover)

Written by: Roy Thomas, Howard Chaykin, Archie Goodwin, Jo Duffy & Chris Claremont
Penciled by: Howard Chaykin, Carmine Infantino, Walter Simonson, Herb Trimpe, Michael Golden, Al Williamson & Mike Vosburg
Covers by: Howard Chaykin & Greg Hildebrandt

As the phenomenon dawned in 1977, Marvel Comics published the very first Star Wars comic-book series. Now, the House of Ideas is re-presenting those original adventures in its wampa-sized Omnibus format! It’s the return of the Jedi to Marvel in an opening volume that begins with A New Hope and ends with The Empire Strikes Back. In between, the rebels face a wealth of new perils — from space pirate Crimson Jack to the bounty hunter Beilert Valance, as well as a surprisingly svelte Jabba the Hut (one “t”). Luke goes back to Tatooine, Leia battles alone, Han and Chewie play the deadly Big Game, and Darth Vader hunts for answers! With all your old favorites and plenty of new faces — hello, Jaxxon! — there’s no doubt, the Force is strong with this one! Collecting Star Wars (1977) #1-44 and Annual #1.

Release Date: January 7, 2015
880 PGS./Rated T …$125.00
ISBN: 978-0-7851-9106-3
Trim size: oversized
Star Wars: The Original Marvel Years Omnibus HC Hildebrandt Cover (DM Only)
880 PGS./Rated T …$125
ISBN: 978-0-7851-9318-0
Trim size: oversized

a-long-time-ago-volume-2Note the word “oversized”. The press release from StarWars.com also mentioned this, “is re-presenting those original adventures in its over-sized Omnibus format.” The standard size of Dark Horse Comics Star Wars omnibuses is 8.9 x 6 x 1 inches. Marvel, on the other hand, is around 11.1 x 7.5 x 1.7 inches. So the Marvel omnibus will be hardcover and will be the size of a normal comic instead of the slightly shrunk down version that Dark Horse goes with. The Marvel omnibus is also 880 pages, collecting issues #1-44, so going the Dark Horse route would require picking up A Long Time Ago…Volume 1 and A Long Time Ago…Volume 2 (which would cover issues #1-49 and Annual #1). Both of those only cost $24.99 (MSRP). Pick them up on Amazon and you can get a nice discount (about $19 each).

I noticed some discussion about recoloring, as Marvel tends to do that with their omnibuses, but no word has mentioned yet on whether Star Wars: The Original Marvel Years will receive that treatment. There’s also been some controversy with Marvel’s paper quality as of late. You can read more about that on Bleeding Cool. Basically the paper used for the pages is very thin, easily folds and creases when turning the pages, and over time, becomes wavy and warped looking. I’m not sure if this issue has been addressed and fixed or is ongoing, but it’s definitely an area of concern.

In the end, the question is up to the collector. If you’re a completist, the Marvel omnibus is a must have. If you already have the Dark Horse omnibuses, you might want to pass on this. For those who don’t have any collections of the old Marvel Star Wars comics, it comes down to cost and format. Is the larger sized hardcover worth the extra $60 to $75? Maybe, maybe not. As for me, I’ll be passing as I have the entire run of Dark Horse Comics A Long Time Ago omnibuses. I’m not a completist, and the slightly larger size isn’t enough incentive for me as a collector and comic fan.

Posted By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.
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1 Comment »

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  1. “Is the larger sized hardcover worth the extra $60 to $75?”

    I came to the same conclusion you did: no.


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