Two new omnibuses have been announced in Marvel’s November solicitations: X-Force Volume 1 and Iron Man By Michelinie, Layton and Romita Jr. Volume 1.

Is Cable feeling alright?

The first is the biggest surprise, reprinting some of the early X-force stuff by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza, but Marvel might be trying to take advantage of how popular the current Uncanny incarnation of the team is. Newcomers will be surprised at how far they’ve come! Here’s the official blurb:

Beset from all sides by a growing roster of vicious foes, the New Mutants and their mysterious mentor Cable have no choice but to transform into a proactive, butt-kicking, take-no-prisoners mutant strike team! But can the new X-Force survive head-on clashes with Deadpool, the Morlocks, Proteus, Stryfe and his Mutant Liberation Front, the Juggernaut, the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and…S.H.I.E.L.D.? And what secrets are Cable and Domino hiding? It’s high-stakes adventure with all-out action, in-your-face attitude and enormous guns! Nineties’ nostalgia at its finest — guest-starring Spider-Man, the New Warriors, X-Factor and more!

Collecting NEW MUTANTS (1983) #98-100 and ANNUAL #7, X-MEN ANNUAL (1970) #15, X-FACTOR ANNUAL #6, X-FORCE (1991) #1-15, SPIDER-MAN (1990) #16, CABLE: BLOOD & METAL #1-2, and material from NEW WARRIORS ANNUAL #1 and X-FORCE ANNUAL (1992) #1.

848 PGS.

Todd McFarlane joins Liefeld, Nicieza and a few more on writing duties, while artists include Guang Yap, Tom Raney, Mike Mignola, Greg Capullo, John Romita Jr., McFarlane, Mark Bagley, Mark Pacella, Terry Shoemaker, and – of course – Liefeld, who also provides the two omnibus covers. At $99.99, expect this one to have an RRP of about £75 – with Forbidden Planet.co.uk normally offering these titles for £50.25!

Just for fun, here’s the 40 worst Rob Liefeld drawings. Warning: it’s very rude so is suitable only for adults! And here’s its sequel.

One of my mates absolutely hates Liefeld. While he doesn’t make me scratch my own eyes out or anything, I did get annoyed when he recently said that his creation, Deadpool, was so good that the comic would still be popular with the “D-list talent” Marvel are assigning to the Marvel NOW! relaunch. Seriously, Rob: people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Cover art by Bob Layton

I’m sure many will be looking forward to X-Force, but I’m more excited by the Iron Man Omnibus (mainly as it collects together some of John Romita Jr.’s run on the title!). JRJR is joined by artists like Bob Layton, Sal Buscema, and John Bryne, while writers include Layton, David Michelinie and Bill Mantlo. Here’s the blurb, folks:

Up-and-coming talents David Michelinie, Bob Layton and John Romita Jr. joined forces to take on Marvel’s Golden Avenger in 1978 — and captured lighting in a bottle! Now, their history-making first run is collected in one massive volume! From Tony Stark’s taboo-shattering struggle with alcoholism to Iron Man’s legendary clash with Dr. Doom during King Arthur’s time, this one’s got it all — including Justin Hammer’s introduction; a brutal battle against the Hulk; the menaces of Madame Masque, the Melter, Blizzard, Whiplash, the Dreadnoughts, the Titanium Man and more; and the debut of Tony’s outer-space and stealth armors! Guest-starring Ant-Man, Namor and more!

Collecting IRON MAN (1968) #115-157.

944 PGS.

With covers by JRJR and Bob Layton, the RRP is likely to be £75 – so expect to pay about £50! Thanks to the enormously popular films (Iron Man and Iron Man 2 were great, but wow, did Avengers Assemble knock it out of the park!), the character is massively popular, and this omnibus will collect together the Demon in a Bottle storyline that inspired the second movie.

Fans of John Romita Jr. can also see his latest work in Captain America #01, released in the same month as these books.

November will, of course, be a big month for our favourite comic publisher as they launch the jumping-on-point initiative, Marvel NOW!, with titles like All-New X-Men, Thor: God of Thunder and X-Men: Legacy.

Meanwhile, it’s been confirmed that the Premiere Classic line is ending. Marvel Collected Editions’ Jeph York said:

“Okay, after three months of solicits with no Premiere Classic HCs in them, I should probably end the suspense and make this official: Marvel has ended the Premiere Classic hardcover line.
They’ll still be collecting modern series in Premiere-sized HCs, and the Omnibus, OHC and Masterworks programs are not in danger. But the Premiere Classic line is being put to bed with volume #106.
Sorry, guys. I know quite a few of you loved them.
-Jeph!”

Collected Comics Library’s Chris Marshall suspects that the omnibuses may have something to do with this:

“Maybe the demise of the Marvel Premiere Classic’s can be attributed to the rise of the Omnibus. Marvel has collected a lot of this material and more in the bigger format. For example Thor by Walter Simonson and the recent solicit for the X-Force Omnibus collects a few of the MPC’s with many more comics and special material like sketches, rare art, liner notes and even a new intro! Perhaps consumers have been wise to this and have chosen not to buy the smaller edition in favor of the bigger more expansive book.”

It’s a huge shame, especially as the line has so many dedicated followers. But thankfully, classic stories will always live on…

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