The Batman Adventures Omnibus review: a perfect collection of perfect comics

After over thirty years, countless words have been written about Batman: The Animated Series, be it in regards to its quality, influence, or timelessness. The show can still be appreciated today, with hardly a truly dated aspect in sight, and the spinoff comics are the same way. I alone have written hundreds if not thousands of words about The Batman Adventures and its followups, so I am absolutely, 100% the target audience for an omnibus collecting these comics. Chances are, you are too, so I don’t need to convince you to buy this collection.

Nor do I need to tell you about the comics contained within, because I have already reviewed most of them on the site before. Really, I’m just happy that great Batman comics will always be with us, and I’m more than willing to write about them over and over and over again, especially when they get such a gorgeous collection.

And The Batman Adventures Omnibus is, indeed, a gorgeous collection, from cover to cover. If you’re a Batman fan, then it’s most likely at least on your radar, so if you’re just waiting to pull the trigger or need something to tide you over until you can get your own copy, let me tell you why you won’t regret it one bit.

The omnibus collects the entirety of the original The Batman Adventures comic run, which includes 36 issues, two annuals, and a holiday special. While these issues have all been collected before, it’s become increasingly more and more difficult to find the trades, all of which I’ve reviewed before:

Also included are the Mad Love one-shot and a short story from Batman: Black & White, which have each been collected multiple times over the years. The big draw in regards to story content, I feel, would be the inclusion of the Batman: The Mask of the Phantasm adaptation, which hasn’t ever been reprinted or included in a trade volume. The inclusion of that story isn’t worth the $150 by itself, sure, but it does make owning this worth considering double-dipping if you already own the other trades.

The stellar collection of comics is enough to recommend this omnibus, as even the lesser stories (and there are only a very, very few) are still worth reading, and surrounded by so many other tales that reach greatness. That it’s one of the most beautiful omnibus releases I’ve ever seen only helps matters, because this is truly a masterclass in design and production value.

For a while, the cover image for the omnibus was shown as the cover for the first issue of the series, which is… an okay cover, just not one that’s representative of the overall series. The final design is so much better in every way, though, with the classic silhouette of Batman against a dark red moon taking up the entirety of the cover, with some white highlighting here and there. It is legitimately stunning, the best possible image to represent Batman himself and this series in particular. Cracking open the book, you’re treated to some equally impressive interior cover pages, which is a black and red checkerboard design featuring Batman, his supporting cast, and his rogues. It’s a really nice touch, especially with the fading effect around the edges of the pages. Slip the dust jacket off and the late, great Mike Parobeck and Rick Burchett’s cover for Batman: The Collected Adventures Vol. 2 stares you in the face. I can’t find a good copy of the whole image anywhere online, so you’ll have to see it for yourself, but rest assured it rocks.

The collection is plagued by the common problem among most omnibuses where the first several hundred pages are a bit hard to read, as the cover naturally wants to close in on itself, but there’s remarkably little to no gutter loss anywhere in the book. You might have to hold the pages down for a bit so you can keep the book open, but you won’t have to worry about missing anything that’s actually on the page thanks to the layout and design work.

There’s also a handy table of contents so you can easily jump to whichever issue you want to read, and the original covers are included with the issues themselves, not in a separate gallery at the back. To keep consistency, there’s also a sweet full page silhouette of Batman separating the covers from the start of the issue, which is a nice design choice.

Like I said before, I don’t think I need to actually convince you if this is good or not, or talk you into buying it. It’s an amazing collection of amazing comics, so acquiring it would most likely be a “when,” not an “if.” It’s stunningly designed, masterfully organized, and contains some of the best Batman comics ever printed. What more is there to say?

Extras: The pinup gallery from issue #25 is moved to the back, featuring stellar images from greats like Kelley Jones, Mike Mignola, Alex Toth, and Matt Wagner, just to name a few, with all colored by Rick Taylor. There are also gorgeous double-page reproductions of Ty Templeton’s wraparound cover for Batman: The Collected Adventures Vol. 1, and Mike Parobeck and Rick Burchett’s aforementioned wraparound for the second volume (Fun fact: I found both of these super cheap at a used bookstore years ago, and bought them for the covers alone). Finally, there’s a reproduction of the art on the polybag for certain copies of issue #7, which also contained a Topps trading card. Yes, the art for the card is included as well (and yes, I also found this at a comic shop not too long ago and bought it, because of course I did). As far as extras go, they’re quite nice, if a bit lean. Some sketch pages or original art from Templeton, Timm, Parobeck, or some of the other pencilers would have been cool, though I can imagine that would be really hard to dig up at this point, and there’s more than enough content here to justify an omnibus.

Value: It retails for $150, which isn’t necessarily cheap, but about standard for an omnibus. Plus, that’s for over forty comics– forty great comics, at that– most of which are long out of print. It can be had for cheaper than the suggested price at various retailers too, and you can’t really put a price on almost 1200 pages of some of the best Batman content ever printed anyway.

Overall: If you can’t tell, I love this series, and all of the followups that came later. Full stop, they are pound for pound my favorite Batman content anywhere, in any medium, and I would be content reading nothing but this book for the rest of my life. Hopefully that won’t be necessary, though, as there’s so much greatness to come, so here’s hoping The Batman Adventures Omnibus sells so incredibly well that DC just goes ahead and greenlights collections for the remaining series. If you don’t believe me that this is great Batman content, or you’ve wanted to read these comics and haven’t been able to find them, drop the cash for this book. You will not be disappointed.

SCORE: 10/10

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