IRON MAN VISIONARIES: BOB LAYTON & DAVID MICHELINIE
While the highlights of what most consider the definitive Iron Man run of all-time have been collected with Demon in a Bottle, Armor Wars and Doomquest, I want to read the whole thing sequentially, start to finish, and it's gonna be a little while before the Essentials series gets there. Using New Teen Titans as an example, I love "Judas Contract," but would certainly be subconsciously bummed out had I never read "A Day in the Life." I know Bob Layton and David Michelinie probably churned out dozens of quiet time one-shot issues and forgotten two-parters and I wanna read them all!
THE FLASH: THE MARK WAID COLLECTION
Kinda the same deal as with the Layton/Michelinie Iron Man, except that I've already read (just about) this whole run, but it really deserves to be collected sequentially. The Wally West Flash (my favorite DC character) was fortunate to have two incredible, lengthy, awesome runs back-to-back from Mark Waid and Geoff Johns. At this point, Geoff's entire run has been collected in convenient chronological volumes, but while much of Mark's has been traded as well (Born to Run, The Return of Barry Allen, Terminal Velocity, Dead Heat and Race Against Time), there is also a lot that isn't (or is out of print). It's a body of work I definitely think deserves to be out there without any gaps and put in the proper order with aligning trade dress and all that good stuff.
AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE CLASSIC
Last year, my colleagues over in the cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe put together a very cool hardcover collection called Annihilation Classic (softcover available in February) featuring early appearances of Annihilation stars like Nova, Star-Lord, Quasar and even Rocket Raccoon and Groot! Hell, there's even an issue of Logan's Run with a Thanos back-up story! Anyhow, Avengers: The Initiative is one of my favorite ongoing titles out there right now, and a big reason for that is the way Dan Slott and Christos Gage pull in random cool characters from disparate corners of the Marvel Universe and put them all together. It's a cast that would lend itself perfectly to this format as you could compile a nice collection of old stories where readers could get to know characters like War Machine, Tigra, Taskmaster, Typhoid Mary, et al. a bit better.
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES: EARTHWAR
I've heard Earthwar referenced in dozens of Legion of Super-Heroes stories and letter columns, but have never had the opportunity to read it because it's not exactly clogging the quarter bins and it's not collected. Basically, it's the biggest Legion story I've never read. I don't know much more about Earthwar, but I know that Paul Levitz was involved and I know that I love pretty much every Legion story with any acclaim (and even those without much). Collect it!
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY CLASSIC
The old 60's and 70's Guardians stuff is actually being collected, and at some point I've been meaning to check it out, but I'm actually interested in the 90's series by Jim Valentino. That was the book where Valentino really opened up the Guardians' future and showed what became of the various Marvel heroes and their legacies. I love stuff like that and hey, the book was good enough and garnered enough of a following to land Valentino among the Image founder, so I wanna see why!
THE COMPLETE ZERO HOUR COLLECTION
This was *the* big DC event of my childhood, and I definitely want to see it not only collected, but being given a truly special treatment. I'm talking about a big ol' hunk of book with not only the Zero Hour mini, but the lead-in stuff from Showcase, the best of the tie-ins, and every zero issue. Heck, make it two volumes and pad out the second book with the "Hunt for Extant" storyline from JSA and any other storylines from the past 15 years that spun in some way out of Zero Hour. You get a big, sprawling, important collection and some really cool and kooky stuff as there were some real diamonds in the roug with those tie-in and zero issues.
Over Christmas break, I read a Return to the Amalgam Age trade I snagged recently and holy crap, dude, it was some of the most fun reading comics I have had in quite some time! At the time Marvel vs DC and the original Amalgam stuff went down, it all seemed a bit excessive and almost commonplace, but given over a decade to age and with the comics industry being back in a climate where interaction between the "Big Two" is rare (actually more or less non-existent), seeing this stuff would be not only a good time, but also really special. However, I'd go the extra mile and, in addition to collecting all the Amalgam books, try and wrangle as many creators involved as possible and hear the stories behind what went into creating characters like Niles Cable or Iron Lantern. I want the full scoop on the Legion of Galactic Guardians complete with Ladronn sketches. I want the untold tale of Prez, Master of Kung Fu! Rad!
100 Bullets hardcovers a la Y The Last Man and Preacher (upcoming)
I'd like to see someone work some lawyer magic and get Flex Mentallo collected. I read it once, but don't really remember it.
I'd like to check out The Dreaming too. Oh, also Will Pfeifer's Finals mini was pretty rad and I don't think it's gotten the trade treatment yet. Actually, now that I think about it, I want Pfeifer's HERO and Aquaman in omnibus form.
I'd also like to see Peter David's Aquaman, Supergirl and of course Young Justice collected. I already have every issue of that Aquaman, but I'd still like to see him get some DC trade love. I also want to try and actually understand what the hell was going on in Supergirl.
I'll also throw in Steel and Superboy's ongoings because, why the hell not? I couldn't afford to keep buying them when they launched.
Also, I'd like to see more characters who had multiple books or appearances get the Superman: Man of Steel treatment. I'm not sure who I'm thinking of besides Batman, but I really really like how they're printing all the post-Crisis Superman stuff in near chronological order (as they actually came out for the most part) along with any crossover or tie-in issues that make sense.
I also want a classic Creeper collection because I love that character and have no idea why!
I'd like to see some of the Vertigo anthologies like Weird War Tales collected. And that series Flinch. It was an anthology of odd shorts from all kinds of creators.
Kamandi in that Jack Kirby HC style they're doing.
An Across the DCU-type book with James Robinson's random shit.
All-Star Squadron and Infinity Inc.
Oh! An Al Columbia collection with all his work in one place!
Absolute All-Star Superman.
A full run of Perez and Wolfman's Teen Titans in TP.
I second Dave's 100 Bullets request but with the addition of extras that include a guide to all of Graves' cameos in other books
Finals! And HERO! YES!
Maybe an Aquaman BEST OF would be good. Of course, that'd be dependent on who chose the issues.
Enigma, this Vertigo mini from Milligan and Fegredo back in the '90s, blew my mind and was never collected. But it's this wonderful schizo story about a guy discovering he's a hero.
Sean T. Collins
Soldier X by Darko Macan and Igor Kordey. Wonderfully weird. It's like superheroes by Samuel Beckett--existentialist/absurdist stuff. Sadly it JUST missed the point at which Marvel began collecting literally everything it published.
I second the Al Columbia collection.
I also second the great lost works, Miracle Man and Flex Mentallo.
A Chrome Fetus collection from Hans Rickheit.
Another giant King-Cat hardcover from John Porcellino, this one collecting his later, better stuff.
A Jordan Crane anthology-contribution/short story/minicomic career-spanner collection in the vein of Ron Rege's Against Pain, David Heatley's My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down, etc.
Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns: all of their Batman, Action Comics, Green Lantern, and Final Crisis stuff...in SOFTCOVER already, for crying out loud!
Nice, complete, one-volume softcovers of things like All Star Superman and New Frontier that should be one softcover.
Amazing Spider-Man Ominbus Vol. 2--complete Stan's run already, yo.
I'd like to second Mark Waid Flash/Impulse stuff.
Original Batman & The Outsiders as an Archive Edition.
They should totally end that Kirby hardcover line with a collection of all his weird ass one-offs like his issue of Justice Inc., his First Issue Specials like Manhunter and Atlas and his issue of Richard Dragon: Kung Fu Fighter (fucking insane). God, I love '70s DC Kirby so much.
James Robinson/Joe Casey and Ladronn's run on Cable.
Absolute Books of Magic. Not the Gaiman stuff, but the ongoing series. A man can dream.
(Matt Powell could not be reached for comment)