Chromium Comic Book Covers…In 2013?


Yes. The holographic/shiny/magic foil covers are back. Brian MIchael Bendis tweeted this picture today of the upcoming chromium cover version of Age of Ultron: Book 1 and it brings back memories of the “OMG everything is a collector’s item” zeitgeist of the 1990s.

If you weren’t following comics during that period, you really missed out on some craziness. Comic book sales were near an all time high, not necessarily due to the comics themselves being all that great or due to people really enjoying comics that much. The comic book market had been taken hostage by speculators–people buying comics in bulk in the assumption that they would be able to flip it and turn a monster profit. The publishers were more than happy to placate them, with all kinds of gimmick stories (ranging from the Death of Superman to title relaunches) to placate them. They also created what felt like a million different types of covers–hologram, pop-up, and even a Colorforms type–to get people to buy more comics. Although it was a great idea at the time, it almost killed the whole industry by the later part of the mid 1990s when the speculators realized that they couldn’t charge a premium for something that had a print run of over 500,000.

So with Marvel bringing back the chromium for this is truly for novelty sake. When each publisher has ten chromium covers a month, then we can panic.

Stop Motion X-Men Cartoon Series Intro


I go away for a few days and this happens?

Sorry for the lack of updates, but I took a few pre-holiday days off to take some much needed rest.

As part of that, I’ve taken a much needed Internet break and was pleasantly surprised to see this video pop up as a recommended choice on the old Xbox YouTube app.

It’s an amazingly well-done stop motion version of the intro to the 1990s X-Men cartoon show that my brother and I would watch every Saturday morning growing up. We demanded complete silence at 11 am; this was serious business.

What’s even funnier about this is the little framing story they made about life at the Xavier Academy. Definitely check this out.

Although, there is one glaring problem…the VHS cassette tape they play wasn’t from that X-Men cartoon series. It was the direct-to-video release of Pryde of the X-Men!

Wardrobe Dysfunction: Daredevil

Let’s look at the many–well not so many–costumes Marvel’s blind super hero Daredevil has worn into battle over the years. Matt Murdoch first donned his devil inspired costume in  April 1964’s Daredevil #1. He wore this red and yellow costume, which was designed by co-creator Bill Everett (of Namor creation fame) and Jack Kirby.

That costume only lasted for six issues. The Daredevil book was now being drawn by the great Wally Wood who switched him to his iconic all-red look. It works; Daredevil looks like a red devil, functional yet intimidating enough to evildoers in Hell’s Kitchen.

As a result of 1994’s “Fall From Grace” story line, Daredevil decided it was time to get a new more protective look. He came up with this black and red costume that features plate armor alongside over-sized shoulder and knee pads. It was the 1990s, what did you expect?

What I did like was that his billy clubs/attack poles condensed into his gauntlets. This look seems to get a lot of hate, but I thought it looked cool.

During last year’s “Shadowland” crossover, Daredevil was possessed by a devil, took over the Hand ninja clan and attempted to take over Manhattan. To show how evil he was, Daredevil took a cue from Darth Vader and went to an all black look. Either that, or it has a slimming effect on him. Once exorcised, he went back to his traditional look.

I kind of liked this for two reasons:

  1. In the made for television movie The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, Daredevil pretty much sported this look.
  2. In 2004, I met Marvel legend John Romita at the Baltimore Comic Con and chatted with him about a few things. We discussed how he thought that the Daredevil costume should have been all black, but no one else agreed with him. That said, it was cool seeing how right he was once I found out about this.

Oh and let’s show a bonus Daredevil costume. The D-lister D-Man (a shortened version of his name Demolition Man) is a professional wrestler turned metahuman super hero.

His costume is an intentional knock-off of both Daredevil and Wolverine. And for whatever reason, I think Daredevil’s costume works better on him than on Murdock.

When I first started paying attention to comics, this confused the heck out of me due to him looking like two different characters. D-Man is still popping up in the Marvel Universe, currently taking up the role of the villain-murdering identity Scourge of the Underworld.


Going through the comics last night I came across this little piece of awesomeness. I’m talking about Youngblood/X-Force, where we finally get to see Rob Liefeld’s two super teams from the 1990s collide in a battle for supremacy. Well not really, but this one-shot from 1996 is definitely a fun read.

This story is written by Eric Stephenson (who now currently serves as Image Comics’ publisher) and his script deserves much of the credit why this book was so awesome. Whenever you have a crossover with characters from two different publishers, the 800 pound gorilla is if you can make this meet-up plausible.

Stephenson found a perfect way to do it, using longtime X-Men and Excalibur villain Mojo (basically a grossly obese alien who controls the Mojoverse through television programming. Don’t believe me? Read his bio on In a feud with the much more loved Mojo II, the two fight over who gets the exclusive rights to broadcast the adventures (or misadventures) of Youngblood.

Eventually Youngblood become captured by the feuding Mojo’s, with their leader Shaft escaping to the Marvel Earth. It’s up to him and X-Force to go back to the Mojoverse and save Youngblood. Whacky hijinks ensue.

Again, Stephenson’s script is just awesome. His dialogue and use of Mojo is superb. The spineless villain really is the star in this book. There were a few times I heartily laughed, as Mojo panned some of the not so highlights of 1990s comics history, when he took a slight jab at the Ultraverse (Malibu Comics’ line of super hero comics that Marvel purchased in 1996) for not being cool and that making too many spin offs of Youngblood would ruin the property  (Youngblood had a plethora of spin-off comics including Team Youngblood, Youngblood Strikefile, Youngblood and the Raiders of the Lost Arc [well maybe not that one, but you get the point]).

So why would Marvel and Liefeld allow this? Well, it’s always a good sign to show that you can poke fun at yourself. Self-deprecation is endearing, and that’s how it came off. Anyway, Youngblood/X-Force is certainly a fun read and you should totally track one down. It is proof that there was some really fun comics from the 1990s.

This isn’t the first time DC Comics has tried a television commercial, you know…

With DC’s major relaunch getting closer every day, more news about their plans to support this initiative are being revealed. One of the strategies is to use television commercials to promote the line.

This isn’t the first time that comics turned to television commercials to promote comic books. Marvel regularly had commercials for their GI Joe comic book during the 1980s.

I would assume that these were produced by Marvel Productions/Sunbow Productions. Basically, this looks like Marvel and Hasbro were taking advantage of the synergy between Marvel’s publishing and animation divisions.

Anyway, this is not the first time DC produced a television commercial. Thanks to YouTube, I found this gem from 1993:

What is most interesting about this commercial is that the lesser characters get a lot of screen time. Darkstars, Deathstroke the Terminator, Mongul and the yellow ring wielding Guy Gardner all make their television debut. You can really tell this commercial is from the 1990s by the “hottest babes” sequence.

Also, did you notice that Lobo was featured the longest, as well as the only animated and speaking character in the commercial? Granted it was 1993. Death of Superman and Batman’s Knightfall were in full force,  but was Lobo the best choice to be the public face of DC?

There are a few variations of this commercial on YouTube, with different stores being advertised at the end. I would assume DC allowed retailers to customize the commercial for their markets.

Any way, lets hope that DC’s new commercials help get the message that comics are awesome out to the masses.