Showing posts with label dc. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dc. Show all posts

Thursday, July 24, 2014

5 Awesome gimmick comic covers from the 90's, Part 1

It's a rainy, nasty day in July, so it's the perfect time to talk comics.



I didn't really collect comics, so much as accumulate them. I mainly followed the X-men titles, but I would pick up anything that happened to catch my eye. And if there's one thing that 90's comic covers were, it was eye catching. So here are five examples of some awesome gimmick covers, in no particular order.


Bloodshot #1 February 1993
Valiant Comics

Valiant comics weren't easy to find in my neck of the woods. Marvel, DC, and Image comics all made regular appearances on the magazine racks, but Valiant was sadly absent. I didn't even know the company existed, until I found this issue in a longbox on a flea market dealer's table. It was one of the most amazing covers I'd ever seen. It still is, actually. I love how the cover image is surrounded by the black border, it almost gives the issue a prestige format feel. As for the artwork itself, I'm still amazed by how the colors just pop off the cover. I don't remember exactly how much I paid for Bloodshot #1, but I'm just going to go out on a limb and say it was $12.99.  Even if that isn't the exact amount, I just remember it was the most expensive comic I'd ever bought. I didn't know it at the time, but this was actually the first chromium cover ever made. I had stayed up late, and was watching a home shopping show that was just selling comics. It sort of validated my purchase when I saw how much more they were asking for the same issue I had bought months earlier.The story wasn't too bad either, sort of a Punisher meets Wolverine with a little bit of The Fugitive tossed in.

Speaking of the Punisher..


Punisher 2099 #1 February 1993
Marvel Comics

The Punisher was always one of my favorite characters, so when I saw they were introducing a futuristic version of my favorite vigilante, I was ecstatic. The first issues of all the 2099 titles featured the same futuristic border, albeit in different colors, but The Punisher 2099's first issue was my favorite of them all. It was much more dynamic, with the action flying toward the reader's face. I'm fond of the way the color of the foil border and the title text reflect the colors of the Punisher's uniform. A couple of the other 2099 titles did this as well, but I think it works particularly well on this cover.

The story hasn't changed much, even 100 years in the future. Police Officer Jake Gallows family is murdered in front of him, pushing him off the deep end. After discovering a journal written by the late Frank Castle, Gallows decides to carry on his work. He amasses an crime fighting arsenal, as well as his own personal prison and execution chair, and sets out to prove not even the rich are exempt from punishment. It's your typical Punisher book, if a bit more brutal.

Wildstar March 1993
Image Comics

Foil embossing was one of the more prevalent gimmicks seen on 90's comic covers. I have to assume it was one of the cheaper enhancements, judging by the number of Marvel and DC comics that used it. It was also popular with Image comics, as shown on the first issue of the Wildstar mini-series. At first glance, it looks like just the title and the Image logo are embossed. What you probably can't tell from the photo though, is that all those little blood drops on the hero's face are raised as well. It's a little odd, and either gives the impression that Wildstar just got his ass kicked, or his super power is bleeding all over his enemies. That actually makes more sense than the story, which involves time travel and guys that rely on symbioitic space starfish for their super powers. Yeah, it's odd.


Batman #500 October 1993
DC Comics

When you kill a character as iconic as Superman, it gets a lot easier to take out some of your other popular heroes. With the big blue taking a dirt nap, it was only a matter of time before Batman met his end as well. Sure enough, Batman was taken out by Bane,a behemoth that proved himself stronger and smarter than the Dark Knight. The series continued, following the exploits of Jean Paul Valley, a former assassin chosen by Bruce Wayne to take over the mantle of the Batman. Unfortunately, Valley becomes more and more unhinged, and Bruce eventually has to recuperate and win back his place as the caped crusader. Batman #500 followed Jean Paul Valley as he tried to track down and take out Bane once and for all. After losing a fight, and nearly losing his life, Valley decides it's time to redesign the Batman costume.

The cover of Batman #500 already looked pretty cool on it's own. It's a great shot of Batman in an action pose. Flip back the die-cut section though..


and you get a good look at Batman's new costume. Sadly, not even the Dark Knight was immune to the dark and gritty super hero fashion trends of the 90's. You've got metal claws, bits of segmented armor, and of course, random pouches. You couldn't be a superhero in the 90's unless your costume had random pouches all over it. It's not enough that Batman had a utility belt with pouches, they had to add some to his thigh as well.

Given enough time, I bet they would have even given Superman pouches on his shorts.


Ghost Rider and Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #12 July 1993
Marvel Comics

I only loosely followed Ghost Rider comics. When it came to supernatural anti-heroes, Morbius was always my first choice. Still, there's a lot to love about a flaming skeleton riding on a fiery motorcycle. This series followed the team up between the former Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze, and the current rider, Danny Ketch. It was sort of like Easy Rider meets Satan. This issue saw the introduction of yet another flaming headed rider, called Vengeance. Because, why not? For reasons that aren't entirely clear to me, Vengeance really doesn't like Ghost Rider, and intends to dismantle him in the most painful way possible. It looks like the new rider is about to get his revenge, when he is warped away by a friend of Johnny's. Then they have a funeral for their dead friends, and see you next issue.

Seeing as this was issue 12, and there was a new character introduced, of course we needed a gimmicky cover. But, what is it this time? It's not die cut or foil embossed....


Nope, this time we got a glow in the dark cover. It's unbelievably hard to photograph things that glow in the dark, but I did it just for you guys. The cover image, with Ghost Rider's skull imposed over Vengeance's was already a little odd, but turn out the lights and it gets even weirder. I'm not sure what's supposed to be going on here, but I have to admit, it still looks pretty cool. Sadly, I think the glowing effect has worn out over the years. I remember leaving this issue on the floor next to my bed one night, and it freaked me the hell out.

And that is why you should always put away your comics when you've finished reading them. Otherwise, you might wake up to find a glowing skull grinning at you.


Friday, February 21, 2014

February random stuff post.

I hate that I've only posted a few times these past couple of months, but with work picking up, and just plain not feeling creative lately, I've neglected my duties as Stunt Zombie. It always saddens me when a blog I enjoy just kind of fizzles out, so I made myself promise that I wouldn't go out the same way. When I'm ready to give up, you'll all be the next to know.

-Speaking of blogs shutting down, it looks like Poe Ghostal is going on an indefinite hiatus. I haven't followed Poe for long, but I have to admit I've enjoyed visiting his site these past few months. The strange thing is, I had a feeling this was coming. Any time I start reading a new blog, it seems like they shut down shortly after. X-Entertainment, Eclectorama..yep, those were my fault. Honestly, I don't blame him. If you're not enjoying what you're doing, it's time to take a break or find something else. I look forward to seeing what kinds of projects he has cooking.

-Thanks to this post by Colbey Hooper on Random Toy Reviews, I think I've pretty much solved the last of my toy mysteries. I did a bit more digging on Four Star Toys, and it turns out they made quite a few of the Transformers knockoffs I used to own.

http://www.toyarchive.com/

This guy is called Hard Hat, and he was a Devastator knockoff, in that he was also made up of construction equipment that combined to form a large robot. I held on to this thing for years, before the individual robots just started falling apart. It wasn't a bad toy for what it costs. The other one that has been puzzling me for years was this guy:

www.toyarchive.com

This one was called Decept-A-Bot, and it was a knockoff of the Godaikan Gardian. It's kind of like the nesting dolls, except with robots. This version only had one robot contained in the shell you see here, but the real one had two robots and a rubber figure contained within the outer shell. I remember this one being pretty fragile, and I don't think it stayed in one piece for very long.

As nice as it is to finally know what these two were, it kinda makes me sad that the internet is taking all the mystery out of the world.

-I'm finding I'm really starting to lose interest in modern toys. The last line of G.I. Joe toys produced by Hasbro was pretty sad really. I find myself missing the bright colors and character of the older figures. Other than Snake Eyes and a few of the other figures, most of them look rather generic. After seeing how little Hasbro cares about the 50th anniversary of their most popular toy line, I'm beginning to think this may be the beginning of the end for our favorite soldiers. As for the Collector's Club, forget that. I don't have enough money to spend nearly $40 per figure, especially when there's no guarantee that I'll like them. I think I might focus on picking up some of the older G.I. Joes I used to own instead. Thankfully, they won't cost me much more than figures that came out 2 or 3 years ago.

-Speaking of wanting crazy amounts for action figures, I was excited to see Mattel was releasing a wave of Super Powers inspired DC figures with modern sculpts. Then I learned they were going to cost around $30 retail....$30, and we don't even get cloth capes for Batman or Superman? No Thank you..

- I was also feeling pretty excited for Funko's ReAction line, but after seeing the trouble they've had with their Game of Throne figures, I'm going to have to wait to see some reviews before I plunk down hard earned money on Snake Plissken or The Goonies.

- I still find myself interested in newer LEGO sets as well as the figures released by Onell Design.  I tend to get a bit intimidated when it comes to using pieces to build my own creations, but it's nice to know the option is there when I decide to stop being a wuss and feel constructive.

-I'm definitely psyched for the Guardians of the Galaxy. I enjoyed most of the Marvel movies, but for the most part, I find they take themselves too seriously. GotG kinda reminds me of A-team, except in space. With a raccoon. And a talking tree. I think it's hard to screw up with that combination.

-I need help spending Amazon money! Between a gift card I received for Christmas, and some points I already had on my card, I have a total of $34.07 to spend on Amazon. The only problem, I can't figure out what the heck I want. That's where you fine folks come in. You've seen what I've written about on here, so I figure I can crowd source my next purchase(s). I'm a Prime member, so that free shipping may come in handy.

I've been tempted by this guy since I first saw him mentioned on Battle Grip, but I'd hate to blow most of my money on one figure.

-I have to give thanks to Eric over at Toyriffic for the care package I recently received from him. It was unsolicited, and his offer to send it was quite unexpected. It was greatly appreciated, and will help give me more to write about. Honestly, with the amount of stuff I've received from Eric and John Gaither of The Clawful Punch over the past couple of years, I probably have enough to write about for the next 10 months.

 I'd like to make it a regular thing, where I pick a couple of blogs that I enjoy reading, and share them with the rest of you. So, who do I want to acknowledge this month? Well, I've already mentioned Eric and John, so I'll have to pick a couple more.

First up, is Kim from Fully Jointed Play Figures. This is what I consider a "feel" good blog. I can't say I've ever seen Kim type a negative word about anything. I think my favorite thing about his blog is seeing his son's enthusiasm whenever he gets a new toy. It gives me hope that not all kids are just interested in apps and video games.

Next up, is Hobgoblin238 from Monster Cafe Saltillo. I might not always agree with him, but you can't fault the man for speaking his mind. He runs a Universal Monsters themed cafe in Mexico, and still manages to find the time to make a blog post almost every day. He's commissioned some amazing WWE and WWF custom playsets as well as custom clothing for many of the figures. Hob's also one of the hardest working commenters out there. If you have a blog, there's a damn good chance he's posted at least one comment on it.

So, that's it for this month's random post. I'm hoping to get a few more posts in before the month ends, so keep your eyes open.
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