Hurricane Matt has been busy deleting the entire southern half of Florida this weekend, while simultaneously giving the rest of the east coast a shower. So, in the spirit of being stuck doing things indoors, Peter and I decided to head out to Ollie’s to see what random shit we could pick up for bargain-basement prices. For the uninitiated, Ollie’s is a store that was founded by an insane man who looks like a cross between Mark Twain and Albert Einstein that stocks only the finest in shit that failed to sell at other retailers. You can find everything from Roy Rogers DVD box sets to ancient boxes of BatmanVSuperman: The Cereal. Think Big Lots before they tried to go legit. Ollie is a shrewd motherfucker, and a caricature of actual humanity.
This time around Ollie’s had a bunch of 10-for-$6 comic blind bags. If you don’t know what a blind bag is, it’s basically a bag of random comics, usually back issues taking up space that the retailer can’t get rid of individually. They are packaged in such a way that you can see an appealing comic on the front and back, and usually have a bunch of garbage sandwiched in the middle. It’s a pot luck, though, so you never know what kind of weird things you may get. Maybe even something valuable. We decided to pick a few up and try our luck. Just for fun we decided to list the current value of these comics.
Captain Communist, a longtime friend of RBX and an avid comic collector tells us that the Comics Price Guide is the best way to go. We aren’t paying a monthly fee for a single joke, though, so we will be using comicbookrealm.com because it’s free. For added lulz, we’re listing the general asking price from Ebay.
We’re doing this shit up Big Willie Style, so my stuff is going to be in three times red, and Peter’s stuff is going to be in not-a-Zaku blue.
Cover Price: $1.25 • Comicbookrealm.com Price: $3.00 • Ebay Price: $0.99
This one came bagged and boarded, with a $4.00 price tag on it. Finding comics with some form of protection in a blind bag seemed weird to me, and that’s what helped me decide on grabbing this particular bag. Coming out of Galactic Storm, an Avengers arc that had a crappy Data East fighting game made out of it, this comic has Mullet and Moustache Tony Stark whining about a severe lack of relevance, so a bunch of purple guys feel sorry for him and teleport him to the 28th century to help save their alien world because they are all his offspring, and he’s their version of Jesus. We get our usual Iron Man story about how technology in the wrong hands leads to bad times, then a bunch of bad guys attack and Iron Man is teleported home, accomplishing nothing.
Classic Iron Man. I liked it when Tony looked like a 70’s porn star. I also like the idea of Tony Stark, a man who was so concerned about his tech falling into the wrong hands that he went on multiple world tours beating the shit out of anybody using anything that even resembled Stark-tech, accidentally causing an entire species to go from being cave people to having fucking time-travel all thanks to a helmet he lost.
This comic also features one of the most awkwardly constructed sentences I’ve ever seen:
More interesting than the story of the comic is the giant double page Marvel Master Vision ad. It’s THE ULTIMATE TRIVIA GAME! Not really! It was a 900 number that you’d call for $3.95, answer a couple of simple questions, and get a poster that isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.
There’s also an ad for Marvel tees that’s 90’s as fuck, including such hits as “Spiderman”, “Black and White Spiderman”, and “Wolverine’s Trip to the Chiropractor”. My favorite is the Punisher shirt at the bottom that looks like it’s covered in blood and has “RAGE” on it in all-caps. It’s the official shirt of Punisher Week! It’s also the official undershirt of that weird kid in 7th grade who insisted that silk-screened anime button-downs were high fashion
I also need to mention how cool the old Game Genie ad on the back of the book looks. I like how it makes the Game Genie look like some sort of futuristic pack of cigarettes. Note to self: copyright Vape Genie as soon as possible.
Cover Price: It’s free, idiot. • Comicbookrealm.com Price: $1.00 • Ebay Price: $3.99
My pile was lousy with Free Comic Book day stuff, but I suppose this is better than the two separate Civil War II preview books I ended up with that aren’t even worth covering. One of which was literally just a catalog with Civil War II’s cover printed on the back that seems like it was made for comic book retailers. I’m going to assume that made it in by accident and not as a purposeful bait-and-switch.
Beware The Batman was a CG-animated Batman cartoon which was cancelled to much fan outcry and which replaced Batman: Brave and the Bold to much fan outcry, which replaced The Batman to much fan outcry, which replaced Batman The Animated Series/New Adventures of Whatever/Justice League/Justice League Unlimited Batman to much fan outcry. Man, those fans sure like to outcry. The cartoon lasted for around nine seconds before getting shitcanned, being the poster child for Cartoon Network’s DC Nation Block of cancelled shows alongside Young Justice and Whatever That Green Lantern Show Was Called. In fact, the only thing remaining on-air out of the DC Nation block is Teen Titans Go, but we’ll get to that in a second.
I’ve never watched Beware The Batman, but from what I’ve seen in both promotional materials and in this comic, it makes some interesting choices. Including Batman’s chest and shoulders being four times as wide as his waist and replacing Alfred with Agent 47 in a bowler hat. Promotional materials for the series featured Alfred fighting alongside Batman with dual pistols. Because we all know Batman’s two favorite things are guns and things that allow for his secret identity to be compromised, in that order.
The back half of the book is dedicated to Teen Titans Go. Or more accurately is a two-page spread of reused Teen Titans Go clipart and then a reprint of a story from the original animated Teen Titans comic. That is to say, the original Teen Titans cartoon comic. The original adaptation of the Teen Titans cartoon in comic form. Man, figuring out how to refer to a comic adapted from a cartoon adapted from a comic is pretty difficult.
Anyway, it’s one of those surrounded by more random Teen Titans Go clipart. Unlike my esteemed colleague, I really liked the older Teen Titans series. It and Justice League Unlimited were what drove me to get into comic books in the first place, and to go back and watch the older DC Animated Universe stuff. So when I heard the original cast was getting back together, I was ecstatic. Then the show premiered, and it was essentially an attempt to grab some of that MLP: Friendship is Bullshit money by way of reusing the popularity of the Teen Titans. After watching the first episode, I felt like this:
Thanks, alien dude.
Batman is Batman. I don’t have much else to say. I don’t even have much to say about the Teen Titans backup story, but the two pages of Teen Titans GO… Holy shit. The Teen Titans are just like YOU! They stand awkwardly in a messy room! They do laundry by standing in front of a washing machine, facing the wrong direction! They brush their teeth via telekinesis!
Cover Price: $1.50 • Comicbookrealm.com Price: $2.50 • Ebay Price: $5.99, but only available in a lot with no reserve!
Troll Lords (TroLords?) is the most baffling thing I’ve read so far this evening. There’s not much in the way of info on either this book or Tru Studios themselves, at least as far as a cursory Google search goes. From what I was able to find, Troll Lords is fucking weird. This is a book about coping with death and/or suicide in a, to quote one site, “lighthearted way”. The issue I have deals with alcoholism and drunk driving, with a backup story about a lost girl who was apparently almost raped. All by way of The Three Stooges cosplaying as Shrek. Forget what I said about the poor usage of the word “raped” in the Iron Man comic, this is the least tactful thing I’ve seen all day.
The Troll Lords archenemy through their adventures is Death. As in the Grim Reaper. The Troll Lords cheated their way out of their own deaths, and now seek to stop bad shit from happening. Meanwhile, Death is hot on their tails, looking fly as fuck.
He looks like Tony Montana’s corpse. He’s also trying to make sure that Chuck Norris lookalike tipsily lurching his way behind the wheel of his car dies via a drunk driving accident. Again, this doesn’t seem like the type of subject matter that goofy green trolls should be covering.
The Troll Lords give chase in their goofy sidecar motorcycle, getting into a Road Rash-esque motorcycle fight with Death, who’s dressing like Hard Gay now for some reason (if you don’t know who Hard Gay is, have fun).
The trolls are eventually able to get Chuck Norris to crash into a house, which somehow doesn’t hurt anyone at all. The backup story features Neckbeard Dick Tracy, and this wonderful set of panels:
I need a shower after reading that.
The back of the cover is a giant letter from the book’s editor, complaining about how nobody wants to sell their comic. That does NOT inspire faith in my willingness to read this baffling book. I will trudge onward, however. Why are the Trolls in a bar at the start of this? I guess when you literally CANNOT die, you just have plenty of time to sit around and get wasted, steal Duke Nukem’s motorcycle until Death dresses up like RIPPER FUCKING OWENS and chases you down the highway and somebody dies.
Cover Prices: $3.25/$2.95 • Comicbookrealm.com Prices: $4.00/$4.00 • Ebay Prices:$1.00/$4.99
Normally we’re not much for Pokemon around here, but these books are interesting from an academic standpoint. Part of Viz’s “Let’s chop up manga into monthly issues” format, this comic is an officially licensed Nintendo product that had to be censored like crazy for it’s western release. This is because it was drawn by a hentai artist . I’m not kidding. Here’s how Misty looked in the original Japanese release:
And here’s an example of some of the edits that had to be done:
Keep in mind that judging by Ash’s age at the start of PackleMacklers, Misty is twelve, tops. Whatever, at least it’s not TrollLords.
Here’s another image censored from the original release, which involves Ash sucking some Team Rocket titty.
None of this is in the books that we have for obvious reasons, and other than this interesting tidbit of info the book is just a slightly more interesting take on the first eps of the Pokemon anime.
No matter where I go in my life, I cannot get away from Pokemon. Whether it’s my friends playing the games, people in public using Pokemon Go, the internet posting about it, or my girlfriend’s ringtone. Why did it have to find it’s way into THIS, of all things?
On a side note, I really want to check out the pre-Origin Mobile Suit Gundam manga being advertised on the back of issue #3:
Man, the wild west days of anime importing were kinda cool. Whoever wrote that ad copy had no idea what Gundam was, and by extension neither did anyone else. Hell, I remember having to buy Animerica’s Complete Guide to Gundam to learn about the installments I hadn’t seen yet, because the random GeoCities pages I found just didn’t have enough info. It’s pretty cool that now everything has both a Wikipedia entry and its own dedicated fan wiki, but part of me is nostalgic for only having a few paragraphs and some black-and-white line drawings to tell me about stuff like Gundam X. I also wish I hadn’t accidentally destroyed that Complete Guide to Gundam. Might have to remedy that with a trip to Amazon.
Why is there a price drop between issues, when Pokemon’s stock was steadily rising around this time?
Cover Prices: $2.95/$2.95 • Comicbookrealm.com Price: $6.00/$6.00 • Ebay Price: $13.65/$9.71 (wtf?)
Even less to say about these ones. It’s another Viz chop-job, this time featuring the original DBZ manga. It’s interesting that the DBZ books read right-to-left while the Pokemon books read left-to-right. Apparently Viz put out two editions of the books: a left-to-right edition for stupid baka gaijins, and a “manga style” edition for weaboos. Of course, real manga fans read the subtitled versions in the original Japanese.
DRAGON DRAGON DROPTHE DRAGON DRAGON BALLLLL Z\
It’s also pretty funny that you can be missing issues 1 and 3 and still get most of the story. I guess that’s down to the glacial pacing of DBZ. At least it’s not the anime.
DRAGON DRAGON DRAP THE DAGRON COME A CONME GET ME
Krillin knows the struggle.
Cover Price: $2.95 • Comicbookrealm.com Price: $4.00 • Ebay Price: $1.49
I hate comic books.
Which is sloppier, a peanut butter sandwich or a hot dog? It’s an ad for jeans on the first fucking page that has nothing to do with the rest of the comic, and I’m already baffled.
This book is from back in the days of Mulletman. I always preferred the long ‘do on Supes. Makes him seem more loosened up.
This book opens with Superman being drained by the Parasite, who looks like what would happen if Grimace hit the gym. The Parasite gives Supes one hell of a sucking, and then goes to town on the SPAAAACE POLICE. Also, bonus Batman 4Ever: The Game ad.
Superman is then captured by some purple motherfucker for some crimes he didn’t commit. I guess this is the reason for the big “The TRIAL of SUPERMAN” tag on the top of the cover. It’s really hard to make The X of SUPERMAN a thing after The DEATH of, but by God they’re trying.
Alternate titles for this book include “The YELLING AT BY ANT PEOPLE of SUPERMAN” and “The EXCUSE FOR THE ARTISTS TO DRAW RANDOM SPACE BULLSHIT of SUPERMAN”. Notice the cameo from Pepe the Frog in the upper right-hand corner. Feels good, man!
Superman is able to break out and recharge in the rays of God’s Golden Yellow Sun™. He then chokes that purple dude out and THROWS HIM INTO THE FUCKING SUN.
However, that’s not enough to kill him. This guy really gives a shit about his milk-brother, whatever the fuck that means. Meanwhile The Centurion fights an ever-growing Parasite.
The Parasite escapes, Grape dude gets double-crossed by the denizens of Alien Night Court, and Superman ends up in chains and looking like he belongs in the Doom comic. RIP AND TEAR!
I’ve spent way too much time talking about a B-tier Superman comic
Did I mention that I hate comic books?
Cover Price: $1.75 • Comicbookrealm.com Price: $5.00 • Ebay Price: $4.99 for a LOT OF FIVE!
Marvel 2099. Hoooboy… Marvel 2099…
This right here symbolizes everything that helped kill comics in the 90’s. Shiny hologram cover. #1 under the pricetag. Charleston Chew ad offering a collectible Wolverine comic. Thick-ass cardboard cover, but newspaper quality pages. It’s all here, folks! Style over substance all the way!
The 2099 comics weren’t great. They were so un-great, in fact, that they were all quickly cancelled after their first crossover and rolled into Doom 2099. Funny thing about that is that Doom 2099 was the only 2099 character who wasn’t some kind of weird, futuristic reimagining of an old hero. It was literally Dr. Doom who got stuck in the future by accident.
Now I could sit here and say all of the usual nostalgia blogger things about how “What the shock” is a strange phrase and whatnot, but I’m more interested in THE ULTIMATE GHOST RIDER TRIVIA GAME. Check out these rules:
- Game is played against a 1:40 clock.
- After entering your telephone #, you have 3 chances to acquire Ghost Rider’s powers by pressing the * key in a timely fashion.
- 1st chance between :02-03.
- 2nd & 3rd chance between :02-:04
- 3 misses and the ride’s over.
- You will then hear Ghost Rider statements.Confirm true statements by pressing the * key. If false, correct the LAST word in the phrase. Answer with either a number or the first two letters of a word.
- Each correct response earns you a link. Continue to play until the clock expires or three incorrect phrase responses. When score is tallied, if you have earned 6 or more links, write down your prize number.
- To claim your prize, print your name, address, social security number, blood type, banking information, and claim prize number on a 3×5 card. Send to Marvel Comics and pray for death.
How the fuck do you play this?
Spider-Man 2099 is an interesting case. The first issue is the reason I chose the blind bag, but I don’t actually give a shit about the inside of the comic. I feel like this was the reasoning behind 90% of the people who grabbed this book. It’s shiny, it’s limited edition (supposedly), and it’s the start of a new Marvel line. Instant money, right? NOPE. It and its other shiny-covered brethren are relegated to the bargain bin even today. You can get copies of this book for less than a dollar. Still gonna frame my copy, though. That cover hits the perfect mix of Spidey and Cyberpunk 2020.
The inside of the book is severely meh. Notable villains created in this initial outing include Silly Putty Man…
And Morbius the Living Vampire 2099.
The entire 2099 line could’ve been really cool, but instead it seemed like a dumping ground for bad reimaginings of superheroes welded to some extremely stock cyberpunk tropes. Except Ghost Rider 2099. That was rad as fuck.
Well, that’s the end of the first round of books. Thanks for reading. Be sure to check back next week for Part 2, which includes 100% more 90’s Image trash and 200% more snark!