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CSBG Archive

Gimmick or Good? Archive

Here is a collection of all the Gimmick or Good? pieces written by Mark Ginocchio. In this feature, Mark reviews a comic that has a gimmick cover and determines in his view whether the comic was simply a GIMMICK or whether the comic inside the cover was actually GOOD.

1. Spider-Man #1

2. Marvels #1-4

3. Superman #75

4. Silver Surfer #50

5. Amazing Spider-Man #400

6. X-Men #1

7. Infinity War #1-6

8. Captain America #400

9. Amazing Spider-Man #358

10. Iron Man #288 and 290

11. Batman #497

12. Sandman Special #1

13. Punisher War Zone #1

14. He Said She Said Comics Presents: The Amy Fisher/Joey Buttafuoco Story

15. Adventures of Superman #500

16. Green Lantern #50

17. Youngblood #1

18. Avengers 30th Anniversary Issues (#360, 363, 366, 369)

19. Spectacular Spider-Man #200

20. X-Men #25 and Wolverine #75

21. X-O Manowar #0

22. Daredevil #321

23. Infinity Crusade #1

24. Batman #500

25. X-Force #1

26. Incredible Hulk #377

27. Spider-Man 2099 #1

28. Spawn #1 Reprint Variant

29. Crazyman #1

30. Venom: Lethal Protector #1

31. Thor #500

32. Maxx #1

33. Fantastic Four #1

34. Sensational Spider-Man #0

35. Eclipso: The Darkness Within #1

36. Detective Comics #675

37. Wolverine #50

38. Superman The Wedding Special #1

39. Tribe #1

40. Fantastic Four #371-375

41. Silver Sable and the Wild Pack #1

42. Magnus Robot Fighter #25

43. Ghost Rider #15

44. Captain America #450

45. Daredevil: The Man Without Fear #1-5

46. Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 2 #1

47. X-Men Alpha and X-Men Omega

48. Legends of the Dark Knight #1

49. Bloodshot #1

50. Cyberspace 3000 #1

51. Flash #80


How about Bloodshot #1 from 1992, or X-O Manowar #0. Chromium, chromium, chromium!
OR even Deathmates…… heh. Deathmate.

1. Spider-Man #1 – great art, weak story

2. Marvels #1-4 – a 90s classic

3. Superman #75 – fan ficition, turned away 3 million people from ever reading a comic again

4. Silver Surfer #50 – decent

5. Amazing Spider-Man #400 – another fan-level artist

6. X-Men #1 – decent, but cliched writing from a writer in his twilight. Still light years ahead of the X-crap to come

7. Infinity War #1-6 – a pale shadow of Infinity Gaunlet

8. Captain America #400 – n/a

9. Amazing Spider-Man #358 – trash

10. Iron Man #288 and 290 – n/a

11. Batman #497 – mediocre

12. Sandman Special #1 – a classic *****

13. Punisher War Zone #1 – decent

14. He Said She Said Comics Presents: The Amy Fisher/Joey Buttafuoco Story – ???

15. Adventures of Superman #500 – mediocre

16. Green Lantern #50 – decent, but butchered the character

17. Youngblood #1 – zero

18. Avengers 30th Anniversary Issues (#360, 363, 366, 369) – mostly trash, but for the Sal Buscema art

19. Spectacular Spider-Man #200 – decent

20. X-Men #25 and Wolverine #75 – okay

21. X-O Manowar #0 – good

22. Daredevil #321 – n/a

How about Spider-Man #17? Death of Spider-Man at the hands of Thanos. Great cover despite the gimmick. Remember it being a good story but I was probably 12 when I read it?

Great column and covers a lot of ground on comics I haven’t had a chance to read.

Half of these aren’t even gimmick comics! What the heck is the writer talking about??

I dont understand. the link i clicked on said the comics showcased would be “solid reads” to which I spied youngblood number 1 in the list. Thankfully the review was honest about how bad the book was…… hence NOT a solid read. Think your title should be changed to gimmicky covers of the 90’s reviewed or something.

No, the link you clicked on did not say that.

It said: “Which Gimmick Comics from the 90s were actually solid reads?”

@ Brian Cronin: Forget about the above comments above your last post.These people simply can’t read period. This is why we suffer so many cancellations of great comics because the sub literate set get too confused and can’t focus past 3 second intervals.

Brian. my bad! I should have read the description underneath the heading which would have explained it better. Doh! I think “sub literate” is going a bit far though :o)

Spider-Man #1- loved Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man
Superman #75- Superman dies. It got me reading it.
Silver Surfer #50- loved Ron Lim’s Silver Surfer
X-Men #1- X-Men was great at that time
X-Men #25 and Wolverine #75- Wolverine loses his adamantium for years.

Those were the best ones.

How has Incredible Hulk 377 not been featured here yet?!

What makes those comics of the 90’s covers Gimmicks, Todays “Gimmick” is Variant covers that you pay out the ass for,just to boost sales. I personally see another 90’s meltdown in the near future.

I have some of those variables under scrutiny. My takes are these:

1. Marvels 1-4: EPIC–NUFF SAID!
2. Superman 75: More on art and shock value, though enjoyable.
3. X-men 1: Jim Lee’s art pinnacle, but somehow failed to synchronize well with Claremont’s vision (I got ALL covers), thus, decent one.
4. Infinity War 1-6: The first one was good but the rest was so forced to be read at all. Indeed, this and the third part were (and still are) pale to the Infinity Gauntlet.
5. Batman 497: I possess two covers and I still regard this one as awesome, more powerful than Superman 75.
6. Green Lantern 50: Decent read, and great art, particularly Tanghal’s intricate embellishments (and still glowing in the dark after two decades!).
7. X-men 25 and Wolverine 75: Loving these even without the hologram stuffs on these. The excruciating pains and struggles of Wolverine alone are still resonating in my mind.
8. X-O Manowar 0: Just plain decent. Got it due to its first appearance and Joe Quesada’s art.
9. Infinity Crusade 1: Stilted dialogues, uninspiring artwork, and repetitious plot. A major disappointment to Starlin.
10. X-Force 1: NAH! (Much worse on Youngblood 1; though I don’t ever buy that one).
11. Batman 500: having two covers, I simply love the smack-down between Bane and Azrael/Batman. Hence, good story but strong superhero illustrations.
12. Venom: Lethal Protector 1: having the “red” foil cover, but the story’s bland despite Bagley’s great art.
13. Maxx 1: the most underrated series in the list. This deserves some serious love from comic readers (gladly, IDW relaunches this classic series).
14. Spawn 1: the pinnacle of McFarlane’s artistic career, yet that didn’t last long enough (can’t blame him for he’s very busied in other matters in his newly-found company).
15. Adventures of Superman 500: re-reading the story from my trade, it’s very heartwarming and more substance than Superman 75; though I don’t have the single issue. And,
16. Sandman Special 1: AWESOME. One cannot go wrong with Gaiman’s caliber!

I always thought gimmick covers were just that. Mulitple covers (variants, blood in the ink, holofoil, lenticular covers, bagged books) that type stuff. A gate fold, like Thor 500, that’s just a double sided cover, Batman 500 might push it some what with the extra cover, but still not a gimmick, unless there were multiple covers with different characters. Gimmick covers to me are the new 52 JLA 51 state flag covers. Any book that has multiple covers and the same story inside, That’s a gimmick.

Remember that year when Green Arrow, The Flash and Wonder Woman had those black silhouettes on foil-but-not-foil covers? All three of those were actually pretty good. I want to say it was their #100 issues.

You should review Tribe #1- I’m very curious to see how well you feel it holds up.

The book sold over 1 million copies and to this day is the top selling book by an African-American creative team. (Or was that the top selling book featuring primarily African-American characters?)

The book was notable for featuring a gimmick cover that didn’t feature art by the series artist (Larry Stroman) or any of the characters from the book (it was simply a graphic of the book title).

Even more interesting, after following such a successful debut, the Image founders voted to stop publishing the book because of its tardiness (this was during the time when tardiness was destroying Image’s reputation with retailers). A total of 4 issues were produced under three different publishers (Image, Axis Comics, and Good Comics).

For some reason, a lot of people never mention Tribe #0, published by Good Comics, when they talk about the book. #0 is actually #4, as it competes the storyline from the first three issues. It was supposed to lead into an all new #1 that never happened.

What abaout Ghost Rider glow in the dark cover? I can’t remember the issue number. It had the flaming skull on the cover and sometime used on T-Shirts.. a really cool image by Mark Texeira.

how about Force Works #1. It had a pop-up cover.

Marvel Comics: Darkhold: Book Of SIns #11 (parchment cover made to look like an envelope) or #15 (spot varnish cover). These types of covers also found there was to Morbius, Ghost Rider, Ghost Rider/Blaze: Spirits Of Vengeance, Night Stalkers as they were all part of a crossover. Also, the first issue of all these series were polybagged with a poster.

Marvel Comics: NightStalkers #4…not really a gimmick but contains a 1 page “In Memoriam” for Superman, who died in Superman #75. One of the Nightstalkers visits Superman’s grave.

The Last Avengers Story would be cool to see for this.

[…] just a gimmick or whether the comic within the gimmick cover was good. Hence “Gimmick or Good?” Here is an archive of all the comics featured so far. We continue with 1992?s foil cover Spider-Man […]

Thank you for updating this list! I believe it wasn’t done since the #46 (“Amazing Spider-Man” 2nd series, #1).

For the next entries, I suggest “Gen13″ (regular series) #1 and its 13 covers, as well “The Darkness #11″ eleven ones (that I know)!

(At least the former had the excuse of being the first issue after the launching mini-series. The later had none of this. And one of the variants was a chromium one!)

(At least here in Brazil these variant covers weren’t sold separately: they were shown as posters or pin-ups at the end of regular issues or, more often, between stories at anthology comics, our normal presentation way of publishing.)

How about Reign of the Supermen

Superman: The Man of Steel #22
Superman (vol. 2) #78
The Adventures of Superman #501
Action Comics #687

These books introduced or reintroduced 4 characters that would be permanent additions to Superman’s supporting cast.

Personally I like some of them. Spider-Man #1 with three different types of color webbing, that’s bad and I don’t like multiple covers in general, but glow in the dark, die cut, 3D and some types of foil covers…definitely make the covers look good!

Anything from the Waid-Weiringo or Waid-Larocca runs will always have the good conclusion. Even #100. Those books were comic book gold.

My vote is, some of them can be really good comics with gimicky covers. Marvels is a prime example.

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