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The Guide to the Guide to Comics – WIZARD #47 (July 1995)

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John Byrne sounds off!  Roger Stern…is more subdued.  Wizard casts a Sandman film, and tries to explain what this internet thing is supposed be!  All in today’s Guide to the Guide to Comics!

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The hype machine for the 1995 Judge Dredd film has begun.  (You can see Bisley’s original painting for this cover here.)  Something about that movie I’ve never understood — if the villain of the piece was supposed to be Dredd’s clone, why didn’t Sylvester Stallone also play him?  He could’ve kept his helmet on as Dredd, while also playing the film’s unmasked villain, which would’ve served as a fantastic marketing hook for the film.  Honestly, I don’t remember a single thing about this movie, except Diane Lane stating in a junket interview that she was proud of how her butt looked in her Versace-designed costume.  Click here to see some of the Versace designs that didn’t make the cut.

In this month’s Wizard, we have…A feature story on the recent trend of comics appearing on the big screen, John Byrne and Roger Stern interviews, a Casting Call for the Sandman movie (with no reference to that kid with long hair on 3rd Rock from the Sun), a piece on seventeen-year-old artist Trent Kaniuga, a story on comic covers appearing in art exhibits, and a timely story about the internet connecting “comic book geeks” around the world.

The regular columns include Cut & Print, Greg Capullo’s Krash Course, Toying Around, Palmer’s Picks (focusing on Eddie Campbell), Manga Scene, Wizard of Cards, and Todd McFarlane’s E.G.O.

The Departments include the usual blend of letters, fan art, trivia, Top 10 lists, the Wizard Profile, and market information.

 

Magic Words

Jim McLauchlin opens the column by reporting on the feedback he’s received on the magazine’s features lately.  He’s stunned that a humor feature like Hot Off the Griddle, which the staff loved, wasn’t well received by fans.  He then asks readers if they would like to see more serious articles, or just a mix of humor and serious pieces.  After that, it’s a fairly standard letter column…the original writer of Turok takes Valiant to task for inaccurate text pieces in The Original Doctor Solar and The Original Turok reprint books (he hates the new colors, too)…a dad writes in to defend the Comics Code…the history of Contest of Champions is revealed (which segues into some predictable French bashing)…a few random comics questions are asked…and finally, McLauchlin reveals the meaning of cogito ergo sum to a reader who probably assumed he didn’t know what it meant.  McLauchlin is all about Descartes, as it turns out.

Wizard News

The announcement of Alan Moore replacing James Robinson on WildC.A.T.s is the lead story, even though he’s only committed to four issues at this point.  In other news…Marvel confirms that “certain elements” of Hal Jordan’s fate will resemble upcoming Iron Man plans (this is an oblique reference to “The Crossing,” for those of you fortunate enough not to know)…Chris Claremont’s Sovereign Seven has been announced, with DC touting it as a creator-owned book set firmly in the DC Universe (have Marvel or DC done this with any other ongoing?)…Warren Ellis and Mike Deodato, Jr. are taking over Thor…George Perez has joined Tekno-Comx (just a few months after Malibu was boasting about having Perez as their latest hire)…more forgotten Marvel/Malibu crossovers are announced (including the mail-order exclusive Prime vs. Hulk, which is $14.95 for the regular edition and $44.90 for the super-premium autographed version)…DC is going exclusive with Diamond…and Mike Deodato, Jr. is penciling one of those nude Hellina variants.

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If this wasn’t the cover of the “Kissed by a Rose” single, don’t tell me.

Off the Drawing Board

A hype piece for 1995’s slate of comic book movies — Batman Forever, Judge Dredd, Casper, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, and Tank Girl.  Much of the text you could cut and paste into any story on the subject today.  Comic book films are hot, we’re told, because the fans are loyal, the material offers clear-cut heroes and villains, special effects can now bring these ideas to life, and numerous cross-platform promotional opportunities exist.  What’s odd in retrospect is how few of these films are superhero movies, and why so many of the comic book movies of this era tend to be set in the 1940s.  I have to assume that was a misreading of the “non-time” aesthetic of the 1989 Batman film.

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A sidebar offers quick takes on movies in development; almost all of them are aborted projects already covered in the Cut & Print column.  However, I did discover one project in this piece — a Dr. Octopus solo film, possibly starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, directed by James Cameron.

Taking Aim

A lengthy interview with John Byrne, who’s one of Wizard’s favorite creators in this day.  For all of the grief the magazine receives for hyping artists like Stephen Platt, I guess it’s worth remembering that Wizard was almost as enthusiastic with their support of artists like Byrne and George Perez.  The interview has Byrne mostly saying things you’ll recognize today from his forum, although I did learn that Byrne (at least the Byrne of 1995) regrets eliminating Superboy from continuity.  Reading this interview, it’s clear that Byrne is firmly anti-Jim Shooter at this point; he refuses to even call him by name.

I think Taking Aim is the erroneous source of some fans’ belief that Byrne’s vehemently pro-gun.  He’s pictured with his collection of vintage Civil War-era pistols, but based on comments on his message board, this doesn’t reflect Byrne’s stance on modern weaponry.

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“I’d rather be pathetic than evil.”

Man of Today

Given the character’s popularity at the time, this is an overdue Superman piece.  More specifically, it’s about Roger Stern (another Wizard favorite) returning to Superman after a brief sabbatical, and his novelization of The Death and Life of Superman (Fortress of Baileytude did a look back on the book a while back, in case you’re interested).

Casting Call

What everyone wanted to see, Wizard casting the Sandman movie.  Their picks are…

Johnny Depp as Sandman (which, up until maybe two years ago, probably would’ve been Hollywood’s choice.)

Winona Ryder as Death

Sir Alec Guinness as Destiny (because he wore a hooded robe in Star Wars, of course.)

Zelda Rubinstein from Poltergeist as Despair

Singer k.d. lang as Desire

Tori Amos as Delirium

Roddy Piper as Destruction

Woody Allen as Lucien

Christopher Walken as Lucifer

Alan Rickman as Cain

Dom Deluise as Abel (this one turned out to be a bloodbath, huh?)

Matthew the Raven voiced by Christian Slater

Mervyn Pumpkinhead voiced by Gilbert Gottfried

Cut & Print

Rob Liefeld is confident that the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers film, directed by his friend Bryan Spicer, will create demand within Hollywood for team movies, as opposed to solo hero films.  There was a rumor, around the time of the movie’s release, that X-Men was being rushed into production in order to take advantage of the hero team fad.

New Kid on the Block

A profile on a comic artist just made for Wizard  — seventeen-year-old high school senior Trent Kaniuga, who’s photographed inside his English class.

Byte Me, Fanboy

A piece on “the increasing popularity of computer online services,” accompanied by screenshots of DC’s first webpage and early comics forums.  (And facsimile examples of online comics discussions, which turns into another opportunity for the magazine to tell us how great Joe Quesada is.  As for Marvel, they didn’t make it online until the summer of 1996, with onslaught.com)  Wizard’s going with the angle that they’re now gracing the internet with their presence so watch out — the irony being that Wizard never truly made that online transition, and it’s a major reason why the magazine died.  It’s easy to forget Wizard’s name recognition at this time; if the publisher truly wanted to dominate the online comics world, it could’ve done so.  It’s remarkable how badly Wizard fumbled its web presence, never exploiting its capital to become a legitimate competitor with CBR or Newsarama.  I can remember visiting Wizard’s website in 1998 (after I figured out that neither wizard.com nor wizardmagazine.com was their home) and just viewing it as a mess.  Text everywhere, barely any news, and nothing recognizable from the magazine, with the exception of some sort of “real time” price guide.

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47-online0002 Only $9.95 for 5 hours of service, plus additional fees apply…

 

Manga Scene

Lea Hernandez offers some tips on how to order this wacky thing called “Manga.”  Make sure you’re specific, and don’t ask for the “anime/manga with the girl that carries a big gun.”

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Comic Watch/Good & Cheap

Wizard suggests Man of Steel #0 is a potential collector’s item, due to the first appearance of Conduit.  Meanwhile, Good & Cheap suggests you purchase the first two issues of Miracleman, which is going for only $4.75 in these days.

Picks from the Wizard’s Hat

This month’s top picks are Spawn: Blood Feud #1, Spider-Man: Maximum Clonage Alpha (really?!), X-O Manowar #50-X & #50-O, Godzilla #1, & Solar, Man of the Atom #50.  The Godzilla series, by the way, is set to feature rotating creative teams in future issues, including Arthur Adams and Sid and Nancy director Alex Cox.

Top 100 – May 1995

Spawn is once again the Number One book on the Diamond chart, followed almost exclusively by X-books for the rest of the Top Ten.  The only non-Spawn, non-X books in the Top Ten are Gen 13 #2 at Six and Sovereign Seven #1 at Eight.  Superman titles continue to do well, even though Lady Death #3 is outselling them all at Number Twelve.  Spider-Man and Batman books continue to sell competitively throughout the #25-50 positions on the chart.

Wizard Market Watch

In the category of “well, we thought it was an interesting fact,” Lady Death #1 is now listed at a higher value than Sandman #1.  Meanwhile, Wizard suggests giving your Stephen Platt Moon Knights and early X-O Manowar issues the “heave-ho.”  We also learn that DC ran a test market for variant covers all the way back in 1987; issues of Firestorm #61 and Justice League #3 had new covers for retailers in the Seattle area.  The test was to see if a new Superman-centric DC logo would help move the books; why the books featured entirely different covers instead of just logos isn’t explained.

Wizard’s Ten Hottest Artists are…

  1. Todd McFarlane
  2. J. Scott Campbell
  3. Greg Capullo
  4. Adam Kubert
  5. Andy Kubert
  6. Joe Quesada
  7. Chris Bachalo
  8. Steven Hughes
  9. Kelly Jones
  10. John Byrne

Wizard’s Top Ten Hottest Writers are…

  1. Neil Gaiman
  2. Peter David
  3. Brandon Choi
  4. Scott Lobdell
  5. Fabian Nicieza
  6. John Byrne
  7. Ron Marz
  8. Dan Jurgens
  9. James Robinson
  10. Alan Moore

(Perhaps the first time Frank Miller’s not on the Writers list.  Also, given how well the Superman titles continue to sell, it’s a bit surprising that Wizard barely acknowledges any of the creators on these lists.)

Wizard Price Guide

In the prelude to the price guide, Wizard’s “Did you know?” blurb highlights the Green Lantern Diner south of Fayetteville, NC.  It borrowed the comic’s logo, except “the diner illuminated its logo in yellow lights” instead of green.  (A few photos of it exist online today.)

E G O (Everyone’s Got Opinions)

Todd offers Spawn merchandise to the reader who submits the best letter, extolling the virtues of his favorite comic shop.

Wizard Bullpen

Wizard copy editor Andrew Karson has fulfilled his dream to meet Dee Snider by sneaking references to him throughout the magazine.  Snider’s son (and future comics writer) Jesse spotted the references and alerted his father.

The Wizard Profile

Does Amanda Conner know who the Beyonder is?

 

Yes, she does.  She’d use his powers to play “large-scale practical jokes” on the Earth.  Conner also states that she unsuccessfully lobbied Archie to revive Josie and The Pussycats while working there.

So, what did we learn today?

Money Quotes:

  • “Every month, we receive anywhere from 50 to 100 letters dealing with breakfast cereal characters.  I have no idea why.” – Magic Words
  • “I’ve heard people complain that Batman was getting too dark.” – Joel Schumacher on his plans for the Batman franchise.
  • “I feel really feel sorry for Chris.  He’s a classic example of someone trapped by his own success.  So many times, I’ve looked back and thought that the smartest thing I ever did was bail out on X-Men when I did.  I think he should have left, too…He also wouldn’t, 16 years later, have been thoroughly (screwed) over by Marvel.” – John Byrne’s thoughts on Chris Claremont.
  • “‘Maximum Clonage’ implies a lot of clones, and we intend to deliver on that promise…But by the end, we’ll have narrowed the field considerably.” – Spider-Man group editor Bob Budiansky.
  • “I had Jimmy Palmiotti and Joe Quesada make guest appearances in Barbie #43.  Look for them!” – Amanda Conner

Nope:  Michelle Pfeiffer never returns for a Tim Burton-directed Catwoman film…Jim Carrey doesn’t star in that sequel to The Mask …David Goyer’s Venom film isn’t produced…From Hell isn’t directed by Oliver Stone…the Shazam! TV series that’s pitched as “Superman meets The Wonder Years” doesn’t happen…and The Maxx #17 doesn’t feature Maxx and Sarah “returning to the shelter where it all started.”

Before They Were Stars:  Ryan Ottley is a runner-up in the Drawing Board contest with his mock Maxx cover.

Stuff Wizard Likes:  The following books receive the “Recommended Reading” label…Aquaman, Green Lantern, Grendel Tales, Magnus, Robot Fighter, Superman vs. Aliens, Tarzan vs. Predator, Tyrant, and Ultraforce.

Stuff Wizard Doesn’t Like:  People smoking near children or in bed, the theme songs to the Spider-Man, WildC.A.T.s, and Fantastic Four cartoons (c’mon; that WildC.A.T.s theme is mad fresh, yo), T.I.M.M.I.E. from Cyberforce, Wolverine constantly being near-death, POGs, Sersi from The Avengers, and new heroes always proving themselves by fighting established heroes.  Also, more astute political commentary, with a Top Ten list on how “Them Power-Hungry Republicans Intend to Screw with the Comics Industry.”

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Commercial Break:  I’m kind of curious as to why the Genesis 32X bombed.  It would seem to be a clever solution to something everyone was complaining about at the time — being “forced” to buy a new game system every few years.  Releasing an affordable add-on to your Genesis that made it twice as powerful at least sounds like a good idea in theory.

Do you want to push your Sega Genesis to the x-treme or don’t you?

Do you want to push your Sega Genesis to the x-treme or don’t you?

 

 

This Ain’t HuffPo:  A listing of the “so many babes” Sylvester Stallone has starred with (hidden in the legal text of a Judge Dredd contest)…a list of potential TV-to-movie adaptations that pleads for Dukes of Hazzard, just to see someone wear the Daisy Dukes…and a gag implying that Mary Jane Watson-Parker is only a few more hormone shots away from releasing the woman inside her.

Talkin’ ‘Bout Gen 13 (Relentlessly):  Wizard takes a break from the Top Ten Comics back issue report to reprint the thirteen covers for Gen 13 #1.  Surely this outrageous stunt will kill the variant cover fad.

I Love the ‘90s:  Diablo invented Crystal Pepsi, according to a joke in the Wizard of Cards segment, and Ash #4 will reveal a stunning secret (possibly about OJ.)

Vive la France:  The CBIQ has France as a joke answer to a Star Trek question, stating that they surrendered before Captain Kirk “could kick their asses.”

Pathological Scatological:  Wizard questions if Emplate uses his long nose to smell his own butt, and Deal a Meal has given Kingpin “the trots” in (where else?) the Wizard of Cards segment.

Cheap and Stupid and Trashy?:  Another issue without The Mort of the Month and Stupid But True.  Is my memory playing tricks on me — did these segments only run for a few months and then disappear?  Without them, the issue is noticeably less fun, but Wizard does manage to reintroduce a bit of commentary to the magazine.  There’s obviously a lot of hype, but there’s also some personality to balance it out.  The interviews are entertaining (especially if you were like me at this date and didn’t realize John Byrne had, um, opinions), and many of the jokes work.  And that article about the internet is certainly notable, just as an artifact of the times.

Until next time, find me here…

Not Blog X * Twitter * Tumblr * The (David) Milch Studies * Yeah, Shut Up. – My novel on Amazon, still available for free for Kindle Unlimited members. Reviews are welcome…

33 Comments

If you were unaware of Byrne’s “opinions” before this, you should have been reading his “A Flame About This High…” column, in Next Men and his other books. The man had axes to grind. At the time, I tended to agree with a lot of his criticism of Image; but, also felt he was pretty hypocritical, when he would bash them for just rehashing their Marvel work, while he was producing Next Men, Danger Unlimited, and Torch of Liberty, which were hardly a change of pace from his Marvel work. Sometimes, though, I had to wonder if Byrne just said some of that stuff to ring attention to himself and his books. In the end, Image survived and he was back to working for DC and Marvel.

Judge Dredd was a mess; but, the costumes were a nice interpretation. The more recent Dredd was far more faithful; but, the helmet and uniform of the Judges wasn’t bad, in the first film. It was just about everything else (especially Rob Schneider; ugh!!!!!!!) that sucked.

As it stood, Sovereign Seven’s integration into the DC Universe wasn’t that deep. It ended up more marketing tease than reality. I had hopes for something interesting; but, I seem to recall dropping the book rather quickly. It just seemed like a very run-of-the-mill superhero team, with nothing unique as a hook. Claremont’s Aliens vs Predator mini and Star Trek graphic novel were far more entertaining.

I spent years looking for that Justice League with the Superman test logo thanks to Wizard. Never did find one

Mort of the Month definitely returns. It’s where I first heard of Ruby Thursday, The Ten-Eyed Man, The Orb, and others.

Again thanks, G.

I have this issue, the Dredd cover is one of the best ever.

The Byrne interview was pretty great. Yes, I had the notion by reading this, he sounded hurt the comic industry was leaving him behind. He was no longer that popular and the guys who were, were doing all the things he didn’t do.

Stern as usual was a class act.

The Sandman casting call was kinda cool… it would be great, back then, to see Depp as Sandman. We hardly knew.

Keep going the work!

Also Doctor Sun and Peepers. It’s strange that every one I can remember has something to do with eyes, a head that’s not a head, or both.

The reason (or one of them, anyway) that the 32X bombed is because it compounded the problem of needing to keep buying a new thing rather than alleviating it. The Sega CD had just come out in December 1991, then the 32X released November 21 1994, followed IMMEDIATELY by the new Sega Saturn console on November 22, 1994. You could probably argue it would have had more legs if it was given some breathing room away from the Saturn, but I think even without that people were already getting sick of buying new junk to plug into their Genesis and wanted the real next console already.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a Genesis with a CD and 32X plugged up, but it’s a Frankenstein-esque monstrosity of tangled cables and protruding parts.

All I remember about Sovereign Seven is that the characters said “sitch” a lot, as in “What’s the sitch?” and “This sitch is dangerous!” And that it included Power Girl at some point.

If possible, could you mention the other covers for this issue? I know I have this one, but not with the Dredd cover. IIRC, they did include all the covers in little pics on the table of contents page.

I dig this feature, btw. I’m totally going to nerd out at some point and dig out my copies and read along someday!

Byrne was absolutely right about Image Comics, or at least Image in its early days.

Jeff Nettleton, deep down, my problem with Image was not that they were derivative of Marvel, but that they were derivative in a bad way. A dumbing down of a period that was already a dumbing down. Yes, Byrne’s stuff was similar to his earlier work, but Next Men at least had more of a grounded, hard sci-fi flavor, that I was pretty much into, at the time.

Looking on this archive, I only see one cover for the issue, and they’re very good about finding the alternate covers: http://blog.adlo.es/category/la-otra-guia-del-comic/page/5/

Man, it bugs me, because I’m looking online and I can’t find an alternate cover either, but I’m reasonably sure that my copy (which I believe would have been a subscription copy at that point) has — something! — else on the cover. I don’t remember Dredd, and I’m pretty good at remembering the covers of stuff.

I’ll have to get my hard hat out and start excavating, find it in the pile ;)

There isn’t anything in the table of contents showing the alt covers? Maybe they hadn’t started that yet, but I know at some point they show the other covers on the table of contents page.

@Rene
Oh, I agree with you that Byrne was far more successful in doing something interesting with Next Men. I enjoyed the series, though I don’t think it held together by the time he hit the conclusion. 2112 was a different story and I really was disappointed on his art on that. The story itself is a bit muddled and I had to read it a couple of times to make sense of some of it. I like Danger Unlimited, though it screamed FF far more than even the Furst Family, in Astro City. Torch of Liberty was my favorite of his Dark Horse books, as it is a nice Cap pastiche, but in a lighter vein. I would have liked to have read more of that, had Byrne produced it. Much like the Batman Captain America and the Superman/Batman Generations stuff, it felt like he was having a ball and it made it a much more fun read.

As for Image themselves, Valentino was the only one whose work I had greatly enjoyed, though I liked some of McFarlane’s work at DC and Liefeld, when cleaned up by Karl Kesel, on Hawk & Dove. Valentino, though, I preferred on normalman, though I did enjoy Guardians of the Galaxy. Shadowhawk was forgettable; but, I liked A Touch of Silver. I also though Valentino did a pretty good job when he was running the business side of things, bringing in some different voices.

S7 might have been the first….I wanna say Young Heroes in Love was right around then, a bit after…there have been a couple other creator owned DCU books, haven’t there? Was Power Company? I know Monolith reverted…do you count Peter Cannon?

On Randal’s point, Bloodhound was a character integrated into the DCU in this century. Dark Horse recently reprinted the DC series, but did…something… to take out the DC references. And didn’t include the Firestorm crossover.

Say what you will about Wizard and their casting choices, but for me, having read this issue before I ever read Sandman, Gilbert Gottfried *is* Mervyn Pumpkinhead.

I am planning on retiring on the proceeds from my sales of copies of Conduit’s first appearance. Just you wait and see. It’ll happen!

As for Byrne and Image, it wasn’t the mediocre to bad writing that made Image great. Nor the bad scheduling and the non-existent sense that it could beat Marvel and DC at this point. It was great because seven guys went out there and started their own company and owned their own material. They employed more people, some of them owned their own material, too. Yes, some of those books weren’t great either. Believe it or not, it wasn’t the ‘image’ that made it great, it was the spirit of independence. It still goes on today. In that way, Image is one of the best things to come out of the 90s.

That era had more Dark Horse movies than DC and that one Marvel movie. Sure, you didn’t get all the comic book adaptions that we have now, but you also didn’t have about 50 remakes a year. I really like the 90s pop culture of music and movies. My health was deteriorating around this time, at least I had stuff to keep me company.

Sovereign Seven was just meh. Claremont’s writing is to complicated. There was no real introduction to each character and who they were for me. My problem with Gen 13 (well, one of the problems) was that it was to hip. They had a character named Grunge and that musical trend had already officially ended. It makes everything dated when you make it that way. I think Crystal Pepsi was over by this time, too. It mostly tasted like Sprite, if my memory is correct. The ‘internet’. Reduce the human population to being connected to a computer all their lives. Stupid idea. :)

I don’t know anything about that 32X Sega thing. I still have my Genesis. It was the last console I bought until a few months ago.

The last time I saw anything from Stephen Platt it must of been in the Iron Man movie, because I saw his name in the credits somewhere. Greg Capullo. Whatever happened to that guy? :)

He’s on Bat… something.

Lex –

I think Image’s liberating influence on the industry took a while to become evident. To me, at the time, it felt more like bragging from some bratty dudes who had destroyed the Bronze Age of Comics for me, and told me that my generation’s taste was passé, and now it was all big guns, splash pages, ugly art, and convoluted storylines. But yeah, took me a while to realize that all of a sudden I was reading Astro City, Planetary, Next Men, all of that non-Marvel/DC stuff. The comic book industry got bigger and more diverse, and we largely have Image to thank for it. Though another big part of it was the success of Vertigo over at DC, that allowed the American comic book industry to transcend superheroes a little.

The 32X suffered from the release of the Sega Saturn. It was abandoned before it was ever released. It had few games made for it because most companies were busy coding for the Saturn and it’s dual processor problem.

Nobody was going to waste money on an add on for a console that was about to become obsolete (at the time. Now Genesis are bigger than ever).

Image of today I don’t think bears any resembelance to the Image of the early 90s. Then it was more style over substance and now it’s the reverse. Except for Savage Dragon and Spawn, is there any book image is doing now that they were doing then? I’m not talking about them doing like a WILDCats limited here and there. Something continuous since then…

Travis Pelkie. I had the issue in question too, with a different cover, and the other cover is Superman by Tom Grummett, where he’s lifting a giant boulder overhead. Just google Wizard Magazine 47 images and it shows up.

After looking at those Judge Dredd costume designs, I take back every bad thought I’ve ever had about any comics artist.

And who doesn’t like the 90’s Spidey intro!? That thing still rocks! I’m still disappointed that the first Sam Raimi movie ignored that route and went with an opening theme so generically… ‘spooky fanfare’… that could’ve been swapped out for Zathura, or Casper, or something, and nobody would realise.

Here’s the alternate Superman cover: http://www.bidrevolution.com/images//mags/wizard47a.JPG
Wizard isn’t publishing a tiny image of the alternate cover yet, and none of the cover browser sites seem to have this one. I only found it by specifically searching for Wizard Magazine 47 Superman.

The 32X was an obvious stopgap with no future. There were early rumors that the 32X plus a Genesis and a Sega CD would let you play Saturn games, but while it ultimately had some similarities with the Saturn hardware, it wasn’t powerful enough to handle Saturn games without considerable paring down. Sega did some decent ports like VIRTUA FIGHTER (which played better than the Saturn port released around the same time) and STAR WARS ARCADE, but too many third-party titles were just slightly enhanced ports of 16-bit games like BLACKTHORNE, PITFALL: THE MAYAN ADVENTURE, PRIMAL RAGE, TOUGHMAN CONTEST, and MORTAL KOMBAT II, which didn’t make it particuarly appealing to drop $150 on a 32X instead of putting it towards a Saturn or (more likely) a Playstation. It also got basically no Japanese third-party support because the Genesis/Mega Drive itself hadn’t done well in Japan, not to mention the fact that the Saturn actually beat the 32X to the Japanese market (in the U.S. the 32X had a six-month head start). ROMANCE OF THE THREE KINGDOMS IV was the 32X’s only third-party title from a Japanese publisher.

The newsstand version was the Superman cover, which I vaguely remembered. A google search popped up the image.

I think this was a pretty decent casting call. While there might be grief over a lot of the choices, remember that this was just in the beginning of the internet. All the info of actors and actresses in movies was a little harder to come by.. You could ever saw Patrick Stewart was cast by Wizard because he’s a bald British guy….

Steve and G

AH! Yes, the Superman cover! That is the one I had. Thanks!

I’m trying to remember their rationale — I’m pretty sure mine was a subscription copy at that point, so I think subscription and general newsstand got the same cover, but direct market got the Dredd one? I think the general newsstand got the more “commercial” character, but I’m not sure if they got bagged with the goodies that each issue had. I’m not sure. And of course I didn’t keep the goodies stored together with each issue, so I’m not always sure what came out when.

I’m trying to remember their rationale — I’m pretty sure mine was a subscription copy at that point, so I think subscription and general newsstand got the same cover, but direct market got the Dredd one? I think the general newsstand got the more “commercial” character, but I’m not sure if they got bagged with the goodies that each issue had. I’m not sure. And of course I didn’t keep the goodies stored together with each issue, so I’m not always sure what came out when.

That’s exactly the scenario. They described it as much at one point. The direct market got the less famous characters that would never be able to work on the newsstand, like Judge Dredd (at the time).

I’m curious, though, why they wouldn’t have given subscribers the DM cover. Especially if newsstand wasn’t bagged with the stuff. They would have had 2 different runs to be polybagged, then.

Oh well, this column is fun. And thanks to Steve, because now I don’t have to go digging for my copy. And it IS a dig!

I used to post on Wizard’s message boards in the late 90s/early 00s. From what I recall, it was a pretty fun place before a lot of poster migrated over to another place. I have no memory of looking at the main Wizard site though.

“I’m curious, though, why they wouldn’t have given subscribers the DM cover. Especially if newsstand wasn’t bagged with the stuff. They would have had 2 different runs to be polybagged, then.”

The newsstand version was bagged with the goodies as well.

Yeah, I thought it was bagged. But I honestly can’t say that I recall that for a certainty.

Ah. I can’t remember for sure. I’m pretty sure later on it was bagged for the newsstand, so it probably was earlier too.

I think I may be conflating it with Hero Illustrated, the newsstand version of which was a smaller, unbagged magazine. IIRC.

^I think you might be.I got both Wizard and Hero from my grandparents bookstone/newsstand. Wizard was always bagged with inserts and such from when I started picking it up around the year end issue of #29.

Hero Illustrated I do remember getting inserts and mini comics, which means it was bagged at times. But I’m pretty sure there were times they weren’t bagged too. I also want to say the size shrunk as it wore on…

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