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Mark Ginocchio, Author at Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources

Gimmick or Good? – Daredevil: The Man Without Fear #1-5

In this column, Mark Ginocchio (from Chasing Amazing) takes a look at the gimmick covers from the 1990s and gives his take on whether the comic in question was 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 the red foil covers for Daredevil: The Man Without Fear #1-5…

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Daredevil: The Man Without Fear #1-5 (published October 1993 to February 1994) – script by Frank Miller, pencils by John Romita Jr., inks by Al Williamson

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the first appearance of Daredevil this month, Gimmick or Good? will take a look at the five-part miniseries that reimagined ‘Ol Hornhead’s origins. The Man Without Fear marked Frank Miller’s return to the character he revolutionized after a six-year absence. In commemoration of this special event, each issue in the series sported a red foil embossed cover.

But what about inside the comics?
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Gimmick or Good? – Captain America #450

In this column, Mark Ginocchio (from Chasing Amazing) takes a look at the gimmick covers from the 1990s and gives his take on whether the comic in question was 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 the dual covers for Captain America #450…

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Captain America #450 (published April 1996) – script by Mark Waid, art by Ron Garney

Mark Waid and Ron Garney’s initial run on Captain America was a short-lived affair sandwiched between Mark Gruenwald’s 10-year tenure as writer and the controversial Heroes Reborn/Rob Liefeld reboot in 1996. Still, in only a handful of issues, Waid and Garney (who would return in 1998 for Vol. 3 of the series) crafted a number of highly regarded stories, including Captain America #450, the first part of the “Man Without a Country” arc. To celebrate the “historic” 450th issue of the series (remember, in the 90s, any issue number that could be divided by 25 was considered important), the comic sported two covers: one of Steve Rogers pulling off his shirt to reveal his Captain America attire (a la Superman), and another of Cap in full costume on the front page of a fictitious news magazine (which coincidentally resembles Time’s format and color scheme).

But what about inside the comic?
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Gimmick or Good? – Ghost Rider #15

GhostRider15_coverIn this column, Mark Ginocchio (from Chasing Amazing) takes a look at the gimmick covers from the 1990s and gives his take on whether the comic in question was 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 the glow-in-the-dark cover for Ghost Rider #15…

Ghost Rider #15 (published July 1991) – script by Howard Mackie and art by Mark Texeira

I’ve had many of you ask via the comments section when I was going to get to this comic, but I thought I’d wait for it to coincide with the All-New Marvel Now reboot of Ghost Rider, which was released earlier this week. If ever there was a Marvel 90s gimmick cover Mount Rushmore (I think this is something we should make happen right now), Ghost Rider #15 would probably be up there alongside Spider-Man #1, X-Men #1 and Silver Surfer #50. As the House of Idea’s very first glow-in-the-dark cover (though Vertigo’s Sandman Special #1 beat them to the punch industry-wide), Ghost Rider #15 is one of the most famous comics from the 1990s.

But what about inside the comic?
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Gimmick or Good? – Magnus Robot Fighter #25

Magnus25_coverIn this column, Mark Ginocchio (from Chasing Amazing) takes a look at the gimmick covers from the 1990s and gives his take on whether the comic in question was 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 the embossed foil cover for Magnus Robot Fighter #25…

Magnus, Robot Fighter #25 (published June 1993) – script by John Ostrander and art by James Brock and Ralph Reese. Cover by Bob Layton.

This month, Dynamite Comics resurrected the Magnus, Robot Fighter franchise. This superhero series has a long and interesting history, as it was originally a Gold Key Comic first published during the early 1960s, running until its cancellation in 1977. About 15 years later, the franchise was revived by former Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter as a centerpiece of his new Valiant publishing label (Shooter also scripted the first 20 or so issues). That series lasted until the mid-90s, but was a casualty of Acclaim Entertainment’s buyout of Voyager Communications, the company that owned Valiant. Over the subsequent years, Magnus returned multiple times, most recently for four issues via Dark Horse comics.

The 25th issue of the Valiant series features an all-silver foil cover courtesy of longtime Marvel artist and Valiant co-founder Bob Layton. The comic, which explains some of the origins of the series’ titular character, sold nearly 750,000 copies during its heyday of the 1990s.

But what about inside the comic?
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Gimmick or Good? – Silver Sable and the Wild Pack #1

SilverSable1_coverIn this column, Mark Ginocchio (from Chasing Amazing) takes a look at the gimmick covers from the 1990s and gives his take on whether the comic in question was 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 the foil cover for Silver Sable and the Wild Pack #1…

Silver Sable & the Wild Pack (published June 1992) – script by Gregory Wright, art by Steven Butler and Jim Sanders III

Since we’ve been getting at least one brand new series or reboot nearly every week for the past month courtesy of the All-New Marvel Now initiative, I thought it would be fun to go back to the early 90s when the “House of Ideas” was pumping out new series after new series – many of which featured characters that wouldn’t even show-up in a team book these days, not to mention their very own solo book.

Case in point, Silver Sable and her team of mercenaries, the Wildpack. First created by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz during their underappreciated run on Amazing Spider-Man in the 80s, Sable, a bounty hunter from the fictional European state of Symkaria, spent the bulk of the late 80s and early 90s making appearances in other heroes’ books until the powers that be at Marvel decided she had enough cachet to carry her own series in 1992. To commemorate the first issue, the front cover featured a somewhat garish silver embossing (her name is Silver Sable, after all).

But what about inside the comic?
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Gimmick or Good? – Fantastic Four #371-375

In this column, Mark Ginocchio (from Chasing Amazing) takes a look at the gimmick covers from the 1990s and gives his take on whether the comic in question was 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 the embossed cover and holographic cover for Fantastic Four #371 and 375…

Fantastic Four #371-375 (published December 1992-April 1993) – story by Tom DeFalco and Paul Ryan; art by Ryan and Danny Bulandi

The Matt Fraction-era on Fantastic Four and FF has ended and the James Robinson era is in its infancy, which means it’s time for “Gimmick or Good” to link today’s comic book news with gimmick-covered issues from the 1990s. Fantastic Four #371-375 was an arc that marked great change for the first family of Marvel comics. Additionally, storyline was bookended by two gimmick covers: an embossed white (or red) cover for Fantastic Four #371 and a special holographic design for #375.

But what about inside the comic?
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Gimmick or Good? – Tribe #1

Tribe1_coverIn this column, Mark Ginocchio (from Chasing Amazing) takes a look at the gimmick covers from the 1990s and gives his take on whether the comic in question was 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 the foil embossed cover for Tribe #1…

Tribe #1 (published March 1993) – script by Todd Johnson, script and art by Larry Stroman

As Brian runs his “Month of African-American Comics” on CSBG, I thought I would take a look at one of the most significant African-American creator books of the 1990s: Image’s Tribe #1. Part of the second wave of Image books, Tribe #1 sold more than one million copies, making it the highest selling comic produced by African American creators Unfortunately, the series had a very short lifespan thanks to a number of publishing delays. After Image published issue #1, Axis Comics produced issues #2 and #3 later in 1993 before that company went under due to financial difficulties. Finally, an issue #0 was published by Good Comics in 1994, which storyline-wise followed the events of issue #3, before the series was officially cancelled.

Image took an interesting approach with Tribe #1’s cover. There are no actual visuals of any scenes or characters from inside the book. Instead, an all-black cover is features a simple gold foil-embossed stamp with the Tribe logo and the creator’s last names.

But what about inside the comic?
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Gimmick or Good? – Superman The Wedding Special #1

WeddingAlbum_coverIn this column, Mark Ginocchio (from Chasing Amazing) takes a look at the gimmick covers from the 1990s and gives his take on whether the comic in question was 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 the embossed cover for Superman The Wedding Special #1…

Superman The Wedding Album (published December 1996) – story by Dan Jurgens, Karl Kesel, David Michelinie, Louise Simonson and Roger Stern; Art by John Byrne, Terry Austin, Kerry Gammill, Murphy Anderson, Gil Kane, Bob McLeod, Stuart Immonen, Jose Marzan Jr., Paul Ryan, Brett Breeding, Jon Bogdanove, Dennis Janke, Kieron Dwyer, Doug Hazlewood, Tom Grummett, Denis Rodier, Dick Giordano, Art Thibert, Jim Mooney, George Perez, Curt Swan, Jackson Guice, Nick Cardy, Al Plastino, Barry Kitson, Ray McCarthy, Ron Frenz, Joe Rubinstein, Dan Jurgens and Jerry Ordway

Superman had been through a lot during the 1990s – a much ballyhooed death, followed by a lengthy resurrection and then the loss of his powers during the Final Night crossover. But the end of 1996 marked a happier time for the Man of Steel, as DC, in coordination with the Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman television series, decided to pull the trigger and marry Superman to his long-time sweetheart Lois Lane in a special one-shot, bringing together a score of writers and nearly every single living artist who ever worked on a Superman comic. In addition to the star-studded cast, Superman The Wedding Album featured a white embossed cover.

But what about inside the comic?
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Gimmick or Good? – Wolverine #50

Wolverine50_coverIn this column, Mark Ginocchio (from Chasing Amazing) takes a look at the gimmick covers from the 1990s and gives his take on whether the comic in question was 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 the die-cut cover for Wolverine #50.

Wolverine #50 (published January 1992) – script by Larry Hama, art by Marc Silvestri and Dan Green

After seeing that Wolverine got a brand-new ongoing series this week, I was inspired to take a look at one of the Ol’ Canucklehead’s very first gimmick covers, Wolverine #50. As the third part of the “Dreams of Gore” arc, a storyline that explores some “top secret” information about Logan’s Weapon X past, Wolverine #50 features a die-cut cover that resembles a “classified” file folder with claw marks leaving an opening in the front.

But what about inside the comic?
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Gimmick or Good? – Detective Comics #675

Detective675_coverIn this column, Mark Ginocchio (from Chasing Amazing) takes a look at the gimmick covers from the 1990s and gives his take on whether the comic in question was 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 the chromium-embossed Detective Comics #675…

Detective Comics #675 (published June 1994) – script by Chuck Dixon, art by Graham Nolan and Scott Hanna

DC’s recent 75th anniversary celebration of Batman’s first appearance in Detective Comics #27 (with the New 52 version of Detective #27) inspired me to seek out what I believe to be the first instance of a gimmick cover used by the long-running series. The chromium-embossed Detective #675 marks the final chapter of the “Knightquest: The Crusade” storyline, which features Jean-Paul Valley, aka Azrael, operating as a more violent, ethically ambivalent version of Batman, while Bruce Wayne recuperates from injuries suffered during his epic showdown with Bane.

But what about inside the comic?
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Gimmick or Good? – Eclipso: The Darkness Within #1

Eclipso_coverIn this column, Mark Ginocchio (from Chasing Amazing) takes a look at the gimmick covers from the 1990s and gives his take on whether the comic in question was 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 the plastic diamond cover of Eclipso: The Darkness Within #1…

Eclipso The Darkness Within #1 (published July 1992) – co-plot and breakdowns by Keith Giffen; co-plot and script by Robert Loren Fleming; pencils by Bart Sears; inks by Randy Elliott and Mark Pennington

More than 20 years before DC launched “Forever Evil,” there was the company-wide crossover “Eclipso The Darkness Within,” which followed the demonic villain Eclipso in his quest to possess the superheroes of the DC universe using the evil power of an ancient black diamond. The storyline spanned more than 20 issues of various DC titles – mostly annual issues – and kicked off in Eclipso’s very own two-part miniseries, which sported a plastic diamond on the cover as a gimmick.

But what about inside the comic?
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Gimmick or Good? – Sensational Spider-Man #0

In this column, Mark Ginocchio (from Chasing Amazing) takes a look at the gimmick covers from the 1990s and gives his take on whether the comic in question was 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 the lemticular cover of Sensational Spider-Man #0…

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Sensational Spider-Man #0 (published January 1996) – script and pencils by Dan Jurgens, inks by Klaus Janson.

Despite its reputation as the “dark era” for the Spider-Man franchise, Marvel has managed to recently mine some gold from the “Clone Saga,” most notably with its Scarlet Spider series, which publishes its last issue this month after a relatively successful two-year run. With that in mind, I thought I’d bring us back to the last time Marvel made one of Peter Parker’s clones the centerpiece of his own series with 1996’s Sensational Spider-Man #0.

After learning that he was actually a clone, and not the original Spider-Man, Peter hung up the webs in Spectacular Spider-Man #228 and turned the power and responsibility gig over to his clone Ben Reilly (the original Spider-Man, except it turns out that Peter was the real Spider-Man all along and Norman Osborn engineered the whole thing as the ultimate act of revenge), aka the Scarlet Spider (but not the current Scarlet Spider. That’s Kaine. Keep up, will you?). Sensational was designed to be the Spider-verse’s flagship title a la Amazing Spider-Man (except ASM continued to be published after a brief hiatus) and Superman vet Dan Jurgens was brought in to write and pencil the series. To mark this landmark occasion, the first issue was numbered “0” and featured a lenticular cover (a 3D moving image similar to a hologram). There was also a limited edition “variant” cover for this issue.

But what about inside the comic?
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Gimmick or Good? – Fantastic Four #1

In this column, Mark Ginocchio (from Chasing Amazing) takes a look at the gimmick covers from the 1990s and gives his take on whether the comic in question was 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 the signed variant cover of Fantastic Four #1…

Fantastic Four #1 vol. 2 (published November 1996) – story by Jim Lee and Brandon Choi, art by Lee and Scott Williams

Since it’s that time of year where we gather together with our family, I thought the timing was right to discuss the “Heroes Reborn” relaunch of Marvel’s “first family,” the Fantastic Four. In 1996, Marvel controversially killed off the Fantastic Four, Avengers and Doctor Doom, during a battle with the villain Onslaught. Rather than leave the characters dead or resurrect them for new stories, Marvel outsourced reboots of these titles to some of their former creative “superstars” – namely Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld. The new series would feature “modern” reimaginings of the Avengers and Fantastic Four’s origin stories. To explain where these stories took place in Marvel’s establish continuity, it was later revealed that these “reborn” heroes existed in a “pocket universe.” To mark the first issue of Fantastic Four (as well as all the other “Heroes Reborn” relaunches), Marvel published a variant cover edition signed by Jim Lee!

But what about inside the comic?
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Gimmick or Good? – Maxx #1

maxxglowinthedarkIn this column, Mark Ginocchio (from Chasing Amazing) takes a look at the gimmick covers from the 1990s and gives his take on whether the comic in question was 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 the glow-in-the-dark cover of Maxx #1…

The Maxx #1 (published March 1993) – plot, pencils and inks by Sam Kieth, script by William Messner-Loebs

Part of a second wave of new Image titles released in 1993, Sam Kieth’s Maxx series garnered mainstream attention when it was adapted into an animated series on MTV in 1995. While the direct edition of The Maxx #1 features a plain Jane cover, there is a glow-in-the-dark variant that is fairly easy to track down.

But what about inside the comic?
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Gimmick or Good? – Thor #500

In this column, Mark Ginocchio (from Chasing Amazing) takes a look at the gimmick covers from the 1990s and gives his take on whether the comic in question was 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 the gatefold cover of Thor #500…

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Thor #500 (published July 1996) – script by William Messner-Loebs and art by Mike Deodato Jr.

While Marvel was moving away from the foil and hologram gimmick covers by 1996, the publisher, and the comic book industry as a whole, was still in the habit of embracing and celebrating its high-numbered “milestone” issues. The 500th issue of Thor was an especially big deal as it was the first Marvel series to reach #500. To commemorate this occasion, the comic featured a wraparound cover and very prominently displayed that this was Marvel’s “first fantastic 500th issue.”

But what about inside the comic?
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