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Gimmick or Good Archives - Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources

Gimmick or Good? – Cyberspace 3000 #1

Cyberspace3000-1-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 to 1993′s Cyberspace 3000 #1.

Cyberspace 3000 #1 (published July 1993) – script by Gary Russell; art by Steve Tappin and Michael Eve. Cover by Liam Sharp and Andy Lanning

Thanks to the success of the Guardians of the Galaxy film, Marvel’s cosmic-verse is in the midst of another popularity revival. As such, I thought it would be fun to dust the mothballs off this deep cut of a comic, the debut issue of Cyberspace 3000, a short-lived science fiction series published under the Marvel UK imprint. To commemorate the first issue of the series, the Liam Sharp and Andy Lanning cover received the glow-in-the-dark treatment.

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

Bloodshot1_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 first chromium cover, Blooshot #1!

Bloodshoot #1 (published February 1993) – script by Kevin VanHook, art by Don Perlin. Cover by Barry Windsor-Smith

Proving once again that the gimmicks of the 1990s are alive and well, Valiant has been publishing special edition “chromium” covers for its Armor Hunters, Unity, X-O Manowar, Armor Hunters: Bloodshot and Armor Hunters: Harbinger series. So today, I thought Gimmick or Good should take a look at the comic book industry’s very first chromium cover, 1993’s Bloodshot #1.

In the early 1990s, Valiant did quite well for itself sales-wise whenever it published one of these special edition gimmick covers, despite not having the history or name recognition of Marvel, or the “extreme” sexiness of Image Comics. Bloodshot #1 was no different, as the chromium cover was considered a true innovation when it was released winning awards and selling about a million copies.

But what about inside the comic?
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Gimmick or Good? – Legends of the Dark Knight #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 perhaps the very first variant cover, 1989′s Legends of the Dark Knight #1!

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Legends of the Dark Knight #1 (published November 1989) – script by Dennis O’Neil, art by Ed Hannigan and John Beatty

With Comics Should Be Good honoring the 75th anniversary of Batman’s first appearance in Detective Comics #27 over the next few months, Gimmick or Good would like to jump into this celebration as well. Legends of the Dark Knight #1 (LOTDK) is actually a landmark comic to discuss for this column as many believe this issue was among the industry’s very first variant/gimmick covers.

Fresh off the success of Tim Burton’s Batman film in the summer of 1989, plus the popularity of Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s Batman: Year One arc two years earlier, DC launched the first brand new Batman title in nearly 40 years in LOTDK. To commemorate this occasion, LOTDK was published with four different “collector’s edition” outer covers.

But what about inside the comic?
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Gimmick or Good? – X-Men Alpha and X-Men Omega

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 variant cover for the first and last issues of Marvel’s Age of Apocalypse crossover…

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X-Men: Alpha #1 and X-Men: Omega #1 (published February 1995 and June 1995) – script by Scott Lobdell and Mark Waid (Alpha and Omega); pencils by Roger Cruz (Alpha and Omega); Alpha inks by Tim Townsend and Dan Panosian; Omega inks by Townsend, Bud LaRosa, Karl Kesel, Harry Candelario, Scott Hanna and Al Milgrom; Alpha cover by Joe Madureira and Townsend; Omega cover by John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson

The release of the Days of Future Past film has inspired Gimmick or Good? to tackle X-Men and alternative timelines. I’ve heard rumors of some X-Men story from the 1990s that dealt with the idea of an alternative universe – do any of you know what I’m talking about?

“Age of Apocalypse” is one of the most famous comic book events of the 90s and is notable for using every single X-family series to tell the story of an alternative timeline where the evil mutant Apocalypse ruled, Charles Xavier was dead, and Magneto had taken his former adversary’s place as the head of the X-Men. Bookending the event were two one-shots, X-Men: Alpha and X-Men: Omega, which, in typical mid-90s fashion, each featured chromium embossed wraparound covers.

But what about inside the comics?
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Gimmick or Good? – Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 2 #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 variant cover for the first issue of the second volume of Amazing Spider-Man…

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Amazing Spider-Man #1 vol. 2 (published January 1999) – script by Howard Mackie, art by John Byrne and Scott Hanna
There’s an abundance of Spider-Man-related media in the news this week, such as the All-New Marvel Now reboot of Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 3) and the North American opening of Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, so the timing was unquestionably apropos for Gimmick or Good to focus on something Spidey-centric. And that something, for better or worse, is going to be the first-ever reboot of the Amazing Spider-Man series. For the inaugural issue of the second volume of Amazing Spider-Man, John Byrne illustrated a variant “sunburst” cover. That’s only about 40 or so less variant covers than what was printed this week for the ASM vol. 3 launch.

But what about inside the comic?
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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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