Monthly Archives: May 2011

Rune and Silver Surfer

Rune and Silver Surfer got the flip-book treatment for a one-shot deal. The story starts with the Rune side to about the middle of the book and then you flip it over and start reading the Silver Surfer side.

 

There are two other versions of the book, and although the book is bound differently the interiors seem to be the same. Each has the same Silver Surfer flip-cover.

These are fairly common on eBay. I picked up all three as part of a large lot of Rune books (he was featured in a number of different Ultraverse titles) for $15. I wouldn’t pay $15 for just the Silver Surfer books, though … $5, maybe.

 

The scan doesn’t do justice to the white Collector’s Limited Edition. It is one of the nicest-looking of all the Ultraverse books …  pristine white, shiny cardstock cover with perfect squared-off corners.

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Rune and Conan

Rune was created by Ultraverse Editor-in-Chief Chris Ulm to be one of the lynchpins of the Ultraverse, a bad guy on the level of Doctor Doom or Lex Luthor. Barry Windsor-Smith was brought into the project later and he and Ulm redeveloped the character. They plotted the issues together with Windsor-Smith providing the art and Ulm the dialogue. (Edit: Info courtesy of Tom Mason)

These were some of my favorite books that the Ultraverse put out, especially the early ones that were drawn by Windsor-Smith.

After Marvel bought up the rights there were a couple of crossovers involving Rune. Conan seemed like a natural fit.

There was one book where they shared the title (Conan vs. Rune), and Rune appeared in issue No. 4 of the monthly Conan book (along with a small flashback appearance in No. 5) and Conan The Savage magazine.

 

These are a little tougher to find since they are pretty far off the beaten track. If you can’t find them in a cheap lot they are readily available at places like Mile High or mycomicshop.com, but they’re going to charge you a few bucks.

It’s better to be patient on eBay.

The Conan The Savage magazine is pretty cool. It’s black and white inside which looks perfect for the content. I wish they had done more books like this for Rune (there are a bazillion Conan black-and-white magazines).

Storing it is kind of a pain since I don’t have any magazine boxes. I just keep it flat in a closet with a few other magazines.

One of the cool things about the original Conan series, the one that started in the late 1960s and made BWS famous, is the ninth issue.

There on the cover is a flying bluish guy that looks kind of like Rune. It isn’t, of course, but maybe the idea stuck in his head as a prototype for later use.

In any case it doesn’t belong on an Ultraverse checklist but I’ve had my eye out for a cheap copy for a while now. In nice condition those early Conans can be pretty expensive.


Collectors Guide to the Ultraverse

There is no comic here,  just capsules of info about Ultraverse comics printed over the first year-and-a-half. As a collectors guide it’s not even that helpful since most of the hard-to-find and rare stuff came later.

But they charged a buck for it and it fits in a comic bag, so it needs to go on the Ultraverse checklist. This one is easy to get and cheap anywhere you look.


Lord Pumpkin 0

This is the origin story for one of the better bad guys in the Ultraverse, definitely one of the coolest-looking. I figured I would post this now since I just finished the NecroMantra stuff.

 

There are two covers but the content is the same, and I don’t think that one is much rarer than the other (maybe the one with a close-up of LP’s face is a little tougher to find). Try not to spend more than a buck for either one.

There is also a signed version of the first cover that comes with an Ultraverse certificate of authenticity.

There were a number of different Ultraverse books that got this treatment, maybe a couple of dozen. I’m working on a list …

 


NecroMantra and Lord Pumpkin

NecroMantra was a four-issue limited series that took place before the relaunch. I skimmed them, there’s nothing really to distinguish these books. And it’s pretty easy to find them all in one lot for a good price, except for maybe the Limited Special Edition to No. 4 (see below) which is usually a buck or two by itself. I got one in a quarter bin once, though.

Each of the first three issues had NecroMantra on the front and Lord Pumpkin as a flip-cover on the back:

 

But here is something weird I noticed as I was scanning these in. With the second and third issues the UPC code is on the Lord Pumpkin side, I guess making that the default cover. I’m not sure yet if there are two versions of these books. Time to do a little digging. If somebody knows, please drop me a note.

 

 

No. 4 did not have a flip-cover, but there was a separate Limited Special Edition version that had the Lord Pumpkin cover.

 


Foxfire

Foxfire was a short-lived series from the relaunch, spinning out of the Phoenix Revelation stuff. It mixed and matched with some Marvel characters, notably the Punisher.

All I have to say is that the Ultraverse Punisher is a complete doosh, with a stupid ponytail and impossibly tight pants that reveal the fact he has no man parts. No wonder he wanted to kill everyone.

The first issue of Foxfire had a couple of variant covers. One was just your standard variation, but the other had an “Ultra Gold” stamp and a gold logo. I suppose this was the new version of the Ultra 5,000 series, but I bet the print run was a lot lower.

They’re easy to pick up on eBay and online comic shops, rarely for more than a buck or two. In fact it’s pretty easy to get the full four-issue series as part of a larger lot … I see these all the time.

 


Malibu Signature Series

It’s hard to call these comic books, but they are comic-book sized so let’s just throw them in with the rest. These look like the kinds of things you would take to busy conventions and try to get as many signatures from the artists and writers as possible. Inside are small bios and pictures with a box underneath for them to sign.

Mine are still blank; I picked these up in auctions somewhere. It would probably freak out one of the old Ultraverse creators if I gave them one of these to sign in San Diego this summer.

 

They’re not particularly easy to find, but they’re always cheap. Somebody might try to charge a little more if it had a lot of signatures inside, though.


CD-ROMix

The idea here was to take the art from a comic book, put it in digital form and add some voice acting. This might have passed for high tech a couple of decades ago, but it seems fairly quaint today. Not sure what the original price was … somebody told me $20 and that seems about right. There are no significant extras but they look cool. The shrinkwrap is generic.

As far as I know, the only Ultraverse titles to get this treatment were the first issues of Prime, Hardcase and Freex.

I bought all three of the ones above in an auction for 1 cent, and $2 shipping. When I got the package I saw it cost $2.12 to ship. And that is why I can’t bring myself to sell anything on eBay.

I also picked up these a few years back (I think it was $10 shipped for all three). I’m not sure who produced them but it is exactly the same CD-ROMix, just packaged inside a bigger box. All three have identical box art on the back.

Mine are a little crumpled because I threw them in a box with a bunch of other junk. Storage issues, you know? Geez, I wish I had more room. I’ve been working on some shelves in my attic but it’s too hot to work up there during the summer.

Here are a couple of thumbnails if you are interested in what the backs look like:

 


Prime watch

Now we’re getting into the nitty gritty of the geek stuff. This is the only Ultraverse watch that I know of, and it features Prime on the face. It’s not very high quality, and I’ve seen two different versions of the packaging (one is a little bigger than the other but the watch is the same).

These are kind of tough to find, but they pop up online every now and then with the price usually peaking around $20 (I got both of mine for under $10).

I really wish I had a better picture since I don’t know where the hell I put the watches (and therefore can’t take a new picture). So I guess you’ll have to take my word … it looks pretty nice in a cheap sort of way.


Flood Relief

This was a special comic book produced to benefit victims of a massive flood in the Midwest in  the summer of 1993. There were 15,000 books printed, each sold for a minimum contribution of $5 (Malibu absorbed all the production costs) to the American Red Cross. And you could only get the book through the mail (coupons were printed inside the regular comics).

It’s a fairly common book, although a lot of auctions on eBay have a BIN that’s too high. This one’s easy to get inside larger lots of books. It was for a great cause, but this is still a fairly common and inexpensive book today.

A side note: I forgot to put in a bid a few years back when the original cover art by Norm Breyfogle went up for sale on eBay. It sold for $70. Still kicking myself for that one.