Tag Archives: Prototype

Prototype in action

He looks like he is getting ready to kick the crap out of that glow-in-the-dark zombie woman right in front of him.

Reminds me of the line from Spaceballs, “I knew it, I’m surrounded by a-holes.”

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Silver hologram covers

As far as Ultraverse comics go, the silver hologram covers were the bee’s knees. I would have been stoked to find one of these for under $50 back in 1994. Now I wouldn’t pay $50 for a set of all seven ($40, tops).

I still think they are very cool and I have picked up a bunch over the years, it’s just that you don’t have to pay that much for them (just ignore all those BINs for $20 and up on eBay). It’s very easy to pick up individual copies for under $10 shipped, sometimes half that much.

Just make sure the person you’re buying from has a decent rating and reliable shipping feedback. Hologram covers are easily damaged and once they have a ding or a few crinkles they don’t look nearly as nice. I won a lot of all seven for $20 once, and somebody in the post office must have dropped the envelope on its corner, because all seven books had a massive ding in the same spot. Ruined. And they appeared to be pretty much in near mint condition beforehand. I looked like that guy in the bottom left of the Prime cover (above).

 

 

 

Actually, these books aren’t that rare. There were 5,000 copies printed of each for a total of 35,000 (not counting 5,500 for the gold Ultraforce comic or the seven gold hologram versions — no idea of the print run on those, probably not very high). But for eye appeal, you can’t beat them. Any self-respecting Ultraverse collector should nab a full set of these.


Ultra 5000s

“Ultra 5000” sounds like an exclusive item. And back in the mid-1990s, a print run like that sounded pretty small. These were used as retailer incentives and rewards for fans. There is nothing special to distinguish them beyond the extra foil on the cover. And although a couple can be hard to find (Break-Thru, Ultraverse Origins gatefold and Ultraverse Premiere seem to be less common than the rest) there are usually a bunch of these on eBay or at shops like Mile High or MyComicShop.com. I spend a buck or two on them when I feel like it.

There are 21 of them. With 5,000 of each, that makes 105,000 in all. Doesn’t really sound that exclusive any more.

Edit: I added the Firearm 1 Ultra 5000 to this list on Oct. 5, 2011, since one was spotted on eBay last month. First one I’ve seen. If I ever get one for myself I will add the scan, but you can read about it here.

 

 

 

There were two versions of Ultraverse Origins and each got the Ultra 5,000 treatment. The one on the right is the only newsstand version.

 

 

 

 

 

Ultraverse Premiere 1 is the flip book on the other side of Rune 3. There is no foil on the Rune side of the book.

 

 

If you’re collecting these, just be patient. One year’s worth of scanning eBay and you will see 90 percent of them at a good price. You could also try the Dead Universes section over at Valiantfans.com. Some of those fellows might swing a trade.

Here’s the Ultra 5,000 checklist:

BreakThru 1
Exiles 1
Firearm 1
Freex 1
Hardcase 1
Mantra 1
Nightman 1
Prime 1
Protoype 1
Rune 1
Sludge 1
Solitaire 1
Solution 1
Strangers 1
Ultraforce 1
Ultraverse Origins 1 regular cover
Ultraverse Origins 1 gatefold cover
Ultraverse Premiere 0
Ultraverse Premiere 1 (on flipside of Rune 3)
Warstrike 1
Wrath 1


Gold hologram covers

To me, these are the crown jewels of collecting Ultraverse comics. I have no idea how many of these were printed, but I don’t think the number is too high.

When they first launched the Ultraverse, seven of the first series (Exiles, Freex, Hardcase, Mantra, Prime, Prototype, and Strangers) had variant silver hologram covers for the No. 1 issues. I suppose these were mainly dealer incentives, but I remember seeing these going for $100 or more at comic cons back then.  The official print run for each was 5,000, but I couldn’t tell you if all of those made it into circulation.

But the gold hologram covers … I never saw one of those until a few years ago on eBay. I don’t have the data to back this up, but my hunch is that these are really freaking rare. But since nobody seems to care much about collecting Ultraverse anymore, you can still get them relatively cheap. I picked up a Prime gold when I thought I was buying a silver for $5 on eBay. I bought a Freex gold for $8 from Mile High Comics. It took me several years to put together a full set; the most I paid was around $20. I saw a full set of all seven go for about $150 a couple of years ago (all of the silvers were included in that auction).

Here are the seven. I also included the Ultraforce gold, although it is a different type of gold hologram and did not have a silver counterpart. I think they are pretty common (official print run was 5,500); I bought 20 of them from Mile High for $32 a few years back.

   

   

  

  

Click on the image to see a larger picture, but these things don’t really scan in all that well. Help me out if you might know how many of these were made, or what happened to them.