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Another Example of the ’90s Doing Gimmicky Covers Better: Avengers #s 379-382

While I don’t have sources to cite/link offhand, nor do I feel like digging for any…I can still say that I frequently "hear" (read) the notion that "the ’90s" were SOOOOO horrible with VARIANT COVERS. Or the comparison made of modern "variants" and ’90s’ covers and such.

I make a huuuuuge distinction, though. For as much as the ’90s are known for all sorts of gimmicks and shiny foil holographic die-cut bullet-shot covers…even the most egregious and "aggressive" such programs did not even touch every single issue of any single series. And for as frequent as they appeared, they were NOT so incredibly prevalent as to be able to suggest that every single issue of every single title from every single publisher every single month had some gimmick!

In the ’90s, typically even IF there was some gimmick cover…it was either simply a "gimmick cover" or it was a SINGLE variant…more a different EDITION with one version being a "newsstand" edition and the gimmicked one being the "Collector’s" edition or such.

(I lay out a bunch of such covers in a post from early 2020 displaying the "era of excess" with Super-Blog Team-Up)


ANYway….

I recently came across a 4-issue block of the original Avengers title…issues 379-382. All were billed as a "double feature" with a Giant Man feature as a "flip book."

That is…you had the main/regular issue…but if you flipped it over, the back was another cover image, and you’d read from that side like the other and it’d be like reading two comics, but they’re a single unit!

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So, what really caught my eye with the issues is that the flip-cover is a 4-part image….when you put all four together you get a larger singular image. Fitting both for it being a GIANT image as well as being a "fun" gimmick if you happen(ed) to get all four issues!

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Nowadays…these would absolutely be VARIANT covers. There’d be NO "flipbook" aspect–it’d just be extra-sized with a "backup" feature, and multiple variants covers per issue, with ONE being this.

Or even more egregiously…I would NOT put it past modern Marvel to have all four of these be variants on the SAME ISSUE, incentivising the purchase of no less than four copies of the exact same issue…and they’d do this for multiple characters or costumes. Getting one to buy 16+ comics for a four-issue story.

But back in the ’90s? The price of the given issue was increased fairly proportionately to the increase in content, with the added bonus of the flip-book to let it "feel" even more like a bonus/extra issue, and all that.

Which–if one is already paying an extra price for an issue at all is far better than chasing variants and multiple variants PER extra-sized & extra-priced issue.

These particular copies of the issues?

I paid $1 for the 4-parter. 25 cents per issue…and incidentally, 12.5 cents per cover!

I would gladly welcome back the ’90s and the ’90s sort of covers over this modern deluge of variants. And heck…at least the way MY memories are…it’d even be preferable to the MODERN speculation bubble that’s been bubbling up more and more the last several years, too!

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Death in Fantastic Four, and Why I love my Local Comic Shop

ff587cover_marvelstockimageI was home in this apartment tonight when it occurred to me: I didn’t even LOOK for the “death issue” of Fantastic Four. All this hype and such about it…and it wasn’t even—in the actuality of standing in the comic shop—worth my attention, apparently.

I ranted a bit about the issue from an ad a few weeks back in my post Fantastic Four, death and the return of the polybag. I would add to that list of complaints the way the publisher spoiled the story/leaked it to media on Tuesday, when ostensibly they were encouraging (“allowing?”) comic shops to sell the issue on Tuesday to allow fans and readers to get and read the issue withOUT having the story spoiled for them. Also the supposed “bonus” of random signed copies that seem to be cropping up—with a certain limited number of copies inside the polybags being signed by the writer. As if to add a further level to falsely inflate the “collectibility” of the issue.

On a much more positive side, my local comic shop was having an incredible sale on hardbacks (mainly Marvel). $10/pop. I wound up picking up Magneto: Testament (been interested in that for ages) as well as Marvels: Eye of the Camera, which I’d read the first issue back when it came out, but opted to wait for the collected volume. What better time than now? And, after going the library route to catch up on nearly HALF of the original Ultimate Spider-Man series, I’ve been morbidly interested in Ultimatum, but the libraries I frequent haven’t had it. Saw it here, figured what the hey?

So…$75 in books for only $30. And I have friends who’d be interested in reading these volumes as well, so they get increased value for multiple readers…

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tmntatundra01Sales like this are why I love my comic shop. For lack of better phrasing…they often have “convention-level sales” at least once a month—whether it’s freshly-stocked 25-cent bins (yeah, 25…not 50!), random bargain runs ($10 for 45 of 50+ issues of the original X-Force or $15 for 60 issues of JLA, and other such deals), 50-90% off collected volumes. Sometimes these sales seem ongoing…to the point that on the “deals” side of things…I never seem to get a chance to miss going to conventions.

Also, a TMNT book I ordered from Mirage a couple weeks back came in today. Disappointed there’s no text on the spine, but it’s otherwise a great collection of the Archie Adventure Series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #s 5-10 from Tundra, from 1991.

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