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Dawn of New Secret 2099 Limited: World of Yesterday

When you have over 50 longboxes and at least as many shortboxes…and they have not been properly sorted since you had less than 10 longboxes and maybe 2 shortboxes…that’s a lotta chaos.

Over the years, I’ve taken to buying loads of "convenience copies" from bargain bins–deciding since I’m very fortunate and thus ABLE to afford to–I’d rather buy new, cheap duplicates even of stuff I consciously know darned well I already own for the convenience of having those particular issues "handy" in a "recent" comics-keeping-location rather than having to manhandle umpteen longboxes and undetermined quantities of shortboxes, rifling through each box individually in the hopes of coming across a specific issue or handful of issues that I at least THINK I remember having, and all that.

2099promoposter1992


Just before the end of 2019, having decided that I definitely want to seek out the entirety of Marvel‘s original 2099 line, I’d ordered a bunch of comics online for definite blind-spots or stuff that came later in the ’90s after my initial attention on the line had waned (particularly 2099 Unlimited, 2099 World of Tomorrow, Hulk 2099, Fantastic Four 2099). I’d also managed to get some other miscellaneous and sale-priced issues to have a good foundation of collecting the line.

marvel_2099_collage_small

But the 2099 line is one I fondly remember from my youth, having begun with an off-the-shelf copy of Spider-Man 2099 #1 at Comics & Collectibles back in Fall 1992. I remember having a bunch of the issues, and it was a significant imprint/subset of the entirety of my collection at the time I went off to college in 1999 (which was a year after the last time my collection as a whole was more or less "properly organized"–as 2020 dawns, it’s been 22 years that brief period in Fall 1998!).

I’m quite a fan of the convenience copies and relish getting 25-cent and 50-cent fancy issues and enhanced covers and ’90s variants and other ’90s awesomeness, in part because I couldn’t get stuff THEN but can get it so cheaply NOW.

Over the final weekend prior to the new year, I got it into my head to do some heavy lifting, and began hunting through a number of my original range of longboxes (pre-2004) and made a slew of discoveries. For one thing, I had "fancy covers" for issues I didn’t remember having. I also found several very cool issues, PERIOD, that I did not remember having.

And thankfully, of course, I found my original range of 2099 comics.

original_2099_collection

For personal posterity’s sake, below is the makeshift "inventory" of what was in that range, though the stack included quite a few duplicates I did not remember having. My thoughts continue beyond the list.


2099 World of Doom Special
1

2099 World of Tomorrow
4

2099 Unlimited
1, 7

DOOM 2099
1-10, 25 (foil)

GHOST RIDER 2099
1 (foil and regular), 2-13

HULK 2099
1-3

PUNISHER 2099
1,2,4,5,6,7,25 (foil)

RAVAGE 2099
1-5, 7-10, 13, 25 (foil)

SPIDER-MAN 2099
1-18, 25 (foil)

X-MEN 2099
1-5


spiderman2099(1992)001As said, I’d begun with the initial release of Spider-Man 2099 when it was a brand-new issue. It’s truly one of the more significant single issues IN my entire collection, as it was my first-ever #1 issue with Spider-Man in its title, and I was keen on this then-new line of comics that I was getting to get in on at the very, very beginning. (And don’t give me any of the nonsense of "previews" as true 1st appearances and all that!) Earlier that year, a friend had gotten at least a couple of the Spider-Man 30th-anniversary hologram issues. [I remember there being 4 of those in total; I feel like I remember his having the Amazing Spider-Man issues with the black border, at least; beyond that, I can’t disentangle my memories and deja vu and nearly 30 years of being aware of the issues.]

I recall the line getting a "staggered" release.

That is, where in present-day, 2019/2020, Marvel would kick the line off with ALL the titles in one month with multiple #1s possibly hitting the SAME DAY of release…back in 1992, the line launched with…

ravage2099(1992)001Spider-Man 2099 #1.

Then the next month, Ravage 2099 #1, and Spider-Man 2099 #2.

The third month, Doom 2099 #1, and the respective 2nd and 3rd issues for the first titles.

And then the fourth month, Punisher 2099 #1, with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th issues of the earlier titles.

The following fall, X-Men 2099 launched. That gave the line 5 titles, all at different numbers, having gotten to be its own thing in its given month of launch, and so on.

I remember there being some 800-number (presumably 1993 or 1994) that you could call for "insider tips" from Marvel about upcoming stuff. This was pre-common-internet, so most information (at least in my part of the comics fandom world) came by word of mouth and by stuff like Wizard magazine…so whatever the ad was (in), I remember (along with my friend) being intrigued by that ad with the phone number…and excited when we got parental permission to actually CALL.

ghostrider2099(1994)001I don’t recall what ELSE was announced in this way, but I do remember that being when I first heard about an upcoming then-addition to the 2099 line: Ghost Rider! So of course I was on the lookout for THAT #1, and it being a TRUE "discovery" and such and not just something that "showed up" but something I’d learned of EARLY, before it appeared in Wizard, before the comic shop owner could tell ME about it, etc.…it was something SPECIAL.

It was also a bit of an anomaly, as the 2099 #1s went. The previous FIVE titles all had the same-style foiling and border, just different-colored foil, making the issues very distinctive. But Ghost Rider‘s #1–while it had the general design and shape of the border–was a multi-color/prismatic/shiny-reflective foiling, rather than the distinctive single-color foiling (red, silver, gold, purple, or blue of the first 5 or green of the later Hulk). The Hulk premiere apparently went back to the distinctive colored foil.

doom2099(1993)001Unfortunately, I could only keep up with SO MANY titles, so I mostly hung on to Spider-Man 2099, as my then-favorite (though I’ll be darned if I can remember details of that run at this point!). Apparently I lasted a year and a half with it, and missed an issue here or there, but had filled in those holes prior to 1999.

While going through the collection I found a number of issues bagged with the same-style sticker with the same handwriting of prices, firmly indicating I picked up a bunch of issues as back-issues. This reminded me that I had obviously been a bit inconsistent and didn’t get everything I had exactly at-release/every-month-to-month…but I’d been invested enough back then to track down what back-issues I could for a reasonable price!

I also found duplicates of Doom 2099 and Ravage 2099 #1s. Based on most being loose and no prices on the bag-and-boarded copies, I can make the reasonable assumption that the bag-and-board copies are my actual original copies for those two titles, as I’d early in my collecting I’d had a phase where I attempted to bag and board "everything" before giving that up as a lost cause–I could bag and board, OR I could get MORE COMICS. (I wanted more comics!)

punisher2099(1993)001Despite the duplicates…there was only 1 copy of Spider-Man 2099 #1 in the bunch, and it had the familiar dents/spine damage I remembered, as well as the direct-market "2099" where the upc/bar code is on newsstand copies, so I know THAT one to be as "for certain" as possible to be my actual original copy of the issue; the genuine artifact. Ditto for Ghost Rider 2099 #1’s shiny foil. I didn’t remember getting both versions at the time, but clearly remembered getting the shiny foil. So either I got both at once or I’d gotten a non-shiny copy not long after. I’d thought it was only rather recently that I’d obtained a non-shiny copy (2019 recently)…so, c’est la vie.

I had the original 2099 Unlimited #1 issue–I believe offhand this was the "first appearance" of the Hulk of 2099. And while I vaguely recalled having gotten Hulk 2099 #1 at some point after it was out (I do recall I did not get it "on release") I would’ve sworn I had no subsequent issues, but apparently I’d gotten the first 3.

xmen2099(1993)001All in all, back in the ’90s, I primarily kept up with Spider-Man 2099 and Ghost Rider 2099. I lapsed pretty quickly on the other titles, even on "back issues." BUT a couple years into the runs, the original books all rolled up on their 25th issues! Those were a big deal (to me), probably as much for having had the #1s as anything else; but I snagged the fancy foil/embossed versions of those. I don’t recall now if I knew at the time there were non-fancy versions or not; though I’m keenly aware of that in more recent years!

And somewhere along the way, I just stopped buying any of the titles. With other memories I have from the early-to-mid-’90s with comics, it’s reasonable to assume that I made a conscious decision to do so, in favor of other stuff I was interested in. The 2099 titles pre-date the Ultraverse by at least 6 (and maybe 9-10) months; but I’d probably opted to stay with several Ultraverse titles along with the Superman books and post-Age of Apocalypse the various X-titles. And with finite allowance & lunch money (and convincing Dad to "invest" in more issues for me to have) I could only keep up with so many titles, and 2099 stuff fell off.

hulk2099(1994)001Only later did I realize that the line had not only disappeared from me, but from EVERYONE.

As I have come to understand it (at present as of this typing), when Marvel hit the hard times before/around the bankruptcy, they started doing lower print runs on lesser-selling titles and eventually a number of those titles went away entirely. (And that’s why you could fairly easily get GI Joe #1 for $10 but #155 seems to be a $100+ book!)

I believe one of the editors was let go, and the writers quit in protest, which led to the individual titles disappearing, and the 2099 line being "consolidated" into the single 2099 World of Tomorrow book before petering out and done was done.

I also remember there being some hubbub over the Doom character taking over and some AD or After Doom branding going into stuff. I believe I’d most noticed that in Ghost Rider as it affected the status quo. If I had the actual issues where Doom’s coup happened, I don’t recall; my memories of relevant issues are far more recent with zero recollection of owning the issues at all when they were new/current in the mid-’90s.


captain_marvel(1999)028In the years since, the line never totally disappeared the way some do. I remember being THRILLED at a Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell) story involving 2099. Which makes sense, as the writer was Peter David.

And I have half-formed memories of "hearing about" some other appearances of the Spider-Man character in modern issues (maybe it was just one of the video games), and then there was whatever that Spider-Verse event was); and a "modern run" of subsequent Spider-Man 2099 stuff (also by Peter David if I recall correctly.

There was also the 2099 corner of the 2015 Secret Wars stuff.

MOST RECENTLY (as of this typing), Marvel just had a 2099 "event," with the recognition that in 2019, it’d been 80 years since the start of what became Marvel in 1939, and 80 years from then-present 2019, it would be 2099. As I understand (and bought thusly) the "event" includes 4 issues of the current Nick Spencer Amazing Spider-Man title (#s 33-36) as well as bookending 2099 Alpha and 2099 Omega specials, with a number of one-shots featuring individual characters. Most of the "original class" or "OG" were represented–Spider-Man, Doom, Punisher, and Ghost Rider. Rounded out by late-addition Fantastic Four and newly-promoted Venom (who I believe appeared in late issues of the original Spider-Man 2099 issues). And of all things, Conan the Barbarian was shoehorned in. However, no Ravage 2099 nor X-Men 2099, though I’m aware that the X-team was represented on a "2099 Variant" of an issue of Hickman‘s not-actually-Uncanny X-Men title.

hickman_xmen2099_ron_lim_variantIt’s admittedly this "event" that re-sparked my interest in the line, triggering my nostalgia, particularly with the cover of the main 2099 Alpha issue. Though I’d made up my mind NOT to buy the rest of the event, I had an in-the-moment/spur-of-the-moment change of heart when there was nothing new for me for the week of December 25, 2019 AND the shop had the entire selection of issues I was missing in-stock (albeit one was a variant I didn’t notice until I got home). (And I may have gotten the last copy of several of what I did get).

I count 2099 among the "dead universes," such as the Ultraverse or ’90s Valiant or CrossGen. In the collecting sense, I see a "dead universe" as an entire line of comics that is no longer being actively/regularly added to; a FINITE body of comics, and so its completion is a goal that is reasonably attainable without a constantly-increasing quantity of stuff to acquire. It’s not going to involve having to locate THOUSANDS of issues.

2099(2019)promoI believe that all-told, the entire body of 2099 stuff comes in under 300 individual issues. And I seem to have had a 75-issue jump-start, with an additional 20-something issue leap, such that I may already be near the 1/3 mark. I also recall getting a bunch of X-Men 2099 and X-Nation 2099 issues in the last several years that I still have to dig out. As such, I believe the majority of my hunt will be the later issues of the original 6 titles.

I don’t know if I’m going to include the "modern" Spider-Man 2099 books in this hunt. While technically 2099, being nearly two decades removed, they’re more a "recycled concept" to me and "modern Marvel" than they are "classic ’90s 2099." I’ll probably eventually seek them out for the sake of completion and all, but that’ll be subject to a number of factors.

But for now, as 2020 kicks into gear, 2099 looms as a primary collecting goal/focus for me, along with Spawn.

We’ll see where I am within the year!

dawn_of_new_secret_2099_limited_world_of_yesterday_blogtrailer

Vexed by Variants AGAIN! The Weekly Haul: Week of December 26, 2019

weekly_haul_header

I am so sick and tired of VARIANTS! And of course, this time it’s gonna be all the MORE memorable because it’s with an event, it’s the final week of the year, etc…it’s not "just" a random week during the year.

It’s ALSO reminding me to STOP GIVING MARVEL A CHANCE.

So, let’s get into it…the final week of the year for new comics…albeit, I have no NEW-new comics, due to the week between Christmas and New Year being a small week of remnants and all that.

weeklyhaul_20191226a

So having ventured to the comic shop and soundly deciding AGAINST Marvel‘s Incoming ($9.99 and they couldn’t even squarebind the thing to go on a shelf?!?) I noticed the 2099 Omega issue from last week that no one seemed to have had.

And there next to it was the latest issue of The Amazing Spider-Man…picking that up to look at, I saw a checklist for the whole event, listing it as the last ASM issue involved.

Ok, I’ve got nothing else for the week…FINE. Let’s see what other issues are available. 33…34…is that 35? Pull out a couple copies…sure enough, yeah. 35…cool. All 4 issues. Plus the Omega issue, as I had bought the Alpha issue a few weeks ago.

Well…let’s see if they have the Doom issue? Yup. Spider-Man? Yup. Ok…what about Punisher? There it was. Ghost Rider? There as well. Hmm…Fantastic Four? Check. Ok…Conan? Sure enough…there. What was missing? Venom. Oh, look…there it was.

I was gonna wait for a collected volume, but with not having any luck finding any reference to an event collected volume online after all, and not having other stuff for the week…AND EVERY ISSUE OF THE EVENT AVAILABLE (to buy all at once, in-person, one place, one purchase, INSTANT GRATIFICATION)…and the shop was about to close for the night.

variants_20191226_2099a

I get home, pretty pleased with my buy, despite it being a clear exception to my intent as recently as earlier in the day.

Amazing Spider-Man #34 is a VARIANT!

I grabbed issues in a hurry. Looking at the TITLE, looking at the ISSUE NUMBER. Marvel HAD–to my knowledge–been putting the word "VARIANT" in the box with the Marvel logo and issue number. So having looked at that box on all the issues, I figured I was good. No variants. Just the standard, regular, basic, non-variant covers.

Because of the [bleep]ing THEME, apparently the thing was put ELSEWHERE on the darned cover, where even though I was looking for it with the issue number and Marvel logo, I failed to see it was ELSEWHERE.

Because I was in a rush, and not studying the covers in their entirety and all that. Just taking logos and numbers at face value.

variants_20191226_2099b

And thus even the random, against-my-better-judgement satisfaction of snagging an ENTIRE EVENT all at once, is tarnished by stupid frustration.

And that is NOT what comics should be.

To the notion of "it’s just a cover," I argue that IF it’s JUST a cover, then STOP WITH THE [bleep]ing VARIANTS! Let the cover BE THE cover!

I should NOT HAVE TO STUDY every part of EVERY cover of EVERY ISSUE that I buy, hunt for indicia in the issue, spoil the contents of the issue itself for other indication, pull up web pages on my phone, have memorized covers before going to the store just to AVOID VARIANTS.

When I am specifically, ACTIVELY, consciously TRYING TO AVOID variants and I STILL CANNOT avoid them all…there are too [bleep]ing many of the things!

It’s NOT the comic shop’s fault…it’s the publisher.

And my feeling my own stupidity at this.

I dropped all Valiant comics in the summer of 2015 over one 4-issue stunt. And I did the same with Boom Studios in January 2016 over ONE ISSUE’s variants.

Marvel is in rarified air, and by rights, I really SHOULD just drop them entirely, on the principle.

This’ll certainly teach ME to not do any impulse-buys or quantity-buys from Marvel for sure. And reminds me to just stick with BACK ISSUES from the BARGAIN BINS. Stuff I actually KNOW and/or that is inconsequential at a price point up to 90% cheaper than a single new issue.

weeklyhaul_20191226_blogtrailer

Marvel 2099 Universe

It’s been way too long since I’ve gotten around to any posts. And as I have several partial-posts queued up but computer issues have hindered my getting to stuff as planned…here’s a quick thought on Marvel‘s 2099 stuff.

marvel_2099_collage_full

A few weeks ago, I snagged the 2099 Alpha one-shot for sheer nostalgia. I then–despite more of said nostalgia–passed on any further single issues from the "event," LARGELY because of the $4.99 price point for each issue, but also having seen something about a collected volume coming soon. I’d much rather pay a cheaper price for a collected volume, over the much higher price for single issues. Especially as even now–weeks later–I still haven’t even read the initial Alpha issue!

BUT…the whole matter has rekindled my interest in the ORIGINAL 2099 stuff. Couple that with snagging new "convenience copies" of Doom, Ravage, Punisher, and X-Men and then happening across a stack of bargain-bin issues I’d forgotten about that included Ghost Rider and Along with my ongoing #SpawnQuest I’m thinking I may focus in on the 2099 line as a "dead universe" to collect in 2020.

Which may eventually lead to snagging the 2019 single issues, but we’ll see where I wind up.

Secret Wars 2099 #1 [Review]

secretwars_2099001Writer: Peter David
Artist: Will Sliney
Colorists: Antonio Fabela & Andres Mossa
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Dave Rapoza
Editor: Devin Lewis
Senior Editor: Nick Lowe
Published by: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: July 2015
Cover Price: $3.99

I haven’t read a 2099 book in years. Sadly, it may have been well over a decade, and closer to two. But I’ve been on a major Spider-Man 2099 kick lately with toys and really loving the classic Spidey 2099 costume, having avoided the recent series primarily for the $3.99 cover price (though there were other ‘standard’ Marvel factors for me). But throwing in with a bunch of the Secret Wars stuff, this seemed well worth checking out, so I grabbed it.

The story of the issue gets around a bit, as we begin with getting to see the 2099 Black Widow in civilian guise get called away from flirtation to action, then we meet the other current ‘Avengers’ (a female Captain America, a new Hawkeye, a new Iron Man, and Hercules, as well as Black Widow). They face off against some teched-up thugs, while interpersonal stuff comes out about the characters, and after the fight with the villais we’re given more insight into who the new characters are as well as what’s exacerbated stuff with Hercules. We meet the team’s advocate in Alchemax, as well as the current Vision, and learn of a pending threat to the team.

Even as this story is relatively simple and generic, if not a bit blatant in showing us various personality bits with the various characters and how this tea has come to be, it still works well. There’s a definite feeling for me of an "older" comic with these elements, and knowing this is Peter David back on 2099 stuff is a definite treat, perhaps contributing to my enjoying this…to my wanting to enjoy this.

I’m less familiar with the art team, but I do like the visuals on the whole. I don’t care for the cover art overall…except for Iron Man, whose armor looks fantastic to me on the cover. I actually like it throughout the issue, but particularly on the cover.

As this is new stuff, pushing the 2099 universe forward a bit or in a different direction (but no mention or reference to Doom having taken over, etc), it’s not exactly a beginning…yet it doesn’t entirely feel like just some continuation, either.

I was curious about this…curious enough to check it out. This was not a bad issue, and I’m interested on the whole in learning more of these characters…but with all the many Secret Wars tie-ins, some of these will ultimately competed with each other. I’m more willing to check out *A* first issue than to stick with an entire (mini) series. I’m not choosing from this issue to not continue, but this isn’t quite enough for me to say I absolutely will get the next issue.

If you’re a 2099 fan, you’ll definitely want to get this; ditto (I imagine) if you’d followed the recent Spidey 2099 series…or if you’re just a fan of Peter David‘s work. And of course, if you’re an Avengers fan this could almost be titled Avengers 2099, except its timing is such that it gets the Secret Wars branding foremost, and may prove to take on the entirety of the 2099 stuff, with just this first issue so focused on the Avengers team.

Recommended, definitely one of the more interesting of the tie-ins so far.

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