Mr. Sensitive

September 24, 2011

What You Always Wanted Me To Do

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 18:19

Do you know what you always wanted me to do?  You always wanted me to tell you about the entire top 100 best-selling comic books for February 1993 as reported by Diamond Distributors so that you would never forget what was popular at that crucial time.  Well, I’m finally ready to give you what you wanted, no one.

1.  Stormwatch #1 (Image)

Stormwatch is bad-ass, and this cover is bad-ass, and I don’t want to hear your sniggering.  Fuji?  A super-strong Japanese radiation cloud in a containment suit?  Winter?  A Russian with a white ponytail who flew his team’s space station into the sun to keep the Aliens from reaching earth (yes, those Aliens)?  Battalion?  A black guy leading the team?  Take that, racism!  And what about Hellstrike?  Well, Hellstrike was lame.

2.  Spawn #10 (Image)

Guest-starring Cerebus.  Cerebus sucks, and not surprisingly, so did Spawn #10.

3.  Darker Image #2 (Image)

What do I remember about Darker Image #2?  Do I remember nothing, because Darker Image #2 was solicited and never published?  Right in one.  I love you, Image.

4.  Rai & The Future Force #9 (Valiant)

Rai #0-7 were some of the best comics published in the last two decades (#8 was only so-so) and then Shooter was booted and there was a new Rai and he was leading a lame team, one of the members of which was later revealed to be a goddamn Spider-Alien.  Print run on this one was nearly one million copies, inexplicably.  Even more inexplicably, it would appear that, after consulting my database, I own 11 copies myself.

5.  Pitt #4 (Image)

This one did eventually make it into stores, never mind that it was so late that it had to be cancelled and resolicited at least twice.  I love you, Image.

6.  Venom #3 (Marvel)

Hard to believe that Venom could outsell Spider-Man and the X-Men, but the proof is now in quarter bins at comic book stores all around the country.

7.  X-Men #19 (Marvel)

8.  Uncanny X-Men #299 (Marvel)

9.  Magnus: Robot Fighter #24 (Valiant)

I have no idea why Magnus #24 is so high on this list.  The people who orchestrated the Kennedy assassination don’t know why Magnus #24 is this high.  The Illuminati don’t know why Magnus #24 is this high.  It’s the greatest mystery of all time.

10.  Wildstar: Sky Zero #2 (Image)

Wildstar was an awful character.  Is that a red Starro on his chest?  What the hell, Jerry Ordway?

11.  Hellstorm #2 (Marvel)

Daimon Hellstrom (yes, I spelled that right) is a pretty interesting dude.  Warren Ellis wrote the last year of this book and he and Garth Ennis had a funny back-and-forth in the letter column.  This issue, however, was not so good.

12.  Supreme #6 (Image)

13.  Fantastic Four #375 (Marvel)

14.  Image Swimsuit Special #1 (Image)

15.  X-Force #21 (Marvel)

16.  Spider-Man 2099 #6 (Marvel)

I can’t believe that the 2099 title outsold Amazing Spider-Man and adjectiveless Spider-Man, especially as far along as issue #6.  It helps me understand why the editors of the regular Spider-titles signed off on the Clone Saga the following year—what did they have to lose?

17.  Namor: The Submariner #37 (Marvel)

Had kind of a plaid holochrome cover.  You really had to be there.  I bought one for Reagan at Heroes Con this year for 10 cents, so at least she could understand.

18.  Punisher 2099 #3 (Marvel)

19.  Wild Thing #1 (Marvel UK)

Just soak in the impossibility of whatever in the hell is happening here.  I’m working on something big to explain (or un-explain) Marvel UK and how it is responsible for many of the worst comic books ever published.  Get excited, because it’s going to literally set your face on fire.  Don’t you hate that?  When people say literally when they mean figuratively?  It’s pretty funny, actually, when still-living people tell you something was so embarrassing that they literally died.  But this isn’t funny, because I am going to totally ignite your face.

20.  X-Factor #89 (Marvel)

21.  Wolverine #68 (Marvel)

22.  Bloodshot #4 (Valiant)

23.  Amazing Spider-Man #376 (Marvel)

24.  Hardware #1 Direct Edition (DC/Milestone)

25.  Blood Syndicate #1 Direct Edition (DC/Milestone)

The Milestone imprint was a separate creator-owned universe that was the brainchild of Dwayne McDuffie and Denys Cowan and focused on black and other minority superheroes.  It’s best remembered for producing Static, of the Static Shock! cartoon, and the characters are now being integrated into the wider DC universe.  These guys did some good work, but they were crushed by the bursting of the bubble just like the Valiant, Ultraverse, and Comics’ Greatest World superhero universes.  And they tried just a little too hard to be whatever it was they were trying hard to be.

26.  Doom 2099 #4 (Marvel)

27.  Spider-Man #33 (Marvel)

28.  Eternal Warrior #10 (Valiant)

29.  Secret Defenders #2 (Marvel)

30.  Silver Surfer/Warlock: Resurrection #2 (Marvel)

31.  Simpsons Comics & Stories #1 (Welsh)

I never understood this.  Somehow, this tiny company called Welsh Publishing (who?) got the rights to publish comics featuring the Simpsons, except they only published a single issue before Matt Groening’s people took back the license and started the Bongo imprint.  The Bongo version of Simpsons Comics is still being published, now on issue #170-something.  Wouldn’t you like to know what was up with this single issue from Welsh Publishing (who?)?  Or maybe it’s just me.

32.  Legionnaires #1 (DC)

It’s not as bad as it looks for DC.  Superman was dead this month and none of his titles were published in anticipation of the Reign of the Supermen story arc beginning the following month, a month in which DC took the top five spots on the sales chart.  Of course, Legionnaires did outsell Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and Justice League America, so maybe it is as bad as it looks.

33.  X-O Manowar #33 (Valiant)

34.  She-Hulk #50 (Marvel)

Another enhanced holocrap cover.  Otherwise, She-Hulk and Namor would be partying together in the deep 100s, along with Quasar and Sleepwalker.

35.  Solar, Man of the Atom #21 (Valiant)

36.  Death: The High Cost of Living #2 (DC/Vertigo)

This book would eventually sell for as much $10 in the secondary market, while every book from #1-35 was dollar bin fodder within a year.  I think this was the point when Neil Gaiman started to listen to all the people who were telling him how he’s a genius, and it’s really not far from there to dressing up in a cape for your Entertainment Weekly photo shoot and having your name legally changed to New York Times Best-Selling Author Neil Gaiman.  (That last one isn’t true…yet.)

37.  Harbinger #17 (Valiant)

38.  H.A.R.D. Corps #6 (Valiant)

39.  Ghost Rider #36 (Marvel)

40.  Supergirl/Team Luthor Special #1 (DC)

41.  Ravage 2099 #5 (Marvel)

42.  Black Axe #1 (Marvel UK)

43.  Predator: Race War #1 (Dark Horse)

44.   Shadowman #13 (Valiant)

45.  Archer & Armstrong #10 (Valiant)

46.  Super Soldiers #1 (Marvel UK)

47.  Death’s Head II #5 (Marvel UK)

48.  Sandman Mystery Theatre #1 (DC/Vertigo)

This book is about the Golden Age Sandman, Wesley Dodds, and has nothing to do with the Gaiman-penned Vertigo flagship.  But I bet Neil himself believes that retailers ordered this one so heavily because they thought he had something to do with it.  And I bet he’s right.

49.  Midnight Sons Unlimited #1 (Marvel)

50.  Web of Spider-Man #99 (Marvel)

Spidey’s going to put on Spider-armor made of mirrors in the next issue—get excited!

51.  Incredible Hulk #404 (Marvel)

52.  Spectacular Spider-Man #199 (Marvel)

53.  Ghost Rider/Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #9 (Marvel)

54.  Silver Surfer #79 (Marvel)

55.  Sandman #48 (DC/Vertigo)

Boy, it was really good sometimes, though, wasn’t it?

56.  Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #44 (DC)

LOTDK outsold Batman and Detective?  I would never have guessed that.  You learn something every day, I guess.  Well, you probably learn bunches of things every day, but I already know a lot more things than you do.

57.  Aliens: Colonial Marines #2 (Dark Horse)

58.  Superman Gallery #1 (DC)

59.  Morbius: The Living Vampire #8 (Marvel)

I’ve always been a little bit in love with a certain Michael Morbius, and I was very excited when he showed up in Marvel Zombies last year.  Is that weird?

60.  Ren & Stimpy #5 (Marvel)

This series became a huge secondary-market success, with the first issue selling for as much as $25 and even #5 pushing up towards $10.  Now it’s worthless, but I think it’s a decent buy if you can pick up the early issues for $1 or less (you can).  The later issues, #40-44, are especially tough to find, and I’m always on the lookout for extra copies.  No jokes when it’s investment time.

61.  X-Men Adventures #6 (Marvel)

Based on the Saturday-morning cartoon.  Indescribably bad.

62.  Excalibur #64 (Marvel)

63.  Punisher War Zone #14 (Marvel)

I was surprised when all the Punisher titles were cancelled in 1995, but if this is the best Frank could do at the height of the boom, the real surprise is that War Zone made it all the way to issue #41.

64.  Batman #491 (DC)

This is the issue where Bane helps all the villains break out of Arkham Asylum, setting up the gauntlet that Batman is forced to run during Knightfall, which officially begins in #492.  This issue got real scarce real fast when its significance became clear; now it sells for cover price, but that’s more than can be said about most of the comics on this list.

65.  Batman: Shadow of the Bat #11 (DC)

66.  Dracula: Vlad the Impaler #1 (Topps)

67.  New Warriors #34 (Marvel)

68.  Iron Man #291 (Marvel)

Based on this analysis, Robert Downey Jr. should be playing Namor or Morbius in the Avengers movie next summer.  Do you know how much I would pay to see him as Morbius, especially with the 1970s Morbius pig-nose?  Well, not much, but that’s only because I’m poor.

69.  Warlock & the Infinity Watch #15 (Marvel)

70.  Thor #461 (Marvel)

71.  Punisher #77 (Marvel)

72.  Spider-Man Classics #1 (Marvel)

I have no idea what this is, but I will bet that two things are true about it: (1) it isn’t classic, and (2) I own at least one copy of it.

73.  Detective Comics #658 (DC)

74.  Punisher War Journal #53 (Marvel)

75.  Enigma #2 (DC/Vertigo)

76.  Avengers #361 (Marvel)

Maybe the Avengers should be guest-starring in a Morbius movie.  Think about it, Joss.

77.  MyS-TECH Wars #2 (Marvel UK)

No, I didn’t have caps lock on by mistake.  Just wait for the face-burning Marvel UK post and you will un-understand.

78.  Next Men #12 (Dark Horse)

The full title of this book is John Byrne’s Next Men #12, but I hate that and I don’t accept it.  What kind of a preening clown puts his name in the title of a book?  Not just on the cover—in the official title.  John Byrne does.  Guess who else does that now when he deigns to work in the piddly comic-book business that launched his illustrious literary career?  You get one guess.

79.  Darkhawk #26 (Marvel)

If you hate on Darkhawk I will fight you.

80.  Dark Horse Comics #7 (Dark Horse)

Seems like not a lot of thought went into naming this book, but it was probably harder than you think, since Dark Horse Presents was already taken.

81.  Captain America #414 (Marvel)

Who would have been a better Morbius, Robert Downey Jr. or Chris Evans?  The answer: Hugo Weaving.

82.  Guardians of the Galaxy #35 (Marvel)

83.  Marvel Comics Presents #126 (Marvel)

84.  Marvel Comics Presents #125 (Marvel)

85.  Justice League America #73 (DC)

This indignity was necessary for the JLA, even if it didn’t seem so at the time.  If the sales had not been so bad at this point (and for the next few years), DC would never have agreed to give the team to an actual crazy person like Grant Morrison.  No Grant Morrison on JLA means no Grant Morrison on New X-Men.  No Grant Morrison on New X-Men means a far less meaningful world than the one in which we live today.

86.  Grendel: War Child #7 (Dark Horse)

87.  Hardware #1 Newsstand Edition (DC/Milestone)

88.  Blood Syndicate #1 Newsstand Edition (DC/Milestone)

89.  Daredevil #315 (Marvel)

90.  Silver Sable #11 (Marvel)

91.  Punisher Armory #6 (Marvel)

92.  Ray Bradbury Comics #1 (Topps)

93.  Batman Adventures #7 (DC)

94.  Nightstalkers #6 (Marvel)

95.  What If? #48 (Marvel)

96.  Avengers West Coast #93 (Marvel)

Avengers West Coast #93 is one of the most important comic books ever published, because it fed directly into U.S. War Machine, the funniest comic book of all time.  This is it, this is “These flying piranha were just a warm-up!”  This is, “I’m with you, Mash!”  This is the meaning of life.

97.  New Titans #96 (DC)

Do you think issue #97 came in at the #96 position on the next month’s chart?  I sure hope so.  I hope so so much that I’m afraid to look.  I don’t want to jinx something that already happened in 1993.

98.  Darkman #1 (Marvel)

Yes, that Darkman.

99.  Codename: Genetix #4 (Marvel UK)

100.  Incomplete Death’s Head #4 (Marvel UK)

Whets your whistle for the upcoming face-fire, doesn’t it?

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7 Comments »

  1. I’m excited about your Marvel UK post. And LOTDK had lots of good stories in it. I forgot that I liked Death: The High Cost of Living. Do you think there are a lot of books you have more than 10 copies of? And I don’t think you really made it clear how much you love the Valiant books.

    Comment by euregirlsandboys — September 24, 2011 @ 19:45 | Reply

    • According to my spreadsheet, there are 26 individual comics of which I own 10 or more copies. Maybe one day I’ll tell the world what they are.

      Comment by lbej — September 24, 2011 @ 20:34 | Reply

  2. Well played. That Neil really gets to you. Me, too, actually. His ego is exploding all over the pages of his later books – he frames every idea as the most devastatingly clever in history.
    What is this Marvel UK? It seems like they trumped even Rob Liefeld for terrible work. Incidentally, the first thing Google suggests if you enter his name is “Rob Liefeld worst.” And then the top link for his name is this gem: http://www.progressiveboink.com/archive/robliefeld.html

    I’ve never read Avengers West Coast #93.
    And how come Warlock & the Infinity Watch #15 doesn’t even get a nod?

    Comment by Justin Eure — September 25, 2011 @ 13:06 | Reply

  3. If we’re going to talk about Rob Liefeld, what about the fact that he is still working? That he penciled the new “Hawk and Dove,” and that it is the worst thing? Just the worst thing ever? Most of the “New 52” is terrible, though, and I don’t know why I’m trying to read all of it.

    Comment by F.C. — September 25, 2011 @ 17:21 | Reply

    • I love Rob Liefeld, and Morbius, and I don’t know why I can’t get a Morbius book by Rob.

      Comment by lbej — September 25, 2011 @ 17:30 | Reply

      • And I want you to know that I’m not being ironic, or sardonic, or sarcastic, or facetious, or whatever word means that I don’t really love Rob Liefeld, because I really do love him.

        Comment by lbej — September 25, 2011 @ 17:32

  4. Also, that should have been a reply to Justin, and I’m posting as my WordPress blog whatever, which makes me show up as F.C., obviously for First Colonial, the best high school ever.

    Comment by F.C. — September 25, 2011 @ 17:21 | Reply


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