Insert joke here about Stan Lee being some new guy they’re trying out on a start-up title rather than risking him on any established books.

§ March 18th, 2013 § Filed under marvel, retailing § 10 Comments

So I came across a copy of the Marvel Comics Previews promo catalog “for new publications scheduled to ship in 1992” –

…and I’d somehow totally blanked on the fact that the Marvel 2099 imprint was going to be called “Marvel 2093” at one point:

In the “marketing” section, it describes this particular marketing initiative thusly:

“These titles literally are ‘Marvel: the Next Generation’ and if you remember the popularity of other popular series with that designation you’ll be able to imagine how well these books will do.”

Well, sure, I loved Match Game: The Next Generation, AKA Match Game ’73, and sure enough, the 2099 line (as it would later be called, when cooler heads prevailed and decided “2099” was exactly six years’ worth of awesome better than that piddling “2093”) did indeed do very well. At least until the entire comics market tanked shortly thereafter, but, you know, whaddaya gonna do?

Anyway, back to the catalog: each title had its own entry, with a logo and a rough sketch of what the character may or may not look like when the comic was finally beaten into shape:

And just look at those creative teams!

Okay, to be fair, at least one writer was on board at print time:

The text pieces for all the books describe them in the most general of terms, usually along the lines of “like the modern day Marvel heroes, only more future-y,” without any specifics like character names, settings, how exactly the characters are going to be different, etc. Well, the entry for Doom 2093 pushes the “is this really the Doom from the present-day Marvel Universe?” angle, so that hook at least was present this early in the development process.

This catalog is an interesting look back at Marvel’s marketing strategies during comics’ last big sales hurrah, and I suspect, as I dig deeper through its pages, I’m going to wax nostalgic over those salad days when you could sell a comic such as Punisher 2093 like this:

“It will also be a natural must buy for all the fans who picked up the Punisher Armory title this year. People have always associated the Punisher with the latest in hi-tech ordnance and this series takes the association to the ultimate degree. Just remember the success of Terminator 2 or Die Hard to envision the vast potential for this series.”

Probably the first and last time the sales success of the amazing Punisher Armory was used as a marketing tool for another book.

10 Responses to “Insert joke here about Stan Lee being some new guy they’re trying out on a start-up title rather than risking him on any established books.”

  • Maybe it’s the fuzzy font or my fading vision, but I read the last word of the first paragraph as: “the need for herpes.”

  • Old Bull Lee says:

    Punisher Armory was awesome. Setting aside my enthusiasm for the guns, the narration really was interesting and was some good writing.

    Many of the pages would have a scene, like the aftermath of a mob shootout or Frank setting up surveillance, with the captions loaded with Frank’s descriptions of his methodology or his philosophical musings.

  • Ray Cornwall says:

    What was “Big Guns”?

  • philip says:

    Indeed, let us never forget the popularity of popular things.

  • WorldbreakerGrimm says:

    WOW!!! I have had that Proto-Spidey of 2093 image stuck in the back of my mind since it debuted at the height of my original Comic Fandom. When my friends and I first saw it, I think all that accompanied the image was a question mark and something along the lines of “COMING SOON: THE FUTURE!” and we were freaking-out because we had the impression this weird, alien thing was going to replace Peter Parker! Hey, we were 12…

    But yeah…Man, that became a whole thing there. Thanks for opening-up the Fun Memory Floodgates, Mike! Creepy, floppy-eared Spidey for the win!

  • Jerry Ordway, take your cue from TBD! No ageism there!

  • chasdom says:

    I would guess that “Big Guns” —> “Heavy Hitters”, one of the last gasps of Marvel’s Epic line.

  • BIG GUNS was actually a loose affiliation of titles.

    The propsed line-up being:

    SILVER SABLE (and the Wild Pack)

    Like many of Marvel’s “group titles” back then, the afficilation usually started with a story arc which crossed over into all the titles, but then, one by one, when titles crapped out, the banner heading was lost.

    Also listed on that gloriously awful airbrushed cover is something called:

    which may be what turned into
    (a supernatural banner heading)
    but it’s hard to tell with those generic-looking back-lit figures.

    Ah… the 90’s.
    Despite the multitudes of crap, there were some gems.

  • proposed line-up

    damned typos.

  • Adam Farrar says:

    That makes sense. Though that group of characters who use Big Guns (and Luke Cage) should have been more inclusive and let in Cable.