It’s always the 1990s here on Progressive Ruin Dot Com.

§ December 31st, 2014 § Filed under collecting, death of superman § 7 Comments

So being in the comics retail industry in a location close to where Malibu Comics’s home base was located when it was active, we’ve seen a lot of the material produced by that company. And I don’t mean just the regular stuff, but promotional material, rare items, and just lots ‘n’ bundles of multiple copies of various products. I remember at one point obtaining what must have been a case of The Trouble with Girls graphic novels.

I’ve seen a pretty large number of the variant covers over the years, such as the full-cover hologram variants for Mortal Kombat and Star Trek Deep Space Nine and the like, not to mention plenty of those foil-variant Ultraverse covers. In fact, the other day I had a fellow who identified himself as a former employee of Malibu (and Marvel, after that company bought out the former) come by the shop, hand me a small pile of comics, and tell me “here, I’ve been sitting on these a while and you can have ’em if you can use ’em.” And yes, there were a few of the usual items in there, like those hologram covers I mentioned, and what I thought was just another foil Ultraverse variant:

…until I noticed this embossed stamp on the front cover:

…and this certificate explaining just what it was:

…and I was all set to write up a whole post about this, but just like two weeks ago this Ultraverse blog already put together a far better and more informative post about this very thing than I would have. The thing I learned from that post I found most interesting was that, despite the certificate stating “limited to 500 copies,” far fewer than that were actually created and distributed. The number given is about 30, though the picture in that blog post shows a certificate numbered 134, but who knows what kind of numbering shenanigans were going on. Perhaps earlier numbers were being reserved for employees and other special persons, since the copy in my hands is #7.

Anyway, I put it on the eBays to see who’d salute, so we’ll see how it goes.

Also recently acquired was the Platinum Edition of Adventures of Superman #500, which you can tell is totally the platinum edition of the comic because the bag surrounding it is clearly printed with the words “PLATINUM EDITION” along the bottom:

It’s kind of a drag that someone had this pinned up on a wall, apparently, as there are a couple of pinholes in the top center of the polybag…who’d buy a “hot, rare collectible” in a time where “hot, rare collectibles” were the be-all, end-all of the comics retail industry and then pin the sucker on a wall? That seems almost counter-intuitive to the investment mentality running rampant in the business then. It even had the $125(!) price tag still affixed to the comic bag it was being stored in.

I’ve come across these bagged platinum editions before, and always wondered if just the polybag itself was supposed to be the “platinum” bit (as this bag was black and silver, versus the red and white of the regular version) or if the comic inside was platinum-ized. I suppose if I really wondered that much, I could have Googled or eBay-searched it for myself before now, but I finally looked and found a few of these for sale:

This is one of those “pro-graded” slabbed copies, where they apparently removed the polybag before sealing the funnybook into its little plastic coffin. The color of this cover may be dimmed a bit, as you’re seeing it through about 1/16 inch or so of plastic, but that is definitely a “platinum” (well, silvery-whitish) version of a cover that is normally black. Plus it says “platinum” in the corner and they wouldn’t print it if it weren’t true. Another difference is that the logo on the platinum version features raised lettering while the regular version does not, a fact I just now went to check with my copy of the non-platinum version down in the No-Longer-Quite-As-Vast Mikester Comic Archives.

Speaking of polybags, I also picked up one of these:

…which is the regular cover edition Superman #82, which also had a chromium cover. However, this version of #82 polybagged with a poster was, according to my two seconds of Google research, a Walmart variant which I don’t believe I’d seen before. No UPC code on the comic cover, but said code was provided on the back of the bag itself. I don’t know what the poster itself looks like…my guess is that it’s that cover, but maybe someone can let me know.

Twenty-plus years on, I’m still talking about the Death of Superman. Let us look forward to a happy 2015 and, with any luck, even more posts about the Death of Superman. See you then, friends.

7 Responses to “It’s always the 1990s here on Progressive Ruin Dot Com.”

  • I’ve got a few of those items (platinum superman, limited edition Malibu etc…), but to date my favorite use of the special gimmick, polybagged super book has to be the issue of superman with the colorforms of he and Lobo with the slick plastic-coated cover of Metropolis skyline for use as a play surface.
    I got it for my younger brother who is/was into Lobo (1990s Lobo… he wasn’t keen on original clown suit Lobo, and NO idea what he’d think of pretty boy new 52 Lobo, but I digress).

    For me however, Malibu will always be the company that ruined Aircel comics (old Warlock5 and Dragon Ring were excellent). For a few years inthe mid-late eighties, I would have rather worked as an artist for Aircel than at Marvel.

    It’s always the 1980s in my head…
    Now let me get back to listening to my Echo and the Bunnymen & Psychedelic Furs LPs


  • John says:

    Have a wonderful new year Mike!

  • Jack Feerick says:

    I’m ASTONISHED that there were actual copies of SUPERMAN #500 in those platinum edition bags. I always assumed that DC used the gimmick as an opportunity to clear the warehouse, and just bagged up unsold inventory copies of SWING WITH SCOOTER in Superman wrappers, secure in the knowledge they’d never be opened.

  • philip says:

    If I opened up my Superman 500 bag and found an issue of Swing with Scooter in there, it would be a fine day indeed. Oh, what might have been.

  • Dario Delfino says:

    Hold the phone…


  • Corey says:

    Just today a customer at my shop asked if we had Superman #75. Hard to believe that after all these years, people are still looking for it. Of course, no one wants Adventures of Superman #500.

  • Chris says:

    That Superman cover isn’t metallic. It’s actually a normally covered picture with a sort of hazy color form on top of it that you can remove and/or put back on.