Thursday, November 22, 2012

80-Page Thursdays: Mutants vs. Ultras: First Encounters #1!

Is this Thanksgiving? It's actually the weekend of SDCC as I write this. I'm ahead of schedule, and plan on staying that way! But, figure you probably have other things to do today, and this weekend, so we'll do the laziest 80-Page Thursday post yet: from 1995, Mutants vs. Ultras: First Encounters #1!

Crap, this isn't going to be as lazy as I had thought: at first glance, I thought this issue was actually Battlezones: Dream Team 2 #1, which was a pin-up book pitting the Malibu Ultraverse characters against their new friends from Marvel Comics. Instead, Mutants vs. Ultras reprinted three of the first crossovers of Malibu and Marvel: Prime vs. the Hulk, the Night Man vs. Wolverine, and the Exiles vs. the X-Men. (The Ultraverse's Exiles were different than the reality-hopping Marvel version; although Juggernaut, Reaper, and Sienna Blaze end up doing a stint on the former.)
Although the Ultraverse was a separate reality from the Marvel Universe (think Earth-2, like the old DC multiverse) both Prime and the Night Man got stuck in the 616 for a time. (Well, one Night Man, anyway: he had been duplicated after a run-in with Loki.) They have the typical Marvel misunderstanding punch-ups with the Hulk and Wolverine; while the X-Men are trying to help Professor X find his missing step-brother Juggernaut.

These weren't terrible, in a typical 90's comic way; but certainly not worth the cost--and I don't mean the $6.95 cover price. The originals were sold as collector items: the GCD mentions Night Man vs. Wolverine #0: "This was a mail away comic offered from Marvel and advertised in their comics; The Premium Edition was limited to 30,000 copies and cost $10.00; The Super Premium Edition was limited to 10,000 copies and cost $39.95." I don't know what the other two cost, but I think they were offered in a similiar fashion.

Although Marvel purchased the Ultraverse characters, their creators allegedly had contracts in place that stipulate they get a certain percentage of sales; which make it less profitable for Marvel to use the characters. Plus, it probably follows there would be some complaining if the creators of Prime get a kickback and the creators of the Hulk don't...that said, I'd be surprised if the Ultraverse characters aren't brought back at some point. Like when Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Daredevil and everyone else take a dip in profitability...

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Happy Turkey day man!
And no, I really don't think Marvel will bring those guys back anytime soon. Other than maybe Prime, the rest of them weren't really that good in the first place, with some being rip-offs of other popular Marvel/DC characters to begin with.

They had their 15 minutes of fame back in the day, but I just don't honestly see them making a comeback, especially considering that all-too important point you brought up about the creators getting a cut of sales.