A few weeks ago, I took a trip to Pittsburgh Comics and flipped through a few boxes of comics priced at a quarter each. Any time I find a sale of this proportion I have expectations to find a particular type of book: 1990s Image, X-Force with a hologram stamp, Ravage 2099 #1 or various Return of Superman titles. Even so, I usually find one or two books that I add to my collection. This time was no different, as titles like Cyberforce and Supreme proliferated and the extra-sized, bagged Adventures of Superman #500 probably took up 10% of one box. In between a few books, I found the item pictured above: a "Superman Tribute Edition" of Wizard Magazine.
I started collecting comics in earnest with the Death of Superman storyline, so I'm very familiar with books around this time period, but I had neither seen nor heard of this magazine before. It's got a cover by the Superman #75 team of Jurgens and Breeding that features Superman with a pretty grizzled five o'clock shadow (the cover has some foil enhancements as well, for the cherry on top) and features an enclosed trading card, to boot. What I'm trying to say is, it's basically what you'd expect from a publication of this nature. What really interested me, though, was the advertisement on the back cover from Dynamic Forces:
Dynamic Forces is a company born from comic book speculation. They're still around today, though maybe they are not quite as visible as in years past. They've spearheaded special covers and creator autographed copies in the past, though this one may be their most ambitious offer of all. Let's take a look at just what they're offering:
First off, I love the generic male silhouettes. It's obvious that the company either had no right to use any of the Superman imagery, or they didn't have any artwork on hand. Other than the company logo at bottom, this is surprisingly the only imagery used in an otherwise incredibly text heavy ad, promoting both the upcoming Adventures of Superman #500 and the issues that follow, each featuring a different character who JUST might be a resurrected/reincarnated/cloned Superman.
Interest in these issues stemmed from the incredible response to the Death of Superman storyline, culminating in the (literally) millions of buyers of Superman #75. The next big stop on the train was Adventures of Superman #500, which followed Superman's funeral and a very brief publishing hiatus. So let's say that you wanted to purchase a copy of the upcoming 500th issue of the title that used to be just "Superman" (a big deal regardless of the circumstances), but you wanted to get a deluxe version, one signed by all of the creators of the historic Death/Return of Superman storyline. That would only set you back...SIXTY BUCKS. Plus shipping and handling!
Okay, that's a lot, but I'll bet that a lot of people looked at it as an investment for years to come. But let's say you had a whole lot of money to burn and wanted to go all in. You could get the aforementioned Adventures of Superman #500 along with the four "Return" books: Action Comics #687, Superman #78, Superman: the Man of Steel #22 and Adventures of Superman #501, each signed and numbered (limited to 10,000 copies!), and you'd only have to pay...
...A HUNDRED DOLLARS MORE. Incredible. I can't help but think that DF made money hand over fist on this deal. Maybe they took some of that money and invested in wisely, because if they sold out of this offer (what a world we'd live in if that's actually the case), they would have made (gross, I realize) over 1.5 million dollars, with another 600 grand coming in from the AoS #500 offer. Perhaps some of this money is still keeping the company afloat to this day.
I'd be curious to hear if anyone actually went in on this offer.