Here's another selection from Marvel:Year in Review '93, this one focused on that year's bumper crop of twenty six crappy, horrible new characters, all introduced in that year's Marvel Annuals and all basically forgotten today. Oh, Annex is in the Initiative, Bantam was killed by an even more obscure superhero in Civil War, and I'm sure all the X- Guys are still out there running around somewhere, but most of these ciphers have dropped out of sight.
They all came sealed with a trading card, too. Do you still have yours?
"I created a New Character For Marvel and all I got was this lousy trading card!" written by Tom Brevoort and Mike Kanterovich, provided a funny and cynically frank look at the "creative process" that went into tossing together this legion of cliches and thinly veiled swipes. A narrow range of traits defined the Superstars, with the result that each was a salad of CURSED, PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED, ARMOR, MUTANT, ETHNIC, and/or KILLER ROBOT. The article provided handy visual icons to identify which combination of those each character was, adding extra categories for LAME NAME and ZERO IMAGINATION, along with mocking commentary on the new heroes.
I think I read three or four of these at the time, and as I recall, the new characters were all terrible and awkwardly shoehorned in. Marvel was churning out some awful books at the time, and you can imagine the quality control at work with 26 Annuals going out the door. Ironically, this goofy Year in Review magazine was probably the best thing Marvel did in 1993!
BONUS SUPERSTARS OF TOMORROW GALLERY!