Saturday, October 03, 2009

Marvel's Superstars of Tomorrow (Circa 1993)

How Twilight ruined Comic-Con









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!






12 comments:

J.R. LeMar said...

I don't recall this, I must have missed it somehow. I do remember DC's "Bloodlines," which this reminds me off. This really sounds terrible. Though I think it would be one heck of a creative challenge to take all of these characters and try to revamp them all into something good, in it's own separate series, like JMS' original SUPREME POWER, or Ellis' NEWUNIVERSAL. It may not work, but it would be fun to try.

Anonymous said...

Is Hit Maker's costume for real?

I mean, like, for real?

someone has to die for this. That, and Wonder Man's mullet...

grifter said...

since it came out (and i have it), one word keeps ringing in me ear, boyo: Cuchulain! Cuchulain!

adf said...

Whew...finally got my breath back after my hysterical laughing fit upon seeing the "Hit Maker" costume. I really love how his thighbands(?) have a special gap to allow even more metal-plated musculature to burgeon forth. And guest-starring a hastily re-colored Wolverine as the Beast!

I remember Charon from that old X-Factor annual. God help me, I may still have that comic somewhere, and the one with Empyrean, too. Even as a twelve-year-old I remember thinking, "These guys won't be back, will they?"

Kid Kyoto said...

Once again bless you sir for bringing light to all teh internets.

Now lets all spam the message boards proclaiming that Hitmaker and I dunno, the Irish dude must get their own series.

Anonymous said...

I actually liked x-cutioner. I thought it was a great idea and he was pretty well handled in generation X after...he was even a foil for gambit in his series.

googum said...

Damn funny. A shame that Marvel seems incapable of poking fun at themselves anymore. And I was just about to re-read the Daredevil Annual, featuring the Devourer, the return of the Zombie, and Calypso...wish me luck.

historyman68 said...

That X-Press guy sounds like it might be a cool concept, actually. A comic focused on the guy who cleans up after super battles?
Okay, now that I actually say it out loud, maybe not so much. But it could be good, if handled well.

Greg McElhatton said...

Historyman68 -- Marvel already had that, actually. It was called Damage Control, ran for three separate 4-issue mini-series, and was hysterically funny.

Anonymous said...

One beautiful moment I think is from that Darkhawk annual, in a backup I believe Darkhawks secret identity assaults a popcorn vendor.

Colin

commodore-zeke said...

Another one who showed up during Civil War was Wildstreak. She was the captured superhero that Reed allowed Sue to set free in the godawful FF #540. I wonder whether JMS chose the character himself... she's so obscure that you'd have to have read the whole run of FF to remember her, but that does sound like the kind of thing JMS might have done when he got the title.

Sympatico is the real find here. He's clearly the inspiration for Penance.

Anonymous said...

"someone has to die for this. That, and Wonder Man's mullet..."

That's not a mullet.