A Fisherman’s Tale: Cris Crossover will make you Jump! Jump! 2 (1997-2007)
A Fisherman’s Tale: Cris Crossover will make you Jump! Jump! 2 (1997-2007)
Thank you all for following on my fishing trip through the crazy ridiculous world of Crossovers. Last week when I started this trip I thought for sure the worst time for a crossover was right now, but I began to realize that the big two never missed an opportunity to have its customers buy multiple issues to follow a story. I left the nineties with many crossovers that were profitable for the company, but not for the speculator. When issues were regularly printed in the hundreds of thousands it doesn’t create a rarity necessary to make any money.
I am going to pick up with marvel where I left off.
Heroes Reborn the Return: (1997-1998)This was a 4 issue mini-series at the end of the year following the 13 issue runs of Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man, and the Fantastic Four. Another mini-series with no aftermarket value. Because I followed the new Secret Wars and House/Powers of X series I realize, after checking the synopsis of this mini-series, just how powerful Franklin Richards is, but is there a place for a cocky brilliant blonde boy into today’s marvel? Not the discussion I want to have. The reason I point out this series is because the dawn of the sunburst variant happened. Multiple series started over after this mini-series with various sunburst variants. These variants vary in price the Amazing Spiderman one is probably the most valuable, but still can be had for $10.
At the end of the nineties DC really started to jump into the mini-series crossover events. Batman’s world always seemed to be having a Cataclysm or a Contagion and since there were at least 4 separate batman comics and all his side characters they could run a story without touching any other comics. I am not a big DC collector, so I haven’t followed all the stories, so it required a little more digging to identify key/big crossover events from the nineties.
DC One Million: Has a fun novel concept, what would DC comics be at issue 1 million. The year would be the 853rd century. Almost every comic at the time had a special issue dedicated to the One Million theme. Thirty Five separate issues and a four issue mini-series. I can’t find a book with any real value. But these books are ripe for some random writer to pull a character from, much like Cates and Bendis do.
Early 2000’s, Marvel did not have a ton of crossovers, I wonder if this was due to their financial troubles, because a lot of effort goes into getting all stories to line up for a crossover. These are some of the lowest print runs of their main comics. In 2000-2001, they had a crossover event called Maximum Security. I have come across these issues in dollar bins, but have never stopped to read one. It crossed over 15+ different series for an issue.
Amazing Spider-man 24 vol. 2 has some value because of the low print run for Amazing Spider-man. (ASM 20-19 a steadily decreasing print run for ASM bottoming out with 49K for issue 29) The rest of the series can be found for $30.
DC in 2001, created one of my favorite cover runs of the early 2000s with Our Worlds At War. The underrated Jae Lee created did the covers for several of the one-shots tied to the series. The Batman, Young Justice, Wonder Woman and World’s Finest are great and huge departure from the covers at the time of any of the big 2 companies. Jae Lee created a darker world connecting all the covers. I know his style can get repetitive at times but when he is given a series, he produces some great covers. i.e. Dark Tower and Superman/Batman.
The only book with any value is the Harley Quinn cover. When I first started collecting again my buddy and I would try and grab all of these covers, because we loved Jae Lee’s style. All could be found in dollar boxes, except the Harley book. Though here in the past few months I have found two copies in dollar bins.
Another DC crossover that followed Our World at War led to some more great dollar bin covers. Joker:Last Laugh can be found in dollar bins everywhere. There are some great Joker covers by Tim Sale in the run but my favorite cover is on Batman. Like many of the CBSI writers I have a soft spot for Sienkiewicz, and this cover doesn’t disappoint. Batman in silhouette and a Santa with an axe climbing out the chimney. Once again the only book with some value is the Harley Quinn 13, but if you bundle you can get it and the entire 33 issue story for under $30.
Neither company had a major crossover event in 2002 or 2003, they had smaller ones, but not multiple story crossing. It’s interesting because this is also when we started getting some great character runs from my favorite super-heroes. Batman’s Hush story took place during this lull. Marvel tried jumping into the Marvel Max label with grittier characters, (Sentry; Hood)
In 2004 Marvel decided status quo had been long enough. So they didn’t even try to hide what they were doing they called the event Disassembled. All major avengers characters went through some event which tore them down to the core. By the time the series ended we had two Avengers teams at odds with each other. This crossover had some crazy stuff happen in it. The Scarlet Witch plays a major role in reality manipulation and Doctor Strange realizes how powerful she is. Spectacular Spider-Man begins the comics first attempts to have comics match the movies.
In his final confrontation with the Queen, Peter stops her from destroying all human life in New York City with a biological bomb. In the course of the battle, he is fully transformed into a monstrous spider, but the transformation has the unintended side-effect of making him pregnant — allowing him to give birth to a perfect replica of his old human self, with all of his memories fully intact. In his new form, Peter possesses the ability to shoot organic webbing from his wrists, eliminating the need for his homemade “web-shooters”. Wikipedia
These books are not worth a lot, but the Thor issues 81-85 can sell for $5 to $12. This was a Ragnarok story so the last movie probably caused a renewed interest, but this is also a story of Thor sacrificing himself.
For DC they began to realize how much they liked the word Crisis for their mini-series. In 2004-2005 it was Identity Crisis. This series is one of those series I find in dollar bins all the time, but stop and admire the amazing Michael Turner covers. The Wonder Woman cover is especially nice. I am partial to the red second print cover, but neither have much value. This was when DC started experimenting with their second prints, some were red and third prints were sketch covers. The story has little value, but you do find out Batman has countermeasures for the Justice League.
The very next year DC decided to reset with the Infinite Crisis. This was a crossover with multiple other limited series attached. Days of Vengeance, Rann-Thanagar War, Villains United and the OMAC Project. All of these books can be found in dollar bins, but now there are a few books every good fisherman looks for. Infinite Crisis 3 and 5 which had 2 covers each. First Jamie Reyes and First Jamie Reyes as 3rd Blue Beetle. When there was TV Spec it quickly became a $15 book.
Infinite Crisis led into a series that has confused dollar bin divers for years, 52 (2006). The series started immediately after the final issue of Infinite Crisis. It tells the story of the missing year at the end of Infinite Crisis. This is probably pretty dumb of me but I thought 52 had to do with the lead up to DC’s New 52 series. Nope each issue describes a week in the missing year, five years before New 52. There are a few issues that have gained in value over the years, but most are still found in back issue boxes too. With the crazy Batwoman Spec rise and decline Week 11 saw highs of $25 and now sits at $15. Week 7 saw a boost for first Kate Kane and sits between $5 and $15 depending on condition. One book I always grab is Week 48, first Renee Montoya as the Question. It can go for $10 and if the Birds of Prey movie is a success? this could be something.
A new book to cross my radar is Week 12. Black Adam is “Rock” official so let the spec begin. 12 is first Adrianna Tomaz as Isis, Black Adam’s wife. Issues can still be found for $5, but more are being listed for $15. I just picked this up this week in the dollar bin at my LCS.
Back in the world of Marvel, some of my favorite crossover events are about to happen. Marvel branches back out into space to bring us Annihilation. There were several connecting mini series to the main 6 issue arc. Nova, Ronan, Silver Surfer, Super Skrull, and Drax all get the mini series treatment. The cosmic world created by Abnett and Lanning shaped my view of many of the characters populating the cosmic MCU. The best thing about the series is the cover artist, Dell’Otto. He did some of his best work on all these series covers. Because of the amazing art and fantastic story, I could write an article on just the Annihilation (2006) series. Annihilation 4 seems to have the most value (Thanos and Drax), but watch out for those Nova books to spike whenever a Nova movie officially gets announced. They are just great covers.
While this amazing space odyssey is happening in outer space, our more familiar earth bound heroes are having a Civil War (2006). Civil War was the first omnibus I ever bought. All my favorite super heroes fighting over whether they should reveal their secret identities. Spider-Man would finally reveal himself to the world. Civil War was a seven issue limited series, but had many tie-in issues like Frontline, Chronicles, and Choosing Sides. It seemed like every hero was affected by the Events in Civil War and had their mini arcs in their comics to prove it. The Civil War tie-ins were easily recognizable by their big stripe of color at the bottom.
Civil War has some great Michael Turner variants to go with the Mark Millar story. When the movie was coming out main issues and variants really climbed in prices. A complete set of the regular issues would be a $100, but now you can get them all for less than cover. My favorite variant is of course a Spidey one, Civil War 3, but it seems to be most people’s favorite too because it can go for $50. I came across all the Turner variants for cover at the height of the Civil War movie spec, but I did not sell any, and by the time I took them to a comic show the spec had already died and no one was interested. Good thing I like the covers.
Now most of the offshoot issues can be found in Dollar Bins, and the main issues are usually for cover. The one book connected to Civil War everyone wants is Amazing Spiderman 529, first Iron Spider costume. Another book I am secretly speccing on is Civil War: Choosing Sides, this was supposed to be the first appearance of the Irredeemable Ant Man (Eric O’Grady), but The first issue of his series came out first (Potential Thunderbolts spec) You can find this in dollar bins and for under $5 on eBay.
As I look ahead I realize how many more series I have to write about. Crossovers have become a main influencer in the comic industry. Big mega events draw in new fans and also can get mainstream news to cover it if is controversial enough. Comics were also becoming cinematic endeavors. Nolan’s Batman Begin, X-men, and Raimi’s Spiderman had all been successful. Marvel was developing their own movies. I am stopping in 2006-2007 simply because I have covered so many events and was a little shocked when some of these events came out, I realize I need to refresh my DC knowledge. Finally some series that had some speculator love, but still an avid fisherman can find them in a bargain bin.
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