The Night Man Podcast, Ep. 6: “Ghosts”

Night Man Podcast LogoThis episode: “Ghosts”

Issue 6 of The Night Man sees a team from The Strangers’ past getting put on The Night Man’s trail. Also, Night Man appears, sort of, in another UV book this month!

Thank you so much for listening!

Ben’s other podcasts:

Jumpstart your Collection: Elven 1 Limited Foil Edition

Elven #1 Limited Foil Edition

I’m really not sure what happened here, but the Limited Foil Edition of the first issue of Elven is something that exists. Foil on the cover of that book, however, is not something that exists. It’s almost the exact same cover as the regular edition, with some slight color tweaks.

This is the regular edition ... quite easy to find.

This is the regular edition … quite easy to find.

After the first round of Ultra 5000 incentive books (there were separate print runs of 5,000 books for each of the early Ultraverse launch titles … I’ll write more on these soon), there were a few different “limited editions” for books such as Foxfire 1, Ultraforce 2, Lord Pumpkin 4, and Elven 1. But they didn’t have the enhanced silver foil covers that the Ultra 5000 books had. The Elven Limited Foil Edition stubbornly stuck to this trend.

Ultra-collectibility rating: 3/10

Anyway, the lack of foil is about the only thing that sticks out about this cover except for Prime grabbing Elven’s arms and pinning them behind her back. Nothing helps calm down an angry person quite like that. Elven ran for four issues (plus a “zero” issue) and it’s pretty easy to snag the whole lot for a few dollars off eBay. The trick to finding the “foil” edition is to look for a green title (the regular No. 1 issue has a yellow title). It shouldn’t set you back more than a buck or two.

This is one of the easier limited-edition Ultraverse books, simply because most people don’t even know it is there.

Ultraverse Thor on Secret Wars #2 Cover

Further Ultraverse characters have been spotted in modern Marvel comics! This time out a couple of Ultraverse-related Thor incarnations will appear on the cover to Secret Wars #2, hitting shelves in May! Both incarnations come from the Ultraforce/Avengers #1 crossover. Check out the image below! To find the Ultraverse Thors, look under the “W” in “Wars”, and the top character on the far right.

Secret Wars #2 Thor cover

My thanks to the folks at the Ultraverse Facebook group for bringing this to our attention! Also, thanks to BradSerum for taking the time to develop this handy guide!

First Spider-Prime in Spider-Verse, now Ultraforce Thor in Secret Wars! What’s next?!?!

Ultraverse Podcast: Prime of Your Life, Episode 07 – Trading Cards Series 1

Ultraverse Podcast: Prime of Your LifeIt’s the seventh episode of ULTRAVERSE PODCAST: PRIME OF YOUR LIFE!

This episode The Irredeemable Shag and David discuss the 1993 SkyBox Ultraverse Comic Trading Cards (Series 1 Premiere Edition)!  We tackle each trading card, including the chase cards! We wrap up with your Listener Feedback!

Thanks for listening!

Jumpstart your Collection: Angels of Destruction


aod2Angels of Destruction is a book that came out near the end of the Ultraverse. It actually has a lot going for it, notably a Hajime Sorayama cover and writing by the now-famous Brian Michael Bendis. It’s a visually interesting book and certainly had potential. Not sure where they were planning on going with this, but it is a good read. Chronologically it fits between Ultraverse Unlimited 2 and Future Shock (which was actually the final Ultraverse publication). But where should it fit in your collection?

Ultra-Collectibility Rating: 5/10

The only thing that keeps the rating down is that Angels of Destruction is extremely easy to find for a buck or two. Four recent sales on eBay were all for between $1 and $2. has a copy for $2; Mile High Comics inexplicably wants $8.50 for theirs.

A few of these tail-ender books have some of the lowest print runs for any of the Ultraverse titles, but the number of pre-orders for Angels of Destruction was relatively high at 38,208, compared to Prime 13 which came out the same month at 12,396 (source for these numbers is

The Night Man Podcast, Ep. 5: “Alone”

Night Man Podcast LogoThis episode: “Alone”

Issue 5 of The Night Man features an existential crisis for Johnny Domino: is he “alone”? Also, I get the best listener feedback ever, as someone did some detective work for me! And much, much more!

Here is the article that Derek found, scanned, and posted for me! Derek, again, thank you so much! This is the article that I read and that captured my imagination:



Thank you so much for listening!

Ben’s other podcasts:

SkyBox Master Series: Ultraverse Edition Trading Cards – Ads from Previews

Back in 1994, the Ultraverse launched their third trading card series entitled, SkyBox Master Series: Ultraverse Edition. This was a 90 card set with a handful of chase cards. What distinguished this series from other trading cards on the market was all the artwork was painted by the amazingly talented Dave Dorman!

The cards are beautifully painted and very representative of the 1990s. If you wanted comic book painted artwork in the early 90’s, Dave Dorman was the guy to get (I still love his Dark Horse Comics Indiana Jones covers). Not all the Ultraverse likenesses were captured perfectly in this trading card series, but the trade off is gorgeously painted artwork you wouldn’t normally find for these characters. I’ve seen many of the cards on the web (you may view most of them by clicking here), and have an unopened box I ordered last summer. I’m waiting for the right occasion to rip open the box and revel in the 90’s goodness! You’ll find a complete checklist by clicking here.

Friend of the Ultraverse Network, Michael Bailey, recently sent me the following pages he scanned from an old 1994 Diamond Comics’ Previews catalog. The first two pages were printed on glossy cardstock as an insert into the catalog, while the third page was the “Gem of the Month” featured advertising. I find the selection of characters in the ad somewhat puzzling. Solitaire was a solid choice, but Book, Tyrannosaur, and Heater?!?! That’s representative of the Ultraverse? Really? Not Ultraforce, Night Man, Prime, or even Lord Pumpkin? Odd.

SkyBox Master Series: Ultraverse Edition Trading Cards advertisement Diamond Previews

SkyBox Master Series: Ultraverse Edition Trading Cards advertisement Diamond Previews

SkyBox Master Series: Ultraverse Edition Trading Cards advertisement Diamond Previews

Being a marketing guy myself, I love seeing old advertising. Our thanks to Michael Bailey for sharing this snapshot of 1990’s merchandising!

Jumpstart Your Collection: Flood Relief

Ultraverse Flood Relief

Flood Relief is a charity book that Malibu put out to help victims of the Great Flood of 1993. It was rushed to production pretty fast, and was available to anyone who sent in a coupon and donated at least $5 to the American Red Cross. Total print run for the issue was set at 15,000 (Malibu covered all of the production costs), and it featured several stories with Ultraverse characters. It also had a great Norm Breyfogle cover with Prime lifting a school bus out of the water.

Social awareness rating: 10/10
Ultra-collectibility rating: 4/10

Hey, it was for a great cause. I sent in my five bucks. I realize that’s kind of cheap of me, but I wasn’t making a lot of money then. And for now, we’re just discussing the collectibility of this book. It’s quite easy to pick up a copy now for less than the fiver I spent. This is a book that definitely belongs in the library of any Ultraverse collector.

There have not been any recent sales on eBay of this book, although there are a number of auctions priced between $2 and $21. You can buy one for $2.40 off; Mile High has a near mint copy for $8. Obviously your best bet is; you can also pick up some other Ultraverse books on the cheap while you are there.

Altered Reality: The Ultraverse Before and After Black September

Welcome Ultra-fans to the Super-Blog Team-Up! Today the Ultraverse Network is part of a crossover banding together several different blogs under the banner of Parallel Worlds and Alternate Realities! Each blog in this crossover will focus on alternate versions of their favorite characters and niches.

Super-Blog Team Up

Here at the ULTRAVERSE NETWORK, we’ll explore how the Black September crossover altered the continuity of the Ultraverse.

When Malibu Comics was purchased by Marvel, the entire Ultraverse line was cancelled and restarted. Only a few of the more popular series were rebooted and relaunched, with some being radically altered. The history and continuity of the Ultraverse was retroactively changed in numerous ways, and a number of characters simply ceased to exist (or in the new continuity, ceased to have ever existed). The story covering this reality-altering event was labeled “Countdown to Black September”, which ran through Ultraforce vol I #8-10, Ultraforce/Avengers Prelude, Avengers/Ultraforce, & Ultraforce/Avengers. Each of the rebooted and relaunched Ultraverse books started with a special “∞”-numbered issue identified as part of Black September.

Ultraverse Black September Infinity

Confession time, I’m not an expert on the post-Black September Ultraverse. I was a big Ultraverse reader when Malibu launched the line, but after the Marvel buy-out I drifted away. For this post, most of what I’m sharing has come from research or information shared by other Ultra-fans. In the coming weeks and months I will update this post if we uncover any further continuity changes. Additionally, I strongly encourage you readers to contribute any missed continuity changes in the comments.

In this post we won’t be recapping the Black September event itself (read it or Google it if you are curious). Instead we’ll be focusing on the retroactive continuity changes (retcons) that resulted from Black September; not to be confused with story-driven character changes. For example, while the changes to Mantra after Black September were dramatic, they were progressions of the story, not retcons. In the post-Black September continuity, Lukasz still inhabited the body of Eden Blake, and then the Mantra power was transferred to Lauren Sherwood. Therefore no retcon occurred. Night Man was another character who experienced dramatic changes from progression of his story as opposed to retcons.

Ultraverse Black September - New World Order

Below is a list of continuity changes (retcons) found in the post-Black September Ultraverse:

  • Prototype – One of the biggest retcons was the elimination of Jimmy Ruiz from the history of Prototype. When Malibu first launched the Ultraverse, Jimmy Ruiz was a teenager working for UltraTech piloting the new Prototype armor. Ruiz replaced the former pilot of the Prototype armor, Bob Campbell. Campbell was forcibly retired after losing his arm on the job. While Ruiz struggled in his role as Prototype, he proved himself on many occasions and was a valued member of the Ultraforce. In the post-Black September continuity, Ruiz was written out of continuity and Bob Campbell was retconned as the only Prototype to have ever existed. Campbell was a member of the Ultraforce and had never suffered the loss of his arm. As far as we know, Campbell was retconned to replace Ruiz in all of his adventures.
  • Hardcase – Hardcase (alter ego Tom Hawke) was one of the premier Ultraverse heroes when Malibu launched the line. In the post-Black September continuity, Tom Hawke existed but never became Hardcase. Since he never became Hardcase, it seems likely that his team called “The Squad” also never existed.
    Here is where it gets a little confusing. A little more than a year after the Black September reboot, Hardcase made an appearance (even though he’d been retconned out of existence). Hardcase returned wearing his original uniform and informed the Ultraforce that he knew about the alterations to the history of the universe. When Black September occurred, he was apparently shunted into a limbo dimension. According to Mark Bourne, a former editor of the Ultraverse titles, Hardcase’s appearance occurred because the creative team wanted to return the stories to the original Ultraverse continuity. Marvel Comics filed for bankruptcy before that story could unfold and the Ultraverse line was canceled. The final Ultraverse story, Future Shock, addressed some of these altered reality plot threads.
  • Choice – Choice was a supporting character in the Hardcase title. Her origin was deeply-rooted in the history of “The Squad”. She never appeared in the post-Black September Ultraverse, and we can assume she was written out of continuity due to her ties to “The Squad”.
  • Contrary – Contrary was a mysterious character, tied into the origin of the Freex (or most likely tied into), and founder of the Ultraforce. She organized the Ultraforce team and provided their technology. She was also known for manipulating people to further her own agenda. In the post-Black September continuity, she was written out of continuity and ceased to have ever existed. Personally, I think Marvel got rid of her because they thought she was robbing Emma Frost’s M.O. and wardrobe.
  • Rune – Rune’s origin was altered slightly in the post-Black September continuity. In the original Ultraverse, Rune began as a barbarian on an alien world who ate the flesh of a dragon to gain it’s strength. In the post-Black September continuity, Rune began in Africa and consuming the dragon was removed from his history.
  • Solitaire – Solitaire escaped Black September relatively unscathed. The only real post-Black September alteration is the mystery of what inspired Solitaire to begin his quest in becoming a hero. In the original Ultraverse continuity, he was inspired after he witnessed a battle between Hardcase and Headknocker which most likely didn’t happen in the post-Black September continuity.
  • Ultraverse history – Another minor retcon in the post-Black September continuity was that Marvel’s Infinity Gems were woven into the origins of the Ultraverse itself. In the post-Black September continuity, the entity on the Moon who triggered the Jumpstart effects was apparently awoken by the disruption of the space/time continuum caused by the Infinity Gems.

Some folks question the status of other characters from the original Ultraverse who didn’t appear in the post-Black September continuity. Such as:

  • Freex – It’s not specified if these characters existed in the post-Black September continuity. Since Contrary was erased from existence (it was strongly hinted Contrary was involved with the creation of the Freex), it’s possible the Freex were as well.  Freex member Cayman did appear in the post-Black September continuity in Ultraforce and the All-New Exiles, but he never made any mention of the Freex.
  • The Strangers – I’m a little blurry on this one. While The Strangers did not appear as a team in the post-Black September continuity, member Zip-Zap is reported to have appeared in a later Prime issue. Unfortunately, I’m not able to verify that appearance. Does anyone else know of it?

While the post-Black September Ultraverse was a very different place for our favorite heroes, all other changes were story-driven rather than retcons. Again, I’ll happily update this post if any further continuity changes are identified. My thanks to the following Ultra-fans for their assistance with research on this post: Mark Bourne, Derek Crabbe, Ryan Carpenter, Neil Robertson, Bruce Reville and Sean Koury! Thanks guys, stay Ultra!

Super-Blog Team-Up Links

As mentioned, several different blogs have teamed-up today to cover Parallel Worlds and Alternate Realities! While we’re featuring the Ultraverse here, you should visit these other comic blogs to see how they spotlight their own favorite characters and niches today. Visit them now, visit them later, and visit them often!

Our thanks to the Super-Blog Team-Up for inviting us to participate in this fantastic crossover!