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.

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. Mycomicshop.com 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 http://www.comichron.com/).

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 mycomicshop.com; Mile High has a near mint copy for $8. Obviously your best bet is mycomicshop.com; you can also pick up some other Ultraverse books on the cheap while you are there.

Jumpstart Your Collection: Pins


Remember these? Of course you don’t, unless you are one of the few people who bought them when they were first offered. There are three different pins featuring Ultraverse characters Mantra, Rune and Prime and they actually look quite nice. I think the term is “cloisonne” which is a French word that means “small metal art for under 10 bucks.”

Ultra-collectability rating: 7

I give these a 7 because although they are a great off-the-beaten path collectible, you just don’t see them very often and there doesn’t seem to be much of a demand. I bought all three of mine for under $5 shipped. I’ve picked up an extra Rune pin for a buck off eBay. See? Cheap. But at the same time, they’re kind of hard to search for. Looking for “Rune pins” turns up all kinds of weird stuff. “Prime pins” and you get Transformers, etc. “Mantra pins” gets you some guitar stuff. Very rarely are these things on eBay; currently there are none.

You will have to be patient to track these down, especially the Mantra pin (the only time I have ever seen one of those is the time I got all three at once). That’s not to say that there isn’t some dude somewhere with a giant box of these in a storage locker, but that is true of a lot of Ultraverse collectibles. It’s hard to tell what is really out there because right now there isn’t much of a market for this stuff.

But someday …

Jumpstart Your Collection: Ultraverse Premiere #0


Ultraverse Premiere #0 (remember the zero issues?) is a book that was forged in the fires of early 1990s comics gimmickry. It also went hand-in-hand with the early days of the Ultraverse, and the only way to get this book was to send in five coupons cut (or copied) from Prime #1, Hardcase #1, Strangers #1, Wizard Magazine #23, and Malibu Sun #26; you could also pick up a “wild coupon” from Freex #1 and Mantra #1 if for some reason you couldn’t find one from the other books. Once you had all the coupons you would mail them away and a couple of months later you’d get a comic in the mail. Nice!

This book featured a collection of short stories for all of the early Ultraverse books and also had a cover by superstar artist Jim Lee. It’s a nice-looking book, kind of hard to obtain and plenty of talented artists and writers were attached.

Collectible, right? Not really.

Ultra-collectibility rating: 3/10

Don’t get me wrong, this is a cool book to own and a nice piece of Ultraverse memorabilia. But even though it seems like it should be rare, eBay has been clogged with this issue for years. At any given time there are 10-15 listed, often for a buck or two. The only recent sales since October were for $1.45 and $2.04. Mycomicshop.com has one listed for $1.10. Mile High Comics has a NM copy for $7.70, although you could probably knock a few bucks off that with one of their codeword sales. But why bother? This is a book you can find on the cheap pretty much anywhere you look and for a lot less effort than it took to clip and mail in all those coupons back in 1993.

Jumpstart Your Collection: Gold Holographic Covers

Ultraverse Gold Holographic CoversThe Ultraverse is a dead universe. For now, hopefully. That means no new comics have been produced since 1996, but that also means there is a finite amount of books to collect. And the good news is that most of these books can be found on the cheap.

My contribution to the Ultraverse Network will be from the collector’s angle … I have spent years trying to track down all these books and a big part of that was figuring out which books actually existed. So we’ll start from the top with the gold holographic covers.

Ultra-collectibility rating: 10/10

To me, these are the books to have. The silver holographic books are the ones most people remember, since they were distributed for the first issues of seven launch titles: Prime, Mantra, Hardcase, Strangers, Prototype, Exiles and Freex. Malibu printed 5,000 of each of these to be given out as retailer and fan incentives. These were quite the hot ticket back in the mid-1990s!

But I never even knew the golds existed until a few years ago when I started spotting them online. You don’t see them very often, but they are out there. According to a post from the Ultraverse Facebook group, Malibu publisher Scott Mitchell Rosenberg was asked at the 2012 San Diego Comic Con for the story behind the gold covers. He said there were 200 printed of each of the seven titles, also to be given out as incentives. Nobody really knows how many were actually distributed. I’m guessing a bunch of them were tossed out when Malibu was closed down after the Marvel purchase but I don’t know that for sure.

Some are easier to find than others. My entirely unscientific observation from years of following eBay auctions is that the easiest to spot are Mantra, Protoype and Exiles. Freex is a little tougher. Prime is tougher still. And Hardcase and Strangers are really rare. In a typical year I see anywhere from 10-20 auctions with these. Last year somebody sold 10 gold Mantras in a single batch(the auction said it was some type of warehouse find). Five years ago a set of all seven sold for $150; this year individual golds have been selling for up to $40. It’s not impossible to put together a set, but it will take a lot of time and effort unless you just get lucky (like the dude who got all seven at once).

By the way, these books are beautiful! Holograms were not that unusual back then, but the effect works stunningly well when it takes up the entire cover.

One note about the Ultraforce holographic cover. It’s also gold, but was printed seperately. There is no silver version of this book, and there are 5,500 golds. It’s easy to find; I bought 20 from Mile High for $32 total in 2007. So lets just not include that book when we are talking about the others.