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: 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

uvpins

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 …

BREAKING NEWS! Spider-Prime Cameo in Spider-Verse #2!

I’m stunned. When we started the Ultraverse Network, I never suspected we’d be posting Ultraverse-related content from a brand new comic! The anthology series Spider-Verse #2 hit the stands yesterday from Marvel Comics, written by Dan Slott, Kathryn Immonen, Jed McKay, and others; with art by Mark Brooks, David Lafuente, Sheldon Vella, and others; and a cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli.

You may find this hard to believe, but the long-lost fan-favorite character Spider-Prime has a cameo appearance in this book!! Check out the page below (click to enlarge)!

Spider-Verse #2 - Spider-Prime Cameo

Did you see him? No? I didn’t the first time either. How about if we zoom in and circle it for you…

Spider-Verse #2 - Spider-Prime Cameo

Yup, that’s Spider-Prime! Admittedly, it’s a really brief cameo. Heck, it’s like one-eighth of a cameo, but they managed to sneak him in!

Now, let’s think about this for a minute. It’s been nearly 18 years since we’ve seen our favorite Ultraverse characters in print. We started this Network just about three months ago, and now we’re suddenly seeing the return of an Ultraverse character?!??! Coincidence? I THINK NOT!! … okay … it’s totally a coincidence, but it’s still fun to claim it was our influence. :)

If you are an Ultraverse completest (and I know there are a bunch of you out there), be sure to pick up Spider-Verse #2, in stores now! You’ll find the cover below.

Spider-Verse #2 cover

My thanks to Steven Boyd of the Facebook Ultraverse Group for the image and the heads-up!

 

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.

Keep Norm Breyfogle & James Hudnall in your thoughts

It’s been a tough holiday season for some of our favorite Ultraverse creators. Both Norm Breyfogle (co-creator and artist on Prime) and James Hudnall (co-creator and writer of Hardcase and The Solution) are having serious health issues right now.

Over on Norm Breyfogle’s Facebook page the following was posted:

Norm Breyfogle“This is Barb I’m norm’s ex from California. Norm won’t be answering any txt’s from you friends out there. Norm just had a stroke and is in the hospital. Please keep him in your thoughts and your prayers. At this point norm is expecting a full recovery but time will tell.”

Over on the Ultraverse Facebook group, Michael Novotny posted this message about James Hudnall:

James HudnallA few weeks back, James was on his way to begin a new job in Texas when he developed a diabetic tumor on his leg — some really serious stuff, which ultimately resulted in his having his foot amputated. As if that is not bad enough, James is a long way from his home near San Diego, no friends or family around, they apparently would not hold the job for him, and lately, he has developed a serious staff infection and will require additional surgery — and it’s Christmas.

Michael also made a very thoughtful suggestion that all Ultraverse fans send James Hudnall a Christmas card! For details and an address, visit his post on the Ultraverse Facebook Group.

The Ultraverse Network wishes both Norm and James a speedy recovery! Please keep both these great guys in your thoughts during this holiday season. You may reach each of these creators via Facebook — Norm Breyfogle on Facebook; James Hudnall on Facebook.

Ultraverse Podcast: Prime of Your Life, Episode 04 – Break-Thru

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

The Ultraverse Network’s coverage of Break-Thru continues! This episode The Irredeemable Shag and David cover Break-Thru #1 & #2, as well as Prime #7 and The Solution #4! We wrap up with your Listener Feedback!

Thanks for listening!

Next week: The third episode of THE NIGHT MAN PODCAST!

Prime #4 Variant Covers by Norm Breyfogle

Prime #4 featured a cool battle between Prime and Prototype! To build hype for the issue, it was printed with two different covers to choose from, both by Norm Breyfogle. Check ‘em out!

Prime #4 – Prototype Victorious

Prime #4 Prototype Victorious

 Prime #4 – Prime Victorious

Prime #4 Prime Victorious

Two of my favorite Ultraverse heroes drawn by one of my favorite artists! Two great tastes that taste great together!

Ultraverse Podcast: Prime of Your Life, Episode 03 – Prime CD-Romix

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

In this very special episode, we share an audio adaptation of Prime #1 from the CD-Romix! Hope everyone had a very happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks for listening!

Next week: The second episode of WRATH OF ALADDIN PODCAST!

 

Happy Thanksgiving from ULTRAVERSE NETWORK

Happy Thanksgiving to all you Ultra-Fans! To celebrate, today we’re featuring the Prime balloon from the 1994 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! This comes from Prime #19 written by Gerard Jones & Len Strazewski, with pencils by Dave Cockrum & Tim Hamilton, and inks by Keith Aiken & Rodney Gates.

This year I’m thankful for the fun we’ve had with the Ultraverse Network! Celebrating these characters, interacting with fellow fans and creators alike, and finding my joy reading these comics over again!

Prime #19 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Happy Thanksgiving!