I own a good number of Superman related items. These posts are meant as a kind of showcase for them.
I think it is safe to say that Bloodlines, a crossover that ran through DC’s annuals in the spring and summer of 1993, was pretty awful. The plot wasn’t terrible (alien shapeshifters come to Earth looking for a meal and end up creating a bunch of new metahumans in the process) and the concept was noble in a comic book sense (create a bunch of new heroes and villains) but the execution was terrible. Simply terrible.
Not that I knew that at the time. I was blissfully unaware of Bloodlinesat the time of publication. I was seventeen at the time and didn’t have a steady source of income, so comics were kind of a luxury. I bought Adventures of Superman #500 when it came out (on the evening of my junior prom in fact) but it wasn’t until the latter part of the summer that I got caught up on Reign of the Supermen and a year or so after that before I got around to picking up the annuals.
Steel, Superboy, the Last Son of Krypton (later revealed to be the Eradicator) and even the evil Cyborg were not so fortunate. In Superman: The Man of Steel Annual #2 Steel was present at the birth of a character named Edge, who could hurl blades, which is cool, right? Superman Annual #5 gave us the Cyborg dealing with a character named Myriad, who was the trainer that clipped Lex Luthor the Second in Superman (Vol. 2) #77 and was later killed for that act. Action Comics Annual #5, written by Jeph Loeb, saw the Eradicator dealing with Loose Cannon and Adventures of Superman Annual #5 was the place where Superboy and Sparx met for the first time. Later the two would star in the very regrettable Superboy and the Ravers.
Since it was the nineties and Bloodlines was a big time comic book event type thing you would be correct if you assumed that it had a trading card set associated with it. In fact, there was a preview card for the set
forced uponus enclosed in the polybagged edition of Adventures of Superman #500. I always found this kind of amusing. To me Adventures of Superman #500 always felt like the red-headed stepchild of Superman #75. Where Superman #75 had the neat, black cover with the bleeding “S”, a poster, an armband, a “newspaper” clipping and a preview card to the Death of Superman trading card set Adventures of Superman #500 had the comic and a preview card for the Bloodlines set. It’s like the difference between eating a steak at Longhorn or Outback and getting a steak at the Waffle House. Sure they’re both steak but one is certainly fancier and tastes a whole heck of a lot better than the other.
Like the annuals that were to some an affront to man and God I didn’t get around to buying the trading card set until about 2002 or so. The only upside to the comic book market crashing in the nineties is that the dealers who were stuck with a bunch of inventory from that time are unloading it on eBay for a song. I think I paid ten bucks plus shipping for an entire, unopened box, which is good because if you are going to own something awful it is always best to not pay a lot of money for it.
(Comic book trading cards are one of my vices. I just can’t help myself.)
As I was going through the set I noticed that all four of the supposed Supermen had there own cards.
Cyborg even got his own chase card.
As I was going through my packs of cards (at work, actually, because I had the closing shift at this convenience store and my boss was pretty cool with what I did between customers as long as I got the side work done) I came across this.
I was intrigued and flipped the card over.
I was a bit bummed out. I wanted a “One True Superman” card but it was well past the January 15, 1994 expiration date. Actually it was nearly ten years passed the expiration date. If I had found this card back in the summer of 1993 it would have soon looked a lot like this.
Yes, I remember my address from way back then. I lived there for nine years. The house you grew up in and it’s address tends to stick with you.
So I filed the cards away and thought, “Well, that’s that then. Never going to get that card. Another grail that slipped through my fingers.” It never occurred to me to, you know, go back to eBay and search the card down. Last year the thought finally hit me to do so and soon it was mine.
Neat, huh? Sorry about the scans of both this and the chase card. They had a foil look to them and those tend not to scan well.
At some point I’ll track down the other chase cards, but having the “One True Superman” card is good enough for the moment.
More to follow…