BLOODLINES: THE TRADING CARD CONNECTION

I own a good number of Superman related items.  These posts are meant as a kind of showcase for them.

Bloodlines Logo

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.

Steel

Steel Card

Cyborg

Cyborg Card

Eradicator

Eradicator Card

Superboy

Bloodlines Superboy Card

Cyborg even got his own chase card.

Bloodlines Cyborg 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.

Redepmtion Card Front 

I was intrigued and flipped the card over.

Bloodlines Redemption Back

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.

Redemption Card Filled

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.

One True Superman Card

 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…

AH, WELL THAT EXPLAINS THAT

I’m going through my Post-Crisis on Infinite Earths run of Superman again.  I haven’t read those books in a while and I like to reacquaint myself with them every few years.  Not only is this my favorite era for the character but re-reading those books bring back a lot of good memories.

Plus, I just wanted to, which is the best reason to in my opinion.

The next issue that’s on deck to be read is Superman (vol. 2) #28.

Superman (Vol. 2) #28

This issue kicked off the Exile story arc, which is flat out my all-time favorite Superman story ever.  Love that story.  I’ll get into the whys and wherefores later but something on the cover caught my eye.  Something I had literally never noticed before, which is kind of odd really because I bought this issue off the rack when it was first published.

Here’s what I noticed.

Issue 28 Cover Signature

The “After Steranko” thing just got me curious.  Curious in a way that makes it rather annoying that I had to go to work.  When I got home I did a little research (read: I typed “Steranko covers” into the Google search bar and clicked “Go”) and found the Steranko cover that Kerry Gammil and Dennis Janke were paying homage too.

Nick Fury #6

Now that’s a neat cover.  I have never been a huge fan of Steranko but I like his work and I respect what he brought to the table.

I scanned the cover to Superman #28.  I copied the Nick Fury cover from the Grand Comic Database because, well, I don’t own it.

Mystery solved.  I can sleep peacefully tonight knowing the origin of one of my favorite Superman covers.

And now you know too and knowing, of course, is…something.

More to follow…

ACQUISITIONS FOR 03-21-08

I tend to collect a lot of things involving Superman.  These posts are the newest additions to that collection.

One of the more recent and now out of control sub-genres of my Superman collecting is trade paperbacks, graphic novels, hardcover collections and the like.  Frankly this is the more questionable section of the “archives”.  I own eighty-five percent of the comics that are in the trades sitting on my bookshelf but I like owning them just the same and as much as they are sort of useless they can be quite convenient. 

I mean the choice between having to move and sort through a bunch of short boxes to get what I want to read and simply walking up to the booksshelf is kind of a no-brainer at times.

Today I came home and much like yesterday there was a package for me in the mail.  I ripped open the packing envelope and inside were two trades; Superman: Our Worlds At War Books 1 and 2, both of which were first released in 2002.

Our Worlds At War Book 1 Front

Now what makes this purchase kind of crazy is that I already own the Superman: Our Worlds at War Complete Edition that DC put out in 2006.  That’s the big, honking edition that has the entire saga in one volume, which is quite unwieldy really.  I mean the thing is huge.  I didn’t need to buy these editions, but they are quite nice to own just the same.

Our Worlds At War Book 2 Cover

Plus, I got both for $9.99.  The shipping was free, so that breaks down to nearly five dollars a book.  And they’re in great shape too, so there’s that. 

So yeah, kind of insane to have bought them, but it was a good deal and I like having them on the shelf.

More to follow…

ACQUISITIONS FOR 03-20-08

I tend to collect a lot of things involving Superman.  These posts are the newest additions to that collection.

Today I came home, checked the mail and found a small package that once I got through the wrapping contained this.

Making of Superman Front Cover

This was a book that I barely knew existed and only got interested in tracking it down because they showed Superman Returns co-writer Michael Dougherty reading this on the plane ride to Australia in that exhaustive making of documentary that could be found in both the two-disc special edition release of the film and the 14 disc set that I just had happen to possess.  I re-watched the documentary recently, saw the book, hit my best friend eBay and lo and behold there it was.  I ended up paying $20 all told but that was with shipping and I really wanted to own it.

So that’s awesome.

Here’s the back cover.

Making of Superman Back Cover

I look forward to reading this.  Don’t know how soon I’ll get to it because I have a back log of reading right now, but I think it will be enjoyable.  I’m a bit concerned actually because despite this book being in pretty good shape I am paranoid that once I open it for the first time the thing will either snap in half or crumble to dust in my hands like it just drank from the Holy Grail or something.

I let you know how it goes.

More to follow…

I’VE GONE AND DONE IT AGAIN

Lois and Clark Season 1

So I have started to plow through my season box sets of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

I have mixed feelings about this show.  I really do.  I enjoyed the majority of the first season and the second season had some good episodes to it but starting in season three the show started to take a turn for the worse.

Maybe re-watching the series will change my mind.

Or maybe it won’t.  I’ll keep you posted.

More to follow…

FIRST “OFFICIAL” POST or GREETINGS, ONE AND ALL!

So at this point you’re probably asking yourself why the Internet needs another blog about comic books much less one about Superman.  It’s a fair question, really and one I have a definite answer to.

I wanted to.

Not a deep or insightful reason to be sure but it’s pretty much it.  I like Superman.  I’ve liked Superman since I can remember liking anything.  Sure it wasn’t until 1987 that I started reading the comics full time (and never stopped, actually) but between the Super Friends and the Christopher Reeve movies I was a fan and since that fateful day in 1987 when I decided, “Hey, I want to collect the Superman books,” I have done my best to read and learn as much about the character as I possibly can.

So producing a blog about Superman seemed natural.  I thought about doing a full on, four alarm site but wisely decided against it.  For one thing I am not all that proficient at doing this web thing.  The fact that I got this blog going and looking the way it does is something of a minor miracle and frankly between work, the wife, my podcast (Views From The Longbox) and other such things I didn’t want to devote the time to building a site that I could be proud of.  For another thing there’s little site that some of you may have heard of called The Superman Homepage that seems to know a thing or two about the character, so why do something that someone has already done and done it well?

Besides, I write reviews for the Superman Homepage, so it seemed like a bizarre, fannish conflict of interest.

A blog, though.  A blog is something different.  A blog I can sink my teeth into because I could literally post about anything I wanted to and not have to worry about following a theme or format.  A blog could be fun because if I wanted to do a serious, in depth article on something related to the Man of Steel I could and if I wanted to post a picture with a snarky, supposedly funny comment I could do that too. 

And thus the Fortress of Baileytude was born.

Ross Mythology CoverWhile I have some definite, long term plans for this blog for now it is going to be me writing haphazardly about Superman on a daily basis.  One day could be the comics, the next could be about Lois and Clark, the next could be about the latest trade paperback I bought off eBay.  I’m just going to try and have some fun while channeling all of the energy I have as a Superman fan.  I have yet to decide if I am going to write reviews.  As I previously mentioned I write for the Superman Homepage (I review Superman/Batman and Justice League of America currently) so I would only post links to those reviews, but I just don’t know if writing reviews for all of the titles would be a good idea. 

Then again maybe I will.  I tend to change my mind a lot.

More than anything this blog will be about my thoughts and feelings regarding Superman.  I am not setting out to claim that my views are the right ones or that you should agree with me.  I’m a bit sarcastuc and many time it will seem like I am making fun of some old comic or some episode from the second season of Adventures of Superman, but most of the time it won’t be mean-spirited just me once more trying to do some more of that funny stuff I was writing about earlier.  In all seriousness I do have some pretty firm opinions about certain aspects of the Man of Steel’s history and there are some eras and adaptations that I just flat out don’t care for, but that’s just the way I feel.  If you think I’m wrong just let me know.  There’s a comment section at the end of every post and you can even e-mail me if you like at [email protected] with any thoughts or dissenting opinions regarding something I have written.  In fact, I encourage it because another reason I started this blog was to meet other Superman fans, both like minded and otherwise.  The only thing I ask if that you be respectful of me and others.  Civil discourse is fine.  Being a jerk isn’t, so just observe the Golden Rule, which is post if you want but don’t get out of line.

Sound good?

So for right now I welcome you to this blog and hope that you’ll have as much fun reading it as I do writing it. 

One more thing; this site is a work in progress so please bear with me until I get all of the kinks worked out.  I hope that within a few months everything will be the way I want it to be but for right now it’s going look a little rough around here.

More to follow…