Saturday, February 2, 2019

Comics Lust 2/2/2019

Welcome back, Donist World Denizens! For those of you new to our site, I’m Donist, and I am joined by Donist World CFO the Reverse Obie* (my friends’ Boston terrier whose fur recently swapped colors) and by our marketing director/administrative assistant/rain-hater Tulip. Dang, the rain got pretty crazy this morning and, like last year, the 101 freeway was shut down for at least a few hours. Now, it’s all clear blue skies and my puppy executive team is out enjoying it while it lasts…which will only be a few hours until the pounding storm returns. Anyhow, be kind to each other, mind your health and sanity, treat your friends to some tacos (which we can't eat except for the meat and veggies), keep your pets safe, cherish the ones you love, hydrate, and read some great comics. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magiks mixed with ancient corrupt business practices, has had not just the colors of his fur switched, but a complete overhaul of his work ethic as well…I think I’m kinda okay with the mishap.

Not sure what “Comics Lust” is about? Take a look at the Introduction to “Comics Lust” post or take a look at the static “Comics Lust Table of Contents” page to jump to a topic.

Comics Lust

Chocolate and Peanut Butter: Cross-Company Crossovers (Part 2)

It’s no secret that I love Marvel’s cosmic characters and comics, especially when it comes to Jim Starlin’s work with Adam Warlock and Thanos. I straight up love that stuff. But right around the comic implosion of the mid-’90s, I threw in the towel on comic books after the blatant money grab that was Infinity Crusade (I don’t blame Starlin for this), which saw the event spreading across practically ever comic book Marvel had to offer. I was done. Gimmick covers, continuously late titles, the “extremification” of most superhero comics, polybags, trading cards, rushed products, and wallet-busting event after event chased this diehard Donist away from all comics for about three or four years.
Many companies folded during this time, many were acquired, and little did I know that my much loved Adam Warlock had gotten into some cross-company shenanigans that I only became aware of a few years ago.
I had heard of Malibu back in the day, and I was aware of some of their properties, but what I did not know was that Marvel had acquired Malibu Comics and for a few years Warlock became part of Malibu’s “Ultraverse.” I know next to nothing about the Ultraverse, and will be focusing today on the character of Rune, a vampire of sorts who ended up crossing paths with Warlock for a bunch of issues and who supposedly got his greasy talons on the Infinity Gauntlet itself. Let’s see how this unfolds.

Rune #0–9

(Written by Barry Windsor-Smith and Chris Ulm, illustrated by Barry Windsor-Smith, originally published in 1994 by Malibu Comics)
Alrighty, Adam Warlock does not appear in this run, but it is the first main appearance of Rune, a vampiric alien in possession of the Star Stones, a magical necklace that grants him tremendous power but afflicts him with a terrible, vampiric blood lust. Immortal and nigh indestructible, Rune has tormented Earth for hundreds of years. A perfect example of why I fled comics in the ’90s was the #0 issue that required readers to clip coupons from 11 Malibu comics that were to be mailed to Malibu in order to have the comic mailed to them. The #0 issue came with a poster, a trading card, and a temporary tattoo. Or, you could read eleven three-page stories in each of the individual comics, or get the Rune Spin Special which collected eight of the essential three-page stories in one easier to find comic. WTF?! As irritating as all that is, having Windsor-Smith as the creative force behind this character definitely has my interest peaked.

Curse of Rune #1–4

(Written by Chris Ulm, illustrated by Kyle Hotz and Mitch Byrd, originally published in 1994 by Malibu Comics)
Here we go: Adam Warlock appears in the Ultraverse…or at least the Soul Gem does. Hot off the heels of Infinity Gauntlet (1991), Infinity War (1992), Warlock and the Infinity Watch (1992–1995), Warlock Chronicles (1993–1994), Infinity Crusade (1993), and Silver Surfer and Warlock: Resurrection (1993), Warlock somehow ends up in the Ultraverse and he loses his soul gem to none other than Rune. As for how this all goes down and how everything gets put back in order I have no idea, but I can definitely say I am intrigued. A six-month delay between the releases of the first and second issue doesn’t bode well for the series, and neither does bringing in a second artist on the fourth and final issue, but whatchagonnado? It looks like the first issue came out at the same time as issue #5 of the first series.

Godwheel #0–3

(Written by Dan Danko and Chris Ulm, illustrated by Mark Pacella and Jason Moore, originally published in 1994 by Malibu Comics)
No idea exactly what this one is all about, but Thor is in it, Rune is in it, and a whole other mess of Ultraverse characters are in it. I guess we’ll just have to back issue bin dive for these and see what it’s all about.

Giant Size Rune #1

(Written by Barry Windsor-Smith and Chris Ulm, illustrated by Barry Windsor-Smith, originally published in 1995 by Malibu Comics) Not quite sure what the hell this one is about, but the cover depicts a blood-drenched Rune wailing into the night as he holds what looks to be some poor chaps spinal column. Whatever. Put me down for this one for sure.

Rune/Silver Surfer #1

(Written by Chris Ulm and Dan Danko, illustrated by Henry Flint, originally published in 1995 by Marvel Comics)
This is a flipbook, which means you have two comics in one that requires you to flip the physical comic over in order to read the other comic. No idea what goes on here other than Rune and the Silver Surfer fight while you get Marvel character guest appearances up the wazoo.

Rune Vs. Venom

(Written by Chris Ulm and Len Kaminski, illustrated by Mark Pacella and Gabriel Gecko, originally published in 1995 by Marvel Comics)
Although Venom was a hot commodity in the ’90s, I never really cared about the character—not until Donny Cates got ahold of him in his current incredible run—but if you’re thinking of chasing down everything relating to Rune, then you might as well jump all-in on this 48-page beast of comic.

Conan #4

(Written by Larry Hama, illustrated by Barry Crain, originally published in 1995 by Marvel Comics) Rune appears in a Conan comic from the ’90s!

Conan Vs. Rune #1

(Written by Barry Windsor-Smith, illustrated by Barry Windsor-Smith, originally published in 1995 by Marvel Comics)
Wait…what?! How the hell did I not know about Windsor-Smith returning to the character that made him a household name in the ’70s and pitting that character against a new character of Windsor-Smith’s creation over two decades later?! Whatever. 36 pages of comic’s favorite barbarian warrior squaring off against a vampire god? Yeah, I really need to get this. Dang.

Rune #Infinity

(Written by Len Kaminski, illustrated by Kyle Hotz and Jason Moore, originally published in 1995 by Malibu Comics)
Sporting an all-black cover and a blood-red logo, this series looks to not only kick off the new Rune series that follows, but it also makes Adam Warlock a major character for the series. Yes, it will one day be mine. This was part of a company-wide initiative called “Black September.”

Rune #1–7

(Written by Len Kaminski and later Paul O’Connor; illustrated by Kyle Hotz, Jason Moore, Patrick Rolo, Jeff Whiting, Steve Ellis, Pav Kovacic, Tony Akins, Gabriel Gecko, Terry Pallot, John Cleary, Norm Rapmund, and Stephen Baskerville; originally published in 1995 by Malibu Comics)
Okay, what the malevolent maelstrom is going on with this comic?! Did you get a load of how many artists were involved with this seven-issue series? Criminy! Even if some of the people on this book were penciller/inker teams, that is still a truckload of people working on a few measly issues. Anyhow, Adam Warlock features prominently and Annihilus—yes, that bug-man from the Negative Zone and scourge of the Fantastic Four—is causing problems for all as well. Even with soooooo many people involved, I totally want to see what happens and if the sheer volume of creative team switches can help pull this series together.

Ultraverse Unlimited #1

(Written by Len Kaminski, illustrated by Gabriel Gecko (who is Gabriel Hardman) and Andrew Wildman and Stephen Baskerville, originally published in 1996 by Marvel Comics)
This 48-page beast of a comic looks to be the final appearance of Warlock in the Ultraverse, so if you’ve been following this cross-company, crossover extravaganza, then you will need this book to see how it all ends.

Rune Hearts of Darkness #1–3

(Written by Doug Moench and James Felder; illustrated by Kyle Hotz, The Pander Brothers, and Tim Bradstreet; originally published in 1996 by Marvel Comics)
Okay, despite some gimmicky gimmicks and sinful shenanigans involving flip covers, I totally want to read this series given that Doug Moench was involved. From what I can tell, there is the regular story featuring Rune and the secondary story that features Rune fighting against a villain that readers of “Wizard” magazine voted into being. What the heck?! Bah...I guess we’ll just have to go with the flow on this one, too.

Man, that was beyond complex. Oh, my stars and garters, Denizens, I feel faint. I can’t imagine how difficult it was for a Rune fan at the time to actually follow their favorite space vampire (after Vampirella, of course). That said, I have not read a single one of these comics, but I fully intend to change that if I can get ahold of them…for the right price. Until next time, you can find me in the bargain bins.


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