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PCR #496 (Vol. 10, No. 39). This edition is for the week of September 21--27, 2009.

"Fame"  by Mike Smith
Series Retrospective: Our Gang  by ED Tucker
The Top 30 Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror Actresses, #21-30  by Lisa Scherer Ciurro
Kansai Gangstas  by Jason Fetters
The Great Comic Book Swindle: Captain America Chapter .... .... .... .... .... .... ....  by Brandon Jones
Obama Tour - Acorn .... Auto Insurance? Excise Tax? .... Cosby Agrees With Carter, So What About Michael Steele .... You Bunch Of Teenagers .... 50 Ways... .... .... ....  by Brandon Jones
Minnesota .... Vote Early And Often .... Sorry To Hear .... Sorry Your Mom Was A Drunk (or Was She)? .... Bitter Bastard .... .... .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2...  by Mike Smith
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Splash Page by Brandon Jones

The Great Comic Book Swindle: Captain America Chapter
The famous Superman #75 "collector's edition" which sold for as much as $70 during the frenzy -- now, $15-20

The pinnacle of the comic boom was the 1992 "Death of Superman" story. There was incredible publicity over the stunt and the short term absence of Superman. We had to endure the "Funeral for a Friend" to get to a "Return of Superman", just to have all of it NOT matter.

This event has been the formula used now on numerous occassions to sucker comic fans in an effort to boost sales.

How many poor schmucks thought buying Superman #75 in a polysealed black bog at $70 was a sound investment?

Most comic book shops are onboard with the game to rip off readers with secondary markups on "significant issues" like a first appearance or death issue.

For many of us, the "Death of Superman" is the signpost to the end of comics as we knew it and the dawn of comics as a "collectible" with much more emphasis on "cashing in" rather than "creativity"

Like many bad ideas, horrible ideas arise from disasterous times like a phoenix from the flames. Today it will be the "Rebirth" of Captain America.

Ed Brubaker, who contrived a story to bring Bucky back from the dead, had Steve Rogers murdered on the courthouse steps in a post-Civil War Marvel Timeline. Again the media was happy to embrace the death of an iconic comic book character, but as always, it is shortlived and intended to boost some sluggish sales figures.

So let's review the three phases of the comic sales swindle.

The Lead-In or the Fall of the character is designed to "hype" the pending end to the hero. "Knightfall" was the dramatic chaos that culminated with the breaking of Batman's back.

This portion of the con job is only slightly different that the multi-title crossovers like "Crisis" and the modern "Civil War."

In many cases the publisher will create titles for characters to promote them (Sword of Azrael) or toss aside years of continuity to rewrite history. Bucky had to come back into Captain America's life as the Winter Soldier. Later Bucky, as will then fill in for the deceased hero.

So, stage to is the Substitute. Dick Grayson won't take over as Batman, that will be Azrael. Which of the four characters will be the new Superman.

Remember that nightmare: Steel, Superboy, the Eradicator, oh I feel nauseous already.

The publisher has to hype the new characters, get collectors interested in "investing" in first appearances or new #1's in a series.

Lastly, there's the return or how dare they call it this, but the rebirth -- "Captain America: Reborn"


The hero is NEVER really gone. They brought back Bucky so is there anything off the table if they can make a buck.

No matter how insane it is, Bruce Wayne will walk again. Superman just needed some alone time at the Fortress of Solitude.

Well, this Captain America's return is even more ridiculous. In a JJ Abrams fashion, Marvel is going to copy the TV show "Lost" and use time travel as a means to escape the constraints of continuity or even common sense.

Comics are just a property to these folks, so like Hollywood, there's no intellectual considerations or restrictions other than "will it sell."

Hey, it's a capitalist market and they can kill off Batman and have a "Battle for the Cowl", it's their business.

Just don't expect my hard earned cash.

Long after the hype you can get these issues out of the dollar bins and all of the alternative gimmick covers for a couple of bucks.

You had to know there would variant covers and gimmicks. There are already several versions of covers by different artists and a 2nd printing variant as well.
New Cap. America: Reborn variant. Retailer had to order 70 copies to get one of these babies, now selling $50-70

Marvel and DC didn't learn from the mistakes of the 90's, they just needed time to rationalize making the same mistakes.

Don't follow their lead and save your cash for a good Indie title.

I've heard the new Image title "Chew" is awesome, try that.

"Splash Page" is ©2009 by Brandon Jones.   Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova.