Wizard rewind April 1997
Welcome back for another edition of Wizard Rewind. Each month, I want to take a look back at a random issue of Wizard Magazine. So let’s review what was being talked about and what was Hot all those years ago. Specifically, the Wizard Top 10 to see how those books are doing today. To better understand the market, we should have some idea of our history.
So with that in mind, before I dive into the Top 10 from April 1997, let me set the stage and bring you back 22 years ago. This would’ve been the spring semester of my freshmen year of college. All the freedom in the world and very little concept of responsibility. Oh such simpler times. So let’s all take a trip together back in the day…
Ok, so it’s April 1997. A 21-year-old Tiger Woods clinches his 1st Major title, The Crocodile Hunter debuts, Orlando Pace is selected #1 overall by The Rams in the NFL draft, Ellen comes out to the world, and Baseball honors Jackie Robinson by retiring #42 for all teams.
Just a month before on March 9th 1997, Biggie was gunned down in LA just months after Tupac. I was still very into hip hop back in those days so those were a rough few months. Following Biggie’s death, P. Diddy was blowing up with his solo career dominating the Billboard charts for 6 weeks and through the entire month of April with Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down featuring Mase.
Over on television, on April 1st 1997 a very special confluence of events occurred to give us Alex Trebek hosting Wheel of Fortune and Pat Sajak taking over Jeopardy. Yes you read that correctly.
That’s just way too weird. Can’t believe I missed that historic moment in American Television.
Also on television screens that month was ABC’s miniseries adaptation of The Shining starring the guy from Wings. No, not Lowell and not Tony Shalhoub. And no, not Tim Daly either. The other brother Brian. It may have been more faithful to the source material but it didn’t have the same cache without Jack. Plus the only thing I can really remember from it was that Steven Weber looked like a Deadite from Evil Dead for some reason.
At the box office the biggest hit was Val Kilmer’s The Saint (yeah I forgot about that movie too), JLo and Ice Cube were hunting the giant snake from Dragnet with Jon Voight, and Tommy Lee Jones was trying to one-up James Bond with his own volcano movie, aptly named…Volcano. How original.
“The Coast is Toast.” How Clever.
And as much as I love Grosse Pointe Blank, the real gem released that month was this little beauty…
Yes, I realize this movie is so very dated now. But the 90’s were a special time, when everyone over-spoke like they were on Dawson’s Creek. Writers were just given carte blanche to sermonize and pontificate on any idea or point that they deemed worthy; no matter how extraneous to prove how they were erudite scholars. See what I did there?
But how great was Kevin Smith back in the 90’s? He was King. A comic geek just like us who made it big. I saw him at a screening of Chasing Amy at Rutgers back when Chasing Amy was released. He showed the film and took some questions afterwards. It was really cool. This followed Mallrats and he continued to bring the comic book culture forward with his stars being indie comic creators themselves in this one.
So many good lines in this movie. Granted many of them are not appropriate here due to the salty nature of the language, but how great was that entire Comic Con Panel scene when they discuss Star wars? It still gets me giggling.
Ok, now that we are all logged in to AOL instant messenger, have either thrown on our flannel shirts and ball chain necklaces, or layered our t-shirts over a thermals, and have our wallets chained to our pants, let’s crack open this month’s Wizard.
This particular issue had a few pretty good articles including a decent recap on Marvel’s bankruptcy. Remember when things got so bad that Marvel went bankrupt?
But that’s a story for another day. Let’s get to the nitty gritty and this mostly non-Big 2 centric Top 10 list of April 1997.
Before we wrap up this month’s look back, let’s dive into some more features from this issue. Apart from the Top 10 list, Wizard also offered a lot of other features. This issue had a decent feature article on the “new” Superman. You know the Electric Blue nightmare on the cover of this issue. What really drew my attention was the poll in the middle of the article.
This poll showed that people liked this costume 2 to 1. Seriously? Who did they poll?
I realize I may be being a bit harsh. The poll didn’t say “do you prefer it to the original,” but that is still how I read it. It looks like a totally 90’s design. Is that the new Waverider? Is this a new Electro knockoff coming over to the DCU? No, it’s Superman.
So anyway, moving on. I had a lot of fun last time with this, so I will see if I can try my hand again at the Casting Call feature. Once again, these were just fun speculation of who Wizard thought should play these characters “if” a movie were to be made. So for April 1997, they presented their choices for a Generation X movie.
So once again, just for fun, let me give try and see what I can come up with to cast this movie today. Sure I probably could try and cast this movie with the 1997 acting pool, but I’d rather not try and explain who Stacey Dash is to our younger readers and why I thought she’d make a good M. So with that, this is my pitch to cast a Generation X movie today without any regard to logic, budget, or star power.
Ok, I feel good about this Casting Call. I would see this movie. Sure Generation X is really dated and wouldn’t be my first choice of adaptation, but we play the hand we are dealt. The kids here are either still young or at least can still play young. Helps to sell the teacher/student dynamic we are looking for. But I would look for more practical effects where possible. More Original Hellboy vibe. Maybe even try and get Del Toro to direct this. Hey this is no constraints dream project version so tell me this wouldn’t work.
Another little treat hidden away in the price guide is Buried Treasure.
1st appearance of The Thunderbolts is still a minor key today. Regardless of whether the Thunderbolts end up being adapted, I feel this may be undervalued.
Still plenty of room to grow given the lack of Hulk keys outside of the current Immortal Hulk run. If this team does get adapted, this book could hit $50 raw overnight.
Wizard Guide Value: $1.50 – Apr 1997
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 – $255.00 on 4/18/19
Raw – $30.00 on 4/18/19
The final extra little feature I want to highlight this month is The Mort of the Month.
Ok so another month in the books. Hopefully, you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoy looking back to the past. Thanks for your time, and once again, I leave you with these familiar words of wisdom.
“If you do not know where you come from, then you don't know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you're going. And if you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.” ― Terry Pratchett
**Graded sale data courtesy of Gocollect.com and Raw sale averages provided by Covrprice.com**