Wizard Rewind August 1993


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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. And maybe for fun update a little Casting Call or even create one from scratch, while we are at it. But specifically, let’s review 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.



With that in mind, before I dive into the Top 10 from August 1993, let me set the stage and bring you back on a trip to 26 years ago. So, let’s all go back in the day…


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Ok, so let’s turn back the clock to August 1993. This is a long stretch of time going back 26 years, as the market was a much different place all those years ago. Folks talk about books being over printed when they hit 100k+. But to put that in perspective, Batman #500 was being released in August 1993 and there are estimates that it had a print run well in excess of 1.5 million.  Yes, you read that correctly.



So, what was going on in the world back in ’93 apart from me getting ready for my sophomore year of high school? Nolan Ryan earns his 324th & final victory, the Eiffel Tower has its 150,000,000 millionth visitor, and NASA loses radio contact with the Mars Observer orbiter 3 days before the spacecraft is scheduled to enter orbit around Mars.



Topping the Billboard charts through all of August ’93 was UB40’s Can't Help Falling In Love. I know you all remember that song. It’s in your head now isn’t it?


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But how many of you remember it was from a movie? And that movie was Sliver; with Sharon Stone, Jake Taylor, and the other Baldwin. No not the chubbier one, that’s Daniel. And not Stephen, he was in Bio Dome. And no, not Adam Baldwin. He isn’t even related to them. This had the other one, Billy. The one who always seems to be doing a Robert De Niro impersonation. You know, he was the one in Fair Game with Cindy Crawford.



But Sliver was already out in May, so it isn’t part of our look back. No, the August releases were typically stuff that theaters didn’t fully believe in to debut earlier in the summer. They were also movies that didn’t quite fit the more Oscar bait type fare that comes in the fall either.

But the summer box office of 1993 wasn’t done quite yet, as they released a bonafide hit with Harrison Ford’s The Fugitive.  Also sneaking into theaters was Robert Townsend’s Meteor Man, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (yeah sure, final), and a personal fave, Searching For Bobby Fischer.



I don’t know why I like it. I just do. I mean it’s a movie about a kid playing chess. I don’t even particularly like chess all that much. But that said, anytime it’s on I gotta watch it.



But the real gem released in August was John Woo’s 1st American feature, Hard Target with JCVD. Where to begin with this movie? Was it as good as John Woo’s last directorial effort before coming to the U.S., Hard Boiled? Obviously not. That film was awesome, and if you haven’t seen that one, get on it.



But this movie had its charms. It had the vintage John Woo ballet-like action that unfolded in slow motion. I don’t believe it had doves, but it did have Van Damme punching a snake, Lance Henriksen just being awesome with his elephant gun pistol, the Mummy guy just being sadistic with ears, and Wilfred Brimley with the best Cajun accent ever while being a certified bow-wielding, horse riding bad@$$ as shown above. And in case you thought I was being facetious, here’s the snake punch.


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He wasn’t even remotely close to hitting that fake snake either. Seriously though, the action, while ridiculous, was still a sight to behold. It really was. And if the below doesn’t inspire you to check this movie out, then you just don’t get 90’s action movies.



Over on the small screen there isn’t much to speak of. You know it was the Summer ‘93, when 60 Minutes is atop the charts most of the month followed by Reruns of Home Improvement, Seinfeld, Coach, and Roseanne.

But some highlights on TV were The Shockmaster botching his WCW debut at Clash of the Champions XXIV by tripping and losing his mask while crashing face first through a wall on Ric Flair's interview segment “A Flair for the Gold”.



Late Show with David Letterman premiered on CBS, with guests Bill Murray and musical guest Billy Joel.


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But most of you will probably remember this month as the premier of The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers on Fox Kids. I say most of you, because this was after my time. Too old to get into this Battle of the Planets/Voltron rip off.


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But my little brother was really into it, so I remember hunting the toys stores with my dad. These were the days before anyone could just order a case on the internet and have stuff delivered to the house in 2 days or less. We had to hit the pavement, check those shelves, get to the store before they opened.



Ok, now that we rewound your mindset back to 1993 when you were wearing your plaid shirts tied around your waist, with your acid washed mom jeans, and Carhartt jackets and let’s look back at this month’s Wizard.






Wizard Guide Value: $5.75
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 545
CGC 9.8 – $65.95 on 7/31/19
Raw – $9.99 on 8/9/19

Oh, back in '93 valiant could do no wrong. They and Image were jockeying for position to overtake the Big 2. 1st Ninjak was a big deal at the time.


Wizard Guide Value: $2.50
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 62
CGC 9.8 – $44.00 on 3/4/19
Raw – $9.99 on 8/9/19

Here they are again. Valiant with another new character in Doctor Mirage. This was the valiant M.O., they would introduce their next new title character in another book to get that organic feel of an expanding universe.


Wizard Guide Value: $15.00
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 346
CGC 9.8 – $99.99 on 7/31/15
Raw – $7.31 on 8/9/19

Knightfall was all the rage and folks couldn't get enough of Azrael and Bane.


Wizard Guide Value: $20.00
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 767
CGC 9.8 – $245.00 on 8/2/19
Raw – $50.00 on 8/16/19

Out of nowhere, Bane comes on the comics scene in this random one shot. This was a tough book to get back in those days. Well at least it was for a 14-year-old me as a collector.

5 BATMAN #492

Wizard Guide Value: $5.50
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 78
CGC 9.8 – $79.00 on 7/20/19
Raw – $2.49 on 8/15/19

The start of Knightfall with that little spotlight changeover on the cover all started here. I remember hunting those pre-Knightfall books as well from 488 up to this one.

6 SPAWN #4

Wizard Guide Value: $10.00
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 320
CGC 9.8 – $64.99 on 7/23/19
Raw – $3.25 on 8/12/19

How many of you cut out that coupon from this issue so you could redeem for your Image #0? 

But that and that 1st Violator cover had a lot of heat on this book at the time.

7 SPAWN #2

Wizard Guide Value: $7.50
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 529
CGC 9.8 – $72.00 on 7/14/19
Raw – $3.99 on 8/15/19

#2 issues were all the rage back then as orders were always cut significantly from issue #1's. estimates show that the Spawn #2 orders were nearly 1 million less than #1. Sounds crazy, but that still meant that there were 750,000 copies of #2 out there.


Wizard Guide Value: $7.50
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 89
CGC 9.8 – $90.00 on 7/7/19
Raw – $5.00 on 8/2/19

#2 theory in effect here as well. But this flipbook cover also had 2 first appearances in it; as Shadowhawk and Prophet broke on to the scene in this issue. This one also had trading cards in it so keep an eye out for those. Oh the 90's

9 RAI #0

Wizard Guide Value: $23.50
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 1,750
CGC 9.8 – $149.99 on 8/1/19
Raw – $18.99 on 8/14/19

Illustrating the Valiant way, this issue of Rai was how they introduced us to Bloodshot. This is still a desired book today and keep an eye out for glossy and matte versions of this cover. 


Wizard Guide Value: $70.00
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 1,192
CGC 9.8 – $2,479.95 on 7/24/19
Raw – $300.00 on 8/15/19

Pure classic issue right from the start. It's no surprise that even after another 26 years this book is even more desirable that it was in 1993.








Before we wrap up this month’s look back, let’s dive into a couple more excerpts from this issue. Apart from the Top 10 list, Wizard also offered a lot of other features. This issue had a spotlight on Azrael, a feature on Jim Shooter and the birth of Defiant, an interview with Peter David of taking over Aquaman and leaving X-Factor, and a story on Jim Starlin. This issue in particular also had a preview on the new Malibu Comics universe.  



Remember these guys? Granted much of the universe seemed at first glance to be knockoffs of existing characters. But they had their charms.

They had their Superman/Captain America type hybrid, a Shazam like kid who becomes a hero, and their own super team up JLA/Avengers.



These were followed up by an Iron Man type, a Batman, and a Punisher to name a few. This was an interesting universe with plenty more familiar archetypes. I jest, but this was actually one of the better thought out independent comic universes.



Moving on, let’s take a look back on this month’s Comic Watch and the Wizard Picks From the Hat.  Comic Watch were back issues Wizard was highlighting that month, while Picks From the Hat was a list of new releases that they felt might have some legs.








Wizard Guide Value: $1.75
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 104
CGC 9.8 – $54.99 on 4/26/19
Raw – $0.99 on 8/11/19

You know Jon Bogdanove is totally underrated. Big fan of his work and one of the Superman artists I think of first when I think of Supes. That’s probably mostly due to this age in comics being the era that I really got into the hobby. There’s a lot to hate about the 90’s but there’s plenty to love. And Jon Bogdanove Supes is one of the good bits.






Wizard Guide Value: N/A
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 5
CGC 9.8 – $60.00 on 8/9/19
Raw – $35.00 on 8/4/19

It’s odd to me that Wizard would feature this issue and yet, not have it in their Price Guide. They had Megalith in there, but not the 1st professional work of Erik Larsen.

Larsen was huge by this point. His great run on ASM and his Image work on Savage Dragon was flying off shelves. While everyone knows Megaton #3 as the 1st Dragon appearance. This 1st issue of Megaton feature the 1st appearance of Vanguard, a character that Larsen would bring over to Image right away.




Wizard Guide Value: $3.95
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 185
CGC 9.8 – $62.00 on 7/22/19
Raw – $5.75 on 8/15/19

Back in 1993, print runs were so high. So, you will see that as interesting as most of these picks may be, the upside is limited by the fact that they printed so many. 

This Fatal Attractions hologram cover had an estimated print run of 850k.  To put that into perspective, last month’s highest printed book was House of X #1 and its gazillion covers and that was only 185k.


Wizard Guide Value: $4.95
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 25
CGC 9.8 – $49.99 on 5/21/18
Raw – $3.00 on 8/15/19

These Deathmate books were highly touted for being a crossover of the 2 hottest publishers of the day Image/Valiant comics. And boy did they make a lot of them. Estimates show this one at 750k.These are not littering dollar bins like they used to, but there are still plenty out there. And $4.95 cover back in 1993 would be like these $9.99 regular issues that they’ve been throwing at us the last few years. That’s a TPB price for god’s sake.


Wizard Guide Value: $4.95
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 22
CGC 9.8 – $24.99 on 8/7/16
Raw – $3.00 on 8/15/19

Another 750k print run on this bad boy. This was the other Valiant portion of the crossover. The art was serviceable, but really outside of BWS, I wasn’t in love with any Valiant Artist.

I mean until they got Joe Q on board, most of the art really was quite unappealing. When compared to my idols over at Image, I was reading most Valiant books in spite of the art back then.


Wizard Guide Value: $4.95
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 230
CGC 9.8 – $60.00 on 7/31/19
Raw – $5.00 on 8/16/19

Speaking of Image, this was the highlight of the whole crossover to me. Jim Lee’s studio taking a crack at these Valiant characters, count me in. Plus, you get the 1st “full” appearance Gen 13 in this book, so it’s still worth grabbing. Pure 90’s goodness. Honestly, I don’t remember much about that entire crossover, but it was a big deal at the time. And another 750k printed.


Wizard Guide Value: $4.95
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 18
CGC 9.8 – $49.99 on 11/1/16
Raw – $3.00 on 8/15/19

Now I’m not surprised that this one was printed less than the Wildstorm version. Liefeld’s Extreme Studios just wasn’t in the same league in my opinion. But I am admittedly biased towards Jim Lee.

And 700k to 750k of the rest isn’t a big deal, but it’s something. But what I find surprising is that it was less than the Valiant issues. But if I remember correctly, those Image books were delayed quite a bit.


Wizard Guide Value: $2.50
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – N/A
CGC 9.8 – N/A
Raw – N/A

Issues #3 and 4 were meant to be star-packed attractions of this new title, featuring a collaboration with Spawn’s Todd McFarlane.

Sadly, these never came to pass and these issues were never released despite there being an issue #5 printed later.


Wizard Guide Value: $2.95
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 5
CGC 9.8 – $49.99 on 6/28/19
Raw – $3.99 on 8/7/19

This was a Flip-book w/ Vanguard #0, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles appearance so it’s still of interest with collectors despite the high print run.

Along with Spawn, this is the only Image title still running under the original numbering. Spawn is hitting #300, but Savage Dragon is only around 250, due to some delays over the years, but I believe every issue was done by Erik Larsen which in itself is amazing. And if there was a guest artist in there that I am not aware of, it’s still impressive.


So, in all honesty, none of these picks would have really paid off 26 years later. But that has a lot to do with print runs. People think speculator is a dirty word, and in the 90’s it was because some people thought this over printed nonsense would be their kid’s college education.

A lot of people like to make a correlation to today’s market, but they are really not the same animal. Big discrepancy between the print runs aside, this isn’t really an apples to apples comparison. The world is a completely different place with the internet and social media we have today. Variant covers are not the same as the gimmicks of the 90’s.

Will most of these variants be worthless in a decade? Probably, but to be fair, so will 90% of the regular issues on the shelves as well. So, it’s all relative in my opinion.

That said, this was another issue that was before they began a Casting Call feature. So, I decided to cherry pick the feature from this issue of Wizard that I felt offered me the most interesting Casting Call Challenge. So, I went with the cover feature spotlighting Azrael and Knightfall.



I realize we are getting a new Batman, and despite all of the complaints, I am more than willing to give Robert Pattinson a chance. In fact, I am very optimistic. That said, he’s too young for my Knightfall movie. This Batman needs to be aged, more in line with Batfleck. So, I have to recast.

My movie would put Batman through the ringer. I mean that was the storyline after all. Bane set it up so Batman was completely spent after facing all of his rogues gallery before he finally stepped in to break him. So, I want this movie helmed by Chad Stahelski. I want John Wick level pacing through the action as Bats is running on fumes by the time Bane gets a hold of him.



Only problem is that this is something that probably should cover a trilogy of movies. One movie isn’t enough.

So once again, just for fun, let me give it a try and see what I can come up with to cast this movie today. With that, this is my pitch to cast a Batman: Knightfall movie (or trilogy) made today without any regard to logic, budget, or star power.



I could keep going on and on with Batman’s Rogue’s gallery on this one, but I gotta draw the line somewhere and save a little for another time. I mean I didn’t even get some of the biggie’s like Penguin, Two-Face, or Poison Ivy. But I think this is a good start on a Knightfall trilogy.

We start in with the breakouts and maybe end with Bane breaking Batman’s back in movie #1. Episode 2, we get into Jean Paul Valley’s Batman and focus in on our other Robin’s while a broken Bruce Wayne fights his way through his recovery. And then we wrap up the trilogy with Batman taking back Gotham from JPV’s Az-Bats.


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Ok so that’s another month in the books. Hopefully, you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoy looking back to the past. Thanks for your time for those that made it this far, 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 sourced from Gocollect.com**

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  • UltraMaximus

    Ah, the 90’s. This hit all the buttons as to taking me back to that time……

    I vividly remember the Deathmate Red delay. Deathmate, it’s probably a good idea to mention that there were Gold Retailer Incentive Versions of these books too, big fans usually spring for those since they are much less common.

    Nice work and fun read. Thank you

    • Peter Renna

      Thanks, I appreciate that. But yeah those Gold variants are the ones to go for if you want something a little bit rarer in your PC. There was also the prologue and epilogue books. A platinum Tourbook, a pink version from previews, and a green Comic Defense System Variant.

  • Avatar

    Love your casting picks!

    Spot on my friend!

    I wouldn’t change a thing… OK maybe the Joker but other than that, great picks!

    • Peter Renna

      Thanks casting is fun, and I agree about my Joker pick. I did that one early on when my bats was a bit younger. Then I realized I had all the Robins so I aged Bats up.

  • Ben C

    I really enjoy this Peter, thanks for taking the time to put it together!

  • fogsmoviereviews

    Love these columns. Fantastic work.

    What draws me to comment though is the casting – phenomenal. Michael Emerson as the Ventriloquist? Walton Goggins as Zsasz? One could only wish…

    • Peter Renna

      🙏 Thanks for dropping a line, I appreciate the kind words. But casting is super fun to think about. I am almost as much a movie geek as I am a comic nerd, so it comes naturally. I love both of those actors. They could use the big screen, big budget comic treatment to show off their talents.

  • Avatar

    Its always fun to look back at these and see how many books I still have in my PC.
    Another awesome job on the casting except I would have my Joker closer in age to my Batman.

    • Peter Renna

      Yeah I regret the Joker pick in retrospect. I had him set early on when I was thinking more of a Pattinson aged Batman. And I still think Peters could be an excellent Joker, but yes, now when I am done with my list he sticks out.

      I debated putting Rockwell in there, and Crispin Glover has been a popular pick for ages, but I settled in on Peters right after starting with using Pattinson as our Batman and a Ralph Fiennes Alfred.

  • Avatar

    Love it. Keep up the great work

  • Avatar

    I thought RAI #0 was the introduction to the new RAI, not Bloodshot, as Bloodshots first appearence was in Eternal Warrior #4?

  • Avatar

    They were both released around the same time probably, and it could be that RAI #0 was the first time the Blood of Heroes was actually mentioned, so it might be considered part of his origin…. It’s been a while since I read these so I wondered what is considered to be the first appearance of Bloodshot.

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