Wizard Rewind September 2002



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 September 2002, let me set the stage and bring you back on a trip to 17 years ago. So, let’s all go back in the day…


A picture containing person, man, indoor Description automatically generated


Ok, so let’s turn back the clock to September 2002. The Ultimate Universe was all the rage, and who would have guessed that we were only five years away from actually seeing Samuel L. Jackson play Nick Fury onscreen. And not only that, but he would do so, for over a decade plus.



September is historically all about TV Premieres and the Emmys. The big winners at the 54th Emmy Awards were The West Wing, Friends, Michael Chiklis and Allison Janney. I love Friends, but there’s no way it should’ve beaten Curb Your Enthusiasm for best comedy. I fully admit I am extremely biased because the “character” of Larry David is second only to George Costanza in my estimation, and considering George was based on Larry it all is the same it a weird meta sort of way.


Image result for larry david jason alexander


What else was going on in the world back in ’02? Well, Football of course. In Sept. 2002, Rookie quarterback David Carr throws 2 TDs as the Houston Texans beat Dallas Cowboys 19-10 to become only the 2nd expansion team (1961 Minnesota Vikings) to win their inaugural game. Crazy to think the Texans haven’t even existed for 20 years yet.

And let’s not forget that Argentina pulls off one of the biggest upsets in basketball history, beating the US, 87-80 in 2nd round of the World Championships. This was the first US loss in 59 games since sending NBA players to international competition in 1992. You all remember the Dream Team. Well, this squad was far from it. Seriously, Andre Miller? This lineup is just not good. Even for 2002.



Turning to the world of music, dominating the Billboard charts for Sept ’02 was Dilemma by Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland. This collaboration topped the charts for the entire month and is nearly impossible to get out of your head once it takes root. Go ahead. Google it, in case you need a reminder.


A person standing posing for the camera Description automatically generated


Over in theaters, the fall movie season was kicking off one of the roughest months I have ever looked back on. The best I got is Barbershop. Yeah, the best is an Ice Cube Comedy that wasn’t Friday.

I mean what else did we have? Swimfan? Garbage.




Ballistic:Ecks Vs. Sever? Hot garbage.



Stealing Harvard? Even hotter garbage.



The Four Feathers? The English Patient was more exciting, and I hated The English Patient.



Sweet Home Alabama was the biggest hit. I’m done. No fond movie memories from me this month.

Turning our attention to the small screen for a minute, hopefully I can find something to brighten my outlook on the month. Kelly Clarkson wins the first season of American Idol. That ain’t it.

The Price Is Right celebrates its 30th anniversary. That’s right, Bob barker was still hanging in there and would for another 5 years. That’s something.

But also premiering in Sept. ’02 was Firefly. Finally, something good. I was about to write the entire month of September 2002 off as a total loss. But Joss Whedon’s Sci-Fi Western had the makings of a perfect show. Infinite possibilities to explore the Verse in Serenity while Mal and his crew got mixed up in new adventures each week.


Image result for firefly fox


The cast was excellent and so well balanced. They played very well off of each other over this series’ short run. From the loving banter between Wash and Zoe, to the will-they/won’t-they tension between Mal and Inara, to the humor of Jayne and Kaylee; this cast was a pleasure to watch.

Again, it’s too bad that we only got 14 episodes, but thankfully Joss somehow got the studio to make Serenity to at least provide some sense of closure. But I can go on about Firefly all day. I think it’s past time to get to the Wizard. I know most of you probably don’t care about this rambling.


A close up of a person Description automatically generated


Ok, now that we rewound your mindset back to 2002, let’s look back at this month’s Gorram Wizard.






Wizard Guide Value: $15.00
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 29
CGC 9.8 – $19.98 on 4/21/16
Raw – $2.45 on 9/2/19The anniversary of 9/11 was still so very fresh, that comics celebrating real heroes were still in vogue. The most famous of which is still ASM #36.

Check Availability


Wizard Guide Value: $25.00
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 134
CGC 9.8 – $39.95 on 8/23/19
Raw – N/AWhat was old was new again, even 17 years ago. This revamp of the 80's Transformers property was fire. That fire may have cooled a bit, but it's still a pretty sweet book.

Check Availability


Wizard Guide Value: $130.00
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 387
CGC 9.8 – $268.91 on 6/18/19
Raw – $202.50 on 9/4/19

This book is still near impossible to find. The white ratio incentive variant is the current king of the hill for this book with the limited print Dynamic Forces edition close behind.

Check Availability


Wizard Guide Value: $4.50
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 40
CGC 9.8 – $25.00 on 5/16/14
Raw – $10.00 on 8/28/19

Staying in the Ultimate universe, this book featured the 1st Samuel Jackson Nick Fury. It’s kind of just a thing now. For the last 20 years Nick Fury has been Sam Jackson. But there are sooooo many copies of this book out there.

Check Availability


Wizard Guide Value: $22.00
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 137
CGC 9.8 – $50.00 on 7/29/19
Raw – $1.51 on 9/3/19

At the time, this new direction for the Hulk as a fugitive on the run evoked fond memories of the TV show but seems a bit passé compared to the current IH run.

Check Availability


Wizard Guide Value: $5.00
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 9
CGC 9.8 – $24.99 on 1/27/16
Raw – $0.99 on 8/8/19

Unless you are filling a run, or just like collecting Jim Lee covers, there isn't much interest in this book these days.

Check Availability


Wizard Guide Value: $3.50
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 12
CGC 9.8 – $13.50 on 1/21/19
Raw – $3.90 on 9/1/19

Matt Murdoch outed as Daredevil seemed like such a big deal back then. Now it's well covered ground.

Check Availability


Wizard Guide Value: $5.00
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 10
CGC 9.8 – $35.00 on 9/22/15
Raw – $1.80 on 8/11/19

No not that Iron Man #55, but this had a pretty sweet Kia Asamiya cover if nothing else.

Check Availability

9 CAGE #1

Wizard Guide Value: $5.00
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 10
CGC 9.8 – $29.00 on 6/26/17
Raw – $1.70 on 8/23/19

Cage modernized out of his flowy yellow blouse and into the tough guy we know today. Sweet Christmas.

Check Availability


Wizard Guide Value: $7.00
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 10
CGC 9.8 – $29.89 on 11/17/13
Raw – $3.94 on 7/21/19

Awesome Kaare Andrews Cover. 'nuff said.

Check Availability






Before we wrap up this month’s look back, let’s dive into a couple more excerpts from this issue. Apart from the Hot 10 list, Wizard also offered a lot of other features. This issue had a few books in their Ups and Downs, a Treasure Hunt, and an 80’s nostalgia section.  One other bit of interest in this issue of Wizard was an article all about scrapped storylines. It’s actually pretty interesting. So, let’s take a quick look at it.

Galactus Dead? I don’t want that. I want that big purple guy up on the big screen. And we did get Miracleman back, so there was that.



Personally, I would’ve loved an Alex Ross Villain focused series. But we did eventually get the 12 issue Justice series so I guess that will have to do for now.



Also, I can’t say I’m not surprised that so many “meets Jesus” stories were scrapped. A JLA/Avengers eventually happened, but we could’ve gotten it so much sooner.



And where would we be today had they killed off Superman in 1940? But their #2 is the more intriguing story. Imagine Kingdom Come by Alan Moore. What an opportunity missed.



Moving on, let’s take a look back on this month’s Treasure Hunt and Ups and Downs. Treasure Hunt spotlighted some back issues at the time that Wizard felt had some upside, while Ups and Downs looked at price trends on recent books.





Wizard Guide Value: $6.95 Cover
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 2
CGC 9.8 – N/A
Raw – $4.99 on 8/4/19

The Adam Kubert/Simon Bisley cover was pretty cool, but no maintained interest in this one. It can be found in dollar bins today, which is a deal considering the prestige format. This was $7 back then off the rack.







Wizard Guide Value: $2.99 Cover
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 4
CGC 9.8 – N/A
Raw set #1-4- $8/75 on 9/2/19

Pretty forgettable mini, but these are some solid Alex Ross Covers.









Wizard Guide Value: $15.00
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 48
CGC 9.8 – $99.99 on 11/21/18
Raw – $2.01 on 9/3/19

Oh yeah, Crossgen. Dollar bin fodder these days, but the Greg land art is worth the price of admission these days if you are into that sort of thing.
Yes, his art is heavily referenced, but still pretty solid.




Wizard Guide Value: $2.50
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 202
CGC 9.8 – $83.00 on 6/23/19
Raw – $20.50 on 8/16/19

This series took off and is a favorite of mine. Excellent read. It’s funny to think of it new on the shelf. I didn’t get into it until the 2nd story arc. Had the trade for the first arc.

It would have a more cache today if ABC had not scrapped plans for a series to only do their own knockoff version, Once Upon a Time. Still never seen an episode out of spite.




Wizard Guide Value: $2.50
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – N/A
CGC 9.8 – N/A
Raw – $1.00 on 8/30/19

This Batman Fugitive tie-in had a pretty nice cover, but an otherwise forgettable crossover.





  G.I. JOE #1

Wizard Guide Value: $17.00
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 230
CGC 9.8 – $40.00 on 8/25/19
Raw – $0.99 on 8/17/19

Interest has all but disappeared for this Image/Devil's Due series. At the time, this revamp had fans. The JSC cover didn’t hurt.

This is now dollar bin filler where once $17 was considered a down price.




 G.I. JOE #2

Wizard Guide Value: $6.00
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 42
CGC 9.8 – $26.00 on 3/25/19
Raw – $1.79 on 8/10/19

Pretty sweet J Scott Campbell cover here too, but again, interest has all but disappeared. It’s most likely in part due to the property jumping to another publisher and having a few reboots. I mean we just got another one last week.
That said, $6 is a down price is still pretty impressive for ‘02.





Wizard Guide Value: $2.25
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – N/A
CGC 9.8 – N/A
Raw – $1.69 on 8/26/19

Again, no one much cares about this bat-crossover these days. Wizard blamed the down interest on the lack of the crossover trade dress emblazoned across the top of the book.

That said, ancillary tie-ins to crossovers don't heat up these days like they once did. Think that spec was killed by the multitude of tie in mini's they do now instead of full on crossovers into the regular titles.



So, not a lot of hits in these picks in today’s market. I suppose the Fables is a winner, but outside of that…



Anyway, our next section was a bit of a special mini price guide at the back of the issue. This sub-section guide was all focused on 80’s Nostalgia.


There were a lot of pretty cool titles in this price guide, but I am only going to focus on the ones Wizard decided to spotlight. But that said, I’m not sure if you can see this list had Bravestarr, C.O.P.S., and Dino Riders on this page alone. Awesome memories.

Enough about what we won’t look at. So, let’s get into the books we are gonna check out. First will kick it off with a look at Transformers #1. We aren’t gonna look at that Transformers: Generation 1 #1 Holofoil variant again, so we are gonna check out the original. Then we will look at the 3 books below.



Wizard Guide Value: $9.00
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 463
CGC 9.8 – $565.00 on 9/1/19
Raw – $39.95 on 9/3/19

80’s nostalgia is still alive and kicking pretty hard these days. Just take a look at these prices.
That Bill S. cover is really cool.  I don’t have one of these in my collection anymore, but I wish I did. But it’s gonna have to remain a wish at these prices.





Wizard Guide Value: $10.00
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 197
CGC 9.8 – $620.85 on 8/30/19
Raw – $43.58 on 9/4/19

Again, 80's nostalgia is still going very strong. This book has been a steady climber and I doubt it's that closely tied to the reboot movie rumors. Folks just love their He-man.

Myself included.





Wizard Guide Value: $5.00
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 83
CGC 9.8 – $39.00 on 9/28/18
Raw set #1-4 – $1.99 on 9/2/19

This one might see a jump as they just announced a director for a Micronauts adaptation. Add in the X-Men and who knows.

But then again, option news really only drives first appearances and direct adaptation books in most cases. But you never know.



  TRANSFORMERS #3 (1984)

Wizard Guide Value: $4.00
Recent Sales Data:
CGC 9.8 Census – 109
CGC 9.8 – $170.00 on 8/6/19
Raw – $15.00 on 8/30/19

Transformers crossing over with Spidey? Still appears to be in demand today.

These types of crossovers were always fun. I remember wishing for a Transformers/G.I. Joe crossover as a kid.





A person holding a sign Description automatically generated
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 Last Man Standing feature spotlighting an imaginary battle.


What’s cool about this one is that we actually got this crossover somewhat recently and it was really fun. Now our movie can follow the plot of that miniseries, or it can just be whatever you imagine in your head. What did you dream about when playing with your action figures pitting Lion-O again He-Man. The battle of 2 hyphenated heroes.

I’m not even sure what my movie would be about, but I’m pretty sure that I want Taika Waititi to helm it. This movie should just be fun and not take itself too seriously. And when you see some of my cast it will be a reunion of sorts.


Image result for taika waititi thundercats
So once again, just for fun, let me give it a try and see what I can come up with to cast this imaginary movie today. With that, this is my pitch to cast a He-Man/Thundercats movie made today without any regard to logic, budget, or star power.


I could keep going on and on with so many Masters of the Universe and Thundercats characters on this one, but I gotta stop. I mean I didn’t even get to Man-e-Faces, or Merman, or Ram-Man, or Fistor, or Clawful, or Stinkor, or Mossman, or Hordak, or Jitsu, or Two Bad, or Pumyra, or Grune, or Tuska, or Berbil Bill, or my man Hachiman.Ok so that’s yet 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**


Related Posts


  • Avatar

    The Fables #1 cover above is the Maleev variant, which I believe goes for a little more than the regular cover. Most raw copies with a fixed-price listing start around $50. I had about 80% (around 120 issues) of the entire series (starting around issue 10) and eventually lost interest in collecting the series and traded it for CAD$200 store credit. A win, I guess?

  • Avatar

    I love these!

  • Avatar

    These are fun. I appreciate the time you put into these. A couple of things though.. 1) In your top 10 you have Spawn #2 as #7 instead of the DD book and lower down you have a picture from Megaton as the DD/Spider-man book. WHAT DO YOU HAVE AGAINST DAREDEVIL?? Bwahaha

  • Avatar

    Keep these coming, a full and great read! Crazy how so many of the Wizard’s hot books ended up as dollar bin fodder. Talk about FOMO before such a thing was named. It also can’t help that many of the Marvel (and some DC) titles have since been rebooted and reset and there have been several new volumes and new #1s in the past few decades. I’m also amazed at how much time as passed and how even some of the individuals mentioned in the magazine’s casting calls have aged out of their suggested roles. Regardless, Wizard had a huge role in and influence on comicdom and will forever capture the world of comics from 90s through the early part of the new millennium.

    Also, just a heads up, your Hot 10 section has Spawn #2 listed where it should be Daredevil #32.

  • Avatar

    No one cares about Ruse? The Crossgen book even people who didn’t get into Crossgen read? It’s a fantastic read by Mark Waid with career highlight art by Butch Guice. Seek it out if you haven’t.

  • Peter Renna

    Thanks for the kids words guys. Not sure what happened with the pics here, but I will fix it up. Thanks for letting me know and thanks for reading. Running out of good material to do each month. You;d be surprised at how redundant some of these top 10’s were. Month after month of the same books. I’m gonna finish out through January so I would have done a year’s worth and re-evaluate if I can keep these up. They are fun to do, so I’m glad some folks like them. 🤘😎🤘

    • Avatar

      These articles are extensive and cover many of each issue’s features so it makes sense.

      When I come across random Wizards I occasionally dive into the old price guides and am amazed how some of the hottest books of the 90s have long since crashed and are found in $1.00 and $5.00 boxes. I loved how Wizard tracked Hot and Cold books. Back then, there wasn’t an internet market so it was our realtime. I always wondered if there was actually any kind of consensus or sales tracking and sometimes thought they were just hyping specific comics to promote their brand.

  • Avatar

    Man I would pay so much to see that movie. You are so spot on with most of the casting.

  • Ben C

    Love that casting call at the bottom Peter!!

    Wow to that Hot 10, lol

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.