Friday, June 21, 2019

A Special Wizard Publication

Last month I took my kids to the annual local library book sale. My oldest daughter is an avid reader and is always on the hunt for new books to read. The prices at this book sale range from 25 cents to around $2 each. She found a few new novels to peruse and I found an old Wizard magazine from October 1997! This was a special edition of Wizard that covers the big Marvel Heroes Return event that brought classic characters like Iron Man, Captain America and The Fantastic Four back to the regular Marvel continuity. Back then this was a big deal, but now I can see it as the cash grab it was. Anyway, whenever I see an old Wizard magazine for sale at a reasonable price, I just have to pick it up. The nostalgia is too much for me to pass up. It brings back happy memories of the years that I really became a collector of comics and the humor and articles within still hold a soft spot in myself. Below are some of the highlights from this $1 pickup. Take a look and let's see if it sparks some of those feelings for you:
Created by Mark Bagley and Kurt Busiek in 1997 the Thunderbolts were a super group who's goal was to pick up the slack while Cap, Iron Man and the FF were missing. They seemed like any other super group of the time, with one huge exception...they were all former bad guys using new identities to save the world! I will never forget the shock I got after reading Thunderbolts #1 and seeing the final page of that issue where the Thunderbolts true identities were revealed. It was shocking and a twist I never expected. It still ranks for me as one of the best secrets in comics that I have ever read.
This is just an ad for the upcoming Heroes Return story line. I just included it here to show the kind of ads you find on the regular in Wizard Magazine. They were well put together and always eye catching. This ad shows off a mix of the "Sunburst" variant covers that would be released with each #1 issue released with this release.
Inside this special publication, Wizard revealed a list of the top 10 Biggest Marvel Battles of All Time! The Infinity Gauntlet was placed at number 1 ahead of such great story lines as the Contest of Champions, Secret Wars, The Korvac Saga, The Evolutionary War, X-Men Onslaught, Inferno, Kree-Skrull War, The Age of Apocalypse and The Surtur Saga. I have to say that I totally agree with their pick. The story was amazing when it was released in the 90s and it still defies the test of time as it has become a huge smash at the box office.
This section was hosted by the Watcher and attempts to catch up the missing heroes with what has happened since they left a few years back. This section really highlights the wit and humor that Wizard was known for. How could they not take the opportunity to poke fun at the "Batman and Robin" movie?
I'll wrap this article up with this pretty cool "Create Your Own Celestial" contest. The Celestials are an ancient race of beings that are nearly invulnerable and have the power to destroy universes. Mostly they are presented as looking like humanoid giants in full body armor. This was your chance to get creative and make your own character in order to win big prizes like original artwork, signed comics and a ... boomerang? Wizard always ran contests like this. I always wanted to enter, but never did. Another missed life opportunity! What are some of the memories you have of Wizard Magazine or the Marvel Heroes Return event? Let us know in the comments below!


  1. You know,I never picked up any of the Wizard mags.I dont remember seeing them much in the 80s.Was it a 90s thing?If so that would explain it.

    1. It was a 90s thing. The first issue was published in 1991 and the final issue hit stands in 2011.