1997 is going to be HUGE!!!

A lost part of mid-90’s Marvel was the Bullpen Bulletins that used up 2 pages of a comic to let Marvel try to promote itself.  Back then it was easier to do what can now be done with a click of a button, namely getting sales pitches directly to fans.

As I read through X-Men #64 (cover date May, 1997) I found myself intrigued by the Bulletins promoting its upcoming books for 1997, which “promis[ed] to be a terrific year for Marvel’s ever-engrossing line of comics.”

And just what books did this page-long article excitedly promote for 1997?

  • Man-Thing
  • Star Trek: What If?
  • Alpha Flight
  • Excalibur
  • Ka-Zar
  • Deadpool (before he was HUGE)
  • Incredible Hulk
  • Thunderbolts
  • Venom
  • Killraven
  • Crimson Dawn
  • Hellfire Club: Inner Circle
  • Hercules: Heart of Chaos
  • Whatever might have Black Widow and Moon Knight (no title given)
  • Generation X
  • X-Force
  • Maverick
  • X-Factor
  • Ka-Zar
  • Kingpin
  • Silver Surfer
  • A new Conan project in the works

Now these aren’t actual promotions, but rather various editors and artists saying that they are excited about these namedrops.  And they even tossed in a picture of Venom from the cover of Venom: License to Kill #3 that I find so ridiculous that I can’t help but love it.

That’s right.  Venom with guns and pouches.

It’s hard to believe that the company had just declared bankruptcy five months earlier.

(And before you call me out on it, I know this wasn’t the reason for that.)

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