There are all sorts of Halloween treats popping up on the The Retro Network. Keeping with the Halloween season the comic ads we’ll be looking at come from a horror comic book. Unfortunately the ads aren’t Halloween related, they really don’t push Halloween in the ads, which is a shame. The comic today is Terror Inc. featuring a character named Terror.
Terror made his first appearance in a comic called St. George #2 in 1988 with the name Shreck. Not the big green ogre, but close. Terror/Schreck was a green-skinned assassin for the Ravenscore crime syndicate. After a successful showing in St George Marvel decided to give Terror/Shreck his own comic and called it Terror Inc.
Terror has interesting powers. He can replace any body part he loses; hand, arm, leg, eyes, etc. He replaces the parts from his victims. Once he has a new body part he immediately knows the last memories of the victim. He looks scary too! The cover image is a good representation of what he looks like.
According to his bio Terror “has greenish yellow skin, pronounced sharpened canine teeth, and a face resembling a nearly naked skull without lips or eyelids. The 10″ spikes on his cheeks on both sides of his face can be removed and used as weapons, and if lost or damaged will regrow.” Not really the beast you want chasing you around. But maybe the perfect demon hunter.
Terror Inc. was scheduled for a 15 issue run, which was later reduced to 13 issues. Terror Inc. ran from July 1992 to July 1993. He wasn’t seen again until 2006 when he formed a group called the ‘League of Losers’ to save the Marvel Heroes.
Terror Inc. #2 features the origin of Hellfire, an incredibly demonic villain. With only 13 issues, Terror Inc. never had a chance to gain traction or a decent fan base.
What ads do you put in a comic featuring an undead assassin with 10” spikes coming out of his face? Let’s find out!
Baseball cards of course. Fleer was a big name in the baseball card market. In 1992 I liked the new(ish) Upper Deck brand of cards. Fleer is offering a free (with purchase) Rookie Sensations Promo Sheet. With 10 players on each side it’s impossible to frame the sheet. They do say it’s numbered for ‘added collectibility’… yeah, doubtful. I wonder how many of the original 250,000 are still around?
Now these I like, Marvel Universe Trading Cards Series III! I own the first three series of Marvel trading cards as well as a few others, like the Masterpiece series. Looking at my cards they are all Impel brand cards, but this ad says they are from SkyBox. I had to do a little digging to find out why.
In April 1992 Impel changed its name to SkyBox. This issue is from August 1992, so SkyBox would be correct. What it tells me is the Series III cards were printed sometime before April 1992 when the name change became official. I wonder if that makes them worth more??? Probably not.
Marvel Series I offered 162 cards plus 5 hologram cards. Series II was 167 cards and 5 holograms and Series III was 200 cards and 5 holograms. In each series the artwork and layouts improved. With baseball cards I’d buy them by the pack, but not for Marvel, or DC cards. I’d buy a pack or two to see what they looked like then I’d buy a whole box. It’s much easier to get the complete set that way!
A nice video game ad. This one for a Super Nintendo Baseball game, Extra Innings. As I said in another article, I’ve never owned a Nintendo system. This game could have pulled me in though. Reading the ad, there are numerous factors to make this game more enjoyable, or harder. The players stats matter, the type of ballpark, the pitch selection.
My son plays MLB: The Show and there are more choices than you can imagine. Day or night games, sunny, cloudy, rain, indoor, outdoor, player selection…so many choices it can be a nightmare to play! I wonder if Extra Innings was the first baseball game to offer these choices?
I’m a huge fan of Role Playing Games, but I rarely venture outside the Dungeons & Dragons universe. I’ve stepped out on D&D twice, once to play the Star Wars RPG and once to play one of the games above, Robotech. The Star Wars RPG wasn’t for me, I preferred the movies I guess. Robotech was a different story, I loved the RPG! Friends and I would play Robotech on and off for over a year and then it started fading into the background. As much fun as it was to play, even giant robots couldn’t stand up to the power of dragons!
This ad indicates Palladium Books has a Role-Playing Megaverse! Big claim, which I doubt could hold up to the D&D universe. But they have some titles that look interesting. The Ninjas & Superspies sounds promising as does the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Do you play the main turtles or Splinter? Or pick a ‘mutant turtle’ as your race and roll a brand new character based in that universe?
Palladium Books is still around and all the RPGs listed in the ad are available to play except for one. Sadly, in 2018 Palladium Books lost their license deal with Robotech after holding it for over 30 years.
Here’s a full page of multiple ads. I like the comic convention schedule being prominent. Unfortunately I need the schedule for the Great Western Conventions. None of the locations are close to where I was living in 1992. What’s with the ‘Marvels for Sale’ ad? It says to send my order to the address, but what am I ordering? Do I send them $5 and they send me back 10 random Marvel titles? Can I pick the titles? Seems a little sketchy!
There are some other good ads on the page too, Hercules Muscles…yes please. Free Magic…ok. Gumby figures…I guess. I’m interested in the Peanuts trading cards though, I’ve never seen them and didn’t even know they existed. Same goes for the World War II cards listed in the same ad.
The Karate Power Video seems pretty legit! Secret Black Belt powers on a $6 video tape! Hell yeah, send it now!!
Look at that video game! It looks amazing and it was. X-Men was a fantastic video game. I spent a lot of money trying to stop Magneto from wiping out humanity. In the game you can play one of six X-Men; Cyclops, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Storm and Dazzler. Wait, Dazzler? There are dozens of X-men to choose from and they pick Dazzler? What about Jean Grey? Psylocke? Rogue?
The interesting thing about this ad is the two different cabinets they show. I’ve only played X-men with the 4-player cabinet. I didn’t even know they made a 6-player version! Can you imagine playing X-men with all six characters!
Thor #450 Supersized Issue! This one is in my collection! The tag line on this one doesn’t make sense… ‘What can one man do?…’ Uh, Marvel, you’ve been writing Thor comics for 30 years at this point, you should know Thor is not a man…he’s the GOD of Thunder!! Maybe it was the human Eric Masterson who defeated the gods. I haven’t read the issue since it came out 30 years ago, my memory is a bit fuzzy.
Notice the ad says it’s on sale in June, this is an August issue. Good luck finding a copy of the super-sized 450th issue of Thor two months after it goes on sale! It’s not just DC, even Marvel runs old ads.
Idol is a 3-issue limited series from Epic Comics, it says so right on the page. Epic Comics was a Marvel brand, a spin-off of the Marvel magazine, Epic Illustrated. Epic Comics originally ran from 1982-1994. They tried to revitalized it in 1995 with no luck and again in 2003. It was officially shut down in 2004.
I never read Idol but it looks decent from the art work. A beauty named Rachel fighting the Creature from the Black Lagoon, what’s not to like. The only Epic Comics line I read was ElfQuest, which was one of their longer running titles at 32 issues.
The NBA on Game Boy! The last time we saw an ad for this game it was NBA All-Star Challenge. This one is the sequel, NBA All-Star Challenge 2. This game updates the All-Stars and features new games. You can play One-On-One, 3-point shootout, Slam Dunk competition and more against Clyde Drexler, Dominique Wilkins, Chris Mullin, Hakeem Olajuwon or Dikembe Mutombo. There are 27 All-Stars in the game so beat them all!
On the back cover is a full page ad for Entertainment This Month, a comic book(?) store out of Virginia. All their comics are on sale, even issue #1’s! I wonder if they are reprints or newsstand issues and not the direct editions. Of course it doesn’t matter now, most of the issues listed on sale still cost more than a mint edition is worth today!
I do like the picture for the Marvel Swimsuit Special. Yeah, I bought it, but only for the articles.
And now back to Halloween…
The Birth of Hellfire!
He won’t be around long, neither will Terror Inc. But it was a good attempt at a horror comic back in the 90’s
Until next time, keep your comics bagged and boarded…unless you want to thumb through them to check out the great ads!