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Malibu Comics
Former type Comic publisher
Industry Comics
Founded 1986
Founder(s) Dave Olbrich and Tom Mason
Defunct 1994
Headquarters Calabasas, California
Key people Dave Olbrich, Publisher
Tom Mason, Creative Director
Chris Ulm, Editor-in-Chief
Scott Mitchell Rosenberg
Parent Marvel Comics (as of 1994)
Divisions Malibu Graphics
Malibu Comics Entertainment
Malibu Interactive
Subsidiaries Aircel Comics
Eternity Comics

Malibu Comics (also known as Malibu Graphics) was an American comic book publisher active in the late 1980s and early 1990s, best known for its Ultraverse line of superhero titles.[1][2][3] The company's headquarters was in Calabasas, California. Malibu imprints included Aircel Comics and Eternity Comics. Malibu also owned a small software development company that designed video games in the early to mid-1990s, alternately called Malibu Comics Entertainment and Malibu Interactive.

History[]

Origins[]

Malibu Comics was launched in 1986 by Dave Olbrich and Tom Mason (joined by Chris Ulm in 1987) thanks to the financing of Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, who was operating a comic book distribution company (Sunrise Distributors) at the time.[4] Olbrich had previously been an employee of Fantagraphics, as well as the administrator of The Jack Kirby Awards.

Malibu began modestly with creator-owned black-and-white titles, but made a name for itself publishing a combination of new series and licensed properties such as the classic characters Tarzan and Sherlock Holmes, and popular TV/movie/video-game tie-ins. Malibu's 1987 financing arrangement with Rosenberg also led to it effectively acquiring Eternity Comics and Canadian publisher Aircel Comics as imprints.[4] In 1989, Malibu acquired the publisher Adventure Publications.[5]

In 1992, heroes from Centaur Publications (a Golden Age publisher whose properties fell into public domain) were revived in the form of the Protectors, Airman, Amazing-Man, Aura, Arc, Arrow, Ferret, Man of War, and Mighty Man, among others. Several of these characters had short-lived spin off titles of their own.

Image Comics publisher-of-record[]

The company served as publishers of record for the first comics from Image Comics in 1992, giving the upstart creator-run publisher access to the distribution channels.[6] This move led to Malibu grabbing almost 10% of the American comics market share,[7] temporarily moving ahead of industry giant DC Comics.[8] However, by the beginning of 1993, Image's financial situation was secure enough to publish its titles independently, and it left Malibu.[9]

Malibu Comics Entertainment[]

In late 1992, seeking to capitalize on the growing video game market, Malibu merged with video game developer Acme Interactive to form Malibu Comics Entertainment, Inc.[10][11]

Malibu Interactive games[]

Ultraverse[]

The Ultraverse line was launched during the "boom" of the early 1990s, roughly concurrent with the debut of publishers such as Image and Valiant, and new superhero lines from DC and Dark Horse (Milestone and Comics Greatest World, respectively). The line was in part intended to fill the gap left by Image's independence. They boasted improved production values over traditional comics (especially digital coloring and higher-quality paper), and a roster of respected and/or talented new writers and artists. Emphasizing the tight continuity between the various series in the Ultraverse line, Malibu made extensive use of [crossovers, in which a story that began in one series would be continued in the next-shipping issue of another series. Various promotions for special editions or limited-print stories followed. The Ultraverse line came to dominate Malibu's catalog.

Malibu launch addition imprints following the Ultraverse line Bravura for creator-owned titles and Rock-It Comix for rock band comics.[12]

Acquisition by Marvel Comics[]

As sales declined industry-wide in the mid-1990s, Malibu cancelled lower-selling series.[13] Although the company's assets were still seen attractive enough to sign a deal with the William Morris Agency,[14] the company was purchased by Marvel Comics in late 1994.[15][16][17] Reportedly Marvel made the purchase to acquire Malibu's then-groundbreaking in-house coloring studio, and/or its catalog of movie-licensable properties. Shortly after the purchase, Malibu standard-bearers Mason and Ulm left the company.[18]

Marvel canceled the entire Ultraverse line, but (during the Black September event) re-launched a handful of the more popular titles as well as a number of crossovers with Marvel characters. The "volume 2" series each started with "# (infinity)" issues and were cancelled a short time later. Within the Marvel Comics multiverse, the Malibu Universe is designated as Earth-93060.

Ultraverse Revival?[]

In June 2005, when asked by Newsarama whether Marvel had any plans to revive the Ultraverse, Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada replied that:

Let's just say that I wanted to bring these characters back in a very big way, but the way that the deal was initially structured, it's next to impossible to go back and publish these books.

There are rumors out there that it has to do with a certain percentage of sales that has to be doled out to the creative teams. While this is a logistical nightmare because of the way the initial deal was structured, it's not the reason why we have chosen not to go near these characters, there is a bigger one, but I really don't feel like it’s my place to make that dirty laundry public.[19]


A second volume of Exiles was released as a pure X-Men book with no connection to the Ultraverse whatsoever. The Men In Black film series has continued under Sony for two decades.

It has been speculated that Scott Mitchell Rosenberg's ongoing producer deal for all Malibu properties is another possible factor. [20] [21] He himself, however, has focused on brand new properties he created as opposed to Ultraverse characters.

Titles[]

Some of Malibu's titles included:

Ultraverse[]

  • The All-New Exiles
  • Black September (Universe changing event)
  • Break-Thru (a crossover mini-series)
  • Codename: Firearm
  • Elven
  • Eliminator
  • Exiles
  • Firearm
  • Freex
  • Godwheel (mini series/first Marvel/Ultraverse crossover)
  • Hardcase
  • Lord Pumpkin
  • Mantra
  • The Night Man
  • Prime
  • Prototype
  • Rune
  • Siren
  • Sludge
  • Solitaire
  • The Solution
  • The Strangers
  • Ultraforce
  • Ultraverse Premiere (a rotating backup series)
  • Warstrike
  • Wrath

Crossovers with Marvel Comics[]

  • Avengers/Ultraforce
  • Ultraforce/Avengers
    • Ultraforce/Avengers Prelude
  • Prime vs. The Incredible Hulk
  • Nightman vs. Wolverine
  • The All-New Exiles vs. X-Men
  • Conan vs. Rune
  • Ultraforce/Spider-Man #1A, #1B
  • Prime/Captain America
  • Rune vs. Venom
  • Rune / Silver Surfer (published in a flip-book with the other side reading Silver Surfer / Rune)
  • Night Man/Gambit
  • The Phoenix Resurrection

Genesis Universe[]

This line made use of many Centaur characters:

  • Airman (1 issue)
  • Arrow (1 issue)
  • Dinosaurs For Hire
  • Ex-Mutants
  • Ferret (11 issues)
  • Gravestone (7 issues)
  • Genesis #0
  • Man of War (8 issues)
  • Protectors (20 issues)
  • Protectors Handbook (1 shot)

Bravura line[]

  • Breed (2 series) by Jim Starlin
  • Dreadstar by Jim Starlin
  • Edge by Steven Grant and Gil Kane (unfinished- iBooks released a hardback collection of the complete first series)
  • The Man Called A-X by Marv Wolfman
  • Metaphysique by Norm Breyfogle
  • Nocturnals by Dan Brereton
  • Power & Glory by Howard Chaykin
  • Star Slammers by Walter Simonson (unfinished until the series moved to Dark Horse Comics)
  • Strikeback by Jonathan Peterson, Kevin Maguire and Steve Oliff (unfinished - Image Comics released this series later on and completed it)

Aircel Comics[]

  • Men in Black

Licensed properties[]

  • Alien Nation
  • Ape Nation (a crossover featuring elements from Alien Nation and Planet of the Apes)
  • Captain Harlock
  • Cat Claw
  • Bruce Lee (comics)
  • Demonic Toys
  • Dollman
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Paranoia (based on the Paranoia role-playing game)
  • Planet of the Apes
  • Plan 9 From Outer Space
  • Puppet Master
  • Rocket Ranger (based on the Cinemaware computer game)
  • Robotech
  • Southern Squadron (reprint of Australian superhero title)
  • Star Blazers
  • Star Trek comics:
  • Street Fighter
  • Subspecies
  • Tarzan comics:
    • Tarzan the Warrior (5 issues)
    • Tarzan: Love, Lies, and the Lost City (3 issues)
    • Tarzan the Beckoning (7 issues)
  • Terminator: Cybernetic Dawn
  • Terminator: Nuclear Twilight
  • Trancers

Notes[]

  1. Crisafulli, Chuck (1994-02-06). "Crank Up the Colors". The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1994-02-06/entertainment/ca-19723_1_comic-book. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  2. Apodaca, Patrice (1992-10-13). "Publishing: After inking strategic deals, Malibu Comics has become a leader in the world of mutants and super-heroes.". The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1992-10-13/business/fi-229_1_comic-book. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  3. "Malibu Comics Launching New Super-Hero Line". The Los Angeles Times. 1993-06-15. http://articles.latimes.com/1993-06-15/business/fi-3444_1_comic-book. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Distributor Finances Five Publishers," The Comics Journal #115 (Apr. 1987), pp. 12-13: About Rosenberg and Eternity Comics, Imperial Comics, Amazing, Malibu, and Wonder Color Comics.
  5. "Malibu Acquires Adventure," The Comics Journal #127 (February 1989), p. 21.
  6. "Bye Bye Marvel; Here Comes Image: Portacio, Claremont, Liefeld, Jim Lee Join McFarlane's New Imprint at Malibu," The Comics Journal #148 (February 1992), pp. 11-12.
  7. "NewsWatch: Malibu Commands 9.73% Market Share," The Comics Journal #151 (July 1992), p. 21.
  8. "Malibu Moves Ahead of DC in Comics Market," The Comics Journal #152 (August 1992), pp. 7-8.
  9. "Image Leaves Malibu, Becomes Own Publisher," The Comics Journal #155 (January 1993), p. 22.
  10. "Newswatch: Malibu to Produce Video Games: Comic publisher merges with video game developer Acme Interactive," The Comics Journal #153 (October 1992), p. 19.
  11. "Malibu Comics Sells Stake to Animation Firm". The Los Angeles Times. 1994-01-11. http://articles.latimes.com/1994-01-11/business/fi-10742_1_malibu-s-ultraverse-comic. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  12. Considine, J.D. (July 10, 1994). "Comics That Rock -- It's Not The New Music Video - Yet - But The Comic Book Has Become A Hot Marketing Tool For Top Names In Rock,". The Baltimore Sun. http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19940710&slug=1919586. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  13. Straub, L. D. (1994-11-04). "Comic Book Giant Marvel Buys Upstart Rival Malibu". The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1994-11-04/business/fi-59603_1_comic-book. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  14. "Malibu Signs with William Morris Agency," The Comics Journal #170 (August 1994), p. 40.
  15. "Comics Publishers Suffer Tough Summer: Body Count Rises in Market Shakedown," The Comics Journal #172 (Nov. 1994), pp. 13-18.
  16. Reynolds, Eric. "The Rumors are True: Marvel Buys Malibu," The Comics Journal #173 (December 1994), pp. 29-33.
  17. "News!" Indy magazine #8 (1994), p. 7.
  18. "Mason, Ulm Leave Malibu," The Comics Journal #179 (August 1995), p. 24.
  19. "Joe Fridays - Week 9". Newsarama. http://www.newsarama.com/JoeFridays/JoeFridays9.html. 
  20. http://www.comicsbeat.com/quote-of-the-day-get-in-the-time-machine/#comment-787645
  21. http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=49771

References[]

External links[]


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The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Malibu Comics Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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