Comics : Marvel 1993 Annual Report

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: A Word From Our Sponsor

This review was first published on: 2006.

Background...

While operating as a publicly traded company, Marvel began to issue, both quarterly and Annual Reports. While quarterly reports came in the form of card- stock, or gate-fold reports, the annual reports, tended to be comicbook-sized booklets, with the first 32 pages a comicbook stories staring various Marvel heroes punching out Marvel villains while pontificating on the financial standings of Marvel the company. This was then be followed up by more detailed (and more traditionally-presented) financial information about the company.

In Detail...

"Power Play!"
Marvel 1993 Annual Report
Dec 1993 : SM Article
Summary: Spider-Man Appears!
Editor:  Glenn Herdling
Writer:  Gary Fishman
Pencils:  Alex Saviuk, Art Nichols, John Herbert, Mike Gustovich, Paul Ryan, Tom Morgan
Inker:  Danny Bulanadi, Greg Adams, Rodney Ramos, Steven Baskerville, Tom Palmer
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Review

There is a 32-page comicbook section, which is followed by 32 pages of financial information. Yet, even here Marvel has peppered the report with images of its various heroes, as well as unique graphs and charts with them showing off the company's financial information.

In General...

This issue begins when Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Wolverine are mysteriously transported from where they were to an unknown location in some sort of sub- space strata. Here they discuss the financial standings of the Marvel Entertainment group. As they do this, they are confronted by an over-sized Arcade as well as a mob of Jamie Madrox clones.

The three heroes then are shunted off into other virtual universes as they track down information. Spidey winds up in a world where the X-Men are facing down Exodus, the most powerful evil mutant. Spidey and Cyclopes go up against the villain while talking about various mutant-related marketing plans, only to have a packet of Marvel Comics drop out of Exodus' cloak and snatched up by Arcade.

Wolverine winds up going against Sabretooth, and Juggernaut as they fight and talk about Marvel licensing and marketing info for '94. Gambit arrives to help his teammate and tell about some of the positive aspects of the company in these arenas (including the X-Men Pizza Hut videos) only to have Arcade appear to snatch one of the videos.

Iron Man teams with the FF to discuss Fleer products only to be attacked by mysterious robots and have Spidey and Wolvie appear to assist. Yet, once again Arcade appears to make off with Marvel-related booty. In the final section, the three heroes teem to learn more about Toy Biz, Marvel's new toy venture subsidiary. Here, the heroes go up against numerous villains while attempting to protect Marvel's newest owned company. Ultimately, they prevail against Arcade and cite all of the very cool things marvel is now into (including comics, videogames, trading cards, toys, etc.).

Overall Rating...

This has to be one of the most unique Annual Reports ever presented, and it is this presentation that earns it its high grade.

Footnote...

This first Annual Report contained a "fold over" on the back cover that had four marvel hero trading cards (Spider-Man, the FF, Wolverine, and Iron Man).