Comics Entertainment, Inc. (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. Notable titles under the Malibu label included The
Men in Black, Ultraforce,
The Night Man
The Night Man and Exiles.
The company's headquarters was in Calabasas, California. Malibu was
initially publisher of record for Image
Comics from 1992 to 1993. The
company's other 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 called Malibu Interactive.
1.2 Publishers acquisitions and Genesis
1.3 Malibu Interactive and Ultraverse
1.4 Acquisition by Marvel Comics
2.1.1 Crossovers with Marvel Comics
2.2 Genesis Universe
2.3 Other titles
2.3.1 Malibu Interactive games
4 External links
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. 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 and video game tie-ins. Malibu's first
title was Ex-Mutants.
Publishers acquisitions and Genesis
Malibu's 1987 financing arrangement with Rosenberg also led to it
effectively acquiring Eternity
Comics and Canadian publisher Aircel
Comics as imprints. In 1989, Malibu acquired the publisher
Adventure Publications. From that point forward, the Malibu brand
was used for superhero titles, while the Eternity brand was used for
the magazine line, and also for anime-inspired titles like Robotech.
The Adventure Publications brand was used for Malibu's licensed
titles, such as Planet of the Apes and Doc Savage; while the Aircel
brand was used for Barry Blair's comics and Malibu's adult line.
In 1992, heroes from
Centaur Publications (a Golden Age publisher
whose properties fell into the 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. The Centaur heroes and other
characters from Adventure (Miss Fury and Rocket Ranger), Aircel (Cat
& Mouse and Men In Black) and Eternity (Dinosaurs For Hire,
Ex-Mutants and Shuriken) plus Dead Clown and Widowmaker were put
together in one Universe to form the Genesis line.
The Bravura imprint was then launched for the creator-owned and
licensed titles. The company also 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. This
move led to Malibu obtaining almost 10% of the American comics market
share, temporarily moving ahead of industry giant DC Comics.
However, by the beginning of 1993, Image's financial situation was
secure enough to publish its titles independently, and it left
Malibu Interactive and Ultraverse
In late 1992, seeking to capitalize on the growing video game market,
Malibu merged with video game developer Acme Interactive to form
Ultraverse line was launched in June 1993 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
Malibu launched additionally the Rock-It Comix imprint for rock band
comics in early 1994. Malibu worked with Gold Mountain Entertainment
management firm in dealing with the musicians, while International
Strategic Marketing was distributing the line to comic book shops,
music outlets and newsstands.
Acquisition by Marvel Comics
As sales declined industry-wide in the mid-1990s, Malibu canceled
lower-selling series. Nonetheless, the company's assets were still
seen as attractive enough to garner interest from DC
Comics in the
spring of 1994. In addition, Rosenberg and Malibu signed with the
William Morris Agency. The company was purchased by Marvel Comics
on November 3, 1994. In the middle of the next year,
Malibu standard-bearers Mason and Ulm left the company.
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 canceled a
short time later. Very little Malibu content was published after 1996.
Within the Marvel
Comics multiverse, the Genesis Universe is
designated as Earth-1136 and the
Ultraverse as Earth-93060.
In June 2005, when asked by
Newsarama whether Marvel had any plans to
revive the Ultraverse, Marvel editor-in-chief
Joe Quesada replied
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.
In May 2012,
Steve Englehart suggested in a podcast interview that the
reason Marvel will not presently publish the
Ultraverse characters is
because five percent of the profits from those books would have to go
to the Malibu creators that are still alive. Marvel Editor Tom
Brevoort later denied that the five percent was what was holding
Marvel back, but was unable to give a real explanation due to a
It has been speculated that Scott Mitchell Rosenberg's ongoing
producer deal for all Malibu properties is another possible
Some of Malibu's titles included:
The All-New Exiles
Black September (Universe changing event)
Break-Thru (a crossover mini-series)
Godwheel (mini series/first Marvel/
Hostile Takeover (ashcan)
Lord Pumpkin (one shot)
Lord Pumpkin/Necro-Mantra (mini-series)
The Night Man
Ripfire (one shot)
Ultraverse Premiere (a rotating backup series)
Ultraverse Double Feature (one shot)
Ultraverse Origins (one shot)
Year Zero: The Death of the Squad (mini-series)
Crossovers with Marvel Comics
Prime vs. The Incredible Hulk
Nightman vs. Wolverine
The All-New Exiles vs. X-Men
Conan vs. Rune
Spider-Man #1A, #1B
Rune vs. Venom
Silver Surfer (published in a flip-book with the other side
Silver Surfer / Rune)
The Phoenix Resurrection
This line made use of many Centaur heroes plus characters previously
published by Adventure, Aircel and Eternity:
Dinosaurs For Hire
Malibu Sun #24
Man of War
Men In Black: Far Cry
Ape Nation (a crossover featuring elements from Alien Nation and
Planet of the Apes)
Bodyguard (reprint of Australian title, with new material)
Breed (2 series) by Jim Starlin
Cat & Mouse
Dreadstar by Jim Starlin
Steven Grant and
Gil Kane (unfinished- iBooks released a
hardback collection of the complete first series)
Full Throttle (reprint of Australian titles Rip Snorter and Raw
Tonnage, with new material)
The Man Called A-X by Marv Wolfman
Men in Black
Metaphysique by Norm Breyfogle
Nocturnals by Dan Brereton
Paranoia (based on the Paranoia role-playing game)
Planet of the Apes
Plan 9 from Outer Space
Power & Glory by Howard Chaykin
Raver (Created by
Star Trek actor Walter Koenig)
Rocket Ranger (based on the
Cinemaware computer game)
Southern Squadron (reprint of Australian superhero title, with new
Star Slammers by
Walter Simonson (unfinished until the series moved to
Dark Horse Comics)
Star Trek comics:
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: The Next Generation/Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
(co-published with DC Comics)
Strikeback by Jonathan Peterson, Kevin Maguire and Steve Oliff
(unfinished - Image
Comics released this series later on and completed
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
Malibu Interactive games
See also: Category:Malibu Interactive games
^ a b Crisafulli, Chuck (1994-02-06). "Crank Up the Colors". The Los
Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
^ Apodaca, Patrice (1992-10-13). "Publishing: After inking strategic
Comics has become a leader in the world of mutants and
super-heroes". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
Comics Launching New Super-Hero Line". The Los Angeles
Times. 1993-06-15. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
^ a b "Distributor Finances Five Publishers". The
(115). April 1987. pp. 12–13. Retrieved February 5, 2016. About
Rosenberg and Eternity Comics, Imperial Comics, Amazing, Malibu, and
Wonder Color Comics.
^ "Malibu Acquires Adventure," The
Comics Journal #127 (February
1989), p. 21.
^ "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.
^ "NewsWatch: Malibu Commands 9.73% Market Share," The
#151 (July 1992), p. 21.
^ "Malibu Moves Ahead of DC in
Comics Market," The
Comics Journal #152
(August 1992), pp. 7-8.
^ "Image Leaves Malibu, Becomes Own Publisher," The
#155 (January 1993), p. 22.
^ "Newswatch: Malibu to Produce Video Games: Comic publisher merges
with video game developer Acme Interactive," The
Comics Journal #153
(October 1992), p. 19.
Comics Sells Stake to Animation Firm". The Los Angeles
Times. 1994-01-11. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
^ McLelland, Ryan (August 25, 2005). "
Ultraverse Ten Years Later".
Sequart. Sequart Organization. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
^ Straub, L. D. (1994-11-04). "Comic
Book Giant Marvel Buys Upstart
Rival Malibu". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
^ Tom Mason, quoted in MacDonald, Heidi. "Quote of the day: get in the
time machine," The Beat (Nov. 16, 2013): "Marvel bought Malibu for
only one reason: to keep it away from DC which had been negotiating to
buy the company since April/May 1994."
^ "Malibu Signs with William Morris Agency," The
Comics Journal #170
(August 1994), p. 40.
^ Reynolds, Eric. "The Rumors are True: Marvel Buys Malibu," The
Comics Journal #173 (December 1994), pp. 29-33.
Comics Publishers Suffer Tough Summer: Body Count Rises in Market
Comics Journal #172 (Nov. 1994), pp. 13-18.
^ "News!" Indy magazine #8 (1994), p. 7.
^ "Mason, Ulm Leave Malibu," The
Comics Journal #179 (August 1995), p.
^ "Joe Fridays - Week 9". Newsarama.
^ Johnston, Rich. "
Steve Englehart – How 5% Doomed The Ultraverse,"
Bleeding Cool (May 22, 2012).
^ Johnston, Rich. "Marvel And Malibu – What’s Five Percent Between
Friends," Bleeding Cool (May 25, 2012).
^ "Quote of the day: get in the time machine". 15 November 2013.
^ "Miracleman, Malibu's Coloring Department & More!". 17 December
Comics at the Comic
Comics at the Big Comic
Comics at the Grand
Newsarama.com: "Joe Fridays", by Joe Quesada
Book Resources: "Lying in the Gutters", by Rich Johnston
Genesis Universe/Protectors site
C. B. Cebulski
Teams and organizations
Kimble v. Marvel
Comparison to DC Comics
Comic book publishers in North America
Dark Horse Comics
Action Lab Comics
Another Rainbow Publishing
Black Mask Studios
Blue Juice Comics
Creative Impulse Entertainment
Darby Pop Publishing
Devil's Due Publishing
Drawn and Quarterly
First Second Books
Lion Forge Comics
Mad Cave Studios
Rip Off Press
Seven Seas Entertainment
Slave Labor Graphics
Top Cow Productions
Harry "A" Chesler
Del Rey Manga
Fox Feature Syndicate
Gold Key Comics
Kitchen Sink Press