Malibu Comics has a long history prior to its absorption by Marvel Comics, and with it, an extended library of titles and characters. This article specifically focuses on Malibu's history in relation to Marvel Comics, namely those subjects related to the Ultraverse and the Genesis Universe. For more detailed information on the company and its library, please visit the Malibu Comics Wiki.
Malibu Comics was an independent comic book publisher that eventually became an imprint of Marvel Comics.
Formed by Dave Olbrich, Tom Mason and Scott Mitchell Rosenberg in 1986, Malibu Comics proved to be a massive success, at one point in its history surpassing DC Comics in market share, partly from the overwhelming success of the Ultraverse line.
Despite Malibu's success, the company became a victim of the industry-wide sales decline of the mid-90s. Marvel Comics bought out Malibu on November 3, 1994, turning it into an imprint while cancelling a number of on-going series in the process. Marvel eventually brought back a number of the more popular Ultraverse titles under the new Malibu imprint, but ceased all publications with the imprint in 1996.
Malibu had a number of imprint publishers under it's umbrella at the time it was acquired by Marvel in 1994. All of these imprints ceased production after the merger, with very few of their running series being carried over into production by Marvel.
Adventure Comics was initially Adventure Publications, an independent publisher that formed in 1986. In October of 1989, Malibu purchased Adventure, changed it's name, and turned it into a label to publish licensed properties.
Several of the characters from Adventure's original series were later brought into the Genesis Universe.
Originally a Canadian publisher formed by Barry Blair in 1985, Aircel Comics published black-and-white fantasy comics, a number of which found niche success. When financial struggles hit the company in 1988, Aircel struck a deal with Malibu President Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, and was made an imprint of Malibu. After the deal, Aircel continued with new volumes of a handful of books, before they ultimately cancelled most of their running series. The majority of their output after the Malibu merger was adult-oriented erotic comics.
Aircel would find success in 1990 with their The Men in Black series, which would eventually go on to find international acclaim with a media franchise including video games, an animated television series, and three blockbuster films. The Men in Black was one of the few non-Ultraverse series from Malibu to find continued production after the Marvel buy-out, with four one-shot issues published in 1997 to promote the release of the first film adaptation.
Bravura Comics was launched by Malibu in Fall 1993 as an imprint for creator-owned comics. The imprint continued publishing issues into October 1995, well after Malibu was bought out by Marvel, thought a number of series were also left unfinished after they were cancelled in the buy-out.
Formed in 1986, Eternity Comics only published a small number of issues before it's financier, Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, turned the publisher into an imprint of Malibu in April 1987. While with Malibu, Eternity published a wide-array of series, including creator-owned properties, licensed properties, and translated reprints of foreign series for the American market.
There were no actively-published series on the Eternity imprint at the time Malibu was bought out by Marvel. Several of the series published by Eternity were later brought into the Genesis Universe.
Rock-It Comix was a very short lived publisher formed by Malibu in December 1993. The imprint published one-shot issues telling fictionalized life-stories starring famous rock musicians and bands, including Black Sabbath, Lita Ford, Metallica, Pantera, and Santana, as well as an issue focused on indie-rock label World Domination Recordings. The label ceased production after the Marvel buy-out.
Marvel Comics would later try its own hand at music-themed comics with the Marvel Music imprint.
In 1992, Malibu made their entrance into the video game market by purchasing video game publisher Acme Interactive, turning it into Malibu Interactive. The publisher mostly produced games based on licensed properties and films, but also released games based on their own properties, including Dinosaurs for Hire and The Ex-Mutants. The publisher was closed down in the merger with Marvel.
- All New Exiles (12 issues)
- All New Exiles Vs. X-Men (1 issue)
- Angels of Destruction (1 issue)
- Avengers/Ultraforce (1 issue)
- Battlezones: Dream Team² (1 issue)
- Black September (1 issue)
- Break-Thru (2 issues)
- Codename: Firearm (6 issues)
- Conan vs. Rune (1 issue)
- Curse of Rune (4 issues)
- Elven (5 issues)
- Eliminator (4 issues)
- The Exiles (4 issues)
- Firearm (19 issues)
- Flood Relief (1 issue)
- Foxfire (4 issues)
- Freex (18 issues and 1 Giant Size issue)
- Godwheel (4 issues and Wizard Preview issue)
- Hardcase (27 issues)
- Lord Pumpkin (1 issue)
- Lord Pumpkin/Necromantra (4 issues)
- Mantra, Vol. 1 (24 issues and 1 Giant Size issue)
- Mantra, Vol. 2 (8 issues)
- Mantra: Spear of Destiny (2 issues)
- Mutants Vs. Ultras: First Encounters (1 issue)
- Night Man, Vol. 1 (23 issues and 1 annual)
- Night Man, Vol. 2 (5 issues)
- Night Man vs. Wolverine (1 issue)
- Night Man / Gambit (3 issues)
- Phoenix: Resurrection (4 issues)
- The Power of Prime (4 issues)
- Prime, Vol. 1 (26 issues and 1 annual)
- Prime, Vol. 2 (16 issues)
- Prime vs. The Incredible Hulk (1 issue)
- Prime / Captain America (1 issue)
- Prototype (19 issues and 1 Giant Size issue)
- Ripfire (1 issue)
- Rune, Vol. 1 (9 issues and 1 Giant Size issue)
- Rune, Vol. 2 (8 issues)
- Rune: Hearts of Darkness (3 issues)
- Rune vs. Venom (1 issue)
- Rune / Silver Surfer (1 issue)
- Siren (4 issues and 1 special)
- Sludge (12 issues)
- Sludge: Red X-Mas (1 issue)
- Solitaire (12 issues)
- The Solution (19 issues)
- The Strangers (24 issues and 1 annual)
- Ultraforce, Vol. 1 (11 issues)
- Ultraforce, Vol. 2 (16 issues)
- Ultraforce/Avengers: Prelude (1 issue)
- Ultraforce / Avengers (1 issue)
- Ultraforce / Spider-Man (1 issue)
- Ultraverse Double Feature: Prime and Solitaire (1 issue)
- Ultraverse: Future Shock (1 issue)
- Ultraverse: Origins (1 issues)
- Ultraverse: Premiere (12 issues)
- Ultraverse: Unlimited (2 issues)
- Ultraverse: Year Zero (4 issues)
- Ultraverse: Year One (1 issue)
- Ultraverse: Year Two (1 issue)
- Warstrike (7 issues and 1 Giant Size issue)
- Witch Hunter (1 issue)
- Wrath (9 issues and 1 Giant Size issue)
- Airman (1 issue)
- Arrow (1 issue)
- Dead Clown (3 issues)
- Dinosaurs for Hire, Vol. 1 (9 issues)
- Dinosaurs for Hire, Vol. 2 (12 issues)
- Ex-Mutants, Vol. 2 (18 issues)
- Ferret, Vol. 1 (1 issue)
- Ferret, Vol. 2 (10 issues)
- Genesis (1 issue)
- Gravestone (7 issues)
- Man of War (8 issues)
- Miss Fury, Vol. 2 (4 issues)
- The Protectors (20 issues)
- The Protectors Handbook (1 issue)
- Rocket Ranger (5 issues)
Malibu Comics in Other Media
A number of Malibu properties found success outside of comics after the buy-out, with several producing films, television series and video games.
Men in Black
By far the most successful of Malibu's properties, The Men in Black from the Aircel Comics imprint spawned a word-wide media franchise, with a $1.65 billion film series, as well as an animated television series, and several video games.
- Men in Black (1997)
- Men in Black II (2002)
- Men in Black³ (2012)
- Men in Black: International (2019)
- Men in Black: The Series (1997-2001)
- Men in Black: The Game (1997)
- Men in Black: The Series: Crashdown (2001)
- Men in Black II: Alien Escape (2002)
- MIB: Alien Crisis (2012)
- Men in Black³ (2012)
Several characters from Malibu's popular Ultraverse saw adaptations into films and television series, though none of them met with very much success, either critically or financially.
Main Article: Firearm (film)
Firearm was a 35-minute short-film released on VHS in 1993 as a bundle with Firearm #0. It serves as an origin for the character, and Firearm #0 takes place immediately where the film leaves off.
Night Man (1997-1999)
Released in syndication, and running for 44 episodes, Night Man featured a loose adaptation of the Night Man character from the main Malibu line.
Main Article: Ultraforce (TV series)
Ultraforce was a 13-episode animated television series that ran on the USA Network from September-December 1995. The series was loosely based on the story-line of Ultraforce Vol 1, prior to the Black September event.